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Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton

Welcome to the sun-kissed good life. The Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton (formerly part of Menzies Hotels), one of the resort’s grande dames, mixes a fabulous history and splendid architecture with a dramatic cliff top seafront location – cue epic widescreen views – with award-winning dining, lovely light-washed ensuite rooms and a superb array of leisure facilities. Quite simply, it has the lot.

Let’s take the history first. This is the spectacular heart of a family resort that blossomed in the 19th century, initially attracting recuperating patients chasing the brine-rich breeze, then artists and writers before becoming a major holiday hotspot.  The Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton was built in 1861 as a magnificent private house for a religious minister before being transformed into a hotel that, by the mid 1930s, was Europe’s only privately owned five-star accommodation.

The Carlton attracted the great and the good. Queen Victoria’s granddaughters arrived on holiday, as did Harold Macmillan, Enoch Powell, Sir Matt Busby and Bobby Moore. During WW2 it was at the heart of the action in late May 1944 when General Eisenhower and Field Marshall Montgomery watched rehearsals for the D-Day landings from its East Cliff vantage point before chewing over landing plans inside the hotel.

Of course, the Victorian beauty and grandeur isn’t pickled in aspic. It has moved with the times. Its wonderful interiors, those towering ceilings, vast windows and period details including fireplaces, portraits and chandeliers, all ringed by balconies, terraces and Mediterranean-influenced gardens above a shimmering English Chanel, have been given a sensitive 21st century makeover. The result? A light, airy, uplifting sense of history.

The Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton offers a lot. An awful lot. Our 76 stylish ensuite rooms and suites, many with sea views, some with French doors onto balconies, offer a bright, cleanly contemporary take on classical décor with the odd splash of rich colour and charming artwork. Several are for families, adding an extra bed or sofa bed into the mix. But all, without fail, have amazingly comfortable beds and crisp linen – trust us, with the sea air, sleep will not be an issue – along with 24-hour room service and super-speedy WiFi (we’re popular with business guests, many who come for the Bournemouth International Centre).

And then there’s our food. Our award-winning AA Rosette food, served in the palatial surroundings of Frederick’s Restaurant. Opened in 1947, it provides a glorious stage for a seasonal modern British menu (with the occasional nod to the land across the Channel!). Out outstanding kitchen lets the fresh, locally sourced ingredients speak for themselves with the likes of chicken, basil and mint terrine, followed by honey and peanut glazed breast of ruck, or poached salmon. Our Sunday roasts are the stuff of Bournemouth legend while our Afternoon Tea by the Sea serves the classic homemade scones and cream, with the addition of some fabulously creative extras for our younger guests.

You might, quite possibly, want to work off, as well as devour, the gourmet calories. You could simply zig zag down the cliff below us and plunge into the sea from the beach (part of Bournemouth’s seven miles of sand!). Alternatively, head for our health and leisure club with its indoor and outdoor pools, state-of-the-art gym and sauna. Less actively you could put yourself in the serene hands of Michelle’s Beauty Salon for the likes of an Indian Head or Hot Stone massage, a Shea Bliss therapy or a wax and a treat. Whatever your choice, expect to glow rather than perspire.

Are you looking for a wedding venue in Bournemouth? We’re licensed for civil ceremonies and have a range of wonderful event spaces for up to 200 guests. Just imagine an outdoor ceremony overlooking the ocean. Let’s start the planning now.

We have all the facilities you need for business including well-equipped meeting rooms. The Hotel is half a mile from the Bournemouth International Centre, one of the UK’s primary venues for conferences, exhibitions and other events.

As well as 76 en suite bedrooms and Sea View Balcony Suites, we have 18 timeshare apartments. These are perfect for family holidays, or stays that require the flexibility of self-catering accommodation and additional private space.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton’s beautiful property and location have helped make it a wedding hotspot. You’ll struggle to find a more photogenic backdrop for photographs of the big day. We have no less than eight event rooms – five licensed for civil ceremonies – hosting everything from small intimate gatherings to major knees-ups for 200 guests.

You could be celebrating in a gorgeously romantic suite of cream and pastels, or in traditional wood-panelled elegance, or even, if the weather allows – and it’s kinder to this town than most in the UK – in our cliff top garden, backed by a cyan sky and azure sea. Whatever your choice our team of team of dedicated expert planners, alongside our brilliant kitchen, will make sure it’s a reception to remember. 

And it’s not just perfect for weddings, of course. The same formula makes us a magnet for private parties – from landmark birthdays and anniversaries to christenings and graduations – to charity and sporting dinners and corporate functions, be it conference, training seminar or exhibition.

In short, whether you’re here for business or leisure, with or without a family, in summer or in winter, the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton is ready and waiting. Our relaxed yet professional staff, whose number once included the comedian Tony Hancock (who knows what inspiration his experience provided!) will ensure a perfect, truly memorable, stay on the Dorset Coast.

Hotel highlights

  • 76 bedrooms including 16 family bedrooms
  • 16 Sea View bedrooms
  • 18 one and two bedroom apartments
  • Restaurant, cocktail bar and sea-view lounge
  • Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
  • Private gardens and terrace
  • Sauna, spa pool and beauty treatment rooms
  • Well-equipped meeting rooms with capacity for up to 200 delegates
  • Event rooms for wedding parties up to 200
  • Free WiFi


From 1st April 2016, c
ar parking is chargeable and Resident’s only are offered a reduced fee of £10.00 per night. The check out time from the car park on your last day is by 11:00am, or further charges will apply. In order to receive this discount, please pay at the Hotel Reception on arrival, informing them of your vehicle registration number. Failure to do so will result in a parking fine. 

Guest Reviews

We got a special deal which would have been fantastic value at twice the price!! A lovely hotel, great location, excellent service from brilliant staff. Superb food and a gorgeous se view suite…will be back soon!


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