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“Lovely hotel and surroundings - stay for the bed not breakfast and dinner”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed May 23, 2011

Received this complimentary break due to a poor service at Kilhey Court, Standish for our wedding in 2010. We arrived on the Friday night and the welcome we received was excellent. We had a lovely room with a lake view and balcony (think this was down to the manager from Kilhey Court) . We went to the restaurant for dinner and the choice of food was very disappointing. If vegetarians don't like mushrooms you will have to eat elsewhere!! The view was gorgeous though. Although our dinners were paid for we decided to eat elsewhere on the Saturday night as the menu didn't change and it isn't value for money. We went down for breakfast and were told we had to pay for any hot food - again the choice was disappointing and the same for both days. If you had paid for bed and breakfast at £120 (minimum) a night you would have expected something hot!! There was a lovely pub called The Albert 2 minutes away which had some good entertainment on Friday night and excellent food. The staff love anyone who is willing to pay over the odds for service (older couples) and will run around after them prioritising over others (especially younger couples)
Everything at this hotel was very clean and well maintained. The free car park was 2 minutes walk away but is not very secure - you need to pay for a card to go in but you get the money back at the end but you don't need to swipe it as you leave the car park at any time so anyone could take your car as it is down a side street - the hotel will not accept any responsibility. Overall a good experience and would stay again - without breakfast and dinner!

Room Tip: You would probably have to pay for it!!
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank sarahhobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldOldEngland, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 30, 2011

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to post your review regarding your recent stay. We here at the Old England Hotel and Spa appreciate all our reviews and comments whether they are positive or constructive and we also share them with the team on a regular basis.
I am disappointed to learn that your thought your meal on the evening was unvaried as the restaurant market menu changes every day and offer a vegetarian opinions as well as our a’ la carte menu that has three vegetarian options in addition.
In regards to the breakfast option, when we refurbished the hotel three years ago we took the opportunity to review all the services that we offered, and how we wanted to sell the hotel going forward.
It may seem unusual that we do not include Full English Breakfast in a Leisure based hotel, but we did do our market research first based on our customer needs before we made the decision to charge.
We found that as the Macdonald Continental buffet breakfast standard was so extensive that our guests were not eating all of the cooked breakfast items like they used to and there was a lot of waste, perhaps it was a sign of the times that people choose to eat more healthily options these days. I would like to make it clear that all our staff treat all guest the same regardless of age and I am sorry that you felt that other guests received preferential treatment as this is never our intention. In with regards to the Car Parking, we have three car parks at the hotel, two being onsite with our larger car park a short walk away from the hotel. Because of this we do offer valet parking and we would have been delighted to park your car for you. Due to the heritage style streets of Bowness we have no option but to use the off site car park as parking around the hotel is very limited. Guest are offered free use of this car park, however if they wish for extra security there is a council cark park 500m from the Hotel with CCTV and is charged at £9.00 per day. If you are planning to stay with us again please do not hesitate to contact me and I would be more than happy to assist you in enjoying the lake view room experience.
Kind Regards
Jonathan

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2,654 - 2,660 of 2,941 reviews

Reviewed May 21, 2011

We stayed in the hotel for two nights in May, the room we were allocated was absolutely stunning, with views over the lake, couldn't have asked for more.
The breakfast was excellent, with plenty of choice, although they were a bit disorganised on the days we stayed, it didn't take away from the overall enjoyment.
All the staff were welcoming from the reception staff to the waiting staff in the restaurant. I would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank stewart1887
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2011

From arriving when the conceirge parked the car, everything was wonderful!! We stayed 3 nights mid week and departed on the Royal Wedding day in April. Our room was for 2 adults and 1 child and was spacious, the only down side was the building work outside (cause of the view) but the hotel can't help that!! Breakfast was lovely with lots of choice and we didn't even order a full english as the continental had lots of choice. The breakfast room had wonderful views of the lake. As the weather was hot, we sampled a couple of drinks on the terrace bar overlooking the lake and it was relaxing. The hours for the children was a bit restricting but we managed to have an hour 4-5pm for a relaxing swim and sauna after walking our legs off all day!! We found all the staff helpful especially the conceirge (the funny grey haired gent). Hotel is in great location in Bowness and we went out for a couple of lovely Italian meals on an evening. Lovely time was had by all!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Riley044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2011

hree day break in April. Gorgeous location and opulent surroundings. Helpful, friendly staff throughout, good bedrooms and superb facilities. Dinner menu restricted (winter fixed menu) but good value and well presented.- and willing to provide alternative food to menu when asked. Continental breakfast is somehting to be cherished - dont bother to pay extra for cooked breakfast.
Not the cheapest hotel but very high standards

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JDGID
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldOldEngland, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 30, 2011

Many thanks for your positive comments. We have always had a passionate approach to hospitality and so it is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at the Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa. I have passed on your kind remarks to all of the staff involved and we are happy to have been of service to you.

I sincerely hope that we have the opportunity to look after you again in the future.

Best Regards

Jonathan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2011

We stayed a night over the May Bank Holiday and had a lovely time.

