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“Amazing first night of our Lakes Honeymoon...”
Review of The Samling Hotel

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The Samling Hotel
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I had been hoping my husband would notice my hints about staying at The Samling, and I was not disappointed! From the moment we arrived at the gorgeous hotel we were greeted with impeccable attentive service, including a bottle of champagne to the room in recognition of our honeymoon. The rooms in the hotel are comfortable and homely, but with touches of luxury. We spent the night in Barker Brow and did not want to leave the next morning, with beautiful lake views to stare at. The dining experience was one of the highlights of our Lakes trip, the food was incredible, the turbot and cheese course were our personal highlights. The service again was knowledgeable and efficient without making us feel uncomfortable or harassed. We would return to The Samling in a heartbeat, thanks in particular to all the staff for making our first night in the Lakes the best!

Room Tip: Try to get a room with a view of Windermere-definitely worth it!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank la_ura25052013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 2, 2013

Great food and service at the Samling. The highlight was Turbot in an Asian broth. Great theatre which led to the creation of a wonderful dish with sublime textures and flavour. Probably the best fish dish that I have ever eaten in this country...Full marks for ingenuity.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

We wanted something to special to celebrate our birthdays and found a deal with the Telegraph which included the 7 course tasting menu. The hotel is more of a large country house rather than a corporate hotel. When we arrived we were met outside the door and taken to our room which had a fabulous view down Windermere. The room was large and comfortably furnished without the gloss that you sometimes find in posh hotels. Maybe the carpets could have done with a clean but this was homely and none the worse for that.
The 7 course dinner did not disappoint. The food was delicious and the service excellent, with the young waiter telling us about each course as it was served. It wasn't just learnt by rote as he was also able to answer any questions we had. The staff are young, enthusiastic and seemed to care about providing the best possible service.
A good night's sleep was followed by a satisfying cooked breakfast the following morning served to our table - none of this buffet rubbish!
Our stay finished as it started, with staff wishing us well and generally making us feel like we were welcome guests rather than just another customer.
Overall, the Samling lived up to our high expectations and we would certainly look to go back soon.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the lake. There are also rooms outside of the house which may be a proble...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Bea091
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

We visited at the end of a honeymoon trip to the Lakes. We do not regularly stay in places such as The Samling and as such, it was the height of luxury. The room (Dovenest) was one of their cheapest - mostly because of the lack of a lake view - but was very comfortable and the bathroom with separate shower and bath was huge! We were welcomed by friendly staff on arrival and shown to our room. The hot tub was so fantastic (the weather was too which helped), we booked it again for the next morning! We had the tasting menu for dinner - at a £15 upgrade cost each. Given the extra courses that we got, this was definitely worth the money. The appetiser was an interesting idea of mussels with a brown ale froth - we weren't totally convinced. Salmon with beetroot and grapefruit was great and fresh - but we did think the salmon was lost in the strong flavours. The next course of ham hock terrine with a quail egg and pickled vegetables was delicious and impossible to fault. A turbot dish in an Asian broth was great theatre next - and also tasted superb. The main of pork was a bit mixed - the crackling and shoulder was incredible - I would have eaten plenty more of that - the pork belly was melt in the mouth, and creamy mushroom sauce perfect. However, the large piece of pork loin which should have been the main event, was a little bland and my wife found hers a bit tough. Pre dessert was exceptional - theatrical and refreshing. The main dessert dish was also excellent although maybe a let down presentation wise compared to the rest of the meal. We just had a bottle of wine to accompany the meal but I thought that the prices were pretty reasonable - although they also went astronomical for some! Overall we thought that if we had paid £50 for the 3 course a la carte, we would have left a bit disappointed and even hungry, but for the extra courses, it was good value. The canapes were also lovely! It felt like the cost of £5.95 for coffee and petit fours was a bit steep after the meal so we didn't have that.
When we got back to our room after dinner, the bed had been turned down and some lovely chocolates left for us - very nice! Breakfast the next day was great - particularly the Samling Smoothie.
The grounds were well kept and nice to walk around but given they advertise their 67 acres of land, the area accessible from the hotel was pretty limited. The drive up was steep but absolutely fine, especially if you approach from Windermere direction.

