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“Excellent for children”
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Poole
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent for children”
Reviewed 5 February 2010

I have been to the Sandbanks Hotel many times with my children. It is a fantastic hotel with great children activities. Few tips to remember before you book: This hotel has been there for many years, some of the rooms badly need some work done. Their old-fashion way of PER PERSON PER NIGHT prices tend to bring a nightly rate very high! Never book through their reservation office what you get is not always the best. I always book my holidays through their reception... They know the hotel and are able to recommend the best room available for my family. I have never been disappointed when I booked my holiday through reception.
The swimming pool needs refurbishment however the one at the Haven hotel is accessible to Sandbanks’ guests. Much more modern!!!
It does not seems that their website is up-dated very much (last news back in October!!!) but they are updating their special offer section. No late e-mailing offer available?
The restaurant delivers good food but the service is not up to the hotel standard. Their fine dining restaurant is gorgeous. The restaurant itself has got the best view; the food is succulent and very well served.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank js1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Management Representative at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 11 February 2010
js1968 – Thank you for your review and comments. I am saddened to hear that you feel it is better to book directly with our reception team rather than the specifically designed and trained centralised reservations office. All the staff in the reservations office have been trained with regard to sales skills and bedroom knowledge at each of the hotels. They have regular site refresher visits and many have previously worked at one of the sites as part of the reception team, so they should have the same knowledge as the desk staff.

With regard to our policy of charging per person, per night this has proven to be the preferred way of charging with the majority of our guests. We clearly state that this is our policy and as we have a variety of room accommodating from 1 to 6 people, basically it ensures that you are only paying for the number of people occupying the room.

With regard to the website I wish to clarify that we do have the facilities for late offer e-mailing. If you have not already done so please register on our website to receive our newsletter and this will also give you the option to receive information by e-mail on special offers.

I am pleased to hear that you enjoy dining in the Sandbanks Brasserie and that overall you are happy with the facilities and enjoy staying at The Sandbanks with your family. With the school holidays almost upon us again, we hope to see you and your family back soon.
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Poole
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2009

What a fantastic day we had. Location, venue, food, layout, bed rooms and staff were just perfect.
We first fell in love with this hotel about six years ago when we first moved down south and always enjoyed the perfect setting on the beach side terrace. When we decided to get married we knew it had to be the Sandbanks Hotel.
We first got in contact with Catherine Adcock (Senior Conference Organizer) to sort out date and timings. Catherine handled everything promptly and really efficiently. This was followed by a meeting with Sebastien Chene (Brasserie
Manager and Wedding Planner). He talked us through the day and answered all our questions with confidence and knowledge. When it came to the menu we had our own ideas and a meeting with the Brasserie Head Chef Mark Davies was the next step.
In brief whatever we asked for, whatever we wanted, nothing was too much trouble. My wife and I thought we will be a little nervous on the day but because of the fantastic staff we could relax and enjoyed our day to the full.
I would like to congratulate John Belk (General Manager) and Martin Taylor (Deputy GM) on their fantastic hotel and staff.
You made our day very very special - THANK YOU

  • Stayed November 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CandNSTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Management Representative at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 19 January 2010
CandNSTR – Congratulations on your marriage, and thank you for taking the time and trouble to write this review. I already see that other visitors have found it helpful.

The saying goes Location, location, location and we believe that we have one of the best locations and views on the South Coast. However, a wedding day is one of the most important and memorable days and we know to make it special it takes more than simply a great location.

Sebastien, Marc and their teams pride themselves on their commitment to the hotel and to providing an extremely high level of service to all their customers so I am not surprised that nothing was too much trouble for them.

I am very pleased that you had such an enjoyable day and we look forward to seeing you back at the hotel shortly, as I am sure it will always now hold very special memories for you both.
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Derbyshire, UK
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2009

Took my two daughters with partners and 4 year old grandson.
Excellent facilities for children - own dining room, play area and resident entertainment (half term week)
Only grouse was limited selection (from 3 items) from menu in main restaurant, and that the brasserie restaurant was closed whilst we were there.
Otherwise, super hotel - expensive but worth it.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ArthurBarrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Management Representative at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 19 January 2010
Arthur – Thank you for your review.

I have noted your disappointment at the limited selection on the main restaurant menu, especially as the Sandbanks Brasserie was also closed at this time and have passed your comments onto the Hotel Manager for his consideration.

I am pleased, however, to read that overall you had an extremely enjoyable stay and that you benefitted from the wide range of children’s facilities and entertainment in place at the hotel. As you say, its location is fantastic and the hotel an ideal base for family breaks.

We hope that you return again soon.
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Cambridge
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2009

We booked this trip at the last minute and spent 3 very enjoyable nights here.

