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“what a view” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Harbour Heights Hotel

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Harbour Heights Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   73 Haven Road, Sandbanks, Poole BH13 7LW, England (Formerly FJB Collection - Harbour Heights)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“what a view”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Stayed here many times , just love sandbanks . Have always enjoyed eating lunch in the restaurant , feel as if you are abroad . On this visit loved the fresh fish as usual [ recommend the potted salmon and the tuna nicoise salad , they are actually prepared to cook tuna how you like it rather than it having to be pink ] . Our room was tiny but had all that we needed , good sized wardrobe , excellent shower and comfortable bed . Breakfast was much improved this time [ veggy sausage ] although the coffee was undrinkable . Staff were all friendly [ appart from the man they sent up to our room when tv wouldnt work ; but then service in hotels outside of london is always a little hit and miss .

Room Tip: pay more to face the harbour so that you can watch the boats , also the suits give you lots more roo...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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498 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

we stayed at this hotel as a bank holiday treat and to attend a family wedding in the area. we arrived on Friday and were shown to our room overlooking the harbour. Great view and even though the weather wasn't great for sun worshippers, the windsurfers and kite surfers were enjoying the gusty weather and we had a great view of them. The room was comfortable and spacious and the hotel had ensured that we had no feather/down bed linen (a special allergy request).

We didn't eat at the hotel in the evening as we had booked dinner in town. On return to the hotel at around 11.30 we went to the bar for a nightcap and were ignored by bar staff until we asked for service, only to be told that the bar was closed and we would have to ask the night porter. We retired to bed instead.

Breakfast in the morning was a bit of a timing disaster. The restaurant manager seemed incapable of helping the waiting staff who were doing their best to serve everyone, there were either too few staff or the chef was slow, but the upshot was we waited over half an hour for even tea & toast to keep us going. We were eventually served and had a delicious breakfast.

Reception staff were very helpful when we asked about visiting one of the sister hotels in Sandbanks, recommending the one with an outdoor pool and beach side terrace, so that is where we spent the day on Saturday, and made full use of the pool (indoor and out) and also the sauna & spa. The sandbanks hotel is perfectly placed for a walk along the beach to see the grand houses.

Breakfast on day 2 was an entirely different affair, the proper restaurant manager was back and things ran like clockwork - same great breakfast but with much less stress in the air!

Overall an enjoyable stay, by the time we left we were rested and relaxed and had enjoyed our weekend.

Room Tip: ask for a room overlooking the harbour. You will pay a little more but the view is worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

The room was great. Fantastic view. Breakfast was fine apart from the kitchen staff yelling the orders. The first night something went wrong with fan in the bathroom. It kept me awake half the night. They were unable to fix it over the weekend so cheerfully moved me to another room. I decided to have dinner at the resteraunt the second night. The resteraunt was half full at the most and there were at least 5 waiters. After my main course which was fine, but really nothing special I was given the desert menu and then waited and waited and completely ignored. Empty wine glass, empty water glass, no desert ordered. In the end I left and went back to my room and ate the biscuts for desert.

Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for our wedding anniversary. Having paid a very expensive price for our room we were excited to be eating in the restaurant that evening for the first time (the price of which was supposedely included in our room rate). On arrival at the restaurant we found that we could only order food up to the value of £25.00 which left us with very little choice. We were not informed of this on booking. We had requested a table by the window that afternoon but were informed that they were fully booked (this we did not understand as we should have been booked in already). Needless to say we did not get a table by the window. The main course was very nice. Service was a little slow. Service on the terrace was not only slow but we were also forgotten having requested that we have our dessert outside. We have stayed at this hotel on several occasions however unfortuantely the service and attention to detail for the price you pay is going downhill. As other contributors have said this hotel can no longer just rely on the view for its bookings.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

The Harbour Heights hotel was comfortable, clean and in a good location. It is a good base in order to travel round Dorset and see the sights. The service was very friendly, accomodating and helpful and the food was of a high standard. The reason why I have not given it a 4 star rating is down to the details (which is quite fussy but if you are paying 4 star prices you should be getting the details) for example the bar menu would say that sandwiches come with vegetable crisps when in fact they would be your average ready salted. The hand cut chips were oven chips etc. The room was very hot at night as you were unable to control the temperature, this being the case the bathroom often felt like a steam room / sauna. Also I would quite have liked a robe and slippers. However I would stay here again and I would recommend it. The hotels in Sandbanks are pricey generally and the location (despite the steep hill) gives you stunning views of the surrounding area and is a 15mins walk from the beach. A buss ride will take you to other seaside delights such as Bournemouth and Swanage. All in all a lovely place to visit.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Watford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We stayed here because my brother was having his wedding at Compton Acres.
After going back and forth with reservations for 3 months about the price of our rooms (each guest was quoted different rates from 230 to 110 a night for the same room type)
The hotel was fantastic. The rooms were spotless, I could not fault them. Tea and Coffee making facilities in the room were good.
The staff were all helpful, polite and smiling.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

