Tag Archives: Bournemouth

dorset hotel

A Selection of Local Gardens and National Trust Sites to visit this Summer

Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life?
How about taking a stroll through an array of secluded gardens and flowery meadows?
Maybe you would prefer to take a walk-through time and explore and learn the history of
some of Dorset’s most famous castles and hidden gems. If that isn’t your cup of tea, how
about a walk along the many ancient coastlines, blue flag beaches or a visit to a secluded
island. With all this wonderful weather we have been having, all are perfect opportunities
to get your fix of fresh air and to enjoy the great outdoors:-
Kingston Lacy
Image result for kingston lacy

Courtesy of: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy

An Italian palace in the heart of the Dorset Countryside home
to one of Dorset’s most powerful families, the Bankes.

Bask in the beauty of one of the largest private collection of
paintings in Britain or discover the treasures of Egypt roaming one of the largest displays of
Egyptian relics in the UK. Look up at beautifully restored ceiling fresco, see one of the last
surviving ‘tent rooms’ or spot the keys to Corfe Castle over the mantelpiece and read up on the
History of the Bankes family over the last 400 years.

Set on 8,500 acres of estate there is loads to explore outside
as well. From Iron Age forts, to colourful heathland, water meadows and even a Roman road.
Take a summer picnic and sprawl across the south lawn or let the children run wild in the
nearby play areas. Have a wander around the Japanese Garden, complete with authentic tea house
or take a sheltered walk through the surrounding woodland. You can even take home some
inspirational tips on how to maintain the perfect vegetable garden!

Corfe Castle
Related image

Courtesy of: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle

A  royal palace and fortress shaped by warfare with 1,000 of years
history to discover from the lives of all who have lived, worked and fought in the castle to
tales of treachery and treason. With many nooks and crannies to explore and a vast amount of
fallen walls and secret places, these castle ruins are captivating for all ages. Admire
breath-taking views of the Purbeck hills and meet many wildlife that have set up home there.

Visit the Model village, step back in time and compare the
castle as it was almost 300 years ago to the ruins that stand before us today.

There is also an array of walks to choose from and regular
activities to join in on or watch such as rein actions of Corfe Castle history , open air
theatre productions, cooking classes etc.

Studland Bay
Image result for studland bay

Courtesy of: https://www.visit-dorset.com/things-to-do/studland-beach-p127213

A 4 mile stretch of golden sandy beach with views of both Old
Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. The perfect location for sandcastle making, water sport
trying and long walks in the dunes or through the designated countryside trails. Studland is home
to an abundance of wildlife from dragonflies and damselflies to sea birds and deer along with a
range of different wild flowers and woodland to explore. For some of the best views of the
heathlands, head to Agglestone, a 400-tonne rock sitting alone on a conical hill. Perfect for
a breath of fresh air.

Brownsea Island
Image result for brownsea island

Courtesy of: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island

From the moment you step ashore, Brownsea can feel like a whole other
world with an array of woodland, heathland and a lagoon to explore. With a remarkably varied history,
there is a lot to learn about the islands past residents. From being a hideout for pirates or a
second world war refuge to  being a historical landmark for the Scouting and Guiding movement,
there is a lot to know about the fascinating castaway island.

It is also a unique haven for wildlife, especially the red
squirrel, and their island trails provide a refreshing walk through many habitats home to
all kinds of creatures.

With regular events and activities for both adults and kids
and a visitor centre providing maps and guidebooks to help with your day, Brownsea island
has something for everyone.

 

Compton Acres
Image result for compton acres

Courtesy of: https://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/england/item/compton-acres-gardens.html

Acknowledged as one of the finest privately-owned gardens in England,
Compton Acres is well known for its 10 acres of horticultural and ornamental gardens. Each
garden is set to a different theme from Italian to Japanese, Wooded Valley to Rock & Water,
each with their own unique displays of colour, plants, statues, waterfalls & fountains,
trees and shrubs. It’s a great place for a peaceful and relaxing walk, both long and short,
filled with breath taking views and an oasis of natural beauty. There is even a café to stop and
grab a coffee and a bite to eat overlooking the gardens and Poole harbour and their plant centre
allows for you to take some of what is the beauty of Compton Acres home with you.

Lulworth Castle & Park
Lulworth Castle and Park

Courtesy of: https://www.visit-dorset.com/things-to-do/lulworth-castle-and-park-p155493

The most beautiful castle in the South, steeped in history. Follow in
the footsteps of kings and queens as you take a walk around the Castle grounds, stand at the top of
the tower admiring the views or explore the rooms and background of the castle itself. With extensive
parkland, woodland walks, a children’s play area, animal farm and an array of garden games to keep you
busy, Its great for a family day out. Why not bring a picnic or come for a walk with the dog? You
could even visit the castle tearooms and feast on a selection of homemade cakes or enjoy a cream tea.

Upton Country Park
Image result for upton country park

Courtesy of: http://www.paulunderhill.com/wedding-photography/upton-country-park-wedding-planning-saraj/

An award-winning park and Poole’s main attraction whatever the
season. Its ideal for a leisurely stroll or cycle ride with many mapped out routes through woodland
and countryside you can follow. You could even take a Segway tour as a more exciting way of getting
around. There’s an abundance of wildlife, gardens and plants to explore and a woodland play trail
for the kids. There’s an art gallery above the tea rooms displaying the works of many local
professional artists and knowledgeable guided tours of the ground floor rooms of Upton House
are available.

Durlston Country Park & National Nature Reserve
Image result for durlston country park

Courtesy of: https://www.visit-dorset.com/things-to-do/durlston-country-park-national-nature-reserve-p140203

A mile south of Swanage lies Durlston Country Park, 320 acres of
countryside filled with a diverse selection of wildlife and an array of habitats in which they
breed from sea-cliffs to meadows. Bask in the stunning views, follow the walking trails, look at the
historic Great Globe or explore the renovated Durlston Castle. You can even hire a family explorer
backpack for the kids filled with an array of fun activities. Visit the art gallery with regularly
changing art and exhibitions or grab a hot beverage and a quick lunch from the castles café.

