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The Howbeck & Retreat

Howbeck New Road, Windermere LA23 2LA England
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Traveler (319)
Room & Suite (164)
Dining (15)
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.


#42 of 105 B&Bs / Inns in Windermere
Travelers' Choice
Luxury AA Rated 5 star highly recommended, recently fully refurbished guest house just 2 mins walk from Windermere centre. A member of the "Best loved hotels of the world" all rooms have fantastic en-suites some with jacuzzis & massage showers. We have 1 luxury suite with private entrance and patio, double jacuzzi air bath, mood lighting, 2 tv's etc. If you are looking for somewhere special you will not find better in Windermere!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Horseback riding
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Bar / lounge
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary instant cofffee
Complimentary tea
Special diet menus
Outdoor furniture
Shared lounge / TV area
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Room features
Allergy-free room
Flatscreen TV
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Centrally Located
Languages Spoken
English, Polish
1150Reviews12Q+A100Room tips
Traveler rating
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Time of year
Traveler type
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  • English
Popular mentions
Anonymous wrote a review Sep 6
1 contribution
We stayed for one night at the Howbeck. On arrival the staff were very nice and accommodating and the room was well furnished and clean. Coffee/tea making facilities were provided as well as toiletries (although not the White Company i.e. branded as advertised). The location was okay but not brilliant, it is a good 25 minutes walk to the lake. After our meal we came back to the room to find our TV did not work, after around an hour of messing around trying to retune it, we gave up! It was only when we mentioned this upon checkout that we were informed that all the tvs were not working due to issues with the aerial. (Not sure how true this was as we heard a TV on in the neighbouring room). If so, that is fair enough but a bit of a shame as we had spent all day walking and like to relax in the room. However, it would have been nice to have been made aware of this upon arrival and a discount applied! I do not think it is reasonable to charge the full price for the room if any of the features are broken/not working I.e. not being delivered as advertised. The beds were not the comfiest (pillows and mattress too firm). Breakfast was 8.30am -9.30 am and checkout was at 10.30am. Personally, we thought this was a bit early and quite cheeky - almost like they were wanting to get guests in and out as fast as possible. It is a very narrow window to get breakfast. We work full time and wanted a relaxing break, a little longer in bed certainly goes a long way towards that. We were really looking forward to the breakfast as online we had seen how it was 'award winning'. We were asked to submit our preferences by 9pm...sad to say the breakfast was very average and even a little disappointing. Just to stress that the spa is not on the site, it is around 5 - 10 minutes drive away and padlocks are provided. Although it was a nice addition to the stay, the pictures and description on the website made it look more luxurious than it was! It was a very small community gym which had a small pool (classes on in afternoon). You could probably get day access for this separelty for a lot less. Overall, it was okay ... based off previous reviews and the website we expected a luxury guesthouse stay that had partnered with a luxury spa. In reality, it was an overpriced bnb that was charging a luxury price, we wouldn't stay again.
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Date of stay: September 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Response from Colin M, Owner at The Howbeck & Retreat
Responded 2 weeks ago
Dear guest, Thank you for your nice comments regarding our staff, We apologise that we did have a problem with our aerial that effected all the TV’s. We were unaware of this until a guest advised us, luckily, we managed to get an engineer our to fix this issue. Breakfast is served at 8:30am-10am, this is advised during check in and is also stated on the breakfast order form that you hand in to reception. Check out is at 11am, this is stated on our website, out guest information book and all agency websites. We are sorry that this may have confused you during your stay. We are sorry to hear you didn’t fully enjoy your experience, We hope you will try us again one day soon Thank you
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Brendan O wrote a review Sep 3
Datchet, United Kingdom10 contributions
I stayed at The Howbeck and Retreat with my 12 year old daughter for four days. On arrival, the stand out beauty of the building was clear to see. With our room at the front, we often saw people stopping to take photos of it. Great location, a 5 minute walk to Windermere Village, and a 20 walk to Bowness, to the centre area of Lake Windermere. It's downhill, and steeper as the pathways reach to Lake. Worth the £2-£2.50 bus back up the hill after a long day, but easy enough to walk. Loads to do in Bowness, from ferry rides to boat hire. Lots of places to eat, drink, and some great independent shops. Arrival at The Welbeck and Retreat was easy and Steve was very helpful and friendly throughout our stay. He has great local knowledge, which was a big help on several occasions - thanks for looking out for us Steve. The room and interior of the accommodation is really well done and does provide an authentic wow factor; very in-keeping with the building. Quality of cooked breakfasts was high, with excellent and genuinely friendly service from Danielle - a warm smile and friendly chat goes a long way. We had various options from the breakfast menu, all were very tasty and well presented. Overall, great location, warm and friendly staff, beautiful accommodation, loads of local choice for food and drink. I hope to return next year. Special thanks to Steve and Danielle :-)
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Date of stay: September 2021
Response from Colin M, Owner at The Howbeck & Retreat
Responded 1 week ago
Thankyou for your amazing review I know the staff mentioned will be happy to know they have done a good job. we look forward to welcoming you back to The Howbeck soon.
