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“Better than expected”
Review of Haven Hotel

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Haven Hotel
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Reviewed 22 January 2008

Stayed here on a one night spa break. Our room was recently refurbished to a very high standard and had beautiful views over Sandbanks beach. Compact but good bathroom with spa bath.

The service at this hotel could not be faulted. Everyone was polite and friendly and went out of their way to help. One or two of the younger female staff had difficulties with the English language, but this was the exception rather than the rule.

Food was excellent - but dont eat in the a la carte restaurant if you are VERY hungry. Minimalist would be the most accurate description - but extremely good.

The spa treatments were good, but the spa itself could be better. The Spa lacks atmosphere and could be made so much more relaxing and seductive by using aromatherapy and by getting rid of the floor to ceiling tiles in each treatment room, dimming the lights more and using better soft furnishings. When you are being pampered you want to experience the whole thing not just when you close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere else.

The sauna and hot tub were out of action which was disappointing but the outdoor pool was good. The spa pool was also disappointing as many areas were not functioning.

Overall, an excellent experience, but could be better.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TravellerSouthCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,490 - 1,496 of 1,539 reviews

Reviewed 21 January 2008

What a great hotel rooms lovely & fresh. Very large great location. Ate in the restaurant which was lovely. Highly recomend for a romantic break

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank J0J0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2007

The good things first - the views from our second floor balcony were superb aided by unseasonably good September weather. We were on a tariff that included a la carte dinner in the La Roche restaurant and the food was good on each of the three evenings we were there accompanied by adequate service. We had some special requests for food that were always met. The wine list was satisfactory without the enormous mark-ups that you get in some hotels. The special requests for champagne and chocolates in the room were all met. Breakfast, although uninspiring, was hot despite self service from a buffet, and of good quality. The staff were generally friendly and of the three we asked they all said they enjoyed working there. The racks for leaflets detailing attractions etc. were extensive and pristine - a contrast to many other hotels where they look like a collection of waste paper!

Now the not so good - internet booking which I used is confusing without clear indications of what you get for each class of room. You have to work hard to work out what you are getting for your money! Although we had one of the best (and most expensive rooms) in the hotel, the cleanliness, housekeeping and general maintenance was poor. The large balcony - the first thing to be seen as you enter the room - had peeling paintwork and a damaged tiled floor that had been poorly repaired and constituted a tripping hazard. The heated towel rail did not work; the waste lever to the washbasin had the operating knob missing causing a risk of injury if used; a light bulb needed replacing and never was despite being reported; the room refrigerator hardly cooled and when I reported this I was told "they are all like that - design fault!" Cleaning was superficial at best and frequently toiletries, face flannels and coffee/biscuits from the hospitality tray were not replaced. Complimentary bottled water was not provided - normally standard in hotels charging these sort of prices in my experience. The public lounges are themed and attractive but corridors, passageways and other public areas are very dated and none too clean. The parking is a shambles - the coded exit gates are not working and the parking area is used by locals without business at the hotel. There does not seem to be any policing of the facility. The management appeared to be invisible and no interest was taken in my list of issues which I related to the receptionist when checking out.

Overall only come for the views and the food!

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank bonzo26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2007

Took the opportunity of having a 4 day break in The Haven having been there for a wedding reception some years ago. OK, it's not cheap, but I found it just as I wanted - fantastic view over Poole Harbour, superb restaurant, wonderful bar with a panoramic view. The (double) room was not massive, but more than adequate, with a small well-appointed bathroom. A lovely balcony where I ate breakfast delivered to my room was a major plus point in my opinion - I could have sat there all day watching the boats go by... The room was a tad tired but certainly had character and charm.
If you're the sort of person that doesn't anticipate spending all day in their room watching the LCD telly, then this is a good place. The staff were very helpful, and "La Roche" restaurant (available as a supplement) was just stunning. The bar and lounges are peaceful and well furnished. If I wanted somewhere quiet to write a novel I'd happily set up camp in the Marconi Lounge (!) Luxury does come at a price however, but I can honestly say I had no regrets at all when settling the bill for my stay there. Will definitely return.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled solo
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5  Thank DaveLondon_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2007

This is our second stay in the Haven. We wanted to stay for three nights, but could only book for one due to a conference which had taken all rooms for one night only. This seems to be a bit of an issue here. There's often a conference, wedding or party that takes up the hotel resources.

