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Historical Traveler Reviews Sandbanks Hotel Poole
Love this smart, stylish hotel
Stayed at this hotel for Easter and the location is unbelievably beautiful. It stands on the prestigious Sandbanks beach, hence its name, and if you have good weather you could be in the Carribbean with the beach and facilities that this hotel has. It doesn't just have the looks of a contemporary up-and-coming hotel, it also has the facilities.
This hotel offers beautiful decor, stunning views across the harbour and the sea, lovely good-sized fully-equipped bedrooms with some rooms offering the latest decor with plasma screens.
It also offers mainly at peak times ie: Christmas, Easter, childrens' school holidays, a fantastic entertainment team for the youngsters, whereby you get to enjoy the hotel's many facilities whilst the kids are entertained by the team. There are lots of evening entertainment for the adults as well including Bingo night, Race night, karaoke night, a weekly disco, a live band, and, during the summer months there is a wonderful Barbecue evening and fireworks to watch from the hotel's stunning terrace overlooking the beach.
The Entertainment Team are not only great dancers/actors/actresses but they have talent in entertaining the teenagers for us parents as well, which is by no means easy, as any parent would know!! They have all the youngsters and teenagers up and dancing the evening away whilst us parents enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine in the sea-view restaurant or in the wonderful Brasserie restaurant which over-looks the sea from the terrace.
My 12 and 15-year-olds love this hotel and we go back year after year and have been doing so since they were the toddlers! They enjoy being known by the entertainment team and are encouraged to perform in the weekly talent show! They meet up with their friends that they have kept in touch with since they were young every summer and have such a fantastic time in a lovely but very safe environment that they always regret returning home!
We have stayed in lots of different hotels around the world and can honestly say that this one is second-to-none especially for entertaining the kids! Thoroughly recommended as a great all-round package for adults and children of all ages.
Really really good, but....
Stayed at this hotel for one night at the beginning of April.
The location is absolutely superb, right on the beach (and what a beach it is!!! we almost forgot that we were in England when we sat in the sun on the terrace on Saturday afternoon)
We stayed with a 2.5 year old and after we read the last review about the problems with the bed, we did bring our own travel cot
The room we stayed in was good size with a small sitting area and with a view to the beach. However as it also overlooked the road it was a bit noisy!! I guess as we live far away from any major roads we are not really used to the noise of the roads!
We only had breakfast in the restaurant, which was good and as our table was by the windows, we could see the sea!!!
Also worth to mention the playground - really good and our son absolutely loved it! The children restaurant was also good and made life easier for us to feed our son in child friendly environment without having to worry to people's reaction if he screams! Food for kids was good - good choice of pasta, potatoes, fresh salads, fish, beef, fruit, juices, etc..
Here comes the but....
Maybe it is just us but my husband and myself found the bed in our room extremely uncomfortable and small!! It was the smallest double we have ever slept in (and we are not big people!!!)The matrass was also really uncomfortable and whenever one of us would turn in the night the other one would nearly end up on the floor!! The result - sleepless night and 2 grumpy (ish) people in the morning! Our son was very happy and chearful as he had a good night sleep in his comfy travel cot!!
Also worth to mention the swimming pool area. Not very impressive for a 4* hotel but still ok.
Would we stay in this hotel again?? Probably as it is a really good hotel despite all the problems described above! A big factor for us is usually the location and this one is difficult to beat! However if we do stay here we will have to enquire about rooms with bigger bed or stay in a room with twin beds!!
Don't go off season - think twice about going with young children
The location of the hotel had great potential, this is on one of the best beaches in England and close to another (Studland - across the ferry). It was not brilliant weather - it was March - but enough for walking down the front. The hotel was clean, and there seemed adequate amount of staff. The reception area fealt new - indeed the room itself was smart and of reasonable size.
That was the good bit. We went Sunday and Monday nights. Even in March, the much vaunted childrens' facilities were all but closed. The hotel itself was virtually empty.
We could have survived most of this, but there were more serious issues:
(1) We ordered a cot for our 21-month old son. What was supplied was suitable for up to about a year old - litterally he could climb out. All hotels we've stayed in to date have used travel cots - not least they pack away. This hotel had smaller cots - large cribs - that were very inflexible. The manager's excuse was "This is what head office supply" or to that effect. The hotel is part of a group and it shows.
(2) We were told beforehand they had a baby monitoring service. According to a leaflet in the room this meant putting the phone into a special mode so it could be run from any "house phone" - what house phones? A complaint revealed they had a better system - something that had to be fitted and then rang your mobile where there was trouble. This could have been offered more easily.
(3) Since there were few/no other children in the house, the children's restaurant was closed and Alex had to eat in the bar area. Their idea of children's food, even for todlers was chicken nuggets and chips. No pasta. Nothing fresh. No yogurt - just jelly. Where was Jamie Oliver when you need him?
(4) And finally, the worst thing was the food for us - esp in the evening. We went to the hotel because the AA gave it a rosette. Turned out that the rosette was for the brasserie, and the brasserie was closed virtually half the week - at least these nights it was closed. The restaurant was a 70's timewarp in menu, food and quality. The second day I was sick. The day after my partner was. Could have been several things, but my betting was the pork that night - felt reheated. We did not eat in the restaurant the second night - I was in bed!
We made several jokes about Faulty Towers - the service in the restaurant was reminicent. However, this was a hotel and they were charging a reasonable price. It was not really funny.
