A new hotel with Miami vibes is coasting along rather nicely. Just a two-hour journey from London, Suzanne Baum dips in to Bournemouth’s hippest hang out, The Nici hotel, to discover just why this newly refurbished hotel is making waves.
In the words of the pop duo Wham, the Nici hotel is a “Club Tropicana drinks are freel fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone”. All that’s missing is the sea? Nope, you get the beach here too; both fake and real. In fact, I’ve never seen a hotel offer so many facilities – and “membership is a smiling face”, by the looks of many of the day guest visitors enjoying their time.
In fact it is smiles all round – not only from the guests but from the staff too; who seem super clued up when it comes to customer service; even knowing the name and history of the artists whose work I admire throughout our stay. And on that note; the hotel is a work of art in itself – with its eclectic mix of rooms, art-deco furnishings and retro candy-striped pool (that incidentally is warm). And from warm to cool – the white lobby situated at the entrance of the hotel – complete with a piece of modern artwork that says MY AMI – gives a nod to the love put into this funky hotel experience that lies inside.
Retro styles and Miami vibes
Think playball machines, disco balls and retro tiles; the flared jumpsuit I packed for dinner certainly fits in well! Although it feels like you could be in Miami, there is one thing that is incomparable to the LA hotel scene and this is the Nici’s room size. Forget box rooms; everything about the accommodation here is big – the rooms are vast, the beds are gigantic and my suite (which had beautiful sea views) included the best power shower I have ever had and a roll top bath that could fit my family and dog in. Yes – this is a dog-friendly hotel which is a bonus if you don’t want to leave your furry friends behind.
With a complimentary carafe of rum in the rooms to get your holiday started, there’s a real hedonistic feel to this hotel – whether you choose to drink or not. With the most stunning views from the bedroom, it proves difficult to leave our tropical-designed room but there is so much to explore. For starters, the corridors of the hotel have such incredible artwork, it will take you time to descend the staircase. And when you do, a whole playground of fun awaits; including pink flamingos, gold mirrors and pool-side cabanas that remind me of old Hollywood film scenes.
Cocktails and meals at the Nici
Candyfloss cocktails and pineapple themed drinks are offered at the ground floors South Beach restaurant – where we enjoyed all our meals overlooking the luscious grounds of the property. It is here where the beach club lies – complete with fake sand, retro-looking bikes and kayaks to hire (the sea is at the bottom of the hotel gardens).
A kid’s room with old-fashioned games is perfect if you are visiting with little ones, plus there is a cinema (with free popcorn) and even a giant chess board and garden games spread throughout the grounds, with all ages catered for. And on the subject of catering, the food is unreal; we dined on fresh fish and locally sourced vegetables and – as with everything the Nici has to offer – our food was big, fulfilling and beautifully presented.
Relaxing at the Nici spa
I’m not surprised to hear that Bournemouth’s newest five-star hotel-resort has already started to revolutionise this seaside town. Day guests are welcome to use the restaurants and the spa – which is out of this world. With a stunning relaxation room full of candles, day beds and snacks to eat, an indoor pool and steam rooms galore, it is luxury at its best. And the spa treatment menu is endless.
In fact, I’d love to write about my 60-minute Oskia massage but it was so relaxing, I actually fell asleep as every part of my body got pummelled, massaged and soothed.
Having previously operated as The Savoy (not the London brand), the Nici relaunched in June 2022 after a first-phase facelift and has just completed the second stage of refurb. It’s the only true luxury hotel in Bournemouth and is unsurprisingly making waves on the South Coast. Even if the weather is bad, you’ll not be disappointed!
This is most certainly a place “where strangers take you by the hand and welcome you to wonderland”; that is the only way I can sum it up! Go, before the rest of the world discovers this gem!
For more details, visit thenici.com