I’d forgotten how much fun Blackpool was until we arrived at The Boulevard Hotel with our children back in November. We drove up straight from school on a Friday night, so it wasn’t until they woke up the next morning and flung open the curtains that we realised quite how close to the action we were.
Outside The Boulevard, the giant steel tracks of The Big One – the Pleasure Beach’s landmark rollercoaster – swoop straight past the windows. The kids watched open-mouthed as an empty train rolled around the tracks ahead of the morning’s opening, like an eerie promise of what was to come.
Bedrooms with British design in mind
Before hitting the rides though, we had a chance to look around the hotel. The Boulevard opened in autumn 2019, billed as Blackpool’s first luxury hotel and promising to bring a bit of style to the seafront. Inside, it certainly delivers – things are decidedly chic from the moment you step into the bright and modern lobby, via a grand entrance and canopied drop-off area so you can unload all your gear right by the door.
Inside, the whole place sports such a classy colour palette of smoky greys and brushed golds that you quickly forget the old-school seaside setting just outside it. Robert Owen, Director of Marketing, Sales & PR at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, showed us around some of the coastal suites on the top floors. They’re gorgeous – featuring a full-size lounge with squashy sofas, a fire and a balcony with panoramic sea views, on top of a separate bedroom with a super-king bed.
As we poked our head into more of The Boulevard’s bedrooms, we spied Tetrad armchairs tucked into cosy corners, Designers Guild fabrics draped on the beds and monochrome Union Jack headboards – all nods to British design perfectly curated by Amanda Thompson OBE, Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Our own family room was a similarly stylish story, although the interior décor was lost on our kids, who fell in love with the individual TV screens set into the wall of their bunk beds.
Food and drink at The Boulevard
The hotel restaurant is as impressive as the décor, and we had a fantastic dinner in the evening. I had chicken and chorizo arancini to start, followed by a melt-in-the-mouth sirloin steak. It felt like a nice place for a special meal, although the children were welcomed and didn’t feel out of place at an early sitting.
Breakfast was a less refined affair, probably due to the date – a friendly waitress explained it was the final weekend of the season and the last night of the illuminations, so the hotel was busier than usual and the restaurant was full. We sat in the bar area with some other families until a table came up, and although a tea or coffee would have been met with open arms, the kids later confirmed the pancakes were well worth the wait.
Location, Location, Location
Outside, The Boulevard faces the seafront on one side and has its own private VIP entrance to the Pleasure Beach on the other. With it being the last night of the illuminations, we jumped on a tram just across the road and went a few stops along the prom towards the Tower, then came back to ride the rollercoasters and watch the fireworks at the Pleasure Beach that night.
The hotel has the benefit of being right at the end of the seaside strip, so you’re just far enough from the hustle and bustle to feel cocooned in a little bubble of luxury, but Blackpool’s buzzier side is only a tram hop away – and the Pleasure Beach couldn’t be closer. Opening an upmarket hotel on an old-school seaside strip is no mean feat but The Boulevard has gone and done it – with style.
Katie Gregory was hosted by The Boulevard Hotel. The hotel is on Ocean Boulevard, Blackpool FY4 1PL. To book, visit www.boulevardhotel.co.uk or call 01253 336073. Family rooms start from £150 including breakfast.