It wasn’t the hotel’s fault that we had had a long, hot journey (an accident on the A31 had closed the road for an hour) but I was not expecting such off-hand treatment when we arrived at the Haven at 1.30 pm to be told that our room was not yet ready and that they only guarantee that the room will be ready by 3.00 pm. On being pressed, she said that our room would be ready in one hour. How long does it take to prepare a room, especially when the long, long list of Rules and Regulations in the room threatens all sorts of financial penalties if the room is not vacated by 11.00 am. Four hours to get a room ready on a Tuesday? This is how I remember things being in Soviet-era Eastern Europe. We asked if we could at least change out of our travelling clothes and were directed to the Spa, down a corridor, through the restaurant (!) up and down stairs to a hot and steamy area where we had to partially unpack by the indoor pool while one of us took a change of clothes into the Female changing room, then the other into the Male changing room. Then the return journey, dragging our luggage back to reception.
On the positive side, the room was bright and well-furnished, if a little of the small size, but the best feature was the superb sea view from a wide balcony furnished with a table and comfortable chairs.(A shame that the balcony had not been properly swept: makes you wonder what they do in the four hours available to them.) Also, the breakfast was as good as I have had in a British hotel for quite some time. We also ate dinner in the hotel (Sandbanks is painfully short of places to eat in the evening if you do not dine at a hotel) where the food was of good quality and service brisk. The only thing with which I would find fault was that not only was a service charge automatically added to the bill but I was prompted to add a tip when signing the bill for the meal. This practice is underhand and at the best appears grasping.
Nice bedroom, comfortable public rooms, good food, excellent location and fabulous views – but I could not recommend the hotel because of the petty attitude reminiscent of the old-fashioned seaside landlady.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Haven Hotel is a luxurious four-star spa hideaway. Perched at the tip of the exclusive Sandbanks peninsula in Poole and surrounded by sea and sand. With direct access to seven miles of beaches and just a couple of steps away from Purbeck over the Shell Bay chain ferry. It’s your gateway to South Coast adventure. Featuring elegant and spaciously designed bedrooms with modern creature comforts. Many of which offer ocean view balconies, so that you can embrace the sea air in your pyjamas. We believe that these naturally beautiful surroundings deserve food that’s a little special. La Roche at the Haven Hotel offers an ambient place to dine. Highly acclaimed by locals and recognised for first-class service and exceptional quality with two prestigious AA-Rosettes. Maintained by the talent and skill of Head Chef Jason Hornbuckle. When the Sandbanks sun shines, our terrace is an enviable spot for alfresco dining. You can literally hear the waves crashing as you recline with a glass of wine. Relaxation is often thought of as a luxury; at the Haven Spa we think it’s a necessity. Haven Spa is a sanctuary to unwind your mind and come to your senses. Stroll from the indoor hydrotherapy pools to the chic outdoor heated pool, complete with sea view Jacuzzi and sun lounger area. Allow yourself the luxury of a spa pampering, performed by our highly experienced and friendly therapists. We’ve chosen VOYA seaweed products to relax, beautify and rejuvenate our guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Haven Poole
- Haven Hotel Poole
- The Haven Hotel Poole, Dorset