BOURNEMOUTH’S new Holiday Inn has been officially opened at a VIP reception.

As reported in the summer, the former Ramada Encore Bournemouth was transformed by owner Jayhems Limited into a franchise of the global Hoilday Inn brand.

The chair of BCP Council, Cllr David Flagg, cut the ribbon to officially open the hotel at a drinks reception.

All 113 bedrooms have been refurbished with new luxury beds, TVs and USB charging points. There is a new meeting room with the latest technology, superfast Wi-Fi and an ‘open lobby’ – a flexible environment where guests can eat, drink, work or socialise.

Peter Baerwinkel, general manager at Holiday Inn Bournemouth, welcomed guests and shared his visions of the hotel’s future. Guests also had the opportunity to take a tour of the hotel.

Mr Baerwinkel said: “This has been a team project successfully delivered by working closely with our owners, management company Interstate Hotels & Resorts and the Holiday Inn brand team at IHG.

“The property is ideal for the family market and, with Holiday Inn’s open lobby concept and the extensive work done to refurbish the hotel’s guest room and meeting spaces, we’re confident the changes will be well received by the business community as well.”

Mr Baerwinkel presented a cheque for £500 to Peter Ryan, founder of the hotel’s chosen charity, the Dorset Devils – a group of residents who volunteer their free time to clear litter from where they live as well as nearby parks and beaches.

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.”