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“A trip down memory lane at The Sandbanks”
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Reviewed 3 March 2014

Haven't stayed at the Sandbanks Hotel for years. Last time too was with our kids. This time we booked for just the 2 of us last August.

The trip was to be a trip down memory lane for me, as I spent all my summers there as a kid, not at the hotel but in a flat.

Entering Sandbanks from Canford Cliffs, as you hit the height of the cliff, the view of Poole Harbour is amazing, and the drive down to the Harbour side, (who needs airport chaos), it's a stunning view.

We booked 2 nights, so packed and went. Height of the summer season, well towards the end, but still busy and buzzy . Managed to park the car, and then we were taken to our room. Wow I was really very surprised at what a great room we had, you do have to walk through the ballroom to get there , but well worth it with the fab sea view, and balcony. Everything you needed in the room except a fridge but they put one in for us.. We were so incredibly lucky with the weather it was a scorcher.

The wonderful aspect of this hotel is brill, it has direct access to the beautiful beach. That is a massive bonus and it's truly a gorgeous beach.. Blue Flag.. The walks either way are splendid and wonderful. Facing towards the sea, and walk to your right, you walk eventually to the Haven Hotel ( also an FJB Hotel, sister hotel to the Sandbanks), and the ferry that takes you to Shell Bay and Swanage. Facing the sea and walking left is toward Boscombe and Bournemouth. The sea is wonderful and failry safe to swim in, my dad used to swim from Sandbanks to Shell Bay, ermmm wonder if you're really allowed to do that, although I love swimming, I didn't give it a go.

We booked one dinner at the hotel and breakfast was included. To be honest I always did love the food here, and maybe just maybe a tad disappointed this time. Still very nice but not as smart as I remember. Some staff there too were very nice, but English wasn't there first language and therefore a few complications and misunderstandings arose. But nothing too much. There is a lovely terrace for drinks and and snacks, and a conservatory too.

The second night we went to a pleasant eaterie by the side of the Sandbanks Hotel, I think called the Jazz cafe, where we had fish and chips, very nice. It's near the ice cream bar, where the ice cream are the best and still taste like ice cream like when we were young, I had a 99 and it was amazing.

We spent time on the beach which was wonderful. We went to the little fair nearby and they still had crazy golf and stuff there. We walked all the way to the Haven Hotel where you have to climb on rocks ( easy and I'm a moaner) it was just like being 10 years old again. We didn't go on the car ferry, which is a real chain ferry, at the mouth of Poole Harbour and the Sea, but we went on a boat ferry to Brownsea Island. I remember going with my mates when I was 10 and we jumped on a fisherman's boat, and he took us there. Can you imagine the kids being allowed to do that today. Our parents didn't even know what we were doing and there were no mobile phones then .Just cycled there and jumped on the boat. So I roared with laughter when the inevitable came up on the boat ferry and the safety regime was announced.. However this time my man and I walked all round the Island which has a big history and a nature reserve. The history is related to Lord Baden
Powell and the Scout and Guide movement, and there is a castle on the island, but guess what, not for the likes of us, it's for the John Lewis staff partnership who have done well. They get sent there for breaks! Anyway it was an amazing experience and loved it.

It's a pleasant walk to the little parade of shops that I remember so
fondly, and another beach just a bit further up called Midway Path (fab) where we used to have a beach hut, and that beach too is amazing. The
beaches in Sandbanks are all blue flag. You can walk all round the
little peninsular, Panorama Road, it's a one way street and look at the
amazing properties there, but you can't go into the harbour and on the
jetty anymore as it's now privately owned. I used to fish there, but you can still go crabbing on the beach side, and the harbour is shallow and you can wade around and look for little fish, kids love this.

Now back to the hotel. A very nice bar in the evening, but when we were there mostly entertainment for the kids, which our kids really enjoyed. I expect they have an adult programme sometimes. The key thing about this hotel, it's a wonderful hotel for families, and so close to the sea. There is an indoor swimming pool, and I'm surprised they never built an outdoor one. The pool is Ok I used it as I love swimming. I think they have a small gym too. I loved the visit, and I would recommend the hotel, however I still adore Sandbanks but would opt for the Haven Hotel, next to the ferry next time, as I decided maybe I'm grown up now! Who knows one day maybe with grandchildren the sandbanks. To be honest you can't go wrong at the Sandbanks. The back of the hotel overlooks Banks Road and across to Poole Harbour I think the second largest natural harbour in the world.

