Terrific location, across the road from Dove Cottage, lovely views across the lake and within a few minutes walk of Grasmere village. Lots of walking nearby and close to Ambleside. It is new and purpose built so it should be perfect - and for the most part it is.
The building fits in with the local architecture, as you would expect, but it is big so the view as you enter the site is of a rather plain block of grey stone and rows of windows. It isn't helped by the huge wooden fence next to the entrance to the foyer - the fence screens off the service area. However, don't be put off because as soon as you enter the foyer it is a different world. The foyer, passages and rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, quiet and elegant. Unlike so many hotels the corridors are WIDE and spacious, not gloomy tunnels.
Our room was also spacious, with a large bathroom and the most comfortable bed we have had in a while. The furnishings are top quality and we liked the quirky paintings on the way to the restaurant, which is also elegant. If you are lucky you may get a window seat with a super view of the lake. Breakfast was adequate but nothing special for a hotel of this class (and the scrambled egg had a strange taste). The dinner menu leans towards steak (as most do in the area) which limits the choice a bit and the puddings were bog standard. However, our choice of starters and mains turned out to be very good and my wife raved about the vegetarian tart tatin. My lamb cutlets were also very good. There is a huge lounge next to the dining room with loads of comfortable seats and we thoroughly enjoyed reading and having a pot of tea there.
So why only 4 stars? We took our dog (full marks for being dog friendly) and we were told in advance that the room would look out onto the service area. It did, and straight into the windows of the staff rooms. My complaint is that there was only a heavy blind on the window. There was no curtain so by day we had no privacy. Apparently other guests have complained about this so the owners need to get into action.
The bedroom had no trestles for suitcases and the arrangement for hanging suits etc in the cupboards was badly planned. Coat hangers hang across the very narrow cupboards so it is impossible to get something in or out without removing other clothing. The room was lit by only four halogen bulbs in the ceiling and they gave totally inadequate lighting. I could not see well enough to write at the desk in the evening or see the keyboard of my laptop. There was a LED "reading" light on a flexible stalk above the bedside table but it was too short to reach my book if I was lying in bed. I tried putting my book on the bedside table but it was awkward. The shower worked very well but neither of us could get the plug to stay in place in the hand basin (pretty design but poor engineering). This next comment is just a grumpy old man speaking - the mirror has lights that operate when you move the tap! At times it seemed random.
The bottom line is that it is a delightful hotel and we would recommend it, but the owners need to sort out a few niggles.