We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent hotel!”
Review of RNLI College

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
RNLI College
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 October 2012

Lovely light and modern building. Really good room – spacious, immaculate and with wonderful views of the harbour. Also, from one of the staircases you can watch the Twin Sails bridge tilting.
The breakfasts were great (though I have since seen the comment here on TripAdvisor that there were additional choices that weren’t obvious and agree that there should be notices on each table to explain). Very impressed at the evening meals in the restaurant – in particular the penne with tomatoes and basil! Also the prices for both food and wine were very reasonable.
Picked up some ideal presents in the gift shop, where there’s a huge choice.
The college is very close to the town centre and harbour, so it’s a short walk to anywhere you want to be really. Our only regret was that we weren’t around to enjoy one of the guided tours, or watch the sea survival training from the viewing platform outside the building. Absolutely delighted with our stay and will stay here again without hesitation. It’s a real bonus to know that you’re supporting such a good cause too.

Room Tip: All rooms would appear to have good harbour views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank GillJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard_Martin9, General Manager at RNLI College, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2012

Hi Gill J

Thank you for taking the time to review RNLI Collge with tripadvisor. We appreciate your kind comments and feedback. We have noted a few comments about breeakfast and will be introducing new table menus shortly that explain the full choice and offer.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future, especially to take up the College tour!

Thank you for staying with us and supporting the RNLI to save lives at sea.

Kind Regards

Richard Martin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (854)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

733 - 739 of 854 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2012

We enjoyed our stay at the RNLI College last weekend, especially the excellent view from our bedroom window of the boats and the bay and the memory brought back of our visit to Brownsea Island a few years ago. The Restaurant service was very good and the meal was very appetising. We felt that we were on an inland cruise the way the hotel was designed inside and out. Thankyou for making our stay one to recommend to others.

Room Tip: 3rd floor was nice and quiet with big bay windows
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank DerekandJeanVenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard_Martin9, General Manager at RNLI College, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2012

Hi DerekandJeanVenn

Thank you for taking the time to review RNLI College with tripadvisor. We are blessed with lovely views over Holes Bay from every bedroom, our restaurant, bars and most event rooms. next visit you will have to take a short walk down to Poole harbour and catch a boat to Brownsea Island!

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and supporting the RNLI to save lives at sea.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind Regards

Richard Martin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2012

We picked this up as part of one of the specials they were doing for Valentine's Weekend. It was excellent value and we were really pleased with everything about this. The only disappointment was that we couldn't get onto one of the tours around the training facilities so we will definitely be pre-booking this for next time and I would recommend the same to others.

This is close enough to walk into Poole as well which was a bonus as we were down here to go to the Lush Spa in Poole and didn't have to worry about finding somewhere to park.

Room Tip: No need to worry, they all look out over the harbour.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard_Martin9, General Manager at RNLI College, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2012

Hi RichardF

Thank you for taking the time to review RNLI College with tripadvisor. We hope you enjoyed your Lush Spa! We are located at Holes bay, a short walk between the shop, the old town and Poole Harbour.

Thank you for your kind comments and supporting the RNLI to save lives at sea. We hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards

richard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2012

The RNLI College was the choice of venue for our daughters wedding and we can honestly say that it was the perfect venue. The wedding Breakfast and evening buffet was excellent and the curtious staff a credit to the college. They all seem happy in their work!
The care and attention to detail before, during and after our special day was outstanding.
What a beautiful view we had from the function rooms.
We also booked several rooms for overnight accommodation and found they were good value and very comfortable.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank AlicebNewForest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard_Martin9, General Manager at RNLI College, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2012

Hi AlicebNewForest

Thank you for taking the time to review RNLI College with triapdvisor. We are delighted that your daughter's choice was to hold her very special day with us. We are grateful for your support of the RNLI and helping save lives at sea.
Thank you agian for your very kind comments and we certainly hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Kind Regards

Richard Martin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

We have family too close by to warrant a stay at the College, until the next big family gathering - when we will volunteer to go to a hotel. In the meantime we often visit with our elderly relative for Sunday lunch. She loves it and so do we! The restaurant is extremely light and interesting and if you can sit by the windows you have a great view of the RNLI boats and part of the harbour. For the able-bodied, do make the effort to go upstairs and have a drink at the bar and take in the view. It is so nice to make a contribution to such a fantastic cause and have a lovely time while you are doing it :0)

Room Tip: Do book if you are planning Sunday Lunch
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank FlorenceScholar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard_Martin9, General Manager at RNLI College, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2012

Hi Florence Scholar

Thank you for your review with tripadvisor. We appreciate your kind comments and hope you find good reason to stay with us soon! Thank you for supporting RNLI College. Every £ spent with us helps save lives at sea.

