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“Fantastic Christmas break”

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Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Watermillock
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fantastic Christmas break”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Stayed here for Christmas and loved it. The staff are this hotel's major asset,l so cheerful, polite and helpful despite the fact they were working over Christmas. In addition, great location, fabulous food and a comfy bed… couldn't ask more from a Christmas break!
Lovely old house, little on the chintzy side for me, but lovely lounges with open fires and a well-stocked bar.
Definitely recommend this for anyone wanting to get away from it all at Christmas or any other time

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anne-Louise S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (249)
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English first
coventry
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Partner & I booked for just one evening to break up a long drive from Scotland south. Its just 6 miles or so from the M6 .. a daytime drive along Ullswater lake. A nighttime drive to be taken slowly!!
Incidently, I booked as I had had dinner there before and it was truly lovely and I always fancied staying.
The house is beautifully located on magnificent Ullswater lake, and the building itself is gorgeous - once an philanthropic industrialists home - he developed wonderful grounds around the grand house which are still wonderful today and beautifully kept. A joy to wander around, sweeping right down to the lake edge - complete with helipad! But if you are a mere mortal, dont let that put you off. Mainly due to the warm, friendly, yet gently formal service and attitude of staff. Professional and real to a tee. You never feel you somehow shouldn't be there, like some other hotels of this calibre. Reception is friendly & efficient. Never fussy.
We had the dog with us .. and dogs are welcome here. (£15 surcharge) There are of course only certain rooms available to dog owners who wish to bring furry mates with. These are on the ground floor, conveniently accessible to the gardens from the rooms with patio doors. Rover can also join you in the old charm style lounges with great open fires, if you fancy a tea or coffee.
The rooms are well sized and have everything you need. Bed extremely comfortable. Pillows - heaven. Good sized bath that fills up in minutes with hot water. Old style shower head - hot and elegant though not power shower as we know some of them. But perfect.
We booked for dinner in the elegant restaurant, but due to a bout of life threatening man flu, we ordered room service ;-). I can vouch for the fine quality of the restaurant having eaten there before. The food is unpretentious but stylishly presented and beautiful. Room service was equally as good though a limited menu. Prices reasonable - a rib eye is £20 for example. I had an excellent chettinad curry. We are midlands based, so have the best of curry cuisine locally. This chettinad was as near to perfect as it could be. The dying man had a parsnip soup and ceasr salad - soup (£7) wonderful, salad (£13) a little unexceptional. Home cut chips (£3.25) divine!
We slept very well. Almost impossible to detect noise from other rooms.
Awoke early and its worth it to walk the dog down to the lake edge as the morning brightens. The mountain view is spectacular, the lake calm and if you listen carefully ... you can hear ... the fabulous sound of nothing .. but the wind, birds. Joy. That the Lake District for you though. Look back to the house from the lake and you realise just how beautiful, charming and well loved this building must have been and is now.
So. To breakfast. Back into the lovely restaurant and what a spread. All the usual healthy fruits, muesli's, granola's to warm fresh bread with cheeses, hams and salami's to pretty yogurt pots with compote's to (best avoided) but gorgeous croissants, danish, mini muffins ...
Then, seated, the friendly staff bring fresh coffe and tea, toast and the menu of cooked breakfast is delivered. I thought the signature breakfast looked fab if not huge! We had boiled eggs - simple but perfectly cooked. Some dishes carry a £2.50 surcharge - such as eggs benedict and a few others .. but staying at Leeming House makes you want to treat yourself. So although we opted for simple, Id say go for it!! Its unlikely you would be disappointed.
The corridors, conservatories, lounges and rooms of this hotel are all decorated in very traditional style, but it never feels twee and avoids somehow being grandiose. What it achieves is a warm, charming, spacious, homely but elegant feeling.
I loved staying here. Even for only one night. I love the house, gardens and atmosphere. With such incredible walking country all around and on the doorstep, I can very definitely imagine being out of the fells and the elements and returning to warm fires at Leeming House. It is not a budget hotel, however, so if I ever come into money, I will do that!! But our overnight treat was worth every penny.
If I have one quibble, it is this. I booked via the hotels own website. I booked for Bed, breakfast and dinner. However, it appears that this is actually considered and B&B booking only with 'an allowance' towards dining. I am a little confused by this, still. On phoning to change from restaurant to room service, the lady said that my allowance was around £58 to spend on room service. Presumably this is the same for the restaurant (?) .. so I imagine it is likely that in the restaurant with wine, its very easy - and likely to exceed that especially with wine - so in fact, I did not book bed breakfast and dinner .. I booked bed and breakfast and was given a partial allowance towards our dining (not wine - this was also charged on top with room service) .. so watch this. But really a small thing just to be aware of. Perhaps this is a usual type of tariff. Not being a regular patron of luxury hotels, I dont know ;-)
Still, we were happy to pay at the end. We felt relaxed, refreshed and like we had both enjoyed a bit of something lovely and special.
Go if you can.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank franky1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

Lovely hotel in amazing location, wonderful views of the lake from our room! We booked the hotel on a diner bed and breakfast deal. We deliberately booked the time for our dinner at the time of book the room knowing that we were staying on New Year's Eve and it would be busy.

