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“Better than average comfortable stay but nothing to rave about”

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Harbour Heights Hotel
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Better than average comfortable stay but nothing to rave about”
Reviewed 10 September 2012

The Harbour Heights hotel was comfortable, clean and in a good location. It is a good base in order to travel round Dorset and see the sights. The service was very friendly, accomodating and helpful and the food was of a high standard. The reason why I have not given it a 4 star rating is down to the details (which is quite fussy but if you are paying 4 star prices you should be getting the details) for example the bar menu would say that sandwiches come with vegetable crisps when in fact they would be your average ready salted. The hand cut chips were oven chips etc. The room was very hot at night as you were unable to control the temperature, this being the case the bathroom often felt like a steam room / sauna. Also I would quite have liked a robe and slippers. However I would stay here again and I would recommend it. The hotels in Sandbanks are pricey generally and the location (despite the steep hill) gives you stunning views of the surrounding area and is a 15mins walk from the beach. A buss ride will take you to other seaside delights such as Bournemouth and Swanage. All in all a lovely place to visit.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fluffybina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (278)
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English first
St Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2012

We stayed here because my brother was having his wedding at Compton Acres.
After going back and forth with reservations for 3 months about the price of our rooms (each guest was quoted different rates from 230 to 110 a night for the same room type)
The hotel was fantastic. The rooms were spotless, I could not fault them. Tea and Coffee making facilities in the room were good.
The staff were all helpful, polite and smiling.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarkEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2012

We booked this hotel as we had a wedding in Bournemouth and were recommended to the hotel as it had such lovely views. When I called the hotel to book the room I stressed I wanted a sea view room with a king size bed as my partner is well over six feet tall and quite well built! I was assured that a sea view with a king size bed was absolutely not a problem. When we checked in we were given our key and informed where the room was - no one offered to help us with the bags or show us to the room which is poor service in a 4* hotel to say the least.

We found the room which did indeed have a king size bed in it. The bed was about 15" away from the bedroom wall so it made life very hard to walk around the bed. The bathroom was tiny and dark. The light did not work. After a few minutes we worked out that in order to use the electricity in the room we had to put the key card in the holder by the door - but no one had bothered to tell us this fact.

The room seemed to be set in the eaves and therefore some of the walls sloped downwards - two of the mirrors in the room were on these sloping walls so if you stood in front of the mirror to look at yourself it was a total waste of time as you couldn't properly see yourself. There was good sized dressing table with a mirror on the wall - however it was not possible to see yourself if you were sitting at the dressing table looking into the mirror due to the angle of the wall - it would have been more useful to have had a free standing dressing table.

As for the sea view - it was at best a partial sea view and at worst not a sea view at all.

However the most stupid thing of all was the kettle for tea and coffee. It was situated in a cupboard accessible only after dragging a large armchair out of the way. The kettle was easily removable for filling but had to be replaced IN THE CUPBOARD to boil on its base unit. How dangerous and how stupid.

The televison seemed to keep wanting to go to sleep which ended up not being an issue as we were in a hurry to get changed and go to our function. My husband rang reception to ask what we needed to do to get it to work and were told that no one really knew!!! It was offered that someone would come and look at it while we were out.

There was no room safe which was a problem as I wanted to leave my wallet and credit cards and was only taking a small evening purse with me. It was finally agreed that I could leave it in the hotel safe but would not be able to get it back until the following morning. It is a long time since I stayed in any hotel that did not have anything as basic as a room safe.

There was no wifi in the room and we were offered a wire which of course does not work with an ipad so was not an option.

Had we come to the hotel for more than one night I think I would have left there and then.

On returning from our friends wedding we found it very hard to park the car in the too small car park - I dont think the hotel was full and so dread to think where people would park if the hotel was at capacity. We finally found somewhere on the lower car park as far away from the hotel as was possible. We were also told that the doors are shut at midnight. On returning - before midnight - we asked what time the breakfast service finished in the morning - the night porter had no idea at all. He was quite apologetic but simply didnt know. There was no literature in the hotel bedroom that explained such minor details. We decided that even here it couldnt finish much before 9.00am. We found out the next morning it finished at 9.30am but surely that is exactly the sort of question the night porter should know.

