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We do like to be beside the seaside …. at the new Holiday Inn in Bournemouth!

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A new Holiday Inn has just opened in Bournemouth, bringing some much needed quality to the town.

Long-term readers will know that I have a soft spot for decent hotels opening up in British seaside resorts, since one of the things – admittedly not the only thing – that stops people spending more time on the British coast is the dire selection of accommodation.

It is genuinely the case that the best hotel in Scarborough, for instance (somewhere I stay for family reasons occasionally) is the Premier Inn – worryingly, nothing else comes close.

Bournemouth is bucking the trend.  I reviewed the new Hilton Bournemouth here – it’s even got an executive lounge! – and the new Hampton by Hilton, which is attached, here.

Holiday Inn Bournemouth now open

Holiday Inn has now joined them.  A new Holiday Inn opened this week – it is the fully refurbished ex-Ramada Encore.  It is owned by Interstate, who built the impressive new combined Holiday Inn Bath Road (reviewed here)  and Staybridge Suites (reviewed here) at Heathrow which opened recently.

Looking at the pictures, it is a surprisingly funky Holiday Inn which I would be happy to stay in.   It is on Bath Road and claims to be “easy walking distance of Bournemouth Beach and town centre.”  Note that it does not have a pool, so the Hilton remains a better choice if you’re worried about wet weather activities.

Full details are on this page of the IHG website.

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Comments

  1. Grant says:

    OT and a bit niche but if anyone is planning on using the Clubrooms at BHX (well worth the £10 upgrade with PP in my opinion to avoid the scrums in the others) then you need to report to the No. 1 lounge to present your PP and pay the upgrade as they don’t have facility to do this at the Clubroom reception desk.

    Oh and they don’t take Amex which I found bizarre!

    • Chris L says:

      V useful…thanks for the tip!

      • Stu N says:

        Or you can pay £15 online to guarantee entry with “free” fast track (well worth it IMO) and go straight to the Clubrooms.

        • Grant says:

          Yes, this is probably the way I would do it next time especially if I was travelling at a busier time of the day.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          Does this work at Gatwick?

  2. pablo says:

    Curve raises $55m for mobile payment app that combines multiple bank cards:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/07/15/curve-raises-55m-mobile-payment-app-combines-multiple-bank-cards/

    • Will this mean that it is likley Amex will now join with Curve

      • Memesweeper says:

        Unless there has been a major change of heart at Amex, and there’s nothing in the article to suggest that, my guess is ‘no’.

    • Neil Donoghue says:

      This is incredible! Some folks have money to throw at anything but long may it last. Should give the high street banks a run for their money now

  3. OT – Bonvoy have released reward nights for The Langley at the 35,000 points per night rate beyond January 2020 – there is availability over the Valentine’s Day period and February half term. I’m going to cancel my booking for January 3rd and 4th as the Feb dates suit me better, so these nights may go back into the inventory.

    • Louise says:

      Thanks Anna, debating whether to book a night or carry on saving for Domes of Elounda.

      • Lady London says:

        You can always cancel and get your points back later Louise! Between now and Feb is a long time. Who knows what other promos could turn up that would let you do both?

        • Absolutely – I am also hoping they will do another 25% bonus on buying points next February as my balance will be totally depleted with this booking!

        • Louise says:

          Great idea, booked valentines in the hope we can get some childcare! If not I can cancel.
          I moved my last Amex MR points across to Marriott last week so balance is healthy but need a few more still to get the full week at Domes

    • The most recent TripAdvisor review references the HFP breakfast recommendation!!

      • I saw a LinkedIn article from the General Manager where he was showing off about having just completed some ludicrously long charity bike ride after months of training. I wrote a comment saying that perhaps his time over the opening period might have been better spent making sure that his hotel was not a complete sh*tshow in its opening few weeks, but then thought better and deleted it …..

        • RussellH says:

          Or maybe he just ought to be running his hotel, full stop. Not messing about on (anti)social media!

        • Lady London says:

          Ouch.
          Good call, Rob, though.
          In your case defo not worth posting that.

  4. Speaking of seaside towns with new hotels, the Isle of Man now is a Premier Inn in Douglas

    • Mervyn Miller says:

      And a new Travleodge is ‘in the works’ as well.