Kind Regards

Richard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

We stayed here for a belated birthday treat following recommendations from other RNLI members. The College was easy to find and check in was quick with staff who were extremely efficient. Our room was clean, comfortable and functional and had a great view of the harbour and the Twin Sails Bridge. The tea and coffee in the room was plentiful and there were also an ironing board and iron should you have needed to use one! The bath/shower room was clean and nicely finished and the Dove Shower creme was an added bonus. The bed was very comfortable and the pillows very good quality, I should imagine this is a must for the volunteers after a hard days training there!!
We decided not to eat in the restaurant having seen the limited menu and been advised its like a School canteen, we did however eat breakfast there and although the breakfast selection, croissants, fruit, cereal, full english breakfast etc was plentiful the service was lacking. It appears that anyone can enter the restaurant and help themselves to breakfast and the drinks fridge, there is no front of house checking room numbers or ID and we saw a non resident couple who just helped themselves (not with our party). I think what frustrated me most was that every penny counts to this fantastic organisation and yet placing someone on the til and front of house was lacking allowing people to take advantage.
If you have time take a Discovery Tour of the college, its an informative 90 minute tour about the organisation and there's lots to see and do. Highlights for us were being shown the wave tank where the volunteers train in all sorts of induced conditions and the lifeboat simulator - not for the sea sick among you!!
Poole Quay is a 10 minute walk away and there are lots of nice shops and restaurants there should you want to discover the local area, the town itself is a slightly longer walk and there you can find an array of high street stores.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank planegirl100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard_Martin9, General Manager at RNLI College, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2012

Hi Planegirl78

Thank you for taking the time to review RNLI College with tripadvisor. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and appreciate you kind comments.

We have reviewed our breakfast to ensure that service levels are improved. We do have quite a few 'regulars' who are non residents who take breakfast with us.

Thank you for supporting the RNLI and helping save lives at sea.

Kind Regards

Richard Martin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

My husband and I stayed at the RNLI College for three nights in September. I would describe the place as a cross between an upmarket university halls of residence and a hotel. Although primarily a training establishment, any spare capacity is used for outside guests. I think it is this blend that causes some problems as the staff appear poorly trained in customer service.
First the critical points: On arrival, we went to the first floor bar which served tea and cake. I enquired what one particular cake was, but the lady serving did not know. She was friendly and polite, but said she was new. Surely the selection of cakes should have been covered in any staff training. That evening, we ate in the downstairs restaurant. The waitress (who also said she was new) did not know what beers were available or the difference between a beer and a lager. We had the table d'hote menu, and there was only one choice available for dessert. It was cheesecake and perfectly acceptable, but the waitress asked if we would prefer another choice. We were rather baffled, as there wasn't one, but she said we could have one of the a la carte desserts. However, she did not know what these were or if the cost would be additional. On another night, we just wanted a snack at the bar. We settled on 'toasties'. We had to ask before we found out they were either cheese and tomato or ham and cheese - only to discover that there were no toasties available at all! The barman went through the bar snacks menu pointing out a rather long list of what was also not available - to which my husband replied 'wouldn't it be better to say what WAS available?' Another reviewer pointed out that there was no one to greet guests at breakfast. We had to work out for ourselves what the system was. However, we did not see the breakfast menu on the wall which also offered additional items such as poached eggs or smoked haddock. Perhaps we should have seen this, but we were looking at the buffet, not the wall. I appreciate that staff costs need to be kept down by not providing a meet and greet person at breakfast, but it would have been helpful to have had this in the hotel information pack provided in each room and even on each table. On arrival at the College, there was only one set of towels in our room, rather than two. I phoned reception about this, and it took a further call several hours later to repeat my request before they appeared. One day our room was not serviced. Admittedly, I forgot to hang the 'please clean this room' sign on the outside door handle, but I did not display the 'do not disturb' sign either.
On a positive note, the College enjoys fantastic views and the staff on the whole were friendly. Our room was clean and spacious and the bed comfortable with white cotton sheets. The in-room tea and coffee making facility was well stocked. We were so glad we booked the 90-minute guided tour of the College (free to guests) to find out more about RNLI training. The simulator and pool areas were fascinating, introducing trainees to all kinds of dangers they would face at sea during their future rescues. Our volunteer guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
It is good to support this very worthwhile charity by staying at the College. However, the manager really does need to pay prompt attention to customer service training.

Room Tip: Try to get a room which overlooks the whole harbour. Some are close to the 'arm' of the buil...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Teresa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard_Martin9, General Manager at RNLI College, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2012

Hi Teresa M

Thank you for taking the time to write a review with tripadvisor. I am concerned by some of you comments and would welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you. I recognise that even with the best intent we may not always get things right as we would wish on every occassion.
Great customer service is important to us because of what we are.
The RNLI College wants guests to experience the level of hospitality we wish to deliver to our volunteer Lifeboat Crew and Lifeguards in an 'home form home' environment. We want our guests to return and continue supporting us!

I would be delighted if you would contact me personally. We are unable to pinpoint individual stays by tripadvisor usernames. We would, of course want everyone to enjoy their experience with us, or let us know so that we can deal with any issue before deaprture.

Thank you for your kind comments regarding the views, bedrooms and the friendliness of the team.

Kind Regards

Richard Martin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Poole hotels
0.3 mi away
Hotel du Vin Poole
Hotel du Vin Poole
#2 of 13 in Poole
1,232 reviews
0.2 mi away
Travelodge Poole Hotel
2.9 mi away
Harbour Heights Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.5 mi away
Thistle Poole
Thistle Poole
#6 of 13 in Poole
966 reviews
3 mi away
Haven Hotel
Haven Hotel
#7 of 13 in Poole
1,558 reviews
0.6 mi away
Holiday Inn Express Poole
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to RNLI College? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about RNLI College

Address: West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Poole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Poole
#1 Best Value Hotel in Poole
#2 Family Hotel in Poole
Price Range: £68 - £106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The home of RNLI training, RNLI College is a fine modern conference and training venue in a stunning waterside setting in Poole, Dorset, and now also offers hotel facilities in the 60 en-suite rooms. RNLI College also makes a stunning wedding venue with views over the harbour. Every £ Spent at RNLI College saves lives at sea. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Odigeo so you can book your RNLI College reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Rnli College Hotel Poole
RNLI College Poole, Dorset

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing