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“upsides and downsides”

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The Connaught Lodge
Ranked #30 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Just had a 3 night stay at the Connaught Lodge (housed next to the Best Western and sharing the leisure facilities).

Upside - the leisure facilities are excellent. The pool is of a generous side with spa, sauna and steam rooms. There is also a decent array of cardio machine as well as a well equipped gym room (I am talking hotel standards here, not the mega-gyms that can be found).

The cooked breakfast was also worth a mention...delicious and a great choice. The restaurant staff could not be more helpful, pleasant or attentive.

Downsides - bring your earplugs!! There is literally no sound-proofing of the room. On both the Friday and Saturday nights we were woken at 2am and 4am by guests returning in adjacent room and had to call reception to ask them to quieten down (not drunken noise, just normal conversations that carried).

The restaurant (at breakfast time) was like a sauna...i was physically sweating in a t-shirt.

The car parking area is tiny and with the hotel facilities open to non-guest and functions in the evenings, there was plenty of double parking and blocking in. Thankfully I did not need to get out!

Room Tip: We asked for a quiet room....i think they probably don't have any!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank CambridgeJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David1007, Owner at The Connaught Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

Dera James

Sincere apologies for the disturbed nights. Please drop me a line and I will arrange for a complimentary upgrade to the main hotel on your next visit. Delighted to read that, despite the disturbance, you enjoyed the facilies including the breakfast. Car parking at weekends can be very busy but with 66 spaces it could not be described as "tiny" - it is in fact one of Bournemouth's largest!!
I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time tow rite your review.

Best wishes

David F Miller
Managing Director

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307 - 313 of 327 reviews

Reviewed November 4, 2012

I booked myself and my husband into the Connaught for a 5 night stay as it looked ideally situated as a base for exploring Bournemouth and the Jurrasic coast on foot. Having stayed previously at 2 other Best Western hotels in other parts of England, I was expecting good service but this was simply outstanding. Without exception, every individual member of staff- including the chambermaids- were so polite and friendly, particularly the charming gentleman on duty at the hot breakfast counter. We stayed in the adjacent Lodge building in room 208- comfortable, warm and well- maintained room with an excellent bathroom and a shower over the bath powerful enough to rinse my hair thoroughly (this so often isn't the case in some hotels and B&Bs). I was able to hand wash our muddy walking trousers and hang them over the shower rail to drip dry into the bath and they were wearable by the next morning.
The only minor gripe I have is that the room was sectioned into two parts by heavy curtains separating the sleeping area from the dressing table area and the window's sole covering was a net curtain. As our room was overlooked in fairly close proximity by the block of flats directly opposite, I felt somewhat self conscious sitting at the dressing table knowing I was visible- the light had to go on once the afternoon set in. One also had to be quite vigilant to ensure that the curtains inside the room were securely closed (not easy as they tended to gape a bit) when one exited the bathroom after a bath! (TIP- Bring a clothes peg!)
We did not use the spa facilities (only becuase I had forgotten they existed and hadn't brought a swimming costume) nor the restaurant in the evening, but the standard and quality of food at breakfast was impressive and the hot selection never disappointed. Plently of fruit too.
This hotel was a gem and we would love to come back. Great value for money too.And we had no problems parking!

Room Tip: There was nothing wrong with the room in the Lodge but perhaps I should have packed a dressing gown...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jacqui R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David1007, Owner at The Connaught Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2012

Thanks for the excellent review Jacqui - the issue with the curtains is being dealt with and they are being moved to cover the conservatory windows. Delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Best wishes

David F Miller
Managing Director

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Reviewed October 31, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for the weekend on my nephews wedding in September 12 and we were pleasantly surprised. We had a lovely room in the Lodge and slept really well as we found it to be quite, unlike some of the hotels the other wedding guests were staying in.