Blue Pool
Image result for blue pool

Courtesy of: http://www.bluepooltearooms.co.uk/

If your looking for a place of peace and tranquility, then the Blue Pool
is the place for you. Surrounded by 20 acres of woods and heathland with multiple sandy paths leading
down to the waters edge, the pool itself constantly varies in colour going from green to turquoise.
This makes for some gorgeous pictures. Visitors may even catch a glimpse of some of the landscapes
wildlife including deer, rabbits, badgers, foxes and dragonflies and could even be luck enough to spot
a Dartford Warbler or Green Sand Lizard. There is an array of play areas dotted around for the children
to explore and Magic Fairy Doors and Model Squirrels in trees for the kids to find. All the family
would be entertained.

Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park
Image result for kingston maurward

Courtesy of: https://www.visit-dorset.com/things-to-do/kingston-maurward-gardens-and-animal-park-p154253

The contemporary parkland and pleasure gardens were laid out in the
style popularised by Capability Brown (the UK’s most celebrated landscape designer). Simplicity was
the hallmark of the gardens which consisted of rolling turf, carefully placed groups of trees, a lake
and a lakeside temple.

The gardens seen today have survived several periods. Created between
1915 and 1922, the 35-acre formal gardens were set within the existing framework of the 18th
century parklands. More recently, the gardens have been sympathetically restored using photographs from
the 1930’s retaining the best features of the old and adding new ones. They consist of a cornucopia of
small gardens set on an axes, each with their own themes, character, trails, walks and walled gardens.

The animal park is a hit with the kids and home to a interesting selection
of animals including goats, alpacas, miniature Shetland ponies, sheep and more.

Self-Catering Apartments Hotel Bournemouth

The Benefits of staying in a Self-Catered Holiday Apartment

Freedom

Staying in a self-catered apartment gives you more flexibility
than other types of holiday. You’re not restricted to certain meal times so you can choose
to eat whenever is best for you and you can do everything at your own pace. If you are a late
riser and prefer to have a lie in you can or you can wake up and get out early – the choice
is yours. You can come and go as you wish. With separate living and bedroom areas it also
means that the adults can watch TV or socialise in the evening while the kids are asleep. You
can also choose to eat as cheaply or extravagantly as you want. There’s no worrying about the
maid coming round early in the morning either unless you choose to have your apartment serviced
during your stay. You’re also more likely to explore your surroundings and get to know the
culture/background of the area you are staying in, rather than restricting yourselves
to the activities in the hotel.

Privacy

For some people, the thought of eating every meal in a busy dining
room with  other holidaymakers is the stuff of nightmares. Eating some of your holiday
meals in a quiet, comfortable kitchen and enjoying the tranquility with only your friends and family,
is very appealing to many.

Self-catering holiday apartments in Bournemouth, Self catering apartments Poole

Space

Self-catering properties are usually a lot more spacious than hotel
rooms which is perfect if you are travelling with a large family or group of friends. Most self-catered
apartments also come with a large communal area/living space – great for socialising and getting
everyone together. Travelling on business and need a place to work? Many self-catering apartments
come with a dining table for you to use as a desk and space to spread out rather than trying to
cram all your papers/documents and laptop on to a small desk, dressing table or  having to go to the bar or restaurant to do work.

Home from Home

Travelling with young children or have family members with special
dietary requirements? Staying in a self-catered apartment gives you the freedom to buy and cook
whatever you want. You could even save time and pre order your groceries from your favourite
supermarket before you leave home so they arrive at your apartment on the day you check in or you
can bring food with you from home.

Cheaper

Especially if there is a large group of you as you can split the cost
of the accommodation between you all as well as splitting the cost of the weekly shop leaving you
with that extra bit of money to go out for dinner one evening if you wanted too.

Riviera Hotel in Bournemouth

The Riviera boasts 12 self-catering apartments providing an excellent
alternative to hotel bedrooms that can sleep from 1 to 6 people.Perfect for groups of friends
or larger families.

These self-catering apartments are in an
ideal location close to both Bournemouth
and Poole. Residents may use all hotel facilities including the bar and restaurants, indoor swimming pool,
spa bath, studio gym, Coast Spa and free WI-FI.

All the apartments offer the comforts of being at home and come with a lounge
with a large flat screen TV, dining area, and kitchen with cooker, microwave and fridge. Free parking is
available on the forecourt and a lift to all floors – although there are 10 steps up to the front door.

On Business in Bournemouth or Poole? Ask us about our special corporate
rates for Apartments. If you are looking for a Summer Holiday then book now as Apartments sell out
fast for school holidays!

To book your Bournemouth Self Catering Holiday Apartment please call us now on 01202 763653
or e-mail us info@rivierabournemouth.co.uk – or book on line.

Easter Bournemouth Hotel

The Top 10 Family Easter Attractions in Dorset for 2018

Back by popular demand….. We have taken our top ten Easter attractions from
2017 and updated it for you for 2018.

Staying or visiting us this Easter and stuck on what
to do while you’re here? Don’t worry we can help!

10: Easter @ the Tank Museum (30th March – 15th April)

Easter Activities Dorset

Watch Tanks in action with a jam packed demonstration filled with
expert commentary every weekday at 1pm starting on Friday 30th March.

This Easter Holiday explore The Tank Museum and experience the
biggest day out in history. Learn how tanks have evolved and how they are used in battle.
Experience the thrill of riding in an M548 tracked vehicle. This working example of military
hardware seats 16 at a time – so the whole family can jump on together.
Available every day, 11.30am – 4.30pm, during the holidays, a £3.50pp charge applies.
Take part in a range of family activities. Kids can also let off steam in our outdoor play
area and in our new inside soft play area. Plus free family trails to keep them absorbed
with teasers and puzzles!

9: Cadburys Easter Egg Hunt @ Studland Bay (30th March -15th April) from 10:30-15:30

Easter Activities Dorset

Follow this family trail around Knoll Beach to solve a whodunit
mystery and collect a reward at the end.

8: Cadburys Easter egg Hunt @ Kingston Lacy (30th March – 15th April) from 10:00 – 16:00

Easter Activities Dorset

Get ready for two weeks of fun and discovery as you spot the
first signs of spring and experience nature bursting into life at Kingston Lacy. Become a
nature detective to follow bunny’s clues and finish your adventure with a delicious, chocolatey
treat for just £2.50pp

7: ‘Down the rabbit hole’ @ Lulworth Castle (30th March – 2nd April)

Easter Activities Dorset

This Easter come ‘down the rabbit hole’ for some great family fun at
Lulworth Castle. Join us every day from Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April between 10.30-5pm.

