Hospitality & Tourism

Published: June 9, 2022 | Updated: June 10, 2022

Gallery: Welcome to the world, The Nici! New ‘fun and accessible’ 5-star hotel officially opens

Eldon James, Managing Director (centre) with (left) Tom Luke-Taylor, Operations Manager, and Lewis Spendlove, General Manager. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Welcome to the world…The Nici.

Bournemouth’s new luxury five-star hotel was officially launched on June 9 after the completion of the first phase of a £25 million refurbishment.

What was previously The Savoy on the West Cliff has undergone nothing less than a top to bottom transformation.

But while no expense has been spared on creating the Miami-influenced hotel, Nicolas Roach, Chairman of the Nicolas James Group, owners of The Nici, insisted that it is very much open to all.

He told Dorset Biz News: “The most important thing is that we want the people of Bournemouth to come.

“It’s all very well having holidaymakers – and they’re very welcome –  but in all of our projects we try and get the locals to enjoy it.

“They’re the people who see it through the winter and this has been built for that type of person.

“It’s fully accessible at all levels, nothing posh about the place, it’s fun and accessible.

“I want people at all levels to come and enjoy it here.

“It’s a place to chill out all day if you want to.

“You can work here in the restaurant, have a great lunch and stay into the evening and enjoy the DJ.

“It’s something that evolves all the day, an all-day product.”

The Nici includes:

  • 73 bedrooms, including ten luxury garden suites with outdoor hot tubs.
  • Bar & restaurant, complete with an extended outdoor terrace.
  • Refreshed meeting and event spaces and revived garden and pool, with private poolside cabanas.

Future phases will see the addition of a new 30m central outdoor pool and garden restaurant, followed by a spa and fitness centre, as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Anthony Rudolph, Creative Director, pictured left, said The Nici represented the starting point of what would, hopefully, be a great hotel legacy.

He said: “The global influence is really tightly knitted to the location that the hotel, and any future hotels, is in.

“With Bournemouth there is this amazing, glittering ocean, the sun beats down on it, like any beautiful day in Miami.

“You can see the same sort of similarities.

“For myself and for Nic [Nicolas Roach], it has this instant Miami feel to it so that was a starting point for this particular property.

“We wanted to take a South Beach Miami influence, but with other elements globally, to create what feels like a non-English resort but suitable for the UK.”

The Nici introduces an entirely new brand and concept to the Nicolas James Group portfolio.

Nicolas Roach, pictured, has already built up the luxury and lifestyle hotel group, Harbour Hotels.

Its 15 hotels include the Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, The Kings Arms in Christchurch and the Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa.

He said: “We’ve seen there’s a gap in the market for a brand which brings the best of the world onto one site.

“That means different types of food from around the world – I like pasta but equally we like sushi – and you can bring the best of it into a restaurant.

“That’s the brand and that applies to the rooms and everything else.

“From that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t choose some other locations across England.

“We’ll see how it goes but there’s certainly room for a number of resort-type properties as this one is.”

Already hailed by no less than The Sunday Times for “breathing new life” into Bournemouth, Mr Roach said he hoped others would also invest in the resort.

He said: “I’ve been here all of my life and I know Bournemouth very well.

“It’s been disappointing during my life to see Bournemouth slide down the slope and actually it should be right up there as a top UK destination and a top place to live.

“It is amazing here.

“We’re really lucky with our weather, our climate, our beaches and the people that live here.

“I just hope that other people will follow with the investment because we need more hotels like this, we need more restaurants.

“I would encourage those in power to seek out more opportunities in Bournemouth such as, perhaps, a Tate Gallery.

“We need some quality to come into Bournemouth to help all the businesses here.

“I hope that, somewhere, someone’s got that on the agenda.”

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Biz Gallery – The Nici, pictures by Dorset Biz News