The Haven has enviable sea views and there's almost always something to look at with the boats and ferries passing by. The location is great for taking the chain ferry over to Swanage, a nice seaside town.

Last year we had a nice, new room with a double balcony, but this year we had a smaller room with single balcony. The bathroom was very basic and a bit "creaky" in places. Luckily the weather was not too hot, since there wasn't any air-con (or at least it didn't work if there was one).

The main problem I have with this hotel is that it seems rather over-priced for what it is. We paid GBP 440 for three people for one night, including a light dinner (no wine).

Having said all this I wouid come back again, because there isn't a better choice of hotel in this area and the views really are good.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank karate_boss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2007

My husband and I went to stay at the Haven; we had originally booked for 2 nights. Within ten minutes of arriving in our bedroom I had cancelled the 2nd night - our room was tiny, the bed was a very small double that sagged in the middle and creaked very loudly every time you sat or lay on it (so I envisaged a sleepless night ahead and actually asked them to bring me extra duvets and pillows so I could sleep on the floor - not really what you expect to have to do for £260!). However, the view was lovely, we had a good sized balcony and great views of the boats coming in and out of the harbour.
I did ask to be moved but was offered a twin with a carpark view so declined - the hotel was packed out.

The rest of the hotel is mixed in style and quality; parts have been refurbished but other parts are very dated and tired. La Roche restaurant is nicely done, has a great view if you have a front table and it served excellent food in the evening. THe breakfast was also very good.

All in all it's not a bad hotel (and we did peek into some other bedrooms which looked much nicer than the one we had been allocated (big beds, more modern decor and generally larger and more spacious) and the staff are very friendly and efficient. I think we were unlucky with our bedroom, but I was pretty disappointed to be paying quite a high price for a 4*hotel to have to sleep on the floor (and I did say to the reception that that was the reason I wanted extra duvets and pillows - they quickly brought them up, but it wasn't really the point!!)

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MrsSDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2007

My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights to celebrate my 40th birthday. The public areas of the hotel, especially the bars and restaurants, are stylishly furnished in an understated way which lets the stunning views speak for themselves. Our double room, by contrast, at 180 pounds a night (booked through priceline.com - it would have been 220 if we had booked direct with the hotel), was "compact" and frankly ugly; however, it did have a good-sized balcony where we took our breakfast, overlooking the harbour and the beaches opposite, which we felt made up for the complete lack of any aesthetic appeal in the room. We were also rather surprised that there was no minibar or even a bottle of water in the room, nor was there a safe, or bathrobes, all of which we would expect to be standard in a room of this price, although there was a large modern television screen which sat incongruously in the old-fashioned decor. As other reviewers have mentioned, most of the staff seem to be Eastern Europeans who lack even the most basic knowledge of the local area (for example, the three reception staff between them were unable to tell us where to catch the bus across to Knoll Beach - it turned out to be right outside the hotel gate!); however, they were extremely eager to please, and courteous and welcoming at all times. We didn't eat in the hotel other than breakfast, but can highly recommend Cafe Shore and the Shell Bay Restaurant, both of which are just a short walk from the hotel. To sum up, then: fabulous location, friendly staff, shame about the rooms themselves, but a very enjoyable way to spend my birthday.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank LindsWag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Haven Hotel

Address: 161 Banks Road | Sandbanks, Poole BH13 7QL, England (Formerly FJB Collection - The Haven)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Poole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
#3 Luxury Hotel in Poole
Price Range: £61 - £159 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Haven Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Haven Hotel is a luxurious four-star spa hideaway. Perched at the tip of the exclusive Sandbanks peninsula in Poole and surrounded by sea and sand. With direct access to seven miles of Blue Flag beaches and just a couple of steps away from Purbeck over the Shell Bay chain ferry. It’s your gateway to South Coast adventure. Featuring elegant and well-appointed bedrooms with many of which offering ocean view balconies. We believe that these naturally beautiful surroundings deserve food that’s a little special. Highly acclaimed by locals, The Point Restaurant serves a two AA-Rosette awarded cuisine helmed by Head Chef Jason Hornbuckle. When the sun shines, our terrace is an enviable spot for alfresco dining. Why not indulge yourself at the Haven Spa and prepare to be pampered and spoilt? Whether working up a sweat in the gym or relaxing in the outdoor heated swimming pool, the Haven Spa is the perfect place to unwind your mind and reinvigorate your body in complete luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Haven Poole
Haven Hotel Poole, Dorset

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