Inspired by the fantastical story of Alice in Wonderland, you can expect
a whole host of fun activities including themed trails, Easter hunts, crafts, bouncy castle
(weather permitting, age 7+), soft play for under 4s, crazy golf and, of course, white rabbits
and Easter Eggs!!

Don’t forget to go and meet the Mad Hatter in the Castle whilst
you’re exploring ….Refreshments will be available in the pop-up Courtyard Café. Cream teas,
hot drinks, cakes and ice creams are available in the Castle Tearoom. Tickets include Free
Parking. Adults £8, Child £6, under 4’s free. Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children) £30. Tickets
can be bought online or on the day.

6: Easter Activities and Egg Hunting @ Farmer Palmers (30th March – 2nd April)

 

Easter Activities Dorset

Join us for our Easter Eggstravaganza over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Our fluffy, friendly Easter Bunny will be hiding hundreds of chocolate eggs out in the field,
every day from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive. Egg Hunts start at approx. 2.30pm each
day, no extra charge for egg hunts in addition to normal admission. There will also be plenty
of animals to meet!

5: Easter Fun on Brownsea Island (30th March – 2nd April)

Easter Activities Dorset

Get ready for a long weekend of fun and discovery as you spot
the first signs of spring and experience nature bursting into life on Brownsea.  Follow
Bunny’s clues and finish your adventure with a delicious, chocolatey treat.  Hunt maps can
be picked up from Church field and are £2.50 per person. (Normal admission also applies.)
The Engine Gift shop will also be selling beautiful crafts and spring goodies for you to
carry on your adventure at home.

This Easter holiday the Outdoor Centre will also be hosting
three Ranger days where young people will have the opportunity to sample the Scouting life
by testing their wild skills and having a go at den building.  Sessions will be held on 5, 9
and 12 April from 11.30am-3.30pm and are £15 per child (not including boat fare or entry fee).

4: Easter Eggstravaganza @ Monkey World (30th March – 2nd April) – 10:00 till 17:00

Easter Activities Dorset

FREE Easter Eggs for the first 100 children into the park
from Good Friday until Easter Monday! The children’s Activity Centre is also open all week
for fun filled activities and information. Learn about EAST at Easter- our charity in Vietnam,
rescuing rehabilitating and releasing back into the wild endangered primates.

3: Easter egg trails at Corfe Castle (30th March – 2nd April)

Seek out and discover the Purbeck nature & wildlife inspired
clues to claim your Cadbury chocolatey treat. Please note that normal admission charges will
apply plus it costs £2.50 per person to take part in the trail. Booking not necessary. Daily
from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Unfortunately dogs are not welcome at this event.

2: Easter in Bournemouth

* Why not head to the beach and walk the seven mile stretch of golden sands from Southbourne to Alum Chine

* Visit the Oceanarium on Bournemouth Seafront

* Check out the all new BH2 Leisure Complex with a wide variety of eateries and an Odeon cinema.

* Hop on the Bournemouth Sightseeing Bus, the perfect way to get around Bournemouth in a leisurely manner.

1: VISIT OR STAY AT THE RIVIERA HOTEL

easter hotel in bournemouth

Why not join us for a 4 course Easter Lunch on Sunday 1st April 2018 in
our Cunarder Restaurant accompanied by our resident pianist including activities for the kids and free
use of our hotel leisure facilities at just
£18.50 per adult (to include a glass of wine) and £8.95 per child (under 12’s). Click here for the menu

The kids can take advantage of our games room with a pool table, table tennis table, Nintendo Wii,  a selection of board games and more….

easter hotel in bournemouth

Mothers Day Lunch Bournemouth

Struggling on gift ideas for mum this Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day is fast approaching!

The one day of the year when we try our best to make our
mum feel extra special (not that you shouldn’t be doing this every day of the year).
So instead of frantically running around trying to find that perfect
gift to express your love and affection, why not bring them to the Riviera Hotel.

Although we are fully booked for our Mother’s Day Sunday
Lunch, we also provide an array tasty snacks and light meals in our Bridge Bar & Grill.

Why not bring your mum in for an Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon Tea Bournemouth Hotel

Feast on a selection of sandwiches, mini cakes and scones with
cream & jam and wash it all down with a lovely cup of tea. We have a wide selection of tea
available from English Breakfast to Earl Grey to Peppermint, just ask our bar staff.

Starting at just £9.95pp, why not take a look at our Afternoon tea packages

Can’t make it down on Sunday? We also provide gift vouchers for our afternoon tea packages
which can be purchased on our website 

OR

You could come in and enjoy a quiet drink and selection
of Tapas dishes or a Homemade Pizza.  Designed in Art Deco style you can sit back and take in
the lovely views over the woods of Alum Chine and far out to sea while you eat.

restaurant in bournemouth

Check out the menu here
You could even taken advantage of our leisure facilities while your with us!

Hotel with swimming pool in bournemouth

How about a dip in the indoor pool, a reviving soak in the
bubbling spa bath, chill out in our relaxation room or an invigorating session in the studio GYM?

Need to keep the kids entertained? No problem! Our games room
will be sure to keep them entertained. Equipped with a:

a Nintendo Wii,
Chess set,
Pool Table,
Table Tennis Table,
Mini Kitchen,
Board Games and more….

There is always plenty to do around the hotel – which is why we can
count five generations of families returning to the Riviera year after year.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mums out there!

 

Wedding venue Bournemouth, wedding venue Poole

Recently Engaged?

Did you get engaged on Valentine’s Day or over the Christmas season?

Looking for a beautiful venue for your wedding far enough
from the hustle and bustle of Bournemouth but close enough to the beach
to capture some perfect pictures on your special day?

Exclusively situated in the beautifully wooded area of Alum Chine,
with panoramic sea views across Bournemouth Bay, and just a short walk from the award-winning seven
mile stretch of sandy beach, the hotel is in a fantastic location.

At the Riviera Hotel we have the style and expertise to make
your special day unforgettable. Our role is to provide you with an attentive professional team
who understand that you deserve every detail to be perfect. Your big day will be just as
you imagined it.

