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“lovely 'country house', good food, lacking in atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

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Gilpin Hotel & Lake House
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Crook Road, Windermere LA23 3NE, England   |  
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Ranked #5 of 19 Hotels in Windermere
newcastle
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“lovely 'country house', good food, lacking in atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2009

Had a quick look around this country house before deciding to book for evening meal. Were impressed with layout and gardens etc.
On arrival that evening had canapes in lounge and then were eventually shown to our table - in one of four dining rooms. Courses arrived promptly and food was good but as in a couple of other reviews there was no atmosphere at all. At first we thought it was a good idea to have four seperate small dining areas but in hindsight there was nobody 'talking', all whispering. In fact at one table of four the father said to his daughter "why are you whispering"?
Service was effecient but again as in a couple of other reviews felt like you were being watched constantly by the waiting staff - too efficient? (no interaction)
To sum up a lovely setting/good food but is lacking in warmth and atmosphere.

Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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729 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
manchester
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2009

we loved our stay at the hotel and found everything exceeded our expectations.the food ,both breakfast and dinner was first class as was the service.
the room was a perfect match of traditional and modern (flat tv,power shower).
their was a very nice champagne bar which overlooked the gardens which was a hive of activity where we enjoyed a drink -beer !!
will be booking again in the very near future.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Gilpin_Lodge, Owner at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, responded to this review, August 10, 2009
Thank you for your kind comments and for taking the time to post a review here. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us, and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Warm regards,
John, Christine, Zoë and Barney Cunliffe
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Cheshire
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2009

Had a garden suite, the food and the service were fabulous, second time we have stayed there and we have just booked Christmas

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Gilpin_Lodge, Owner at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, responded to this review, July 26, 2009
Thank you for your kind words, we are so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. We look forward to seeing you again at Christmas.

Warm regards,
John, Christine, Zoë and Barney Cunliffe.
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Manchester
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2009

My husband and I booked a meal at the Gilpin Lodge where we ordered the five course dinner, and found the food was of the highest quality. I was expecting meagre portions but its a case of quality not quantity here, and we felt satisfied and full at the end.

Service throughout was faultless although completely impersonal and slightly robotic. I understand the passion and emphasis is the quality of the food, but there is no atmosphere at all. Sat opposite my husband we felt we had to whisper, you could literally hear a pin drop in the silence. We were in a little room with four other couples, it felt like a doctors waiting room and everyone seemed to be whispering. It did not feel relaxing and I think perhaps some dimmed lighting and a little background music would improve the atmosphere dramatically.

I reiterate the food is fantastic, but I would not return due to the snobby atmosphere. The waiters are constantly walking past too eyeing up your plates and what you are doing, and we felt a bit self-conscious and had the feeling of being watched.

The reviews here are great so obviously its just not for everyone. I would recommend for a meal if you are a real foodie, I just think the atmosphere is too pompous.

One last thing I did find, the amuse bouche was langoustine soup which tasted like pureed salted seafood with a hint of fairly liquid .... sorry I know its harsh, but it desperately needed a touch of cream to soften it. It was far too strong and sickly

That is my only criticism on the food. Thankfully the other 4 courses made up for it.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilpin_Lodge, Owner at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, responded to this review, July 26, 2009
Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed the food, but equally are disappointed in how you found the atmosphere and service. Whilst 'faultless' service and indeed food is an important aim, more importantly to us we also try our best to create an ambience where guests feel comfortable and relaxed. Many of our guests dislike background music which is why we no longer play it, but we do try to balance out each of the four dining rooms with the right amount of guests (not too crowded, not too quiet). We are very much a family run business with an emphasis on personal - and we hope personable - service at all levels, and we very much aim to create an unstuffy atmosphere, balanced with unobtrusive, friendly service. We regret that we obviously didn't succeed on the night you were with us, either in welcoming you and making you feel at home, in the amuse bouche, or in getting the mix right in the dining rooms.

We are so sorry that your experience was as you describe, but do hope that you will give us another chance in the future. Please do get in touch with us directly if you feel there are any other details we should be aware of, we really do appreciate feedback.

Warm regards,
John, Christine, Zoë and Barney Cunliffe
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yorks
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2009

Over the years we have stayed many times at Linthwaite House , just down the road, with virtually complete satisfaction, but, due to many structural improvements, and , apparently ,management changes, we decided to try Gilpin.
From our arrival, we were not happy. The room was very foisty, and, we later learned it was chemicals from the hot tub. The room was huge, and well equiped, but, what is the point of a electric wall "fire" that gives absolutely no heat out.
Frankly, the new garden room we stayed in was a triumph of style over substance,it was souless. But, we pressed on.
That night we dined in the conservatory. We were one of few. The food, was probably, the worst we have ever encountered, due I acknolwedge to high expectations. But,. having dined at Gilpin on numerous occasions, I felt these were reasonble having experienced some equisite food there previously.The two senior managers on duty seemed more interested in chatting to each other.
Next morning we were told they had no sausages for breakfast. Well . When you're paying TOP rates as we were, why didn't SOMEBODY go and buy some, or borrow some from the nearest hotel. Not up to Gilpin standards is the reply I would have expected, but simply could.nt be bothered to solicit.
On balance Gilpin is a stunning place. Some of the staff are lovely, but,.......and this is purely a feeling from within, the place has no spirit of generosity , and believes its own publicity .
We shalln't be going back. Having just been to Whitley Ridge for a night, the gulf is huge.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilpin_Lodge, Owner at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, responded to this review, July 26, 2009
Thank you for your review. We are extremely sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your stay with us, we clearly failed on more than one aspect. Without knowing the exact date of your stay it is difficult to look into some of the details but we will try and answer some of your comments.

