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“Unfriendly staff, terrible service, not made welcome” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Poole
gugsy
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Unfriendly staff, terrible service, not made welcome”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2009

The staff did not want you there and was made to feel unwelcome. I was travelling with a Nigerian colleague and am of Asian descent. The coffee in the morning tasted like diesel and was sick all day. Nasty horrible place with people to match.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gugsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 (532)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Kent
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2009

We very rarely holiday in this country, but got a late booking and took a chance on Sandbanks as a recommendation of friends - thank goodness we did. My daughter is 7 and has just spent the best 6 days of her Summer in the company of 'The Funsters'. These are the guys that work around the clock to entertain the children and my word what a fab job they do. The down points I will come onto (although there aren't many and they are mainly cosmetic), but first the good:-

The location is amazing, we parked our car on the first day thinking that we would go into Poole and maybe Bournemouth, but we didn't return to our car until it was time to load the cases for our home wood journey. 95% of the staff are extremely polite and courteous and can't do enough for you and there is one exceptional lady who everyone calls 'Nanny' (she is the Grandmother of two of the Funsters and spends a lot of her time in and around the Hotel), her experience of the hotel and surrounding area is second to none, I just wish I had spoken to her earlier in our stay.

We were originally advised to book our evening meal due to a significant reduction in cost, but we didn't really think that we would eat in the Hotel much. We are Restaurant people and were looking forward to exploring the local delicacies as well as trying out new places, but once again, the Hotel's cuisine superseded this (look out for the fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce, the warm apple cake and the chocolate hot pot - decadence personified!). The produce was fresh, sourced locally, served hot and was very varied. It really was exceptional quality, the meat was cooked as requested, and all served by polite well appointed restaurant staff (with one possible exception of the Manager who looks like he just doesn't want to be there - unlike us!). The wine list was good, although the Chablis at £12.50 per glass a little top heavy!

As far as the facilities were concerned, I must admit it would have been perfect if there had been an outdoor pool, this meant that every time my daughter wanted to swim, one of us had to accompany her inside the hotel and miss out on valuable sunshine time! This was why she downgraded her verdict of the whole holiday to a 9/10. The pool area is also in need of some up to date decoration, in fact the whole hotel is a little tired looking and could do with some T.L.C. if not a complete overhaul. The lifts are outdated and the old fashioned carpet needs replacing on the stairs and in the restaurant. The lighting in the restaurant is also very old fashioned and it also needs an injection of atmosphere - music would be good.

There is no meet and greet on arrival and we had to find our way to the room by ourselves, although there was plenty of help on the luggage front. Our room had a fantastic Seaview, with a wonderful warm breeze blowing up off the beach, although we wished the siding doors had gone back a little further. It also felt safe and secure, there were no safety deposit boxes normally found in such places, but it just didn't feel like you needed it once you got the feel of the place. The Reception Staff seem a little lacking in patience, you are better off speaking to the young guys walking around the hotel and the outside in the bar area, they are dressed in black and are always willing to genuinely help with every request. Lastly, at lunchtime the bar area outside is always struggling on service, the hotel management should put more bar staff out there between the hours of say 12-2pm, we waited around 20 minutes one day to get served a couple of drinks which was a bit of a pain.

There isn't much at night in the way of Adult Entertainment, but then we didn't go there for our benefit, we went to Sandbanks for the children's schedule and boy was it worth it, we were more than happy to stay in the Restaurant eating to our hearts content, while our daughter was safely ensconced in the Ballroom with the Funsters until way past her bedtime!

I can honestly say that all the good points FAR outweighed the very few bad (mostly cosmetic) and, as for the Firework Evening on Thursday, this was probably the highlight of our stay, the best night as far as entertainment was concerned, although every night really was great. The atmosphere outside and inside the hotel on this particular night was electric and they even has music in the Restaurant and a live band in the bar area. Superb!

My last complaint is that I couldn't find Paul, one of the Managers, to make a booking for next year, so we left without securing our place, but rest assured we will be back! I never thought I would say it, but even without the sunshine, which we had all week, Sandbanks would still be well worth visiting.

