The Nici Hotel

THE NICI IS a Miami-inspired hotel on a cliff above Bournemouth beach. It has a relaxed and sophisticated vibe mixing vintage Art Deco influences with contemporary glam in its sunny and colourful soft furnishings, accessories and wall features. It is like nothing else in Bournemouth and potentially the whole south coast.

I have stayed in Miami; one thing that stood out was it oozed confidence and is also one of the vainest places I have been. Its cultural diversity and warm weather influence how they look and dress, wearing a lot of skimpy clothing and working on their beach body all year. Men wore linen garments and expensive watches as an accessory, with a sleek pair of sunglasses and sockless loafers—all the norm attire for the humid weather of the tropics.

The recent redevelopment of Nici's Hotel (formerly The Savoy Hotel) By Nicolas Roach in Bournemouth's Westcliff clifftop is ongoing. It will include a rooftop restaurant, a 30m outdoor swimming pool and a new spa when finished. Roach said, "Bournemouth lacked a five-star offering, and I will provide additional wellness facilities and restaurants (open to the public) as well as high-end accommodation to attract luxury-seeking visitors to Bournemouth ."

I stumbled across the Nici when I left my super tired traditional hotel to go to the beach. I immediately cancelled the rest of my stay and checked into the Nici with a stunning sea view room. My first impression was wow, a nice hotel, in the wrong place.

My room was stylish, elegant and functional with a glorious plush bed, a few free cocktail mixes, an en-suite bathroom with a great shower, designer toiletries, sea views and a furnished balcony. Downstairs there is a lovely small cinema, well-appointed gym, piano bar and an open and welcoming restaurant with stylish, comfortable seating. A perfect place to hang out with your friends in the sunshine when the sun shines.

I asked the General Manager who their target audience was, and with some hesitancy, he said that we wanted to attract a young crowd under 35's. I thought, nothing new there, having heard this statement repeatedly from other eager millennials running restaurants, bars and hotels.

While Miami has miles of turquoise waters, golden sands, and pastel-coloured Art Deco architecture mixed with an intoxicating Cuban and Hispanic influence. It is also one of the coolest and glitziest places to visit, full of gorgeously hip, funky hotels with original designs, Bournemouth and Nici have a long way to go, but it has to start somewhere.  

Don't get me wrong, I loved the hotel, the staff and the potential, but its work will be cut out to reach its target audience. It sits opposite a Travel Lodge and up the road from a super tired Marriott. I watched guests stroll into the open grounds carrying ice creams and crisps from the local Nisa, and the closest restaurants are a Turkish Kebab place and a Chinese takeaway.

I talked to an older gentleman at breakfast who lamented, "Yesterday, I overheard the most vacuous conversation between two women who looked like they were a mix of the women from the Cheshire housewives and Made in Chelsea tv shows." I did laugh but then again, judging from my previous conversation with the GM, maybe that's their ideal client..

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