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“Polite”
Review of The Haven Hotel

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The Haven Hotel
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Horsham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Polite”
Reviewed 6 May 2013 via mobile

Came here bank holiday weekend with parents hubby and kids. The staff were so friendly they would go out the way for us! View room perfect! Yes the beds were pushed together. .. but it was so comfy. The only bad experience was the lack of staff behind the bar but it was soon sorted. I agree the price is very high. But you get to play on the beach then jump in the pool :-)

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Selena F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2013

The Good, Lovely view from our balcony across the harbour. Our Golden Wedding Anniversary.
The Bad, No breakfast before 8.00am even though it had been paid for in the £180.00 per night rate. We had to catch a ferry to Jersey at 8.30am. A double bed turned out to be two singles pushed together, very uncomfortable. Constant noise from Midnight until 6.00am. Including banging doors. shouting, laughing, crying,arguing. Turned out that a wedding at the hotel had erupted in to chaos and according to the management they had received a number of complaints.
We rang reception 5 times throughout the night but no one answered. We tried to intervene ourselves but were threatened by the perpetrators. This must be like an 18/30 hotel in Benidorm. The Ugly, despite assurances from the duty manager that we would receive a written apology from the hotel, nothing has been received and they have failed to answer a single E Mail from both ourselves and our Daughter who had paid for this Anniversary holiday to Poole and the Channel Isles. Seems they don't answer distress calls from guests and don't answer E Mails either !

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Gordon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Poole hotels

West Midlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2013

My husband and I booked a weekend trip to the Haven for the Easter bank holiday, we are expecting our first baby in July and wanted to enjoy a final indulgent weekend just the two of us. On arrival at the hotel there was no clear signage so you had to hunt for the entrance. We waited approximately 20 minutes before being acknowledged by either of the two reception staff who were both dealing with the same dissatisfied customer.

Upon reaching our room we were disappointed, we booked a double with balcony & sea view - the view was perfect but the rest of the room was very dated, the balcony was dirty, complete with a dead pot plant, it wouldn't have looked out of place on a high rise flat . Never the less we were determined to overlook this and enjoy our weekend. However, we found that the TV didn't work, the robes we'd ordered and paid for were not in our room, the heating didn't work and the the patio door was broken so we were unable to lock it. The TV was fixed in a fashion but the ariel, which was attached to the top of the TV with blue tack kept falling off and the picture would be lost, the robes never arrived we were told on numerous occasions they were on their way, we were then told the hotel was very busy, and finally the hotel did not have any robes available and they were waiting for other robes to arrive from the sister hotel. The heating didn't work due to the patio door not locking, the door could not be fixed until after the bank holiday - the solution to this was a cheap portable heater being brought to the room, no concern for the safety aspect of having a door that didn't lock was raised and a portable heater vs the sea breeze during a chilly easter was useless.

The bar & resturant looked lovely and was very modern, unfortunately the hotel was so full we found the only seats available were tucked away in the back reception rooms or in the foyer, we also enquired about a cream tea in the resturant to be told that we'd have to have this in the bar - the bar said we'd need to go into the resturant - we gave up.

The spa facilities are primitive, you have to walk through the resturant (if you don't want to go outside) to access the spa and in doing so walk past the swimming pool in your outdoor clothes, the pool itself was extremly small there were approximately six people in there when we went to investigate and it was full, more like a large hot tub. As a pregnant lady i wouldn't have felt comfortable being in such confined space with other guests.

We checked in approximately 2pm and by 7.30pm we'd checked back out, the standard was poor at best. We paid almost 200.00 per night for our stay for which we expected a certain level of service and facilities it was dissapointing to say the least. The Haven seems to rely on its prime position in prestigious Sandbanks to keep customers happy, the rest of the hotel falls serverely short.

I can honestly say this is one of the worst hotels I have stayed in, I certainly wouldn't recomend it and I wouldn't return even if I was offered a free stay - awful !!.

Room Tip: Book a different hotel !!!
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MrsMason090911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2013

My husband and I treated ourselves to a weekend in Poole for our 20th Wedding Anniversary, and decided on The Haven Hotel based on the wonderful location - being right at the tip of the Sandbanks peninsular - and the Hotels website made it look very upmarket. Sadly the location was probably the only really positive thing about the place, otherwise it was definately not representative of a 4* hotel.

Upon checking in we were greeted by a bored looking member of staff, who asked if we would like a wake up call or newspaper. We declined the wake up call, but accepted the offer of a newspaper which was our first mistake as having assumed they were complimentary, when the bill arrived we saw they were a chargeable extra, (having spent around £500 with the hotel I complained about the hidden newspaper charge purely as a matter of principle, but there was little reaction and I had to press to have the £4 rather ungraciously removed from our bill)!!

