As one of the most striking hotels in town, The Cumberland Hotel was the perfect backdrop for our December Christmas shoot.

Here we take a closer look at the venue's unique decor, as well as its sister hotels, The Suncliff and the newly refurbished Ocean Beach Hotel.


Standing proudly on Bournemouth’s clifftop, The Cumberland Hotel is, without doubt, one of the town’s most impressive sights.

One of the only stand-alone, art deco style hotels in the country, the exterior cuts a striking figure. But when it was acquired by Oceana Hotels in 2006, the interior left something to be desired.

“It was what I call a brown and orange seafront hotel,” explained Oceana director Kevin Wood.

“Everything was beige, the carpet was orange. We decided that we would do something different with it.”

Kevin teamed up with interior designer Sue Mirco, and together they developed a style which would pay homage to the hotel’s 1930s roots, while at the same time dragging it into the 21st century.

The result is a bold, monochrome theme, with original art deco features sitting alongside modern works of art, giving the hotel a decadent, but extremely unique, look.

In the reception area, blacks, whites and greys are mixed with silver accessories, while a huge black and white canvas of Marylin Monroe adorns the wall.

The monochrome theme continues through into the lounge area, with black comfy chairs and low coffee tables, where grey wallpaper and a specially woven carpet add to the decor. Oversized chandeliers, lamps and mirrors give the room a touch of glamour.

More black and white pictures are dotted around the walls, and an original art deco clock sits atop the bespoke black marble fireplace.

Going through into the Bar Ventana Grand Cafe, the bar area features more modern lighting and a brighter feel, while the eating area remains relaxed and cosy, with comfy armchairs at the tables. Several original features, such as wrought iron railings and wood panelling– which has been covered with mirrors to update the look – remain in the hotel’s formal dining room.

The overall feeling is one of decadence, glamour and luxury.

Kevin admits the overhaul wasn’t cheap. “We set about giving it this individual stamp,” he explained. “We decided to stay along the route of the art deco feel with the monochrome colours, the blacks and greys.

“We had things like these marble fireplaces custom-made with Italian marble. The carpet was an old pattern from a London hotel and we had it woven specially for the hotel and the furniture was custom-made to give it that art deco feel."

Kevin was keen the hotel did not fall into the “boutique hotel” category, and instead had its very own, unique look.

“As well as keeping with the art deco, we didn’t want it to look like we were in the 1930s, so we put the modern touches with it,” he said.

“All the decor is very designer, it’s quite lavish as well. “The lamps are Roberto Cavalli and we’ve got some Roberto Cavalli chairs in the other room.”

Kevin also personally oversaw the refurbishment of the pool area, drawing on a decade of Californian living.

The area is now more of a lido deck, featuring huge “chill beds” and palm trees, alongside the hotel’s original water-spouting dolphin sculpture.

It all ties in with the hotel’s relaxed, glamorous feel.

“It is quite opulent,” admits Kevin. “But it’s not stuffy. We just wanted it to be very individual.”


Formerly known as the Cliffeside Hotel, the newly renovated Ocean Beach Hotel and Spa is located directly on the seafront, offering contemporary beach retreats in coastal bliss.

Decorated in a modern, rustic beach style, the new concept venue features a new Italian Café - where homemade pizzas by an Italian chef headline the menu, accompanied by Sharing Boards, Pasta, Piadinis and other Italian delights The Ocean Beach's own onsite, Asian-inspired Day Spa prides itself on its meticulous attention to detail and high standard of treatments, offering a full portfolio of beauty and nails.

The 64 guest bedrooms provide a mix of décor; from classic standard (yet to be upgraded) to modern premium bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and optional sea views upgrades.


The Suncliff Hotel is situated in the middle of Oceana's three-hotel resort, with equally breath-taking sea views. It is within easy walking distance of Bournemouth’s stunning blue flag beaches, award winning gardens and vibrant town centre.