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“Heated pools were not warm enough to swim - Ruined my holiday”

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Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton
Ranked #38 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Heated pools were not warm enough to swim - Ruined my holiday”
Reviewed 14 September 2010

First I would like to say the service was excellent by the hotel staff as was the dinner in the restaurant, although for £90 you would expect this. The pool was suppose to be heated and they said it was 28 outside and 26 inside, but both were freezing. The next day the temperature had dropped by a further 2 degrees in both. I have never been to a spa in the UK that could not provide a heated indoor pool.

I am pregnant and all i wanted was a relaxing holiday of swimming and sleep before the baby came. Unfortunately I could not sleep during the day as our room was above the bar which played very load music all day till late at night. Then to tip it off I had smokers in a room next door. Luckily the wife smoked in the room but the husband smoked on the shared balcony so I had to close the windows and door. I can't believe they put smokers next to us when the hotel was so empty.

The room service food was terrible my burger bun was so badly burnt that the room stank the whole night.

All I can say is the staff were very friendly but I was very bored and I left feeling more stressed, with no swim or extra sleep gained. What a waste of money!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank blondie6x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 September 2010

It is hard to know where to start with this review. The whole experience was a great disappointment. It was for my father's 80th celebration so we booked superior rooms and asked for adjacent. when we arrived the rooms could not have been farther apart. my father's room was very disppointing for a superior room . We were fortunate we had one of the 3!! refurbished rooms.After complaining we were offered a closer room which would mean an upgrade which we were not charged for but the state of the room was awful. no one would pay over £300 a night for our new room- the cutains were ripped, wallpaper coming off the walls, children's beds really in too poor a state to sleep in, rubbish and cigarette ends on the balcony. The restaurant staff were however excellent and extremely helpful but vegetables were a little lacking.
The day we changed rooms would have been inconvenient enough without a fault on the key machine which meant we could not get into our room for hours and had we not borrowed the housekeepers key would not have been able to access our room without visiting reception until the next day. At the time of the fault no-one thought to borrow the housekeeper's key to let the people in who were affected.As we left we spoke to the manager who promised a reply from Menzies Hotels but we are still waiting

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank fammem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Bournemouth hotels

Epsom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2010

The hotel describes itself thus: "Overlooking the sea and the award-winning gardens, this luxurious hotel offers elegant accommodation, ..... The Menzies Carlton is renowned as one of Bournemouth's most luxurious hotels. " Well, goodness knows what the other hotels in Bournemouth are like.

On arrival we were greeted by a receptionist with a voice like a fog horn, who barked at us and was totally unwelcoming. She was more intested in giving us a discount voucher for our dinner, than bothering to tell us where our room was. However, when we found our room, the state of the accommodation left us speachless. The carpet was filthly and stained, the curtains were ripped and faded, the bathroom looked like it had been decorated in the '60s and the television (all five channels of it) was something I would have thrown on the skip 5 years ago. Worryingly, I suspect this was one of the better rooms (we had paid extra for an Executive room with sea view) as it had double doors onto a very large patio overlooking the pool and sea. The concrete edges of the patio were missing (hopefully they had not fallen only anyone's head), as was the roof above the bay window which revealed just bare rafters. The door to the bedroom looked as if it had been jammied open with a crowbar (someone trying to escape presumably).

We thought that we had better visit the bar for some dutch courage. Wrong move. The bar was unmanned for approx. 10 minutes and finally a rather scruffy girl arrived to serve us. We tried to sit at the bar, but this was so dirty that we couldn't lean on it without sticking to it. I asked for a Campari... silly me, they "didn't have any of that".

Now, there were some good points. The breakfast is excellent, as was the A La Carte dinner. And the dining room staff, although none of them English, were extremely professional and friendly.

Despite having booked this hotel at a discounted rate, we paid approx £350 for two nights room only for a double room. The bed had a lumpy foam mattress and the pillows were dreadful foam rubber and as hard as nails. Honestly, it made me embarrassed to be British if this is the best we can do in Bournemouth,

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SadEpsom
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, 13 September 2010
Thank you very much for your review, I am very sorry that aspects of the hotel marred your stay. I have spoken to the receptionists to ensure that they get the balance of greeting the guest correct. They do endevour to get dinner reservations for the restaurant but this must not get in the way of the other aspects such as giving directions to the bedrooms. There is no excuse for the carpets to be stained as we have an excellent contractor who always attends to any requests very quickly. The bathrooms are slighlty dated but a large number of our guests prefer the light and airy feel to the normal style of hotel of currrent hotel bathrooms. We are currently reviewing the the television offering at the hotel, over the past twelve months we have added three digital channels to the five telestrial channels and it would be dissapointing if these were not working in your room during your stay. The damage to the roof above the bay window occured during the summer and we took the decision to ensure the area had dried out before refixing the panel, in hindsight we should of carried out a temporary repair of this very visable area straight away. The works on this area and the balconies will be completed with a matter of urgency.I am sorry you found the bed to be lumpy and the pillows to be hard, had you reported these problems we could have rectified them straight away.

Thank you for your comments regarding dinner and breakfast, we do employ a number of British staff in all areas of the hotel, and would certainly employ more if we could get as professional and friendly attitude from them that we from the current team.
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stafford
Level Contributor
54 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2010

We stayed with our children and parents to celabrate their golden wedding, we all had a wonderful stay! all the staff we helpful - thanks to natasha who helped to sort out balloons for the table!! all the restaurant staff were welcoming and attentive. the room was lovely - yes some of furntiure was a little old, but it was clean and added to the charm! it is in a perfect place - near enough to walk to the town - but far enough away to be peaceful!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank bluecat115
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, 10 September 2010
Many thanks for your review, as I have responded previously its good to see we have the balance right at the Carlton. Making the hotel appeal to three genrations of the same family can be difficult but the staff seem to have succeded in respect of this very special visit. We always appreciate the chance to enhance anybodys stay and the reception staff and duty managers all enjoy helping with the small things that make the difference.

