I must begin with a confession. A beach hut was never the first option that sprung to mind when looking for a relaxing escape from working in the city.  Boutique hotels and spas were always the order of the day when my partner and I would spend evenings scrolling through TripAdvisor, looking for a seaside haven to lift the pressure of the nine to five. In fact, a beach hut was something I would warmly associate with grandparents, deck chairs, and the old spare camping kettle and tea towels. A kind of enchanting inconvenience.

Bournemouth Council has taken inspiration from these British coastal mainstays, maintaining the quaint escapist charm, whilst assuring the comfort and amenities to attract a different type of guest, catering to those more reliant on the bells and whistles of a well equipped hotel room. You can do a whole lot more than store some towels, chairs and a bucket and spade.

Built at the foot of a cliff, the pristine and pastel painted clapboard "Beach Lodges" open directly on to the beach front, but for a small accessway allowing for beach maintenance vehicles and the regular land train carrying passengers up and down this beautiful long stretch of English seaside. These small monuments of resourcefulness and ingenuity impress from the outset, from the moment you slide back the bifold doors to reveal a diminutive but well-equipped living space that has everything you could hope for from a holiday home. A separate bathroom, an upstairs sleeping area with its own storage space; there's a fully fitted kitchen with a fridge and electric hob all present without feeling like their inclusion compromised the style of the interior. Open the drawers, and inside you are presented with modern kitchen equipment in excellent condition. A dining table sits centrally, easy to disassemble, with a cupboard in which it perfectly tessellates, so you never feel overwhelmed upon collapsing the fixtures to form the extra double bed available in the main living space. Reliable wi-fi was a truly pleasant surprise, as well as an understandably small but good quality TV adjacent to the dining table and collapsible sofa. For my stay at the lodges, there were two of us, but it is perfectly set up for a family of four.

The wooden decked balcony offers stunning views out to sea, with two large deck chairs provided, and smaller wooden chairs that double as dining chairs being stored within the wardrobe. Views out to the Isle of Wight decorate the horizon, and the balconies of the Bournemouth beach lodges provide the perfect spot to relax and take it in. Meanwhile, kids can roam on the beach in safe view of the deck, or indeed dogs, as this accommodation does provide dog friendly lodges when seasonal beach rules allow. The living spaces are certainly suitable for small to medium sized dogs, although smaller dogs would certainly struggle to reach the mezzanine level as the stairs are half way towards being better referred to as a ladder. This aside, we took our well-trained French Bulldog puppy, and the level of freedom and safety that the location offered allowed us to have the best dog-friendly holiday we have experienced so far.

Bournemouth City Council have achieved something here that feels unique. It is rare to see a local council executing a venture themselves without opening the doors to an established hotel chain operator, but they have done so with style and consideration, and to the benefit of their town. The friendly staff, and sense of peace and freedom without compromising on comfort, makes it well worth a return trip.

Prices range from £275 to £625 based on 3 to 4 night stays.  For more information visit www.bournemouthbeachlodges.co.uk