Starting with the Civil Ceremony/Partnership.
Our hotel offers two licensed ceremony rooms, each full of warmth, character and natural day light:

The Conservatory Restaurant: The larger of the two rooms with
 beautiful sea views. Perfect for larger weddings, it can accommodate up to 140 guests

Weddings Bournemouth

The Britannic Suite: Tastefully decorated, the Britannic suite is ideal for intimate 
weddings suitable for up to 70 guests

Weddings Bournemouth

The civil ceremony usually lasts around 30 minutes, depending upon your requirements and
if you choose to hold your ceremony at the Riviera hotel, it is your responsibility to book
the registrar. All ceremonies can be enhanced with your own music selections and readings,
however it is always best to check with the registrar for guidelines in place.

Once the ceremony is complete, all will be escorted in to our main bar
while the wedding breakfast room is set up. This gives time for all those important pictures to be taken
on the beach or in the alum chine gardens if requested. Once set up, guests will then be directed in
to the wedding breakfast.

Any decorations provided by the Bride and Groom will be set up by the
hotel staff on the day and utilised throughout the day. Coloured chair sashes can be provided by the
hotel at an additional cost.

Weddings Bournemouth

The Riviera Hotel offers three set wedding packages or you can
simply build your own.

The Riviera Signature Package

3 Course Wedding Breakfast

6 Item Finger Buffet

Bridal Suite for the Bride and Groom (Inc breakfast)

Complimentary Chair Covers
The Riviera Classic Package

Arrival Drinks Reception of: Bucks Fizz,
Pimms and Lemonade or Summer/Winter punch

Three Course Meal

1 Glass of Wine with the Meal

1 Glass of Bubbly for the Toast

Classic Evening Buffet (6 options)

Bridal Suite for the Bride and Groom (Inc Breakfast)

Complimentary Chair Covers
The Riviera Elegant Package

 Arrival Drinks Reception of Bucks Fizz,
 Pimms and Lemonade, Prosecco or Pink Cava

 Canapes(choice of three)

 Three Course Meal

 2 Glasses of Wine with the Meal

 1 Glass of Bubbly for the Toast

 Classic Evening Buffet (7 options)

 Complimentary Chair Covers

 Mirror Centerpieces with Tea Lights

 Complimentary Use of the Cake Stand & Knife

 Complementary Dinner on your 1st Wedding Anniversary

 Bridal Suite for the Bride and Groom (including Breakfast)

All day guests will have the evening buffet included in their packages.
Additional guests can be added at a cost.

Weddings Bournemouth

Looking for something a bit different????

May be you are looking for an alternative to the standard three course wedding breakfast,
something a bit more relaxed?

Enjoy an intimate tea party vibe with our quintessentially English afternoon tea package for 50 guests including:
Afternoon Tea Package

Red Carpet

Welcome Cocktail and Nibbles

Traditional Afternoon Tea

Flute of Prosecco

Bridal Suite for the Bride & Groom with Breakfast

Weddings Bournemouth

Maybe you don’t want to hold the whole wedding with us. Perhaps you are getting married abroad but
would like a party so you can celebrate once you are back with your friends and family at home?
Maybe you have booked to have a small ceremony elsewhere and would like to have a larger evening
reception but have not yet found a venue?

Why not check out our Twilight Package for 70 guests:

Red Carpet

Glass of Prosecco and Nibbles

Either a 6 item finger buffet, build a burger or fish and chips

DJ & Disco

Cake stand and knife

Bridal suite for the bride and groom (including breakfast)

Weddings Bournemouth

Or maybe you are interested in our Classic package but would prefer to get married during the week
instead of over a weekend to save on a bit of money. If this is the case then we offer our classic
package as a Special Midweek Package:

Special Midweek Package: 

Arrival Drinks Reception of Bucks Fizz, Pimms or Summer/Winter punch

Three course wedding breakfast

1 glass of wine with the meal

1 glass of bubbly for the toast

Classic evening buffet (6 options)

Bridal Suite for the bride and groom (including breakfast)

Complimentary chair covers

Seen a package you like but not interested in all it provides? We would be very happy to put
together a bespoke package for you catering to all your needs.
If you are a couple dreaming of hosting your wedding in a venue which will provide memories
for you to cherish forever,

the Riviera Hotel is the venue for you!!
NYE Hotels in Bournemouth.

Our Christmas & New Year Review 2017

We hope you have all had a good start to 2018!

As the hotel is currently closed for a little titivating, there is no time like the present to take
a look back at the festive holiday season and all the events and parties that took place at the Riv throughout December 2017.

Starting from Friday 24th November we welcomed a whole host of different groups: families, friends and companies for their Christmas parties, Christmas Lunches and Afternoon Teas. Our team served and
entertained over a whopping 4000 guests throughout the festive month.  With all the Christmas decorations
put up by our lovely staff and the function rooms transformed and ready for the month’s events, we opened
our doors and welcomed you all:

Christmas Parties Bournemouth

We witnessed an array of different Christmas party attire from those dressed to
impress in glamorous dresses and black tie to those in some spectacular fancy dress. Many even took advantage
of our photo booth experience to capture some hilarious selfies with friends, family or work colleagues.

Here is a selection of our favourite captured moments of Christmas parties in 2017:

Christmas Parties Bournemouth

Our popular Santa Sunday lunch was once again a great hit with the kids. Everyone
enjoyed their visit from Father Christmas… even the hotel staff:

Santa Sunday Bournemouth

We received some wonderful feedback on Facebook from one of the Santa Sunday lunch guests:

It’s always great to read such wonderful feedback 🙂

After the Christmas festivities, we saw the ringing in of the New Year with a disco and
bagpipes galore! We welcomed over 200 guests for a five course meal followed by an evening of entertainment and
a glass of bubbly at midnight. All seemed to go down a treat and the night was a huge success!

New Year Bournemouth

After a very busy festive period it was only fair that the hotel staff also got
to let their hair down and ring in the new year with fellow work colleagues, and that we did!!!

So from all of us here at the Riviera,  thank you to everyone
who came to see us and celebrate with us, we hope you all had a wonderful time
and look forward to welcoming you back to the Riviera in 2018.

 

PS – We’re not done yet! We still have some January Christmas Parties to go! If you’re joining us for a party this month, we hope you have a fantastic time!

