The Green House
- Style Chic-o warrior
- Setting Bournemouth’s leafy fringe
On the edge of seaside Bournemouth in Dorset, The Green House hotel is just a quick five-minute walk from the city's historic centre. This picturesque estate got the whole eco-conscious revamp in its transformation into an intimate and luxurious boutique hotel, with furnishings made of sustainable materials and earth tones throughout. Even much of the electricity is produced on-site and the sun helps to heat the water. Not surprisingly, the restaurant – the best in Bournemouth – uses only local sustainably raised and grown produce.
Need to know
- Rooms 32.
- Rates Double rooms from $134.89 (£83), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates usually include a full cooked breakfast of fresh New Forest produce.
- Facilities Small garden, DVD library (and players to borrow), free WiFi throughout. In rooms: eco-friendly LED TV, Bose iPod dock, tea and coffee (courtesy of the eco kettle), bespoke low-impact bath products.
- Check–out 11am, but later check-out may be possible, for a charge. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Children Welcome, although there are no outstandingly family-friendly facilities. Travel cots can be borrowed (extra beds are £30) and there’s baby changing in the toilets near the restaurant.
- Eco‐friendly The clue’s in the name. The Green House goes beyond the gimmicks and thinks of everything. All materials and furniture – from the bespoke bamboo-covered Hypnos mattresses to the TVs which automatically adjust picture output to suit the light level – are as green as it gets and everything the hotel does is informed by a dedicated (but not preachy) eco-friendly ethos. Electricals are all low-energy, and everything that plausibly can be is recycled (including rainwater) and/or locally sourced.
- Also One room has been adapted for wheelchair users. The hotel is a popular wedding venue on weekends, so be prepared for the bar and lounge to be busy. Check when you book to find out if there's an event on.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Ask for a room at the rear for maximum peace, and top-floor rooms are the quietest. Crab Apple, a Master Double on the first floor, has plenty of space to run around in, as well as a huge roll-top in the centre of the open bathroom. Cedar is smaller, but worth its weight in bathroom. The Small Doubles can be a bit of a squeeze, so are best kept for one-nighters.
- Packing tips Don’t forget beach towels if you’re here in summer: Bournemouth beach draws a crowd as soon as the sun makes its presence felt. Come by car (electric, naturally) so you can get out of the city into the New Forest and pootle around Dorest’s Jurassic coast.
- Also Can’t find the milk? There’s a fresh jug kept in a communal minifridge on each floor (to save on packaging). Do ask for a tour of the kettle: the eco mechanism can befuddle first-timers.
Food and drink at The Green House
- Hotel restaurant It might not sound like much to say the Green Room restaurant is the best in Bournemouth but it’s been drawing appreciative nods from those in the gastro know since it opened. As you’d expect, chef Andrew Hilton takes sustainability seriously, tweaking the menu almost daily to take advantage of what’s fresh, seasonal and readily available from the local area. The four-course à la carte menu, which gives starring roles to dishes such as home-cured pork belly, crushed potatoes and apple fondant, is gloriously good value, and vegetarians are very well looked after, too.
- Dress code Informal, though things get suity during the week; country casuals at weekends.
- Top table By the bay window, in the middle, where it’s brightest (by day) and free from passing elbows.
- Last orders The Green Room serves dinner until 10pm (lunch is 12.30pm–2pm and breakfast, 7.30am–9.30am). Guests can drink in the bar around the clock. You can take afternoon tea anywhere in the hotel between midday and 6pm, but the best spot is outside on the lawn.
- Room service There’s a 24-hour menu of snacks and sandwiches, with a handful of hot dishes and a tasty cheese platter.
- Hotel bar Just off the lobby, the Green Room’s snug rectangular bar area is papered in Farrow & Ball thistle-print brocade (best not mention the fact it’s upside down), and dotted with comfy toweling-topped seating in green and purple. It’s ideal for pre-dinner berry mojitos, Sunday brunchtime Bloody Marys, or just a pint of Dorset ale. There’s a wide-ranging biodynamic wine list, too.