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“We really wanted to LOVE this place but..” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Menzies Carlton Hotel

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Menzies Carlton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   East Overcliff, Bournemouth BH1 3DN, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #38 of 71 Hotels in Bournemouth
bristol
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“We really wanted to LOVE this place but..”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

We set off full of excitement and expectation for a lovely night in a sea view hotel in Bournemouth. A package deal of junior sea view suite, afternoon tea on arrival, a bit of a splash in the pool & spa followed by a wander round the sea front, three course dinner lovely nights sleep breakfast then home. What could be finer?

Well....plus points are that it is by the sea,the walk on the sea front was great, the room with the sea view was lovely and the staff very pleasant & accommodating. Sadly that is the best we can say. We promise we are not picky petty people but we do like nice food and facilities when paying £140 a night which we don't think is unreasonable.

Firstly the pool and spa facilities - my hear sank. The indoor pool had tiles missing off the bottom of the pool which could be quite painful if you caught your toe, ripped wallpaper along the sides of the complex, piles of sand and grit accumulating in the corner of the pool, freezing cold jacuzzi which no one could use and a general feeling of being unloved and poorly maintained. The outdoor pool was a total eyesore. It had bits of furniture in 1/4 full dirty grimy water and made a very sad view from the balcony. A real shame as both could be stunningly beautiful.

Onto the food. We recognize hotels have to make a profit on the deals they do but my goodness, whoever calculated the price per head for this place must have been taught by Ebeneezer Scrooge. Afternoon tea was a tiny pot of breakfast jam and what appeared to be a small swirl of watery squirty cream on a tiny dish and a couple of scones. My experience of hotel afternoon tea is a double tier presentation plate with finger sandwiches on one level, dainty cakes and scones on the top level and clotted cream. Afternoon tea is NOT this, which amusingly had been dusted with icing sugar to make it look better!!! We asked for real cream as is traditional for a Dorset cream tea but no, this hotel didn't do cream...?

The evening meal. In fairness, wonderful attentive staff, candlelit tables so we were ready to enjoy.. out came the first course of lobster and crab bisque. Sadly very gritty and bland - the guys on Masterchef would have gone nuts! My other half opted for main course of Dover sole. Being a big bloke of 6ft 4 and 17 stone, his face was a picture as they grandly presented a gigantic plate which swamped a small golf ball pile of lettuce leaves, SIX chips, a thimble of hollandaise sauce and a slice of lemon. I thought he was going to cry!

I had an anorexic salmon the size of half a postcard, lettuce leaves and the requisite six chips. I'm all for presentation and fine dining but this was neither and we looked at each other mournfully wishing we'd gone for the better deal in North Wales. By now we were feeling a bit sorry for ourselves but perked up when we saw Sticky Toffee pudding on the dessert menu, yee ha all was not lost! Sadly , the toffee sauce was so badly burnt the pudding was bitter and inedible so we left it and went to bed feeling really disappointed and debated ordering in a pizza!! The waiter asked if all was well. Because the staff were so lovely and didn't seem to speak English too well, we didn't want to make a scene and ruin our own evening further - in hindsight we should have complained but you do need the energy for that and we were exhausted. Hotel management please note - we have had far superior food in foreign all inclusive resorts where we have paid the same amount f money for a WEEK not a night, this was truly awful.

Off we went to sleep hungry followed by an unwelcome early knock on the door by the maid before 9am which then cheesed us off even more as we had wanted a good rest but there we go - should have put the do not disturb on, didn't so lesson learned.

Breakfast was pleasant but even if it had been outstanding it was too late, our minds were totally made up. This place could be something really really special but it fails on so many levels. We wont be returning and we write this with a heavy heart because we desperately wanted it to be a wonderful experience :(

