BOURNEMOUTH'S first Holiday Inn is now taking bookings following the refurbishment and rebranding of an existing hotel.

The former Ramada Encore in Bath Road has been converted by its owners, London-based Jayhems Limited.

And it will be getting a Starbucks in August and a new mini gym in September.

Jayhems took over the operation of the 113-guest room property early last year abnd all rooms have been fully refurbished.

They have new luxury beds, TVs and charging points, upgrade of the executive rooms, a brand-new meeting room with state of the art technology, superfast Wi-Fi and a brand new open lobby.

Peter Baerwinkel, general manager at the Holiday Inn Bournemouth said: “This has really been a team project delivered working closely with our owners, management company and the Holiday Inn brand team at IHG.

“The property is ideally positioned for the family market and, with initiatives such as Kids Eat Free in place, the Holiday Inn brand has broad appeal in this area.

“Coupled with Holiday Inn’s open lobby concept and the extensive work that’s been done to refurbish the hotel’s guest rooms and meeting spaces, we’re confident the changes will be well received by the business community also.”

The property is within a 10-minute walk of Bournemouth’s famous beach, as well as the pier and the town centre.

Mr Baerwinkel added: “We have a few final improvements still to come including the introduction of Starbucks in August and a brand-new mini gym from September. We look forward to welcoming everyone to visit the hotel and see the transformation for themselves.”

Hemang G Popat, Managing Director for Jayhems Limited said: “We are thrilled to be offering a fresh and vibrant place to stay, eat and relax after this extensive refurbishment. We are now positioned ideally to meet the needs of families, local businesses and the local community.”