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“Fantastic staff, great food, best location, good value”
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Reviewed 20 April 2013 via mobile

An excellent hotel looking in need of a paint job on the outside. Reception very welcoming and efficient. Location 10/10 with views on one side to sea and other to bay.
All the staff were courteous, smiley & efficient.
Great stay for the family or business traveller.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank CJEbanana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Public Relations Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2013

Thank you for your review CJEbanana, we are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. Our staff take great pride in everything they do and try to give the best possible service to our guests. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

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1,346 - 1,352 of 1,774 reviews

Reviewed 18 April 2013

The hotel has a prime location (right on the beach , very good kite surf spot), but would certainly benefit from good refurbishment. The pool (which is more of a children basin) is too small to be call a pool and crowded.
Rooms are comfortable but common areas (restaurants, pool etc ) are poor. Value for money is not great.

Room Tip: Sea or harbour view rooms
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ACandEdM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2013

We have been going to this Hotel for 15 years or more to Masonic Ladies Festivals so get a good cross section of rooms etc. Just returned from this years event, price has risen, food is excellent but if you have whitebait to start, DONT SNEEZE, the small number will vanish!! They were however, perfectly cooked as was rest of my meals over three days. Breakfast buffet used to be just about everything including scrambled eggs but now NONE, you have to ask then wait, if you want Kippers or Haddock be prepared for a price addition around £8.00. Drinks still a bit pricey, but wines, they seem to have brought in a banqueting range and kept prices down to low £20.00
Prossecco is a good choice and reasonable. Merlot & Pinot both good. We used to get Brunch on a Sunday morning from 8 - 12 due to dancing & drinking till 1.30am. And our paperwork this year said breakfast 8 - 12 but beware, breakfast only now (no brunch) at weekends is 8 -10 and dead on 10 they turn lights out!!! then lay up for dinner. From what I saw new Matre D who seemed to be more interested in bossing the young Staff around than looking after the guests.

As usual they have invested a lot of money in refurbishment over last year, Beach Bar & furniture plus outside Bar B Q I think all now under cover with electric shutters for ease of opening up. Still an excellent venue location wise but maybe pricing itself out.

We always stay on 2nd floor but this time 3rd floor, lift stops at 2nd!!! Water I reckon stops at 2nd too, never had a problem before, but this year struggled to shower at 5pm in evening as no water pressure. Room was fantastic, comfortable and newly decorated, fantastic view, shame it peed with rain.

As with a lot of hotels they get greedy and although they had guests plus about 80 for our function they did a wedding and stopped all others going into their area. Well thats fair & reasonable BUT they failed to tell Wedding guests to stay out of ours and hotel guests bar, so our reception was compromised (and we only have it for about 1 hour) and even when told to sort it they didnt give a damn!!! talking to toastmaster, apparently this was at least the 4th time. If I had been a standard guest I would have created merry hell at not getting served or getting a seat due to wrong element in the bar area and demanded some action. Bit difficult under our circumstances. No more complementary nuts either, you pay for em!!!

Room Tip: Go for 2nd floor new section, personal choice if you prefer a view of sand and sea (sea view) or shi...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank JOHN K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2013

Its positioned perfectly for the ferry to Studlands and to Brownsea Island, rooms are very well designed and very comfortable, breakfast is outstanding with almost every taste catered for, great pool and fitness gym, and friendly staff...although somebody there should work out whether a Bloody Mary is a cocktail or not, was served a bloody Mary and charged £4.50 the next time I was charged £9.50 a heated exchanged followed...apart from that a pleasant stay and I would go again (but not to the bar)

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Illande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2013

Got this as part of a travelzoo deal, over 50% off which on balance I think is the most you would want to pay to stay here.
Due to it's location right on the beach I am sure in the height of summer that alone will command a higher price tag.
First impressions weren't great, you do drive in through an archway but the view is of the 'butt-end' of the building. You pass the bins and staff smoking area on the way to the reception!
Entry to reception is up a flight of stairs, in through automatic doors and then up another flight of stairs. There is a ramp which wasn't well marked but we found it - this entered through the bar area (which is next to reception anyway) but on our visit the automatic door there wasn't working! We had to prise it open to get in. Ordinarily I would not even think of the need for a ramp but with an infant in tow now it's essential!
Check-in was carried out fairly quickly though when we were given our room on the 2nd floor we found the lift by reception was out of order. Vague instructions on how to get to the other lift at the far end of the hotel were given - I declined the help of a porter, thinking it couldn't be that far but boy was I wrong! Up 2 flights of stairs and down long narrow corridors with doors and steps in between meant it was a bit of a maze to find a way to get a pushchair from our room back to either reception or the bar / restaurant areas without having to carry it. On several occasions we found ourselves either walking through darkened rooms and even out into the freezing cold in order to get from one part of the hotel to another.

The room was OK, we had upgraded to a family room and since we were at the far end of the hotel did not get affected by any of the noise from the events the funsters made! Plenty of floor space. A bunk bed for my eldest, he thought that was great! However the bedding was not brilliant, a single duvet wrapped in a double duvet cover! He got tangled up and distressed on the first night (he does wriggle a bit!)