The best hotel in the world
This is really the best hotel ever, the service trementus everything about it deffinatly the best thing about it was watching the kids having fun while I was eating. it was just so much fun
Nice Hotel, Great Location
Great hotel, clean and good service. Sizeable rooms and a decent breakfast.
The best thing is the location though - right next to one of Britains nicest beaches, totally free of the tattooed/Sun-reader/knotted hankie/five hooligan kids brigade that Bournemouth next door is heaven for.
Great patio to sip a cool drink in the sun and admire the seafront and all the attractive young types that flock here on a sunny day.
Avoid, unless you want to stay in a creche
Four of us, all adults, stayed here for New Year. We knew it was a family hotel before we arrived but expected some dancing for adults as it was New Year. The programme said that children would have their own entertainment after 9pm but the dance floor did not clear of children all evening making it impossible to enjoy any dancing. The dining room was so loud at some points that we could not have a proper conversation due to children rushing in and out to their parents, which we considered a safety hazard with hot food being served.The hotel itself was very smart, in a wonderful location which could not be beaten and the food was good - pity it seemed to cater only for children - felt like we were staying in a creche!
Can't wait to go back!
We have just got back from the Sandbanks and my husband, 18month old son and I loved it - along with the rest of my close family who were also there for my Dad's 60th birthday celebrations.
The staff were excellent, the location is beautiful and we were very impressed by our room with flat screen tv, lots of space and a wonderful balcony overlooking the beach. We ate dinner in the brasserie and the food and service was very impressive. The breakfast in the main restaurant was also lovely. Our son along with his 6 and 2 /12 yr old cousins were all kept entertained in the outdoor play area that could perhaps benefit from an additional smaller frame or swings and the indoor soft play area was excellent. High Tea for the children was lovely and the roast dinner they had was really well cooked. MY sister and I had treatments in the Oasis and the massuese was very experienced and she raised the possibility of an issue with my joints which I had been slightly aware of but it has prompted me to take action.
We loved it here and can't wait to go back - but perhaps in the summer so we can take full advantage of the lovely terrace and blue flag beach.
Magic for children
My family and I decided to pay a visit to the hotel where I used to stay as a child in August 2003. I have two young 'adorable?' children and although there is the wonderful vast expense of extended golden beach, I feared that there would be little else to capture my childrens imagination. I was sorely mistaken. The hotel hosts a nursery for the youngest children alongside a childrens restaurant and during the daytime there are two blocks of entertainment especially for the children. The entertainers were friendly, professional and were an instant hit with all the children, whom were all trying to outshinine each other for attention! It surely was a treat to leave our children in such safe hands and meant that my husband and I could enjoy some rare time together in such beautiful surroundings. My children are not the easiest to please yet after each varied session they would be like fused atoms with excitement and joy. It is very rare that such a contagious atmosphere can affect a family in this way. Last year we opted for a thompson holiday in the Algarve. The childrens activities were mediocre and the children were bored and kept repeating how much they wished they were at the Sandbanks with Jimbob,Loopy lisa,Rad Rach,Mojo and Daniella Mozzerella ( names etched into heads )!. So this year we shall return in August.Already the kids are eager in anticipation ! Long live the funsters entertaining crew !
Little things missing
We only stayed at Sandbanks Hotel because our normal hotel in the same group was full for the weekend we wanted to stay. We now wish we had taken up the option of coming down for another weekend rather than take a chance on The Sandbanks Hotel.
We arrived to be greeted by a reception full of children running around the whole of the ground floor, our children are no angels but we would of expected some parential control from the other guests.
We checked in and the receptionist made no eye contact what so ever, we were given directions to the room and made our way up the stairs and over the blue plastic flooring, the room initially seemed great with views over the beach, but on closer inspection the cleanliness was somewhat lacking.
The terrace and bars were great but dinner was a real let down with a fairly restricted choice of 4 main courses which reduced down to three when they ran out of the fish! Food was good service was OK but all the staff seemed to be brought in on a tempory basis as we did not see the same one twice over the two days we were there.
The staff seemed to be running round with no real guidence, we didn't see a manager for our whole stay.
The second day was fine with a great breakfast and a passable dinner, Sunday breakfast was a bit of a bun fight but the kids loved the buffet. On check out we paid the bill and passed comment about the mangement, which was recieved with a shrug of the shoulders, which really said it all.
We love the beaches at Sandfbaks, but will stay at our usual hotel in the future.
A speacial Treat
What can I sayWe arrived and were greeted by a really friendly receptionist who took time to give us some very good tips on were to visit in the area. We went up to our room which had great views over Poole Harbour and Studland with the Ferry going to and fro all day. The room was bright and airy with a small balcony where you could just sit and watch the world go by.Dinner on the first night was in La Roche great food served on the waters edge, there was a real piano player playing real music and the wine list was not too wildly priced. Breakfast in the restaurant is from a buffet but the choice of hot and cold set us up for the day.We took the ferry and drove down to Swanage, went on the steam railway had lunch in Corfe and returned to the Haven for a waist splitting cream tea. We had dinner in the main restaurant on the Saturday, quite a limited choice of dishes but everything was well presented and the quality of the cooking was evident. I ended up choosing a T Bone steak from the small grill menu (no colesteral counts here!!) and it took me back to pre food scare days. The hotel was busy all weekends with weddings, dinners and conferences but they all seemed to have a great time and the hotel seemed to take everything in its stride.Next morning we swam in the outdoor pool and spent ages in the hot tub which is outside and must have the best views of any hot tub in England. We left early in the afternoon and were back in Chelsea within 2 hours.
TripAdvisor Reviews Sandbanks Hotel Poole
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