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“Shame about the shabbiness”
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Reviewed 7 January 2009

We booked in for a one-night stay during the coldest weekend Britain has seen in decades. The room was absolutely freezing. I'm 6 months pregnant and had been looking forward to a cozy retreat after a long walk on the beach. Eventually we got management to bring in extra heaters. The room itself was more like a cheap motel than a 4-star effort. A cheap excuse for a mattress, tired fittings, shabby carpet and tiny TV set. You get the feeling they really scrimp on things: eg batteries for the remote didn't work, no heating in the bathroom. Definitely not worth 4 stars, more like 2 and a half.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ginger_rocket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,761 - 1,767 of 1,818 reviews

Reviewed 16 November 2008

This hotel is in a very good location, but is very average and not up to the four star standard it is supposed to be.

I stayed in a single room (330) which was furnished adequately, more Travelodge than four star, but clean and generally ok. The hotel has wifi which is great if you are working. There was no mini bar or safe in the room, but there was a trouser press and iron.

However there were a few big problems during my stay.

Firstly the water pressure in the ensuite was so low the hot water spluttered out of the taps and the shower was totally unusable, it was just a pathetic dribble and would not adjust high enough. I complained about this to reception, but nothing was done and I was not offered a room change. Being able to shower properly is something I expect from all hotels, especially one claiming to be four star.

Secondly there was a function on, which meant that many areas of the hotel were out of bounds and the noise created by drunk people having races down the halls of the hotels and shreiking at 2am meant I did not sleep properly either night.

The atmosphere of the hotel is distinctly snooty for somewhere that in reality is quite an average hotel (with a good location). They insist on dressing for dinner and at breakfast there were as many staff as customers.

This is a real shame as this hotel could be very nice if the rooms were furnished in a higher standard with higher quality bed linen and the hotel embraced the modern traveller. Instead it seems to be clinging on to some sort of image it may have had many years ago and surviving on summer visitors and wedding functions the rest of the year.

I wouldn't recommend this hotel for any single travellers or anyone with a disability (as there are a lot of stairs). Many of the positive reviews of this hotel are probably reviewing the beach and view and not the hotel's facilities.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled solo
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1  Thank Robin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johnb2006, Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2009

Thank you for your review Uksno. I have tried to contact you since your review but you have not replied to my e-mails. Do therefore give me a call if I can be of further help.

The problem with the shower that you mention here was subsequently found to be a faulty one-way valve that was recently fitted as a new safety feature. This has been replaced, and the shower is now working perfectly. I am sorry that we could not offer you an alternative room.

I am a little perplexed by your comment “They insist on dressing for dinner” as we have a fairly relaxed dress code, with our guideline being ‘smart casual attire’ for dinner. I think therefore you may have witnessed the formal black-tie dinner that was taking place at the time of your stay, and perhaps wrongly assumed this was the dress code for residents too.

I would assure you that in keeping with the beachside location and resort style of the hotel, a jacket and tie is no longer a requirement in this modern age, and most guests dress for comfort and relaxation.

I was sorry to learn that you were disturbed by noise in the corridor outside your room at 2am. I assure you that this is not normal, and completely unacceptable when people are trying to sleep. We have staff on duty throughout the night, who will attend promptly following a call to Reception should you find your sleep being disturbed in this manner.

I do hope that in all other respects you enjoyed your stay, and thank you once again for your review

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Reviewed 6 November 2008

I made my first visit to the Sandbanks Hotel this October for Halloween celebraions, mainly on the recomendations from other freinds with families.

The hotel is what seems to be, in orking progress.The bar area quite clearly the start of lovely refurbishments in the hotel. The rooms were comfortable and do not deserve some of the very harsh critics.

The highlight for me and my family however was the entertainment. When we have visited similar hotels in the past we have enjoyed exploring the area, bad weather prevented this. So, we opted to let the children join in the entertainment, that was the only mistake we made...

As we couldn't get them to leave it for the rest of the holiday!!! The entertainers Dizzy Danni, Jimbob and Funky Faye were the most high spirited people I have ever seen! They not only provided amazing daytime childrens entertainment thoughout the holiday (which made us forget about any rain outsaide), but the nightly entertainment was fantastic. They managed to get everyone involved with games for the family, but side tepping any cheesy Butlin's feel. The children and myself couldn't have asked for anymore and will be, without any doubt be long standing guests from this point onwards.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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Thank LondonCatherine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2008

My husband and I recently had our wedding at the Sandbanks and could not fault a single thing. The day was absolutely perfect. The staff were excellent and extremely helpful, especially the wedding planner Sebastien, who ensured the day was stress-free and well organised.
The hotel lobby and bar areas have recently been refurbished to a high standard. The Sandbanks Brasserie restaurant and terrace has spectacular panoramic views of the beach.
We stayed in a standard room overlooking the beach, which meant waking up to a glorious sunrise!
We would not hesitate in recommending this hotel for people looking for a beautiful location and a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank DorsetStudent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2008

Fantastic venue, gorgeous setting. The staff were very friendly and polite and very helpful, they can't do enough for you. The hotel was very clean and it has just had a new refurb in the summer and is fantastic. Would definately recommend a wedding there and also just a great holiday in a great location!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
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Thank thisistaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2008

I had looked at this hotel many times before but have always been put off by the price but we decided to treat ourselfves and go for one night visting from London. The location is lovely right on the beach but after a really long lovely walk on the sea front walk from Bournemouth we were looking forward to having a drink at the beach bar overlooking the beach only to find it was shut as a private function! not impressed.
The seafood restarant was also shut due to a wedding so we had no choice but had a drink in the other bar which has views over the harbour yes but is located in the car park basically !
The other restaurant looked very dreary and as lovely as the location is it does not have any other bars/restaurants within walking distance really so we ended up with a take away in our room which completely defeated the whole idea of a nice seafront meal.
The rooms are ok not four star standard, small TV and not as clean as shold be, personally think it is well over priced and always confirm if there is a wedding or function on as this completely takes over the hotel, I have emailed the hotel to complain about this as feel discounts should be offered when not all facailities are open.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dillojs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Mamanging Director at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2008

Sandbanks Hotel this year to date has accommodated just less than 10,000 visitors, 24,000 bed nights.

We have received 8 Trip Advisor comments within the same period, 4 of which were negative. Statistically this represents 0.001% of our customers.

We currently have in excess of 35% or some 3500 customers returning on a regular basis. We are a broad brush hotel, by that I mean we cater for business people, functions, weddings, leisure breaks and families. We draw our clients from all society and all social classes, we do not specialise in any particular style of client. Although we strive to satisfy everybody, by the very nature of our business it is impossible to satisfy everyone, at all times.

We notice a regrettable trend amongst some of our clients who feel it is quite correct to be rude and offensive to service staff and then expect those service staff to be polite and pleasant at all times!! Likewise, we have reports of customers being offended by the inconsideration of other guest… I really do hope these trends are not an indication of British society evolving.

Of course we are open to constructive criticism of our service levels, providing this is done in the correct manner.

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Reviewed 13 September 2008

I wanted a luxury break!! No sign of luxury, poor decor and room full of dated furniture. Bedding did not appear to be fresh in one of the beds. TV not working. Food in Restuarant poor and so 70s not cooked pasta, not freshly made. Breakfast set out on hotplates like a canteen. Wanted to use therapies but they were closed. Over priced and poor, don't waste your money.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled solo
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2  Thank pip25
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: £73 - £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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