The Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, Dorset

The last time I was in Christchurch, I was in New Zealand, bombing it around in a camper van, clambering up mountains and falling flat on my face trying to kite surf. Not this time… 

This time, I found myself staying at the stunning Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa – a luxury destination in the heart of Christchurch, Dorset. We drove from London, (2 and a half hours – easy peasy) and arrived to the smell of fresh sea air and the taste of salt on my lips. (Nothing to do with my Monster Munch.) 

After the receptionist had checked what time we’d like to have dinner and asked us which paper we’d like the following morning, we were whisked up to our room… and as they closed the door behind us, I audibly whooped. Whoop! This expansive room deserved a standing ovation and several high kicks of excitement..

There was a bath in my room!

There was a bath in my room!

Christchurch Hotel

There was a bath IN MY ROOM. For me, this is the ultimate in luxury and I was very excited. The room was decorated beautifully in a calm, soft and nautical colour palette. It featured a large flatscreen TV, a Nespresso machine, a kettle with tea and biccies, fresh fruit, complimentary bottled water, free wifi, an ironing board and a minibar stocked within an inch of its life. Hurruh! 

There was a little jumping on the bed, another whoop as I realised I had an en suite bathroom as well as the bath, with a massive shower and yummy products from The White Company.. then I flung myself on the bed (where someone else may or may not have already been snoozing) and watched Superman. Because I COULD.

The bed was so floaty and comfortable – like a massive cloud, made of marshmallows… and with a bit (a lot) of luxury linen thrown in. Heaven. 

My 5ft king size, four poster bed

My 5ft king size, four poster bed

I whooped and giggled to myself for about half an hour, watched Superman, made tea, sat in the bath in all my clothes (no water in bath, worry not) got out of the bath, listened to music, (on the very snazzy iphone dock), tried to be grown up and gazed at the exceptional view from our window… 

I took this photo from the hotel room window around dusk, a bit later in the day but you get the idea - it's incredibly beautiful...

I took this photo from the hotel room window around dusk, a bit later in the day but you get the idea – it’s incredibly beautiful…

We headed out to explore the harbour and grab some lunch. The hotel itself has its own kayaks and paddle boards, but on this occasion a stroll was completely perfect. We drove down to Mudeford Quay and meandered slowly around, saying hello to the locals and cheering on the little ones who were catching (and releasing) crabs at an impressive rate..

Christchurch Hotel
Christchurch Hotel

Messing about in boats..

Messing about in boats..

Lunch came in the form of freshly caught anchovies and crab, eaten out of its shell, while we sat on the quay wall and dangled our legs over the sparkling water. 

There may also have been chips. And Guinness.

Christchurch Hotel
Christchurch Hotel
After lunch we explored the area a little more and drove down many a wiggly and windy country lane. It’s such a beautiful part of the world – picturesque and charming. After a few hours we meandered back to the hotel in time for dinner at the Upper Deck Bar and Restaurant… but not before we had investigated the spa I’d heard so much about… 

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a whole new haven appeared from behind a single door… The hotel spa features a pool, areas for relaxation, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, crystal steam room, salt grotto, state-of-the-art gym, treatment rooms (massages, manicures etc) and a ‘rest and refresh’ area. There are complimentary herbal teas and slippers, robes and towels are all provided… (I had the time of my life) AND, all room rates include free use of the spa facilities! Kaboom!

After all the excitement, it was time to shower and head down for dinner…

We sat at the long bar for a pre-dinner cocktail, before being shown to our table. We ordered the taster menu – this consisted of four courses, desserts and a different wine to compliment each course, presented at our table by a highly knowledgeable sommelier… Holy. Moly.

Christchurch Hotel

Cocktails before dinner..

Dinner was spectacular. I don’t have any pictures of the food itself as the candlelit restaurant was a little too dark to take snaps, but I can tell you exactly what we ate… and how it was one of the most enormous (it really was!) and delicious meals I’ve ever had.

Here’s our menu:

Be impressed – I managed (just!) to eat it all! The waiting staff were so lovely and attentive and looked after us beautifully. The food was immaculately presented and was utterly delicious and as fresh as fresh can be… most of it was straight out of the sea! The hotel and its incredible chef, Alex Aitken, are very big on fabulous, seasonal and sustainable food – there were so many wonderful flavours and everything was cooked to perfection. It was divine. 

We rolled slowly (I’m very serious) out of the restaurant and headed back to the room, where I did a (much slower) celebratory dance in honour of the BATH IN MY ROOM, we brushed our teeth, watched ‘The Great Escape’ and fell fast asleep before it ended.. (I’m assuming they escaped? And escaped greatly?)

Marmite: model's own

Marmite: model’s own

Sunday morning arrived and we had breakfast and Sunday papers in the tub, overlooking the beautiful view of the harbour… I could not have been happier, nor felt more pampered.

Bath salts were provided (although once I poured them in and the water had turned bright blue, I called down to check with reception that they were in fact bath salts and not something else entirely..) and with a scrumptious brekkie of soft boiled eggs and soldiers, hot buttered toast with marmalade and a pot of steaming tea, I was a very happy Poppy indeed.

I LOVED my stay at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa – everything about it was romantic and beautiful and special – it’s no wonder it’s such a popular destination for weddings.  

We may only have been there for one night, but I left feeling as though I’d had a week away… it is a super special place to go. Magical. Luxurious. Heavenly.

If only I could have brought that amazing bath home with me… but I fear someone may have spotted it stuffed up my jumper…


Poppy was a guest at The Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa and you can see even more piccies here.

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