Matt and I went for a pre-Christmas break. We decided on a trip to Bournemouth, after I researched the schedule of the Coca Cola Christmas truck. We found a bargain of a deal (well his mum found the deal for us, thanks Kymm) at the new Hilton. We had such a good time and the hotel was beautiful, that I decided to take my mum here for her birthday just after Christmas. I will review both these visits in one blog. I have now realised how long this blog is, so you might want to stick the kettle on and get a cuppa whilst you read this!
The hotel still has that new polish smell. The rooms are nice. They are spacious and clean. The air conditioning did not work in mine and Matt’s room and when the engineer came to fix it, he did not really know what he was doing and said it was working when quite clearly it was not. Depending on which room you get, some have a shower or a bath. The rooms on the front look over the high street looking onto the park, rooms at the back look over the carpark and some residential buildings.
BREAKFAST – you get a buffet style breakfasts. Most packages include breakfast. I love hotel breakfasts. You get a selection of hot food including:
- Eggs – you can ask the chef to cook these for you
- Black pudding
- Baked beans
- Hash browns
- Grilled tomatoes
They also have a bakery section where you can choose pastries and croissants. I was full up from cooked breakfast so did not make it to this section. They have Nutella muffins too. I took one of these back to room to snack on later.
They have a few shops to look round; it’s quite hilly which is good to burn some of that breakfast off. They had all the Christmas huts up which was lovely. They were selling festive treats, Christmas decorations, Christmas presents and homemade trinkets. They also had a drink hut, very similar to the one in Reading.
We fancied a quick bite to eat so we headed to Harry Ramsdens. It is right on the sea front so if you sit by the windows you can see the beach, pier, and watch the crazy people zip lining from the pier down to the beach. I got a cod, chips wish peas, and gravy to share with Amanda this was £10.35 plus £1.49 for the gravy. This also comes with some bread and butter. This was good. I was starving so I think anything would have been good at this point though. We all really enjoyed our meal I would give this 9/10.
Mum went for a wedge salad, which is a starter. This is simply a wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with sweetcorn, bacon, tomatoes and a salad dressing of your choice. My mum loves these! Everywhere we go if they have a wedge she will get it. She enjoyed this one too.
The total bill was £36.29 including our drinks. The restaurant was not too busy when we went there in the late afternoon. The next day when we walked past the queue was coming out the door! They also offer a take away service beneath the restaurant so you can eat your chips on the beach.
We also had a look round the Oceanarium. We were there in time to see the sharks being fed. The feeding area gets pretty busy so if you want a good viewing location get there at least 10 minutes before its due to start. You pay once for the day and then you can go back as many times as want on that same day which is great. They have a new penguin expedition, which was good. You can watch the penguins, and then go outside and you get a great view of the pier and the beach. I imagine it would be crazy busy here in the summer.
Matt and I went the restaurant at the start of the pier called Aruba. It’s more of a bar, which has added a few chairs and tables to one end to make a restaurant. The location is great. They have a balcony, which looks out onto the pier and sea.
For a starter I had battered halloumi. This was £5.50. It comes with a sweet chili dip and you get around five wedges of halloumi. This was nice; the batter wasn’t very crispy so blended in with the cheese. I would have preferred it to be crispy or not there. You get a good amount for the price, which is good. I would give this 4/10. I do not really like sweet chili dip so I let Matt have this with his starter.
Matt got chicken skewers. This is £5.50. It comes with a satay (peanut) sauce to dip them in; it’s served on a bit of salad. He got two sticks with four bits of chicken. I think this is reasonable priced too. He enjoyed this.
For my main, I had chicken noodles. Wow, these were really good. I thought it was a strange dish to have in a burger type restaurant so was unsure what they would be like. My risk paid off they were really good. They were £10.95. You get a huge bowl full of noodles, chicken and vegetables. They had soy sauce on the table too which you can drizzle on top. If I went back here I, would 100% get these again and recommend this to anyone who goes.
Matt got the cheese and bacon burger (without the bacon) which was £12.95. This comes with a side of fries. This seemed like a big portion too. He said it was okay. I don’t think he enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the noodles.
In total, the bill was £37.85, which included drinks and a side of onion rings. The restaurant was really busy because of the coca cola lorry being right outside. When I came back with mum dad and Amanda, it was packed! There wasn’t a free member of staff to ask about a free table. If you are planning to go here definitely book a table to be on the safe side. As I said it’s more a bar, so there isn’t many tables here.
After dinner at Aruba, me and Matt went to see the coca cola truck. There was so many people here. You could queue up to get a photo next to the truck. We were cold so we decided to just sneak up and take a photo anyway. I managed to get a selfie but just had loads of people in the background.
At the hotel with certain rooms, you get access to the executive lounge. This was really nice. I’ve never used one before in a hotel and I would recommend it if the price is right. You get access to soft drinks, tea, and coffee all day. We used the lounge quite a few times to go and have a nice cup of tea and a few slices of cake. It was fairly quiet in there every time we used it. In the evening between 6pm and 8pm, they serve snacks and alcohol. They had a selection of chilled beers, wine and spirits. All of this is inclusive in the room price. They had cheese and nibbles on most nights. How could I say no to a bit of brie and chicken goujons!
Overall, I think the hotel was really nice and the location is great. It’s within walking distance of the main high street and the beach. It is fairly expensive as it’s a Hilton but you can look up some deals and get a bargain. I think it would make a good girly get away. You could chill in the spa all day relaxing. Head to the lounge for some snacks and a few drinks. They have a sky bar, which seemed really popular so to end the night you could go here for a few drinks, you wouldn’t even need to leave the hotel all day!