Hotels in Bournemouth

A Brief History of the Riviera

Last month saw the celebration of Maureen Callaghan’s 90th Birthday, marking a massive milestone for a
wonderful lady who has, and will always be the heart and soul of the Riviera. Having owned the hotel for
over 50 years, there is no better time to reminisce then after the hotel owner’s birthday month so here
is just a brief history on The Rivera Hotel and how it got to be the success it is today:

The Riviera Hotel: A Brief History of a Family Business

In 1960, Alexander and Maureen Callaghan and their (then) four young children moved into the ten-bedroom Riviera Hotel.
Alex was 35 and had worked his way through promotion to become Purser on the Cunard cruise liner
Queen Elizabeth. He had not only learned his hospitality skills with Cunard, but had also seized the
opportunity afforded by his many voyages across the Atlantic to save the money for the deposit to buy
the small guesthouse in Alum Chine.
Although Maureen and the children moved into the hotel, Alex stayed with Cunard for another year,
earning a salary to put towards his plans for the hotel’s expansion. This meant that Maureen, with four
children under seven, was plunged into the additional role of single-handedly running a small hotel.

Dorset Hotel

In 1961, Alex resigned from Cunard and came to his new home determined to start building the six extra
bedrooms and a new dining room which he and Maureen had designed in that first year. Not long after, the
neighbours at No 12 decided to retire and so the Callaghan’s persuaded the Bank to lend them the money to
buy their guesthouse. The next building project was to join the two buildings and what is now the ballroom
in The Bridge Bar and Grill was built.

After No.12 was integrated into “the Riv”, the owners of No.16 also decided to sell so another trip to the
bank ensued. This time, the new restaurant was built to join these two buildings. The indoor pool, the mansard
roof joining the three buildings and sundry other projects all helped Alex and Maureen provide facilities
which leisure guests enjoyed and the trade of the hotel increased.

The next projects were the purchase of “the Bungalow” on Studland Road (now the Poolside Lodge),
followed by the purchase of two adjoining properties which became the Belle Reve Holiday Apartments.
This also offered the opportunity to build the outdoor pool – in the shape of an R – which was completed
in the early 1970s. Guests who had first come to the hotel as children were now bringing their own
children for family holidays. This was because of the huge personal interest the Callaghan’s showed in
their guests, endearing them to thousands of families from all over the country who would come to stay
time and again, knowing that they would receive a warm welcome and an enjoyable stay every time.

In 1990, after a year’s illness, Alex sadly passed away, aged 63. Maureen and the family were determined
to carry on the business and their daughter Maria and son Andrew took over the administration and operational
sides of the business respectively.

DID YOU KNOW?? : On a hot windy afternoon in July 1999, a young Assistant Manager was making his
lunch in the kitchen when he was called away to a job, mistakenly failing to turn off the equipment before leaving
the kitchen. This resulted in the unattended chip fryer catching light. The fire quickly ripped up through the
kitchen vents and ignited the wooden surrounds. This spread the fire sideways through the first and second floors
of the hotel. Some 90 firefighters fought the blaze which took two days before it was finally extinguished.

Dorset Hotel

Fortunately, at this time of day, there were no guests and few staff in the hotel and no-one was hurt.
The family was determined to re-establish the hotel and make it better than ever and, in September 2000,
the Riviera re-opened for guests after a £4.5m refurbishment.

Dorset Hotel

The Riviera Today:

In addition to holidaymakers and a growing following of corporate guests who value the friendly and helpful
service which we strive to offer, the Riviera now runs many Masonic Lodge weekends, parties, weddings, baby
showers and conferences for the locals of Poole, Bournemouth and the surrounding areas. In just this year
alone we have so far:

* Watched an array of beautiful brides and handsome grooms walk down the aisle on
their big day, each with their very own unique colour schemes and wedding decor. Here is a
selection of just a few:

Weddings Hotel Bournemouth Dorset

Each special day was equally as beautiful as the last and it was an absolute honour to meet, plan and witness
the weddings of every couple we have had the privilege of hosting in 2017.

We can’t thank each couple enough for the incredible feedback we have received from both them and their guests.
We love receiving and reading all their lovely FB posts, emails and cards and are always sure to pass on the
praise to the whole team so everyone gets a chance to read the wonderful reviews. Here is just a snippet of the
feedback from some of our 2017 weddings:

Katherine Ward (had her evening reception with us on 4th August 2017):
“I cannot recommend this hotel enough. All the staff were truly amazing at helping us ensure
our wedding reception was perfect, in every way it was better than we expected. Lauren
(who is the wedding/event’s organiser), you were just pure amazingness and we are so
grateful for everything! Thank you all so much!”

Hannah Richardson (got married with us on 10th August 2017):
“The hotel and apartments are great and the staff are fantastic. We’ve just had our wedding
here and it was absolutely perfect and the staff were incredible. The food is gorgeous and
the swimming pools are lovely. Can’t wait to come back again and would come back with my
children in the future”

Charlotte Smith (got married with us on 5th August 2017)
“Just wanted to say a massive thank you to Lauren, Amy and the team for all the hard work
you did in making our wedding so perfect. The food was amazing and the whole venue was set up
beautifully. We had a fantastic day and everyone really loved the hotel and had nothing
but good things to say about it. Some of the guests are going to book to come back. A huge
thanks to my best friend Billy! He worked so hard in the evening and was just so lovely!
What a guy! We couldn’t have asked for a better day and we can’t wait to come back and
stay – which will probably be soon “

* We have served Afternoon Tea for a large number of baby showers to celebrate
many mum-to- be’s expected new arrival and received some amazing comments about our staff and food:

Baby Shower Hotel Bournemouth Dorset

Emma Purvis had her baby shower here with us on 22nd July 2017:
“My baby shower was held yesterday 22.07.17. Absolutely fantastic day. Kids loved the
pool, the food was amazing, and staff were fantastic, nothing was too big of an ask.
Could not fault and highly recommend. Thank you”

Sally, organiser of Georgina’s baby shower which was held on 25th June 2017:
“Dear Lauren, Just a quick email to say thank you so much for helping organise yesterday.
The whole event went smoothly and the room was presented excellently upon arrival.
The member of staff who was serving on the day (Billy) was very helpful; and nothing was too
much trouble. He even asked which type of music we would like in the background.
The dietary requirements were also remembered and the food was delicious as always!
Thanks again to yourself, the staff and the hotel for such a great event!
This is the 3rd time I have been in this suite for this sort of event and I will always
recommend this hotel to others.
I’m sure I will use the hotel many times again in the future
Sally”

* We have helped numerous people celebrate their birthdays or anniversaries in
style with a lavish event, welcomed a large number of returning and new families over the
summer break hosting an array of activities to keep guests of all ages entertained and have
already booked over 3700 people in for their office Christmas parties over November, December
and January.