There were negatives - for us not enough to take away a star, but we might have expected better:
- we had to phone reception once to remind them we had asked for milk and it had not arrived.
- there was no shower gel/body wash with the cosmetics and again we had to request this
- breakfast service was not very efficient. I had pretty much finished my full cumbrian before the toast was brought out, even after a reminder.
- Although the cleanliness of the room was perfect, there was some shabbiness, stained chairs, slightly mildewy blinds and a rather odd, bare toilet cubicle that wouldn't have been out of place in a pub bathroom!
- When we arrived they should have pushed the hot tub better - we had to ask again about this as it wasn't mentioned.
- Maybe they hear it all the time, but we did say it was our honeymoon - we weren't expecting a freebie but perhaps a little extra fuss could have been made given the special occasion for us!

Overall, a great place for a special getaway, but definitely at a cost. Probably only nice for a couple of nights as the facilities are quite limited for longer (no sports facilities, limited room for relaxing in the gardens).

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tjf00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Just got back from a one night stay in Yan room, one of the standard doubles. Although a nice comfortable room, and no problems, it was nothing special. What you are paying for here is the incredible service, and attention to detail. The staff are incredible, and nothing is too much trouble. If you do stay here you must try the seven course, sample menu, it was incredible. Gorgeous food, each course presented with a description of what you are about to eat. The setting is also lovely, with views out over the lake and hills. We had breakfast in our room, which was delivered at no extra charge. An amazing hotel, which we thoroughly recommend. One staff member , kirsty, was particularly attentive .

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank biffa42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Plus points:
Location is excellent
Food is fantastic and reasonable value
Staff are extremely helpful and knowledgable
Negatives:
Getting in and out of the drive is tricky as very steep. Best to come at it from the Windermere end.
The room we stayed in was looking tired and the staircase incredibly noisy (not good if going to the bathroom in the middle of the night)
Slightly short staffed at times!
Due to Tripadvisor rules I can't say if these negative points are doing to be addressed, so ask the hotel staff.
It good now but should be even better in a year's time. Go there.

Room Tip: Ask for a lake view
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Superman66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We stayed here on a Secret escapres special offer, which included the tasting menu.
We arrived early and our room wasn't quite ready. We were asked if we'd like tea/coffee, which we took in the lounge and came with homemade shortbread and was coplimentary.
We were then shown to our room - Yan, one of the standard double rooms, which was really nice with a huge bath tub. The only downside is that it doesn't have a full shower, but only shower head attached to the taps. Really confortable room an quite large.
We managed to book the hot tub for an hour and take in the spectacular views over Windermere.
Drinks before dinner weren't too expensive and then the tasting menu for dinner. It was absolutely wonderful. The meat course was ork, which I don't particularly like and they were ver good at offering an alterantie as long s both me and my husband had the same. The food was amazing and served with a description of what we were eating. Just what we'd expect in a top restaurant. Equally we chose quite an inexpensive bottle of wine and it was described to us as it was served. After 7 courses we were extremely full, but somehow managed to find room for coffee and petit fours.
The toiletries provided in the room were of very good quality and plentiful. Complimentary bottled water and crisps were provided on the hospitality tray. There was a coffee machijne and various teas. Only problem for me was that there was no decaffinated coffee, although I'm sure they would have sent some to the room if we'd asked. Fresh milk was delivered when we requested it.
Whilst we were at dinner our bed was turned down and a little bag of chocolates left - they were shaped as letters spellling 'good night'.
The following morning we opted for breakfast in our room, which was again wonderful.
Basically nohing was too much trouble. The service was excellent and not too formal to make it stuffy. The food was absolutely amazing. wonderful experience and one we want to repeat.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Julie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Samling Hotel

Address: Ambleside Road, Windermere LA23 1LR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Windermere
#6 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
Price Range: $362 - $915 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Samling Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
3 Aa Red Star Hotel 3 Aa Rosettes1 Michelin Star ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Samling Hotel Windermere, Lake District
Samling Hotel

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