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“Lovely, old rambling hotel”

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Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield
Certificate of Excellence
Rhayader, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Lovely, old rambling hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

As a 3 star hotel this must be at the top of the range. Perfectly located with easy and nearly level access to the town it stands overlooking Lake Windermere. I have stayed in many 5 star hotels in many countries but the service in this hotel is a match for them all.

The Belsfield was booked for a party of 16 and I was not involved in the choice of hotel. I did however look at the reviews on TripAdvisor and was thinking (having read some pretty dire comments) we may only stay one night. What a pleasant surprise! The room was clean and spacious with a really effective easy to use shower. Also the hair dryer was in the drawer not in the bathroom secured to the wall. What a pleasant change. I hate those bathroom hairdryers with handles that get too hot to handle! The food was good too with plenty of choice for both dinner and breakfast and the price of our stay was very reasonable. There are a couple of very nice lounges in which to relax with lush leather furniture. Yes the hotel is old and rambling but they are obviously in the process of updating stage by stage. No doubt the swimming pool (which I didn't use though saw from our room window) will be done at some stage and also the lift: something of a novelty! The reception toilet block was obviously new and there is evidence of other refurbishment. These old hotel buildings must be difficult to maintain with so many nooks and crannies in which to gather dust. However I saw no evidence of uncleanliness during our 3 day stay. Would I recommend this hotel? Yes. Would I return? Most certainly.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RitaLawzam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph_Cobb, Deputy General Manager at Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to read that you describe the hotel as lovely and enjoy many aspects of your stay. The food in particular is an area that we are currently receving positive feedback with and we are constantly looking at ways to improve. Chef has recently launched a new breakfast menu in particular giving guests a greater variety of items to chose from.

You are correct, we have recently embarked on a refurbishment programme. This will bring the hotel up to date with a warm, modern feeling, whilst keeping the hotels current grandeur. Each and every bedroom is being worked upon, improving and increasing the size of most bedrooms and bathrooms and we will also be having a specific focus on the downstairs areas of the building. A new bar, reception and Brasserie are being created. We will also be exploiting the beautiful view from our restaurant as much as possible with the creation of raised seating areas enabling more people to share the view of Lake Windermere and the fells beyond.

Thank you once again for your review and hopefully we can welcome you back to the Belsfield in future.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cobb
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,330 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (424)
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Stoke-on-Trent
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

Nice hotel, we had a back facing room then moved to a lake view room. The lake room was more updated and very nice (but smaller en-suite).

Breakfast very nice, efficient but not pushy. More importantly all areas were very clean.

Belsfield is a grand old hotel which needs a bit of updating, 3 stars is probably ok but any negatives are FAR outweighed by the fantastic location, friendly and helpful staff, great free parking and good food.

Room Tip: Lake view room was more updated than rear room.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MartinMcGraw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph_Cobb, Deputy General Manager at Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to hear that you found the location to be great. We are incredibly fortunate to have be located overlooking Lake Windermere and the fells beyond. Our proximity to the village of Bowness-on-Windermere is also something that most of our guests tend to enjoy.

Thank you for your feedback about the hotel needing updating. Due to such useful feedback from many of our guests, we have recently embarked on a refurbishment programme. This will bring the hotel up to date with a warm, modern feeling, whilst keeping the hotels current grandeur. Each and every bedroom is being worked upon, improving and increasing the size of most bedrooms and bathrooms and we will also be having a specific focus on the downstairs areas of the building. A new bar, reception and Brasserie are being created. We will also be exploiting the beautiful view from our restaurant as much as possible with the creation of raised seating areas enabling more people to share the view of Lake Windermere and the fells beyond.

I am pleased that you enjoyed the standard of breakfast. We have put a lot of research in to how we can increase options for our guests and in turn make breakfast more enjoyable, We have recently launched a new breakfast menu which in turn has been received very well.

Thank you once again for your review and hopefully we can welcome you back to the Belsfield in the future.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cobb
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury
Level Contributor
76 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for our honeymoon over 30 years ago and this was our first return visit. We remembered it as a grand hotel with great food, an excellent wine list and good service. We found that it now does not seem to know what it is anymore. The hotel and bedrooms are very warm indeed, and we had no valve on the radiator in our room to adjust. So we opened the window, but this was not possible elsewhere in the hotel! The pillows on the bed are like limps and no softness at all.This all combines to give the feeling of a place for the elderly, which certainly make up most of the customers. There is little atmosphere in the public rooms, especially as a large TV on the wall in the bar ruins the whole room.The dining room is also unsure of itself, as the food was excellent, someone really knows what they are doing in the kitchen, but the wine list is appalling, with little choice or variation. Staff were fine, but trying a little too hard at times.The Belsfield is feeling its age, as others have remarked, and is in need of a complete refit. The location is superb, and it is worthwhile for this reason alone (plus the food). However, it needs to work out its clientale and then it could be a grand hotel again.

