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“Simply great” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Haven Hotel

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The Haven Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   161 Banks Road | Sandbanks, Poole BH13 7QL, England (Formerly FJB Collection - The Haven)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Poole
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Simply great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2010

Fabulous hotel wonderful for conferences very organised and nothing too much trouble. Stayed on at end of conference and my husband came down for the weekend and we had a wonderful couple of days. Food is great, breakfast amazing buffet of waiter service. Only critism is that if you get one of the side sea view rooms the beds are quite small for 2 but all the other rooms have very comfy super kingsize. Will definitely be returning

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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647 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (261)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2010

Three beautiful mornings ruined by having to fight to have breakfast on the terrace. We insisted on morning one, having been met with rude resistance, to find the doors to the terrace locked the next morning. What should have been a fabulous al fresco breakfast was ruined because we were 'locked indoors' - disgusting. At these prices the guests' wishes should be accomodated, especially as we are talking about staff having to walk about 10 steps further to serve on the terrace - really!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2010 via mobile

On an Internet rate with an upgrade for £10 I got a fab double room with a seaview so beautiful it took my breath away.
Only minor quibble was the smokers on the lower terrace which meant I had to shut my window.
Looking forward to a return visit sometime.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2010

This hotel has a great location, fantastic views over Poole Bay & the sea. My family (husband, offspring of 20 and 14 years) enjoyed the facilities for our 3 night stay, and my daughter had an hour sea kayaking as a free sample lesson at Sandbanks, the sister hotel. It was a fairly wet weekend so we didn't really get the benefit of the 2 balconies on our executive room (kids hung out in our room, so no need to pay for two executive rooms in my opinion). The view is great and endlessly interesting with all the boats coming and going You can hear the chain ferry but that didn't worry us. I also liked the direct access to the gorgeous beach.

All in all we enjoyed staying there but there were niggles small and large. The major complaint is that it is fantastically overpriced, you pay roughly twice what you should as prices are per person not per room.

The reason I took my family was a birthday present for my husband, I was feeling extravagant and I was sick of hearing myself say 'we should stay there, what a great location' every time we go to Poole (which is most years for a weekend). Then - never actually doing the deed and booking it.

We thought the downstairs layout very awkward, and lacking in architectural grace or in keeping with the original design of the hotel (20's/30's) - with a grand stair way facing the kitchen which is plonked in the middle of the public areas. Also dripping through the dining room from the spa was not great.

Upstairs with all that water everywhere I do think carpeted rooms are a big mistake - in damp weather they smell a bit - if they ever thoroughly renovate I would opt for some lovely tiles with rugs and underfloor heating, but maybe I am just fantasising what I would do with this building.

The standard of cleaning in both rooms was OK and the size of the rooms - especially the corner executive room was quite big. Internal hallways upstairs quite tired decor.

We thought breakfasts were OK especially if you have a cooked to order option. We had room service one night and ate in the lounge another night - again pricey I thought.

This could be a really great hotel & the prices would be justified; it isn't quite up to scratch frankly compared to other hotels we have stayed at for this amount of money. Maybe save up and go once for the view and the great location, but I really think the management could do a better job with the interior and come up with a more reasonable per room price.

Not sure I would go again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2010

With shops like Ikea, Matalan, Next and even B&Q there really is no excuse for a hotel room with furnishings such as these. get the Hotel Inspector in or give me a one off 200 pounds and I could totally transform the decor of a room and when the rate is just under 300 per night (what we paid for our indescribably awfully decorated room) FJB would still be raking in the profit.
The fabulous location of the Haven and the lovely views from our room simply do not justify the price with this state of bedroom decor and the room gets a quadruple D rating from me: Dirty, dreary, drab and dated.
For the hotel decor overall, think 1970's meets 1997. That people would pay a membership fee of over a fifteen hundred pounds for use of the pool area ( as I was told) is surely a joke? Low expectations maybe.
I agree with other reviews, dinner in La Roche and lunch in the Bar and Brasserie were excellent. I would add though that the effervescent waitress Jennifer deserves to replace the officious present blonde 'maitre d'. I got the distinct impression that she equated discerning diners with being 'blinged up'. So 'flash your cash' for the best service from her.
On the whole though the staff were delightful, the location brilliant, the food good ( b'fast awful) but the owner is missing a trick as we Londoners know a rip off when we see it and repeat custom and word of mouth is all. 'It is Sandbanks after all' is definitely no excuse.
Would I reccommend it? Only if the rooms get a refurb and Jennifer gets a promotion!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Dorset
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

