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“BRILLIANT!! LOVED IT.”
Review of Hillthwaite Hotel

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Hillthwaite Hotel
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“BRILLIANT!! LOVED IT.”
Reviewed April 26, 2014

We have just come back from a 2 night stay at this hotel we bought on Groupon including 4 course dinner on the first night and breakfast 2 mornings.

I could not praise the staff enough in this hotel, we got their early so we popped In to reception to ask them if we could leave the car which of course was no problem and then headed down to Bowness-on-Windermere, which I find is a nicer walk, closer to the hotel & a better place to visit than Windermere. We came back for check in and we were greeted by lovely (young, brown haired receptionist - didn't catch her name) who checked us in and then showed us to the room, something I found to be a lovely touch. We were in room 31 and it suited us nicely, big zip & link bed (which didn't bother us at all as some people could be fusey about that) that was very comfortable, lovely bathroom, no view unfortunately but that's fine.

We booked in for dinner and were a bit apprehensive but we yet again were greeted by a lovely man (who seemed could of been restaurant manager?) who showed us to our seat with a lovely view (all tables had great view) and once our food came out with was not only presented brilliantly but tasted so good we really enjoyed it and were pleasantly surprised! Breakfast yet again was excellent. well done to the chefs behind the scenes!

I could not fault the staff enough they were so friendly, down to earth and hardworking, credit to management and the owners.
Room was spotless so well done housekeeping!

Id recommend Bowness-on-Windermere whilst staying here and it is a lovely walk down but I did not fancy the walk back up hill (Taxi from Bowness to the hotel doors is only £4!)

Only snag is hotel bar I felt was slightly over priced.

Loved this trip so much, such amazing views, we will be coming back as we got engaged at Lake Windermere which makes It more special and we will be using this hotel!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shandy7691
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, General Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, April 27, 2014
Thank you so much for your comprehensive review. All the staff try very hard to make all of our guests feel welcome and at home. I am glad we succeeded. We really appreciate your feedback and hope to see you again soon maybe for your wedding or honeymoon! Thank you once again.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (438)
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English first
Hinckley
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2014

My husband and I stayed for two nights on a Travel-zoo deal. Upon arrival we were greeted very warmly and politely by reception staff. We were then taken to our room by another member of staff, who also insisted on carrying my bag. We were in one of the newly refurbished 'Cosy' Double's in the annex. We were both equally impressed with the accommodation which had been finished to a high standard and with attention paid to all the usual little extra's (tea and coffee making facilities, hair-dryer, iron and board, plus toiletries). For a 'Cosy' double we thought it was quite spacious and we had a lovely view out over the hills.
The hotel was ideally located for walks into both Winder-mere itself and Bowness - on - Winder-mere and not forgetting of course the local scenery.
The evening meal on both nights and the breakfast each morning were all very good. Only tiny criticism is that I found a tiny bit of eggshell in the poached egg that came with the starter on first evening and sadly the fried egg for second morning breakfast was not fully cooked (a little pet hate of mine). But all in all excellent food, cooked with passion and locally sourced produce.
One thing we both noticed was the tidiness and cleanliness of the hotel overall. They are very lucky to have some very hard-working and attentive staff all of whom were very polite and well-mannered. The Dining room, bar area, reception, rooms, pool area, gardens, etc are all kept exceptionally clean and tidy.
The only other tiny criticisms are that the hair-dryer was broken and was awaiting replacement, but to be fair to the lady in reception this was in-hand and when I asked she had one ready and waiting to go. Also neither myself or my husband could figure how to properly use the bathroom mirror with built in lights. But I am nit picking now and really being a bit unfair. Hotel was wonderful and we will definitely be going back.
Highly recommend this Hotel and the location is ideal.

Room Tip: We only have experience of the cosy double's in the Annex, but we really liked them. It goes wit...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deborah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, General Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Thank you for your great review and I am so pleased that you enjoyed your stay in the newly refurbished Tendal Howe building. I look forward to seeing you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2014

We booked a short break at Hillthwaite House to celebrate our wedding anniversary and were looking forward to taking in the wonderful Lake District countryside and some tasty meals. And we certainly weren't disappointed.