When we called to book the only room they had that could take 5 (2 adults and 3 children age 11, 9 and 6) was one with an inland view. However, when we arrived we found that due to the splendid location of the hotel, this view was as good as the sea view rooms on the other side. Our balcony looked over Poole harbour and in the late afternoon sun (v warm for October!) we had a beautiful view that include a myriad of colour and action from the large numbers of kite surfers. The room was a large double and had a bunk room attached. A comfortable bed and a clean modern bathroom.

We really enjoyed this hotel due to it being well set up for young families. Its right on the beach, has indoor and outdoor play areas and had evening entertainments for the youngsters as it was school holidays. I'd say that the play areas and entertainments would suit children up to about 10. Everything was very clean and tidy although a few areas could do with a lick of paint

There was a separate children's restaurant that serves a good buffet high tea from 5pm to 6pm but apart form one night, our boys joined us in the main restaurant for a small supplement.

The main restaurant was one of the best run that I have ever experienced. Very good food, fast efficient service and friendly staff. When you have 3 children of our ages you are always a bit unsure of how comfortable you'll feel taking them into a main restaurant but at the Sandbanks we had a great time with them. The majority of other diners all had family of varying ages.

I tried out the small gym and it was fine for keeping up a quick work out. We didnt try the pool.

Overall a great place to go with young family. The only small thing I'd say to improve would be activities for older children 10 +

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CJFJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, Revenue Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 2 November 2009
CJFJ, We are delighted to hear that you all had a wonderful time at The Sandbanks Hotel during your recent stay. We are blessed to have such a wonderful location and pride ourselves on the facilities we are able to offer families and in particular children. Although, we note your request for more activities for the older ones! I wonder if you were aware that we do have a club especially aimed at our teenage guests called ‘The Zone’ , also if you had more time, you may have been able to sample our Watersports Academy.... maybe something for next time...

The children’s entertainment and facilities has been a long standing favourite with families over the years and is vital to our continued commitment to enjoying their holidays. Based on your review it is with confidence that we say, see you all again soon and thank you for the review!

Also thank you so much for you kind recommendation, it is always greatly appreciated!
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West Sussex
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2009

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.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nick473
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelResponsePoole, PR & Revenue Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 29 October 2009
Thank you for your review Nick473 and for your four out of five rating. I think it is perhaps important to point out that your stay occurred over the busy October half-term school holiday period, when the hotel focuses very much towards being a family hotel. This has been a core market for many decades now due to the wonderful beachside location, but I can understand how this would not sit well with your intention to enjoy a relaxing and romantic weekend together.

We do have our own children’s restaurant available during school holidays, and entertainment for children taking place throughout the day, including during dinner, both of which help to significantly reduce the number of children in the Restaurant. I apologise therefore if this detracted from your stay. The beachside Brasserie is another alternative evening dining option, and this is not frequented by children. I would like to assure you that once the school holidays are over, the hotel tends to lend itself much more towards romantic weekends with couples taking leisure breaks and making the most of the wonderful views and location.

Rest assured that your comments about price and value will be taken on board for the future, and we have already reduced the price of a current stay in October from what we were charging last year. Don’t forget also that currently you can upgrade from Accommodation and Breakfast terms to Dinner inclusive terms for only £10.00 per person, and you still have the £18.00 allowance towards dinner in the Brasserie. We are also reducing the price considerably for November.

I think perhaps that one of the great benefits of staying at any of our hotels is that due to the close proximity, you can enjoy the facilities of all, and I am pleased to note that you were able to enjoy the Haven pool also during your stay. Remember also that when Sandbanks is hosting families during the busy school holidays, the nearby Haven and Harbour Heights hotels continue to provide an attractive venue for those romantic breaks, thereby allowing us to offer something for everyone.

Do give us a call if you would be interested in further information regarding any of our hotels and we will be delighted to assist you further.
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London
1 review
Reviewed 22 October 2009

