When I read reviews on here I often think people are overly critical, so I'll frame this review with that information - I'm quite prepared to take the rough with the smooth and don't expect perfection......however.....
This is one of those fairly old 'faded glory' hotels that have been added to and added to. Probably quite plush in its day but now quite tired. My biggest issue with it was the value. I spend over £200 a night for dinner bed & breakfast and have to say that I have stayed at considerably more upmarket hotels for less money. Admittedly I did choose the third floor 'business' accomodation which overlooks the sea and is pretty awesome so I was paying more for that, but if wasn't for the view this would be a decidedly average hotel. There is signage all over the place that is straight out of the 1970s.
It has what it calls a Spa but this is only really a couple of treatment rooms in the basement (no windows and no reception) where you can get a massage and various other treatments. The treatments were good. However, I booked about 2 weeks ahead and they could only offer me a couple of slots despite me being there for 3 days. Presumably zero chance of getting a slot if you just turn up on a Saturday for example? The swimming pool was very poor indeed - more like a local swimming baths in the 1980s than a 4 star hotel pool.
In terms of my comments about the identity crisis, this is a 4 star hotel in a fantastic location, but (for example) the information in the room says no jeans at dinner. We dressed up on the first night but the place was full of jeans, and full of kids running around. The dinner reatils at £26.95 for three courses - so reasonably dear.....and yet you have kids running past the table. I've no issue at all with kids, but I do think you need to jump one way or the other - you're either upmarket and offering romantic weekends for couples at a fairly hefty price, or, you're offering a family weekend break where you can wear what you like and its loss expensive. There were lots of activities for kids too - again great, but not for us.
I was disappointed that the inclusive dinner meal (£26.96 if you pay for it) could be exchanged for only an £18 credit in the Brasserie.
Overall, I felt this place was trading rather too much on its location, was trying to be all things to all people, and didn't do a great job of much of it. The food was good, the view was great, but it was worth £230 a night. We did make use of the option to use the Haven Hotel (same chain - down the road) swimming pool and that was nice. The Haven looked good and probably a better bet than the Sandbanks.
- 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