Wow! What a weekend it was at The Suncliff Hotel Bournemouth for the first major BN LIVE event of 2024! This was a fantastic short break that showered FUN and EXCITEMENT from the off.
Eagerly we entered the premises, to see so many smiling faces greeting us as we approached reception. The process was unbelievably smooth and so, with our dining preferences sorted and photo wristbands collected, the weekend had started. Eventually, ‘Clothes-Off’ time arrived, signalling us to free ourselves of the trappings of textile life and enter a bubble, (not to be confused with the dreaded Covid-type), where everyone was actually HAPPY, generating vibes that were quite something.
We were soon ravenously tucking into an amazing carvery, with three meats on offer and mounds of lovely veg. After a scrumptious pudding, it was time to find a good spot in the bar for the evening’s entertainment - ‘The Beatles Experience’, an excellent tribute band who played (it seemed) almost every one of the Fab Four’s number one songs. As usual at BN events, the dance floor was immediately crammed with happy, smiling, excited people giving it all they had. Even once the band had departed the music continued, with a disco until late, and the dancing never stopped.
We awoke on Saturday to a bright sunny day and so many party-goers took advantage of the lovely weather and went for a stroll along the clifftop or into town. We decided to try Meditation with Roy who carefully explained the difference between meditation and sleeping, before taking us through the process. Soft music helps apparently, and it seemed to work for some, who reported seeing various colours appearing in their vision. Macrame and other craft activities were laid on for us to try - as well as a dip in the hotel’s swimming pool - or we could go for The VR Experience. Ian Munt, BN Sports Officer, arranged a squash competition on the hotel’s courts which was well attended. The afternoon brought us a fun quiz to test the old grey cells then we tried ‘Sit Down Circuits’ with Roy. ‘It can’t be that bad if we’re sitting down,’ we thought, but no way was it easy and it was definitely painful, I can tell you, but apparently ‘there’s no gain without pain’. As a reward, we ‘collapsed’ in the bar and listened to the excellent music of Phil Collins Tribute, the audience joining in with many of the well-known songs. After another scrumptious dinner it was time for light-hearted bingo with some fantastic prizes before the music and dancing returned with the incredible Elton John tribute. He was amazing, working his audience to a frenzy. The whole place was alive with naked people dancing wherever there was a space. Arms were raised punching the air, with everyone laughing, jumping up and down and generally having a fantastic time. ‘Elton’ kept it going for much longer than his allotted time and seemed to be relishing every minute. We were thoroughly exhausted by the time he did leave the stage but the music continued with a disco until late.
Sunday brought more meditation, sit-down exercises, and craft activities, but we tried indoor archery, which was more difficult than it appeared but great fun. The VR experience was available to try again and there was always swimming, sauna or gym work available. A pool competition was arranged in the bar followed by the obligatory Music Quiz which was testing but good fun. After another tasty dinner we were entertained by Karaoke with some excellent singers - well done to them all. Then‘Rod Stewart’, jumped on stage and of course, the dancing began immediately with many dancers accessorising with tartan caps, scarves, and spectacles.
Too soon it was Monday, boo, that brought the dreaded ‘Clothes-On’ call, and after a hearty breakfast it was time to bid our farewells and wend our way home. Sad as this moment was, we were left with many wonderful memories of a magical weekend. Well done Mark, your team of dedicated helpers and all the staff at the hotel. We’ll be back next year to do it all again so come and join us.