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“An Average Xmas”

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Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton
Ranked #36 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“An Average Xmas”
Reviewed 27 December 2011

We are a young couple in our mid-twenties who stayed here for 3 nights for s family xmas and on the whole we were had mixed feelings.

The hotel is in a nice location - ten minute walk from the city center, great views of the English Channel and beaches, quiet location and quiet hotel making it great for a night sleep.

On arrival the reception were friendly and fine. Porter likewise chatty and friendly. The room was large, but quite dated in decor as was the rest of the hotel. It wasn't shabby, but looked straight out the 1970's.

We got in to our room and went to take a shower, only to find the shower was broken. We called reception who said they would send someone up to fix it (which they did), however he couldn't fix it despite changing the shower head. They offered us another room to move into/to shower in but it was a few floors down and would have been too much fuss as this had already made us late for dinner, so we decided to make do for the night and sort it out the following day (xmas day).

Xmas day we tried to get our shower fixed again, they changed a washer. The flow of water was slightly better but still not acceptable. They did offer to change our room again, but we couldn't be bothered to pack and unpack again, so decided to make do.

The meals were ok, not bad but nothing outstanding. We ordered gluten free meals well in advance for one of our guests with our booking, but the kitchen and waiters seemed totally taken off guard by this and didn't offer alternatives but instead only offered taking certain items out of her actual meals. The staff in general seemed under trained, inefficient and unorganised, but on the whole were friendly and tried to be accommodating.

As part of the Xmas package they offered various activities through out the period, one being a cocktail making demonstration in their sister hotel. When we arrived to take part, the staff once again had no idea what was going on, let alone how to make many cocktails - however the barman was very charming.

The temperature in the hotel was extremely hot at all times. We turned down our radiator and opened our balcony door, but were still often in a sweat. Perhaps the heat and the decor is something to do with their clientele, not to be too rude, but the hotel could be renamed "God's waiting room" despite the hotel's best efforts to assist them on their way by putting unnecessary steps everywhere including the middle of the restaurant... if seated on the far side of the restaurant you had to go up and down two sets of stairs to get to the buffet!

Due to the heat we were frequently at the bar for a cool drink, however the bar staff didn't know what "Grey Goose" was despite it being on the bar menu, which turned out didn't really matter as they didn't have any in stock, likewise pineapple juice.

The chamber maids were polite, flexible, efficient and did a good job.

The gym was not bad for a hotel gym, we didn't use the pools.

As a whole it wasn't a terrible experience, however not really worthy of a four star hotel rating (should be three) and not for people under 60 years old.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank alexander_1984_1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (302)
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English first
Fleet, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2011

We held our Wedding at the Menzies Carlton, Bournemouth, on 12th November, 2011.
It was the most amazing day, one dear to our hearts.
The Hotel were superb in all aspects, from the planning over the previous 8 months, to the most delightful execution of the complete package on the big day.
Our ceremony, Reception and Evening Disco were held in their Causserie Suite, which was the perfect size for our party of 58 guests.
The staff were amazing, efficient and courteous at all times.
The food was beautiful, kitchen staff deserve a huge thank you, all of our guests have commented on how they thoroughly enjoyed every mouthfull.
The duty manager on the day helped us through ever step, and therefore made the day so much more enjoyable.
Many thanks Carlton Hotel!!
Judith and Neville Hubbard

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank Judith A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Folkestone
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2011

We have been coming to the Carlton on a timeshare basis for some years and can only say we feel that, sadly, the standard has declined. There have been a number of customer service issues on recent visits, most recently this week when the barman failed to know what a sherry and ginger ale was - two basic drinks in a bar of a 4 star hotel - and more seriously, after having informed staff that I am vegetarian and have a number of food allergies - I ordered “off menu” requesting plain pasta and cheese sauce - not minding if there were herbs and tomato with it - this I had ordered on Monday evening and enjoyed and before I left that evening, I told them I wanted the exact same meal Wednesday evening. That evening the meal turned up - looking very different - though admittedly you could see it was a different shaped pasta and a sauce, disguised with large chunks of grilled goat's cheese on top. I proceeded to eat the meal and after a few mouthfuls realised it tasted fishy. On checking it was found that it contained prawns(!) - I have a serious allergy to shellfish. There then followed a very uncomfortable time, taking antihistamines, etc. and my husband watching closely that I did not become ill in some way. I can't put it all down here but staff at various stages had been informed mine was a special order for good reason but it was not adhered to - formal complaint is now in place. Primarily, a hotel of this standard should know what a vegetarian does and does not eat - letalone respect that a customer has food allergies. As a veggie, I should not have even been given the prawns in the first place! Overall, there seems a lack of coherence amongst the staff - though individually most of them are extremely pleasant and helpful. Sadly, I have lost confidence in this hotel for eating meals, though I should say that my husband's meals were satisfactory and were quite nicely presented. The ambience in the restaurant is not conducive to great dining - there aren't many people in there and the lighting some nights was too low to see what was being eaten, letalone read the menu. There is a distinct lack of atmosphere and it is sad to see this decline in a hotel of this (supposedly) high calibre, being a 4 star and one of Bournemouth's premier hotels. I should say again, we are timesharers there and have no idea about standard of accommodation in the main hotel. The lounges downstairs are very nice with logs fires in the Winter and generally here the ambience is very pleasant. Despite we own timeshare here, for now we do not feel able to recommend this hotel on the basis of our unfortunate experience above. Although this seems to be a lengthy moan, I hope this serves as a warning to others with eating problems such as mine, to be very careful that what they have requested by way of dietary need is carried out diligently.
There is a new General Manager in place, whom we met after this incident and we are hopeful things will improve in due course. We wish him well in his endeavours and from our point of view hope this lovely - indeed charming - hotel's standard is regained with expediency.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Linmary1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hythe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2011

