We stayed at the Daffodil between 29-31 August. At the time of staying, we were told the hotel had only been open 5 weeks and there were some elements of the operation that reflected this and which I feel need noting.
Without being too critical of what is clearly an outstanding hotel, most staff seemed unsure of their roles and there was clear confusion at meal times especially as to who was performing which role. For instance, the restaurant manager appeared to lack any organisational skills, floating from one task to another with no apparent plan and it was evident from the reaction of the waiters and waitresses, that his attempts to organise merely created more confusion. There seemed to be no organisation as to who was bar staff, who was waiting on tables, who was seeing guests to their tables, who was clearing and resetting tables etc. An example being that having booked a table for 8pm, we arrived on time to be told by the manager that a table would be prepared for us (despite the fact the restaurant was almost empty) and to take a seat in the bar area. This we did but no one asked if we wanted a pre-dinner drink. Then almost 10 minutes later, I ordered drinks myself from the bar, at which point the manager came and asked the barman to go and prepare our table, leaving the bar unattended and us still waiting for our drinks. What had the manager been doing in the 10 minutes we had been sat in the bar? After a further 5 minute wait, I re-ordered the drinks via a female colleague and a further 5 minutes later, the restaurant manager returned to take us to our table, a full 20 minutes after our arrival in the restaurant for our pre-booked table. Clearly some lessons in how to organise roles is needed.
My second piece of constructive feedback for the owners of the Daffodil would be to make the entrance and reception a little more inviting. It is quite grand, very spacious and minimilistic. But it lacks warmth and is not especially inviting. It needs a splash of colour or a plant or two, to give it a welcoming feel.
I found it a little odd that although there are 2 bars in the hotel, neither bar is homely or especially comfortable. Given the hotel is in the heart of the Lakes, a bar in which to unwind and relax after a day on the fells I feel is a must. The first bar is actually located in the reception area, and from the 2 occasions I used it, it appears the receptionist doubles up as the bar tender. Fine if there is no one checking in or making enquiries of reception, not good if there are. The second bar is in the dining room, which from my experience mentioned in my earlier feedback, was a less from enjoyable experience
My final piece of constructive feedback is in respect of the spa. What a wonderfully luxurious experience the spa facilities provide. The finest. However, what a shame that having sold the spa facilities in some of its own literature as being a god send after a day on the fells, the hotel chooses to close the spa at 6pm, rendering the facilities useless if you are coming back from a days hike. A real shame and a lost opportunity. Surely having the spa open until say 8pm gives guests the chance to enjoy what is a fabulous facility.
The above points are merely thoughts on which I beleive the Daffodil can make itself even more of an outstanding hotel than it is clearly going to be already. The rooms and bathrooms are fabulously luxuriuous and comfortable, the outside terrace offers splendid views of Grasmere lake and the fells. The hotel location is not a 5 minute stroll from the heart of Grasmere village, is across the road from Dove Cottage, the food is excellent, parking plentiful and the spa, well, it is a fantastic relaxing experience.
We would definitely return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the shores of Grasmere Water, The Daffodil Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of the Lake District. Surrounded by stunning Lakeland scenery, The Daffodil is the Lake District's newest luxury hotel. The hotel reopened in July 2012 after a major redevelopment which has resulted in 78 new bedrooms including 14 luxury Suites, a Spa with thermal suite, extensive function rooms and a lake facing restaurant serving fantastic British food with a contemporary twist. ... more less
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