The Garden Suites are very popular and should certainly not be 'foisty', we genuinely haven't had comments of this nature before and the tubs are constantly monitored and maintained with minimal use of chemicals. The suites are modern in design but, we hope, very comfortable with many personal touches; the wall fires are designed so that they can either be with heat or without – we usually explain this during check-in, but obviously didn't do so on this occasion.

Regarding the food and service, we can only apologise. Again without knowing the date we cannot here respond adequately. Without wishing to embarrass you, if you would be so kind as to contact us directly we really would appreciate the opportunity to enlarge on your observations so that we may address them. From what you say your experience was certainly not up to Gilpin standards, which we regret greatly.

In the meantime, may we thank you for your time and once again apologise for our obvious shortcomings on the occasion of your stay. We do hope that you will give us another chance in the future.

Warm regards,
John, Christine, Zoë and Barney Cunliffe
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Tyne & Wear
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2009

I could not resist just quickly complimenting this lovely hotel once again, we’ve stayed here numerous times since 2006, my now husband even proposed here so it is one of my very favourite places. We attended a fantastic wine tasting evening in January of this year, a Christmas present from my husband; the food and wine were superb.

We stayed in one of the rooms complete with hot tub and thoroughly enjoyed the whole stay…if only we’d been able to stay longer!

Again we were made to feel so welcome and special, nothing is too much trouble and all the staff are all friendly and pleasant without being overbearing. I can honestly say as soon as we leave we are already planning our return! Gilpin Lodge is all about the detail and that makes each stay worth every penny.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Gilpin_Lodge, Owner at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, responded to this review, July 26, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to make such lovely comments, we are very happy to hear that Gilpin holds such fond memories for you both – hopefully both past and future! We do hope to see you again soon.

Warm regards,
John, Christine, Zoë and Barney Cunliffe
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kent
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2009

We had just been married two days prior to our stay, this was the perfect start to our honeymoon, we booked last minute on our way up to Scotland and booked the garden suite -Cat Bells. We really cannot say enough good things about this place, the attention to detail is magnificent, from Molten Brown products in the bathroom, the bed turn down service and Barney chats with guests on the terrace. The place really exceeded our expectations, my husbands first visit to the Lake District and I haven't been since I was in my early teens, you forget how breth taking it is. There are Lama's and great walks from the hotel but to be honest we just made the most of our stay, our room had a hot tub, and was so tranquil. We had our evening meal at the restaurant which was up there with some of the michelin star restaurants we have been too. Fantastic location, romantic setting, friendly informative staff yet a relaxed homely feel. Worth every penny and worth the 6 hour drive for us

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Gilpin_Lodge, Owner at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, responded to this review, July 26, 2009
Thank you so much for your very kind review, we do hope that the rest of your honeymoon was fantastic. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you next time you come to the Lakes.

Warm regards,
John, Christine, Zoë and Barney Cunliffe
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Address: Crook Road, Windermere LA23 3NE, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Windermere
#3 Family Hotel in Windermere
#5 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
#5 Business Hotel in Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Gilpin Hotel & Lake House 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A friendly, unpretentious, luxury hotel set in the beautiful Lake District National Park, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House has been family owned and run since 1987. Members of Relais & Chateaux, the Cunliffe family were the proud winners AA 'England Hotel of the Year 2012', English Tourist Board Awards for Excellence 'Small Hotel of the Year 2012', the Catey 'Independent Hotel of the Year 2013', and Condé Nast Johansens 'Most Excellent Country House Hotel of the Year 2013’. When you stay at Gilpin, you’re not just choosing a bedroom, you’re choosing an interior design with fabulous fabrics, wallpapers and furnishings. We have evolved Gilpin Hotel over the last 25 years, spreading out instead of up, so that fourteen of the twenty bedrooms lead directly onto the gardens, many with private decking and cedarwood hot tubs, and all with lovely views. Gilpin Lake House is, put simply, a sanctuary, where just six suites enjoy exclusive access to 100 acres of private grounds, including a stunningly beautiful four-acre private lake, swimming pool and the new Jetty Spa. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the hotel’s stylish bar and wine cellars before dining in one of four intimate dining rooms (complimentary chauffeur provided for Lake House guests). Head Chef Dan Grigg ensures exquisite cuisine in the 3 AA rosette restaurant; the 5-course menu has plenty of choice and is a celebration of some of the finest Lake District produce and West Coast seafood. For Lake House guests, the Swedish style spa treatment room has been built to blend with the environment, raised 3 metres into the tree canopy, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake. The Jetty Spa Trail is a bespoke Spa Journey designed to gently stimulate and revive the senses. Begin with a consultation to create personalised spa products just for you. Then to the spa for a private swim followed a relaxing salt snug and a reviving salt scrub shower. Through the woods to an aroma massage (and that view), followed by green tea and appetisers on the jetty. To top it off? Champagne in the hot tub, and bespoke spa goodies to take home. The ultimate goal – a deep relaxation that will stay with you for a long time. Quiet, untouched, and devoid of traffic or people the setting instils a sense of peace and calm. There are no weddings, conferences or children under seven to disturb the peace at Gilpin, just warm smiles, fresh flowers, and friendly, unpretentious service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gilpin Hotel And Lake House
Gilpin Hotel Windermere
Gilpin Lodge Windermere
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House Windermere, Lake District

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