When we arrived were told that we had been booked in at 6.45pm when our original booking was 8pm. I did feel instantly annoyed that this had been changed. And I think the man at reception picked up on this. What is the point in booking a time in the restaurant if they are going to change the time without any communication with us.
Anyway the reception rang us back and said they could accommodate us at 8pm damn right they should!!

After that we went to our room which was lovely and spacious and clean. It was a actually a twin room with the beds pushed together, you couldn't really tell, but we should have been informed. We spent some time in the room then went down for a drink before dinner. We were given the hard sell straight away, asked us if we would like this wonderful bottle of wine, I asked how much it was, £28, some people may say this not expensive, but I am no wine buff. House wine for me!! Any way, the staff can not do enough for you and are very attentive. Meal was lovely, I agree with others I was a little hungry after it. We sat in the lounge after the meal, you hear a pin drop, really felt like everyone would hear my conversation with my fiancé. We ordered coffees before leaving the restaurant to be brought to the table in the lounge........40 minutes and asking where they were twice. We did get one of the coffees free.

We decided to go to the room before midnight, I just did not feel comfortable, I little generic background music might not go a miss, that is what I meant about the lack of atmosphere.

Breakfast, very nice, cooked to order and had some very nice high quality in the cold buffet part. My poached eggs, looked nice but they were a bit too runny.

Overall a nice stay but room for improvement.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Gem-marie30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Booked this room some 8 months early and was amazed by the position and the view. Old world feel to the hotel, beautiful rooms with balcony and view of lake and mountains. Close by pubs with great food or the restaurant if wanting to eat in. My daughter was a little surprised by the size of her risotto when we did dine in, perhaps an entree size in Australia, and only comment because the waiter indicated all mains were "complete meals" but she was left hungry all the same. The lack of easy access to Internet was also a frustration as we needed to just check our next booking but require a full BT voucher. Given the price I also was surprised at the lack of help with bags which I struggled out with on my own, and given we are travelling for 7 weeks, I had quite a bit to deal with opening the door etc myself. All that said, the whole experience was very good and would recommend.

Room Tip: Request rooms with odd numbers for level 3 and even for level 2 as these have views if in the annex.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Timprice_64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middlesbrough
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012 via mobile

We spent two nights break in December at Leeming House, what makes the hotel so good is the service from the staff simply great. Slight downfall is you cannot walk anywhere from the hotel and the drinks are a little on the expensive side and they also have no draught beers.

Stayed December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Dave P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pontefract, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

We visited ullswater for a weekend break.Having not been before, we didnt know what to expect.This hotel was absalutly beautifull,with friendly staff, and amazing surroundings.
On arrival it was quite late and we were booked onto the half board option.After travelling for 3 hours we didnt really feel like having dinner in the dineing room, so we asked if the half board option covered room service, which it did! The menu was great,quick prompt service. The girl at reception was so helpful and kind.As its a pet friendly hotel we took our dog, she was even friendly with him!
The breakfast could be described as vast! everything you can imagine,fresh and local produce. the dinner was good too,lots of choice.it was quite formal (posh), with nice music at top class waiter service, but nothing to make you feel like you are out of place.
Our room was spacious and clean and well decorated, it had views of the lake and mountains and french doors that led onto a little terrace and gardens.The bed was HUGE! Our only qualm was that even though it was december and -4 outside the room was very hot even with the heating off,the dog didnt reckon much to this, but it didnt spoil the break.
Overall, a beaufull hotel with lovely staff.I would recommend to anyone who loves walks, good food, and wants a pet friendly 'luxury' hotel!

Room Tip: Room 17 on the ground floor.Pets can just pop out on the terrace and has views of the lake and mount...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank beardmore2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Formby, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2012 via mobile

Just got back from a weekend at the Macdonald Leeming House Hotel, the room number 35 had a fantastic view of the gardens and to the lake beyond, Large, clean room which was nicely appointed with traditional furniture, huge super king size bed made for a great nights sleep, and a full size balcony,
Breakfast was delicious and served in the dining room overlooking lake Ullswater, would definately recommend.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank smast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater

Property: Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater
Address: Ullswater nr Penrith, Watermillock CA11 0JJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Watermillock
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Watermillock
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Leeming House is one of the finest 4-star Lake District hotels offering luxury and comfort in beautiful surroundings. Set in 22 acres of beautiful grand gardens in the countryside of Cumbria, our 200 year old country house hotel offers breathtaking scenery and fine facilities. With direct access to the shores of Ullswater and a private fishing licence, this hotel is a popular choice for family holidays, business and weddings. Macdonald Hotels' Lake District location in Ullswater offers the perfect retreat whether you're on a romantic break away, a business trip or exploring the surrounding countryside. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater Hotel Penrith
Macdonald Leeming Hotel Ullswater
Macdonald Leeming Penrith

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