Why go abroad when you can have the perfect family staycation on the South Coast!
Take a dip in our indoor pool or soak up the sun on our loungers in our newly refurbished garden.
Have a rest in our relaxation room equipped with comfortable seating and cosy furnishings or, if you’d prefer something more active, our studio gym can help burn off extra energy. Looking for a spa treatment? Why not visit Bella Green Spa in our Coast Spa?
A fun games room will keep the children playing in a safe environment while you enjoy a drink in our stylish bar with spectacular views across the Bay and wooded Chine.
And, if that’s not enough, we will be hosting an array of activities throughout the summer- bound to keep the whole family entertained:
Join us in our Bridge Bar & Grill for an evening of bingo fun with Brian Cox and be in with the chance of winning a prize!
Our popular build your own pizza nightwill be back. Dine from 6pm and then move through to the Bridge Bar & Grill for music from local female soloist Rebecca King.
Crazy Dave brings with him a fun packed evening of magic and balloon modelling from 7pm until 9pm.
With the success of our Caribbean night last year, we thought we would try something new! Join us for American night and indulge in some of your favourite American classics from Chicken Wings and Blue Cheese sauce to Surf and Turf and a New York Cheesecake, the menu will have you drooling!
Brian Cox will be back in our Bridge Bar & Grill quizzing you all on your music, TV and general knowledge. Once complete, head down to Bournemouth Seafront for an evening of family entertainment and a firework displayfrom the Bournemouth Pier at 10pm (every Friday from the 3rd August)
Gem Roadshow will be providing a family disco with games from 7pm until 11pm in our Bridge Bar.
Challenge the family with a selection of board games to choose from or head out in the sunshine and enjoy a garden game or two.
* OUR TEXT TO ORDER SERVICE IS BACK… *
Fancy something to drink or eat but
don’t want to lose your seat?
Give the bar a text, we’ll be there in a beat!
Our text to order service saves you the hassle of having to queue, simply send us a text with your order, room number, surname and table number and we’ll bring it to you!
See the information cards on our outdoor tables for more details…
FANCY A MASSAGE?
We are pleased to introduce you to the Bella Green Spa which is now based at the Riv!
Offering a wide variety of luxury spa treatments, Bella Green at The Coast Spa uses natural products to refresh, revitalise and rejuvenate.
To book an appointment, call Arabella on 07376 063589 or email email@example.com
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:-
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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)
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!
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
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
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….
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
The Britannic Suite: Tastefully decorated, the Britannic suite is ideal for intimate
weddings suitable for up to 70 guests
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.
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.
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
Welcome Cocktail and Nibbles
Traditional Afternoon Tea
Flute of Prosecco
Bridal Suite for the Bride & Groom with Breakfast
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:
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)
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,
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:
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:
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:
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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
Planning to take your family away this summer but can’t find a suitable hotel? Live in Bournemouth and want to get out with the whole family for a fun packed evening or already booked to stay with us but worried there will be nothing for the kids to do during your stay to keep them entertained? Well, we here at the Rivera know that family holidays are normally, more often than not, one of the highlights of the year. There a chance to get away from your daily routine, relax and spend some quality time with the ones you love and we want to help you create those lasting memories and experiences you will look back on and laugh at in years to come. In order to do this, we have put together an array of entertainment for you to enjoy as a family over your summer break with us, just take a look at what we have in store:
MONDAY & THURSDAY
Not in the mood to cook? Join us every Monday and Thursday night throughout summer for our very popular ‘make your own pizza’ nights, an activity all the family can enjoy and a great way to spend the evening together. Just pop on down to our Cunarder Restaurant, grab yourself a pizza base, smother it in tomato sauce and then choose from a wide variety of toppings to complete your perfect pizza. When finished, hand it to one of our staff and will bring it back to you once it’s been cooked.
We will also be holding a Bingo night every Monday in our Main Bar area, so grab a drink and join in the fun
The very popular “Rebecca King” will be back and gracing us with her presence every Tuesday in our Main Bar, keeping all the family entertained with an array of pop classics to dance and sing along to.
Here at the Riviera, we love a party just as much as the next person so to celebrate the season that is summer, we will be hosting a Caribbean night every Wednesday with an authentic Caribbean buffet for all our guests to enjoy. Check out the buffet menu here. Our resident DJ, Gem Roadshow, will also be playing a selection of tunes, old and new, in our Main Bar area. There will also be a Pirates and Princesses themed fancy dress parade for the kids to enjoy. But adults, please do not think you have gotten away with it that easily! Fancy dress is welcome for all ages so get your grass skirts and flowery garlands at the ready.