On arrival our car was valet parked and our bags taken to our wonderful room. Big bed and bathroom and a fantastic view of the lake.

The pool and spa areas were great and when we returned to the room and ordered ice it was delivered by room service in minutes.

We had dinner in the evening in the hotel and were given a table in the window which again had wonderful view over the lake and we really enjoyed the food, again the service was swift and attentive.

Although cooked breakfasts were not included it was far more than simply a continental breakfast. We could have eaten breakfast for hours!

Checkout was quick, though we did leave earlier than most.

All in all it was wonderful, we can't wait to get married there in August!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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Thank blaisey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldOldEngland, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 30, 2011

Dear Guest
Many thanks, I am delighted to receive your positive comments about the Hotel and service. I have made a point to pass on your kind remarks to all of the staff and we are very happy to have been of service to you and your family. We look forward to accommodating you again.

Kind Regards

Jonathan

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Reviewed May 13, 2011

We booked standard family room - travelling just with one 10 years old child. The room was very small with a lake view but also with a roof view of adjacent service block. The room with a bunk bed for children can't be called a room - it was a closet. The bathroom was outdated with poorely working taps and the water barely running. There was no porter to help with luggage. The service at breakfast and dinner was exceptionally inefficient - people were sittied at the tables already taken by someone else, we had to wait about 20 minutes for the toasts to arrive after ordering them first thing. The food during breakfast was good however. The choice was good but they ran out of most of dishes by 9:30 - I guess because they were full and simply couldn't cope. The service stuff - mainly easter europeans - were not very well trained. You could constantly hear guests complaining about service etc. Waiting for a simple drink at the empty bar for 15 minutes is too long.The greatest disappointent was swimming pool which was closed for the children most of the day. They have just 2 slots during lunch time and tea time when children under 13 can use the pool which basically makes it unusable for children. However, the hotel didn't have any reservations to allow small babies at the candlelight dinner. With very slow service it was inevitable that poor babies cried their heads off so you could barely hear the piano. It could have been easily accommodated since there were 2 adjacent dinning rooms. The food at dinner was ok but nothing special.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank VictoriaP_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We stayed here for our first wedding anniversary. Upon arrival we discovered the free parking was offsite (3 streets away) with no offer of assistance with luggage or parking of car and as my husband is disabled this would have helped greatly, instead upon check in I overheard an elderly gentleman being offered both services!

We paid extra for a lake view room only to find we could not control the hearing within the room and the window opened approx 3 inches. Those 3 inches let in the cigarette smoke from the smokers in the garden area below our window.

Staff were 'huffy' when you asked for anything - we requested ice to our room only for it to be delivered by a very huffy gentleman who then decided to argue with us over the ice bucket.

Breakfast was of poor quality for the price - I could see more of the plate than I could food and that was only after sending it back as they got the order completely wrong.

We did find the spa and leisure staff to be extremely helpful and kind. Spa treatments were very good as well as expensive but we left relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the treatments.

We found this hotel did not provide the level of service I would expect of a 4* McDonald hotel and put a dampener on what should have been an enjoyable and memorable time away for us.

  • Stayed: May 2011
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3  Thank FRC83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldOldEngland, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 23, 2011

Dear Guest
We always welcome feedback weather it be positive or negative and ways in which we can improve our Hotel service and quality, and as such, I would like to assure you that all aspects of your review are taken on board and shared with the team.
We have three car parks at the hotel, two being onsite with our larger car park a short walk away from the hotel. Because of this we do offer valet parking and would have been delighted to park your car for you and help you with your luggage. I am sorry to note that you did not see the signage for this service. As you are aware space around the hotel is slight due to the heritage style streets and I apologise that you had to park in our off site free car park. Due to safety reasons our windows only open to a certain degree, had you informed reception of the heating issue you had in the room we would have been more than happy to lower the temperature of the heating to your specification. I noticed you described the staff as ‘Huffy’; please accept my sincere apologies for the shortfalls in service standards experienced at this time. This is clearly not the usual high standard of hospitality we would wish to offer and I am very sorry your expectations were not met on this occasion. I am surprised the selection of breakfast offered was not satisfactory, we do receive a number of positive comments about our breakfast selection quantity and variety; however I respect your point of view on this. I was delighted to read that you enjoyed your spa experience and pleased to note that you found the experience relaxing. Please be assured that we always take guests feedback on board and thank you for writing you comments on trip advisor.
Kind Regards
Jonathan
General Manager

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Additional Information about Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

Address: 23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Bowness-on-Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#3 Business Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range: $144 - $418 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is one of the finest 4-star Lake District hotels. Set on the shores of Lake Windermere - England's largest lake - our hotel offers the best of breathtaking scenery and exceptional facilities. From unrivalled views over our mature lawns, to private jetties and moorings on the lake - our hotel proves a popular choice for family holidays. Our hotel in Cumbria is perfect for country adventures - hire a private jetty on our lake and marvel in the glorious scenery we have on offer. And once you've finished exploring, we recommend a visit to our spa and thermal suite for a relaxing steam before you dine in our award-winning Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Old England
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Bowness-On-Windermere, Lake District

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