We were given our room cards and directions on how to locate our room, which was on the top floor of the hotel. If you have luggage you may need to ask for assistance, you certainly won't be offered it as a standard courtesy. We managed but it was an effort as the lift takes you to the second floor, then there was a corridor, a heay door, another corridor and another door, a flight of stairs and yet another door further...quite a trek with heavy bags! Having read other reviews I suppose we should be grateful that our room was so far away from the main body of the hotel, as we managed to miss the noise from the Wedding party on the Saturday evening, although the couple in front of us at checkout were not so lucky as it appeared that the noise of the disco had entirely ruined their relaxing evening, being situated directly below them!

Entering our room we were underwhelmed by the lack of imagination or style in the decor, it resembled a 1970s office building with those dreadful suspended ceiling tiles that you often find in schools, offices or maybe hospitals, (certainly not 'luxury' hotels), the pictures on the walls were bolted on with visible great big industrial metal fastenings, and there was a shabby wall mounted iron and ironing board, (very Crossroads Motel), as well as the worst ever tiny and deadly hairdryer fixed to the wall, (this hairdryer actually sucked my hair into the vent at the rear, pulling it into the motor and singeing a section of my hair which then had to be cut off with scissors. A serious Health & Safety issue, as I say deadly don't let your kids near them)! All the furnishings in the room looked cheap, unstylish and tacky.

Their was no local information in the room, (other than something useful for people who own boats)! Also nothing to inform you about the hotel itself e.g. wifi availability, the facilities including the health club and pool, or the restaurant dining times. When we enquired about it at reception we were told the hotel are updating their information and it had not yet been done, therefore there was nothing to give us. I asked for a local map of the area, expecting to be given a small scale Poole map, and was given a large scale map of Dorset which did nothing to detail any local or relevant information. The staff were not very helpful or forthcoming, although they did know where the ferry to Brownsea Island went from, (probably only because it was situated a stone's throw away from the hotel). Generally the staff were friendly enough, but they seemed unenthusiastic and lacklustre. I can't imagine how they will survive the season as we are only in April.

After a 3 hour car journey, we arrived hungry and thirsty and immediatly found the bar area which is lovely with great views across the sea on nearly all sides. The food was however was disappointing and served without aplomb. My ham and mustard sandwich had meat placed only in the middle section of the sandwich, (a clever trick), and the bread was dry and stale. My husband's fish and chips were overcooked and greasy, but as we had waited some time to be served, we were desperate and just ate it without complaining. The Bar Manager was efficient when serving, but he seemed to be spending a great deal of time in deep discussion with the young bar staff who appeared to all have been newly recruited and were evidently inexperienced - let's hope the sense of lethargy doesn't rub off on the new recruits as they will not gain very good 'work experience' if that is the case!

Dinner in the restaurant that night was also disappointing, especially as they have received accolades for their food. The menu wasn't terribly exciting although we did enjoy a good piece of fish that was perfectly cooked, but the accompanying 'spiced potato and spinach' thing did nothing to compliment it. Luckily some great deserts and a good wine list, saved the evening!

Unfortunately our sleep was disturbed by doors slamming shut throughout the night. Being the sort of heavy fire doors which close automatically on a large hinge, most people don't think to close them quietly, and so the signs which appear throughout the corridors asking for that to be undertaken by guests are pointless and ignored. The walls were so paper thin between our room and the next one that we clearly heard our 'neighbours' conversations and loud snoring!!! The water pressure for our shower was terrible, and so showering was a bit of a chore, also the bath filled with water as the plughole must have been blocked, (yuk)!

On the plus side our room was very clean, large and airy. We could open the windows to get fresh air and look out, (view of the carpark but that is fine and I am just glad we didn't pay more for a sea view as it is available outside for free)! They do have a lovely outside pool which must be great in the summer and a new-looking sun lounging area which leads down to a nice sandy beach. We did use the indoor spa facilites, but were unprepared due to lack of information that you need a pound for the lockers, and no robes or slippers are provided unless you are some sort of 'upgraded' person! We both had treatments in the Aveda spa, which were enjoyable.

Worth a mention are the excellent breakfast buffets, with a plentiful choice and a bit more of a buzz in the room than we had seen elsewhere! The breakfasts were a really positive part of our stay!!!

Upon checking out, (which took a while as only one staff member on reception even though there was a queue of people waiting to leave), we were asked about our stay, so we made a few comments about the doors slamming, to which the response was 'oh yes', and that was it! I think this hotel is living on whatever past reputation it may have had, and the wonderful location that they are fortunate enough to command. The Haven Hotel could be massively improved by some decent staff training, and an injection of energy, enthusiasm and life. If it was a person you would shake them by the shoulders and shout SORT YOURSELF OUT! We really felt they needed a wake up call as to what people's expectations of a luxury 4* hotel are nowadays.

