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“A lovely hotel in the perfect location for people that love the beach”
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Reviewed 9 January 2013

We stayed here at the end of October 2012 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. The hotel is located on the stunning Sandbanks beach. On arrival we had lunch in the lounge area, and the staff were very friendly and accommodating. Our room had a sea view and was very spacious. It looked as though it had recently been refurbished. We had dinner and breakfast in the restaurant and the food was of a very high standard, and again the staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly. Overall we really like this hotel and would recommend it. The only reason we have given it a rating of four, rather than five, is because the pool area needs updating, however, guests have the full use of the pool and spa areas of the sister hotels which is a bonus. We look forward to staying here again sometime in the future.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank carlyollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Online Team at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2013

Thank you for your comments carlyollie, and I'm really pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. I'm sorry you weren't happy with the leisure facilities within the hotel, but I can see you enjoyed your time down at Harmony at The Haven!

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1,377 - 1,383 of 1,755 reviews

Reviewed 8 January 2013

I booked this hotel's sister hotel, The Haven on a £60 DBB twixmas rate through their central reservations after emailing back and forth for details etc. I was very pleased as I love the view and the restaurant at The Haven, When I got to The Haven they said I had booked into The Sandbanks, not so! If I wanted to stay at The Haven it'd cost and extra £100. As I didn't have £100 and they wouldn't budge I very unwillingly went to The Sandbanks Hotel (just down the road) The room I was given was a tiny single, it did have a sea view but considering I had gone for a rest and a break and would be in there most of the time it would not have made for a comfortable or relaxing stay. By this time I was nearly in tears and went down to reception with my laptop to again discuss the mix up. I showed them the emails which clearly showed that I had been enquiring about The Haven and not The Sandbanks hotel and although very polite the whole time they wouldn't budge. I resigned myself to staying at The Sandbanks which still has a great view but is not in the same league as The Haven (although they're both 4 star) I had to pay a £60 charge to upgrade to a bigger double room, which was very nice with a fab balcony and sea view, but I was upset and annoyed that I'd had to borrow the money to pay for something which was caused by their error. I emailed to complain when I got home and they replied to say that if I stay again they'd do me a good price.

The food in the hotel was very good and the service, excellent which makes it such a shame they dealt with my situation less than well I felt.

I'd definitely suggest you use the leisure facilities at The Haven if you stay here (you can use the facilities in any of the JJB hotels ( The Sandbanks, The Haven, The Harbour Heights or The Chine) because the pool in The Sandbanks is not good, very 2/3 star whereas The Haven's Harmony spa is lovely,

If you stay here as a single I'd definitely suggest you request a sea view double, as mentioned, the singles are tiny.

Overall a fairly nice hotel, great views and good outside spaces right by beach, very family orientated.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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5  Thank foodnfunfiend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Online Team at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2013

Thank you for your review foodndunfiend. I'm sorry about the problems you had when you stayed with us. Your review hinted that you've spoken to us directly about the problems you had, but if there's anything else you'd like me to look into, please let me know.

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Reviewed 7 January 2013

We were transferred to this hotel at midnight from the sister Harbour Heights hotel, where the heating was not working (in December). And here too, the heating was not working. The so-called 'refurbished' room did overlook the sea, but the furniture was dated and tatty, with mismatching chairs and a 1970s style wardrobe and chair and an old, black carpet. There was dust on several surfaces, and the bath was chipped, with black mould behind the taps, a loose sink tap and dust on the window ledge. Quite what was refurbished is a mystery. As a mature couple, we were not told that the hotel would be full of young, screaming children running around with no apparent supervision. And the was no answer from reception when I telephoned twice to find out how to work the television ( it's not obvious...).
Eventually, half of our bill was refunded, but I echo another reviewer's comment about four star prices, yet poor facilities.

Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
5  Thank LondonMariner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Online Team at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2013

Thank you LondonMariner for your comments. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your stay with us. If you'd like us to revisit your complaint please let us know

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Reviewed 4 January 2013

I discovered this hotel on a business trip and at the time it was undergoing renovation.

The room was delightful and recently refurbished, overlooking the beautiful sandy beach and the staff were very accommodating.

We were lucky to book during the firework night which was held on Thursday evening and was an added bonus.