Having recently stayed at the Hotel once again whilst on business after a break of a few months, I thought I would give comment on a few points.
I arrived at the Hotel and as always was courteously greeted by the very pleasant Reception staff which is always grateful after a long journey ! They even had all my details on their system, including my car Registration, choice of Newspaper and even the time I would like to get up !! Amazing and much better than I ever experienced at other Hotels!!! However things went a little downhill from here !!
Once in my sea view room, which was a complimentary upgrade from Reception, I was still surprised to see a very old TV and even more surprised to find the quality of reception was appalling, I looked at the back of the TV to see if the Aerial was loose or disconnected (which it wasn’t) but found thick dust !! So I called reception and they sent a Porter to assist (French lad), but this was to no avail as he could not improve the signal (he was very apologetic). I then decided to shower and change before my evening meal only to find long strands of hair in the bath plug (very off- putting).
The food in the main restaurant was delicious and plentiful and I can only imagine how good the fine dining restaurant food is, but can only hope that the service there was better than I received as the waiters were inattentive, I had to ask several times for wine which arrived after my starter and I found the Maitre D (mid 40’s with a moustache) very miserable and didn’t seem to care.
I went to the bar and was served straight away but was greeted by “Yes mate what can I get you” !!. I spent about two hours in the bar working on my laptop using their free internet connection. This is great I would have to pay in any other hotel
As I was going to bed I enquired what time Breakfast started and found that it was at 7.30 still, this I must say is very inconvenient as that extra half an hour in the morning make the difference in getting to work avoiding rush hour traffic. Can “cooked” breakfast not start at 7am?
To conclude, of course I will be back to this hotel to see if my comments have been valued.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EmmaLondon1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johnb2006, General Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 23 October 2009
Thank you for your constructive feedback. Your observations are very much appreciated, both in respect to your kind comments about the positives aspects of your stay, and also in detailing a number of shortcomings which I should like to assure you we will look to address for the future.

With regard to the television, it would be useful to know which room you stayed in, as I should like to determine the cause of the poor TV reception referred to. Generally we are experiencing good freeview and sky TV reception currently, but please do accept my sincere apologies that this issue arose and we were unable to correct it for you at the time.

You will be pleased to hear that we are in the process of introducing newer flat screen televisions into all rooms, with approximately half of the hotel now completed.

I met with housekeeping this morning to discuss your comments about dust behind the television and strands of hair in the bath plug, and we have taken steps to improve quality control checks to ensure that standards are adhered to. Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention.

Your feedback regarding lapses in restaurant service are much appreciated thank you, and we will do our utmost to address these for the future.

I was sorry to learn that a new member of staff greeted you at the bar as ‘mate’ and apologise for his lack of finesse. Whilst intended as a friendly gesture, it is clearly inappropriate in an hotel environment, as has now been explained. I was pleased to note that service was quick and efficient, and that you were able to make full use of the free wireless internet which is installed throughout the hotel.

Thank you once again for your feedback and for recommending the hotel to others. I do hope that you will feel that we have addressed your comments when you next visit us, and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards
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London
2 reviews
Reviewed 7 October 2009

My husband booked us a double room on-line directly with the hotel for my birthday. The room description specified that we would either have a view of the sea and Sandbanks blue flag beach or of Poole Harbour.
We were shown to room 232 which was a very long walk to the other side of the hotel from the lifts. The room was very basic inside and had a view of the car park. The bed could not have been a double. It was very small and so short my husband’s legs dangled off the end. The room looked more like one from a travel lodge than from a four star hotel. After calling down to reception to complain we were shown room 208 which is an executive room. We were told we could have this for an extra £20 per night. It had a sea view but no balcony, which I have since found out apparently all executive rooms should have. We swapped to this room because the thought of the other room for two nights was too depressing and we both would not have fitted into the bed. Apart from the rooms the hotel is nice for a weekend break. It is on the beach and when you get a room with a view it is lovely. Breakfast is really nice and so is Sandbanks as an area. Would advise when booking that you find out exactly what kind of room you are going to be allocated.
The staff were helpful but it would have been nice to have been allocated an adequate room from the start. Especially as they were not even full and a better room was available.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Holidays777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johnb2006, General Manager at Sandbanks Hotel, responded to this review, 10 October 2009
Thank you for your review Holidays 777 and for your recommendation.

I apologise if there was any confusion regarding the accommodation booked over the internet. It does appear from the details we have, that the option to upgrade to a sea or harbour view room was not exercised at the point of choosing your rate plan on the internet, and the confirmation details sent out to you do not mention having a sea or harbour view. The room allocated has a standard double bed.

Where possible we do try to give an upgrade whenever room availability allows us to, but your booking was for two nights, and whilst there was availability on the Friday when you arrived, the hotel was almost full on the Saturday, which unfortunately prevented this.

Room 208 had been set aside for anyone infirm or elderly who might have needed a room closer to the lift, and this was then offered to you as an alternative.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay and found room 208 to your liking, although I apologise that this particular room does not have a balcony. Whilst we are fortunate in that most rooms here do feature a balcony, there are a small number, including some executive rooms, which do not.

I think your final statement has some merit, and if you are not entirely sure what type of room you might be allocated when booking online, do give us a call, and we will be delighted to take you through the various options and room types available.

I do hope that you had a really great birthday and please feel free to give me a call direct when you next want to come down and stay. I will try to ensure that you get a nice sea or harbour view room with a balcony.

Regards
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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:
#4 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
Hotel Poole Sandbanks
Poole Sandbanks
Sandbanks Hotel Poole, Dorset
Hotel Sandbanks

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