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“Excellent Family Holiday with some tiny improvements needed” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Parkdean - Sandford Holiday Park

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Parkdean - Sandford Holiday Park
4.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Holton Heath, Poole | Dorset, Holton Heath, Wareham, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Hampshire
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent Family Holiday with some tiny improvements needed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

We took a 7 day half board break here on the 24th of August. On arrival check in was quick, we were issued with our halfboard meal vouchers and a handy booklet of events. The caravan we stayed in was absaloutely gorgeus and squeaky clean. It had heating, an electric fire, electric shower, flat screen tv, dvd player, freeview, cd plyer/ipod docking station and all remotes were present. We went for one of the higher models of caravan as some of the reviews on the budget ones were not so good so we avoided them. You do pay quite a bit extra but it was worth it in my opinion.

The Troupers were fabulous, making sure that my children aged 7 and 9 hd a great time. The entertainment on the whole was very very good, there were a couple of duds, mainly a female trouper doing a solo show and another female singer parkdean had booked - they were pretty awful to be fair and honestly they cleared the entertainment venue with the vast majority of people returning to thier caravns. All of the entertainment is family friendly with some sublte adult humour that most children wouldn't understand. There is very little to do in the day though.

The food was ok, although it was a gamble as to weather or not you would get everything on your plate that the menu said, for example dips were never ever brought out and you had to ask for them. Sometimes the food came out cold or undercooked, other times it was ok. Some of the portion sizes were daft and wouldn't fill up my cat!

We were very happy all in all with our stay and I would reccomend that if you are thinking of going then try it out at least - we did and loved it. We will be returning next year for sure.

Room Tip: Pay a bit more for a better caravan then budget.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Stevenage, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

Don't be fooled by the name! This is nowhere near sand or a ford, or a beach! Its a very big site your experience could vary a lot. We ended up having a good one because we complained, then complained again and we were dealt with professionally. Have a look around the site before you book, its the size of the Isle of White! (exaggeration)

There are facilities to occupy the family and a very good pub/eatery just outside the site when you need to escape without driving, so yes, please take your family once you have familiarised yourself!

Room Tip: Be prepared and have a look at the site first, unless you are very patient and can go with the flow.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

I was rather pleased that I had decided to give Sandford another bash. On the two previous visits we were allocated caravans that were dirty, smelly and not up to scratch. The staff, although not rude, were indifferent. This time however it was a different story. We stayed in a Studland, it was clean, bright with no nasty aromas. The reception staff were friendly helpful. One evening we opted for the carvery, the meat was quite divine but like another viewer, I must say the vegetables were pretty ropey. My other half said the fish & chips from the takeaway were very good.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

very easy booking and was very pleased to find we had a complimenty upgrade from the " shafstbury" to the "lulworth" (caravan d6) when we arrived it was a very easy check in.
when wegot to our it was clean tidy and everything was as described. ( i have seen a review of the same van a couple of reviews down. and i think that they have been quiet unfair. its a caravan if u want 4 star accomidation then pay 4 star prices at a hotel)
the food in the restraunt was ok. not amazing. but the prices reflect that its not michelen star restraunt.
the chippy was very good
the acrade area was great fun lots to keep u amused
we only used the indoor pool. this was clean and lots of lifeguards around so it was safe. was a little tired looking but it was clean.
we played the jungle golf. again. little tired looking but its the end of season so its what i would expect.
the main thing that i have to say for sandford is the park dean troupers.... they were amazing.!!!! brilliant entertainment every night. some shining stars there for sure
sid and lizzie were brilliant. always around but beware there songs will get into your head ( still singing now )
i would definatly go again and recomend it to friends and family
basically you get what u pay for

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macclesfield, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

"Stayed at this caravan park for 2 weeks in June. The website is extremely misleading as the photo you pick your caravan from is most definitely not what you find on arrival! Our 'Lillington Caravan' should have been all cream interiors and modern, what we got was dark brown, dirty and circa 1950's in appearance. It was also right at the far side of the caravan park, set under tree's with the tennis courts behind. We were woken most morning by children shrieking at each other, playing football, etc from 06:00 onward!

The main building was dirty, reception was poorly manned, usually by security staff who hadn't got a clue in the evenings. The restaurant was usually quiet around 18:00 but staff were generally standing around the food order till gossiping. The food, which was reasonable but expensive for what you get, was not usually hot, the choices were poor and all centred around 'children's choices!' and not much to tempt an adults taste buds.

The entertainment provided was quite good but the main hall was very poorly policed. Small children were entertained for some 2 hours then were asked to sit with their parents for the adult entertainment. Non of the children were taken off the floor by their parents who just ignored the repeated requests to have them removed from the dance floor. The entertainment team do a sterling job of keeping the children entertained right throughout the whole day and then entertaining the adults in the evening until the last toddler has left around 23:30 for bed. There are not enough tables and chairs for the number of people who go into the dance hall in the evenings and if you happen to be disabled you have no chance of ever finding one as the adults sit round 1 or 2 tables and their children usually sit around others!