My only criticism of this hotel was the food. We had only booked for bed and breakfast, but I did find as vegetarians, the choice was limited and the mushrooms were rather bland. That said however, it did not spoil our enjoyment and we hope to return again this year.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2013

This was our first visit to Sandbanks with our four children, aged 5, 10, 12 and 14. We were all looking forward to celebrating the new year together in this renowned family friendly hotel. We can't fault our room or the staff and our children did have a wonderful time but there is one issue which we just couldn't get our heads around. Why does the hotel insist on families not eating together? If we wanted the children to eat with us we had to pay an extra £5 per child. On the day of the New Years Eve gala meal they informed us that there was no option of the children eating with us, they were to eat in another area and then to join the entertainment team whilst we ate our meal. When we walked past the gala room all decorated in gold with crackers and party hats and streamers we felt guilty taking our children downstairs to this very damp smelling bleak basement room which had no tables set up and no party atmosphere, just a very poor canteen area. We were so shocked that we refused to leave our children there and insisted they ate with us. We were then very discretely tucked away in a corner but we did have a wonderful time and the food was great, lots of choice for the children. There was also a wedding function on that very same evening. It's clear that Sandbanks are trying to cater to everyone's needs when really they need to have two areas set aside for such a large event. One area for families with very young children so they can enjoy the entertainment and disco, which was far too noisy and really geared to very young children, and they need another function room for the more older clientele or quieter families with older children. A wedding using up a function room on the same night really did not help as we saw lots of older people walking around not knowing where to go to enjoy the evening. We spent our new year on the beach as the disco was too noisy and chaotic but that is our only complaint. Hopefully it will be a little more organised next year as we certainly intend to return.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Happysix2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2013

My wife and I stayed here for New Years Eve and were extremely disappointed. The whole event was totally disorganized and in our opinion completely miss sold.

Looking for a suitably impressive venue to see the new year in we had been attracted by not only the 4 star rating and location of your hotel but also the promise of a 'Glitz and Glamor' evening.

Having looked at your website and read the marketing material I also phoned reservations to inquire about the dress code for the evening to be told it was most definitely black tie.

Arriving at the hotel, we checked in and were only then told we had to 'book' a table for dinner. No mention of this on your website?

Once this was done we went to our room (311) which after navigating our way through damp, musty corridors we arrived at our room which was a bit tired and in need of some tlc. There were cobwebs covering the skylight in the bathroom and loose ceiling tiles above the shower and door. (See attached)

We went down to have a pre-dinner drink in the bar and then at 20.30 went into the restaurant to be seated.
After 20 minutes a waitress appeared apologizing for the delay and handed us the menu's. I asked if I could order some wine to which she replied "I need to get you the wine guy, I'll send him right over"
Another 15 minutes passed and still no sigh of either the waitress or the "wine guy"

Then the restaurant manager appeared, Sergio, asking if we had had our order taken. I said no so he said he'd take it. I also took the opportunity to order a bottle of wine.
10 minutes later the first waitress came back and asked for our order. I replied that it had already been taken.

20 minutes later, the first course of mushroom soup appeared (served by yet another waiter) followed by the wine (served by another waiter) who apologized for having to leave the wine bucket propped up in the window as they had run out of wine bucket stands but not to panic as he would find one and return shortly - never saw the man again - not sure if he was the mysterious "wine guy" mentioned earlier.

Next course was sea bass which, if it had been served with mayonnaise would have been fine, but as it was supposed to be served hot not so good. This was accompanied by raw peas.

We complained to a passing waitress who offered to bring us a replacement dish but fearing this may delay the already lengthy service we declined but asked if our comments could be passed on to the chef. She said she would do this and removed our plates.

I'm guessing this message regarding food being sent out cold and raw did not make it back into the kitchen as when my main course arrived we had a plate consisting of the following

Cooked (but luke warm, and that is being very generous) meat
Raw - carrots, potatoes and green beans

I tried in vain to attract the attention of a member of the waiting staff but after a fruitless search I gave up and frustrated took it upon myself to deliver the message regarding cold and raw food to the chef myself.

I walked into the kitchen and presented my plate to the 4 chef's who were standing at the pass (I presume just for effect as clearly quality control was not being undertaken). I pointed out the cooked elements of my meal (the meat) and the uncooked elements (carrots, potatoes and green beans) to be met with silence and no response.

I returned to my table where 10 minutes later we were joined by the restaurant manager Sergio who asked if everything was OK.
We re-iterated our list of issues (cold second fish course, length of time to wait for each course, being served raw food).

He apologized and explained that this year they had included smaller tables in order to attract more couples and admitted that clearly they had underestimated the issues this would cause.

