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“Relax and try a Martini in the lounge!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Holbeck Ghyll Country House

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Holbeck Ghyll Country House
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Holbeck Lane, Windermere LA23 1LU, England   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 19 hotels in Windermere
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Relax and try a Martini in the lounge!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

It's pretty hard not to feel relaxed when you arrive at Holbeck - we'd driven down from Inverness on a return leg of a tour of the highlands and were feeling pretty whacked. The staff on arrival were very welcoming and could see that I needed food and something to drink so took me straight to the lounge whilst my wife went to the spa for some relaxation.
In the lounge looking out over the lake and with a martini and some sandwiches I felt so relaxed - this is what I want from a destination hotel like this.
We had booked dinner and it did not disappoint - the highlight for us being the banana beignets and that there was a huge selection of 1/2 bottles of wine available.
We really enjoyed the food - it was well presented and fresh.
The only thing I'd say that was not a positive was room 22 - we'll go back, but I will try for a suite. For the money I feel the room was a little tatty - there was also a couple of broken tiles in the bathroom, niggles but they should be fixed. And cobwebs on the ceiling need to detailed!

Room Tip: No to room 22 :)
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, May 26, 2013
Thank you for your review and I have made a note regarding your room preferences. The cobwebs were unacceptable and my housekeeper joins me in sending our apologies. Room 22 is due to be combines with another room to form a larger suite but in the meantime I have asked our maintenace team to give it a thorough checking.

Once again, thank you for your review (and for agreeing to the e-shot!) and I look forward to seeing you back again soon.

With all good wishes

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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568 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (164)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

I booked the hotel for a treat for my boyfriend's birthday back in March 2013 after watching 'The Trip' and was really looking forward to some great food in a beautiful location. And I was definitely satisfied with the beautiful location - we had a fantastic view from our lake view room, and I have no complaints whatsoever about the accommodation. Additionally, the staff were very polite, welcoming and friendly, and there were nice touches in the room, e.g. hot water bottle at night when bed is turned down.
However, I was somewhat disappointed with the food. It started off well with some interesting amuse bouches whilst having a drink in the lounge pre-dinner, but our starter of scallops were not cooked adequately, then one of the main courses varied significantly from what was stated on the menu and the desserts and petit four were just not that interesting. Furthermore, at breakfast the next day, the american pancakes came as 3 tiny little (blini sized) pancakes with 3 enormous back rashers of bacon...the balance of ingredients wasn't right. These are all small things admittedly, however when you are paying £170 for dinner (+ over £200 for the room), you expect more, especially after better experiences (and better value for money) at many other michelin starred restaurants. And unfortunately, the very polite staff didn't seem particularly bothered by my feedback at the time.
Overall, if the dinner hadn't cost so much, I probably wouldn't have blinked an eye at some of these things.

Room Tip: Go for a lake view room
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, May 26, 2013
Thank you for my comments. I was very disappointed to read that you felt my staff did not care about your comments and I am working with my managers to remind them how to deal with feedback. We do encourage our team to listen to feedback and pass it on to either myself or another senior manager, so it is sad to read that this did not happen.

We have taken on board all your constructive comments and we work towards aiming to improve our food offering.

Once again, thank you for your feedback.

Andrew
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Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

A lovely hotel in the lakes, a little out of way, but with lovely views across Lake Windermere, it was a little bit too cosy in the small lounge we sat in for pre-dinner drinks, but the dinner was really exceptional - though a little slow - it was full of diners, due to its reputation.

Each plate we were served was not only worthy of a photograph, but cooked to perfection, and the tastes were superbly balanced. A very comprehensive Wine List was available and the wines recommended were excellent.

The room was lovely with king size bed which was very comfy and sheets were crisply ironed and of good quality - a little pricey. The ensuite was of high quality.

The gardens are well looked after.

The parking area is a little small so the overflow car park was where we had to park about 100 yards down the hill which on the day we parked seemed a little close to an aroma of septic tanks - fortunately far enough away from the hotel!

The staff were all extremely attentive and pleasant and well trained.

