MAJOR renovations are under way at the three Bournemouth hotels which were bought by a Qatari firm.

The Oceana hotels on Bournemouth’s East cliff – offering a total of 282 rooms – were bought for £16million last year.

The Cliffeside Hotel, a 64-room, three-star property, has had a multi-million pound investment and rebrand to turn it into the Ocean Beach Hotel & Spa.

Director of operations Kevin Wood said the refurbishment “transformed the property from a typical dated resort hotel into a new concept, design hotel”.

The hotel now has a large events room with panoramic sea views and an Italian cafe overlooking an outdoor pool and the sea.

The Ocean beach also has a luxury day spa with an Asian theme, offering treatments to men and women. Part of the refurbishment was the commissioning of a “Banksy-style” poolside mural depicting Dorset beauty spots such as Durdle Door and Studland Beach, reached through a broken concrete wall.

Mr Wood said: “Bournemouth has nothing similar to this new concept and it will add to the town’s development in the accommodation sector and ensure it continues as the UK’s premier resort destination.”

The group has also opened the Overcliff Pub and Kitchen at the adjacent Suncliff Hotel and is midway through refurbishing the 100-plus bedrooms at its flagship Cumberland Hotel.

It says the Cumberland will be upgraded “to cater for today’s modern traveller”, with an Art Deco style decor, modern electrics, USB ports and LED eco lighting.

The 65-bedroom Best Western Hotel, also on the East Cliff, was acquired shortly after the others by the same owners. Mr Wood said there were plans to upgrade it and the Suncliff.

Last year’s acquisition of the hotels was hailed as the potential start of a wave of investment in the town from the Middle East. Government and business representatives from Qatar, Kuwait and the Emirates were invited to last year’s Bournemouth Air Festival to discuss Bournemouth’s potential.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East and a Foreign Office minister responsible for the Middle East, said at the time: “It’s great to see Bournemouth being considered alongside the likes of London, Birmingham and Manchester.

“We are talking about significant and long term investment in the town and that Bournemouth is on the radar of Kuwait, Qatar and the Emirates.”

“This is testament to what Bournemouth has to offer, financial services, the digital economy and a fantastic location by the sea.”