If you’re looking to stay somewhere that combines the informality of beach living with the comfort of a luxury hotel, Urban Beach in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth might well be the destination for you. This distinctive venue isn’t afraid to show its big personality, but takes guest comfort, its food and accommodation very seriously.
Urban Beach is not part of a big-name hotel chain, but rather a local brand that knows what it does, and does it in style. Its own philosophy: “we love quality but hate formality” resonates throughout everything it does. Urban Beach is located just five minutes’ walk from one of Bournemouth’s most popular and beautiful stretches of coastline. If you want to get to Bournemouth town centre itself, just meander the short mile westwards along the beach. On weekends and throughout the summer you can even catch a convenient land train there and back along the coast!
Urban Beach’s décor is unique and personal, with twelve stylishly decorated bedrooms. This traditionally Victorian building was built in 1890 but was extensively refurbished back in 2007 to become the modern, charismatic, boutique hotel you find today.
Unique and individual decor
The bedrooms at Urban Beach are stylish and comfortable with seven king size rooms, two doubles, two singles and a super king size/ twin. Each room has a different design but takes the same meticulous approach to style and comfort.
Some rooms are bigger than others, most have a king size bed, some have baths and others have showers. Ask the hotel or check on their website if you’re after a specific set-up.
All bedrooms offer a luxury en suite bathroom, arran aromatic toiletries, Fairtrade tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary WiFi and wired internet, direct dial telephones, plasma televisions and DVD players. If you’re having a night in or need to occupy the kids, just pop to reception to borrow a DVD of your choice from the free library.
Children are welcome to stay in a few of the hotel bedrooms and while Urban Beach doesn’t have family or connecting rooms on offer, you can reserve two rooms next to each other if they are available. Travel cots are on hand for tiny ones and children under 3 stay for free. If your child is under 14 they can stay on a ‘Z’ bed in your room for an additional £30 or perhaps your older child would like one of the single rooms on offer.
You can check in to Urban Beach any time between 7:30am and 11:00 and check-out is 3pm. There are six off-road parking spaces available on the site (first come, first served) and plenty of nearby parking to be found on the side roads.
Bar and bistro
Urban Beach bar and bistro is open to the general public as well as to hotel guests with ample space to seat 50 people inside and a further 100 outside in a heated deck area. Guests enjoy priority bookings in the bistro, which serves food seven days a week from 8am to 10pm (closing at 11pm). Your breakfast is included in your room rate – whether you fancy a heart full English or a lighter continental meal. Pull up a chair and take a leisurely browse through the daily-delivered papers while breakfast is served from 8am until 11.30am.
The bistro serves unpretentious local and seasonal food and sources only the finest quality products like its triple-certified coffee (Fairtrade, organic, rainforest alliance) and creates homemade produce including a cola syrup and fresh tonic water for cocktails.
The hotel goes to great lengths to find the best local, ethical and affordable produce. The meat comes from Dorset, Hampshire, Devon and the West country and the team pay close attention to the miles the food travels. Most of the meats are prepared in the kitchen, the pasta and bread is made on site and the chips peeled in the kitchen rather than bought in ready cut.
The main menu is served from noon until 10pm every day of the week. The Urban Beach Favourites menu features a selection of sharers including the Picnic Platter with lip-smacking “picky bits” like scotch eggs, quiche and pork pie and a grand Artisan Cheeseboard. Favourite mains include soup, fish and chips and British non-nachos, with home-made crisps piled high the Urban Beach way with their own pea and mint guacamole, beetroot and roast onion salsa, beef shin ragout, horseradish sour cream and Somerset mature cheddar. The menu also features a delicious line-up of sandwiches, burgers and bar snacks, coffees and smoothies.
The seasonal a la carte menu adds a delicious line-up of starters, dinners and desserts including chicken and smoked haddock sausage or homemade onion bread with braised pork cheeks for starters, twice-baked Wookey Hole cheddar soufflé or Beef fillet Wellington for main and finished with perhaps an apple and rhubarb crumble or salted peanut, banana and caramel pie. Children can enjoy mini versions of most of the normal dishes on the menu for half price (under 12s only) and highchairs are available for the littlest ones. The hotel’s “Mini Chef Legends” Sam and Elliott have helped create some bespoke dishes for little diners including night-vision Bolognese, “shark bites” (fish goujons, not real shark!) and a mini West Country burger.
If you’re heading off out for the day, Urban Beach can make up a packed lunch for you and have it ready and boxed up waiting to go on your day’s adventures right after breakfast.
A mix of drinks
Besides a healthy back shelf of mainstream favourite tipples, Urban Beach’s bar team and mixologists can whip up original smoothies, cocktails and other beverages according to your preference and the availability of seasonal ingredients.
They mix up their own take on the refreshing summer cocktail Pimm’s and Lemonade, are dab-hands with traditional winter warmers like mulled wine and spiced cider and love creating original tipples like the devilishly delicious Minced Pie Daiquiri!
Health and leisure
Being minutes from the beach, a lot of leisure facilities near Urban Beach involve getting back to nature enjoying the town’s seven miles of golden sand, peaceful tree-lined chines and sprawling beach-front promenades. And that’s even before you get out on the water. But if you love the predictability and familiarity of a gym or swimming pool or a regular exercise regime is an important part of your lifestyle, Urban Beach has an agreement with a nearby private health club, giving guests access to a 25-metre pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and fully-equipped gym for you to use absolutely free of charge – just use your room key as your health club pass.
If you’re looking for a beachfront venue for a spot of breakfast, lunch or dinner, Urban Beach has a sister restaurant Urban Reef right on the Overstrand at Boscombe seafront. Residents enjoy priority reservations at this stunning location, which provides panoramic views across Boscombe and Bournemouth Bay.
Beachfront dining at Urban Reef
Urban Reef seats 90 people on a prom-side sun deck and a further 100 in the first-floor restaurant. Pop in from 8am seven days a week for relaxed and informal drinks and dining. Breakfast is served from 9am to 11.30am serving everything from granola to a grilled full English.
Lunch is up between 12pm and 5pm (fancy fish and chips or an Urban Guild burger?) and evening meals (room for a butcher’s choice steak or duck confit and smoked chicken cassoulet?) are available from 6pm until 10pm.
One of the most stand-out things from your stay will be Urban Beach’s commitment to going the extra mile. From mixing you up a unique drink to lending you a mobile phone, charger or iPod for your day’s activities. They’ll even lend you a pair of wellies or a tube of toothpaste if you ask – whatever you need to make your stay comfortable and give you a home away from home. Why not book your next Bournemouth break today?