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“Lovely Surprise” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Poole
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
176 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Lovely Surprise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2013

I did not expect much from this hotel as we were on a coach party trip and it was relatively cheap for a 4+ hotel. We got a fabulous surprise, we had a mini suite and a huge balcony which overlooked Poole Bay with the lovely sands and views. It was not the weather for a balcony but I went out on it nonetheless, too good to miss. The bathrom was enormous and the rooms were comfortable with flat screen tv's and a comfy bed. The meals were something else again, we got to choose from the a la carte dinner menu and the food was heavenly, no complaints here. The staff were friendly and helpful and the loung areas were nicely kept. If the weather had been later in the year it would have been nice to spend time outdoors in the very nice seating area. Something for next time perhaps? I would love to go back here but apparently it is extremely busy in summer and the likeliehood of another coach trip to this hotel is remote. I would definitely go back if I could get similar accommodation it is a lovey area.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with balcony
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dr0dden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 26 March 2013
Thank you for your review dorrod. Happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. The terrace has recently been refurbished; we are looking forward to seeing you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,598 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (534)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Lutterworth
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2013

Big mistake on my part! I forgot to check on Trip advisor before I went to this hotel. Super location but very tired and in need of re-organisation. Staff are young and friendlly but most have a limited vocabulary in English. No one appears to be in charge. When I complained about my poor single room no 15, especially as I was charged a single supplement. I was told that central reservations dealt with the bookings. On phoning them, their reaction was everone has to pay single supplement despite how bad their room is! Unfair, as most other single rooms had balconies or sea views or both. I had neither. I could not recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SpringLutterworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 21 March 2013
Thank you for your comments SpringLutterworth, we take such feedback serious. This issue may have been avoided if a balcony or sea facing room was originally booked/requested. If you have any further questions, please do contact us, we are happy to assist.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Poole hotels

Henlow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2013

My girlfriend and recently planned to visit friends in the Poole area and picked this place for a 2 night stay. Thankfully I know the area and despite certain reviews thought it would be a good place to try. We arrived on Sunday afternoon to be greeted by a very helpful and pleasant receptionist who got us checked in quickly. The room we had was a 2nd floor sea view double that was clean and warm, with a comfortable bed too !! Although we only dined in on 1 of the 2 nights we stayed, in my opinion the staff we helpfully and polite and our evening meal in the resteraunt was very good. At breakfast one bloke told us it was 'cold and crap' personally though i thought it was good, seems at times you can never make everyone happy however give this place a try and maybe like us you too might soak up the fantastic views, enjoy a pleasant meal in the dining room and relax with a couple of drinks, they did everything we needed to have a good break and next time we need somewhere to stay I would be happy to stay here again.

Room Tip: Make sure you have a sea view, worth the extra you pay !!
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 20 March 2013
Thank you for your review Richard H. We are always aiming to provide excellent service to match our stunning location.We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and are looking forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2013

I first stayed at this hotel 10 years ago and have been back many times since. I loved the beautiful location, attention to detail, cleanliness, quality of the food and the helpfulness and friendliness of the staff. Sadly on this occasion the only thing that I loved was the view and this had been spoiled by the buildings that had appeared on the terrace.

Our sea view room with balcony had a clean and well presented bathroom. The balcony was however filthy. The tea tray had very little on it. The hairdryer became too hot and was very noisy. I reported the hairdryer but nothing was done about about it. We reported it again the next day and asked for a replacement. A replacement was brought but this one didn't supply any hot air and had a PAT test date that was well overdue.

I had so looked forward to dressing for our evening meal, as requested by the hotel, and eating in the hotel. We booked to have dinner there for both evenings of our stay. In the past there has been a fixed price for the number of courses, and the food was beautifully presented and served. The items on the menu are now individually priced, the choice is limited, not very imaginative, and very expensive. The wine waiter knew nothing about wine and the waiting staff do not know how to wait at table. For the cost of this meal I would have expected it to be a much more special experience. We cancelled our reservation for the following evening.

Breakfast was a better experience. But while at the hot food counter I asked if there was any bacon. I was told that it was being kept warm in the kitchen. I had thought that the waiter had gone to get it. Sadly not. When he returned from the kitchen with tea for someone else he remembered. No apology - but the bacon then arrived.The following day the soft boiled egg was almost raw and inedible.

There seemed to be a very negative tone in many of the written messages given out in the information in the room and around the hotel. It gave the impression that there must be an issue with anti-social behaviour. Certainly charging things to your room seemed to be discouraged. The notice on the piano informed you that it should not be touched , that CCTV was in operation and that all damage must be paid for.