Past experience of caravan holidays are remembered as 'warm, well cared for, very clean and family orientated, with clean sheets, soft beds &, granted, gas fueled lamps, a cooker that took in excess of 30 minutes to boil a kettle, but it was fun and you couldn't wait to go back again once your holiday was over!'

Sandford Holiday Park is run as a business and therefore only care about how much money they can wring out of you. They have a nice friendly welcome when you arrive, but if you complain about anything they, reluctantly deal with your gripe. When they ask "Did you have a good holiday?" when you are leaving dejected and beaten by the hovel of a base you have had to live in for the last week or two, they have no interest in the answer, as the receptionist is already half way through the door, closing it on you before you have finished saying the word NO."

I some how doubt that I would ever set foot on any of the 'Park dean' Holiday Sites again. Maybe Sandford Park in Dorset is the worst one! I'm not about to waste any more money finding out. You have been warned."

Room Tip: "Avoid the 'Lillington Caravan' at all costs!"
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kettering, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

Stayed for seven nights at this holiday park in a Poole Lodge. The accomodation was first class, one double bedroom with en-suite and one twin. The living room/dining area was large,modern, very clean and stylish .The bedrooms were great with colour coded fittings and ample storage for a family of four.The location of the lodge was well away from the noise of the entertainment area in a well established part of the park, which made it very peaceful in the evenings. The park is in a good location to visit many of the attractions in the area, ie Corfe castle, Durdle Dor, Tank Museum etc.
That said, there were a "few" negative points regarding Sandford Holiday Park.
1)The indoor swimming pool was small, dirty, boring and nothing like how it was shown on the website/brochure. The outdoor pool was ok but could do with a good tidy up, as could some of the childrens play areas ie the "boat" outside the amusement arcade,the soft play area and the Crazy Golf.
2)The food served in the restuarant was bland and tastless and the service was appalling, sometimes having to wait over an hour for a meal even when it wasn't that busy.
3)The bars seemed to operate a que system with usually one barman/woman. This led to waiting for up to 30 minutes to buy a round of drinks, I would have thought that in a holiday period it would be logical to employ more staff!
4)The entertainment was ok, though there wasn't much variation, that is if you were lucky enough to get a seat to watch it. We had to "hover" around waiting for a table to become free, and pounce on it!!.
Overall the parks facilities are in need of refurbishment, most things are looking old and tired. If you do decide to stay here, pay a bit more for a Poole Lodge.

Room Tip: Pay a "bit" more for a Lodge, they are all sited away from the entertainment area.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
farnham surrey
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

Stayed at this holiday park 4 nights for a short break, family of four, children 4 and 11. First time on a holiday park break, leaving with mixed feelings of this place. Website very misleading when booking - photos and descriptions are all examples only and not what you get, beware!!
On arrival 'Gillingham new caravan' we booked we did not get. Caravan allocated was old, shabby, small, nothing like the photos and bad, horrible location on the site being on the road next to a row of ugly garages (do not except A25). We complained and was allocated a slightly smaller caravan which was new, much nicer interior and much better location (A8) and a bit cheaper, being given £50 in vouchers to spend. Only downside kids bedroom very small with 2 'fish finger beds', bunk beds would be much better and create more space!
Most caravans and ours have no outside table and chairs, which is completely bizarre. How much does a set of 4 plastic chairs and a table cost! On request we were given 4 dirty, old white plastic chairs, no table, to sit on!
Main site building has a reception, but our side you would have to enter via the amusement arcade to get to restaurant and bars. Nice ploy to extract a bit more cash out of you!
Restaurant - 4 staff at till point doing nothing, hour wait for food, place was not busy. Quality of meals poor, so only used once. Fish & Chip shop avoid very poor quality.
Entertainment was good, but felt sorry for the 'troupers' they had to do very long sets.
Not much to do when it rains, used indoor pool which was a huge disappointment, tiny, shallow, dirty and shabby - not good!
Overall main facilities are in need of refurbishment. Holiday park is in a good location, but would not stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Parkdean - Sandford Holiday Park

Address: Holton Heath, Poole | Dorset, Holton Heath, Wareham, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Wareham > Holton Heath
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty lodging in Holton Heath
Hotel Class:4 star — Parkdean - Sandford Holiday Park 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The family fun never ends on this leafy country park. You'll find fabulous indoor and outdoor pools, amazing tree-house adventure play, lively kids' clubs and a brilliant climbing wall. Not to mention the pirate ship, delicious places to eat and spectacular Showtime Entertainment. In fact there's so much to see and do there's hardly a minute left to explore the glorious countryside location, dive over to Bournemouth beach, discover Durdle Door, dine out at Poole Harbour or monkey around at Monkey World! * A lively family park in a country setting * Close to Wareham Town with River walks * Fantastic indoor and outdoor pools * Stunning contemporary lodges available * Showtime Entertainment every night ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sandford Holiday Park Hotel Holton Heath

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