It’s been a busy year and we still have three months left of 2017! So to all those we have welcomed back or met for
the first time, we would like to thank you and we hope to see you all at the Riviera again very soon

baby shower packages in bournemouth

Planning the perfect baby shower at a hotel

Trying to organise the perfect baby shower for yourself, a friend or relative but unsure on where to book?
We have put together our top tips for booking a baby shower at a hotel to help you on the path to baby shower planning success:

Why Hire A Hotel?

Hiring a hotel allows you to eat and drink from the finest of china, a selection of freshly cooked food made by someone else, leaving you without the hassle of having to do it all yourself.
Instead you are free to relax and enjoy the fun.

Most hotels allow you to bring decorations but do not expect you to decorate.
They are more than happy to do the decorating for you so you have more time to ready.
They may even be able to help with the arrangements, providing you with a selection of suppliers
they have used in the past that you could purchase your decorations, cake etc. from.

Many hotels also more than likely have private function rooms you can hire,
allowing you a level of intimacy you may not get in the main dining area.
You may find there is normally a room hire charge if you do not invite up to a certain amount of people
but it is always worth an ask.

The Riviera are very happy to pitch in and help decorate on the day if needed.
We will even provide you with the chair covers, table cloths, napkins and a selection of coloured sashes to choose from.
We cater for parties of all sizes – for 30 or more you can reserve the Britannic Suite exclusively
for the afternoon, or for smaller gatherings we can reserve you the Caledonia suite
with a view of the alum chine gardens and the ocean.

How do I pick a theme?:

Picking a theme for a baby shower can be a very strenuous and mind boggling task
so here are just a few ideas to help you on your way:

The most popular baby shower themes we have seen used are normally based on colour,
whether or not the baby is a boy or a girl.
This will decide whether or not the theme will be blue or pink.
However, what if you are unaware of the baby to be’s gender?
More often than not the mother and father to be have decided they would like this to be a surprise.
So how would you go about choosing a theme and decorations for your friends baby shower? Well here is just a few ideas to help you:

Match to the Nursery Décor: You may find although the parents to be do not know the gender of their baby they have still picked out their nursery décor.
You could match the baby shower colour theme and decorations to the nursery theme they have chosen.

Nature:  There are many different ideas for a nature theme that could be done which could include:Flowers, Clouds, Baby Animals etc.
They are all popular baby themes and are fun to do.
They could even be based on a particular favourite animal of both the mother and father to be and can be a good way of making a reluctant father to be feel involved too.
You could use an array of brightly coloured balloons or even get the supplier to shape them in to certain animals or flowers for you.
Why not try looking at Bournemouth balloons for some inspiration or ordering some beautiful flowers from By Arrangement Florist in Bournemouth.

A book themed baby shower: Celebrate the mom-to-be’s love of literature or a particular story book or movie
with a whimsical menu, darling decorations, and plenty of fairy-tale fun.

For example: if the mum to be is a Disney fan then why not have a mad hatter’s tea party!

Spa Baby Shower: Since the mother to be will have little time to spoil herself once the baby is born,
now is the perfect time to get her and all of her friends together and spoil them with a relaxing afternoon of pampering.
Why not treat the mum to be to a manicure or pedicure and an afternoon tea,
or let her relax and enjoy an Indian head massage or foot massage to help cure the aches and pains of carrying a baby.

Lori, our resident beauty therapist at the Riviera Hotel’s Unique Boutique
offers a selection of
spa packages and treatments to choose from all at reasonable prices.
You could even put your feet up in the hotels relaxation room while you wait for your treatments.

When should I send out the invitations?

Make sure to give invitations out a few weeks in advance.
Most hotels will ask for a deposit in order to confirm the booking,
the earlier you send out the invitations, the more sufficient time it gives each guest to get the money to you.
Always provide as much information on the invites as you possibly can but try not to sound too wordy,
or encourage guests to be able to contact you if they have any questions about directions to the location or gifts etc.

What should we eat and drink?

The food and drink at a baby shower need not be too elaborate.
A simple buffet with 5 or 6 options or an afternoon tea with a selection of
sandwiches and cakes will suffice and please all. It also makes it easier to choose and pre- order ahead of time
saving you so much hassle.

*TOP TIP* – make sure to check if anyone in your party has any allergies
or dietary requirements before ordering and let the venue know a few weeks before.

The Riviera provide afternoon tea packages for baby showers starting at just £9.95 per person
along with a variety of other options on our bar menu if an afternoon tea isn’t for you.

If your not wanting lunch and you would like a sit down meal instead,
our Cunarder Restaurant is also open for dinner
and offers an array of different options to choose from, sourced from local produce and cooked fresh.

What should I do for a cake?

Pre-ordering a cake is always the easiest option but it is best to make sure this is done in advance.
This gives enough time for the cake to be prepared and for you to go through with the baker
how you would like the cake to look.
Although the most convenient option, this can also be the most expensive.

Why not have a look at Cakes by Suzanne or Specialty Cakes website , cake makers located in Bournemouth.

You could try baking the cake yourself.
Not only is this a less costly option but it would also be heaps of fun.
You could use your creativity and even get your friends to help.
There are loads of recipes online or in cookery books that you could follow.

You don’t even have to have the classic baby shower cake and instead could mix it up with a selection of cupcakes in a stand.
You could even turn it into a game, bake lots of cupcakes and then get each of your guests to decorate their own cupcake at the shower.

What should we do for games?

Below are just a few games that could be played during a baby shower:

Diaper Derby: Split your guests in to two teams and hand each team a roll of toilet paper.
Give the teams a set amount of time to wrap one of their team members up in a mock diaper made from the toilet roll given.
The team with the most creatively diapered adult baby wins a prize.
This makes for some hilarious photos you will be sure to look back on and laugh at!

