Finding a hotel that’s family and dog-friendly can often be a bit of a chore. Especially if you want one in a good location, close to things to do and with parking. Well, on paper, Hotel Collingwood in Bournemouth ticks all the right boxes for a dog owning family like us. But does it live up to the hype?
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We stayed at this 3-star hotel during a press trip to experience what Bournemouth and Poole have to offer holidaymakers beyond the beach. Have a read about what we got up to in my post about all the things to do in the area.
I wasn’t going to write a blog post specifically about the hotel. But a few people asked me about the dog-friendly elements of our trip.
So, here’s what we thought of this family and dog-friendly hotel in Bournemouth.
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A warm welcome
We arrived in Bournemouth just past 7pm after a three hour drive from Devon. We were tired but also curious about what our first post-lockdown hotel stay would be like.
Hotel Collingwood has a handy drive in area in front of the main reception. This is where you can unload your luggage and pick up a free pass for the car park behind. NB: parking is free if you book direct with the hotel.
When you walk through the front door of the Victorian building you’re struck by the modern decor that’s bright and quirky. Throughout the public areas there’s vibrant turquoise and bird print wall paper, which our girls loved.
There were a few people ahead of us at check in but we didn’t have to wait long. In fact, we’d dropped our bags in our rooms, parked the car and were sat down for dinner by 7.30pm.
Aside from the usual indoor COVID measures that we’re all pretty familiar with now (masks, screens, QR codes and plentiful hand gel), it all felt surprisingly welcoming and ‘normal’.
The only slightly different thing was that we had to book our meal times and any hotel facilities that we wanted to use. This was so they could be cleaned between guests.
Dining at Hotel Collingwood in Bournemouth
If you book direct with the hotel you can get room rates that include breakfast and/or a three course dinner.
You can also pay as you go when you arrive if there is availability.
Dinner is served in the Gold Room restaurant, in the stylish Bubble Lounge bar area, on the terrace or in the Secret Garden at the back of the hotel. The only dining area where dogs weren’t allowed was in the restaurant.
You can also leave your pooch in your room if you like. We decided to bring Tin Box Dog to dinner as we’d only just arrived.
Lucky her, as she was the very first to be served a drink when we sat down at our table in the Bubble Lounge.
The set menu included a choice of three starters and six main courses. There was also a children’s menu including the girls’ favourites of burger and sausages. Both came in hearty portion sizes.
Mr Tin Box opted for the catch the day – sea bass – and I had gnocchi in a rich roast pepper and mozzarella sauce. Both were very tasty and just what we needed after our journey.
The girls and I found room for dessert, while Mr Tin Box enjoyed a few of the local Dorset ales in the bar’s collection.
If you are dining with children under the age of 12 they eat for free. Food is served between 6.15pm and 9.15pm.
We went to bed with full tummies, ready for a packed day of adventures around Poole.
Breakfast is also served in the Bubble Lounge and Gold Room. It includes a range of continental and cooked options with some supplements for speciality coffees and hot dishes.
There’s table service while indoor COVID restrictions are in place, but there would usually be a buffet.
Breakfast is served between 8am and 10am daily.
Rooms at Hotel Collingwood
Hotel Collingwood’s rooms sleeping families of four were fully booked when we stayed. It was hardly surprising considering everyone is focussing on holidaying at home in 2021. So, we checked into a couple of smaller rooms.
We’d not usually do this ourselves. But as we were on a press trip it seemed like a good opportunity to scope out more of the hotel’s accommodation.
The girls and I stayed in a Standard Family 3 room. Mr Tin Box and Dog had a Cosy Double. If you are a family of five or more this would be the most economical option at this hotel. Its biggest family rooms accommodate up to two adults and two children.
Both rooms were simply decorated, clean and came with an ensuite with a shower over the bath, desk, wardrobe, tea and coffee making facilities, a hair dryer, TV and free WiFi. It was standard, fuss-free 3-Star accommodation.
If you want a bit more opulance you can book one of the hotel’s Signature rooms or suites. These come with luxury bedding and towels, pocket sprung mattresses and Scottish Fine Soaps toiletries.
Comfort and noise
Something to be aware of in the summer months is there is a wall fan but no air con in the Standard rooms. We found them uncomfortably warm at night – but it was the hottest weekend of the year so far. We used a free standing fan to make the temperature a bit cooler for sleeping.
If you prefer a quieter room, request one at the back of the hotel. The girls and I were here and found there was a lot less noise from the street than Mr Tin Box experienced at the front of the hotel. He had his second floor window open to try to keep cool and was woken by people going home after nights out.
Don’t forget this is a Bournemouth town centre hotel, so there are some compromises to be made for the location.
Hotel Collingwood has plenty to offer in the way of onsite facilities.
We were out exploring the area, so didn’t have time to use the indoor pool with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, or the games room and mini gym. But they’re all there if you have time to chill at the hotel in-between day trips.
A dog-friendly hotel in Bournemouth
Of course you don’t need to have a dog to stay here – we didn’t notice any others during our weekend. But dogs are welcome to check in with their owners.
There’s a doggy supplement of £10 per dog per night and up to two dogs can stay in each room. Contact the hotel when you book as it’s not possible to add a dog to your booking online.
Your four-legged friend is allowed everywhere but in the main restaurant and swimming pool/leisure facilities. Don’t forget to bring your own dog bed, bowls and food.
Find more dog-friendly accommodation and holidays in the UK
Where is Hotel Collingwood?
Find Hotel Collingwood at 11 Priory Road, Bournemouth BH2 5DF.
Things to do around Hotel Collingwood
You really are in the thick of things when you stay at Hotel Collingwood in Bournemouth.
It’s just a few minutes walk from the main beach, Bournemouth International Centre, the attractions of Bournemouth Pier, the Oceanarium aquarium and the town’s gardens.
There’s enough to see and do close by that you need not get in your car again.
We ventured a bit further afield and visited Upton Country Park, Poole Quay and Harbour, Sandbanks and Compton Acres historic gardens.
Check out our full 48 hour itinerary in Poole and Bournemouth.
Here’s some more things to do in Dorset with kids.
Hotel Collingwood review
Having experienced a stay at Hotel Collingwood we can confirm it really does tick all the right boxes for a family-friendly hotel in a great location in Bournemouth. Having onsite parking and dog-friendly rooms was a real bonus for us, even if lack of air con made sleeping a bit uncomfortable on the hot June weekend when we stayed.
It’s was the cheery, helpful staff and the family-friendly touches that we really appreciated.
There was colouring for the kids when we sat down for breakfast and dinner, a children’s menu with generous portions, and after dinner cookies, which we took to our room.
The hotel’s public spaces are beautifully decorated. But they doesn’t feel like somewhere you need to worry about your kids getting a little excitable because they are on holiday.
We also didn’t feel that having a dog restricted us from enjoying our stay.
Disclosure: we were invited to experience a weekend in Poole and Bournemouth as part of an unpaid press trip. Our accommodation, experiences and expenses were covered. All opinions are my own and my family’s. This post also contains affiliate links marked with *. If you click on one of these and make a purchase I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.