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“What has happened to the restaurant?!”
Review of Sandbanks Hotel

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Sandbanks Hotel
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Poole
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“What has happened to the restaurant?!”
Reviewed May 6, 2014

My husband and I have been staying at Sandbanks for 30 years. We've spent many holidays and short breaks here with friends and family,in big groups and small. I've never been disappointed until recently. Our room was spotless,very comfortable bed,beautiful sea view. The heavy fire doors in the corridor outside the room were constantly banged shut during the night,not the hotels fault I know but if they could have some sort of soft close on them,it would be better or what's the use of a comfy bed! The bathroom was not unlike the one in the private hospital that I'd just recently stayed in,cold looking and clinical although again spotlessly clean. The shower had no power and the shower curtain stuck to me whilst in the shower and it's not because I'm big because I'm not! I know the hotel is old and even the extended supposedly modern part of the hotel now looks dated but the location is fabulous. The rooms are let down by the lack of modern amenities. My main shock was in the restaurant. All the tables have very large sign holders for holding the table numbers and my husband remarked that it reminded him of Butlins when he was a child! There are no white tablecloths even at dinner,a cost cutting exercise no doubt. When we walked in to dinner and announced ourselves we were asked if we were paying for dinner or had a voucher,very down market. If people are on some sort of 'special offer' tariff there must be a better way of organising it other than a pile of scrunched up A4 print outs,as it happens I think there were only about 4 tables not using a voucher. The meal,which I was really looking forward to as I've never been disappointed before, was lacking in flavour and quality. We both had belly pork and where it had been kept warm all evening it was dry with a tough crackling. We only ate it as it was after 8.30 and we were starving! We did mention it but no one seemed that bothered. We ate out the following night. The breakfast here has always been excellent but even that was a huge disappointment. The bacon was of good quality but I had to wait for it to be replenished on both mornings along with the fried eggs. I see that porridge has an extra charge and there was no scrambled egg,no fried bread or black pudding. I know the latter two items are not classed as being healthy but when I'm on a break I like the choice of the full English breakfast. It stated on the menu that the sausages were the cumberland variety but they certainly were not. They looked like frankfurters and tasted like beef,they were inedible as far as I was concerned.The staff all looked fed up and I never once saw the manager or anyone who even looked like they were in charge. The receptionist staff were helpful with the exception of one,I asked if I could buy a stamp and post a birthday card and she said''no,we don't offer that service''. I know things change but in my opinion the changes at Sandbanks have not been for the better.I'm sad to say that I doubt very much that we will return.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (555)
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English first
Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2014

This was very nice break leading into the Easter period. However some much needed TLC is still required to complete and round off the whole experience.

Our room could not be faulted however the balcony could do with a lick of paint. The staff were polite and helpful. However you could relax and watch the numerous boats, yachts and the ferry go by while enjoying a drink from the terrace.

My wife and her friend enjoyed the spa experience. No problem with the parking.

The quality of food served at breakfast could not be faulted. Although maybe as this is a 4* hotel to be served by a waiter would round off the whole experience.

Overall a nice stay, wonderful location and I would stay again

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Grimzag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2014

Just got back from a three night stay at the Sandbanks hotel. Initial problem with my room was dealt with very well. From reading other reviews I was a bit nervous about what the accommodation would be like but overall it was ok. Bit of touching up here and there wouldn't go amiss - balcony's could do with some tlc, bit of wallpaper come off one of the walls etc. Breakfast was very nice. Parking was easy and we found the location lovely. Overall a nice stay.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EmilyS75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2014

First Impressions: Stunning location, hotel renovation poorly done, check in swift and hotel very busy at time of stay

Room was small and very outdated despite the perk of having a sea facing balcony this didn't compensate for the interior.
Room service was difficult to order as although the menu states you can order from the restaurant I had to ask staff what there actually was as there was no print out in the room. This resulted in them reading out the menu and when asked to describe some dishes they became stuck. I ordered blind and ended up with chicken in sauce which was okay but not ground breakingly amazing for a 4* hotel

Bad Point: route to the room was like being in a maze, very confusing and poorly signed. Breakfast reminded me of scenes from Benidorm - this is clearly a popular hotel with the older generation who pledge their loyalty on their weekends away
Expensive for what you actually get, would not stay again

