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“My favourite hotel”

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The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Ambleside
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“My favourite hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2010

I have stayed at some of the best hotels in the country and have enjoyed tea at the Ritz but the ODGH has been my favourite hotel for decades. I simply cannot believe the comments made by some of the so called guests in the review section. I have been a rambler for most of my life and have used the hotel from the days of Sid Cross. I am now a pensioner, a retired university lecturer, and I can say without any hesitation that this hotel is superb. Now if you're looking for a luxury five star hotel there are several nearby. If you're looking for food of the highest international quality the Lakes are served very well but if you're looking for an escape from the stress and pressures of life, away from all of the encumbrances of modernity (including television) then the ODGH is a wonderful antidote to it all. It appears that some of the guests brought their stress with them. It is simply the best walkers and climbers hotel in the district. Who needs a tv when at the end of a day on the fell and a substantial meal all you want is to sit in the climbers bar and chat and sing and drink some of the best beer in the Lakes. The staff are superb and friendly and many guests including this one return again and again. I can only assume that some of the comments came from people with unrealistic expectations. You don't go to the ODGH for luxury - though it is comfortable and homely. I just hope people are not dissuaded from enjoying a week of walking in some of the finest country in the Lakes staying at a genuine ramblers and climbers hotel. The Ritz it isn't but its the best antidote I know to the ratrace - which appears to be the normal home of some of the guests who have arrived recently.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank VeteranRambler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    113
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    17
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See reviews for
48
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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
Carlisle, Cumbria,
Level Contributor
282 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2010

The ODG seems to polarise opinions. If you love being in the mountains, prefer a simple hotel with wholesome food, and nice staff, and are willing to forgive a little shabbiness, idiosyncratid rooms and 'questionable taste' (it's all part of the history of the place) - then you will love it (we do! and since my stag night, some 20 years ago I, and now my family, have stayed at the ODG several times).
If you like everything perfect, then you probably wont like the ODG.
But whatever you do, after you have walked in Langdale, call at the bar, and sit outside with a pint......!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank notshort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2010

The ODG is well known, and we wish we had not taken the cheap deal but come here first. They get the things that matter right, i terms of friendly efficient service and just superb food. And the location....sublime.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SandJ45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2010

stayed here last weekend for one night.

pretty tired looking room (room 8). great beers in the adjacent bar but TERRIBLE food in the bar. avoid the fish and chips and have another two pints instead.

tables at breakfast were so close together I could barely move without knocking the gentleman sitting behind me.

service throughout was friendly but not that attentive.

in summary, it's a great location for walks but don't come here for the food or the rooms, though the local YATES beer on tap made up for what was lacking elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ianian76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2010

Like other reviewers, we were disappointed with the ODG. I had stayed there some 15 years ago, and had enjoyed my stay, and booked this 2 night stay on that basis. It's probably best to list what was bad, and then what was good.

The general impression of the ODG is one of shabbiness. The whole place seems to be run down, with ageing furniture and decor, well past their sell-by date. As for our room - when we arrived we were offered Room 7 on the first floor of the original building, which whilst en-suite was way too small to be called a double room. A small double bed and bedside table had been shoe-horned in. However, we were then offered the much more spacious Room 8, albeit with a private bathroom at the other end of the hall. The room had a washbasin installed. It had a large bay window, but the armchairs therein were aged, knackered and uncomfortable. The towels in the bathroom were ridiculously small, more for a child than an adult. The toilet seat was broken. The toilet paper was dispensed by dispenser, one sheet at a time if you were lucky - why not have a toilet roll??? The pity is, the bathroom had been refurbished fairly recently.

They only appear to have one hairdryer in the whole hotel, and that had a broken earth pin on the plug, sellotaped to hold it in place!!! Unbeleivably dangerous.

The bed was noisy and the floorboards creaked. The bedroom furniture was ancient. The selection at dinner was very poor, and the portions absurdly large. There was a dressing gown provided in the room, but only one!

Now for the good - the location is ideal, and the view from Room 8 of the fells was unbeatable. Despite what has been said by other reviewers, the staff were very helpful and cheerful. Breakfast was excellent, good service and well cooked. The room was very clean, and we did sleep well.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Paul_East_Wittering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2010

Should I really submit a review? I didn't actually stay here - only dined. However I have no hesitation in telling people that I would never consider staying in this dour unfriendly place. I was with a group of friends camping nearby. We went to ODG for dinner and, at 7.40 pm, we were ten minutes late. You'd have thought we murdered someone. We were uncermoniously told we would have to order our drinks and meals very quickly because we were late. The menu had 4 main meal options - 2 lamb dishes, one fish and one vegatarian. The meals came out very very quickly (always a bad sign) and served to us with barely word spoken by the staff. The only positives I can give are that the portions were good and the lamb tasted lovely. A couple then came into the dining area at 8 pm and were told they were too late for a meal. Bad enough you might think but the couple were actually residents!!! We would normally take in 2 courses a few drinks and a coffee. However, we finished our meal, paid without tipping and left as quickly as possible. We walked half a mile down the road to the Stickle Barn Inn and had a wonderful night there being entertained by an acoustic act and were made to feel very welcome by the (mainly Polish) staff. I would never dream of spending any time at the ODG.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JOHNOINK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2010

Just returned from a very cold and wet weekend in the lakes. Alarm bells started to sound as we drew up to the hotel to discover it was covered in scaffolding and a huge tarpaulin over the roof. (A new roof is in the process of being fitted.)
Our family room was on the top floor and there was no view from any windows of the beautiful fells at all because of the tarpaulin and scaffolding! Hotel is extremely cold during the day as the heating only goes on late afternoon so take extra thermals!! Staff are very friendly and although the breakfasts are perfectly adequate with homemade bread being the highlight, the bar meals are pretty grim. Cumberland sausage was not fir for purpose as it was a cheap old sausage which had been hastily deep fried with the chips. Hotpot was almost inedible and swimming in greasy watery gravy. Puddings gave the impression that they had been around for days. The residents bar is cold and lacks atmosphere as does the restaurant where the specials menu never seems to change.
Rooms are clean and could be cosy if they would turn the heating up! Bathroom towels are actually large hand-towels and there is a distinct lack of hot water coming from the inadequately powered showers.
Residents lounge is lovely but again freezing cold! Coffee served in here after meal but took 40 minutes to arrive!
Took the receptionist 45 minutes to work out our bill and we were only there for 2 nights!
All in all a rather cold, expensive and shabby hotel which needs to sort itself out quickly to start attracting the customers rather than freezing them out!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KRoNewcastleUponTyne
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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