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Reviewed 17 August 2011

This super hotel has 60 bedrooms, all with sea views across the inner harbour at Poole.
You have to be an RNLI member to book, but with membership from around £28 a year, not only are you doing this top UK charity a favour, but yourself too, by then having the privilege of staying at a great venue with such great rates (it was £75 a double room per night B&B when staying 2 nights or more when we visited).
Anyone who has stayed at a Holiday Inn Express will see a parallel in the style of this ultra-modern college/hotel building. The bedrooms and bathrooms are spacious and spotless, with big fluffy towels. The staff are friendly and cannot do enough to help. There is a separate semi-circular bar area on the first floor with wonderful views over Holes Bay, with a spiral staircase down to the ground floor Riggers restaurant. Breakfast is served there buffet-style with a large range of hot and cold choices. For example, the locally-sourced sausages are excellent and you can have eggs fried, scrambled or poached. Plus kippers and haddock, etc.
We also dined there one evening and enjoyed grilled sea bream with fresh vegetables and steamed plaice with lemon and capers. All very reasonably priced. One wee suggestion? It would be nice to have tablecloths and a candle or two to add to the restaurant's ambience in the evenings.
Of course, the main point of the college is to train the brave volunteers who give their time to crew our lifeboats, and it was good to see them relaxing at the end of a day's instruction. You can also book a tour to see them in action.
The college has secure parking and is just a level 10-minute walk to the bustling Poole Quay and old town with its pubs, restaurants, museum and shops. Not forgetting the local ferry links and boat trips. All in all, a great place to stay and we are so glad we are RNLI members. Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Bananabirdzz
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 2 September 2011

Thank you for taking the time to review the RNLI College with tripadvisor. We appreciate you kind comments.

The primary purpose of the College is to train our volunteer Lifeboat crew and Lifeguards. When the bedrooms are not required for training we sell bedrooms to support the RNLI work in saving lives at sea.

We hope that members and supporters of the RNLI enjoy the unique setting and facilities at the very competitive rates offered.

Table cloths are used in Riggers on Friday and Saturday nights, and we are currently reviewing the set up and dinner offer to balance the preferences of Crew, Members and Supporters.

Thank you again for your review and we hope to welcome you back in the near future

Kind Regards

Richard Martin

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Reviewed 16 August 2011

I stayed here on the 10th August whilst doing some work for the RNLI, I assumed when they told me I was staying in the RNLI Colleges hotel, that it would be fairly rough and ready and full of lifeboatmen, but this is actually a 5 star hotel open it would appear to the general public.

The staff are very welcoming and friendly, I was early and a very attractive polish or Czech girl came and sat and chatted with me while I waited for my colleagues to arrive.

The room was excellent with a view of the harbour where the spare lifeboats are kept, we decided to eat in the hotel for dinner and again, this was 5 star, very good menu, food beautifully presented and a good choice too.

I dont normally stay at hotels and not find a fault, but I can honestly say, I cannot fault this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Telecoms2
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 2 September 2011

Dear Telecoms2

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your visit on tripadvisor. Your kind comments are greatly appreciated. We strive to make The RNLI College feel like a 'home from home' for all our volunteer crew and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay.

It is important to us that as a crew member, RNLI Member or supporter that everyone is made to feel welcome and enjoys their stay. The RNLI College is not like most hotels.....everything we do is linked to saving lives at sea. Thank you for your support.

Kind regards

Richard Martin

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Reviewed 9 August 2011

I spent three days and two nights at the training college. The third day was a "visitors' Day" where the group was shown how the lifeboat crews were trained. I was fortunate to be able to stay in the college itself = it caters for the training crew members first, the members of the RNLI second, and if there are places, for those who make reservations.
The whole building is immaculate, warm, welcoming and very "lived in". The staff, in every area, was helpful, charming and willing to help in any way they could. The restaurant, the café, the shop, the conference rooms, the reception, the sitting area - everywhere was "just right". And the accommodation was SUPERB! All rooms have a sea view over the harbour. So picturesque - like a postcard - both night and day.
The bathroom was spacious, well-appointed and instructions for using the facilities, very clear and well-presented. The bedroom itself was very well decorated, simple, no frills, yet just what was needed. There had clearly been much thought and consideration given to the fittings and there was nothing lacking. I was spell-bound! It was magnificently quiet and comfortable in every way. Truly outstanding!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank LondonWaiting
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 12 August 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to review RNLI College with tripadvisor. Your kind comments and observations are appreciated by the team here.

We try hard to create a 'home from home', especially for our volunteer crews. They are all giving up their own valuable time to be trained to save lives at sea. We are delighted to hear that this ethos is extended to, and often commented on by RNLI members and supporters.

It sounds from your review that you also enjoyed one of our College tours. These are a great insight to the work and history of the RNLI, and delivered by a great team of Welcome Host and Tour Volunteers. Often with chance to see the College, Sea Survival Centre and the odd lifeboat!

Thank you for your kind comments and helping the RNLI Save Lives as Sea.

Richard

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Reviewed 1 August 2011

To stay here you have to become a member of the RLNI which makes it even better value.

We have stayed here twice so far this year. Easy location to find, secure car parking, easy check in. All the rooms appear to have sea views, are very spacious with WiFi throughout.

Quality is good, very clean.

Breakfast is buffet style with a wide range of options. We didn't dine but the menu looked good. Good bar with reasonably priced drinks.

It's an easy 5 minute walk back into either the shopping area or to the quay.

You can also see training in progress as it's a working facility. We'll be back.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank YorkshireCooperman
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 6 August 2011

Dear Yorshire Cooperman!

Thank you very much for taking the time to review RNLI College with tripadvisor.

We hope you had the chance to meet our volunteer Welcome Hosts and enjoy a tour of the RNLI College and Sea Survival Centre.

We look forward to welcoming you back again...soon!

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Reviewed 29 July 2011

The Lifeboat College has accomodation for staff on training courses which is available to anyone else. Standards are very high- rooms are like a very good Premier Inn, prices about the same but includes breakfast. A VERY modern building with fantastic views over the inner harbour. Evening meals pricey but bar meals available.

Room Tip: The higher the better the view (lifts all the way)
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank andrewamaryllid
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 6 August 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to review the RNLI College with tripadvisor.

The building design is modern, clean and unique and provides great facilities for our crew training.

We appreciate that these facilities are also enjoyed by supporters of RNLI. I do believe that the dining options offer exceptional value for money. 3 Course dinner is available at an inclusive rate or main courses currently start from as little as £7.80. We always offer great value accommodation with breakfast.

Most importantly.....evey £1 spent at RNLI College helps save lives at sea.

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