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“Tired rooms, over priced, super staff (except in bar where we were ignored)”

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Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton
Ranked #33 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Tired rooms, over priced, super staff (except in bar where we were ignored)”
Reviewed 16 September 2010

We arrived about lunchtime. The receptionist was warm and friendly but we were not offered any 'dinner deals'.
We dropped our bags and went in search of food. We were directed to the bar where we asked for a menu. We were ignored, then asked to wait even though there was a menu within reach (which I leaned over and picked up). We waited a few minutes then left. There were very few customers in the bar at that time. If you have room Room Service you are charged £3.50 per tray, that's without a tip. In our opinion it would be good PR and make the Client feel better if that cost was incorporated into the menu price . It seems madness that you pay £3.50 for tea to be delivered and the same for a full meal).
The small internal swimming pool was very cold. We didn't see anybody swim in it. A clue perhaps?!
Our room was clean and had lovely sea views. The furniture was 'tired' and there was an old style TV.
The bed resembled the ones at Premier Inn beds large but with no sheets, just a duvet. It was a warm night so the options were roast under the duvet , or have no covering at all. Four star, no sheets! I don't think so.
We have stayed here twice before. The first time in this part of the building, and the second a couple of years ago in a room in the time share part. The latter was air conditioned and modern. The toweling dressing gowns provided then were soft and white, we were also supplied with slippers. The dressing gowns in room 216 were well used and so stiff they almost stood up by themselves. I would donate them to a charity shop. We felt one and decided not to bother. We asked about slippers but were told the hotel no longer supplied them.
The food at breakfast was good and freshly cooked, but at four stars I expect waiter service not buffet. Perhaps I am old fashioned?
The carpet was past it's sell by date with what looked liked a cigarette burn by the window.
Apart from the staff in the bar who made us feel like nuisances, the staff were friendly and welcoming.
We chose this hotel because we have used in the past and it was excellent then. Would I go back? I don't think so . I am happy to pay for luxury. If you are looking for luxury don't stay here!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank fbis
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 September 2010
Thank you for your review, I am sorry that the bar person ignored your request for a menu, we normally have menus on each of the tables in the bar area, but this not excuse the lack of response you had to endure. The room service tray charge is very much in line with all hotels and as we have full tea and coffee facilities in the rooms including fruit teas and infusions we get very few clients ordering just a pot of tea to the rooms, and we have instructions that any drinks or beverages served to the rooms do not attract the tray charge, I will review the wording in our directory to ensure that this is clarified.. Thank you for your comments regarding the room, we do have a schedule to upgrade the televisions in the near future. The provisions of duvets were at the request of the majority of our clients bit we do have a number who prefer sheets and blankets and we are very happy to meet this request at anytime, our reception staff and night porters have access to sheets at all times and would have been very happy to change the bedding on request. I have reviewed the dressing gowns and have noticed that the outside laundry do not seem to be using the fabric conditioner and softener on all the washes I have reminded them that we cannot accept any deviation from the standard we have set out. We are always happy to serve breakfast direct from the kitchen on request, this includes a full english selection together with smoked fish, cheese , hams etc.
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UK
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2010

I had a room on the top floor over looking the sea. My bedroom was huge, we had a double bed and a pullout bed for my friend and I. We had room service which was great. The location is perfect because your a 3 minute walk from the beach and a 5 minute walk into town and the night life. Car park is free. Breakfast is self service. Reception friendly. I've stayed here twice now and wouldnt definately come again. However, I did use the pool and felt the picture on the website made it look bigger than it was, its shallow and you cant swim any lengths. Also the jacuzzi was hazardous because there was some material coming away from the floor.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank J-Heart-Travelling
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 September 2010
Thank you for your review, as you say we do benifit from the large free car park and the location is very central to both the town and the commercial areas of Bournemouth, the indoor pool is as you say is not great for doing lengths but the out door pool which is open from May to September does offer a great pool for both the serious swimmer and the family guests. The Jacuzzi you refer to was replace with a new one during the summer and has been very well recieved since it was installed.
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
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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Helpful?
Thank blondie6x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 2 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 5 Contributor
58 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 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
    • Value
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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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    • Cleanliness
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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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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
#13 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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