The customer service is definately lacking, the staff appear indifferent to the experience of the guests. They do not go that extra mile which is what savvy businesses should do to engender loyalty and retention. Perhaps they are more interested in attracting Weddings and Conferences than business from weekenders like us? I certainly wouldn't return, or recommend it for anything other than the location.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank moonster49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2013

You will notice that I have had to put a 1 rating as the system does not allow a zero which a zero rating is the only correct rating for this disgraceful place which has the cheek to call itself a 4 star hotel or even a hotel at all. More like a boot camp!!

I paid for my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary on their way to another trip to stay at this establishment.

What a bad decision this was.

I paid at the time of booking for a sea view room including breakfast. Another mistake.

On arrival, none of the staff knew answers to any questions they were asked, simple ones which surely staff working at the hotel should know such as, where can I park my car, they didn't know, how do I get to the ferry terminal, they didn't know or offer to try and find directions for them!! The list goes on.

There was a wedding taking place on the day they arrived.

My parents went to bed at around 11pm and to say they didn't get a wink of sleep all night is an understatement.

The people from the wedding party were shouting and arguing throughout the night both in the corridors and in the rooms around them, The is not an exaggeration when I say all night. When my parents poked their head around the door, they were shouted at to 'go away'. They were then afraid to leave the room to try and get to reception, they are not young. They only did this after trying to get hold of someone at reception from midnight up to 6am on the phone. Nobody answered until 6am when the arguing and shouting had only just stopped. They just don't care. Another contributer has also commented on the lack of staff throughout the night if you need anything.

They were told in the morning when they ventured downstairs at around 7.30am that the duty manager would be in at around 9am (after a good night's sleep I suppose somewhere else)!! He did come in slightly earlier refreshed which was more than could be said for my parents and when my parents complained, he agreed that they should not have been subject to this and that there had been problems with the wedding party with arguments etc, however, I have since made 2 complaints to them in writing which has been ignored and not even acknowledged. I am demanding a full refund.

The full breakfast which was also paid for when booking was not actually available until 8am which was too late as they had to leave shortly after 8 to catch a ferry. What time is this for a so-called 4 star hotel!! Offer of toast in the room - wow. Service - non existent!

A hotel who doesn't care about their paying, well behaved customers.

I will not give up on this and please don't send anyone there unless you expect them to have to be locked in their room, have had combat training and non existent staff who are less than helpful with an attitude which seems to be, as another contributor commented is complacent, I am sure this will change when customers stop staying there which they will eventually.

Places like this cannot and do not deserve to survive.

Room Tip: One that is not like a cell or better still none at all!!
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Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank StephanieJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grouville, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2013

No tea or coffee facilities in room. Had to walk down to reception at 11.00pm at night (evidently the night staff don't like to answer the phone) I don't expect to have to physically ggo to a reception desk in a four star hotel at 11.00pm at night

I could not find the TV switch (I was told a lot of people have trouble :Sign on the wall?) No mini bar in the room.
Over priced pretentious hotel, how did this place get an AA four star rating? This place is resting on its laurels!

Room Tip: Better value at other less expensive hotels!
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kevin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naestved, Denmark
Level Contributor
145 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2013

Have not stayed here but eat here quite often with family and friends, the service is always excellent as is the food, ask for a table on the terrace or in the conservatory area overlooking Poole Bay & Harbour, enjoy the food and the boats going by........

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Haven Hotel

Property: The 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 ) Free Parking 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Haven Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 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 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 spaciously designed bedrooms with modern creature comforts. Many of which offer ocean view balconies, so that you can embrace the sea air in your pyjamas. We believe that these naturally beautiful surroundings deserve food that’s a little special. La Roche at the Haven Hotel offers an ambient place to dine. Highly acclaimed by locals and recognised for first-class service and exceptional quality with two prestigious AA-Rosettes. Maintained by the talent and skill of Head Chef Jason Hornbuckle. When the Sandbanks sun shines, our terrace is an enviable spot for alfresco dining. You can literally hear the waves crashing as you recline with a glass of wine. Relaxation is often thought of as a luxury; at the Haven Spa we think it’s a necessity. Haven Spa is a sanctuary to unwind your mind and come to your senses. Stroll from the indoor hydrotherapy pools to the chic outdoor heated pool, complete with sea view Jacuzzi and sun lounger area. Allow yourself the luxury of a spa pampering, performed by our highly experienced and friendly therapists. We’ve chosen VOYA seaweed products to relax, beautify and rejuvenate our guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Haven Poole
Haven Hotel Poole
The Haven Hotel Poole, Dorset

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