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“Lovely hotel but was left starving” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater

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Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ullswater nr Penrith, Watermillock CA11 0JJ, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Watermillock
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel but was left starving”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013 via mobile

We arrived at this beautiful hotel for a romantic getaway...first little problem was check in no one appeared for 5 minutes and the lady that checked us in was very abrupt and a bit cold not the best people skills...decided that shouldn't put us off..our room was quite small but lovely and with stunning views...dinner is my main gripe here can't believe that you get an allowance each which they will know will not cover your whole meal ..And the reason it won't cover the whole meal is because you will be starving and need to order three courses as they are without a doubt the poorest size I have ever seen ! I actually couldn't believe it when it arrived ..I am a very small eater but this really was beyond a joke...I actually had ordered chips to go with veg with my meal but decided I was being greedy as my husband was having some so thought I could steal some of his...I soon regretted that as when his arrived he had 5 on a plate...we waited an hour between starter and main course ? No free bread on the table either! We went to bed starving its the only thing that lets this place down because the food itself is beautiful ..now reading other people's reviews I can see a lot of people have complained about the same thing...so why oh why is no one listening to what the customer wants....breakfast experience was completley differant it was the best I had ever had it swings from one extreme to another ? Overall it is beautiful but I must say food is a big thing for a lot of people so if I were this hotel I would try harder it's the only thing I feel they need to improve on ! And if they don't listen then i am sure a lot of people won't bother coming back !

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMLeeming, General Manager at Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay at Leeming House.

We take all comments very seriously and have taken on board the feedback regarding allocation for dinner. As with a lot of hotels an amount is given towards dinner when paying for inclusive. However our customer comments tell us that this is insufficient, therefore we have increased the allocation and three courses can easily be taken also with the more expensive items , such as steak which would often carry a surcharge in many places.
I am pleased to hear that you felt the hotel is beautiful and I hope that you have the opportunity to visit again in the future.

Kind regards
Karen Irving
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Maryport
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

Our wedding day was just Perfect at this lovely Hotel, very special place, welcoming, helpful staff, superb food, Karen the Manager was faultless, friendly, calm and considerate. The Ceremony (Blue Room) was beautiful as was all our bedrooms, the whole family thoroughly enjoyed the two days. Wonderful memories last a lifetime, and helped by the wedding photos they were brilliant with the fabulous views. Also we had a brilliant Lake Cruise in the evening on one of the Ullswater Steamers. Overall our experience of the hotel was Excellent!

Only one down-side - bar prices very expensive!

Room Tip: Room 6 wonderful Honeymoon Suite with fabulous views and spacious feature bathroom.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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GMLeeming, General Manager at Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Dear Caroline
Thank you for your lovely review, I am delighted you felt your wedding day was just Perfect and the hotel was lovely . We thoroughly enjoyed doing your wedding, it was a pleasure. We are fortunate in as you say," the hotel is very special", however knowing you found the team to be welcoming and lovely makes it all worthwhile.
We hope to see you both again in the future, maybe for your first anniversary?
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Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

We chose this hotel to celebrate my partners 50th Birthday. The hotel and grounds are beautiful and our room excellent, .The hotel states that it is pet friendly at the cost of £15.00 per night per night, we made the hotel aware that we was taking our dog Bonzo with us, once in our room we quickly released there were no dog bowls for drink and food nor a dog basket/blanket, reception told me that we was expected to take our own, however they did supply us with two small square dishes out of the kitchen, the hotel is obviously not geared up for pets at all, so why charge so much?

We booked into the restaurant for our evening meal and this was the biggest mistake ever, the portions was ridiculously small and highly priced, for my main meal I ordered beef cheek, well the only cheek I could see was the cheek of the chef dishing out such a ridiculously small portion, I only wished I would have photographed it to show! We were really hungry and these portions did not fill a corner, lucky for us we had brought our own nibbles for the room and managed to fill up on them. VERY DISAPOINTING.
The following night we ate at a place called Brackenrigg Inn, go out of the hotel and turn right towards Pooley Bridge its less than 3 mins drive on your left hand side and worth the visit, the food was ample and good.

The breakfast experience is far better than the evening meals, infact the breakfast was really nice and ample.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMLeeming, General Manager at Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
Thank you for your comments further to your recent stay at Leeming House

I am pleased to hear you felt the location and rooms were excellent and that you felt the breakfast really nice and ample. I am however sorry to hear about your disappointment with regard to your dog. We have very few requests to bring pets to Leeming and have never had a request for dog bowls and dog beds previously, finding owners prefer to bring their own that their pets are familiar with and as discussed during your stay the £15 pet charge is for any additional cleaning which is required.
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Durham, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

This is the third time we have stayed at this hotel and with each stay the experience gets better. We had a lovely spacious room with an extremely comfortable bed. The outlook was quiet and this added to the ease of a good sleep each night. Like other reviewers we found the prices in the restaurant a little high and it is impossible to stay within the £28 allocated to you when you have pre-booked dinner. That said, we didn't mind paying the extra so that we could have three courses. We were not disappointed in the portion sizes but neither of us have huge appetites and so there was enough for us. We were very pleased with the breakfast selection and the staff with whom we dealt were polite, helpful and attentive without being overly so. The views from the hotel are beautiful and there is a nice walk down to Ulswater through the grounds. Th gardens are a deilght to spend time in. We will stay again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

OVERALL
My experience is disappointing when everything is taken into consideration. I will "tell it like it is" below. I would advise that it may be a different experience for others, but I am not going to pull any punches - it was a let-down, largely because the hotel seems to be so price-driven and did not offer sufficiently good value for the money they charged.