Our lovely Bar Manager Kris has even put together the perfect summer Mocktail to get you in the mood for our Caribbean night. He has even supplied us with the recipe so you can make it at home, see the recipe below:
Kris’s Caribbean Cooler
1. Grab a hurricane glass, fill the glass with ice and pour in 75ml of Ginger Beer
2. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice, 75ml Pineapple Juice and lime juice and give it a shake.
3. Pour the contents of your shaker in to the hurricane glass with the Ginger Beer, stir and then add the grenadine
4. Now for the finishing touches, add a slice of lime and a ring of pineapple for decoration
Wanting that extra kick, add 25ml of spiced rum & 25ml Capt Morgan’s dark rum to help turn this Mocktail in to an alcoholic Pirate’s Hook cocktail!
Join us in our Main Bar for a quiz night from 6pm and get your general knowledge heads on!! In aid of the summer there will be Fireworks on Bournemouth seafront starting every Friday from the 4th August at 10pm so take a walk down the beach, chill out and watch as the night sky is lit up as part of the Family Fiesta event. Also, from 7pm in the Lower Gardens and at Pier Approach there will be circus workshops and shows, fire performances, stilt walkers, live music and more. It’s a night not to be missed.
Our Resident DJ “Gem Roadshow” will be in our Main Bar every Saturday night providing a vast variety of music covering all genres, ages and styles so there will sure to be something for everyone. Whether it’s the top 40 chart hits, a popular dance number or a golden oldie, they will be sure to have the right song for you to get your groove on to.
Whether it’s drawing, painting or gluing we have got everything you need to get your kids’ creative juices flowing in our arts and crafts’ corner available in our bar from 10am until 6pm every Sunday. Just grab a drink at our bar and watch as your kids create a masterpiece!
OTHER THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR AT THE RIVIERA:
Check out the new additions to our tapas dishes now available. Get your taste buds tingling and your mouth watering with our Mozzarella sticks with sweet chilli mayo or our Buffalo chicken wings with BBQ sauce. What something a bit more refreshing? Grab one of our Riviera Summer Salads made with Dorset lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, mixed peppers and house dressing with your choice of either a chicken breast or Cajun salmon.
We will also be adding a Cocktail of the day to our bar menu, just ask our bar staff for more information
If that is not enough, we have also given our Cunarder Restaurant menu a summers touch with the addition of a few new tantalizingly tasty dishes. Take a look here.
Why not try our chefs new Crayfish and Saffron starter with Parmesan crisps and baby tomatoes. Why not follow this with our Dressed Local Whole Crab served with a soft boiled quail egg, new potatoes and samphire crisps or our Charred South Coast Mackerel Fillet served with chive butter baby jacket potatoes, asparagus and sun-blushed tomatoes. And then for dessert, why not treat yourself to our Pimms, Elderflower and Blueberry Terrine Jelly with a Pimm’s garnish, an explosion of fruity flavours.
We asked our Sous chef Petr to pick his favorite dish from our new summer menu and to provide us with the recipe so you can make it at home:
Petr’s Classic Strawberry Trifle
1. Firstly to make the Custard, heat 600ml of Double Cream and Vanilla ( 1 pod, seeds scraped) in a saucepan and bring to the boil. 2. Whisk together 4 large egg yolks, 1 tbsp of Cornflour and 2 tbsp of caster sugar in a bowl, then pour in the hot vanilla cream. 3. Pour in to a clean pan and get over a low-medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes until thick and glossy. 4. Pass through a fine sieve in to a bowl and leave to cool. 5. Put 400g of strawberries (hulled and halved), 3 tblsp of caster sugar and 50ml of Harvey’s Sherry in to a separate bowl to make the strawberry marinade, toss together and leave in the fridge for 1 hr or so.
6. After and hour, spoon the strawberries in to the bottom of your dessert glass. Add 320g of Trifle Sponges (or Victoria Sponge cases) and then pour your custard over the top. 7. Now for the finishing touches, whisk together some double cream and caster sugar and then use a piping bag to pipe over the top of your dessert. 8. To serve, add some fresh chopped strawberries and a dribble of your strawberry marinade for decoration.
NOW YOU CAN ENJOY!
Settled down by our outdoor pool but worried about losing your spot if you go to the bar? Really comfortable relaxing on a sun lounger and don’t really want to move? Never fear because we have come up with the perfect solution. Our text to order service saves you the hassle of having to que or wait around for your food and drink orders. Instead you just send us a text with your order and we will do the rest for you.
With its perfect mix of history, countryside and coastline there are miles of scenery to explore and activities to do appealing to holiday makers with a variety of interests.
A lover of long walks and orienteering expeditions? Why not walk the Jurassic Coast and witness the array of wildlife, dramatic cliff-tops and stunning landscape for yourself. We’ve put together a few local walks for you to take advantage of. Check them out here or download the PDF version.
