A HOTEL in Bournemouth has invested in a big new dance floor to cater for growing numbers of tourists who have been waltzing in to the resort.

The opening at the Marsham Court comes weeks after the last dance at the Wessex Hotel, which is being demolished to make way for a hotel and flats.

The Marsham Court says it saw specialist breaks rise by 20 per cent last year, with a particular growth in ‘dance tourism’.

It hosts dance clubs and dance tour operations from the Midlands, London and the South East.

The new 1,400sqft, semi-sprung oak dance floor can take up to 100 dancers at a time.

Managing director Rosie Wallace, whose family has owned the Marsham Court for 30 years, said: “The transformation has taken three weeks and some major work, including removing the room’s main support pillar and replacing it with two new supports. But the results are amazing.

“The dance floor is absolutely huge and I don’t think we’re going to have a shortage of dance fans and conference guests waiting to try it out.”

The hotel hopes some dancers who formerly used the Wessex Hotel will try out the new facility.

The Marsham Court has been associated with dance since Edwardian times, when it hosted high society tea dances and its garage would be lined with chauffeur-driven cars.

It was one of the first seaside hotels in the town, opened in 1913, and reverted to the Marsham Court name in 2015 after a period as the Days Hotel.

The refurbishment has also seen its 280-seater restaurant given a new bar, four large glass skylights, new tables, chairs, serving stations, carpets and window shutters.

The guest given the honour of cutting the ribbon was Colin Phipp, who has been coming to the Marsham Court with the Good Companions Lodge for 26 years.

The renovations were carried out by the award-winning Chewton Bespoke Design and Build of Highcliffe.

Owner Darren Crain and some of his tradesmen assisted with the ribbon cutting.

The Marsham Court also hosts whist and bowls breaks, watercolour painting breaks and Mahjong holidays.