      The new Premier Inn is located in a quiet narrow street behind Marks and Spencer so not on the prom with sea views. For the TT Races next June they are asking at least £180 per night but some very good prices are available most other times and of course there are the usual Premier Inn sales and other promotions offering real bargains.

      It is worth noting that buses to and from the Airport are cheap and the frequency is every 20 minutes. Easyjet, Flybe, Aer Lingus Regional and Loganair have routes to Liverpool, Manchester, Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh and Bristol – with the main routes having at least two flights each way per day. As always, early bookers can obtain some great fares. Easyjet offer many seats on the Gatwick, Luton, Bristol and, Liverpool routes for £50 – £60 return.

      Isle of Man Steam Packet ferries serve Heysham (near Lancaster) twice daily each way with a traditional freight, vehicle & passenger ferry and Liverpool once or twice daily each way by fast-craft vehicle & passenger ferry sailings from around late March until early November. During the summer there are also various fast-craft sailings to and from Belfast and Dublin and in winter the traditional freight, vehicle and passenger ferry on the Heysham route also serves the Liverpool route on Saturdays and Sundays. There are many Special offers: https://www.steam-packet.com/offers

      The island offers some fantastic food (check the Isle of Man listings on Trip Advisor), great local beers, gin and whisky, lots of terrific sightseeing, wonderful heritage museums and vintage transport – horse trams on Douglas Promenade, steam trains between Douglas and Port Erin, electric trams between Douglas and Ramsey and an amazing mountain railway from Laxey to the summit of Snaefell (the highest mountain at a little over 2000 feet). More than enough to occupy a week or two.

      • What a post ! 🙂

      • Polly says:

        Lovely place. My parents honeymooned there!
        Agree, easy to get to.

      • Great post! Saved in my list for inspiration for future travels. My partner and I want to visit all these slightly weird small independent and semi-independent places in Europe. Next week is Faroe Islands, next year – Isle of Man

  5. David says:

    Unfortunately the Holiday Inn Bournemouth isn’t brand new – it is a rebrand of the Ramada Encore. They seem to have renovated the lobby and rooms (but not bathrooms). Very good location though.

    • Thanks, will update.

    • RussellH says:

      Anyone know if Ramada actually plan to remain in the UK? While there are still plenty of Days Inns on the motorways, there seem to be hardly any Ramadas left. I have used a few over the years, and none are now a Ramada. Glasgow Airport->Courtyard; Dover->IHG; Crewe->the worst HIX I have experienced; Crewe (Encore)->Ibis Styles; now this one too.
      Only ones I know of still Ramada branded are Cambridge A14 services and Soutport, though there may be one or two others. But why would they bother with just one or two hotels?

      • Lady London says:

        I think Ramada brandname lost value over the years.
        There are a couple in London – a Days Inn at Ruislip that was rebranded upwards to a Ramada, but is still the same low end hotel, and one, I think, in Finchley.

        Otherwise as you say they are on motorways. Probably because a hotelt that has leased those locations is mostly guaranteed a certain level of trade and it’s not as related to quality as other locations.

        I will take a guess that Wyndham Hotels has decided that it’s better to stay at the bottom end (Days Inn or so) and/or be on a motorway in the UK. There’s too much competition in the midrange and their properties that I stayed in were old and poorly maintained.

        Their competition is now Travelodge and Premier Inn I would say (they own Travelodge in the US but not in the UK). Basically, if they’re closing non-motorway hotels and keeping the low end, I’d say that’s a good strategy for them here.

        • My partner and I stayed at Ramada in Crawley last year and while it has an AMAZING historic building as the front of the hotel, the backside where the actual rooms are is awfully dilapidated

  6. OT – Flights booked to KUL for the family using 2 x 2-4-1. Two in first for my wife and son age 17 and two in business for myself and daughter age 19. Is it possible to swap seats so my wife and I can travel in first and use the first lounge at LHR? If possible do we request at check in or at the lounge?

    • Lounge is no issue as you can each being a guest into the Concorde Room. On board it isn’t an issue, just make sure the crew know.