We all look forward to welcoming you back to the Carlton
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 31 August 2010

I have stayed at this hotel many times -it is usually as a time share owner but on occasions we as a family like to stay other times as well.
This time due to not enough accomodation at a family members cottage I needed to check into a hotel so I called The Carlton.
I explained I would be travelling down with the family but only I would be staying & could they come up with the right room at the right price.
What I like about The Carlton is the way they remember who you are and will always try and be as accomodating as they can be to make your stay great.
We agreed the price and the room.
The Manager,Andy personally dealt with my request after his staff referred my booking to him. Andy knows his clients and is there to resolve any issues where possible and the rest of the staff are always very helpful.
The hotel is not modern but classical & very welcoming with an amazing position overlooking the sea- with a fantastic swimming pool outside which I swam in (the weather was amazing) as well as indoor pool and fitness centre facilities.
In a nutshell this hotel is special to us as a family.Since 2003 we have been going every year and when we leave London to go to The Carlton,there is always an air of excitement and knowing that our stay will be calm & relaxing.There is also the healthy side thanks to the hotel's position,immediate vicinity to their pool,the beach & the great walks you can do so close to where you stay.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ahsjhs
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, 10 September 2010
Many thanks for the review, it is very good to read that the Carlton is the first hotel you think of when coming to Bournemouth. We have a great many long standing guests that feel the same way as yourself. The Carlton retains many elements of traditional hotels together with services such as free WIFI and a large car park ( at no extra charge) we always endevour to get the balance right.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
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Kettering, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2010

We booked a four night stay here and managed to get a very good deal (better then internet prices) - To our surprise when we arrived we found that we had been given a superior sea view room on the 3rd floor. The room gave a fantastic panoramic view of the sea - the kids loved it - we could also see if the outside swimming pool was open! The room itself was large - we had a kingsize bed and the children each had a z-bed. The bathroom to be honest had probably seen better days but still wasn't bad. The shower pressure was a little on the low side. The TV wasn't a flatscreen but it did the job. The room decor was tastefully done and looked as though it had been done recently. Nice touch in the room was bottled water and mini sticks of rock which the kids loved!

The breakfast is of buffet style with the option to order items such as poached haddock for example. The service was second to none and we spent a pleasant hour or so each morning. For our stay the heated outdoor swimming pool was open and we used this most days - there has to be a lifeguard present because it is over 2M deep in some places. Plenty of areas around the pool to relax. The indoor pool was popular with the kids as well - whilst we made use of the spa and sauna each day

Hotel has free parking for guests which is very handy as everything is in a walk able distance. There is a cliff lift opposite the hotel which leads down to the beach.

We didn't eat any evening meals at the hotel but they do offer a a'la carte menu and a bar menu of required (£10-£25 for a main meal).(ask for meal vouchers for the a'la carte menu).

Other than the bar area the only other rooms are lounges to sit in - therefore in the evening it is very quiet indeed - a games room might be a good idea if the owners read this??

All in all we enjoyed our stay at the Carlton and reading the other reviews I would say it all depends on what room you get to how you mark the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank renraw70
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, 31 August 2010
Many thanks for your review, its good to read that you had a relaxing stay at the Carlton and that we were able to upgrade your room to the third floor, the rooms in this area benifit from good natural light and although most do not have balconies they are very popular with many of our guests. I am glad you enjoyed breakfast as with most hotels there can be very busy periods which if you can avoid make all the difference to enjoying a good start to the day. The weather over your stay was such that you could certainly make the most of the outdoor pool. We find a lot of guests taking advantage of the special vouchers we have for dinner and I am sorry that you did not have dinner in the restaurant. Your comments regarding a games room is very apt and I will review the use of two rooms on the lower ground floor during school holidays.

Many thanks again and I hope to welcome you back to the Carlton in the near future
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2010

We have been staying at the Carlton for over 20 years because of its fine location to shops, restaurants and the beach and although we have made our feelings known time and time again about the run down state of the hotel, the tired worn out sofas in the lounge and general 'this is definately not a 4* hotel' feeling noone is listening. It is such a shame that Menzies has allowed the best hotel in their chain to deteriorate to such a level. Some of the staff are untrained to deal with simple requests for food and drink and that is why the lounge and bar is not buzzing with activity. Kim and her team on reception are brilliant and very loyal to their employers but unfortunately cannot help the guests in this case.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank melharris1_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
woodl2001, Manager at Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton, responded to this review, 31 August 2010
Thank you for your review and your kind comments regarding Kim and her team in reception, I can certainly understand that over the past 20 years you have seen a difference in the hotel and I did explain what we were hoping to do over the winter when we spoke in the bar on Saturday lunchtime. I can assure you that the Carlton has weathered the past few hard years much better than many individually owned hotels in Bournemouth and it is always the aim to invest in the hotel to bring it to the forefront of hospitality in the town. I am sorry that you did not mention the problems you had with the staff when we spoke as it is only by guests highlighting shortcomings that they can be acted on right away to ensure that individual problems are gone through with the staff on a one to one basis
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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:
#9 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#15 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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