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“Excellent stay away”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of RNLI College

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RNLI College
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Poole
Certificate of Excellence
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,032 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 285 helpful votes
“Excellent stay away”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 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.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, October 19, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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754 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (241)
Date | Rating
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English first
new forest
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 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, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
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 review, October 19, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
214 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 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
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, October 1, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
155 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 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, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
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 review, October 20, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 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...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, October 1, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
127 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2012

Following the recommendations of Trip Advisor, we tried the RNLI College on our way back from the Channel Islands. It's a good idea to utilise this fantastic facility but it just needed that little bit of attention to service.

The rooms were large but with just a small window that overlooks the harbour. Unfortunately, nobody told the RNLI that the first detail of a nice Hotel is to have comfortable mattresses and ours was as lumpy as it could possibly be.

After a long night, the thing we were most looking forward to was Breakfast and although the food was reasonable, the service was non-existent.

This Hotel could be so much better with a more personal service and better beds.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy G
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 review, October 1, 2012
Hi Andy G

Thank you for your review with tripadvisor. We have in the recent past changed all of our mattresses and have not had any adverse comments about them. We are unable to trace you booking and would be grateful if you would be able to get in touch with us.

Regards

Richard Martin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
122 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

The RNLI college is an odd combination of an educational facility and a hotel for the general public. We stayed there because we had a late ferry from Guernsey to Poole and didn't want to travel any farther that night. We would have settled for anything but we were pleasantly surprised by the modern comfortable rooms, good food, and well equipped exercise room. For a visitor to the UK, it was also fascinating to learn about the RNLI as an institution.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Seadog14926
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 review, October 1, 2012
Hi Seadog14926

Thank you for taking the time to review RNLI College with tripadvisor. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back.

Every £ spent at RNLI College helps save lives at sea.

Kind Regards

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about RNLI College

Property: RNLI College
Address: West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Poole
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Poole
#2 Family Hotel in Poole
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
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Also Known As:
Rnli College Hotel Poole
RNLI College Poole, Dorset

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