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“Great food, great service, lovely room!”
Review of Hillthwaite Hotel

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Hillthwaite Hotel
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2010

We visited Hillthwaite House Hotel for our 3 night mini-honeymoon in July and thouroughly enjoyed our stay. The staff were friendly and polite, and the service excellent. On our second and third days, we were given the best table in the restaurant for dinner and breakfast, with a gorgeous view over Lake Windermere and into the mountains (probably as they knew it was our honeymoon - we also received a card and complimentary chocolates). The food itself was excellent, and the complimentary tea and cake on the terrace was very pleasant too!

The room, whilst not of absolutely 5 star standard, was very pleasant with a lovely view from a little balcony and the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in, including our own! We had complimentary bathrobes and slippers, as well as mini bottles of wine. The hotel had a good selection of DVDs which could be borrowed for free from reception.
The jacuzzi bath was great - we broke the start button on our first evening but let the staff know the following morning when we went out and it was fixed by the time we arrived back later that day.

The hotel has a small swimming pool with sauna and steam room which it was nice to make use of after a day out walking - although the pool is not ideal for doing lengths since it is very shallow at one end (good for kids though!). All the public areas (the bar, lounge, restaurant, terrace are very pleasant and tastefully decorated. The hotel is within 10 minutes walk of both Bowness and Windermere, both of which have plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Altogether, we had a very enjoyable, relaxing stay and would certainly recommend the hotel to others.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank LinGazSheffield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,369 - 1,375 of 1,511 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2010

Excellent hotel beautiful meals
and really lovely staff
especially in the restaurant

thank you for a super relaxing peaceful weekend

will be back soon i hope!!

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Thank lindsay58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2010

This is a gorgeous hotel with outstanding quality of service, excellent food and staff with a "can do" attitude.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Holidaymaker186349
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2010

I'll start from the beginning of our one night stay...When we arrive we were given a very warm welcome from the lady at the desk. She informed us that we had booked room 15 but room 16 was also available and that we could choose. We were taken upstairs (our luggage carried for us) and shown both rooms. We ironically plumped for room 16 instead. Good start! The view of the lake is limited to say the least but I guess you could see more of it in the autumn when the trees lose their leaves.. We did like the room which was smaller than expected but the bed was huge and really comfy. Good flat screen TV, Jaccuzi bath was a novelty and worked well. Four mini bottles of wine...We were feeling at home and looked after.

I went downstairs to ask about dinner and was informed we could have a free piece of cake and tea/coffee. I tried my luck and asked if we could have it in our room....No problem and it arrived. Best cake I have taste I a while. Whilst this hotel does not come across as amazing from the outside, I forgave this!

We went for a swim and a sauna. Quite basic down there but just fine enough. The 'fake grass' around the pool someone pointed out on here is petty in my opinion.

So, how come I have given this an average rating? Up until now things were very good. The customer care, quite faultless.....

Here is the BUT...

Dinner. Let me take you through it.

Firstly, you have to order well before you eat! Why? Never been asked for this before.

The canapes are a bit of a joke really, tasted ok but two tiny items each. I have been to places before where you have 4/5 interesting tasters. One was smoked salmon wrapped in brown bread. How good is this chef?!

I had the pork terrine to start. Tasteless and so under-seasoned. I got bored of it at halfway through.

I then had the soup. Too salty, way too salty. carrot and corriander? No corriander to talk of.

Duck confit. The worst dish I have tasted for a long time. Tough, flabby and I think it may have been microwaved to heat it through. Appalling.

Creme brulee...so cold, I thought I would find a frozen it in the middle. Just wasn't very good.

My wife had salmon kebabs which she thought were adequate. Then seabass. Now, there is simply NO WAY this could have been pan fried, sent to the pass and then onto the table. It was floppy, soggy and plain poor.

What annoyed me was that this hotel makes a great play on the food and for that matter, the chef . When I pay good money I expect more, alot more. I do love food. I am quite critical when it comes to food but this was a joke and an expensive one at that. I paid £220 for our one night stay and I booked it for the room (good), service ( very good) and food (terrible). The food is sent out so quickly I had to ask them to slow it down which they did. I was asked to just say when we wanted the main course...I did and within a couple of minutes it appeared, freshly cooked? I don't think so.
The breakfast was pretty good on the whole and no complaints there. Again have had way better but after the dinner experience it was most welcome.

After dinner, rather than complain at the time, as I felt it would be more appropriate, I went to the front desk and had a quiet word. I was listened to most politely and I asked that something be done about our bill in the morning...

When I paid the bill, the lady noted that I had had a problem with the meal. We talked some more and went over old ground. Some money was taken off the bill which I agreed with. What irritated me was that I was told that " nobody else had complained". That does not make my comments any less relevant. They were very good at dealing with the whole dinner thing, to their credit.

All in all, we had a good time and a quiet break together but the food at dinner was a real let down. My advice would be, that if you are going to stay there, eat somewhere else.