We booked this hotel as we had a wedding in Bournemouth and were recommended to the hotel as it had such lovely views. When I called the hotel to book the room I stressed I wanted a sea view room with a king size bed as my partner is well over six feet tall and quite well built! I was assured that a sea view with a king size bed was absolutely not a problem. When we checked in we were given our key and informed where the room was - no one offered to help us with the bags or show us to the room which is poor service in a 4* hotel to say the least.

We found the room which did indeed have a king size bed in it. The bed was about 15" away from the bedroom wall so it made life very hard to walk around the bed. The bathroom was tiny and dark. The light did not work. After a few minutes we worked out that in order to use the electricity in the room we had to put the key card in the holder by the door - but no one had bothered to tell us this fact.

The room seemed to be set in the eaves and therefore some of the walls sloped downwards - two of the mirrors in the room were on these sloping walls so if you stood in front of the mirror to look at yourself it was a total waste of time as you couldn't properly see yourself. There was good sized dressing table with a mirror on the wall - however it was not possible to see yourself if you were sitting at the dressing table looking into the mirror due to the angle of the wall - it would have been more useful to have had a free standing dressing table.

As for the sea view - it was at best a partial sea view and at worst not a sea view at all.

However the most stupid thing of all was the kettle for tea and coffee. It was situated in a cupboard accessible only after dragging a large armchair out of the way. The kettle was easily removable for filling but had to be replaced IN THE CUPBOARD to boil on its base unit. How dangerous and how stupid.

The televison seemed to keep wanting to go to sleep which ended up not being an issue as we were in a hurry to get changed and go to our function. My husband rang reception to ask what we needed to do to get it to work and were told that no one really knew!!! It was offered that someone would come and look at it while we were out.

There was no room safe which was a problem as I wanted to leave my wallet and credit cards and was only taking a small evening purse with me. It was finally agreed that I could leave it in the hotel safe but would not be able to get it back until the following morning. It is a long time since I stayed in any hotel that did not have anything as basic as a room safe.

There was no wifi in the room and we were offered a wire which of course does not work with an ipad so was not an option.

Had we come to the hotel for more than one night I think I would have left there and then.

On returning from our friends wedding we found it very hard to park the car in the too small car park - I dont think the hotel was full and so dread to think where people would park if the hotel was at capacity. We finally found somewhere on the lower car park as far away from the hotel as was possible. We were also told that the doors are shut at midnight. On returning - before midnight - we asked what time the breakfast service finished in the morning - the night porter had no idea at all. He was quite apologetic but simply didnt know. There was no literature in the hotel bedroom that explained such minor details. We decided that even here it couldnt finish much before 9.00am. We found out the next morning it finished at 9.30am but surely that is exactly the sort of question the night porter should know.

To be fair the room was clean and the bed was reasonably comfortable although too soft. The airconditioning was so noisy all night.

Breakfast was so slow and as others have said it is a joke to be brought one piece of toast in the toast rack - cold toast at that. The portions were small and I am not a big eater.

When we were checking out I was asked if I was happy with my stay and I politely explained that we were not. I explained that the sea view was not good and immediately I was offered a refund of the premium I had been charged for the sea view. I was also promised that someone from the Management would be keen to contact me to discuss my concerns - I am still waiting a week later.

In short this hotel is in a fabulous location, staff seem to be eager to please but they let themselves down. If anyone is interested we stayed in room 311 - if you are offered it decline it unless it is sold without the sea view. Also if you are big don't bother, or want to use the mirrors.

Room Tip: Avoid room 311
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Harbour Heights Hotel

Address: 73 Haven Road, Sandbanks, Poole BH13 7LW, England (Formerly FJB Collection - Harbour Heights)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Poole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
#2 Luxury Hotel in Poole
#4 Romantic Hotel in Poole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Harbour Heights Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the Sandbanks Peninsula on Dorset's south coast, The Harbour Heights Hotel is easily accessible by car or train. Nearby is Poole with its superb bay and fascinating Quay. Bournemouth town centre is just ten minutes drive away, with all the cosmopolitan retail, culinary and entertainment experience that is to be found in this vibrant town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harbour Heights Poole
Harbour Heights Hotel Poole, Dorset

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