We had room no. 16, which I think must have the best view in the place. At the front of the hotel, with a floor-to-ceiling bay window looking down to Lake Windermere, it was stunning. We spent quite a bit of time just sitting in the armchairs in the window and taking in that wonderful view. And with a massive bed to sink into at the end of the day, the whole room was superb.

We'd booked dinner, bed and breakfast for two nights, together with tea and scones on arrival, which we were lucky enough to be able to have out on the terrace (in April). The food was delicious - all cooked and presented with an attention to detail that you rarely find. And mostly made from locally sourced ingredients.

This visit was intended as a treat to ourselves - and it exceeded all expectations. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Ask for a lake view - and specify room number 16 if you can!
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Phil W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, General Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
We are so pleased that you enjoyed your wedding anniversary with us. Room 16 is one of our most popular rooms and you can see why. The view is truly amazing. I hope you come and visit us again soon. Thank you!
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Crook, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Have been meaning to write this review since I returned from a one night stay with my partner and son last week. I have nothing negative to write about this place at all. We got a fantastic deal with our breakfast, dinner and tea and scones included, it really was unbelievable value for money. All staff were extremely friendly and helpful right from making our booking on the phone to checking out. Our room was comfortable and clean with a lovely view of the lake. The swimming pool and sauna on site were lovely extras and the pool was shallow enough for my son to play safely in. The food was delicious. Very well prepared and presented and they cater for children too also to a very high standard. The located was perfect, its up a hill so you get lovely views over windermere and it was a short walk into windermere on bowness where there are plenty of shops and places to eat. We were lucky that we had beautiful weather during our stay, so eating our complimentary scones and tea outside on arrival, in the sun was absolutely blissful! Would definitely return here in the future.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jennye09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, General Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for your great review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and you were able to enjoy the sun whilst you were here. We hope to see you all again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

My family and I stayed at the end of March (about 25 of us) after I had recommended this hotel for a family reunion. Sadly, it seems as though the owners have taken their eye off the ball and the service in this hotel has gone down significantly since my last excellent review. I'm not the kind of person who posts negative reviews without good reason and always give an establishment the opportunity to redeem themselves and contact them directly. However, the manager Helen didn't seem to want to resolve my complaint and just made excuses and offered me a discount/upgrade on my next stay (we won't be returning).

My main complaint was that on arrival about 7pm we were rushed into pre-ordering our evening meal. My husband and I had brought our 10 year old son and booked for the three of us on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. I asked if there was a child's menu and was told they didn't have one so ordered the three meals from the menu sheet we were given. Again, on the second night we ordered our 3 meals from the menu sheet as we were again told to pre-order. Even though the receptionist was aware our son was only 10 and took our dinner order, at no point during the whole stay were we told our child should have been choosing food from a children's menu. On the second night he never touched his food and went to bed early. Upon checking out, we were hit with an extra £60 as our son had eaten adult's food. When I complained about this extra fee the hotel didn't want to know.

We had to leave early at 8am on Mother's Day and the restaurant manager had a full-blown argument with me, not wanting to resolve this in any way. We stayed for two nights and the bill came to £520 so it wasn't like we had come on the cheap! I emailed Helen afterwards and was told that as the manager said our son enjoyed the food (which was incorrect anyway) she would not be refunding me the extra £60 (bearing in mind we had already paid for his meals as part of the room fee). I felt this was completely unreasonable as had we been told there was a child's menu our son would've much preferred that anyway.

We also had the following complaints which I am stating in the hope the owners will read so they can fix before the hotel's reputation is tainted by more unhappy customers:

General housekeeping is very poor. My Mother arrived at 4:30pm and had to wait a further 2 hours before her room was ready. There were 3 of us staying in a family room, yet we only had 2 hand towels on the first night. On the second day we returned to our room after a long walk about 2pm and our room still hadn't been cleaned. I had to ask reception to send someone to clean it and it was done about 3:30pm, but just given a very quick tidy (linen wasn't changed or anything but at my request more towels were left). The communal areas were dusty and the curtains in the lounges were covered in cobwebs.

