Coast editor Andy Cooper takes a visit to The Nici in Bournemouth, and shares what he discovers.


Buzz is indeed the right word for THE NICI, this super cool five-star hotel just yards from the seafront. Over the two nights I visited it was a busy, bustling, vibrant spot which hummed to the sound of folks enjoying themselves.

It could be the understated chatter and the whoosh of coffee machines over breakfast. It could be the liveliness of the superb lounge/bar area as plenty of people gathered for morning coffee. Or the clink of cutlery as hotel guests and visitors enjoyed a superb lunch. Or parties gathered for a special afternoon tea. Or later, a delightful dinner in the South Beach restaurant or creative cocktail in the funky bar. Whatever your needs, THE NICI and its attentive team take care of it.

This is a superb, modern, hotel with cracking facilities where guests are placed at the centre of everything. Having completed the first phase of refurbishment, with a £25m investment, THE NICI has well and truly arrived on the south coast. It has transformed Bournemouth’s accommodation landscape with its 88 luxury bedrooms, many with spectacular sea views.

And now THE NICI has unveiled the next phase with the opening of its new 30m outdoor heated pool and outdoor activity centre, alongside a brand-new luxury spa and additional courtyard rooms.

The new 30m outdoor palm-green pool features submerged seating and over 60 luxury candy-striped poolside loungers and cabanas for guests to enjoy. We visited in late winter and guests were still braving the elements to enjoy this stunning outdoor experience. On a sunny day it promises to be irresistible.

And to add to the relaxation vibe, the new spa has been translated into a vibrant yet tranquil space, featuring an 18m heated indoor pool and hydrotherapy pool, alongside a poolside steam room and aromatherapy sauna.

We thoroughly enjoyed descending into this subterranean spot and enjoying time in the various relaxation zones before enjoying a superb spa treatments using award-winning spa brands OTO CBD and OSKIA, with the spa offering a bespoke menu of treatments and holistic therapies.


There is a classy look and touch to THE NICI’s rooms. Interior design is sleek and modern, and perfectly in keeping with the location. We stayed in a Sea View Suite and it did exactly what is said on the tin…this is a spacious room with huge bed, expansive bathroom and even a cute side desk and work area if you have to drag yourself away from the fun for a moment to catch up on admin or take a video call. A lovely design feature was the step up to an elevated section running along the length of the huge window, featuring two comfy chairs and a side table so one could sip coffee in the morning and stare out over across the gardens to the sea beyond.


Ah, those views. With THE NICI just a hop and step from the shoreline, take your pick as to whether you enjoy a special sea view from the lounge, the restaurant, your suite, bedroom or even as you lounge by the pool. The backdrop of the sea is a constant presence and the design of the hotel maximises the opportunity to drink it in.


The South Beach Restaurant and Bar will accommodate all your dining needs, all day, every day of the week. Breakfast for us was an indulgent spread of help-yourself delights which truly set us up for the day. Lunch highlights included sautéed gnocchi with broccoli and cobb nut pesto or sea bream with citrus reduction, spinach and fries.

As day turns into night, the lights go down the restaurant takes on a different hue and there are à la carte delights such as lobster and crayfish linguine, the tasty NICI crab cake with mango and red pepper salsa or, for dessert aficionados, my personal favourite, dark chocolate mousse with Maldon salt and olive oil.


Rates from £230 per room, per night.


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