I consider myself lucky (and blessed!) that the getaway I’ve been planning with my husband for the past few weeks did take place just before Lockdown 2. I would have cried real tears if we had been forced to cancel it. I have been to different Hilton hotels around Europe, including here in London. From an early age my parents used to take us around the world and Conrad Hotels (by Hilton) were often my dad’s choice of hotel.
This trip however is my husband and I’s first romantic staycation since we’ve been married.
Everytime we’ve been away somewhere, or traveled abroad, has been with our children or with friends. Of course we want our kids to see the world and experience the joys of traveling too. But this particular trip to the seaside, as a couple, away from the hustle and bustle of London was long overdue, and something we desperately needed.
First of all, Bournemouth is surprisingly charming!
This is a lovely town, with some very pretty beaches, a pier, an great restaurants. It did feel very touristic – there are hotels at every corner of the street, and in terms of restaurants you are really spoilt for choice. Sadly we didn’t get the chance to visit the posher parts of Bournemouth, i.e. Sandbanks and its surroundings, due to lack of time. I’m told that’s where a lot of British celebrities have their holiday homes. However we did spend a bit of time just walking by the seafront and discovering the town as much as we could. It rained throughout our stay there, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time.
Hilton Bournemouth – a very pleasant experience
I opted for 3 days at Hilton Bournemouth with my husband after one of my Instagram friends recommended it to me. I wanted a bit of guilt-free luxury, to be attended to, to be taken care of. So I booked a king suite through Bookings.com . It was slightly pricier at the time than the deals I’m seeing now (probably because of this second lockdown). Despite it being a well known chain, we still found the service to be tailored to our individual needs, with every little hick up (there were a couple) being fixed to our satisfaction.
Social distancing rules were in place at the time we went – 2 metres apart when queuing, etc. Hotel staff wear their masks at all times, and guests are also encouraged to wear theirs when going through communal areas, the restaurant etc. I didn’t spot any hand sanatizer stations so do bring your own supply of hand gel etc.
The room itself was lovely, clean, very well designed, with a very comfortable king size bed and gorgeous headboard as you’d expect. The room contained mostly mid-century modern decor pieces, with very distinct patterns and colours (I think, present in every room). The corridors and landings were designed beautifully, although with a more moody/dark feel than the rooms.
My only disappointment was that our room didn’t come with a breathtaking view, as I had hoped. It faced a neighbouring building (and not a very pretty one) and part of a busy road. Had we upgraded I suppose we would have got a better view. That didn’t ruin our stay, however, and it’s something I quickly got over.
Room service and dining experience:
We ordered room service on a couple of occasions, and there was a bit of a mix up with our dinner order but it was sorted out very competently. I also loved how apologetic this one member of staff was, even though the error had been out of his control. I wish I had taken his name!
Dinner was amazing – we had the peri-peri chicken and fries, and slow roasted lamb shank with mint-infused couscous and butternut squash. The meat in both dishes was drowning in sauce which I initially thought would be overpowering, but actually this allowed the flavours to really come through.
During busy periods, it’s a little more difficult to order breakfast in bed, so they’ll ask you to go downstairs to the restaurant anytime before 10am and eat there instead. We did eventually manage to order breakfast on room service but only because we ordered the night before. Breakfast was filling, very decent portions (expect the juices – the bottles are tiny!) but all in all flavoursome and made from quality produce.
Reception and Housekeeping staff were polite, friendly. In fact every staff member we came across, in the lobby area or the corridor always took a moment to say “Hello, how are you?” which I thought was very courteous. I have no complaints in regards to customer service, all staff members are solution minded and resolved any small issue very competently.
The Eforea spa at Hilton Bournemouth is one of the most relaxing places I’ve been to. A simple, rather small pool, and a sauna. Not much to do, at least not during Covid. But this was the best thing about it. The fact that it was never busy, there were never any long queues of people waiting for spa treatments or other services. It was literally – you go in (having booked a couple of hours prior), with your swimsuit and towel, you spend time in the pool and/or the sauna, then come out, hand in your dirty towel and that was it. No frills, but this was literally all I needed. I thourougly enjoyed and would go back just to spend time in that pool again.
Other things to consider:
This is a pet friendly and child friendly hotel.
Parking is £12 per day, and £14 Thursday to Sunday.
It is located in in a busy town centre (and a 10min walk from the sea front), however no noise can be heard from the rooms.
All in all, I would definitely recommend Hilton Bournemouth, and would rate this particular experience a 4/5.