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“Lovely hotel ....some staff forgetting the basics.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel ....some staff forgetting the basics.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2009

I stayed at this hotel as part of an educational residential course. The locationa in fabulous and in general the service is very good but it is a shame that my overall enjoyment was coloured by a my experience at the reception desk.

The food is outstanding for a hotel of this class .... particularly the cooked to order breakfasts (an unfortunate rarity these days) and the personable East European Bar staff are delightfully friendly and engagingly entertaining.

I was taken aback that my feedback that the blinds in my bathroom were laden with encrusted dust and bent and kinked (in a fashion my cat would be more than impressed with - not shared) was met with the proficient response that this would be passed to the Head Housekeeper. No apology then! Ok....let it go. I enquired after my requested paper
and was advised that they had only just arrived ... no problem ... I'll just take my case to the car and collect on return. .. or so I thought! On return I was advised that the porter had taken them, which she confirmed on the telephone, and advised me to collect same from the room. Having gone up the stairs to find no paper outside the room, I was then asked to come back in 10 minutes! Again no apology!

A shame really...as this is a lovely hotel with great staff, but let down by one of the team who wasn't playing "ball"

Don't let this put you off ... this is a lovely hotel to stay in and I would have no hesitation in staying again.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1,544 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (360)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Tewkesbury
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2009

I booked a two night stay online which was fairly easy, checking in was another matter which is a shame.

I feel this hotel has an amazing setting with some of the worlds best views, there seemed to be no management presence until the owner dropped in for the night. Everyone seemed to have been pulled in and put there best suits and shoes. Big difference although i feel the owner got all the attention.

The staff on duty were lovely and tried there best, the hotel has clearly had some major investment and has some great potential.

Check out took forever as there was only one girl on the desk with guest checking in at 10.00 (five of them) hence our long wait.

With some more staffing/relevant at the right times this will be a memorable place to stay

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Midlands
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2009

Location was superb for a relaxing weekend, did not have to use the car at all. Lake is just a few yards away and provides superb views all day long - from breakfast to afternoon tea and from the room in the evening. Staff were friendly and helpful on the whole. Continental breakfast was adequate. Spa facilities very good, although shame the pool was cold. Overall very good, but expensive.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Morecambe
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2009

I booked this hotel for myself and 3 friends as I found a special rate with Hotel Connexions. I always look on Trip Advisor and on the whole the comments were positive. I have to say that we had a fantastic time! The staff were extremely friendly and helpful to the point of the receptionist lending me her own umbrella as I had forgotten my waterproof! The rooms were 2 completely different ones in different parts of the hotel. The Lake view one was stunning (305)- mainly because of the Lake View! The other room (15)overlooked the street but the room itself was perfect - large, new bathroom, fridge, tea and coffee etc. Beds all comfy and very clean. Lounges sumptuous, swimming pool beautiful, breakfast very good although we would have liked cooked in with the b&b price - can't have everything - the continental was varied-fresh fruit, cereals, ham, cheese breads etc....I really have to say though that the staff were superb. Many thanks to those on duty Friday 8th to Sunday 10th May - we couldn't fault your professionalism and friendliness!! Looking for the next special offer!! Just another footnote - one of my friends left her Nintendo DS in the room and it hadn't been reported - we thought that it had gone forever BUT.....it has been handed in and is in the process of being returned! FANTASTIC _ GO AND STAY THERE!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Manchester
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2009

I stayed here for one night with my boyfriend as a bank holiday treat and was a little anxious after reading numerous reviews about the hotel being 'tired and tatty.' I am extremely fussy but thought this hotel was fantastic. Very classy. Lovely lounge area where you can have afternoon tea looking out onto the lake.

I specifically booked a room in the new part due to the reviews I had read, and I'm so pleased I did. The bathroom was lovely - a seperate bath and shower and very spacious. The room was a really good size ( I only booked a classic room which is the basic one). We didn't have a view but that wasn't a problem for me at all. Lovely fluffy dressing gowns and slippers etc and all very luxurious.

The staff were friendly and helpful too. I had read reviews where people complained about breakfast. We were seated looking out onto the lake and had lots of choice from the continental selection - from toast, croissants, cold meats, cereal etc and fruit. It was more than ample. My boyfriend had a slight moan at the lack of the full english breakfast but even then, he was full after the continental!

Location - perfect - right in the centre, but not rowdy.

I had also seen that people had moaned about having to walk from the car park to the reception. It was a 2 minute walk!! I don't understand why people would moan about this, when some hotels charge for parking.

Pool and Spa - again, very lovely, clean and new.

I would definitely reccomend this hotel. Whilst it wasn't cheap, it was luxurious and lovely for that special break...

  • Stayed May 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
    • 3 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.
Gloucester England
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

Just got back from two nights staying in this lovely hotel. Firstly the location is just fantastic, you could not be any closer to the lake except if you were in it!!
It is also just a short walk from the local shops, pubs and some very nice places to eat. The hotel has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment which shows in all areas, the Spa is very modern and clean with a good pool but no hot tub.
Our biggest gripe is the cost of foood and drink in the hotel, the menu was over priced and the bar prices were just silly. Luckilly it is next to a great pub (The Stags Head) where prices were normal and service good. You even have to pay £6 for any cooked breakfast even when we had paid for bed and breakfast, but the cold buffet is ok.
We would stay at the hotel again because of its location.
Ian

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2009

We thoroughly enjoyed two nights recently spent at the Old England. We had booked a standard double room and were very pleasantly surprised by the size of the room. It was very spacious with ample room to relax as well as a large bathroom. The room was also spotlessly clean. The hotel appears to have been recently refurbished and is very stylish throughout. The public rooms in particular are very luxurious, with lots of large, comfortable sofas and armchairs and beautiful views over the lake. We found all staff, from reception to housekeeping to waiting staff in the restaurant to be very welcoming, helpful and friendly. The restaurant is lovely- again with stunning views across the lake and we found the food to be of an excellent standard- both at breakfast and dinner. One thing to note is that the BB or DBB rate includes continental breakfast only and not a full cooked breakfast. This is not particularly clear from the hotel website and I did hear a couple of people comment on this. However, we found the continental breakfast to be more than ample (included cereals, fruit, pastries, toast, juices, cold meats and cheeses and two choices of warm freshly-baked bread) with all items replenished regularly. Cooked items are available from an additional menu which I thought was reasonably priced with a good choice on offer.
Whilst at the hotel I used the gym and spa and again found all facilities to be excellent- the gym being well- equipped with modern, up to date Technogym CV and weights equipment. I also had a treatment in the spa and this was a truly relaxing experience. There are a number of treatment rooms, a gorgeous relaxation room for before and after your treatment and robes and slippers are supplied. The changing facilities have everything you need and again, are spotlessly clean.
All in all, we had a fantastic stay and definitely hope to visit the hotel again.

  • Stayed April 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.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

Address: 23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Bowness-on-Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#6 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Standing on the shore of Lake Windermere, the historic Macdonald Old England Hotel and Spa is an ideal base for exploring the Lake District. The award-winning Restaurant offers unrivaled views over mature lawns to the lake. Four flexible business suites make the Old England a natural favorite as your next meeting or conference venue, while achieving a work-life balance is effortless at our luxury hotel spa. Inquire about exclusive use for weddings and conferences. Car parking is available and is chargeable per overnight stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Old England
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Bowness-On-Windermere, Lake District

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