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“Staff Friendly but a tired looking hotel”

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Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton
Ranked #34 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Staff Friendly but a tired looking hotel”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

We stayed at the Carlton Hotel for two nights after a late booking so we appreciated we didn't have a choice of room at such short notice and in the height of the summer season.

The reception staff at all times were polite, friendly and very welcoming.

The room itself was a good size double (room 229), rather outdated, tired looking and the view of the bins wasn't the most enjoyable, but as I said this was all that was available on the day and we needed somewhere to stay for two nights and although the room was next to the lift you didn't actually hear it so that wasn't a issue at all.
We were however woken on the Monday morning, firstly at 6.45-7am with the first lot of bins being emptied and then again at 8am for the bottle bins to be emptied!

Breakfast was plentiful, with lovely fresh fruit, plenty of cereals and then the traditional English.

The hotel in general needs new carpeting and a fresh lick of paint.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1 Thank Tricia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

I attended a training course in the conference room and was impressed with the facilities. Parking was available freely, great views to the front/rear of the property where additional parking is available for £4 all day. Beverages were available throughout the day along with lunch and afternoon snacks, all food was great - well presented, hot and delicious. The decor and furnishings were grand and the hotel had a lovely relaxed feel. Will be returning for pleasure in the future.

Stayed August 2014
1 Thank MrsZebby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2014

We stayed at the Carlton Hotel for one night, it being a prize in a raffle. We had room 312, third floor sea view. It was large and spacious and comfortable. We had a three course evening meal which was lovely and good quality. Breakfast I thought was a good variety of fruit, cereals and croissants as well as an English breakfast. My husband used the gym which consisted of one running machine and other items. I had two treatments, a massage and a pedicure. The therapist was the only one there and was very knowledgeable. You get a discount on treatments if you're staying at the hotel but there were no price lists or details on the website. A couple of niggles. We had to ask for our drinks with our meal which didn't arrive until almost at the end of our starters. We also had to ask for more milk in our room because there was only one sachet in there when we arrived. All in all we enjoyed our stay very much. It looked like there were good facilities for children and we found the staff to be helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank forestgirl8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed July 30, 2014

We stayed at the Carlton Bournemouth for my husbands surprise Birthday weekend at the beginning of July. The weather was amazing as always and the service at the Carlton as always was wonderful. The staff are always very kind and helpful to all guests and any hiccups are immediately resolved. The rooms are spotlessly clean and tidy. Reception staff are very helpful and welcoming to all guests. The food is always wonderful and enjoyable. Overall a very calming relaxing atmosphere and enjoyable. The Hotel has a wonderful Manager who is always there to help at any time. We so look forward to coming to stay again in the very near future.

Thank you to everyone at the Carlton Bournemouth.

Room Tip: see view is best
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Rochellewis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2014

We have just returned from a two day break at the Menzies Carlton Hotel. We made our booking directly with the hotel and felt reassured by the positive feedback on Trip Advisor. We booked three rooms, a suite with a balcony and sea view, a double room with sea view and a family room with sea view. (All being the most expensive room options) This trip was planned to be very special - to mark the 44th wedding anniversary of our Aunt and Uncle and to provide a much needed break during his battle with the BIG C. I looked at a number of Hotels on line and spoke with staff at both the Menzies East Cliff Court and its sister hotel, the Carlton, before making a reservation. I was advised by the East Cliff Court that the Carlton would be better able to meet the needs of our Uncle who has to use a wheelchair.

We arrived at the hotel early to find no wheelchair access at the front entrance, I had been told this was available. Our Uncle, tired from the journey, had to be half carried up the steps and then placed in his wheelchair. I reported to reception and checked that we could have lunch in the bar while waiting for our rooms. We waited an hour for our meals but they were nice and we were not in a hurry. At 3pm we reported back to Reception and were allocated our rooms and asked to pay up front. We paid but were given no introductory information. There was a queue to check in so we left to locate the lift, we asked one member of staff where it was but he did not reply. Luckily a guest pointed it out for us. I had asked for the suite to have a balcony and was reassured that my Uncle would be able to sit on the balcony in his wheelchair and view the ocean. What we found was a high, dirty, concrete balcony wall that was impossible to see over unless you were standing. Please see the pictures. This view of a concrete wall was being charged at an additional £40-00 per night. I went straight back to Reception to express my concern that the room was not what was promised and found the Receptionist to be completely disinterested. She said the manager was on her lunch break and 'you can ring her later if you want' I rang the manager and was told that I have a suite with a balcony and no special requests had been recorded except for the suite and family room to be located close to each other. (This request was not met either) At time of booking I did express our needs in detail because I wanted to be sure the Hotel was suitable for guests with disabilities and would offer the environment we wanted. I asked if I should write an email to confirm our requirements but was reassured that this was not necessary because they had been noted and would be taken care of.
If it were just the matter of a concrete balcony, I would not be writing this, so please read on...
My Husband and I were staying in the family room with our Daughter who was given a Z bed. I have no issue with this. However, you simply have to see the photographs of the HOLE IN OUR MATTRESS- yes a hole! When I reported this, the Receptionist could call Housekeeping for a spare duvet to fill the hole and would then get someone to look at it the next day. I said this was not acceptable because my Husband had already spent one uncomfortable night sleeping on it. Her reply was 'well do you want a spare duvet or not?' I said I didn't see how a duvet would resolve the issue so perhaps I should ask my Husband to sleep on the Z bed while my Daughter and I shared the good half of the mattress. The Receptionist appeared pleased with this suggestion and asked me to give her Thanks to my Husband! I should say that we didn't notice the hole until we went to bed, after all a hole in a mattress is not what anyone would expect to find in a 4*Hotel.
My teenage Daughters were in a double room with sea view which appeared to be quite nice until you looked in the bathroom. The shower head was fixed on with mastic, the toilet flush handle faulty and damp patches were on the walls. Please see the photographs.
In my opinion, this Hotel simply does not care about the comfort and wellbeing of its guests, especially those with a disability. I could almost write a novel. However, to summarise, I have looked at the AA and English Tourist board standards for 4* hotels and find it no surprise to report that this hotel fails to meet the 1* standards on many of the requirements. I will name a few.
1. Hotel staff should preempt the needs of disabled guests and advise them of the facilities offered. At no time were we given information about how the needs of disabled guests could be catered for. We were only informed of the accessible entrance after my first complaint to the Duty Manager, we had been in and out of the main entrance three times by then!
2. Staff should know the food and drink on offer - our waiter did not know what a chip was!
3. The restaurant should be overseen by a Maitre'd who must ensure the smooth operation of the service. Our evening meal took a total of 3 hours, we had to ask other guests to vacate their table so that our Uncle could be helped up a large step to walk over to our table. If the needs of disabled guests were considered we would have been allocated a table on the section of the restaurant which had level flooring.
4. Beds, mattresses and pillows should be of good quality - If you have seen the photos I rest my case.
5. Extractor fans must be clean - there are photos of the extractor fans, needless to say they are all filthy.
6. Rooms should be clean and in a good state of repair - please judge for yourself.

