We've stayed here each year for the past 3 years, and booked up this year to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, it no longer seems to be the quiet little hotel that it used to be. The hotel is now taking in a lot more big coach groups than it used to, with the result that service seems to be suffering. It can be almost impossible to make your way through the tiny Reception at times, with suitcases lined up in the doorways. Food isn't what it used to be either - the restaurant seems to have been 'rebranded' (like other Macdonald hotels' restaurants) - it's no longer possible to eat there every night as the menu doesn't change. Our first meal was fine, but the second one, on the last night, was awful. So salty that I couldn't eat it. Poor service as well - coincidence that they were dealing with a big coach group that night? Credit to the hotel that they didn't charge us for the food that night - but still a meal spoiled. The Macdonald chain have also rebranded their loyalty programme but failed to contact me about this and I only found out on check-in - to be told by one staff member that it had all been stopped and I should contact the club hotline; to be told by another that I could still accrue points and he would chase this up for me. We had hoped to use our points that visit for treats but the confusion means this wasn't possible. It doesn't seem that the hotel (chain?) is interested in loyal customers anyway. Can't ignore the fact that the rooms are comfortable, the location is absolutely excellent (especially with a lakeside view) - just don't eat there as it's nothing special any more.
- 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. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Macdonald Old England
- Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Bowness-On-Windermere, Lake District