The family booked a buffet lunch for 40 people (as some had come up just for the day). It was a disgrace. At £7 per head (£280 in total) we got 3 platters of basic sandwiches and a few bowls of chips. I only got one quarter of a sandwich as all the food disappeared within a few minutes. We couldn't believe the chef had sent that out for 40 adults! The evening food has in the past been excellent, but as we were a large party dining together it was bog-standard and some of the Polish staff appeared very stand-offish and rude at times. One waiter even told my uncle that we should leave the dining room as they wanted to pack away and it wasn't even midnight!

Breakfast starts at 8am - or whenever they can be bothered! We went down at 8am on the Sunday as had to leave early as our son was playing in a rugby tournament and there was no-one around. We called out for someone and when we entered the dining room it was clear they weren't ready for service. The hotel manager was standing there in his own clothes and looked surprised to see us. We were told to wait 10 mins. In the end we just had some toast and orange juice as we would've been late and had to leave promptly.

As you can imagine, having to argue about the bill on Mother's Day wasn't what I had planned and left me feeling really stressed and upset, especially as we got nowhere with management. The restaurant manager even implied I was lying when I said I asked upon arrival for a child's menu and was told they didn't have one! We felt that we had been completely ripped off and the whole family decided we wouldn't be returning again (which is a shame as my husband and I have stayed twice before and really enjoyed it, plus any future reunions will now be in another Lakeland hotel who will benefit from having about 40 people spending a fortune each year).

The hotel in parts has been renovated beautifully and it has great potential. It is sad that little things add up to become a big complaint if they are not dealt with at the time and the customer is made to feel unimportant. I am sure that once the owners address these issues and teach their staff (especially management) how to effectively provide excellent customer service it will once again be a lovely place to stay, but in the meantime sadly we shall not be returning.

Room Tip: Renovated room are beautiful, but older ones more shabby.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mariposa1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, General Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Over the years, trip advisor has proved a good mechanism of introducing a stream of new visitors to Hillthwaite in this beautiful part of the Lake District. Thankfully, people who regularly use this site can make an informed decision based on our vast amount of excellent reviews. As I have already replied to you personally I feel that Trip Advisor is not the place to reiterate my points to you again. However, I spoke to the rest of your party including your mother who organised the weekend. They were all positively thrilled with their break its just a shame that you seemed to have had tainted your own experience of the weekend. Thank you for taking the time to write your review and I hope you enjoy your future visits to the Lake District.
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Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2014

Friendly courteous staff willing to go the extra mile, from booking to checking out all could not do enough for us, Hotel was clean, with well presented rooms.
Highlight of the stay was the 4 course dinner which delicious, superbly presented most definitely hats off to an amazing chef!
The hotel is ideally placed with beautiful views over looking the lake.
Overall our stay was excellent & we will be returning

Room Tip: Room 12 beautiful lake view
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, General Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for your lovely feedback especially about the chef. He is very talented and does produce some amazing food. I hope it won't be too long until you visit us again.
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2014

Stayed with a voucher for a one night break. Hotel is off the main road to the lake, about a 15 min stroll. The room was clean and spacious. Throughout our stay the staff were excellent, welcoming and pleasant. Well done. The highlight of the stay was the 4 course evening dinner which was superb. It was very tasty,well presented and served impeccably by the waiting staff. Breakfast the following morning was also very good. Had a quick visit to the spa area which was an enjoyable end to our visit. Would thoroughly recommend the Hillthwaite particularly with the voucher making it great value. Finally many thanks again to the staff at the hotel, its good to be able to compliment staff in the service industry!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, General Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you so much for the great review. I am so pleased that the staff made a good impression and the compliments have been well received! I hope to see you again at Hillthwaite soon.
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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 Hillthwaite Hotel

Property: Hillthwaite Hotel
Address: Thornbarrow Road, Windermere LA23 2DF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
#10 Family Hotel in Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hillthwaite Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
You will find Hillthwaite House Hotel is the most ideal accommodation for all types of breaks including short breaks or for use as a base for your walking holiday in the Lake District National Park. Impeccable service and comfort, lovely food sourced from local produce, friendly, attentive staff and the many guests that return to us time after time speak for itself. For Lake District Hotels please look no further than Hillthwaite House Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hillthwaite Hotel Windermere, Lake District
Hillthwaite House Hotel

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