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mylifeinhotels14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 28, 2014 via mobile

My family and i stay regularly at this hotel and our recent one night stay was very comfortable. When we found a few problems with one of the bedrooms the duty manager immediately came to sort them out. Much to my son's delight there is a new table tennis table and the pianist who played 80's tracks on Saturday night whilst we had dinner was excellent. Keep it up Sandbanks - we're coming back in August.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Domspark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Stayed at the hotel with my two young children over the weekend
The room was a large double with twin beds in an adjoining room, overlooking the beach.
The hotel is very clean and tidy with very efficient and attentive staff.
Breakfast was great and the pool area clean and tidy.
It is a great place to stay as the position is ideal, easy parking, easy access to rooms, the postion next to the promenade, direct onto the beach.
Highly recommended and look forward to staying again.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LargeFamily1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2014

I recently booked a much needed one night break at the Sandbanks Hotel with my teenage daughter and had high expectations of this hotel, partly due to its prestigious location and on-line claims to be a 4 star residence. We arrived on Thursday lunchtime after a long train journey and were ' greeted' upon arrival by Yulia on reception with the intention of checking in. Yulia said this was not possible as check in time is 3pm. I asked if we could check in earlier and we were told again that check in is 3pm - it was currently 13.40. I asked if she could check if the room was ready as we were tired and wanted to go to the room to rest and she repeated that the check in is 3pm and she had no way of knowing if the room was ready and suggested we come back at 2pm.

At 2pm we duly approached the reception and were greeted by Yulia as strangers. I had to reintroduce ourselves and go through the whole palaver again even though she had already taken our bags and they were labelled up ready to go up to our room. As she repeated her script: 'check in time is 3pm'... our bags were collected by the bell boy and taken to the lift. I asked if the room was ready as she said ..... Guess what ... Yes!!! 'Check in time is 3pm'. We finally got into our room at 2.45 and it was pretty disappointing. The rooms have been renovated but not to a high standard and certainly not 4 star. We had a double room which we tried to swap for a twin but I won't bore you with that episode. The double bed was very uncomfortable and we had to wedge cushions from the sofa under the sides so we didn't feel like we were rolling out of bed.
The leisure club is a completely different experience. There is a small pool and a sauna and during our visit the member of staff on duty went the extra mile to make sure we had everything we needed and even fetched us a cup of tea. Great service and thank you.
All in all I would not recommend this hotel to anyone. We had been really looking forward to our stay and it was pretty dismal and it's a shame because the location is great but the staff need training - sarcasm within earshot of guests is very unprofessional.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank LondonLees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sandbanks Hotel

Property: Sandbanks Hotel
Address: 15 Banks Road, Poole BH13 7PS, England (Formerly FJB Collection - The Sandbanks)
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 ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Poole
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Poole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandbanks Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 116
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched in one of England's most enviable seaside locations, the Sandbanks Hotel is a relaxed and affordable holiday destination. With direct access to the world-famous sandbanks beach - seven miles of prestigious blue flag awarded sand to get between your toes! Our popular beach-side terrace area is a place to recline with a glass of wine.Featuring well-appointed rooms that have been designed for comfort and relaxation. Many boasting either sea views or outlooks across Poole harbour. We're sure you'll agree that when it comes to family holidays, it's best to keep everybody happy. Mum, dad, teenagers, toddlers and everyone in between all need their own piece of holiday heaven. The Sandbanks Hotel is a fun filled staycation location for family seaside holidays. With dedicated children's entertainment during school holidays, an exciting programme of activities and adventure with the Watersports Academy - there are more opportunities for mum and dad to find some relaxation time. Our Seaview Restaurant boasts celebrated chefs and an enviable sea view. Helmed by Head Chef, Wayne Joyce and his commitment for creating good food with local ingredients inspired by our wonderful location. When you need a rest from building sandcastles, Sandbanks Beach Club is the perfect spot for a summertime bite. Located on the terrace, it's an easy option for lunch and dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandbanks Poole
Hotel Poole Sandbanks
Poole Sandbanks
Sandbanks Hotel Poole, Dorset
Hotel Sandbanks

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