ARRIVAL
Sherry on arrival was a very nice touch. The exterior of the hotel is lovely and the view pretty spectacular and checking-in was smooth and easy. There is a grassy pathway down to the lake, several lounge areas, and a cosy bar. The views are spectacular and it's a very comfortable hotel with some lovely facilities.

ROOM
Lovely curtains, nice furniture, lovely deep bath and good products, and nice bathroom decor. I loved the room, and the bed was so comfortable I slept really well. However, the bathroom door did not fit the frame at all, and so did not close without slamming it. They did offer to see to it, but when you've just arrived and are in the bath, it's impractical, and they must have already known it was a problem and not addressed it. The top of a tap was missing and a handle on a drawer. It again must have been obvious and shouldn't happen at a Macdonald Hotel when the customer is paying so much to stay there!

BAR
The bar was nicely lit and cosy. We found the barman a little bit too attentive - we couldn't have a conversation without interruption...just something he should note.

FOOD / RESTAURANT
This is where the Macdonald Leeming House Hotel lets the customer down so badly. We have stayed at Macdonald Hotels previously where the food was sensational, and I expected good things from Leeming House. The food IS actually SUBLIME!!! But the prices are EXTORTIONATE!!!...because the portions are microscopic - I'm not exaggerating! I ate monkfish, but rather than the monkfish tail I was expecting, there were three TINY strips of fish. They were exquisite, but there was too little of them, especially as this was deemed to be a main course. Our starters and desserts were similarly tiny, and not exceptional for the price. In fact, our three-course meal left us all HUNGRY. We're not particularly big eaters, but there just wasn't enough food on the plate and it was a huge disappointment. One starts to feel like we're being penalised for eating in the hotel's own restaurant. This probably was why we were the only diners on this particular evening!!

The meal all came at a hefty price, with quite significant price-hiking on some dishes, not least steaks, seafood and cheese. There is an allowance of £28 from the menu if you book dinner in advance, and you are charged £20 each for a £28 personal menu allowance, which doesn't sound too bad at the outset. However, my starter of two tiny scallops and a couple of micro strips of chicken was priced at £11.50!!! The main course of monkfish was £17 (but for what?), and dessert was £7; but my husband's cheese was priced at £9.50, and although it looked exquisite, the portions again were TINY and not designed to complete a meal but rather give a nod towards fine dining. A fairly generic Rose (Pinot Grigio) was priced at £32.00! No bread was produced, so we had nothing extra to fill up on. There were no tiny additions between courses...and not producing bread is quite an oversight to make for a Macdonald Hotel restaurant, and a big mistake if you are aiming to deny your guests reasonable portions!

Naturally, we were extremely hungry the next morning! - and breakfast was similarly disappointing. I ordered haddock at a £2.50 surcharge, and again noted that all fish carried this surcharge. This is penalising the customer for not eating meat!! Again, the portion was ridiculously small. The breakfasts were priced at £17.50 each - which is phenomenally expensive anyway, so the surcharge means one is eating a £20 breakfast!! No wonder our hotel bill was so high. It is enough to put most people off eating breakfast there. There was nothing particularly exceptional about breakfast for this price.

CHECK-OUT
If I hadn't queried the Invoice, the Receptionist would have overlooked the fact that the hotel owed me £16 which hadn't been deducted from our joint dinner allowance. The invoice wasn't broken down into any sort of easily identifiable set of charges, which also should be addressed, as the customer needs to know what they are being charged for, particularly when it is such a financially acquisitive hotel.

PRICE
It is a lovely hotel site and some of the staff are very attentive and helpful, but it wasn't a great experience due to the punitive price-loading. I expect to pay for quality and service, and good food, but the hotel didn't deserve the prices they were charging for any part of the experience.

WOULD I GO BACK?
Not to this hotel, no. There is nothing to recommend it when guests' rooms are not prepared sufficiently between visits. There is no excuse, at this level, to have so many parts missing on taps, drawers, and a bathroom door which doesn't fit its frame!

The hotel was clearly charging well over the going rate for anything and everything and loading prices so high for so little value given to the customer. There was nothing exceptional and the impression guests are given is that the hotel is aimed purely at their own financial gain, and not giving value for money to the guest. It has seriously dented my confidence in Macdonald Hotels, and I cannot recommend them any longer based upon this experience.

One last thing: I do not expect to stay at a Macdonald Hotel and be treated to sexual innuendo from a male member of staff!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We stayed at the Leeming House for two nights' bed and breakfast at the beginning of September. We had two rooms between three of us, 20 and 29. Both were spacious, well appointed and had excellent views. Both enjoyed level access from reception, the lounges and the dining room - essential for my elderly mother. The hotel's grounds are a particular asset ; they are very well maintained and have direct access to the shore of the lake.

We thought breakfast was excellent, though were disappointed that the fish options were only available for a supplement.

Staff were friendly and helpful.

Overall we were very impressed by the Leeming and would definitely return.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkcaldy Scotland, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

The view was lovely...location fantastic..food ok but drinks were overpriced...shower was a dribble...no phone signal and when i used the hotel phone i was highly overcharged...obviously taking advantage of the fact they know there is no signal...and our room was fairly basic and dated considering the amount we payed...dont think i will be in a hurry to return...

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater

Address: Ullswater nr Penrith, Watermillock CA11 0JJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Watermillock
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Watermillock
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Leeming House is ideally located for exploring the beautiful Lake District countryside. Set in 22 acres of grand gardens and woodland, this 200-year-old country house hotel boasts direct access to the shores of Ullswater and a private fishing license. Offering exclusive use to large parties, a 3AA Rosette award-winning restaurant, plus a helipad and a dedicated events coordinator, this Ullswater hotel is the ideal setting for a romantic wedding. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater Hotel Penrith
Macdonald Leeming Hotel Ullswater
Macdonald Leeming Penrith

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