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“A VERY GOOD HOTEL STAY - RESTUARANT MENU RATHER POORER”
Review of Haven Hotel

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Haven Hotel
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Reviewed November 21, 2013

I attended a friend's 80th birthday lunch at the Haven Hotel a week or so ago. As I had things to do in the area next day, I decided to stay overnight. Their off-season late booking B&B price of £54.95 seemed very good value, so I went for it. I knew what to expect as I have stayed before. Although the communal areas are a bit dated in places, the room modern, clean and well equipped, if small. It had a balcony with great views out towards Old Harry rocks and the Isle of Purbeck. Breakfast was excellent. As well as dining in their "La Roche" restaurant at lunchtime, I dined there in the evening with a friend. The food was OK, with out being exceptional. Portions are fairly small and you need three courses to feel you have had a good meal, which at virtually £30 feels expensive for what you get. The range of menu choices is also small with about 5 mains, and the lunchtime and evening menus had a very similar feel. On every visit I have made the menu has had Creedy Chicken on it (whatever that is). I love the location, the staff were efficient and polite, the room was lovely and well priced, but please revamp the restaurant offering.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jerry1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,094 - 1,100 of 1,509 reviews

Reviewed November 16, 2013

We booked the Haven as it had been a firm favourite of ours in the past. However when I read some of the reviews on here I almost cancelled ! Glad I didn't, the hotel is as charming as ever, the room we had was in excellent condition with comfy beds , great shower , TV that worked and a great view. Breakfast was of a good quality and plentiful. The outdoor pool was warm enough to swim in, in November - so we did! The staff were , without exception , helpful, friendly and welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble. The bar drinks are expensive and for the price they could have been colder. But what a view! You could be on a 1930's ship with the large glass windows and fabulous views of the sea surrounding the bar. We will be back!

Room Tip: Ask for a refurbished room
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Carolina123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

All pretty average. We took a suite and was surprised that small touches such as gowns and slippers were missing. The sister hotel, Harbour Heights provided these.

Clean room with good sea view. Breakfast was self serve and average.

Staff very friendly and helpful.

The place does need a refurb, seems stuck in an original refurb if many years back. Great building with which they should do more. Could be spectacular.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank WFN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

Couldn't be in a better location for the chain ferry, with wonderful views of the sea around the hotel. Lovely to relax in the bar and watch the sunset over the water with a good glass of wine. Room was dated and in need of a serious refurb but everything we needed was there and it worked. Staff are friendly and helpful. Breakfasts variable-it depends what time you get there as the hot buffet can be really good or sad and dried out; might be better if they replenished a little but often to keep everything fresh. Good and varied cold buffet, and a reasonable selection of made to order dishes including eggs royale at no extra cost. Didn't use the spa or the restaurant in the evening so can't comment on these. All in all we had an enjoyable stay and would happily visit again.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank anonKingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

At last have done the Haven hotel Sandbanks, and it was good, Really good service, room was excellent, asked for a fridge and it was no problem, Location was as good as it gets if you want to be by the sea,
If the weather is grim then this is the hotel to stay as there is plenty to do indoors, Pool, steam room etc. The breakfast was excellent. If there is a down side i think the evening menu could be better, as the choice is not great, i did speak to some people who were eating out as they thought the choice was not poor.
But what food i did see going past my table looked great.

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms could do with better signs to find the lift and stairs etc.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank peter g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013

We booked a weekend away via Secret Escapes and felt a little bit disappointed. We had a big room, it was warm and cosy on a blustery weekend but so much about the overall experience was a let down. To start we ate in the bar on the first night and £9 for 2 pints of Coke is a rip off no matter where you're buying it!! I clearly placed and order for 2 meals and the waitress laid the table for 2 people but when the food appeared there was only one meal! And as it was a Brie and Bacon Panini surely that would be wonderful in such a high class establishment. Wrong!!! It had very little Brie inside but LOTS of very fatty bacon. We shared the meal but it was disappointing that the order had been so misunderstood and spoilt the first night a little.

