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“Location,Location,Location BUT......( a very big but)”
Review of The Haven Hotel

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The Haven Hotel
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Poole
london
Level Contributor
59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Location,Location,Location BUT......( a very big but)”
Reviewed 14 September 2009

I just returned form a one night stay in Poole.
I was completely taken aback by the beauty of the area and the location of the hotel is quite staggering.I have stayed in hotels all over the world and this really has as spectacular a location as any. It is therefore a HUGE shame that the management are obviously content to allow this one advantage be the one and one and ONLY advantage the hotel has. The bedroom I stayed in was up the standard of a 2 star hotel at best. The decor was sad, tired and outdated. The doors and windows are an ugly aluminium type normaly found in cheap motels and the balcony door did not lock.Its size was barely adequate,even for one person .
The public rooms are slightly better but still not antwhere close to what one would expect for the rates that are charged by the hotel
The overall impression of the hotel is of one that has seen better days,although I suspect that this is not actually the case. I think it is just that the management are content to rely on the location of the hotel attracting sufficient visitors willing to pay absurdly high prices for 2 star standards.
If you really dont care about the room you sleep in and are willing to pay big bucks for location then you might not feel too cheated. Otherwise .....stay somewhere else.

Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank radral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Management Representative at The Haven Hotel, responded to this review, 19 January 2010
Radral – Firstly thank you for taking the time to write and post this report. We appreciate that many of our guests have different levels of expectations to others, and it is regrettable, to read, that we seemed to have fallen short of yours on this occasion. I can assure you that neither the Management Team, nor the hotels owners, are content to allow our wonderful views and location to be the hotel’s only advantage. We have an extensive programme with regard to upgrading/refurbishing the hotel, focusing on both bedrooms and public areas. However, as I am sure you can appreciate with a hotel of this size and three others to consider, this is an on-going task taking up to ten years to cover the whole hotel. Perhaps, next time you visit it might be worth requesting a refurbished bedroom or, as the rooms vary considerably in size, a larger room or suite which might suit your needs and expectations better.
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Dorset
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2009

First of all I want to say that my therapist was lovely and I had a great massage, and to be fair to the staff, they were all friendly and helpful. This review is about the FACILITIES. This is not a spa as we know it today, with lowered lights, the scent of aromatherapy oils and calming music. This is your Gran's worn out 1960's sitting room. The decor is shabby, the carpets practically worn through, the changing rooms a good walk away. And if you think that the pool and sauna area is integrated into the treatment area think again. You have to traipse down a long corridor - with worn out carpet, no windows, but full fluorescent lighting - that feels like a fire escape, chips of paint off the doors etc. The changing rooms are reminiscent of a public swimming pool that has not been refurbished for 30 years. Lots of rust on various pipes in the swimming area. My therapist should really go somewhere else where her skills are matched by the surroundings. I thought going to a spa was all about the full experience.
What is has going for it is the location of the hotel. It's in Sandbanks overlooking the sea. I suppose the owners feel because of the address they don't have to modernise the hotel. Otherwise they're waiting for some developer to pay them extortionate amounts of money and just knock down the whole place.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AdeleMK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Poole hotels

Buckinghamshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 July 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Haven Hotel, along with my parents, for a visit to the area for a family party. Having heard so much about the Sandbanks area, and seen the way the hotel described itself, our expectations were high - my dad was very excited about finding a hotel that he thought would be a treat for all of us and his disappointment couldn't be hidden.

With the price of the rooms and the location, I'd expected something of the same standard as one of the Hotel du Vin hotels (the Poole one was full at the time of our visit) but that was not the case. I have no issue with paying a little more for a hotel, especially for a special occasion or a treat, but the price label sets an expectation and that is something that this hotel clearly does not understand.

We arrived at the hotel just as a large wedding party was being welcomed for their wedding breakfast, totally blocking the path to the reception desk, although the hotel staff made no effort to ask them to move. The staff were friendly enough when we checked in but our room was a big disappointment: tiny, with a very small bed, outdated decor that was very much in need of some attention and a bathroom floor that would have looked perfect in student halls but not in a hotel that advertises itself in the way that this one does. Although we had a view of the sea, we were at the side of the hotel, overlooking the tennis court and pool, so we were not quite able to appreciate the location as much as we'd hoped. My parents, who didn't have a sea view, had a bigger room but the standard of decor seemed to be consistent.

It's clear that the public areas of the hotel have been the focus of a fair amount of attention, to the detriment of the bedrooms. The bar was relaxed and modern, with great sea views and a reasonable selection of wines. Because we were attending a party, we didn't have dinner at the hotel but the breakfast was very good - which it should be given that on its own, the room was not at all worth the ticket price. There was a lot of choice on the breakfast buffet and extra cooked options could be ordered at no extra cost.

The hotel has a good amount of parking, albeit with many narrow spaces. However, when there is a wedding, as there was when we arrived, it's very hard to find a space and you have to resort to parking against walls or in areas that leave very little space for other cars to squeeze past you.

Overall, my trip to Sandbanks was a good one but that wasn't the result of my time at The Haven. It may well call itself a four star hotel but I totally fail to understand how it achieved that rating, given the state of the rooms. The leaflet in our hotel room described a level of luxury of which I could see no sign at all, and given the cost of a one-night stay it's all to easy to be disappointed. The experience was miles away from the one I expected - this hotel is not good value for money and I would not stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KatherineJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
68 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2009

My partner and I booked this because there was a 2 for 1 offer - if it weren'f for that we think it would have been a bit overpriced. Having said that, the location must be one of the loveliest in the UK. The hotel sits directly on the seafront -eating on the patio overlooking the beautiful busy harbour was sublime. Our sea view room was very comfortable - one review here says it was warm, well turn the radiator off! The location is perfect for visiting Brownsea Island or just walking along a beautiful beach. Staff were friendly and helpful, but service was slightly ad hoc - drinks seemed to take a while to arrive, as did coffee at breakfast. But that won't put us off coming here again - we will try to come back.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank swamp-pokey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Manager at The Haven Hotel, responded to this review, 22 July 2009
Dear Swamp-Pokey

Thank you for your review, we are pleased that you had an enjoyable stay with us, and hope that you will visit again soon.

We appreciate the feedback regarding our drinks service not being quite as speedy as you would have liked and will address this with the team in the hopes to improve this.

Our harbour location is certainly one of our main selling points and provides fantastic views to offer the perfect backdrop to a relaxing weekend.

We often run special deals or reduced rates during our quieter periods, although not always as attractive as 2 for 1, so hope that you will keep an eye out for future offers so that we can welcome you back soon.
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2009

I stayed 1 night for business in Sept 07. The hotel itself is right at the end of the penninsula next to the Punt/Ferry going across the harbour entrance. It is also close to the ferry terminal if your heading across the channel or to The Isle of Wight.

Checkin was fine with the staff being very friendly & helpful. The room lighting could have been better but the bed was comfy and, the room reasonably spacious. The bathrooms have been recently refurbished so no issues there. The windows open although in the evening you may wish to keep them closed until the Punt/Ferry stops running as it is chain driven and, you can hear it clunking on the gears on the ferry. With the window closed it is not too bad however. Only issue was that I was at the far end of the top floor corridor and, the wireless internet did not reach that far so had to go to the lobby to use it which is a bit annoying. The View looks straight out to see and to the Isle which is pretty amazing.

I had breakfast in the restaurant which put on a good buffet & the coffee was better than most other places I have drank coffee in the UK. When will britain learn to make good esspresso? I did have room service. It was promptly delivered, hot and, was quite good.

I made use of the conference/business centre facilities whilst there as well. these are in a separate more modern building but very professional and, the banquet staff very attentive as well.

I would return for business or for a weekend away even if just to checkout the kite surfing that happens on the other side of the penninsula inside the harbour!

  • Stayed September 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Phicus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Managing Director at The Haven Hotel, responded to this review, 12 March 2009
We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay at The Haven, and hope that we get to welcome you back again soon. Next time you book with us please mention that you will require internet access, unfortunately as you say the wireless access doesn’t quite reach all of the bedrooms, however, many rooms also have a wired point by the dressing table. If we know that you need this facility we can be sure to allocate you a suitable bedroom. As for the kite surfing, this can be booked via TWA http://www.thewatersportsacademy.com which is our very own water sports academy next door to The Sandbanks Hotel, what’s more if you mention at the time of booking that you are a guest at The Haven (or indeed anyone of the four FJB Hotels) and show your key card at the centre you are entitled to a 30% discount off most the sports and activities taking place there.
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London
Level Contributor
143 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2008

A September break for my 90-year-old mother, and it would be hard to find a better spot on the South Coast of England - the sea to the front and along one side, boats of all sizes coming in and out of Poole Harbour, and the long sandy beaches of Studland Bay across the water. We were so impressed by the hotel itself - the layout, the rooms, and fantastic food. Most of all it was the staff who made our stay such a joy: well-trained, efficient, thoroughly courteous and cheery.

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Zero
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Formerly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oxfordshire
1 review
Reviewed 3 September 2008

We have just enjoyed a realy lovely relaxing stay at the Haven hotel, we have visited the Haven hotel a few times and always enjoy our stay the food is excellent. and the outdoor swimming pool must be one of the best in the country with wonderfull views from the hot tub. We just hope we are lucky enough to go to the Haven again soon

  • Liked — the situation of hotel and swimming pool
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank OxfordshireOliver
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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