The facilites were good for us being able to use your swimming pool next door, and breakfasts as always with Best Westons was really good. The Staff was very friiendly, pleasant and very helpful. We would not hesitate to book here again knowing the standard to be extremely high.
Also a bonus was car parking, excellent, thank you.

Room Tip: Hotel was in a good area just away from the from the beach and nightlife so for us was really quite...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David1007, Owner at The Connaught Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2012

A great 5 star review Karen and really delighted to read how much you enjoyed the weekend and, of course, your nephew's wedding - thank you.

Best wishes

David F Miller
Managing Director

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Reviewed October 24, 2012

Booked room in lodge for one night stay. Very good value for standard given, and all of the facilities of the main hotel are available for you to use if you want to. Premises is undergoing update/redecorations at this time. Traditional hotel service with nice lounges and dining room.Great breakfast and staff all very accommodating. Is sited in hotel/guest house area of all gradings and short walk to coast path one way, town centre other way. Good selection of bars and pubs nearby. Enjoyed it.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank stevenbouette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David1007, Owner at The Connaught Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2012

Many thanks for your lovely review Steven - the Lodge has undergone a huge amount of investment over the past 12 months and is looking pretty good these days.

Best wishes

David F Miller
Managing Director

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Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed at the Connaught Hotel (or rather in the adjacent "Connaught Lodge" annexe) for three nights while attending a conference, and really enjoyed our stay there.

We (wife and I) arrived at about 6pm after a 7 hour drive and got the last place in the car park. The receptionist was charming, and got us sorted out in no time. Check out was equally pleasant and efficient three days later.

We had been allocated a room in the Lodge, which was just a few steps away, and we were checked in and up to our room within about five minutes, ready for a rest and a cool drink after the journey. There were coffee cups, but no glasses, not even plastic ones by the bathroom sink. A quick call to reception got two highball tumblers and a pint of ice delivered, and we were in business!

The room was in good repair, comfortable and clean (apart from a bit of a sticky patch on the desk by the tea making facilities). Nice view over the hotel outdoor area, and quiet - no traffic noise and (thankfully) no seagulls last thing at night and first thing in the morning.

Anyway, the room was lovely: a bit on the small side maybe, but not cramped. The bed was lovely and comfortable, with crisp fresh linen and great pillows. No air con, but the temperature was fine for us.

Attached was a smallish, nice clean bathroom, with a lovely big proper enamel (beware - slippery!) bath. The only downside for bathers rather than showerers was that the shower gel dispenser (there was no soap bar on offer) was mounted too high to be reached from the bath; a bit of planning, and a suitable receptacle for a few squirts of gel, was all it took to ensure a leisurely bath without repeated entrances and exits.

We had been offered a chance to book a table in the restaurant, but were planning to meet friends in town so declined. Can't comment on the food, but the restaurant ("Blakes") is reviewed elsewhere I'm sure. The menu looked quite exciting.

The following morning we enjoyed a fine breakfast - part waiter/waitress service, part help-yourself, but absolutely delicious. The staff were (as always) all concentrating on keeping us happy, even though the place was full and they had a rush on. The cooked breakfast was tasty, but (presumably because of Bournemouth being in the South of England) was missing one vital ingredient; there was no black pudding! The sausages and bacon were lovely though.

One thing we did get a chance to try out during our stay was the swimming pool, in the basement, under the car park. Unlike most hotel pools, which tend to be small, this top quality pool is enormous! About 20m long, with I think four lanes. The usual health club facilities were available (gym, steam, sauna, jacuzzi), and the staff, like those above ground, were a credit to the establishment.

After breakfasting, swimming, wandering down to the International Conference Centre, and spending the day there, we walked back up the long hill from the beach to cliff top level and reached the room needing a cool drink. No glasses. Again. A trip to the bar sorted the issue out, and by our next and final evening we were proactive and actually went to the room via the bar.