Having stayed in many hotels around the world, I would say that this hotel is somewhat overpriced for the standard of accommodation on offer. The first room we stayed in the window would not open, (in fact, the catch was broken). To the Staff's credit they offered us a room change, but not until the next day as the hotel was full. All rooms looked a little in need of a re-furb, and the TV in our first room did not work. All TV's were positively ancient (NO SKY except Sports). Breakfast was adequate, but the tables were rather close together. The evening meal was 5* price, but not 5* quality. The best part of the hotel was the indoor pool and sauna. I am sure this is what gains the hotel its' 4* rating. The staff were pleasant and helpful. The hotel is in a convenient location for walking into town, but overall it is overpriced . Personally I would award this hotel no more than a 3* rating.

Room Tip: Would say sea view essential, better view from 2nd floor.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carol303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2011

This overpriced Hotel was (a long time ago) a quality place to stay. The property is now tired and overpriced.

The heating did not work in our room, the meal was overpriced, but what really did it for me was the enormous rat roaming around the Hotel that was reported to the staff who did not seem to be shocked.

Will never stay here ever again!

Room Tip: The best room is probably in a tent outside in the garden.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank adam600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Bournemouth hotels

Haverfordwest, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 21 November 2011

We booked a 2 night break we saw on travelzoo. We have visited this hotel twice before but were nearly put off by negative comments on Tripadvisor. The deal sounded excellent value (which it was) so we decided to risk it not expecting a good room.
Check in was friendly and efficient. Our room had a side sea view, was spacious,clean, well equipped, with large clean bathroom - not modern but this is an old building with character, rather than purpose built with identical rooms.
Breakfast: cooked to order-excellent.
Dinner: 3 course set menu, choice of 4 items for each course. lovely food, beautifully presented . Service good, staff friendly.
Glad we weren't put off, will be going back.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tish_traveller_2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
woodl2001, General Manager at Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton, responded to this review, 22 November 2011
Thank you very much for you review, I am pleased that you enjoyed your at The Carlton and that you found the bedroom and bathroom to be clean and well presented. I appreciate your comments regarding the character of the hotel and we are endevouring to keep this with the refurbishment we are starting at the end of the month ( Nov 2011)

Andrew Woodland
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yeovil, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2011

We stayed for the august bank holiday weekend,the outdoor pool was heated to the same temperature as the inside pool,sauna and jacuzzi all included in the price.The rooms were large and very well equiped.The breakfast was over-priced at £16.95 each.

Room Tip: Do not have a room above the front doors as the sensor sliding door makes a rumbling noise
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank plegg04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
woodl2001, General Manager at Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton, responded to this review, 22 November 2011
Many thanks for your review, I am glad you had a good time over the August Bank holiday which is always a very busy period of the year. The outdoor pool was certainly very well used during the summer period and is one of the most popular sun traps in Bournemouth.

We always reccommend that guests take advantage of our bed and breakfast terms which greatly reduces the cost of the full English Breakfast.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Andrew Woodland
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton

Property: Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton
Address: East Overcliff Drive, Bournemouth BH1 3DN, England (Formerly Menzies Carlton Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#14 Luxury Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton 4*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
4 star stunning hotel on Bournemouth's cliff-top, offering traditional stylish rooms, many with sea views. Award winning restaurant, bar, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, steam room, sauna, and beauty treatment rooms. An easy walk down the zig zag path to the golden sands, and 5 minutes walk to the town centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Menzies Carlton Bournemouth
Hotel Menzies Carlton
Carlton Hotel Bournemouth

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