Place the baby on the mummy: Yep you’ve guessed it, this is a simple baby shower alternative to the classic game pin the tail on the donkey.
Blow up a picture of the mum to be with her baby bump on show.
Blind fold each guest and hand them a cut out picture of a baby.
Give them a little spin and then get them to pin the baby on the picture.
Whoever gets it closest to the tummy wins.
You could also play pin the dummy on the baby as an alternative.

Guess the baby food: Gather together a selection of unique baby food flavours, rip off the labels and number each top.
Then ask your guests to grab a spoon and sample each, writing down what they think the flavour is as they go.
The guest with the keenest taste buds wins a prize.

*Top Tip* Having a mixed shower in which dads are invited?
Why not mix the game up a bit, blindfold the ladies and get them to feed their gents the baby food.
The gents then guess the flavour.
This helps make the men part of the fun too.

Guess the baby: Why not get every guest of your baby shower to bring a picture of them as a baby with them.
Once you have collected all the pictures give them each a number.
Then get every guest to write down who they think each picture is of.
The person with the most correct answers wins a prize.

For example: can you guess which baby is which out of our six lovely staff members?

 

Blindfolded Diapering:  Have guests separate into teams.
Each teams gets a doll, blindfold and diapers.
Each guest must put the blindfold on, remove the current diaper and put a new one on the doll.
After the first team member does this, they give the doll to the next, until the entire team is finished.
The first team to finish wins.

Final Touches!

Well once all the above is complete and all who are coming have paid,
all that is left to do is to arrive at the hotel an hour early to bring any decorations and the cake.
You could also get guests to arrive early too if it is a surprise shower.
Then once all is in place it’s time for the guest of honour to arrive.
Now you can relax, mingle, eat, have some fun and take lots of pictures for the mum-to-be so she can remember just how amazing the baby shower you planned for her was 🙂

Answers: 1:E, 2:A, 3:D, 4:C, 5:B, 6:F

hotel in bournemouth with swimming pool

The Top 10 Family Attractions in Dorset over the Easter holidays

Have you booked a family holiday over the Easter break in Bournemouth but are struggling to find activities in or around the area to keep all the family entertained while you’re away?

I think everyone can agree that no Easter is ever quite complete without an appearance from the Easter bunny who has hidden lots of chocolate Easter treats around the garden to be found by the kids, the smell of hot cross buns with melted butter being baked in the oven and the flowering of daffodils to bring in the Easter season.

Well we have put together our top 10 Family attractions in Dorset over the Easter Holidays for you to choose from:

 

10: Easter @ the Tank Museum (8th-23rd April)

Dorset Hotels

Watch Tanks in action with a jam packed demonstration filled with expert commentary every weekday at 1pm starting on Monday 10th April. Or if that wasn’t enough, why not experience the thrill of riding in an M548 tracked vehicle yourself with the whole family. The vehicle seats up to 16 people so everyone can join in and rides are available every day from 11:30am- 4:30pm with a £3.50 charge per person. As well as this you can take part in a range of family activities. Kids can also let off steam in the outdoor play area and in their new inside soft play area, adjacent to the Cafe. Plus free family trails to keep them absorbed with teasers and puzzles!

9: Cadbury’s Easter egg hunt @ Studland Bay (8th-23rd April) from 10:30-15:30

Dorset Hotel

Why not take a bunny hop in to Studland’s spring time on their Easter Trail. Follow the clues around the nature reserve, take in all the beautiful scenery and watch the wildlife while you see the world through Bunny’s eyes. Collect your Cadbury’s chocolate prize at the end. You could even take a long walk across Studland’s award winning beach and dip your toes in the sea or grab some lunch in the beach cafe.

8: Cadbury’s Easter egg hunt @ Kingston Lacy (8th-23rd April)

Dorset Hotel

This Easter enjoy discovering Kingston Lacy’s  garden, hunting out the eggs to claim your Cadbury chocolate prize while you step foot in the far east as you explore the seven acre Japanese garden with its cherry blossoms having slowly started to come in to bloom. Or discover what is in store at the Nursery Wood with its spectacular display of azalea, camellia, rhododendron and flowering cherry trees. All for just an extra £2.50 per trail. Normal admission applies.

7: Easter adventure extravaganza @ Lulworth Castle (14th – 17th April)

Dorset Hotel

Looking for some eggcellent family fun this Easter? Then join them ‘down the rabbit hole’ from 14th April to 17th April, 10.30-5pm.

This year Lulworth Castle have been inspired by the fantastical story of Alice in Wonderland so you can expect a whole host of activities at their fairy tale castle including themed trails, egg hunts, crafts, bouncy castle (weather permitting, age 7+), soft play for under 4’s, crazy golf and, of course, white rabbits and Easter Eggs!! Don’t forget to go and meet the Mad Hatter in the Castle whilst you’re exploring ….Tickets include Free Parking. Adults £7, Child £5, under 4’s free. Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children) £25. Tickets can be bought online here or on the day.

6: Easter activities and egg hunting @ Farmer Palmer‘s (14th -17th April)

Dorset Hotel

Celebrate spring with baby animals, tractor rides, a petting zoo, the Easter Bunny and 4 days of Eggcellent Egg Hunts starting promptly at 2.40pm daily in the field at the end of the outdoor animal pens. We suggest you head down there for 2:30pm.

5: Easter fun on Brownsea Island (14th – 17th April)

Dorset Hotel

Join in with the Island’s Easter activities and have a go at their special Easter trail with Cadbury Easter Egg prizes. Head along to Church Field for free games, arts, crafts, face painting (weekends only), and Cadbury Easter Egg trail (£3.00 per trail). Normal admission charges apply. Daily from 10.00am until 4.00pm

4: Eggstra special Easter fun @ Adventure Wonderland‘s award winning family attraction! 14th – 17th April

Dorset Hotel

Adventure Wonderland is the place to be this Easter with free egg hunts in their giant hedge maze and ever popular egg and spoon races. These will be taking place over the 4 day Easter weekend but there’s lots more to do throughout the whole holidays, with over 30 rides and attractions, both indoors and outdoors from the Jabberwocky, Water Wind Up, Wild Bills Runaway Train, The Ghostly Galleon and Turbo Teacups to more gentle attractions such as Curvy Caterpillars and The Flying Elephants…. Not forgetting, of course, The Battle Boats! Visit the Animal Corner, which includes baby bunnies, kid goats and Spring lambs! And it’s guaranteed fun whatever the weather with their vast indoor adventure play centre, Wild Thing!