We retired to our room which as stated was warm and cosy and of a very good size for a standard room. It was very clean and the lighting was good. The bathroom had a good deep bath but tiles under the sink were broken which is a shame as things like that let the place down. We'd also noticed that the wallpaper under the bedroom window was stained as though water had got on to it. We decided to watch TV that evening but annoyingly the TV's volume was set to a whisper as its loudest setting which was really annoying. Another thing that we didn't like was the fact that the sound insulation was so poor that we could hear people in the surrounding rooms using the toilet!! NOT good. And surely the fire evacuation route should be clearly signposted in all hotels?

Breakfast the next morning was disappointing as it's a buffet style, serve yourself affair which we weren't expecting in a 4 star hotel. I'm sure the food was of good quality but it hadn't benefitted from being kept warm under heat lamps. But we had enough to eat and on subsequent mornings we ordered Eggs Benedict which was very good, probably because it was cooked to order.

On our 2nd day we had The Haven Cream Tea in La Roche Restaurant but again this was disappointing. I had assumed that one of the sandwiches was Cheese and Cucumber but no it turned out to be very thickly spread butter and not cheese. We've had Afternoon Tea in several different establishments and this was not as good as other places we've been to.

The setting is stunning and the views are magnificent. Had we known that our standard room overlooked the car park we'd have opted for a sea view but that didn't spoil things for us as we only had to walk outside to see the views.

To sum up, it feels like a substandard 3 star hotel. Indeed we've stayed in 3 star hotels, and even in B&Bs, where the food is of a much higher standard and it really was a disappointment to us. On the surface things look very grand but dig a bit deeper and it's not as grand as it would like to believe it is.

Room Tip: Choose a sea view room.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Goose1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Strange, but after living in the area for 35 I've never been in this hotel before......what have I been missing.

Stayed three nights over last weekend, ok, it was a good offer so the room didn't quite overlook Studland and the harbour, but fair enough. In fact the room was the only downside, as the soundproofing could be better, as you can hear next door talking.

That said, the room was perfectly clean, very well maintained, had great blackout curtains that fitted well and a good sized bathroom with a powerful shower.

What really impressed me, was the staff. Reception, bar, restaurant, housekeeping, all perfectly professional in that beautifully informal/natural way you find in the far east. No pretence, no false smiles, but a great atmosphere and attitude. I can often turn a blind eye if the fabric of a hotel is wanting, (and the fabric is very good indeed here) but for me, it's the staff who make or break any hotel. This one certainly has a wow factor on that score. Was there one thing that surprised me? Yes....in many very good hotels around the world, it's the night team who can let the rest down, not here! On the three evening we returned late, different night staff served/reopened he bar with the aplomb and entertaining chat of professional barmen. That for me was a wonderful advertisment for this hotel, thank you.

The food is very good, breakfast is well organised and unhurried, even on a busy Sunday morning, and the views, well...........someone remind me again why I've never stayed here before. There can be few hotels anywhere with the view the Haven has......ok, maybe the Sheraton Falls at Niagara or the Shangri-La Sydney, the entrance to Poole Harbour may be less iconic, but it's pretty stunning.

The standards are such, that I know this wasn't just a lucky stay, this is one very good hotel. I'll be back.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a sea-view room! Even on a rainy day.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank harleyBoy42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
#3 Luxury Hotel in Poole
Price Range: $80 - $288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Haven Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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 Blue Flag 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 well-appointed bedrooms with many of which offering ocean view balconies. We believe that these naturally beautiful surroundings deserve food that’s a little special. Highly acclaimed by locals, The Point Restaurant serves a two AA-Rosette awarded cuisine helmed by Head Chef Jason Hornbuckle. When the sun shines, our terrace is an enviable spot for alfresco dining. Why not indulge yourself at the Haven Spa and prepare to be pampered and spoilt? Whether working up a sweat in the gym or relaxing in the outdoor heated swimming pool, the Haven Spa is the perfect place to unwind your mind and reinvigorate your body in complete luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Haven Poole
Haven Hotel Poole, Dorset

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