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“Exceptional Service in a Great Location”

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Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel
Ranked #38 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Arriving shortly after lunch on a hot Sunday afternoon in the peak of summer is a sure way of testing a hotel's ability to serve the customer! The hotel was heaving and the car park packed as Saturday night guests quite rightly wanted to stay longer to enjoy this hotel's wonderful access to the beach while we wanted to check in early to do the same! However as soon as we pulled up and wondered where on earth we could park one of two concierge on duty took control. "Just leave it there sir and we will deal with it". This guy was using his initiative with everyone and the car and the luggage suddenly were not our problem. No, the room wasn't ready but the check in staff just took my mobile number and said they would call as soon as it was so a stroll along the sea front and 45 minutes later all was smoothly resolved.

Absolutely great service and so it continued, from the courtesy of the 'Assistant Hotel Engineer' in the lift (that's what it said on his name badge) through to the breakfast staff, nothing was too much trouble. Yes the hotel is a little tired in places but that was more than made up for by its people, service, location and food. You don't eat in hotels do you? In a beach side location like this you go out but on the third night we decided to try their 'Taste of Dorset' four course menu priced at £31.50. Absolutely outstanding and better than the meals the previous two evenings, both of which we had chosen from the Good Food Guide. This really is exceptional value with ingredients sourced from what they call their local food heroes.

We had never been to the Highcliff before, but the combination of Marriott service ethics and the history and location of the hotel made it a memorable experience. We will return!

Room Tip: If price is an issue to you don't worry about whether the room has a view because as soon as you...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank blue311roll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 24, 2013

The Marriott sits in a prime position, high on a cliff, with views of Bournemouth Beach below, which is assessable by stairs. There is a cabin car which will take you to the beach for less than £2 a person. Although it is decorated with Marriot adverts, it isn’t linked to the hotel and to ride, you must pay – however during the time we were there, you could deduct the price of the ride off of any drinks purchased at the hotel bar.

Reception was welcoming and phoned when our room was ready, as we had arrived early. We booked two standard rooms. They were both on the 4th floor although completely different. One was considerably larger with a sea view and the other was smaller although still decent. The furniture was ok (our chair’s cushion was nearly a triangle from so much use) however it definitely had the corporate feel as everything else was somewhat non-descript.

The bar area was nice, views are lovely. Cocktails were a bit hit and miss and bar service was somewhat slow. The restaurant, High Cliff Grill was very good. The service was perfect and the 35 day aged steak was the best we’ve had in the UK. A huge wing rib, bone in, cooked to perfection.
The indoor and outdoor pools were packed on the Sunday so we used the beach instead. The spa services were also booked the whole time we were there, so best to call ahead if you are going at a busy time.

Check out was ok, not quite as friendly as check in. They wouldn’t reprint our bill (even though they had made a mistake and we wanted to verify that it had been amended). They asked us to pay before they reprinted (?). Also when we mentioned that we would be 10 minutes late checking out (check out is noon) they had to go ask management if that is ok. Considering the main lift of the hotel was out of order (and we had to use the small, three person service lift) it took us nearly 10 minutes to get us all down to the main floor anyhow!

All that aside, no doubt the Marriott is one of the cream of the crop in Bournemouth and looking around at the other hotels, I would recommend it purely based on location, if anything. Even if you don’t decide to stay here, come here for a drink at the bar (with it’s lovely views) and a steak in the restaurant!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank rachel1372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

its a short walk down to the beach, next door to BIC, gardens and handy for town. Generally satisfactory, clean, bright, sea view out of side window. Main bugbear is parking. We were very fortunate to get a parking spot on arrival, most spots were double parked and you had to leave your car keys with reception if you couldn't get a space. Daren't leave and would struggle to find another spot. We arrived saturday, there was a wedding on, and literally the car park was just a mass of cars, double parked and squeezed in wherever.
Certain members of staff were very helpful e.g. porters, reception was busy and not overly polite. Trying to order food on Saturday night in the lounge was a nightmare. Several people were leaving and trying to pay. We had to interrupt the staff to get a menu and again to try to order. We will be right with you, resulted in a 10 minute wait with no acknowledgement and one waitress stared straight at us for a time then disappeared into the kitchen. We got up and walked out.
Used the swimming pool and gym which were fine. Also an outdoor pool. Again had to wait for someone to go through procedures, not enough staff on reception. Depending on timings the inside pool was still full of noisy kids although a small lane was corded off for more serious swimming