Want to get away to a seaside haven? Dorset provides an array of blue-flagged beaches – ideal for relaxing in the sunshine, taking up your preferred water sport or simply building a sandcastle with the ones you love.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed escape away, why not head inland and discover Dorset’s wealth of historic castles, fantastic houses and impeccably kept gardens. Take a stroll through beautifully quaint villages and seaside towns offering an array of eateries for you to try the fresh local produce in the presence of incredible views.
With something for everyone, we have put together a list of the MUST DO’s in Dorset to keep you entertained while your away in this beautiful location.
Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island & Sandbanks
Why not take a trip to Poole Quay and Old Town, both steeped in history and offering attractions to suit all interests. Poole Quay is the gateway to the stunning harbour and islands making it the best place to take breakfast, lunch or dinner whilst watching ships, fishing boats or luxury Sunseeker yachts as they enter and leave the bay.
When visiting Poole Quay you must make time to stop of at Poole Pottery. Witness famous artists and modellers at work and watch demonstrations or get your hands dirty and have a go at painting your own masterpiece.
Also a short walk from Poole Quay is Poole Park and The Ark, offering a wide variety of activities from water sports on the lake to crazy golf, ice skating and 3 levels of soft play with slides, tunnels and interactive zones.
From Poole Quay, voyage across the water with City Cruises, taking in Europe’s largest natural harbour dotted with tiny islands. Stop off at the National Trust’s Brownsea Island, home of the scouting movement. This wildlife haven, is free of traffic and easily walk-able – spot red squirrels and migrating birds or take a picnic and find your own beach cove for a quiet afternoon away.
If a relaxing boat trip isn’t your cup of tea why not take to the shallow waters of Poole Harbour & Sandbanks and try out one of over 25 water based activities they have to offer at The Watersports Academy. Whether its windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding or fishing for your own dinner on a chartered boat trip, you’re sure to have fun. Sandbanks, known as one of the most expensive places in the world to live, also offers fantastic, wide sandy beaches and lots of sophisticated cafes and eateries to stop off and take in the gorgeous views.
Just a short drive from Sandbanks is Compton Acres, one of the finest privately-owned and important ornamental gardens in England. Explore over ten acres of stunning individual gardens displaying exquisite plants from all over the world, browse the treasures in the Gifted Moment store offering excellent shopping opportunities of Dorset-made goods or attend one of the many events held all year round from Sculpture Trails, Wine Tasting and more.
Studland & Swanage
Take the old-fashioned chain ferry across the mouth of Poole Harbour from Sandbanks (either on foot, by car or by bus) and enjoy Studland Bay. Famous for its sand dunes, heathland and nature reserve, it makes a wonderful day out. Walk through paths of wild garlic to the iconic Old Harry Rocks enjoying fabulous coastal views, peering down at smugglers’ coves and looking back at the Bournemouth Coast.
Follow the roads from Studland in to the seaside town of Swanage, situated at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site. Swanage is a traditional seaside resort with a long promenade and plenty of interesting shops. Try travelling back in time on the steam railway, take a stroll along Swanage Pier while taking in its Victorian heritage or visit the Durlston Country Park nature reserve soaking up its stunning views and an array of wildlife while setting out on one of its many marked trails and coastal walks.
This pretty old village, with a National Trust shop, lies at the foot of dramatic castle ruins. Originally built by William the Conqueror on a natural hill, Corfe Castle’s purpose was to guard the principal route through the Purbeck Hills, where Purbeck marble was once quarried. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner for families to discover. As well as a castle visit, Corfe is also home to a unique range of independent shops, the Corfe Castle Town trust museum and separate information centre, the Purbeck mine museum,the model village and it is the connecting town for the Swanage Steam railway.
This World Heritage Coastline spans 95 miles and is a “must see” when in Dorset. Visit Lulworth Cove, Kimmeridge, Ringstead Bay, Durdle Door, or Worbarrow Bay with its deserted village of Tyneham. Explore rock pools, hunt for fossils, enjoy the walking paths or just sit back and experience some of the country’s most stunning scenery, from sweeping beaches, dramatic cliffs, blustery headlands and sheltered coves. It’s a geologists dream and a photographer’s haven. Fancy a long walk? Try tackling a section of the beautiful Dorset Coastal Path (you’ll need six days to walk its entirety – it’s 86 miles from Poole Harbour in the east to Lyme Regis in the west!) Along the way, you’ll uncover many fascinating stories: the ‘walk through time’ – an exceptional record of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the Earth’s history; stories of farming, fishing, quarrying, smuggling, of war and fortification; and spot some of Dorset’s wonderful wildlife along the way.