To be fair the room was clean and the bed was reasonably comfortable although too soft. The airconditioning was so noisy all night.

Breakfast was so slow and as others have said it is a joke to be brought one piece of toast in the toast rack - cold toast at that. The portions were small and I am not a big eater.

When we were checking out I was asked if I was happy with my stay and I politely explained that we were not. I explained that the sea view was not good and immediately I was offered a refund of the premium I had been charged for the sea view. I was also promised that someone from the Management would be keen to contact me to discuss my concerns - I am still waiting a week later.

In short this hotel is in a fabulous location, staff seem to be eager to please but they let themselves down. If anyone is interested we stayed in room 311 - if you are offered it decline it unless it is sold without the sea view. Also if you are big don't bother, or want to use the mirrors.

Room Tip: Avoid room 311
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank huggablemum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights on a bed and breakfast basis. We'd opted for a sea view room with balcony. Whilst the room was fairly average it was spotless and the views were spectacular. The lounge and bar areas were modern with a relaxed feel and the service was excellent. There was lots of choice at breakfast and the food and service could not be faulted. The only thing lacking was a pool and spa area although guests do have use of the facilities at the Haven hotel just a few minutes drive away on the Sandbanks peninsular. Overall, a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maxidoo25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
berkshire
Level Contributor
41 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2012

The hotel does not look that special from the outside and has very limited parking on a hilly slope. But upon entering everything was spotless, modern and stylish. Reception staff were welcoming and efficient. We stayed one night in an upgraded harbour view room. The room was amazing, probably one of the nicest I have ever stayed in, with Juliette balcony and amazing views of the harbour. The room was ultra modern, spotless with all mod cons. Large LCD TV, large bed, mini fridge, air con, with a fabulous bathroom. I had a great nights sleep.

We used the outdoor pool and hot tub in the sister hotel " The Haven" which was a short drive away. The facilities at The Haven were excellent if you go on a nice sunny day. Luxury loungers, day beds, with sea views and a large heated outdoor pool and a smaller indoor pool. And access to the beach. It felt like paradise.

I was disappointed to not get any wi-fi signal on the 3rd floor. No access at all from my room, I could pick up a very weak signal from my friends room the other side of the third floor but this was so slow and kept dropping out and was completely useless. The hotel was selected because of wi-fi access. There should be an option of a wired LAN connection in the room.

The second disappointment was breakfast. I was expecting great things for a four star hotel charging £200 a night. Although I appriciate the more individual approach of cooking breakfast to order. I am afraid this fell short in service and quality. We were first to arrive early Sunday morning. The setting was fantastic with indoor and outdoor seating with sea views. The waitress took about 10 minutes to take our order. Being vegans ,self service works much better for us, for something simple like beans on toast, or just some toast with tomatoes and mushrooms. We were brought some toast to the table, one slice each and cold. As another reviewer has stated cheap pasteurised orange and fruit juice from a carton is not acceptable for a hotel of this calibre. It was very poor and artificial tasting. Order was taken at 8.10am and finally arrived at 8.45am, we were fuming it was only beans on toast!. There was only one other couple which then arrived at this point in a very large dining room. How on earth do they cope with full service? Sadly it was not worth the wait. More style over substance. The toast wasn't even buttered and the beans made the toast all soggy which is why I prefer to do this myself. My friend's order of mushrooms, sauté potatoes and tomato was of a child's portion and she felt the potatoes were not fresh possibly tinned and dropped in deep fat. Half of tomato and a spoon full of button mushrooms. The continental buffet items were limited, but the pastries were quite nice. We were in a hurry that morning, and wasted well over an hour in the restaurant for very poor food and service. I would suggest some hot self service options as well as the cooked breakfast items.
I would have given it the full five stars but have knocked one point off for no wi-fi and poor breakfast, the rest of our stay was fantastic. I would stay again as it really is special, but would skip the cooked breakfast next time.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for habour room, you wont be disappointed.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ilovestotravel83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
167 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