This does seem a bit odd as surely in a normal evening service you would have more couples tables than larger tables so one would assume that a hotel of this standard (and charging these prices) would be more than capable of delivering the expected level of service?

He offered to bring me another main course however as it was now 22.50 (and with still 2 course to go) and not wanting to see the new year in waiting for these to arrive we decided to cut our losses and go to the ballroom.

Sergio did offer to send us a cheese board up to our room which was there when we returned at 23.30 so to his credit he was very apologetic and understanding.

I use the term ballroom but creche would be a much more fitting description. I have no issue with children in hotels and families however at 23.00 at night I wasn't expecting to have to navigate around push chairs and buggies to get to the dance floor and once there have to keep one eye open so as not to step on any dancing pajama wearing toddlers.

The evening had been sold on the website as glitz and glamour and an expectation that the children would be entertained in another area after 21.30 however this did not appear to have taken place. If we had wanted a 'Butlins style' evening we would have gone there instead.

After half an hour of watching and listening to the DJ entertain the assembled children we decided to return to our room to see the new year in.

The following morning we came down for breakfast (which was actually served hot and quick - maybe due to it being buffet style?) and as it was such a nice day decided to take our coffee on the beach terrace.

It was now 11.00 and looking back into the dining room where there were at least 15 waiting staff it seemed strange that not one of them had bothered to check the beach terrace for remnants of last nights celebrations. On all the tables we were greeted with the sight of half empty pint glasses, empty champagne bottles, over flowing ash trays and even the carefully designed topiary had been embellished with Christmas tree decorations. If it had been 07.00 in the morning you could maybe understand why this had not been cleared but this was 11.00. It was yet another example of a hotel, it's staff and the management appearing not to care

Upon checking out we again expressed our disappointment with the level of service, quality of food and overall experience we had paid a not insignificant amount of money for (This being New Years Eve after all).
Given we only got round to being served 3 courses, 2 of which were cold / raw you had at least had the decency to not charge us for the food element.

I do hope you find the above feedback constructive and having spoken to other guests on the evening and during check out in the morning I suspect we will not be alone in expressing our overall disappointment at the level of service delivered by what claims to be a 4 star hotel - 2 star at best.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank mark g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for New Years Eve with our children and two other families and were really disappointed. The whole event was totally disorganised. We only found out that it was necessary to book a table for the 'Gala Dinner' when we rang to enquire about something else. Even then, nobody told us that we would also need to book a table for the children's buffet dinner too. We only found this out when we called to check about the dress code for the 'Gala Dinner' (Which was meant to be Black Tie, but actually very few people were dressed up). When we took our children down for their tea, it was chaos. Nothing had been cleared, their were no plates available, the cutlery box was dirty and they had run out of puddings. The corridors smell of damp and the entire hotel needs a complete overhaul. The rooms are average at best and the only good thing about this hotel is the view.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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4  Thank Trinity0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandbanks Hotel

Address: 15 Banks Road | Sandbanks, Poole BH13 7PS, England (Formerly FJB Collection - The Sandbanks)
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 ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Poole
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
Price Range: £94 - £228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandbanks Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 116
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched in one of England's most enviable seaside locations, the Sandbanks Hotel is a relaxed and affordable holiday destination. With direct access to the world-famous sandbanks beach - seven miles of prestigious blue flag awarded sand to get between your toes! Our popular beach-side terrace area is a place to recline with a glass of wine.Featuring well-appointed rooms that have been designed for comfort and relaxation. Many boasting either sea views or outlooks across Poole harbour. We're sure you'll agree that when it comes to family holidays, it's best to keep everybody happy. Mum, dad, teenagers, toddlers and everyone in between all need their own piece of holiday heaven. The Sandbanks Hotel is a fun filled staycation location for family seaside holidays. With dedicated children's entertainment during school holidays, an exciting programme of activities and adventure with the Watersports Academy - there are more opportunities for mum and dad to find some relaxation time. Our Seaview Restaurant boasts celebrated chefs and an enviable sea view. Helmed by Head Chef, Wayne Joyce and his commitment for creating good food with local ingredients inspired by our wonderful location. When you need a rest from building sandcastles, Sandbanks Beach Club is the perfect spot for a summertime bite. Located on the terrace, it's an easy option for lunch and dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandbanks Poole
Hotel Poole Sandbanks
Poole Sandbanks
Sandbanks Hotel Poole, Dorset
Hotel Sandbanks

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