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank coolkitty88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We are big Marriott fans and so when we made a last minute trip down to Bournemouth and the Marriott was available we were happy travelers - until we arrived. We were booked for two nights on one of their deals - champagne and strawberries each evening in room - seaview, parking included etc. There was no parking despite several 'rounds' of the carpark due to it being high season (one hopes) and that there was also a function on in the main function suite. We parked fairly near to the hotel on the street. Check-in - very lazy approach and after two minutes were told they couldn't find the booking only to query and say oh yes we have it was in another pile/list. No information given as where breakfast was/timings etc. Directions to the room were rather like a route march along squeaky corridors only to find a lift outside our door two minutes from reception. The room was disappointing. Very small, tired and not very clean. The furniture did not match. The only good thing was the Marriott bed and the sea view on a sunny day - oh and the bottle of champagne!! The strawberries were on a saucer and wrapped in cling film and looked as if they had been there all day and needless to say we did not touch them. The hotel lobby and public areas constantly smelt of cooking meat/food and were nauseating. The cold water offerings in the lobby were always empty each time we passed and looked messy. The breakfast was good and there was plenty of choice and space, however following a discussion we decided to check out. At £275 per night - it was just not worth staying another night. Sorry Marriott but just not up to the normal standard.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank imperiallwizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We stayed at the Marriott Highcliff in March, 2011 and found the service quite satisfactory. Not so on June 27 and 28, 2013. (Turns out there was a change in General Managers in late 2011.) There were not enough bellmen on duty, and most of the employees we would rather correct a guest than a problem. They use their disabled parking for expensive cars and hotel service vehicles; instructing disabled guests to fend for themselves. I’ve been a member of Marriott’s loyalty program for 25 years, and this hotel does not belong in that chain.
If you are using a Tom-Tom Sat Nav, the hotel is only listed under “Restaurants”. If you type in the street address, do not accept the St Michael’s prompt. That’s the “Lane” and it’s nowhere near the “Road”. Try “50” for the house number; “1” was wrong.
I became persona non-grata at check-in, when I suggested that diligent management would ensure its hotel is properly listed on a Tom-Tom. I own that I was peevish—a 16 hour journey had been stretched into 16.5. That, and I asked how far the Annex was, and if it had a lift. Evidently I asked too sharply.
My husband limps along with a cane, has only one working lung, and severe asthma. On night 2 we returned to find the hotel car park full and a Jaguar (Top Gear fantasy model, no badge) taking up the disabled bay.
Same desk clerk was on duty. She did not care for my indignation and did not offer any alternatives. As for the Jaguar, the hotel wasn’t responsible for where guests park; and there was nothing to be done.
We waited in a fire lane and then I returned to Reception to ask if there was Bellman (“Yes.”) who could move our car when a bay opened up (“If you wait.”) I waited, and went vigilante. I wrote a rude word in lipstick on the Jag’s windscreen. It was a messy business, and inside at Reception, I asked for a tissue to clean my fingers. When the bellman arrived for the keys, he explained that because of the shortage of parking, the hotel used disabled bays however it saw fit, and that the Jag was there with the hotel’s permission. (UK law permits this, but only if the property owner is able and willing to move a car for a disabled person.)
As soon as I arrived in our room I received a call from the Night Duty Manager, informing me that the very frail elderly owner of the Jag had a) found the message; b) was deeply distraught; and c) the hotel had called the police to arrest me. Perhaps a bit of an over-reaction for a stunt that cleans up in 5 minutes at a cost of 10-20 pence? But, I reflected on the gentleman’s distress and my jet lag impaired bad judgment, and offered to undo my mischief. Hadn’t really looked like the car of a frail old man though…
No sign of the distraught elderly man when I arrived, and the bellman had cleaned the windscreen. I volunteered that it was a childish act--speculating that the elderly gentleman may have been as deserving of the bay as my husband. With my sincere apology, the Night Duty Manager offered to call off my arrest.
I was quite surprised to see the Jag still there in the morning. Not discovered by a departing dinner guest then, when the dome light came on. No, evidently, this blameless, deserving elderly victim was possessed of excellent night vision, a habit of thoroughly examining his car at 22:30, and the bad luck to find the defacement in the exact 7 minutes between my exit and the Duty Manager’s call. Not buying it. Nope.
The morning light also revealed that the bays where the hotel’s service vehicle had been parked the previous night were also marked for disabled parking.
Could be a modern day Fawlty Towers episode: “Now Manuel, when that loathsome American woman arrives, don’t say anything! Yes, I know we’ve broken the law, but I’ve told her that the Jaguar belongs to a deserving elderly gentleman who nearly had a heart attack when he saw the rude word. She thinks we’re going to have her arrested. If we’re lucky, she’ll really grovel. But don’t tell Sybil. And push that cone further out. We don’t want this car to get scratched. The Doctor is looking for a home in Sandbanks, and his Doctor friends might stay with us. What’s that? Move the hotel vehicle? Where would you park? No, no, I don’t pay you and Polly to walk back and forth.”

