We stayed for 1 night (Sunday) as two couples after a couple of days staying in a YHA at Ennerdale so we thought we would have a ‘bit of luxury’ treat on the way home.
When you arrive at the hotel the first impression is very good, the building looks impressive and the lakeside location is gorgeous. Then your eyes are drawn to the dilapidated buildings to the left that they have tried to mask by a very high fence/gate.
The reception area was rather large and bland with a bar in one corner which just seemed out of place. The reception staff were OK but nothing special (we had a better welcome at the YHA we stayed the previous 2 nights). We had booked two junior suites, one of which wasn’t ready at 3.15 in the afternoon which was poor.
The room: First impression was how cold it was as the heat/cold comes from a ventilation unit in the wall which only works when the key card is in the slot. The second impression was how unnecessarily large it was with a ridiculously massive bed. The rest of the room felt like it needed more furniture in and some pictures on the wall (not the weird pictures of colour swatches that look like they have been left behind by a designer). It was however spotlessly clean but one of the down lighters wasn’t working and there was a noticeable scratch on the coffee table which should have been replaced. The lighting is all wrong as whilst there are two table lamps either side of the TV and two tiny LED wall reading lights by the bed, when you switch off the down lighters (which aren’t on a dimmer) the ‘bed’ area is just too dark. The lighting is also an issue for the bathroom as it is gloomy when you turn the down lighters on as you have to go in and fiddle about under the mirror units to get the wall lights to work. The bathroom again is oversized, the shower was wonderful but the cubicle and shower haven’t been matched correctly and as a result as there was a significant amount of water on the floor outside due to the splashing. The bath was wonderful but you had to get out to reach the wall taps to work the shower attachment. No soap dish means there is nowhere to stand the soap. One of the bathroom taps was quite loose which should have been picked up by the housekeeping. The bathroom extractor hums all night so if you are a light sleeper then I would definitely avoid this hotel. Whoever designed the place should have mocked up a room and lived in it for a few days to get it right.
If you want to have a drink after a day out walking, it's either in the corner of reception, adjacent to the restaurant (you have to walk through the restaurant to get to it) or sit in the ‘sitting room’ which is just plain weird as it resembles an airport departure lounge. Better still go to Tweedies at The Dale Lodge Hotel which was great.
The restaurant was soulless and had quite a simple and reasonably priced menu. The food and wine was good but the small bar area had only one draft beer on which we thought poor. There was one English young chap (all other staff were from overseas) working who we thought was wonderful but they don’t wear name badges so didn’t find out his name. He was the only member of staff who went the extra mile. (If you stay he uses the term “Ladies & Gents” a lot!)
Our stay was perfectly fine but for the money they seriously need to do some self-evaluation and up their game. They have clearly spent a massive amount of cash on the refurbishment and seem to be trying to recoup it in the room rates. It just feels wrong and they have tried too hard and are ‘spot off’
In summary it felt sterile and soulless and completely out of proportion. If the staff made an effort to make you feel welcome it would help but with the one exception in the restaurant it wasn’t happening. It felt more like a big American convention hotel which has been dropped in the Lakes. I really can’t work out who their target market is but it certainly wasn’t for me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the shores of Grasmere Water, The Daffodil Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of the Lake District. Surrounded by stunning Lakeland scenery, The Daffodil is the Lake District's newest luxury hotel. The hotel reopened in July 2012 after a major redevelopment which has resulted in 78 new bedrooms including 14 luxury Suites, a Spa with thermal suite, extensive function rooms and a lake facing restaurant serving fantastic British food with a contemporary twist. ... more less
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