Stayed one night on route to the channel islands , happened to be Biker night at Poole harbour which meant the whole seafront access to the old town and hotel was closed off, access was finally gained through back streets found with the help of a helpful police officer who had a very nice map.
Positioned right on the sea front and only steps away from the keyside this hotel has an enviable position, the building itself is rather reminiscent of a posh brick built 1960's tenamant block , access to the reception was via a pay car park at the rear of the hotel through a rather unimposing door way, when entering you get an almost instant feel for how this hotel will shape up.
Rooms are adequately sized but shabby , stained carpets and damaged interior fittings confirms that this hotel is in need of some serious refurbishment, Bed was clean, nice picture window to the sea front overlooking the key.
The bar and restaurant was also run down but never the less spacious with big picture windows overlooking Poole harbour and beyond, bar service was satisfactory despite there being a fire alarm evacuation while we were being served, on our return to the bar some 20 minutes later, the waitress continued to pour the remaining half of the same pint of lager which was then served to me warm and flat (nice).
The town was packed with visitors and street vendors so we elected to eat that evening in the hotel restaurant, Service was slow with long delays between courses despite it being quite empty, food was inexpensive and offered every type of cuisine known to man , Pizza to Curry to burgers to traditional English to Mexican , choice is excellent but quality, it was not.
Three onion soup which had been cooked to death then warmed up , it was a big portion but very stringy and was difficult to eat without getting it everywhere (a bit like eating Spaghett) .
Cod and chips over looking the sea front should be good but this was most dissapointing, the fish was fresh or fresh frozen which is OK however it was unfortunately cooked in very old or very well used cooking oil which had picked up various flavours of other food stuffs from their menu, the batter simply had to be picked off, accompanying mushy peas and chips were nice.
The bill arrived and we were surprised to find that a service charge had been added to the bill , i cant remember exactly how much but i think 15%, i normally like to choose how much tip to pay but obviouisly this restaurant has grabbed the initiative because i would guess that not many diners would volunteer a tip in this establishment.
Did not stay for breakfast!!!
This hotel would not be my first choice to stay, its overall quite expensive and offers nothing more than convenient access to poole water front, Whilst i personally like the attraction of the Biker night with all its activity and interesting things to see, some guests may not like the inconvenience caused , this hotel makes no attempt in explaining that some noise and access difficulties could be experienced when this function is taking place.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
September 27, 2012
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Thank you for taking time to provide comments about your recent stay. I am sorry to read about the quality of food as this is not a normal occurance in the Hotel. I have passed your feedback onto the Head Chef. I am concerned about the service in the bar after the fire evacuation and will ensure that retraining is carried out - I'm sorry that your pint was not as enjoyable as it should have been!. It is a standard with all Thistle Hotels to offer an optional 12.5 service charge with dinner service. It is optional and it is not a problem if you wish to decline payment.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.