The Best Hotels to Book in Poole, Dorset

Poole is a picturesque Dorset town thats popular with holidaymakers
Poole is a picturesque Dorset town that's popular with holidaymakers | © Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Mark Nayler

Poole is one of the most picturesque towns on the Dorset coast, known for its natural harbour, sandy beaches and Brownsea Island, the birthplace of the Scout movement. Holidaymakers head here for summer sailing trips and the chance to swan around on the world-famous Sandbanks Beach. From boutique boltholes to luxury spas, here is our rundown of the finest places to stay in Poole – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Dudsbury Golf Club, Hotel and Spa, for avid golfers


A light room at Dudsbury Golf Club with a bed, wall art, bedside tables and lights
© Dudsbury Golf Club, Hotel and Spa / Expedia

Planning a round at the Donald Steel-designed championship golf course in Dudsbury? Make a weekend of it by booking one of the simple, comfy ensuite doubles at the club. If you’re travelling as a family or a group of friends, take over the Farmhouse, a Grade II-listed, red-brick Tudor building with beamed ceilings, arched stone fireplaces and a private garden and driveway that sleeps six across two twins and one double bedroom. On-site Bentley’s Restaurant hosts jazz evenings and does a mean Sunday roast. Poole is just a 20-minute drive away.

2. Honey Lodge, for active travellers

Bed and Breakfast

A light room at Honey Lodge featuring a bed with a floral duvet and blue throw, desk and windows with neutral curtains
© Honey Lodge / Expedia

This two-room B&B is named after the beehive and honeycombs that the owners found under the floorboards. It’s located on the Castleman Trailway, a 26km (16m) path along the old Dorchester–Southampton railway line, and is a great option for hikers and cyclists, with an on-site bike locker. The owners will set you up for a day in the Dorset countryside with a full English breakfast, or lighter options such as fruit salad, cereal or scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a toasted muffin.

3. Pinewood Lodge, for personal touches

Bed and Breakfast

A light room at Pinewood Lodge with an ornate metal bed, a chandelier and two chests of drawers
© Pinewood Lodge / Expedia

Dressed in pale rose, white and beige, each of the four doubles at this early 1900s manor has an oversize window with views of the gardens, or over the woods towards the beach. After breakfast, hire a Mary Poppins-style bike from reception to cruise along the sandy shores of Dorset, or for a pleasant 30-minute ride into Poole. The owners will rustle up sandwiches and soup for supper if you’re arriving late, and there’s a guest kitchen for self-catering.

4. RNLI College, for a maritime-themed stay


A light, modern room at RNLI College featuring a bed with a bright-blue headboard and a striped throw
© RNLI College / Expedia

Here’s a truly unique place to stay in Poole. As indicated by the blue-and-orange lifeboats docked outside, the name of this waterfront behemoth is no gimmick. It’s primarily used as a training facility for volunteer lifesavers, but its ensuite rooms are also available to the public, offering views of Holes Bay from compact spaces decorated in the RNLI colour scheme. Take a guided tour of the premises before hitting the lighthouse-shaped Riggers Restaurant for burgers, pizza, pasta or seafood.

5. The Merchant House, for a prime central location

Bed and Breakfast

Turning up at this Georgian mansion on Poole Quay feels more like visiting a mate than booking into a bed and breakfast. Once you’re settled in your room – a simple, cosy space with sash windows and a huge teddy on the bed – ask owner David for his local sightseeing tips and dinner recommendations. Don’t miss the cooked-to-order full English breakfast starring home-made sourdough, or the inventive vegan offering. Guests can also eat breakfast at the affiliated Oriel on the Quay restaurant just down the street.

6. Harbour Heights Hotel, for dinner with a view


A terrace by the sea at Harbour Heights Hotel, with palm trees, tables and chairs and a sea view
© Harbour Heights Hotel / Expedia

Bag a deluxe double at this modern four-star hotel in Poole and you’ll have your very own brass telescope through which you can survey Poole Harbour from your Juliet balcony. In summer, the on-site View Restaurant offers a coastal-themed menu and chilled beers on a huge, Mediterranean-style terrace overlooking the islands. Try the fritto misto (mixed fried seafood) or the smoked fish and cured meat platter. Alternatively, visit Ocean Palace for spicy Asian treats.

7. Grovefield Manor, for a deep sleep

Luxury, Inn

Ornate room at Grovefield Manor with patterned wallpaper, grey carpet, a rococo bed and large windows
© Grovefield Manor / Expedia

Ideal for a stay on the beach, this late 19th-century boutique hotel has nine individually themed rooms with enormous bay windows, four-poster beds and vintage design touches. The breakfast offering ranges wide, from smoked haddock, ham and eggs to a full English made with local produce. After a soulful walk on Branksome Chine Beach (less than five minutes on foot from reception), kick back in front of the TV in the lounge with a tipple from the bar.

8. Hotel du Vin, for a romantic getaway

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel

Exterior of Hotel du Vin, with red vines covering parts of the building, white columns and arched windows
© Hotel du Vin / Expedia

Offering luxury accommodation in a Georgian building, each room at Hotel du Vin boasts tasteful, muted tones and understated yet luxurious fixtures and fittings. The bistro, as the name of the hotel suggests, is all about matching sumptuous food with top-notch tipples, and the evening menu sees hearty dishes made with seasonal ingredients. The hotel is right on the quayside, so the sea is steps away.

9. The Inn in the Park, for excellent pub grub

Independent Hotel, Pubs with Rooms

A light bedroom at Inn in the Park featuring a bed with a purple headboard and throw and a purple armchair
© Inn in the Park / Expedia

Fancy staying in a welcoming pub with rooms? Look no further than Inn in the Park, just off Branksome Dene Beach. Upstairs, you’ll find cosy double rooms; beds are topped with tartan throws, and fluffy bathrobes await after a long day exploring the city. However, the real highlight is the food, with delicious seasonal pub menu every night, and a full English on offer in the mornings. Situated on the other side of the bay to Poole, you’re well placed here to explore everything from Bournemouth to Sandbanks and beyond, such as the Studland and Godlingston Heath National Nature Reserve.

10. Amarillo Bed and Breakfast, for a warm welcome

Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Sumptuous room at Amarillo Bed and Breakfast with a mural of a womans face, a red velvet armchair and a bed with a teal bedspread
© Amarillo Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

An award-winning guesthouse in a restored Victorian building. Amarillo is ideally situated in a quiet area just outside the town centre, between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers. Lavishly and tastefully decorated, the hotel offers a complimentary continental breakfast, or a cooked breakfast for an extra charge. Owners Jane and Ged will gladly offer up their local knowledge to help you find the best local things to see and do.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Matt Charlton.

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