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“Losing its sparkle”

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Holbeck Ghyll Country House
Ranked #14 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Ulverston
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Losing its sparkle”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

We have dined at the Holbeck Ghyll on several occasions In the past, but our visit last weekend was a disappointment. They seem to be catering for too many people to cope efficiently and smoothly. As a result , we all felt overcrowded and slightly rushed.
As an example, on arriving the reception rooms were full so we were given seats in the hall, close to the front door and the entrance to the only (unisex) toilet downstairs, which meant that we had a constant stream of people passing by, accompanied by blasts of icy air from outside. Our drinks took an age to arrive.
The food was good, but unexciting. There are many other places in the Lakes where you can eat better. The staff were generally attentive, but there were so many guests that the service was not all it could be.
We live locally, so did not stay at the hotel. I don't think we will bother to eat there again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lizzie27_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
I am so sorry that you feel that your recent visit to us did not match your previous expectations. We have sent a couple of chairs away for re-covering so we are a some tables down on where wee would normally be. I am also very disappointed that you did not enjoy sitting by the fire in the front hall; normally it is a very popular place.

I was also very sorry to hear that your drinks were slow to arrive. I have spoken with the restaurant manager and he joins me in sending our apologies.

I also apologise that you felt rushed; i can assure you that is not the atmosphere we intend to create. We do want people to relax and enjoy an evening with us. I do hope that you will give us another try in the future. I would be delighted to get your details directly so that i can reassure you that your next visit will be as good as all your previous ones. Please do write to me at the hotel directly.

Yours sincerely

Andrew McPherson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (316)
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Yorkshire
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

Four of us booked an overnight here. It was chosen for its location and Michelin starred restaurant. Meet and greet was professional and we were quickly shown to our fell view suite. Room 8. The suite was large, well appointed. Spotlessly clean and comfortable. Unfortunately, and mentioned in an earlier review, we too were overlooking the construction work at this side of the hotel. Whilst my husband found watching a digger hammering out foundations somewhat bemusing, I was not amused with the constant hammering and vibrations that meant we could not enjoy our suite until after 5pm. The rest of the hotel seems immune to the noise although in decent weather it will be impossible to enjoy sitting outside here, anywhere, during this work. Our dinner and breakfast were beautifully served and we have no problem with the restaurant whatsoever. If we had been told of the building work, we would have asked to move or paid to upgrade to another suite. We are a little concerned and feel it is sharp practice to expect guests to tolerate this without notice. Whilst we applaud their would-be green credentials, we feel a little aggrieved and none too happy with part of our stay here. I would add that we did not ask or expect a discount. That is not our style.

Room Tip: Do not book room 8 or adjacent rooms
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank GillWYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
I was sorry to read that the building work disturbed you. As you are aware it is three rooms that are affected and we are hoping that the groundworks will end this week; I am sorry to say but they have over-run. Thank you for pointing out that the noise is restricted to a small part of the site and I would like to reassure future guests that their stay should not be affected.

I was, however, heartened to read that my team did a good job in looking after you. I would be very happy to enter into correspondence with you regarding your return visits - I ask that you contact me directly at the hotel.

Yours sincerely

Andrew McPherson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

A hotel which we had been looking forward to going to for months and months. We expected great things from the food and we got it. Staff very nice. Surroundings beautiful. The Spa was great as well. Were we told about the massive building site which was the view from our room (Eltermere suite) when we booked though ? Sadly not. Not what you would expect customer service wise when spending £400+ on one night ! If you want to stay in your room (or have a lie in) and it's between 8.30-5.30pm be aware that it will be a constant noise of diggers, rock smashers etc There is obviously a management policy not to tell people of this as they don't want to lose bookings. If the same thing happened in Spain on your Summer holiday you would probably sue the travel agent.
Very disappointing attitude. Could AND SHOULD so easily be a 5 out of 5. Give it a few months or try their neighbours, The Samling (although you will probably hear the noise from there as well !)

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dom P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Although we have already been in email contact and I am looking forward to welcoming you back to Holbeck once the building works have been complete, I can reiterate, for the readers of your review, that I was sorry that the works disrupted your stay.

Three of our rooms look out onto the site and if there is any noise then it is restricted to a small part of the site. We have finished the groundworks now and there is no more rock smashing going on. We are continuing to tidy up the site so the view is always improving; your photo shows the site after we had removed a small number of bushes. This is now fenced off.

Once again, I look forward to welcoming you back.

With all good wishes

Andrew
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Yorkshire
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2014

This was our third visit to Holbeck Ghyll, and won't be our last. We were fantastically lucky with the weather during a two-night stay in early March. Our lodge room (called "Mrs TiggyWinkle" - can we have some more macho names please?!) was excellent, with a fantastic lake view, and a balcony where we could sit outside and enjoy the unseasonal weather, while drinking Damson Gin.

We ate in the restaurant both nights, and enjoyed everything we ate. One small request for the bar before our next visit - please can you add dry (Sercial) Madeira to your list of aperitifs? Breakfast, too, was top-notch.