The swimming pool was actually pretty good. As it was off-season it never got really busy, think the most in there was about 6 or 7. We went before breakfast both days and had the pool to ourselves for most of the time. The water was very warm, like a nice warm bath. Sauna was nice and relaxing and the showers were powerful and hot!
There was a soft play area which my youngest enjoyed - lots of balls to throw about and crawl through.

The restaurant was large and airy, if you could sit closest to the beach the large windows would slide open and I can imagine on a warm summery day this would be a great start to the day. The breakfast was actually our favourite part of the stay, very tasty bacon and eggs (though the sausages looked more like freezer specials!) as well as lots of cereals, juices, toast and pastries. I was surprised not to be asked if I wanted a pot of tea / coffee, instead being ushered to the single coffee machine at the far end of the restaurant. I can imagine during busy periods you could end up waiting 20mins for a coffee! Get steamed milk and top up with a couple of shots of espresso - great start!
Didn't eat dinner in the restaurant, on the first night we ate in the bar. The food came out quickly and was very tasty - nothing special but it sated our appetites!
My eldest enjoyed the entertainment put on by Team Funsters, even though it was very cheesy they did excellent work at occupying a bunch of young kids, even to the extent of trying to play 'cricket' on a very windy beach with a rounders bat and a beachball! Needless to say that didn't last long!

Sadly that night our youngest came down with some stomach bug (could be norovirus) and was throwing up all through the night. Can't put this down to the hotel though it has obviously tainted our view of Poole! As we went through all the towels in the room we had to ask for fresh towels before the room got cleaned the next morning. Reception were exceptionally helpful and we even bumped into the guy fulfilling the request on our way back to the room after breakfast no more than 2 mins later getting the towels!
Over the next 2 days, whilst my youngest recovered quickly and was fine on the 2nd day each of the rest of us came down with the same thing.

Ultimately the decor is quite worn. The impression from the beachfront is completely different to that from the car park entrance. There is great potential for this hotel but they do really need to sort out accessibility problems. The corridors are narrow and give quite a claustrophobic feel. It can be quite difficult getting from one part of the hotel to another. A bit more care needs to be given to the children's restaurant and area - maybe because it was out of season this was unused but looked dilapidated. There was a games area with a pool table and table tennis table but the net on the table tennis was broken (held up by a broken pool cue) and all bar 1 of the pool cues were broken in one way or another. Some doors were locked, others left open, did not get a consistent view of which parts of the hotel were out of service or not.

Room Tip: Swimming pool is DOWNSTAIRS at the far side of the restaurant! If using the coffee machine at brea...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank clintyboy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2013

This hotel is very hit and miss. We were there for a wedding so heard lots about other rooms. Some too hot, many too cold, some good, some bad. Ours was fine however.
Reception and check-in was poor. Lots of staff standing round but only one behind the counter checking in. Room not ready on time despite the late 3pm check-in time.
Restaurant staff generally unhelpful and miserable, all seemed to be overworked and everything was too much trouble.
Food exceptionally average.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FJBHotels, Public Relations Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2013

Thank you for the review, we are glad that you found your room satisfactory, however we are sorry to hear that some guests in your wedding party did not share the same view. In terms of the other concerns that you have raised, please be assured we will be investigating them further.

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Reviewed 11 April 2013

We booked through the hotels website and were told that we've have a family room with a double + single in the main room and an adjoining room with bunk beds . When we arrived the receptionist (who doesn't raise her head from her keyboard while talking to you) informed us that although we'd pre paid we would now have to pay an upgrade for the room that we'd been told that we already had. To be fair I still thought that this was value so I agreed to the fee and we promptly went up stairs . The room was spacious and for the money seemed fantastic value with a pleasant view of the harbour from the balcony. Unfortunately the lock to the balcony was broken so for the first hour or so we couldn't leave our belongings in the room unattended. A member of staff did swap our lock with an adjoining rooms so we headed to the pool. When we came back we opened up the sofa bed for our youngest to sleep in. Being a 4 star hotel I didn't expect to see the blood stained sheets that were covered in glitter too with a rather large yellow stain aswell . I hate moaning and have never had to ask to move rooms before but I couldn't put my 2 year old on such a soiled bed so housekeeping changed the mattress and sheets so we agreed to stay. I must add that while I was talking to reception about the dirty bed another couple were leaving to go to another hotel because they had dirty sheets too. This helped in my situation as I did feel rather embarrassed having to moan.
Later my son pushed one his toy cars under the main bed and my wife moved the bed to retrieve it. Oh my word, why can't cleaners clean? They must be capable of moving a bed to Hoover under it. It was discussing as was the filth in the drawers of the dresser and the filthy shower curtain that we discovered later while showering.
I've loved this area since visiting 36 yrs ago and have had countless holidays/breaks here without fault.
This hotel does sit in the most beautiful location and has a great "beach club" but without decent cleaners and a revamp I fear for its future.
When we departed the following morning we had another upgrade charge to the room and again it was only small so even though the receptionist who again couldn't raise her head from her computer didn't know what it was for I was wanting to get out ASAP so i just paid it . My wife however decided to get to the bottom of this fee and some ten minutes later the receptionist admitted that this shouldn't have been added so it was refunded.
Gutted that such an iconic hotel is now this bad. Some decent cleaners and a bit of personality at reception would have made all the difference. If these two thing were addressed our stay would have been superb value and we would have been returning very regularly

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank 834SimonL834
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: £81 - £191 (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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