I have spent many memorable breaks at this hotel, which is situated on the exclusive Sandbanks peninsula and adjacent to the Swanage Ferry. Its spectacular views looking out over to Studland Bay and beyond and has direct access to the beautiful golden beaches.
The Haven has 77 luxurious bedrooms, some overlooking Poole bay and some with side views overlooking the ferry.
On my first stay, we had a standard room that overlooked the tennis court, (has now been removed to make way for extra parking), with far-reaching views over the beach and beyond.
Spa and facilities
There is a wonderful spa area where you can receive various treatments. The gym although compact is fully equipped with all the essentials to maintain your exercise regime, with an indoor and outdoor pool (both heated). You can also take advantage of the hotel’s Jacuzzi, sauna and hot tub, or lounge in the steam room.
There are two main eating areas, the breakfast room with its ‘all you can eat buffet’, dining room (The Point) and the outside terrace for alfresco dining where open sandwiches and light bites are served.
When I first visited the hotel in 2010, you could enjoy a snack in the bar which overlooks Shell Bay, but sadly this is no longer permissible, although pastries and crisps are served and eaten in this area.
As a non-meat-eater, I have always been disappointed by their lack of vegetarian/vegan choice however, they do promise to accommodate dietary requirements, although it is advisable to check before making a booking.
The economy double rooms are fairly spacious, with tea and coffee making facilities in each room and a 24-hour room service.
There is free WiFi and most rooms have a desk, phone and ironing board, while cots should be requested before you book.
Single rooms are compact but very comfortable and all rooms are understandably, non-smoking.
The Haven is a little dated but this does not detract from its Grandeur and the staff are warm and accommodating.
Sadly this beautiful old hotel is at the centre of a planning row, after its owners FJB hotels, applied to demolish it to make way for flats. Mr Butterworth stated that although it is not unsafe, the building is coming to the end of its commercial life and it will cost £30m to put it right. However, thousands of objections have been lodged against these proposals and the matter has yet to be resolved, but I understand that the hotel has no plans to close their doors for some time yet. Please check directly with the hotel for further information.