I've no idea why there is this "no glasses in the room" quirk, but it gave us something to talk about as we debated various possible reasons why the policy might have come about! I notice the owner reads, and regularly responds to, reviews good and bad, so maybe he'll put us out of our misery and reveal the reason(s) in a reply!

Anyway, glassware and black pudding deficiencies notwithstanding, we agreed that we would love to go back to the Connaught, and have no problem highly recommending it. It would make a fantastic base for a longer stay in the area too. Lovely staff too!

(I put this review up a few days ago for the Connaught Hotel, where you book in, eat, swim etc, but it is equally about the Connaught Lodge, where you sleep, hence the double post)

Room Tip: Just ask the staff!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank GasMenace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David1007, Owner at The Connaught Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Dear GasMenace,

This has to be one of the most comprehensive reviews I have ever read - thank you so very much for such a detailed and thoughtful review and delighted I was to read how much you enjoyed your stay with us. To put you out of your misery, the lack of glassware in the room was a simple omission on our part so please accept my apologies - very pleased however to read it didn't take us long to sort it out!! Black pudding - now there's a thought.........!!

Best wishes and we hope to see you again soon.

David F Miller
Managing Director

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Reviewed September 24, 2012

Just returned from a 3 night break in Bournemouth, stayed at the Connaught Lodge as the main hotel was full. It made not difference to our stay. The staff were efficient, polite and well groomed. The hotel was clean but the furnishings a little tired in the bedrooms and bathrooms. The pool area and changing rooms were spotless. Food good although the evening portions were small, several courses needed! Breakfast lovely. It would have been nice if there was a little entertainment somewhere in the hotel in the evenings. All in all we would certainly stay there again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JK2JS1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David1007, Owner at The Connaught Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2012

Dear JK

Many thanks for your review which is very much appreciated. We have often tried entertainment in the evening but people like to go out and see the local sights, especially in the summer. Perhaps we'll give it another go over those dark winter nights!!

Best wishes

David F Miller
Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

We stayed at the Connaught lodge for my boyfriends 30th birthday and I would highly reccommend.

We only stayed for one night but had a fantastic visit. The staff were friendly, the pool and gym are fantastic, the rooms are clean.

They also left a fabulous card for my boyfriend for his 30th birthday, not just a standard card but they went out of their way to get a 30th one. And also gave us 2 complimentary glasses of wine to use at the bar, again this was personalised. It made our stay extra special and it's the little touches like that which show a good hotel.

(Although beyond the hotels control, as you can expect being near a town centre, it is slightly noisy in the evenings, especially as we stayed on a weekend so something to bear in mind.)

Thanks again to Connaught hotel/lodge.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Lucy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David1007, Owner at The Connaught Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

A big thank you too Lucy for your lovely 5 Star review!! We were all delighted to read that your planned 30th birthday celebrations for your boyfriend went superbly well and hopefully we'll get te see you both again soon.

Best wishes

David F Miller
Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Connaught Lodge

Address: 32 West Hill Rd | West Cliff, Bournemouth BH2 5PH, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Price Range: $85 - $174 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Connaught Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The newly refurbished, AA 4 star Connaught Lodge offers smart and comfortable en-suite accommodation and is centrally located on the West Cliff being just 500m from the town centre, the BIC, Pavilion Theatre, pier and those golden, sandy beaches. Free WiFi, Free Parking and complimentary membership of the Bluewater Spa, located in the adjacent Best Western Connaught Hotel, is available to all Lodge guests. The spa has an 18m swimming pool and spa pool, a luxurious, fully tiled eucalyptus steam room, a superb sauna, 2 gymnasiums and a massage and beauty therapy suite. After a relaxing day in the Spa why not enjoy a superb dinner with first class wine in Blakes', the Connaught's award-winning, double rosette restaurant, also located in the main building, where Nick Rutigliano, the Maitre d', and his team will serve you with superb food, freshly prepared by the Head Chef, Ben Nicol and his young team of highly qualified chefs. ... more   less 
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