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank karen j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

This hotel group would like you to believe its the best available in Bournemouth,and it becomes clear after 15 mins after arriving that this hotel has issues.....
Firstly is this a hotel or a leisure club? Because on arriving and moving swiftly down to the outside pool that you have paid a premium for you are faced with groups of mothers who lunch with children running wild and mothers with breasts out feeding babies,chavs that seemed to be cornering the market on how to have a cheap day out coming with everything except the BBQ,smokers who obviously can't read and don't care anyway,a beach bar that was closed on one of the hottest days of year and left residents with no refreshments,you couldn't even get a sunbed as they were all taken by day trippers on a cheap pass to the leisure facility!!!
THE POOL....maybe it was best that it was cloudy as I wouldn't like to see what lurked bellow, with a constant stream of babies in training nappies that some how seemed to loose them 10 mins after entering the pool and the fact that it was thick with suntan oil it was not a delightful experience!
The Gym was hot and badly equipped with no staffing, the indoor pool was cornerd off by a group of elderly woman doing water aerobics....
The sauna was an experience with a group of men who were there on a mates pass who were currently looking for work but found the need to tell me the place was a "s..t", which I must agree is true.
Cottage, without doubt on of the best prepared rooms I have stayed in and comes close to sandy lane in presentation and house keeping are excellent in what they have achieved,chilled rooms with excellent aircon,beds and bedding of v-good standard!
Breakfast.....cold coffee,warm food that looked like it had been prepared 2 hrs previously,chipped crockery and badly presented...
Wi-fi,to be charged on a daily basis is beyond belief
Parking? If you think paying an extra £10 a day gets you a space then your wrong and if you do get a space then your passenger can't get in or out as there is a large wall that you have to get close to in order to stay in the marked bay...
Travel light because there's nobody willing to assist with luggage, except maybe one of the many scallywags that roam the grounds that would gladly assist in carrying your iPad!!
Dining in the hotel?? Everybody seemed to agree it was poor and limited menu and I took there advice and decided the the best option was M&S, not what I expect but it was a solution to a bad situation!
When the management were told about my concerns they did ask if they could resolve the situation and I replied when you can give me my expected standard then I would like to return,however I will be moving over to the sand banks area for the rest of our stay....
The hotel had already taken £460 in advance and they did still charge full rate for the cottage.
I think this hotel takes advantage of people who go for a special night or as a treat and don't really understand that they are being taken for fools and this most rude!
In my case I'm a security consultant that supplies close protection officers to celebrity clients and off-shore government officials and I am very well travelled and would recommend that the only way for this amazing property with great views and super staff to get its act together is to boycott this hotel until the MANAGEMENT has a big reality check!!!!
Thankyou for not returning my offices call or my own call?
Thankyou for the email?
And just so there is no mistake my name is Owens.

Stayed: July 2013
6  Thank Desertstorm2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Used points and upgraded to a junior suite with a sea view. After a long flight and long drive down to the hotel, we arrived to a wedding in the hotel, no parking, and limited service. The room was fine with great views of the sea, but lots of steps and doors to navigate to get to the room with the bags!
Was there for a romantic trip through Europe, he room was clean and serviced but the service was slow and the items included/not included in the room rate were not clearly explained.
Hotel could do with an update, cracked tiles in the bathroom and the smallest shower cubicle I have ever experienced.
Given the upgrade, I am so glad I didnt stay with the "standard room", this hotel did not feel like a real Marriott Hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Simon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel

Address: 105 St. Michaels Road, Bournemouth BH2 5DU, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#15 Luxury Hotel in Bournemouth
#16 Business Hotel in Bournemouth
#17 Family Hotel in Bournemouth
#21 Romantic Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range: $107 - $241 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sweeping sea views, an exquisitely detailed lobby and outstanding staff welcome you to the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel. Located adjacent to from the Bournemouth International Centre on the Dorset coastline, we offer a setting that both business and leisure travellers will appreciate. Richly appointed guest rooms offer supreme comfort and secure high-speed Internet. In summer, the sun terrace and outdoor pool provide the perfect retreat. Wifi is available free of charge in the lobby, lounge and bar to all hotel guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Bournemouth
Bournemouth Marriott

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