We arrived at 19.50, tired after a 7 hour drive (traffic was terrible). I asked reception on check in if we could delay our meal in the restaurant slightly (booked for 20.00) to freshen up. I was told i would have to ask the bistro as they were very busy!! The receptionist did however pick up the phone and the meal was moved back 15 minutes.
Problem parking on a busy Friday evening.
Small room on third floor but it was adequate & clean with exceptional views over the harbour & Sandbanks.
Nice table in restaurant with beautiful views but this was only positive about the meal experience.
We ordered wine and were brought the wrong bottle twice by different members of staff. Tap water was provided but not replenished throughout the meal.
Starters of Salmon & Scallops ok & served promptly.
We then waited 45 minutes for our main courses of rabbit & steak. My husbands main course of
steak was sinewy and both could've been hotter. Had they been sat on the pass?
We waited for plates to be removed for at least 10 minutes & then waited a further 15 minutes for the dessert menu. We passed on dessert as wanted to retire for the night.
Other people were also complaining about service & quality of food.
My husband suggested we should order breakfast for the following morning on leaving the bistro.How true this was -we waited 25 minutes for the breakfast order to be taken.
We cancelled our dinner reservation for the following night in the hotel & ate at Loch Fyne, a short walk away & had an excellent meal with exceptional friendly service.
The Harbour Heights has a wonderful position but needs to get its act together as far as service is concerned.

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms are on small side but have amazing views
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sulc0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2012

This is a place of extremes, so let's start with the good...
The view. It's superb, and as we were in the honeymoon suite it's probably the best in the hotel.
The receptionist Julita. She was lovely!
The bathroom. Spotless and spacious.
Er...is that really all that is good about this place? For £230 a night you'd hope not.
But...the room service breakfast was horrible. Lukewarm very average fry up, that old fashioned powdered orange juice that I though didn't exist anymore and stewed tea served from limescaly stained teapots.
The hotel itself needs a good update - the chair arms are all worn and the stair carpets are frayed.
The wedding planner woman - she ignored emails when she realised we weren't going to use their 'special room rates' for our guests (rates that actually work out more expensive than booking direct, that's how special they are!)
The night staff - who'd have thought you could be invisible to so many of them, and we only asked for a box of matches. Which we never got by the way.
Despite all this we had a fabulous weekend but this hotel deserves a 3* rating, being generous; it trades on its location but I've stayed in better Premier Inns for a quarter of the price.

Room Tip: Sea view room is a must as it's the best thing about the whole place!
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LolaBirdie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harbour Heights Hotel

Property: Harbour Heights Hotel
Address: 73 Haven Road, Poole BH13 7LW, England (Formerly FJB Collection - Harbour Heights)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Poole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
#1 Luxury Hotel in Poole
#4 Romantic Hotel in Poole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Harbour Heights Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whether you're retreating for romance or overnighting on business. Harbour Heights offers boutique and stylish surroundings, paired with panoramic outlooks over Poole Harbour and beyond. Every bedroom is carefully designed for comfort with premium vi-spring beds and jacuzzi spa baths to bubble away in. Many also boast harbour views with balconies to watch the world float by. We want our guests to experience exceptional food in beautiful surroundings. To do justice to the view, Harbar Bistro offers two AA Rosette Awarded cuisine, maintained by Head Chef Loic Gratadoux. When the weather's welcoming, bask in the sunshine with a glass of champagne or light lunch on the terrace overlooking the magical harbour islands. The Harbour Heights Hotel is located just a short stroll away from the prestigious Sandbanks beach and stunning Poole Harbour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harbour Heights Poole
Harbour Heights Hotel Poole, Dorset

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