Room Tip: It is only worth staying here if you opt for a lake view - extra, but worth it.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HarpoPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph_Cobb, Deputy General Manager at Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the food in particular. Chef has recently launched his latest seasonal menu which has received some fantastic feedback. Further to this, he is constantly looking at ways to improve the choice on offer and we are currently aiming to produce a third menu to be served in our soon to be created Brasserie.

Due to such useful feedback from many of our guests, we have recently embarked on a refurbishment programme. This will bring the hotel up to date with a warm, modern feeling, whilst keeping the hotels current grandeur. Each and every bedroom is being worked upon, improving and increasing the size of most bedrooms and bathrooms and we will also be having a specific focus on the downstairs areas of the building. A new bar, reception and Brasserie are being created. We will also be exploiting the beautiful view from our restaurant as much as possible with the creation of raised seating areas enabling more people to share the view of Lake Windermere and the fells beyond.

I am sorry to hear that you were not fond of our wine list. Once again this will also be vastly improving with a great deal of choice added to the list. The current wine menu aims at offering a variety of countries, prices, grapes and flavours.

Thank you once again for your review and hopefully we can welcome you back to the Belsfield in the future.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cobb
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clitheroe
Level Contributor
59 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2013

For several years we've enjoyed the Sunday Carvery lunch at the Belsfield whilst staying at our nearby timeshare. It was great value, good food and a splendid location. Now this year the carvery has gone and been replaced by an expensive and pretentious menu. The carvery was always full and booking essential. This year the dining room was only about 20% full in that cavernous room.

Whilst the carvery may not have been very profitable, it did get people into the hotel. The present set up obviously does neither. The management have shot themselves in the good and proper.

Some of the staff were excellent were but others very poorly trained. An order for a Bombay Sapphire gin and slim line tonic provoked a bewildered response in an very sweet but totally untrained waitress.

We and our friends will look elsewhere next year.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Candlemaker10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph_Cobb, Deputy General Manager at Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

I am sorry to hear that you were not as fond of our new menu as the previous carvery. Over the last 6 months we have had a specific focus on quality rather than quantity and believe strongly that our focus should be on freshly prepared, modern cuisine. Our new Head Chef focuses on flavor rather than the carvery style of food. To date, we have received some lovely feedback from our customers. However we do appreciate that this style of cooking is a large contrast to the previous carvery and to keep our regular customers at the forefront of our minds we have retained an option for a traditional roast of the day.

With regards the staff, there is now a lot more information for them to digest in order for them to understand new, modern cooking methods and components of more complex dishes. They currently receive intense training on our dishes. This is also complemented by continuous wine training enabling each and every staff member to both recommend and inform our guests of our food and further more they can recommend wines to accompany each dish. I apologise that the member of staff in question did not know what Bombay Saphire was however. Maybe a lesson on the bar would not go astray for our restaurant team.

Thank you once again for your review.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cobb
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fife
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2013

Lovely hotel first time at Bowness but will certainly be back .The Belsfield was the last word in luxury.and the meals were to die for.Staff were so friendly and helpful.It was very clean and we had a lovely lake view ( which we paid extra for )Only stayed two days but wish we could have stayed longer

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fifer33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph_Cobb, Deputy General Manager at Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay and the food in particular. Chef will be grateful for your comments as he too spends time reading reviews. We have launched our new menu this week which is also receiving plenty of positive feedback. Chef pays specific attention to detail and aims for quality over quantity, using only fresh produce and from local sources where possible.

The lake view is also an area that our guests tend to comment on. We are incredibly fortunate to possess such a view and this is shared by 25 bedrooms, the lounges, bar and the restaurant.