No space for videos here but watched a very unusual sport from the seashore, a kind of human dolphin sky dive amazing

Room Tip: Sea or harbour view
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nfenton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,121 - 1,127 of 1,809 reviews

Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

This hotel has the potential to be the best hotel in the sandbanks, but it's starting to look a bit tired. It needs a good revamp. The children's play area on the bottom floor is very dated, the table tennis table is terrible, the decor isn't great, but the children seemed happy enough which is always a good sign. The pool is lovely and warm, the changing rooms are not too good. The sauna is nice enough, although very very hot. And the gym is basic but of reasonable standard. I really hope this hotel has some serious investment otherwise it will end up being like Fawlty Towers, or with the right investment it could be absolutely magnificent,

Stayed: February 2014
1  Thank Smiffter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Great location, food really good and nice relaxed family atmosphere. They have tapped into the family market and our girls and their friends had a lovely time. It wasn't all families though. Fantastic views and the duel aspect is great. Very chilled. Nice room with great view of the bay. A little noisy at times and I imagine a bit of a lottery if you have a young family next door as we did on the 2nd night. Staff very friendly. Good value at this time of year although looks expensive in the summer. I was a bit confused by the mixed reviews but can understand that your experience could differ, particularly if you don't have one of the better rooms.

Stayed: February 2014
Thank goddardvlly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014

The hotel façade is distinctly 50's ish. and once inside you enter a large well appointed family hotel. Rooms have aspects over Poole harbour from the front and the lovely beach of Poole bay from the rear. .Our 'Poole Bay' facing room was large ,comfortable and well appointed with bed ,settee and 2 armchairs.. We ate one meal in the restaurant and were impressed with the quality and choice. . My only minor gripe was that service ,whilst very good, was too swift and we had finished a 3 course meal and,drunk a bottle of wine ,all within 45 minutes ! Breakfast choices were very good and service was buffet style. This is an excellent choice for families and couples -plenty going on . They have an excellent product

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ALANJL55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014

From start to finish this was a wonderful hotel to stay at. Parking was crowded but space still able to be found. The lovely receptionist was very welcoming and check in was easy! Great balcony room overlooking the beach with the ability to leave the door open overnight to listen to the waves crashing on the beach. It was one of the best ways to fall asleep and wake up again. Dinner, breakfast and leisure facilities were all very good and would recommend this hotel as a great weekend escape.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Leslie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014

We had a great stay made better with the great customer care we received from all staff we came across. We had a warm welcome at reception, the cleaning staff were friendly and efficient,the restaurant staff polite courteous, prompt and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble ..everything we asked for we got quickly !
Parking spaces were good... you felt you could leave and come back and still find a space. Booking in and out was prompt . We were given room 233 ( a little bit of a corridor trek) which had a balcony over looking the bay. The room was very spacious with a small corridor fro the front door with the bathroom to the right and the bedroom in front. The bed was extra large and super clean and comfortable. There was a TV ... reception/Sound quality not the best but adequate. Tea and coffee making facilities with tea coffee hot chocolate and biscuites which are replenished . You get some milk and you cn ask at reception for more if you need t hem. There was adeqate storage with several hangers in the cupboard. There is a table and two chairs also. We had the setee made up for our teenager ...the room would have been huge without the setee being made up ... and the teenager ! The bathroom was bob on... Towels large and fluffy. The shower is great (shame about the shower curtain ..but hey ...it was functional) The toiletries supplied ... lovely...the nicest smelling thatI have had in a long time . These are replenished daily

We went to breakfast in the Sea view room early the first day ... 08:15. There were a few people at tables but we were placed near the window with a view of the sea. It was a help yourself buffet which was varied and replenished regularly. I asked for porridge which was delicious.The cooked breakfast was delicious ... even the hash browns were tasty . The toasting bread was thick and delicious ...hot chocolate for our teenager, home made alpen for my husband - it was lovely! ... the second morning we went down later 09:15... it was busier , but this did not stop the quality of food or service.. it simply meant navigating around tables filled with people

The location of the hotel is fabulous - at the front of the hotel you cross the road and you can walk around the bay at the back you are directly on tothe beach... which is miles of beautiful golden sand ... divine!!If you get the weather you could ask for no better beach (as good as my favourite beach ever...Woolacombe !) At the back of the hotel there are plenty of rattan seats so you can sit and look out to sea if you wish... there is a gate that opens directly on tothe beach ..perfect !

We stayed in February .. the hotel wasnt full. I could imagine a different experience in the busier seasons

Remember to take your swimming costume -we forgot ours boo hoo!

....We would go back in a heart beat

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Benitta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

On arrival parking is very good. Reception staff soon had us checked in and were friendly. The room and furniture was all in good condition and clean but a little old fashion, bed very comfy. Facilities all very good and drinks etc a fair price. Lounge area very nice, clean and modern with great bar service and nice food.
Restaurant: good service and very nice food, the only thing it lacked was atmosphere and a sense of occasion and the biggest let down was NO table cloths, I cant believe every thing else is so well dressed and presented and all it lacks is a white linen tablecloth and this lets it down big time as the tables are not that nice.
However, this is a great hotel in a fantastic spot and we will return.

Room Tip: Must have a sea view "stunning" even on the ground floor
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Michael M
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 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
#4 Luxury Hotel in Poole
Price Range: £68 - £176 (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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