Room Tip: 116 is the suite which overlooks the sea and the pool and has a 180 degree view. may be better in t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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556 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    114
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Pleasantly surprised on arrival. Receptionist excellent..friendly and polite and very efficient. Room was spotless, well decorated and had everything you required. Only moan would be that shower was not very powerful. Excellent sea view. Reception rooms, bar area and dining room all very clean, well decorated and furnished. All staff were friendly and helpful. We frequented the bar and restaurant. Food was excellent with a good choice. Amply parking and within east reach of the town centre. Would return.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dorset
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We had a magical day at our son's wedding in this hotel, all our guests were treated like royalty by the duty manager Byron & his hard working team. They ensured everything went to plan nothing was too much trouble. The food was excellant & the dining room over looking the bay was really elegant, the only problem there was we asked for all our guests to be seated together, unfortunately we were spread all around the dining room.This did not distract from the excellant breakfast on offer.We enjoyed a spa before breakfast.All our guests who stayed at the hotel had nothing but praise for the hotel. Many thanks & hopefully we will stay again soon.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms our guests stayed in were of a good size.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Birmingham UK
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

Very friendly staff, and quick check in. I was in room 118, beautiful and very spacious, I had lovely views of the sea.
The location of the hotel is great, its a short walk from both the beach and the shops.
The food in the restaurant is lovely, aswell as all the staff. a great chef.
I often say to myself, would i stay in a hotel again? I would definatley stay here again, i would also reccomend to all my family and friends they do the same when in Bournemouth.

Thanks to all at the hotel for making my stay lovely.
Anthony

Room Tip: 118 is a lovely suite.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

Just got back from 2 night stay at this hotel. We arrived early but were told the room wouldn't be ready until 3pm which was ok, but we were told we had to pay straight away which we did. We travel often all over England & Europe, but this has got to be the first time we were asked for full payment upfront, making us feel untrustworthy!! We got a good deal B & B & the room was very large & clean with a view into someone elses room though! But although free bottles of water in the room.......no fridge & the bathroom was in need of repair. The blind on the window was broken, cracks on all the paintwork & a very unhealthy thick green & white limescale all over the bidet tap!
The breakfast was very good as would be expected in a 4*hotel, with a good choice.
The location was lovely & a nice walk to the town centre was only 10 mins away. We had lovely weather so my husband decided to go for a swim in the outdoor pool, which was freezing & filthy. He got out quicker than he got in. We were told that the pump was broken so the pool was NOT being heated, therefore difficult to keep clean too! And as it was nearing the end of season, not worth fixing! (Despite quite a few people sunbathing)!
We really liked the cosy atmosphere of the hotel in general, but a few negatives were obvious.

  • 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 Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Wolfsburg
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We visited the Menzies Carlton two times with a group of 44 altogether in September. Our group from Germany was very pleased. the hotel is situated right by the beach. We had wonderful spacious rooms, nicely decorated. Many had a wonderful sea view. We enjoyed the warm welcome. Check in was well organized. Porters were there to help our elderly guests to their rooms. Two nights we booked HB. The three course meals were excellent. A great surprise was the wonderful breakfast buffet we had on the day of our departure early in the morning at 5. We only expected toast and jam, but were spoiled with a nice cold breakfast buffet. We highly recommend the Menzies Carlton and will be back next year.
If you prepare your group a little about the small differences between English and German Hotels everything will be perfect.
CrissCross Language School, Wolfsburg, Germany

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We have had the most wonderful weekend at the Carlton Bournemouth. The atmosphere, the staff from the wonderful Manager, the reception staff who are so helpful and accommodate your every need to make your stay relaxing and enjoyable. The Restaurant staff are wonderful and give us excellent service at all times. The food is excellent having award winning Chefs and spotlessly clean kitchen. The room service is excellent with very clean comfortable rooms spotlessly clean and air conditioned and beautifully refurbished rooms. We would never stay anywhere else in Bournemouth and just love the Hotel and just look forward to returning for our special anniversary and know the Carlton will make it even more special as always. Thank you all at the Carlton, we love you all and will see you very soon. Bless you all and best wishes.Rochelle and Rod Lewisxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Room Tip: A balcony room with sea views are the best if available, but all rooms are spacious clean and very...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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 Menzies Carlton Hotel

Address: East Overcliff, Bournemouth BH1 3DN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#10 Luxury Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Menzies Carlton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 76
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Also Known As:
Menzies Carlton Bournemouth
Hotel Menzies Carlton
Carlton Hotel Bournemouth

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