Room Tip: Book a room with a lake view
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, June 2, 2013
Thank you for your very good review. I am delighted that you enjoyed the food and general ambience. I have taken on board your comments regarding the speed of service and that is something that David, Tom and I will look at. We do want everyones experience to be as good as it can be.

Once again, thank you for completing such a favourable review.

With all good wishes

Andrew
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Bedford
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

What a vindictive lot guests can be, having stayed at Holbeck for the last five years often twice a year, I can not believe how anyone could not relax and enjoy there stay and give such a derisory score as one guest below.

Clearly a little misshape is allowed to distort there whole perception.

Trust me, Holbeck is good very good and beautiful location.

Room on arrival warm and inviting, a short note welcoming us back with the complimentary sherry and small chocolates. Big SMILE in the first two minutes and thats how it stayed.

Dinning, a picture on the plate with a taste to match, Staff friendly polite. Quality is what Holbeck strive for, breakfast fruit great, all fresh and high standard. Cooked breakfast spot on.

Dinner was always fully booked, served and carried out very efficiently.We expect as return guests to have a dinning experiences that goes a little wrong, not a chance. David and his team of chefs are to be congratulated such hard work for guests enjoyment. What enjoyment.

Perhaps I have been watching to much TV, in particular the hotel inspector of which all guests are in the league. Couldn't resist running my finger along the top of the bathroom mirror little sad I know but i was not surprised spotless clean.

Very difficult to fault and be critical of this wonderful hotel, every thing is just wonderful for us, so to mention anything does make you feel picky indeed, but hear goes.

The hand soap in the bathroom felt a little course on the skin for us very minor I know.

As for a previous guest suggesting, go down the road for a curry, clearly these guests booked the wrong dinner on line, and may have been looking for wolbck guest and curry house Bangladesh.

Thank you Holbeck see you all again soon cant wait.

Room Tip: Rooms are all very good and spotless
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, June 2, 2013
Your review made all the staff smile! Sometimes such reviews can be hurtful but we have to take the rough with the smooth and thankfully there is more smooth than rough!

My whole team would like to thank you for your review and we look forward to welcoming your back to Holbeck - interestingly, there is often a curry competition for staff tea seeing the chefs and the owner pitting their cooking skills against each other - believe me, it is great curry!

Best wishes

Andrew
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uk
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

We went for lunch to celebrate a birthday, on arrival we were greeted warmly and we went to take seat in one of the lounges, there was some delay in getting a drink initially but from then on service was attentive. The food was fabulous - all four of our party had great dishes, cooked very well, with a great balance of flavours and good portions. The wine selection was great. You cannot fault the view from the dining room it is a delight to look out across the lake. Overall we had a lovely meal, there was only one slight down side which was I am afraid to say the presentation of the waiting team, the maitre'd really needs to have a clean suit!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Hawes
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013 via mobile

Didn't stay this time but went for lunch. We find it difficult to fault the food, but would agree that the menu doesn't change very much irrespective of the time of year etc. Would be good to see a more varied menu from time to time.

This is not a criticism of Holbeck Ghyll in any way, and we shall continue to both eat and stay.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Pemrokeshire
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

