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“Shockingly Bad Afternoon Tea”
Review of The Haven Hotel

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The Haven Hotel
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Wimborne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Shockingly Bad Afternoon Tea”
Reviewed 31 July 2014

As a regular diner at this hotel and on this occasion the food was particularly poor. We had the Haven afternoon tea and at over £15 per person it was beyond awful. The main issue being the very dry sandwiches, the bread was crusting over where they had obviously been made many hours beforehand and left for the air to dry them out. The fillings were poor and not of the standard you would come to expect from this hotel. The scones were also very dry and just not enjoyable to eat, needless to say I left mine. The cakes were nothing special but not as dried out as the rest of the food. We were given one small pot of tea, barely enough for two people. When we complained to the restaurant manager, noting I was exceptionally discrete as to not draw attention to our complaint. The lady who came over lifted the cake stand up to her eye level to try to inspect said dried out sandwiches; thus drawing attention to the fact we were complaining. She took our number for the manager to call us back, but we still ended up paying the full bill and only the "discretionary charge" was removed. I have never been treated so awfully before over dried sandwiches, this hotel needs to seriously buck up their ideas if they wish to keep local custom. Needles to say I will not be eating a cream tea here again. I do hope they make the necessary improvements, as it would be a shame to tick this hotel off my favourites list.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank DorsetBecs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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France
Level Contributor
54 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Stayed there one night for my school's 50th reunion and had booked my room 6 months in advance.It mentioned that there were only 2 single rooms with seaview, so I rapidly booked one of those. I was placed in a very small room at the end of the hotel, with a view of the carpark, tennis court and a bit of sea if you craned your head to the right !!! The water system gurlgled very loudly all night, as well.
The hotel had a barn-like,impersonal atmosphere and definitely in need of refreshing.
The prices in the bar, I thought were crippling ( but I do live in France )
The food was adequate but had a feel of mass catering about it.

Room Tip: Ask for a proper sea view - away from the plumbing system !
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Marianne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
126 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

We had a one night stay. Great location looking over Poole harbour entrance. Watch the boats coming in and out. We had a basic room and it was clean and tidy but frosted windows as there was only a view over the kitchens etc. Book a sea view and you will not be disappointed. Breakfast is total DIY even collect Tea/coffee. I will go back but have a little more cash in my pocket.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank away-again-yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

I booked as a suprise for my sister an Ocean Escape Spa day at the Harmony Spa in the Haven Hotel complex. This consisted of 1 x 30 minute treatment each, lunch or afternoon tea and use of all facitilities. Whern I booked the package I explained that we would not be arriving until approx 11 am as my sister was travelling from London that morning. We were therefore booked in for 1 x treatment at 11,30 am and 1 at 12 noon, with tea at 3pm. On arrival at 10.45 am we were informed that we were BOTH having a treatment at the same time of 11 am! Not really a problem,although did not give us much time to relax beforehand. The treatments were OK, but we have had better elsewhere. We relaxed around the small pool area (not enough room/beds for the capacity) until 3 pm and were taken into the restaurant for our afternon tea. There was 1 other couple waiting and we had to wait 40 minutes before we got our tea and the staff were scarce during this time and not really interested in looking after us at all. When our tea items arrived we had no plates, etc, so had to wait until we saw another member of staff appear (about 10 mins) and go and ask them for plates. The quality of the sandwiches was poor and the bread was a little hard, as if they hasd been left out in the sun. During our tea we witnessed guests waiting around to be served, etc and we likened the whole experience to an episode of Fawlty Towers! As I had treated my sister to this, I was a little embarrassed by the poor quality of service/goods we had received on the day. Would I reoommend or return to this Spa? A definite NO.

Room Tip: I personally would not stay here
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bournemouth
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Was with my boy having a fun day on the beach and I suggested we went to grab some food from the pool café to eat on the beach. we were not residents. I did expect to pay higher than normal prices but when I got my pizza to share I felt like a typical tourist to the area ie ripped off, mugged and taken for a fool. The pizza was a measly 8" to share at a bargain price of £9.50 along with 2 half bottles of coke (200ml) at £2.50 a pop. Being on the beach I was amazed they didn't have takeaway boxes so had to carry this measly, dripping with grease, mediocre pizza on greaseproof paper ( it started off as greaseproof but by the time we sat down it was literally dripping). Why do Bournemouth and Poole hotels feel they need to milk every pound out of people. I'm sick and tired of seeing it and as a consultant to the restaurant industry I see it every day. Greed and lack of respect for people will come back and bite your backside.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank james s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Poole hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

A fantastic location, but very overpriced for a 4 star hotel.
The view from the balcony was great but could do with a paint here and there.
Breakfast was OK but disappointing as we had to get our own tea and coffee which in past times the waiters have brought to our table, unless you wanted a cappuccino etc were you had the choice to use the machine.
Sat down for lunch seemed to be ignored so after 25 mins went out of hotel to a bar just along the road.
We had air con but heard others clients at reception asking for fans.
Reception staff very good. Didn't really feel dinning staff wanted to be there they all looked fed up. Definitely not 4 star service think hotel riding on back of its location. Such a shame.

Room Tip: Make sure you have air con.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sam c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Honestly more 3 star than 4 star..... which in my experience is typical of many coastal hotels in England. Car parking is very awkward. Again, the offer of a spa, but no surprise when half the parking spaces are taken by people who are local members of the Spa rather then residents of the hotel.

Rooms on the 3rd floor in the roof void are dreadful with no lift access. (I suspect would be impossible to sleep in hot weather as the rooms would all be like saunas - with only a fan to mitigate) They should be overflow rooms at 50% of price. I would not accept such a room and after some discussion was provided with an alternative on the 1st floor.

The restaurant is good value with the service being OK.... a combination of very young or foreign waiting staff.

As I say, a good location but easy to understand many of the comments which broadly find the hotel disappointing.... but I know my Nan really would love it! :-D.

Room Tip: Avoid the third floor.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chelsea605
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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