I tend to find the review coverage here on Tripadvisor a bit....patchy and alarmist if I'm being honest so in retrospect it was very silly for me to be worried about the De Vere Village Hotel in Bournemouth on the basis that I'd seen that a number of people had given it one-star reviews.
If I'd actually read those scathing reviews, I'd have seen that the hotel received them on account of varied and diverse failings as 'slow service in the hotel bar' and 'the wifi's prehistoric' (and yeah, the internet connection is pretty slow, but it does work eventually and you don't have to pay for it, not like some places I could mention....TRAVELODGE....). And then I wouldn't have had to worry so much about having booked it.
It's a perfectly acceptable, if slightly soul-less, hotel in Bournemouth, far away from the town's seaside attractions, but very conveniently located for the town's ring-road, and thus within very easy reach of the New Forest - which is why we selected it. Yes, the selection of TV channels available in the rooms is bewilderingly limited - have they never heard of Freeview at the De Vere Village Hotel, we have to ask ourselves - but if you grew up in the 1970s, like I did when there were only the three channels ever to choose from, you tend to still be thankful when you find there's even a couple more than that (incidentally, the De Vere Village non-pay-per-vies TVs seem to receive about 15).
Being out of the centre of Bournemouth means you also avoid the absolute nightmare that is trying to park your car in central Bournemouth; having spent hours and hours driving round the centre of Bournemouth on a wintry Saturday night trying and failing to find somewhere to park, I feel we should all as guests be kneeling down and kissing the tarmac of the De Vere Hotel's capacious and free client car park on that score alone.
The rooms have what you'd expect hotel rooms to have in them (including tea and coffee and a kettle etc. - it's tidied away in the cupboard under the desk). It's generally clean and well-maintained - we noticed a streak of something dubious-looking on the loo seat shortly after we arrived, but reception sent someone to deal with it while we were out and then it was all fine.
This incidentally, was the first and last evidence we saw of any room maintenance staff having visted our room. We saw them in other rooms and out in the corridors all right but no-one attempted to come into ours after that - not a disaster in our case as we did only have a two-day stay.
So, the rooms haven't been freshly decorated, but neither they nor their furnishings are falling apart and everything's perfectly fine - and after some of the quirkily charmless independent alledged 'boutique hotel' holes-in-the-ground I've stayed in over the years, I find large, if maybe a bit souless, hotels like the De Vere Village much preferable. It has a pool, which the kids enjoyed immensely, a hot-tub that they also enjoyed until someone booted them out on health and safety grounds because apparently kids shouldn't go in hot tubs for some reason, and an all-you-can-eat breakfast served daily in a restaurant that's entriely too small to cater for the clinentel of a hotel of this gargantuan size if it's running at anywhere near full capacity. Expect queues at popular times at the weekend! But once you get there, like I said - all you can eat. And the brekky's varied with a selection of cooked items as well as other options, and I would say good.
The downside of the hotel that we found - and it is a very minor one - is it's a bit tricky to find if you're going for the first time. You drive in as if you're going into the Bournemouth Hospital (it's on the same site as the hospital, really) and the hotel's the big building up on the right. I could have avoided even this minor difficulty if I'd consulted a road map.
We went to the infamous slow-service bar and found it reasonably priced, not especially slow, and also perfectly all right.
I would certainly stay here again - and intend to do so in future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Village Hotel Bournemouth is a short drive from the town centre and boasts 7 miles of sandy beaches that Bournemouth is famous. Conveniently located just 3 miles from Pokesdown Rail Station and Bournemouth International Airport. Village Bournemouth is ideal for business and leisure travellers alike. Nearby attractions include Monkey World, Castlepoint Shopping Centre, New Forest and the Oceanarium. Village Hotel Bournemouth has 116 bright and modern bedrooms, a choice of stylish dining or a traditional pub, Starbucks Coffee Shop, a relaxing Spa, state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Club, Swimming Pool, Meeting and Conference Centre, Live Party Nights, Wedding Licence, free parking and free wi-fi throughout the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- De Vere Village Bournemouth Hotel Bournemouth
- Bournemouth Village Hotel