Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa
What We Love
- An Art Deco harbourside hotel in pretty Dorset, with two award-winning restaurants
- Savouring Mudeford fish soup, seafood nibbles and other delights in Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant
- Glimpsing tranquil Christchurch Harbour from the comfort of our refined room
- Wallowing in a well-deserved afternoon at the luxe spa after a morning of salty beach walks
What To Know
- Popular spot for weddings and events
- Lunch ends at 2:30 p.m. and dinner closes at 10 p.m.
- Not all rooms have waterfront views
Waking up on the Dorset coast is lovely enough, but the serene scene of boats gently bobbing on endless water between swathes of land and colourful beach huts from Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa is particularly special. Step inside the pure white Art Deco building, and you start to feel a little like a chipper 1920s socialite on a weekend coastal jaunt.
After picking between a rainbow of specialised treatments in the state-of-the-art spa and a few calming laps in the stylish pool, you’ll be tearing into succulent, fresher-than-fresh seafood caught daily from nearby Mudeford Quay and the finest of local pork, lamb and beef in the two AA Rosette-awarded restaurants. Both are run by renowned chef Alex Aitken, former holder of a prestigious Michelin star for 14 years.
The Sunday Times Travel Magazine named Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa as one of the top 10 coastal retreats in the UK, and we wholeheartedly agree. The hotel also scooped a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
Harbour Glimpse rooms are decorated in sophisticated shades of coastal grey on the top floor of the hotel. You can cherish partial views of the harbour from here and enjoy the power shower in the polished modern bathroom. With luxurious furnishings, The White Company toiletries and invigorating sea air, you won’t want for a thing.
Sporting a AA Rosette, the Upper Deck Bar &
Restaurant is a place to kick back and relax with lunch, afternoon tea,
and dinner until 9.30pm. Dinner here in included in your stay. You can choose from seasonal à la carte dishes –
like chunky Mudeford fish soup and grilled West Country mackerel with
salad – and bar bites, like seafood nibbles, the Dorset charcuterie
cured meat board, burgers and sandwiches.There’s a definite yacht look to The Jetty. This two AA Rosette-awarded restaurant with smart dark-wood tables and chairs and panoramic views across the water, you can feast on the finest of oysters, fish and seafood from the nearby quay and along the West Coast, or exquisitely crafted dishes made from local produce.With a one-hour window of opportunity from 3.30pm to 4pm, get stuck into a delectable afternoon tea with Dorset clotted cream and award-winning English sparkling wine.
Christchurch Harbour Hotel’s spa is top notch, tempting guests with drool-inducing seasonal spa experiences and ESPA and Thalgo holistic facials
and body treatments. Whatever you might want to scrub up, polish or refresh, this sleek, bliss epicentre is the key. There are also treatments for men, pregnant women and children.
The flatteringly lit pool, Jacuzzi and sauna round things off nicely.
Twenty minutes east of Bournemouth, Christchurch was founded aeons ago in 650AD and was one of the most important harbours in Saxon England.
Once you’ve ferreted around the ancient town, it’s time to roam some of Dorset’s famously beautiful beaches. Steamer Point is an easy ten-minute walk away and also a local nature reserve. On the other side of Bournemouth, Branksome Chine is a golden sand beach with boisterous beach huts and seaside shops and bars.Around a 15-minute drive inland, you have the endless green carpet of New Forest at your feet – William the Conqueror’s adopted hunting ground that’s dotted with ponies and deer nowadays. You can also walk half an hour along the beach from the hotel to the Grade 1 listed Highcliffe Castle, to see its glowing make-over from a multi-million pound restoration in the 1990s.
How to Get There
We booked a 4 night stay with the bonus of 20% off the price. The booking was made by phone and the member of staff was friendly and informative. I booked a spa treatment for the day of arrival but note it's essential to book early to get a treatment. The spa facilities, pool and treatments on offer were very good.
The room was spacious and had excellent views. There were complimentary decanters of sherry and gin which was a nice touch. Towels, robes and toiletries were of a good quality and the housekeeping was very good.
I did, however, think the room could have benefitted from a few touches of TLC but this did not spoil the break.
We ate breakfast and evening meals in the Upper Deck and the food could not be faulted. The service was very good except for the second night when for some reason we seemed to be completely forgotten by all the waiting staff. In the end our wine, water and food order was taken by the manager who could not apologise enough and removed the cost of our wine that night from the bill.
They made a note that it was my birthday on the third night and provided a plate of chocolates decorated with 'Happy Birthday' which was a nice gesture.
The staff were helpful, friendly and pleasant and there was jazz music on the fourth night which seemed to be enjoyed by everyone in the Upper Deck.
The hotel is in a good location for visiting various attractions in both Dorset and Hampshire and there are pleasant walks to the Quay and the beach. Parking can be a bit tricky depending upon the day and time you visit.
I would recommend this hotel but if I went again I would enquire about a quieter room albeit with a slightly less attractive view.
One final point - it would be nice to have a full length mirror in the disabled toilet. This issue is not exclusive to this hotel but seems to be a problem in most disabled loos.
Booked a short spa break for one night. Hotel is modern and chic with a lovely bar/ restaurant and good spa facilities. Evening meal was very good and staff were were friendly and attentive at breakfast and dinner. Very enjoyable stay and hope to go back some time soon.
Stayed here few times. Not for the young at heart. Clientele generally over the 60 year old bracket.
Hotel is is bright and modern with a twist of nautical theme thrown in. Staff are all fantastic and our room was very spacious with all mod cons you expect in a nice hotel. Although to my wife’s annoyance there was no full length mirror. Not the end of the world.
SPA: The Spa is great and very relaxing apart from its not cleaned regularly, towels everywhere and on first entering it is rather off putting to see such a mess. Why people don’t take there towels to the changing room when finished is a mystery to me. There are bins clearly marked.
EATING: Breakfast was included, which had a continental help yourself buffet, or order from the menu. If your lucky and the weather is nice you can sit out side and look out over the harbour.
Dinner in the hotel however I found not very nice at all, but the service was good and the maitre d was exceptional. There is another restaurant to try on the grounds called the Jetty which I’ve eaten at before and i found to be much nicer.
Now my biggest gripe was the heat. The hotel was so hot, and its not like it was a freezing cold day in January. Mid march 13 degrees. Log fires in the reception areas and every radiator on full blast. Phew!!!!
Overall the Christchurch Harbour Hotel is a very nice hotel, good staff, average food. If you want to stay in christchurch this is the place to stay, because there isn’t much else.
We had a harbour glimpse room which was fine with fridge and safe , also complimentary gin and sherry , superb breakfast choice and service , similarly with dinner , when the maitre d is brilliant , a true pro
All staff extremely pleasant
We will stay here again and nook forward to it
We love Harbour hotels and this along with Sidmouth are the best so far. Room excellent and the staff are the best you will find anywhere and we were in the business before we retired. Food in upper deck could not be faulted. We are hoping to go to St. Ives next year. If there is a problem they certainly know how to deal with it.