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“Informal place ideal for walkers”

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The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Ambleside
Certificate of Excellence
Falkirk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Informal place ideal for walkers”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2014

Booked at short notice as a single and was given a double room with no supplement. The room had a large private bathroom close by, and although there is the inconvenience of having to leave the room to use the facilities, I actually found this arrangement preferable to a cramped en-suite and a robe and slippers are provided. The room is also furnished with a hand basin. There is more than adequate hanging and drawer space. Both room and bathroom were spotlessly clean.
The breakfasts are substantial with home-made bread and preserves. I ate in the bar the first night and the food could be described as plain and ample. The second night I tried the restaurant and was most impressed by the food. The three-course meal plus coffee for £20 I considered to be of a very good standard and value for money. The service was informal but polite and all staff were very friendly.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank nauticalgeordie49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

Took the Mrs for a quite break after Christmas, the welcome was great, brilliant access to the Mountains, great facilities for Climbers (Drying room and dryers), the food was plentiful and very nice, and a good bar with a real fire and great ales..well recommended.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Lee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarborough, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2013

Had a fantastic break at this lovely Lakeland hotel. A power cut on the first morning meant we woke up to the hotel lit by candles (lovely for us as we were on honeymoon and it added to the charm of the place) and had breakfast by candlelight, served by waiting staff wearing head torches. The breakfasts were fantastic, the rooms warm and cosy and the hikers bar a welcome refuge after a day on the hills. We could not fault our stay here and can not wait to return.

Room Tip: Room 9 is a lovely room with a view of the fells and a modern ensuite
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Mrsclairet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horncastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

Before reading, this is solely a review of the famous Hikers Bar, as we were camping near by so cannot comment on the quality of the accommodation.

Was in Langdale for a walking weekend with a friend and staying at the National Trust campsite 2 well known pubs are very close so first night visited the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and enjoyed a fantastic night of live music, friendly staff and good beer.

The 2nd night we decided to visit the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotels famous Hikers bar, with me raving to my friend how good it was and how well regarded among the walking community it was. My experience on previous visits (over 5 years ago) were more than pleasant, but I could not have been more than disappointed this time around!

Upon entering firstly we were met with what can only be described as a dead atmosphere, very few people and a cold feeling. Not thinking too much of it we decided to order some food and a couple of beers but were greeted by what can only be described by one of the rudest and insulting bar staff I have ever met.

Upon approaching the bar the aforementioned bar man was having a casual chat with whom one presumes was the chef. It was not a conversation about meals or anything to do with the guests, just a casual chat about whatever they happened to be discussing and laughing about.

Now having worked in a pub you do have chats with other members of staff, but if a guest walks in the conversation would very quickly be put on hold, but oh no as this went on for at least at least 3 or 4 minutes, which in that time my friend and I were just met with what felt like occasional piercing glances as if to intimate we were disturbing their private conversation and should come back another time. When we were finally served, we were met by the brisk and rude mannered bar man who then found it quite funny to respond insultingly to my tired question of a table for two, and managed to fail on even the basics of conversational engagement.

Alas, on placing our drink and food order (relatively poor selection) to which I was abruptly advised 'I suppose you'll want chips with that' like some kind of inconvenience, We paid already knowing we'd leave straight after dinner to then find out their were no spare tables, but were very kindly rescued by a friendly couple who suggested we join them as they would be leaving soon.

The food was relatively quick in coming which is helpful after a long day in the mountains, but was very unceremoniously dumped on the table and once again with very little attempt at conversation made. I will give the ODG credit for the food, reasonably good portions and tasty meals, but unfortunately on this occasion my visit had already been tainted.

We very quickly scoffed our meals (game casserole and chilli con carni), finished our beers ad left knowing full well where we were heading the Old Dungeon Ghyll. Upon arrival we were met (the comparison couldn't have been more different) by the two on duty staff chatting outside, which when they saw us approaching very quickly ended their conversation to head inside and await our arrival at the bar where we were met with shock horror warm, welcoming and engaging conversation. Pints were ordered and we took our seats in the relatively empty bar (it was a Sunday night and had been packed on the Saturday) with less patrons (I was shocked) than the ODG, but somehow looking much more content, which somehow I was certainly not surprised!

The ODG is a famous lake district hotel and bar with an incredible reputation, but on this visit I was more than disappointed.

As I said at the beginning it wasn't bad, tasty food and drink, warm fire, inspiring pictures on the walls, but for such poor service and rude bar staff it ruined a visit I was more than looking forward too. Luckily thanks to the NDG that was very quickly remedied and a mistake I won't be making again as on my next stay at the National trusts Great Langdale campsite I shall turn right out of the drive way for a good after walk pint, friendly staff and an unforgettable atmosphere!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank OldeManGrover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Malvern, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2013

We were a walking party of six that booked into the ODG. Our previous experience of the ODG had been in the Walkers' Bar which is noisy, sometimes unpleasant and does not trust its customers with glass! As a resident the experience is totally different. The welcoming lady on reception (Sue?) helped with a host of minor external issues we faced on arrival. The wonderful Eva, our server in the restaurant, made a good meal even better and the residents' lounge must be one of the best places to meet fellow walkers in the whole of the Lakes. Just one thing stops me giving 5 stars to the ODG. I'm afraid the bar service in the residents' bar was poor and was made to seem poorer still by a barman who insisted on reminding anyone who wanted a drink that he had a queue of people waiting in the Walkers' Bar. That's not his fault and, maybe, the management need to think about increasing staffing, but he could have handled the situation without being so short with a group of people who were spending a lot more than the smaller number of folk in the other bar.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank PiggyD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

Stayed here whilst on a midweek walking break that was postponed from March because of deep snow. 11 men of various ages and walking ability on a dinner bed and breakfast deal for 2 nights. Let's get to the main points.
1. Nobody said this is luxury accommodation. It's functional, clean and is in fact a pub with rooms.
2. So, not all rooms are en suite but you know that when you book and all bathrooms are near to the rooms.
3. The staff are in fact all very nice especially if you speak to them as human beings.
4. The food is generally very good pub grub with large portions. Unless you are a trencherman then 2 courses are enough. Of equal importance for one of our guys was the fact that nearly all on offer is gluten free so coeliacs have little to worry about. Breakfast is a particularly good experience when a day on the hills is on the agenda.
5. No TV or mobile connection! Great news for us. At least you rediscover the art of conversation and the playing of quiz games in a delightful residents lounge over coffee and drinks. There is free wifi and if it's raining they have a pass for a fitness gym down at nearby Chapel Stile.

So in conclusion ask yourself why you are in the Great Langdale area. If it's walking or cycling or anything else not involving arriving in pristine condition then this is a good option with refreshment of a more than acceptable standard.

Room Tip: Room 8 is huge but not en suite. Rooms 9,10 and 11 are all good options.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Clark0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

This is a very special place. Not only because the rooms are nice, the food is excellent and the hosts most friendly. Not to mention that the langdale area is beautiful.
No, in addition to all this, it is great to be in a place without internet, without mobiles working, no TVs and no radios. Just nice and quiet. And people talk to each other.
Highly recommended. We have come all the way from Norway twice (where we have enough mountains !), and we will be back.

Room Tip: Look at the photos
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NorwayHse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel

Property: The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
Address: Great Langdale, Ambleside LA22 9JY, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Ambleside
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Ambleside
#11 Romantic Hotel in Ambleside
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel Ambleside, Lake District

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