Kind regards - Julia Fox & Family

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FoxyKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jennylord
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2009

Warm welcome by reception, porters took my luggage while I was checking in. The receptionist explained all the hotel facilites. A lot to remember!!! The french manager at the desk offered me to change my room to a sea view room for the night to enjoy the firework display just right in front of the hotel for £ 40.00 extra only. Lovely room and the view was splendid from the balcony. There was a bbq but we went to their big restaurant where the food was excellent.
+ friendly staff, location, food, feature
- pool area, lift.
My partner and I really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jennylord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watford
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2009

I have 4 kids, the older 2 (aged 9 and 5) absolutely love it, can't wait til their next visit and my daughter was devasted when we had to say good bye. The Funsters (childrens' entertainment team) are exceptional - they have boundless energy and are full of fun. The weather is irrelevant as the entertainment is very flexible and the kids don't notice whether it is raining or sunny outside.

This was our 5th trip to the Sandbanks hotel. Frankly if I didn't have kids, I wouldn't visit the hotel for the accomodation and the food. I agree with a previous review that the leisure/spa facillities are poor and the hotel could benefit from an outdoor pool. Yet, I love that there are kids from age 2 through to 15 all playing sleeping lions, hide and seek etc and enjoying it. There is also the option for over 8's to take part in water sports.

There are fireworks every Thursday at 10.00pm during August, accompanied by a BBQ and live band, when the hotel is heaving. This can be a great evening and is a pain if you want to get little ones to sleep.

It is not 5* luxury and the weather can be poor . Somehow there is a magic about the place that capitivates all that enjoy watching their kids have some good old fashioned fun whilst they sip on a cafe latte/Pimms on the gorgeous terrace.

Once again we couldn't resist booking for next year as we left....................

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robwatford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kent
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2009

I have just come back from my 2nd visit to The Sandbanks Hotel and once again I have to say that the bad reviews of this hotel are so unfair! It is a brilliant place to be. I am a vegan and my husband and children are vegetarians...the staff bent over backwards to make sure we had a perfect stay! The food was unbeatable, the service was outstanding, the kids club...well...outstanding too!

I would most definately return again, in fact we are going in October! It is not the cheapest place to stay but you absolutely get what you pay for.

Thank you to all the staff for making our stay so great!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank familywest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2009

I've been going to this hotel since i can remember + the people there are just so lovely! The entertainment team are great + the teen + adult zone gives me + my friend space away from our brothers! They funsters also have a childrens club which I used to go to + enjoy loads. I have to say I love everything about this hotel + cant wait to go again next year!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Katie_the_gang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swindon
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2009

I have been coming to Sandbanks every year since i was born, i am now nearly 14 and i'm still in love with it. The funsters team is what makes it better than anywhere else, they are all lively and energetic and they always have big smiles on their faces. When i was 6 i met some people there and ever since me and my family have been going there with them as we live 5 hours apart, Its magical. I look foward to it every year and it is the highlight of my summer, i definately recommend it. For younger children there is daily entertainment led by the funsters team, but also there is now an adults and teens activities section which keeps me entertained.The funsters Jimbob, Dizzi Danni, Jiggy Gemma, Fab Fran, Funky Faye, Mad Matt all deserve a special mention as each year they make my holiday extra special. My younger brother thoroughly enjoys it too, because aswell as the funsters enertainment there is also a soft play area aswell as pool tables, ping pong tables and outdoor play area and much much more. The pool is great and is quite big aswell as the food which is absolutely delicious. It's also nice being quite literally 'on the beach', wiht the soft golden sand. All of the staff are very friendly and they all make you feel like they are willing to help you and that nothings a problem. So overall Sandbanks is my favourite holiday resort ever and I look foward to going there in the future. I definately recommend it to anyone of any age as there is always something going on there and everyone is always happy and bubbly. Its an amazing place, everyone should go there.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank thesandbanksgang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 
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Also Known As:
Sandbanks Poole
Poole Sandbanks
Hotel Poole Sandbanks
Sandbanks Hotel Poole, Dorset
Hotel Sandbanks

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