This hotel has figured in every edition of the Good Hotel Guide since the inception of that publication and regularly lists highly on Trip Advisor reviews but on our second visit here it was becoming very apparent that there are better hotels in the Lake District for the prices that this hotel is charging.
18 months ago we said that the decor in the Dining Room was jaded with ceiling roses that looked adrift from the ceiling, a muddy brown base colour on the walls, scorch marks on the ceiling from the wall lamps and wine glassware out of keeping with the products on offer.
In response to these observations the 'Management' said that it hoped to improve the Dining Room decor during a refurbishment in Jan 2012. Looking through previous reviews of the hotel we have noted that similar observations on the decor to ours were made in 2010 when the 'Management' promised action in the Jan 2011 refurbishment. When we booked for this break back in November 2012 we asked if the Dining Room refurbishment had been undertaken and were told that the 'powers that be' didn't deem it necessary. In isolation one might forgive this attitude but unfortunately it has extended to other reaches of the hotel. It's a fair bet that this is the only hotel in the Lake District charging the thick end of £120 a night for a room that still provides only 50/50 polycotton sheets and treats requests for a duvet, though available with polycotton covers, as something of a customer quirk. Add to this some bedroom decor that is looking really dated.
The good news is that the breakfasts are first class and the service therein is first class which is more than can be said for the evening meals. These had some good positives but a Sea Bass (nicely done) with an awful greasy sauce and tasteless ribbons of courgette and a Fillet Steak stated on the menu to be 'medium rare' and served as 'well done' suggested that all was not under control in the kitchen. Conversely, the Mallard and the Rabbit Terrine were very enjoyable.
The 'Superior Rooms' at the front of the premises give a nice view of the local hills and in warmer weather their balconies would be a plus. Our bathroom was spacious and bedroom a reasonable size. The bed had his and hers mattresses but they wallowed. The shower lacked power.
Don't expect to find any leaflets prepared by the hotel on local walks ..... there are none, but you can buy various publications there on this subject.
It's sad but the owners of this hotel are really going to have to up their game if this hotel is to compete at the luxury end of the Lake District accommodations. If there were half points in Trip Advisor this would rate 3.5 but as it is and because it has potential to be so much better with simple improvements we've rated it 4.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Rothay Manor Hotel & Restaurant offers a relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere in a luxury country house setting, with large individually designed en-suite bedrooms, spacious comfortable lounges, delicious fresh food and outstanding service.We continue to maintain the standards and traditions that have kept the hotel a popular destination for over 40 years - well-appointed bedrooms, homemade jams and marmalades with breakfast, our famous buffet-style afternoon tea and our candle-lit restaurant, whilst offering modern amenities - flatscreen televisions, dvds, i-pod docks and free wi-fi.Open for Lunch and Dinner everyday, our delicious freshly cooked menu changes on a daily basis - or why not join us for our fabulous buffet Afternoon Tea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rothay Manor Hotel Ambleside, Lake District