There is a real need for staff training in how to deal with guests - especially in the reception, bar and restaurant. It is what the hotel has done so well in the past and made it such a special place to be.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JEH25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2013

My wife and I have been regular visitors at the Sandbanks Hotel over the last 10 years, both as corporate and non-corporate guests. We have previously revelled in the delights of the hotel with what we percieved as high level attention to detail and a responsive and caring staff always there to assist where needed. Oh dear, what has happened? We have just returned from a two night stay at the hotel and have left, informing the receptionist that no, we would never be booking to go there again. We had a room with a balcony and sea view. You could wipe the thick layers of filth on the surfaces on the balcony, drawing pictures in the grime. The bed was small (unless you are vertically challenged) and one side of the matress had long since ceased to function in a supporting role. The bar staff were at sea when asked for a Vodka Martini with an Olive. A drink was eventually provided, but this was not a V.M. (at least not as we know it, Jim). There were no olives in the hotel (!!). In the dining room, there did not seem to be any cohesiveness amongst the staff who seemed to cross over each other's areas. The somelier (there might have been two or three people who possibly answered to this title, who knows?) professed Matheus Rose as being the highlight of the wine list (yes, perhaps in 1975 !!). Spoken English seems to be a general issue, with translation and understanding being at best varied, sometimes non-commital and generally ineffective. The reception desk have the smiles, but the eyes are dark voids with little or no registration of the facts being discussed. Certainly little or nil follow up where guest problems were being discussed. The ace in the hole of the old hotel, the unrestricted open views across the bay to Studland, are now completely spoiled by white garage-like buildings which appear to serve no purpose and decking planters with box hedge plants (too heavy to be moved) placed between the patio tables and the wall to the beach. Our opinion was that the hotel has gone down the Wedding venues route (which, as an afternoon event, it can probably get away with) at the expense and loss of the types of guests who have regularly stayed there and would always have remainded faithful to the old girl. Don't touch this one unless you really just don't care. If that's your attitude, the place will suit you perfectly!!

Room Tip: If you must stay here, go for a Sea View room on a high level.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank B H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
74 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2013

I went to Sandbanks for a family celebration around 8 years ago and was very impressed. This time I chose Sandbanks for a similar occasion and was looking forward to it.

On arrival at about 7.30pm after a difficult 3.5 hour drive, the receptionist couldn't even be bothered to smile. I was pleased initially with the family room it was spacious and out of the way. It turned out to be very quiet which was excellent since there were two functions taking place on the Saturday night. Unfortunately, though the room wasn't cleaned and our towels weren't changed and we ran out of some fundamental basics you might take camping with you.

During Saturday we secured a table in the bar with a view of the screen from about 2pm for the Wales vs England rugby with 5pm kick off. Just as the match was about to start we had to move as the area was being used for photos for one of the functions. We had asked if the rugby was on that screen later and the staff member had said it was, and neglected to mention that the photography was taking place. This was very poor service.

The meal on Saturday evening was so ordinary, it wasn't true. The waiter got the description of the salman tartar[e] wrong by saying it was poached. Not great especially if one of the party is pregnant and is avoiding raw fish. The vegetable canneloni was simply awful I did eat it but if it hadn't been a celebration dinner I would have sent it back. The chocolate fudge pudding was like a school dinner. On top of this we were wedged in a corner clearly to not be any disturbance to one of the functions. This was in a restaurant that purports to have AA Rosettes as demonstrated by all the plates on the wall in the corridor on the way to the restaurant. I really think there is some confusion there because the food was nowhere near the standard I'd expect for an AA Rosette restaurant and not a patch on the last time we went there.

On the plus side the buffet breakfast was good, with a good range of options and it was all freshly cooked (hot) or fresh (cold). Also the staff in the Sands bar were excellent. They seemed to be on shift almost the whole time we were there and they were pleasant, efficient and friendly, if a little busy coping with the workload.

Overall though very disappointing and a lesson learnt for me is check Trip Advisor if there is a few year gap between stays because a decent hotel can go downhill very quickly.

Room Tip: ask for a quiet room; find out if there are functions.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank saundy67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2013
Thank you for your time to highlight areas of improvement saundy67. We take such feedback very serious and are actively gathering customer feedback to make improvements. It is unfortunate that you were unable to watch the match; the waiter should have informed you about the photo shoot. We are investigating all other areas you highlighted and are determined to make improvements.

If you have any further queries, please do get in touch.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2013

We chose The Sandbanks hotel for a family birthday having enjoyed our stay for a similar occasion a few years ago. Our experience couldn't have been more different! The public areas downstairs are nice and the bar staff friendly and attentive. However, on leaving this area you enter a maze of corridors with stained carpets and dated decor. Our room was large but it was not cleaned leaving us with no toilet paper or dry towels on the second morning, despite complaining to reception. The evening meal was very poor with our large party put against a wall in a corner when the restaurant was empty. The food on our last visit was fantastic; this was more like school dinners. There were two functions on at the hotel during our visit, which we were aware of when we booked. This would have been fine if we didn't mind people throwing up in the only ladies' toilet on the ground floor, which we were unfortunate enough to need to use with our children. To be fair, the hotel did give us a small discount when we complained that the room hadn't been cleaned. However, this came without even the slightest apology from the receptionist. One of the most disappointing stays we have ever experienced at a hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank onlyonepony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Online Team at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2013
Thank you for your response onlyonepony and welcome to the tripadvisor community. I can see you've joined this week to post this one review.

I'm sorry you weren't happy with your stay with us, if there's anything you'd like us to look into in more detail please let us know
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandbanks Hotel

Property: Sandbanks Hotel
Address: 15 Banks Road, 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 ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
#4 Luxury Hotel in Poole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sandbanks Poole
Poole Sandbanks
Hotel Poole Sandbanks
Sandbanks Hotel Poole, Dorset
Hotel Sandbanks

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