We stayed 12 th August for 2 nights to celebrate my birthday. Had a great room with balcony, so were able to watch the ferry, fishermen and yachts coming and going. We ate in the restaurant, where the food was excellent and beautifully served. The staff were really lovely, nothing too much trouble, and keen to please. We used the pools as weather very good. From the end of the terrace is a gate, you need a key, lets you out on to a lovely sandy beach. There is a deposit for the key, returnable.
The hotel is on the older side hence some areas a little tired, or moreso dated. Although we enjoyed our stay very much, having travelled and stayed in lovely hotels ,we think the bathrooms need a tweek, to match the price., as do the pool areas, however this is Sandbanks .

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

Why weird? Well it seems to operate on a two tier system - Breakfast rubbish! Dinner fabulous! Room 1 star, facilities on offer 4 star. Views delightful, staff variable.

Booked a twin room £180 for B&B. Looked OK at first but after half an hours use you start to notice scratch marks on the funiture, almost useless kettle, need to request tea and sugar and milk, as if the room had not been fuly serviced (although when requested response was swift and a further request for extra towels was met with the same response - very quick). The room was not that clean and the bath plug hole was clogged with hair, discoverd when having a shower and noticed that the water was building up. The shower head when in the cradle was completely at the wrong angle, it would only point towards the wall sort of back on itself, I think the cradle had been fitted upside down. You had to remove the shower head and hold it above with one hand while washing with the other, a minor inconvenience maybe but not 4 star standard. TV reception was absolute garbage. This may have been peculiar to our room - did not see any others.

Dinner - We booked an evening meal in the Hotel's La Roche restaurant and glad we did, it was excellent, attentive friendly staff and good food along with brilliant night views and a relaxed ambience. We retiired to the terrace for coffee. The service in the restaurant could not be faulted.

Breakfast - Kept warm, heated up dried out breakfast buffet bar stylie, no thanks! My son had some because he was starving then wished he hadn't. I ordered egg florentine which was better but ruined by the sauce which tasted as if it was an instant type also kept warm ready for the next order. The funiture in the breakfast room looked as if a gang of binge drinking kids had been let loose and told it was OK to scratch patterns on the tables and chairs, they were not very clean either. Breakfast was a total contrast to dinner.

To be fair to the Manager when I told him of our dissapointments, a discount was given. It is such a shame that a hotel in this location is run in this manner with just a few improvements and some attention to detail and breakfast cooked using fresh food to order, this could be truly a 4 star hotel, as it is, it is over rated.

The swimming pool, sauna, steam room gym etc. are very good and use is included with the room rate, this is a plus and very enjoyable. There is also direct access to the beach.

Everything at The Haven has the makings of a great hotel but it needs some serious improvements before I would go again. Not recommended at the moment.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about The Haven Hotel

Address: 161 Banks Road | Sandbanks, Poole BH13 7QL, England (Formerly FJB Collection - The Haven)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Poole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
#2 Luxury Hotel in Poole
#4 Business Hotel in Poole
#7 Romantic Hotel in Poole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Haven Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idyllically located at the very tip of the exclusive Sandbanks peninsular and with uninterrupted views of Poole Harbour - the perfect base from which to visit the Purbecks and the Dorset's famous Jurassic coast. The Haven Hotel offers sheer award-winning luxury from its acclaimed restaurants to its heavenly Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Haven Poole
Haven Hotel Poole
The Haven Hotel Poole, Dorset

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