Thank you once again for your review and hopefully we can welcome you back to the Belsfield in the future.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cobb
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arkadelphia AR USA
Level Contributor
44 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2013

The hotel where we usually stay when in Windermere had no vacancies for our selected dates so, after some Internet browsing, I selected the Belsfield. How fortunate. It is located on a hillside above the piers, affording a beautiful view of the lake and surrounding hills but not so close as to be affected by the noise. One may open the window without being disturbed. We had a lake view room, which I would highly recommend. Staff was friendly and helpful, Breakfast was everything one could want, and served in a dining room with a lake view. The building is old and in places it shows, but it is clean and has been well taken care of. Some may complain about the uphill walk from the lake to the hotel but where can anyone walk in Windermere/Bowness without climbing hills? The only question I have is about room temperature during the warm months. Our room was not air conditioned, which was not a problem for us since the weather was cool but it seems that this could be a problem on warm nights.

Room Tip: Ask for a lake view room.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JackArkadelphiaARUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph_Cobb, Deputy General Manager at Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to read that you enjoyed so many aspects of your stay. The location in particular is quite often commented upon by our guests and I couldn't have worded it better.

Breakfast is another area that many guests are very happy with. However we are aiming at improving this further over the coming weeks and are looking forward to offering our guests an even greater choice. This can also be said with the dinner menu as we have launched a new exciting menu with even more choice a matter of days ago.

Thank you once again for your review and hopefully we can welcome you back to the Belsfield in future.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cobb
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester,
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2013

Historic and atmospheric location. Delightful, courteous, helpful, humerous staff.( Not an Englishman in sight.......), Sadly hotel past its prime and generally 'tired'. Lift is positively ancient and frightening. We had "the director's bedroom" apparently. He is clearly more used to Premier Inns than Relais & Chateau. It was however clean and terrific views, but 1960's furnishings apart from the two monster tellys.Priorities a little skewed I think.Food was poor. Both Dinner & Breakfast were canteen quality, old fish and where did theyy get those sausages which must be the cheapest ever? Not a hotel I would recommend unless you want Basil Fawlty type experience.

Room Tip: Try ano location.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gbungey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph_Cobb, Deputy General Manager at Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to read that you found a number of positive aspects during your stay. The staff in particular will be most grateful for your comments, describing them as delightful and courteous. I am confused to the meaning of the comment about there not being an Englishman in sight however. Here at the Belsfield we currently employ a greater number of English staff than those from other parts of the world. However our strong belief is that we aim to employ the best people for the job, irrespective of thier nationality.

The location is also something that often comes up on reviews and I pleased that you found the location to be atmospheric. During the coming winter months, we benefit further from the beautiful views of the lake and the fells beyond when the snow begins to fall and creates further dramatic views.

I am sorry to hear that room 56 was not of your liking. Most guests who frequent the room tend to comment on the incredible space offered in the private lounge, bedroom and bathroom, coupled with the best views from the building.

The food has of late been an area well received by our guests. We have recently employed a new chef, who has great focus on attention to detail and aims to use the best products available to him. All of our food is fresh and chef pays great attention to quality, rather than quantity. All fish that comes in to our kitchen is used within recommended daily time periods by the Health and Safety Executive guidelines and I can assure you is not old.

Thank you once again for your review.

Kind regards,

Joseph Cobb
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield

Property: Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield
Address: The Belsfield Kendal Road, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3EL, England (Formerly The Belsfield Hotel Lake Windermere)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Bowness-on-Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#4 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#7 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#7 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield 4*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in Bowness on the Eastern shore of Lake Windermere and directly overlooking the "Belle Isle", the Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield is the perfect place from which to enjoy a holiday in Windermere. Set in 6 acres of landscaped gardens the boutique hotel offers unparalleled views over Lake Windermere in the foreground, and on the farther shore can be seen the often snow-capped Langdale Pikes and the Fairfield Horseshoe. The Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield has 62 designer bedrooms, including 25 Lake View bedrooms and 12 Garden View rooms, with 2 Four Poster bedrooms and Suites all enjoying views looking down Lake Windermere. Dining is provided in the Belsfield Restaurant and Belsfield Brasserie, with drinks in the Lounge Bar and opportunities to relax and take tea or coffee in the Drawing Room and Library. The setting makes the hotel the perfect location for your dream wedding, with a beautiful new glass reception overlooking Lake Windermere creating a magnificent arrival. Facilities for up to 100 guests are available. Newly refurbished meeting rooms with state of the art conferencing facilities make the hotel the ideal venue for your company event in the Lake District. We are also able to assist in organising special events within the grounds for special motivational or sales driven events using tents and various performances. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belsfield Hotel Bowness On Windermere
Belsfield Bowness On Windermere
Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield Bowness-On-Windermere, England - Lake District

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