Ever since the writer Augustus Granville included Bournemouth in his book, The Spas of England in 1841, people have come from all over the country to sample the ‘medicinal’ air, the temperate climate, the beautiful beaches and splendid gardens of Bournemouth.

And as the number of visitors increased and the town’s reputation for natural wonders continued to grow throughout the twentieth century, so too did its collection of art deco cinemas, cafes, theatres and other buildings.

Indeed a number of Bournemouth hotels became well-known purely for their art deco architecture which, when coupled with the nearby Bournemouth Pleasure Gardens (established between 1840 and 1860), only enhanced the town’s reputation as a calm and relaxing retreat.

This reputation has remained intact to this day, with a recent survey by First Direct Bank declaring Bournemouth ‘the happiest place in Britain’. Certainly if you are looking for hotels in Bournemouth, the chances are you’re already aware of its genteel reputation, its relaxing and welcoming atmosphere and its unique combination of stunning coastline and beaches as well as miles and miles of beautiful green gardens (over a sixth of Bournemouth is made up of horticultural displays).

However, if you’re looking at Bournemouth hotels and wondering if perhaps the atmosphere might be a little too relaxed, then don’t worry. Whilst in the past Bournemouth’s high percentage of retirees might have lent the town a gentle, ‘elderly’ image, these days there is excitement to be found too.

A burgeoning café and bar scene, an eclectic nightlife and an increasingly young student population as well as a well-established gay scene have all combined to give Bournemouth a more cosmopolitan feel. Add to this a growing selection of water-sports and adrenalin sports, from windsurfing to kite-surfing to the innovative and unique Boscombe Surf Reef, (Europe’s first artificial surf reef) and Bournemouth is fast gaining a reputation for nightlife and excitement to match its more southerly neighbour, Newquay.

Hotels in Bournemouth have not been slow to adapt, with many undergoing modern restorations to keep up with the changing pace of the town. Most now offer not only the rest and relaxation of old, but also beautiful décor, wonderful bars, fine dining and proximity, should you want it, to the cosmopolitan cafes, clubs and entertainment of the town centre.

Bournemouth hotels also provide a good base to explore the rest of the Jurassic Coast – 95 miles of stunning, untouched coastline and a UNESCO World Heritage site, combining both beauty and history with epic coastal views and an incomparable selection of Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous fossils.

Whether you want to explore this fascinating coastline or the nearby New Forest, the market towns of rural Dorset or the ancient seaport of Poole, the awe-inspiring Christchurch Priory or the beautiful Brownsea Island, hotels in Bournemouth provide the perfect starting point for your trip.

Read more about things to do in Bournemouth or find out how to get to Bournemouth.