We chose this hotel because of the setting, view, grounds, country house style with lounges and log fires, standard of suites and the in-house restaurant. We took our dog, so this limits the number of hotels available to choose from. A lot of hotels say they will take dogs only to find out you can only stay in a few of the 'basic' rooms at the back of the hotel. So thumbs up to Holbeck Ghyll, a beautiful suite in which the dog was welcome. Grounds are really dog friendly as well as being able to cosy up with the dog by the log fire in the inglenook in the main hotel. The dog was made very welcome by all of the staff and guests. The house is really lovely and cosy, views wonderful and grounds lovely and well maintained with easy access directly onto the fells. Staff obviously very anxious to please and be friendly. Couple of observations I would like to mention for consideration by management, they are not complaints but they did affect the experience. 1) The waiting staff in the restaurant are very friendly and working extremely hard to provide excellent service. However the amount of covers they are serving in a small restaurant over the space of a few hours, works very much against a relaxed ambience in the dining room and somehow the small amount of space between the occupied tables when the restaurant is running at full capacity makes you feel involved in the busy service. This is not due to the waiting staff being lacking in any way but purely down to the pressure of service, in a small dining room when the hotel is full. The candlelight, low lights, soft music are all there but the ambience is of very, very busy staff who are working at full capacity. I overheard the diners next to me discussing the possibilities of rearranging or removing some of the dining tables so that there was more space for the waiters to get on with their busy role in a less obtrusive way. The space in the dining room when the hotel is full should be considered by management as removing tables or having more waiting staff working the room is just going to exacerbate the situation by making it even busier. I think management need to consider either restricting the amount of bookings and removing a couple of tables (not financial good sense) or on the patio area of the spa area extending the restaurant so that there could be more space for more waiting staff to work. It is the physical capacity of the dining room that is working against the ambience and I would like to commend the waiting staff on the job they are doing. However I would have wished for a more relaxing and less hustle and bustle dining experience. 2) We dined in for the four evenings we were there. The menu was repetitive and by the fourth night was totally predictable. I know some of the accompaniments were swapped about a bit, but in essence the menu was extremely similar each night. There are five starters and five mains to choose from. Good food the first night turned into oh heck what are we going to choose tonight by the last night. It felt like the chef is resting on his laurels a bit after 13 years of Michelin stars. It felt like he had perfected these dishes and was not going to change too much from them. We have stayed at similar hotels where the menu was changed in more depth each day. 3) The hotel is a wine buffs heaven but we are not wine buffs, enjoy a nice glass but no more than that...we chose to stay at this hotel for other reasons not the wine cellar. We found it very intimidating giving our order for wine in a small quiet lounge full of people that were wine buffs and could hear what we were saying. I think the staff picked up on this because by the fourth night they said give us your wine order later if you want to and I went out of the lounge to the bar area to place it and your staff were very accommodating. But we did tend to dread that part of our order being taken and didn't like other guests hearing us being asked by staff if we needed help with the wine order, I found it embarrassing. Don't know the answer to this one. Possibly a note in the front of the wine list saying that the hotel appreciates that not all guests are wine experts and if guests wish to they can either ask for some advice when the wine order is being taken or if preferred come to the bar area where you can discuss your requirements more privately, directly with a member of staff. 4) The stay was a 50th birthday celebration it would have been nice if this could have been acknowledged in some way. Other hotels I have stayed at have asked at time of booking if it was a special occasion and made a note of it. On the 'occasion' day it has been 'acknowledged' by different hotels in different ways... complimentary bucks fizz at breakfast with a card from the staff, or a glass of champagne before dinner, small box of chocolates and a card from the 'staff' in your room etc etc. It would have been nice to have this service at the Holbeck Ghyll it only takes a question at reservation and a note being made to action it in which ever way the hotel feels on the appropriate day. Overall the experience at the Holbeck Ghyll was a good one, but the things I have mentioned would influence a return visit. Possibly only having dinner one night of the stay. Anyway.. The Holbeck Ghyll in getting many things very right but a few things could be improved.

Room Tip: We stayed in Lodge Two Mrs TiggieWinkle
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holbeck Ghyll Country House

Address: Holbeck Lane, Windermere LA23 1LU, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Windermere
#7 Business Hotel in Windermere
#7 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
#9 Family Hotel in Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Holbeck Ghyll Country House 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This luxurious country house hotel is set in seven acres of private woodland and gardens, in England's picturesque Lake District. Holbeck Ghyll offers 23 individually designed en-suite rooms, most with spectacular views over Lake Windermere. The Health Spa offers a range of treatments, sauna, steam room and gym equipment. Food is an integral part of any guests stay, and the Restaurant, which has retained a Michelin Star for seven consecutive years, will not disappoint. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel Windermere
Holbeck Ghyll Country Hotel
Holbeck Ghyll Country Windermere
Holbeck Ghyll Country House Windermere, Lake District

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