I would not go back however because there are other places to stay that are better value for money despite the good customer care.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank PacoBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2010

This Trip Advisor member has quite obviously decided to put on the mantle of 'food critic.' His use of the word 'pass' reveals some professional knowledge of kitchen logistics and therefore his comments must be treated accordingly. On the other hand, they do lead us to wonder whether they may also disguise a desire to be perhaps a little overly critical of a fellow chef!. However, as always we welcome constructive critiscism and have addressed the points he raises with our kitchen brigade, but in all honesty we must balance these against the overwhelming feedback we receive praising the high quality and value for money of the food we offer. As far as pre-ordering of dinner is concerned our staff are all well aware that any guest not happy with this arrangment must be given the option of ordering at the table.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2010

Stayed at Hillthwaite House Hotel for the second time. Loved every minute of it. The staff are all friendly and helpful, and provide exceptional service.
The food is top class, great five course dinner, beautifully presented. Super cooked breakfast. The Italian restaurant manger makes sure everything runs smoothly, and that everyone is happy, his skills and personality would not be found wanting in a 5* London hotel.
The public rooms some very recently refurbished are warm and welcoming. Outside large terraced area, furnished with good quality chairs and tables, the view is stunning.
Our bedroom, no: 11 was very comfortable with armchairs, flatscreen TV. and the best quality 6 foot bed I've slept in in a hotel. Duck down duvets and lots of good quality pillows. Nice clean modern bathroom with lashings of hot water This room has a lovely view over Bowness and Lake Windermere.
After a long walk the swimming pool, sauna and steam room were very welcome
We hope to be going back very soon, and would recommend this hotel looking for good food and a comfortable stay in The Lakes.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pamhotel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2010

We stayed again at the Hillthwaite after a few years of staying elsewhere and were very pleased we went back. We have 2 dogs and they were, as always, very accomodating. The staff iin the restaurent were very friendly and efficient. The lady on reception was lovely. The food was first class. We were lucky with the weather and spent a very enjoyable afternoon sitting on the terrace admiring the view. The rooms are spacious and clean, but the hotel can be really warm inside. The gardens are well tended and plenty of room to walk about. There is a nice walk at the bottom of Thornbarrow Road (turn right at the bottom and cross the road) and go down Sheriffs Walk. The only warning I would give is that the bar prices are very expensive, but not really any different to other hotels of this standard in the Lakes.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Suzanne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2010

We booked a good 6 weeks before our stay, and upgraded to have a lake view. My friend had already booked in when I arrived, but when I asked for my case to be taken to my room I was looked at in horror by the receptionist (man). So i dececided to take the case myself - not a good start!
On viewing the room, I felt we must have been given the wrong room, to see the view of the lake you needed to be standing up to look out of the window. The room was a little shabby, the bathroom was nice and modern.

The hotel had an "old" smell to it - not sure what it was - smelt like my grannys house. It was clean, just an old smell.

Dinner was poor for me, as I don't eat meat or fish, and have an allegy to rice an peppers. The mushroom pasta dish tasted very sweet - infactrI think they must have used sugar instead of salt!

Breakfast was much better - although I did not get what I had ordered on the first morning, and it became a joke each morning on what we would actually be served v ordered.

The worst part of the stay was the lack of hot water! I stayed 3 nights, and only managed to get a hot shower on my departure morning, by getting up at 6am, to ensure there was enough hot water. We did inform the hotel on the first morning, and a very rude receptionist looked at us as though we were making it up - she said "well the boiler is on, everyone else has hot water - we will check it out" . On return later that afternoon, we were informed that the hot water was wroking perfectly ok - infact it was very hot - were the words of the receptionist. I was pleased - looking forward to a hot shower at last - but unfortunatley it was stone cold. We called down to reception, and the receptionist arrived to check the water -(this was a different one from the morning, and very pleasent). she agreed that there was no hot water, and said she would investigate. 10 mins later I was informed that the 2nd boiler had now been turned on, and that I should have hot water within 10 mins - needless to say - no hot water. I was then offered to use another room on a different floor. This is very poor and not what I would expect from a stay in any hotel.

The Italian head wiater/manager was very friendly and an asset to the hotel.
The receptionist who arranged for me to have a shower in another room was very pleasent and understanding.

We were offered a voucher off our next stay - but sorry, we will not be going back

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank aqu67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAKER, Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2010

I certainly regret that your member appears to have had a less then memorable stay at the Hillthwaite and I empathise entirely with the desire to have constant hot water, On investigation I have discovered that we were experiencing an intermittment technical problem with one of our hot water boilers which appears to have had a 'knock on' effect on the volume of hot water available during your member's stay. However, although obviously too late to remedy the inconvenience suffered by your member, I am happy to report that this problem has now been rectified.

I am very concerned that your member apparently experienced a reluctance by a male member of staff to provide assistance with luggage. I can assure your member that all of our reception staff are fully aware that arriving guests must be offered assitance with luggage, this is an essential part of the hotel's standard service practice. I can only assume therefore, that on this occasion there appears to have been a breakdown in communication for which I apologise. However, I feel that the vast majority of our guests are very happy with the level of customer care and service the hotel's staff provide and this is confirmed by the reviews of other Trip Advisor members who found thisparticular aspect of the hotel's service to be highly satisfactory.

I am not going to comment on your member's personal opinion of the food but would respectfully suggest that the evidence demonstrates that most of our guests are more than happy with the quality and choice of the food offered.

Finally in response to your member's 'old' feel comment, perhaps this is because the hotel is a traditional 19th century Lake District building and every effort is made to ensure that any improvements/modifications carried out, sympathetically reflect and retain the traditional nature of the hotel's character.

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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

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:
#5 Family Hotel in Windermere
#9 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
Price Range: $164 - $272 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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