      • Many thanks. We actually have one additional family member travelling with us also in business. Are they strict on the number of guests into the Concorde Room or might they allow one extra guest in?

  7. Quite agree with your comments on Premier Inn, Rob. According to TripAdvisor, Premier Inn Inverness ranks as travellers’ no. 1 choice (mine too) in the city. Also my hotel of choice in Glasgow. They are a very standard design but, apart from the very reasonable price, you know you will get a decent size room, clean, well enough equipped and with a nice bathroom. Having a choice of bath as well as shower is getting rarer in hotels these days.

  8. Matt B says:

    OT – looking for a Paris hotel for a few nights at start of August. Budget is tight so looking for any hidden gems. I can get a couple of Melia properties using my gold 20% off voucher for under £100 a night. They are well located centrally but reviews seem hit and miss. Anything better I should aim for? Thanks.

    • Lady London says:

      have mentioned before but for qualilty of rooms and reachable location (but 65 from Opera/Haussmann/Gare St Lazare 25min almost ot the door) I really like Hampton Clichy. If you stay 3 nights I’ve seen rates can approach their best. Quality rooms, well run, new. All unusual for Paris.

      There is parking at, I think, about 12 eur pn. A new metro will open soon nearby. Can also get there by RER then a walk or short bus. Bus fiddly to find but close to RER and 2 or 3 stops. For a first visit use the bus 65 if you can or it cost me 15EUR on a Sunday from Gare du Nord with big luggages. So very reasonable to reach by taxi and might cost less other times.

  9. Michael says:

    Is there a 3rd article to come?

    • Robert J says:

      I am assuming (From what has happened in the past) that because there were 4 articles yesterday there will only be two today – I don’t think the 3 a day is a hard rule and Rob will bring one forward if there is value in getting it out sooner.

      • Correct.

        The rule is driven by the email system, which is only set up to send three articles per day. (We can combine if necessary, but physically sending 4 separately as a one-off is messy. Not impossible, but messy.)

  10. Robert J says:

    I am assuming that you can’t use the Hilton pool if you are staying at the Hampton? It looks like the Hilton in Bournemouth doesn’t have any family rooms, so I guess the Holiday Inn is as good as any Hilton option if you have kids with you.

    • Correct – we had two connecting rooms when I went back with my family. The suite I got when I was there golfing is big enough for a family but I don’t think it is allowed. This may be deliberate as I’m not sure families are their target market. There is a big banking and insurance industry in Bournemouth and the Hilton would tell you that it is serving those guys first.

  11. Yorkieflyer says:

    Today’s Virgin Money shenanigans. Applied for +card 24July last year, account opened 31 July, rang to close account today and next years fee applied, rep spoke to manager, as a special concession 1/12 annual fee to be charged. When queried saying year not up so should be no fee, the to be fair helpful rep immediately suggested raising complaint and freezing card.
    I suspect the pushback to this is now commonplace?

    • Lev441 says:

      I was also charged a month early. As I’m keeping the card it’s not such a big deal, however it’s very cheeky.

    • Freezing the card should stop it, but the agent I spoke to could not confirm it, so I paid the balance online so they could close the account.

    • Lady London says:

      Don’t acceot this.

      similarly, Metro Bank’s computer will charge you a whole month’s business account fees even if you opened your account on the 31st. They are happy to open the account pending funds transfer but they don’t mention that if you don’t transfer 5K in on the day it opens you will be charged for the whole month even if the account is only open 1 day pre-transfer. (as Metro bank charges if on any one day within the month the balance goes below 5K)

    • Louise says:

      I rang on Friday and still have the 160 balance on the card, the agent said I should clear it and I said no as it’s not a year since I took the card out, he came back and said it would be passed to another department but may take 5-7 days to close

    • roberto says:

      My year is up on the 7th of August. I rang to preempt the situation and was told (a) clear the balance 5 days before (b) don’t use the card (c) phone the day before renewal and cancel.

      I did ask if I will be getting the 12000 miles from this months spend and was told yes. I will still get (a) a end of month statement and (b) an end of year statement which will detail my miles.

      Does worry me cancelling before the miles post but if I wait until the day they post the renewal fee will be attached to my account.

      What could possibly go wrong?????

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