Located at the centre of the town’s seven-mile stretch of sands, Aruba is housed in the former Show Bar on the first floor of Bournemouth’s distinctive circus tent-shaped Pier Approach building.
With direct access from the beach, the new venue combines indoor and alfresco fine dining restaurant, relaxing day areas, dance floor and chill out spaces in one single span 865 sqm space. Designed to appeal day and night the renovation maximises the building’s aspect potential by glazing the entire south elevation to allow panoramic 180 degrees views across the whole of the bay from the Purbecks on one side to the Needles on the other.
Partly inspired by Cinquante- Cinq in the South of France and Nikki Beach in Miami, Aruba brings a tropical atmosphere to the south coast, with 4.5m palm trees flanking the bar, painted tongue and groove boarding, a mural of a mariner’s chart of Poole Harbour on the ceiling, sliding doors onto the terrace and outdoor showers. The centrepiece of the scheme is a 40m-length state of the art polished zinc topped bar with the capacity to serve 40 people. The entire interior is furnished with bespoke banquettes and dining chairs featuring coastal emblem cut-outs, all designed by the architect.
Wicker basket lamps and Moroccan lanterns – designed by long-time collaborator Jonathan Coles – are combined with mirror balls. The result is an eclectic interior, which embraces the language of the Caribbean whilst retaining the irreverence of the traditional British seaside.