Let me remind you that these are requirements for 1* hotels not the 4* Carlton.

Needless to say I will be taking my concerns to the Awarding Body because I feel strongly that our experience should not be one that others, especially those with disabilities, should have to endure.
I will never stay in any Menzies hotel again even if offered free of charge.
I was not alone in my concerns, I heard numerous complaints from guests and when expressing my concerns to the Hotel Manager before leaving, a number of other guests were in the queue waiting to express their concerns. I sincerely hope they all find time to add a comment on Trip Advisor and/or take their complaint further.

I would like to add that I have been fortunate to travel extensively in the UK and abroad. I have never complained about a Hotel, Bed and Breakfast or caravan that I have stayed in. I made one verbal complaint 11 years ago when I asked to book a room in the Hotel restaurant for my family which included 2 Daughters aged 4 and 5. I was asked if my children were 'well behaved' and told they preferred children to eat in the hotel Bar. Given the bar was full of cigarette smoke, I told her that I did not feel it a welcoming environment for my children and I found her comments rude. I resolved my complaint myself by eating elsewhere!

A final note - we avoided the Carlton Hotel restaurant on the second night, we chose instead to eat at the 4* Miramar Hotel, just a few minutes walk away. We received a warm welcome, the food, the service and services for guests with disabilities were EXCELLENT. I could have cried when I noted the room prices were cheaper than we had paid for the Carlton. I cannot thank them enough for saving the day. There are no prizes for guessing the Hotel we will be choosing for our next trip to Bournemouth.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
26 Thank deborah o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PBartonCarltonGM, General Manager at Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton, responded to this review, August 7, 2014
Dear Deborah O

Once aware of your full requirements an alternative room was offered this would have allowed your uncle a room with a large balcony and uninterrupted sea views. I am sorry a room move was not agreeable.

When we spoke at the hotel your concerns were acknowledged and an outcome discussed prior to check out, this was agreeable at the time, I am pleased our subsequent conversations have now resolved the matter and look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Bournemouth.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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We got a very nice double room with a balcony, spacious with lovely sea view and aircondition. The staff was very helpful, and we could borrow towels for bathing. Nice pool with poolbar. We left the hotel at 04.30 in the morning, and the hotel staff had prepared a full breakfast for us. Quite expensive hotel, but worth it!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Vera F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2014

Had a really nice break at this hotel, excellent food and very helpful staff, nothing to much trouble, the leisure facilities were very good offering indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub, sauna gym etc with lots of fluffy white towels, our room was on the third floor with a very good bathroom, spacious, view out to sea, beach and pier etc. but was sadly spoilt by noise from a very loud, nearby extraction system, open window suffer noise, close window turn on aircon, noise even louder!
It was a shame because this is a great hotel, we will be staying again but stay away from room 311 or any room at that end of the building.
Great location for beach, town, gardens etc.

Room Tip: Stay well away from the rooms to the right of the hotel (standing back to sea) very noisy continuou...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank C0llieman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton

Property: Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton
Address: East Overcliff Drive, Bournemouth BH1 3DN, England (Formerly Menzies Carlton Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#13 Luxury Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton 4*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
4 star stunning hotel on Bournemouth's cliff-top, offering traditional stylish rooms, many with sea views. Award winning restaurant, bar, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, steam room, sauna, and beauty treatment rooms. An easy walk down the zig zag path to the golden sands, and 5 minutes walk to the town centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Menzies Carlton Bournemouth
Hotel Menzies Carlton
Carlton Hotel Bournemouth

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