Throughout the whole Easter holiday period there will be other events,  and BRAND NEW live shows in the Happydrome Theatre, featuring all your favourite Wonderland characters!

3: Easter egg trails at Corfe Castle (14th-17th April)

Dorset Hotel

It will be fun for the whole family as you take part in the Easter Egg Trail around Corfe Castle!  Seek out and discover the Bunny’s nature clues to claim your Cadbury chocolate treat. Please note that normal admission charges will apply plus £2.50 per person to take part in the trail. Booking not necessary. Daily from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Unfortunately dogs are not welcome.

2: Easter in Bournemouth

Dorset Hotel

Why not head to the beach with golden sands that stretch up to seven miles from Southbourne to Alum Chine and beyond. Check out our guide to the best walks in and around Alum Chine here.

Dorset Hotel

Visit the Oceanarium on Bournemouth Seafront and immerse yourself within 12 naturally themed zones and experience a fun and engaging underwater adventure around the waters of the world. – Make amazing savings of up to 30% off tickets when you book online and visit between Monday 3rd and Sunday 23rd April 2017.

Dorset Hotel

Go and enjoy a movie at the new BH2 leisure complex and dine in one of the many different eating establishments.

Dorset Hotel

Or you could: Discover Dorset and all its beauty with the Riviera’s guide to the best walking routes and suggested things to see and do while you stay at the hotel for just £55pppn bed, breakfast and evening meal. You will also get a cream tea on arrival. Stay for four nights and we will even upgrade you to a sea facing room with a balcony (subject to availability)

1: COME AND VISIT OR STAY AT THE RIVIERA HOTEL THIS SPRING

Situated on Alum Chine and close to the beautiful wooded Chine Suspension Bridge & Tropical Gardens, the Riviera Hotel is the perfect location for your holiday. View a map here.

Alum Chine is famous for its colourful Beach Huts and award-winning Blue Flag beach. It is extremely popular with families because,  in addition to its lifeguard patrolled beach, it features a children’s play area, paddling pool and toilet facilities.

The equally beautiful beaches of Poole are also within walking distance, including the desirable Sandbanks peninsula and the bustling Harbour area. A 15-minute ferry trip will transport you to The Purbecks, making The Riviera Hotel the perfect base for you and your family to explore the whole of Dorset.

The boutique shopping and eateries of Westbourne are a short walk from the hotel and you will find  Bournemouth Beach and the town centre just twenty minutes walk along the promenade.

Whether you are a guest or a visitor, the Riviera hotel and apartments has loads to offer over the Easter holidays and the Spring months to keep all the family entertained including:

Dine with us for a four course Easter lunch on Sunday 16th April for £18.95 per adult with a free glass of wine and £8.95 per child (under 12’s)

The kids can take advantage of our games room with:

A Nintendo Wii (controllers etc. at reception), Pool Table, Table Tennis Table, Board games and more…

Mondays and Thursdays are ‘Create you own pizza nights’.

Leisure Club Bournemouth Dorset Hotel

Whether you want a vigorous workout or just to relax and rejuvenate, you will find our Leisure Club has everything. How about a dip before breakfast in the indoor pool, a reviving soak in the bubbling spa bath, chill out in our relaxation room or an invigorating session in the studio gym.

Unique Boutique at The Coast Spa offers a tranquil atmosphere designed to put you at ease. Offering a wide variety of luxury spa treatments and packages along with hairdressing and everyday beauty essentials all tailored to your needs.

Sit back and enjoy a drink on our sun terrace overlooking our outdoor pool or try a selection of tapas dishes from our new hotel bar menu while you enjoy the views.

Whatever you decide to do this Easter, we hope you have a fantastic time with all your family and friends around you. From the whole Riviera Team, we wish you a fantastic Easter break filled with joy (and maybe some chocolate too).

HAPPY EASTER!

hotel in bournemouth

Meet Head Chef Attila

Attila is the head chef at The Riviera Hotel in Alum Chine.  He has been a chef for more than 20 years but hasn’t lost his passion for creating fine food.

He hasn’t been with The Riviera for long but has already secured a Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence in The Cunarder & Conservatory Restaurant.
Attila focuses on fresh and seasonal food, producing delicious meals using only the best local produce. His signature dish is the Dorset Lamb Two Ways.

Attila has mighty determination for perfection but still maintains a joyful approach when creating delicious dishes.
It is a breath of fresh air to work alongside a head chef who is cheerfully willing and able to cater to all guests’ needs without compromising his own impeccable standards
and always with a smile on his face.

We asked Attila for a random fact and apparently he can solve the Rubix cube in record time!
We will have to see evidence of this and we’ll be sure to get it on camera!

atilla-head-chef-riviera-bournemouth

Attila has been so kind to give us a recipe this week for his dish, Pork Tenderloin with King Prawn.

Give it a go at home – see below for the recipe!

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH KING PRAWN

riviera-atilla-dish

Ingredients:

Pork Tenderloins
King Prawn
Pak Choi
Sugarsnap Peas
Balsamic Vinegar

Method:

Sous vide pork for 2 hours at 56°c.

After, remove from packaging and sear it in hot pan with butter along with the king prawn.

Serve it with char grilled pak choi, sugarsnap peas and balsamic vinegar jus.

What is Sous vide?

Sous vide is a simple cooking technique in which food is cooked in precisely controlled, low-temperature water.
Because the food can never get hotter than the water, under- or overcooking is almost impossible.

sousvide

Don’t have a fancy machine? Sous vide this way…

Prepare a water bath in a pan and use a thermometer to check the temperature, it should remain at 56°c.

Place the pork in a ziploc bag and once the water is heated to the desired temperature,
place the bag into the water with the top open so the air can escape.
Hang the bag over the edge of the pot using a clip.

Once you put the food into the pot, you’ll need to bring the water back to the desired temperature,
you can adjust the burner as necessary to maintain a steady cooking temp.

Once the temperature is back up, start your timer and cook for 2 hours.