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HR81 wrote a review Aug 2021
15 contributions7 helpful votes
We have stayed at the Howbeck a few time over the past 18 years. We were returning for our 15th wedding anniversary. I requested our usual room, Meregill, but this was booked so we were kindly offered a free upgrade to Greenburn. On arrival we were advised that we needed to complete our breakfast order the night before. This was new to us and disappointing as I never know what I want to eat the night before. I requested American pancakes in the requests box but said I would have eggs Royal from the menu if this wasn't available. In the morning I was presented with eggs benedict. Not what I ordered but I was happy to eat it and it was very tasty. Our main issue was with the room we had been upgraded to. Meregill is at the back of the hotel but Greenburn is at the front next to the main road. The windows were not very good at blocking out the noise from passing traffic so from 7am each morning I was woken up. Not ideal when you have gone for a relaxing trip away. The bathroom windows were terrible, there was no difference in noise reduction whether the window was open or shut. The glass in the frames has not been sealed properly. This meant the bathroom door had to be firmly shut at night to try and reduce some noise. However, the bathroom handle was very stiff and very squeaky so any trips to the bathroom int he night disturbed the other person trying to sleep. There were also a lack of plugs in the room making it difficult to stretch to dry hair in front of the mirror and charge phones etc. Overall this was a disappointing stay as we have had such good times staying at the hotel previously. These issues could be very easily rectified... anyone booking Greenburn should be advised the room is on the road and ear plugs should be provided. A fix to the bathroom door and windows and some extra plugs in the bedroom by the mirror and bed. We mentioned our issues on checkout and were advised they were not aware of them. We would stay again, as overall the hotel is nice but we would not in Greenburn or the other room at the front of the hotel.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Avoid Greenburn or the other room at the front of the hotel (or bring your own ear plugs)
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Response from Colin M, Owner at The Howbeck & Retreat
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear guest, We are sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your stay as much as you did the first time. We have an extensive breakfast menu however we do not offer American pancakes and therefore do not have the ingredients to make them. As returning guests that are celebrating their anniversary, our manager kindly upgraded you to our deluxe room free of charge, we apologise that this was not to your liking as we are on located on the main road and our deluxe room is at the front of the building. We would love for you to come stay with us again and this time we will allocate you to a room at the back of our guest house Kind regards,
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Piyush66 wrote a review Aug 2021
Purley, United Kingdom88 contributions14 helpful votes
We stayed at The Howbeck for five nights, it was recommended by a friend and we were not dissapointed. The staff were welcoming and always on hand, if we needed anything. Breakfast was superb! A variety and cooked beautifully. We visited towns in the area by car and the location of the hotel was brilliant, with parking available. An easy walk to town for meals and drinks. The room was clean and the bed was very comfortable.
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Date of stay: August 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Our room was on the ground floor, which was ideal for us.
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Response from Colin M, Owner at The Howbeck & Retreat
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear guest, Thank you for your lovely words, we are pleased you enjoyed your stay We would love to welcome you back in the near future Kind regards
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Carole H wrote a review Jul 2021
1 contribution
We stayed for a night on the 22nd July in the retreat suite for our 5th wedding anniversary ❤ it was perfect the staff we friendly and nothing was too much trouble. My husband had also arranged a little surprise which the hotel was only too happy to help to make it extra special. The room was lovely and spacious and the mini fridge bar was great, the bed was so comfy also the bathroom was amazing and the huge spa bath was great to relax in with the bubbly. We had our breakfast in the suite and had the English breakfast that was delicious and filling. I can not recommend them enough its a beautiful place thats not far from great places to see bars and restaurants, so thank you for making our stay that extra bit special and we had to say thank you with the rose petals lol. Mr and Mrs Howie
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Response from Colin M, Owner at The Howbeck & Retreat
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear carolehowie, Thank you for such a great review, the team were overwhelmed with the "thank you" in petals on the bed. This was such a lovely touch and the staff very much appreciated it. We would love to welcome you back again , Kind regards
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$135 - $187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
the howbeck hotel windermere
United KingdomEnglandCumbriaLake DistrictWindermere
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Howbeck & Retreat
Which popular attractions are close to The Howbeck & Retreat?
Nearby attractions include Thuline Studio - Gallery (0.2 miles), Cookhouse Gallery (0.2 miles), and Lakeland Gardens (0.08 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at The Howbeck & Retreat?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at The Howbeck & Retreat?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at The Howbeck & Retreat?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to The Howbeck & Retreat?
Conveniently located restaurants include The Smith, Homeground Coffee + Kitchen, and Francine's.
Is The Howbeck & Retreat located near the city center?
Yes, it is 0.3 miles away from the center of Windermere.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at The Howbeck & Retreat?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Polish.
Are there any historical sites close to The Howbeck & Retreat?
Many travelers enjoy visiting Townend (2.5 miles), Blackwell - The Arts & Crafts house (2.4 miles), and Bridge House (4.4 miles).