Visited for a big family get together to celebrate an anniversary recently. Hotel is obviously owned by the RNLI and is the main training college for the RNLI so overlooks part of Poole harbour and the views from rooms are great. The hotel can be a little tricky to get to going around the one way system a couple of times before finding a way in. The hotel is very large and nicely fitted out.
The rooms are clean, modern and well equipped, very similar to a Holiday Inn type of room, but with lovely views over the harbour. Had asked if we could upgrade our room to a king size bed or suite, but only offer standard doubles, which was fine.
The bar is well laid out with sofas, tables and comfy seating and has a lovely circular balcony overlooking the harbour. The bar itself has a reasonable selections of beers and a couple of ales and also sells snacks, sweats, tea, coffees and cakes. However the main issue is the time it takes to get served and how long food takes to arrive. Part of this problem is that the kitchen where all food is prepared is downstairs, so the waiters/waitresses have to go up and down a large spiral staircase to get food in between trying to serve people at the bar. The bar was busy and some people waited over half an hour for a basket of chips to arrive as well as 15 minutes to get served t the bar. Needs a re-think.
We dined in the restaurant and had obviously pre-booked our party of 21. However there was no urgency to serve us and we sat for over 20 minutes without being offered a drink and in fact receiving any real attention. We were allocated one waitress, who to be fair tried hard to serve us as best she could, but come on (Management) 1 waitress to 21 people was never going to work! By the time I received my main course everyone else had finished theirs and got fed up asking for a drink in the end so went to the bar (upstairs) to get one. After making a complaint we were given our drinks free of charge, which was appreciated.
Breakfast was really good, nice selection of cooked, cereals and some pastries and as the sun was shining, was lovely to stand outside afterward and watch the road bridge go up.
I would definitely go back as aside from the slow service everything else was good and is in a good location close to Poole, Bournemouth and Sand Banks.
- 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