Congratulations to Andrew and all the staff - this is a fine place to visit.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jonathan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a good review. I am delighted that my team looked after you well. I have passed your Sercial request on to stefan who will swing onto action! Look out for it on your return!

With all good wishes

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stainton, null, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2014

We stayed at the holbeck for 1 night in the langdale suit, It was very clean and decorated beautifully, we had our best nights sleep in along time in the lovely bed, but the TV didn't work in the main bedroom properly and the bathroom was decorated exceptionally well but the shower which was above a bath was a yellow stained plastic shower ( very disappointing). The constant noise from the hydraulic pecker that was breaking stone just over the fence was very off putting. We had a lovely meal but the crab terrine starter didn't taste of crab what so ever and the wine we choose for our meal wasn't available although there was plenty to choose from. We had a stunning view from the shared balcony and the service was outstanding.

Room Tip: ask about construction work before you book.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rob O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
I am very sorry that the construction noise interfered with your stay. I would be grateful if you would contact me directly, at the hotel. This way I am able to answer you concerns directly.

Yours sincerely

Andrew McPherson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2014 via mobile

Having stayed at Holbeck previously and loved every minute of it I surprised my husband with a 2 night break away for his birthday. We were both really excited about it.
So why did it not live up to this excitement?
Yes, we were in room 9 with the view of the "big hole" (and we weren't told about it). Yes, we were given wrong directions to the place we were going on Friday evening which wasn't helpful on dark country lanes. Yes, when we arrived it was raining but we were unable to park outside the hotel to unpack the car.
But there was something else missing and I've been trying to put my finger on what that is. Much of it has been covered in other reviews but in essence I think what was missing was the thought or interest in the customer.
I still love the building and the view but did I feel special? Did it feel as though I was somewhere wonderful? No I didn't.
Where were the usual pleasantries with the customer? Not once was there a greeting when we passed reception. All was a bit "big hotel"ish. There was no genuine interest in the customer until I checked out and was asked if I'd had a nice day the previous day. But even then when I gave my feedback I didn't get the impression I was saying anything new or particularly relevant.
Was it because we were travelling with a 6 year old (an excellently behaved one at that) and therefore we weren't able to dine? I did get the impression that staff seem to be very focused on diners and other visitors so residents might simply get in the way especially if they're not dining.
I wouldn't say the experience spoiled our weekend but I would say it didn't make our weekend any more special, which I am disappointed about as that is part of what you should go to Holbeck for.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Maria J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
I am so sorry to read that we did not reach your expectations this time. You should have felt special, of course. As I don't know your name or the date of your stay I am unable to comment on the specifics but I would ask that you contact me directly, at the hotel. I will do my upmost to make sure that I can reassure you that we do care about our guests.

Yours sincerely

Andrew McPherson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We stayed here for one night as part of our mini moon around the north of England. Despite the (expected) rain, the views and scenery are absolutely stunning from Holbeck Ghyll. Our room was on the top floor (which caused some issues with our bags!) with a beautiful canopied bed. Everything about the hotel oozes elegance the staff are efficient and friendly without being overbearing, but the cosy touches are also there - I loved the roaring fire and wellies sitting in the vestibule when we arrived.
The food is out of this world - perhaps to be expected from a Michelin starred establishment, but all the same, we loved both dinner and breakfast the following morning.
Just a couple of nitpicky things. The dining room is tiny - and cramped! I felt like I was getting a little too close and personal with other guests. There is also very little room to park. You should also expect Michelin star prices - even in the Lakes! I did also get a spa treatment, but not the one of my choice as I did not book early enough - make sure to book before you arrive!
These things did not spoil it for us - but are worth bearing in mind if you are thinking of visiting.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank L K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
skelbo_11, Owner at Holbeck Ghyll Country House, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
Thank you for giving us a good rating and taking the time out to review us. We are all glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to us. The dining room is a bit small and, yes, you are close to other tables but we hope that the fact that you are dining in Lord Lonsdales Oak Panelled original dining room made up for that - we are glad that you enjoyed your overall experience. We have expanded the car parking area up above the hotel which now provides much more parking space so I hope, on your return, that you will find this a positive change. And, again, you are right, the early you book the more choice of treatments that you get - some of our therapists specialise in certain treatments which means that when their column is full there are some treatments that we cant offer.
However, overall, I am delighted that you enjoyed your visit to us and I hope to see you back very soon.

With all good wishes


Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holbeck Ghyll Country House

Property: Holbeck Ghyll Country House
Address: Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere LA23 1LU, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
#8 Luxury Hotel in Windermere
#9 Family Hotel in Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Holbeck Ghyll Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This luxurious country house hotel is set in eighteen acres of private woodland and gardens, in England's picturesque Lake District. Holbeck Ghyll offers 23 individually designed en-suite rooms, most with spectacular views over Lake Windermere. The Health Spa offers a range of treatments, sauna, steam room. Food is an integral part of any guests stay, and the Restaurant, which retained a Michelin Star for 14 consecutive years, will not disappoint. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel Windermere
Holbeck Ghyll Country Hotel
Holbeck Ghyll Country Windermere
Holbeck Ghyll Country House Windermere, Lake District

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