When they think of Bournemouth, most people conjure up images of sandy beaches and the grey brigade. This, however, could not be further from the truth.
The economy in Bournemouth has never been better: several major corporations currently have their European headquarters in the city, including JP Morgan Chase, Palmair and Fitness First. The opening of Bournemouth University in 1992 also injected a great deal of life into the area, which we know only too well at SilverDoor: eight of our placement students have come from Bournemouth so far and another six are to come in the summer.
The large influx of international businesses to the area in recent years has meant that corporate stays in and around Bournemouth are becoming increasingly popular, so it seemed like a brilliant time to send some of our staff down south for a familiarisation trip. Who better than some of our placement students, who we already consider our Bournemouth area specialists, having spent much of their youth frequenting the local bars!
Our first stop was actually in Basingstoke, as it was on the way to Bournemouth from our Chiswick offices. Alecon Apartments are in a 19 storey building – one of the tallest in the city – and great views are provided through the floor to ceiling windows. Basingstoke’s central train station is just a two minute walk from the apartments; from there, you can travel to London, Southampton, Reading or Guildford, all in under an hour. It’s the same distance to the popular Festival Place shopping centre, which has a huge selection of shops and restaurants.
Next was Bournemouth, where we had to navigate our way through the tricky one-way system to the Exchange Apartments, which are right in the centre of town. The apartments are extremely spacious and decorated in a simple, modern way. They all have hard wood floors throughout and come with dishwashers and washer/dryers. They are within a ten minute walk of the train station and main shopping area. Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) is within a five minute drive of the apartments, which this year will host a number of important conferences, including the Police Federation of England & Wales Annual Conference 2011 and the Consumer Affairs & Trading Standards Annual Conference. Business tourism is one of the major contributing factors to the economy in Bournemouth and it is estimated that in 2009, business tourism purely from delegates visiting the BIC injected £165 million into the local economy.
Finally, we set off to visit Heavytree Apartments in Poole. Poole is part of the South Dorset conurbation, an area including Bournemouth, Poole and nearby Christchurch. Poole is only a ten minute drive from Bournemouth and Heavytree Apartments are perfect for anyone with a car, as there is free on-site parking. These apartments opened this month and, after a long afternoon of travel, they were the perfect place to relax in front of a good film on one of the many Sky channels provided.
All of the Bournemouth serviced apartments we saw provide complimentary welcome packs. Special dietary requirements or personal preferences can be accommodated.
Since the visit we have already been informed of more serviced apartments opening in the area which just shows the huge growth that Bournemouth and the surrounding areas are currently experiencing.