Wimborne Minster and the surrounding area offer fun for all ages, from high adrenaline activities to more gentle pursuits, from nature based attractions to unique heritage sites.
Visit Moors Valley and follow their outdoor play trails, hire a bike and test yourself on their varying ability cycle paths or take a trip on the narrow gauge steam railway. Why not live life adventurously and explore the park from a monkey’s perspective! Go Ape are an outdoor activities company offering tree top walks, forest Segway tours, tree top junior adventures and zip wires to all ages.
Explore the extensive grounds of Kingston Lacy House & Gardens: Owned by the National Trust, this 17th Century mansion contains an outstanding collection of paintings and other works of art. The house and gardens are set in a wooded park with attractive walks, covering over 43 acres and feature restored Japanese Gardens, a Victorian Fernery and Formal Gardens. Located on the Kingston Lacy estate is the Badbury Ring’s (an Iron Age hill fort), so you can go and fly your kite from the highest height.
Take a trip to Knoll Gardens and witness the breeze blow through the stunning ornamental grasses which the four acre of gardens are famous for and learn how to bring the wow factor to your own garden.
Located in Wimborne town centre is the Priest’s House Museum & Garden, delve in to the town’s archaeology and discover hidden gems that have been found in the area. Enjoy the town and its more recent history from a different perspective at the Wimborne Model Village or imagine the roar of water and the grind of mill stone at the White Mill.
Hengistbury Head and Christchurch
Hengistbury Head is a dramatic headland to the south of Christchurch Harbour. It is an outstanding site for wildlife and archaeology and offers beautiful beaches and views across the New Forest, Isle of Wight and Purbecks. Access is easy for all ages and abilities. There is a Land Train (great fun for both young and old!) linking to Mudeford with its colourful beach huts and beach café, ferries to Christchurch, as well as a summer bus service to Bournemouth. A perfect day out – you are in the countryside but still close to the town!
With two rivers to walk or boat down, two historic quays to discover and two historic castles to explore, Christchurch is an ideal holiday playground. The historic Priory Church and Castle ruins help give an old world charm to the bustling town centre with its range of independent shops, high street stores and regular markets. Visit the clifftop grounds and delight in the buildings and interiors of Highcliffe Castle or use your imagination to bring back to life Christchurch Castle from its ruins. You can also take in the collections and exhibitions of this historical town at the Red House Museum and Garden.
The New Forest
Right on Christchurch’s door step is the New Forest, a great place for the whole family to get out and get some fresh air. Take a scenic drive through the New Forest to Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway. Covering over 200 acres, the gardens hold the famous Rothschild collection of azaleas, camellias & rhododendrons. To make the most of the day, visit Buckler’s Hard, a picturesque 18th century traffic-free village on the banks of the Beaulieu River. Buckler’s Hard is a little over two miles from its sister attraction of Beaulieu, another pretty village where visitors can tour the National Motor Museum as well as Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. Head in to Burley, hire a bike and tackle the different cycle paths available to follow, stopping in the suggested pubs on the way. A great place to relax and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine or take the dogs for a walk.
There are so many picturesque Dorset villages from Milton Abbas, with its row of thatched houses, Beaminster with its fine medieval church with a 16th century tower to the pretty village of Cerne Abbas with its famous giant on the hill. The quaint village of Moreton is famous as the final resting place of “Lawrence of Arabia”, and has an 18th Century church with stunning stained engraved glass windows. The result, especially on a sunny day, is a spectacle worth seeing.
In the village of Higher Bockhampton you can visit Thomas Hardy’s cottage, owned by the National Trust, and walk in Hardy’s footsteps on some lovely trails surrounding the cottage.
Visit the small market town of Shaftesbury, the home of gold hill, made famous by the Hovis advert. Athlehampton House & Gardens is a quintessential manor house with a labyrinth of gardens each with their own theme. Water forms the recurring feature with fountains, pools and the River Piddle on its doorstep.
Use The Rivera as a base while you Discover Dorset!
We are very fortunate to be within easy striking distance of a marvellous selection of beautiful and fascinating Dorset destinations. Whatever your interests, we guarantee you will enjoy yourself to the full with a wide range of places and attractions available, and their all at our door step!
Stay with us on our Discover Dorset package and enjoy Dorset cream tea on arrival, a full English breakfast each morning and dinner every evening using some of the finest Dorset produce. We will even provide you with a suggested itinerary of where to go, what to see and what to do!
Stay 4 nights or more and we may even upgrade you to a sea facing room with private balcony if available.
Booking is simple- Just click here and select your dates!
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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.
Go and enjoy a movie at the new BH2 leisure complex and dine in one of the many different eating establishments.
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’.
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).