On arrival we were most impressed with our room (103). It was a great deal larger than expected and had windows on 2 sides with fantastic views of the marina and Poole Bay.
We then noticed that the bathroom was minus soap. The receptionist apologized and said she couldn’t find any. The following morning the chambermaid also apologized and gave the excuse that a delivery had not arrived. We found it hard to swallow that it should take 24 hrs or so just to provide an item that should be automatic in any room.
In the days following, we then found that the body wash didn’t get replaced: small but important details.
Having been impressed with the views and the restaurant and the large room, our impressions then changed dramatically when around 9pm the first night, the most horrendous noises came through from the rooms above. Clearly the building suffers bad sound insulation and possibly poor construction as we could hear every thump and floor grindings from the inhabitants of the room above. The thumping/running noises which sounded like a herd of animals (possibly dogs?) or very active youngsters carried on for over an hour. The same thing happened each night and again 6.30 to 8.30 in the mornings. Although that first evening was the worst for such noises, we were continually plagued with repeat noises for the whole of our stay.
Added to the noises from above were the inefficient door closers. All of the rooms appeared to posses heavy slamming doors; clearly the door closing devices didn’t work. We reported the problem with the noises from the upstairs rooms; however the only action the receptionist took was to check whether the upper rooms had been occupied and provide a belated apology. The room would have been great but for the noises; it will be the luck of the draw if future guests book the room when no one is in the upper rooms.
Service from the staff was very varied and we seemed to see different people at each meal. In general we felt that the staff were not trained properly and some of them were downright miserable. The first night’s meal was actually very good and quite a surprise. In fact our opinion is that the food side was spot on. It was fast, tasty and well presented. We would like to applaud the chef on his culinary efforts but the food is sadly let down by the serving staff. The restaurant manager seemed efficient but lacked personality; the first night’s waiter did at least check to see what additional drinks were needed. The breakfast staff left us waiting for ages before we asked could we order. They had served others first who entered after us. The very young waiter was clearly untrained as he reached over my plate to supply butter we ordered. The staff seemed in their own world and quite indifferent to us as guests. The delay in service occurred again the next morning when my wife was left waiting for over 20 minutes before even her order was taken. The impersonal blonde had a rather strange attitude regarding this and the following morning had the cheek to say ‘you haven’t had to wait 20 minutes today then’.
Our Sunday lunch snack was served to us on the outside garden table by a blonde girl who looked as though she was carrying the world’s troubles on her shoulders; she looked very miserable and made no attempt to be pleasant. Also I find it odd that guests are expected to walk into the bar to make their food and drink order. The blonde girl constantly walks in and out of the bar; would it be so difficult for her to take orders? Who knows, they could actually raise turnover by getting her and her colleagues to do a bit of selling and suggest desserts and further drinks etc.
The Sunday evening waitress (a further change of face) seemed dismayed that we hadn’t booked a table and stuffed us into a table around the corner. There were at least 3 to 4 tables with decent sea views which I noticed never got occupied for all the time we were in the restaurant. This waitress was however quite efficient and carried out her tasks well.
I believe that the staff in businesses like this one follow the example set by the management. Clearly there is a lack of drive and customer service training. With those matters put into the right shape and the sound insulation issues resolved, this could be a first class hotel, given its position and wonderful views.
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- Also Known As:
- Salterns Harbourside Poole
- Hotel Salterns Harbourside
- Salterns Harbourside Hotel Poole, Dorset