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“Location, Location, Location!”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights from 2nd May over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. We had booked directly with the hotel since we had specific room requests: Cot for our baby, a family room, a fridge in the room and above all one of the hotel's renovated rooms. We had decided to trade off a lake view for a more modern room. Upon check in we were given an unrenovated room with a lake view and no cot!
Our initial displeasure at the above points were soon erased though as the location and the ambience of the hotel won us over. The view from our room was spectacular as was the view from the lounge and dining areas. The service from all staff was excellent and we had breakfast each day plus one evening meal and the food was to a very high standard (if slightly on the expensive side!).
Overall we had a very relaxing time at the hotel and we would definitely book to stay there again. Without the views and the location, the hotel would have seemed 'run of the mill' and expensive, but the overall package was well worth paying for!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Colin_and_Liya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 6, 2013

Please do not waste your money on this place it is an absolute dump for the extortionate prices you pay for one night - total disgrace!!

We had decided to stop off in the lakes on a journey back up north from London The first night we stayed in Armathwaite hall which was lovely (separate review) but to put it briefly excellent service, beautiful views, superb spa and very classy 5 course meal in the evening....... service was honestly impeccable.

We were then able to stay a second night but unfortunately Armathwaite were fully booked on the second night so started phoning around to see where else we could stay.

A few hotels that we had called had mentioned this old england hotel and were the only ones that had availability. Anyway the woman we spoke to when booking assured us that it was a beautiful hotel and apparently we were getting a king executive feature room???? - what the feature was i don't know!!.....anyway considering the price was the same we thought...ok it must be quite good... what a mistake to make such an assumption.

When we arrived....it was like driving into Blackpool and when we seen this dingy looking hotel we were totally shocked and so disappointed.......
We were told that the hotel had a car park but were not told that it was an outdoor car park completely separate from the hotel. Now considering we'd just bought a brand new top of the range sports car, my husband was not best pleased.

So went in to speak to reception and "Andrej" has got to be rudest person on a reception desk i have ever come across.... I had asked him where the car park was and all he kept saying was unload your luggage and we will take the car and park it. When i tried to explain that this was not going to happen and my husband would prefer to park the car himself, he continued to make rude facial expressions, shrugging his shoulders and raising his voice continuing to say the same thing....i was so disappointed with this attitude that from that point on i really did not want to stay here...but could not cancel even though we were told whilst booking that we could since we'd booked it so lastminute. Anyway so i had to come out and send my husband in. Another hotel manager came out and directed him to the car park - simple!!!

By this point i was so upset that we'd paid the same amount for one night and had gone from one extreme to the other and the attitude had just totally ruined the day from that point on.

The rooms were really outdated and had mould and disgusting tiling in the bathroom. I was told we were getting a King executive room - to find it was 2 single beds pushed together. Still don't know what the feature was!

Aside from that, there was a lovely spanish lady on the bar, very friendly and the restaurant is actually a great experience. Worlds apart from the hotel itself, forgot for a short while that we were still in this dump of a hotel lol.....The service in the restaurant was really good too as was the food.

Anyway if you're going to spend close to £400 for a night then please go to somewhere like Armathwaite Hall or i'm sure there are a few others of the same luxury and class.

This place you definitely do not get what you pay for, it's a complete and utter rip off!! Perhaps if they sort out the attitude of their staff on reception things might have been tolerable - but still majorly disappointing that they can get away with charging so much when the hotel itself is more like a 3* if that!!!

Needless to say as soon as we woke, we left and that was 6.30am - desperate to get out of the place!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bonnyscotz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We stayed from Thursday 25th April to Monday 29th April, having booked the hotel directly as I have used other Macdonald hotels for business and for pleasure. Was not disappointed with the hotel and the Spa is excellent. We used the pool, gym and had treatments, very relaxing and the staff in the spa are very pleasant. An experience not to be missed.
The hotel is on the Lake (Winderemere), and as most Macdonald hotels are always of a good standard in lovely locations. I have a couple of suggestions which might be considered - there is no free wifi in the hotel and considering that we had this facility in a local tea shop, I think the hotel should take this on board. The breakfasts are very good, loads to chose from - the ordering was a little hit and miss but overall no complaints. We caught a party of travellers one morning which depleted the fresh fruit and cold meat bar and this took a whilel to replenish. We had dinner one night and this was excellent, standard of presentation, quality of food and service were spot on. Dinner for 4 of us cost around £115 without wine.
The rooms we had, 229, 230 & 231 were on the 2nd floor but the windows are fairly high up hence restricted views of the lake. Newly refurbished it would seem, good beds, sofa in the room, generous size bathroom with bath and shower, safe, coffee and tea facilities with a bottle of fresh water every day. The size of the TV's varied from one room to another, much to the annoyance of my husband, our TV was the smallest of the 3 - not that we watched too much anyway.
My overall experience was very good, the check in was a little lengthy, we waited 10 minutes and then decided to go for lunch and came back later, there was one person on reception, Paul - there were quite a few people waiting and he was stuck with one person's query. A little annoying. Would recommend this hotel, it is very clean, we found the staff to be very pleasant and the location is superb. Lots of local shops and places to eat and drink, so book, you will like it.

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

With views to die for I don't think you could ask for more friendly staff always on hand adding to the feeling of relaxation would definitely return and there are loads of places to eat and drink right on the doorstep ( if you don't want to eat in the hotel)

Room Tip: Go for a lake view room it's worth the extra
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Steve O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

The hotel itself is lovely, the service is not. Due to a problem with the website, my initial enquiries about Afternoon tea for my dad's 70th birthday weren't answered, but Michelle, the events manager then helped me immensely and offered me a complimentary Tea, a nice gesture. She then helped me plan an afternoon tea my dad would love.
We arrived early, but had to ask if our table was ready 15 minutes after our time. We were pointed to the table. Our private area was not in fact private as they hasn't closed it off and other guests were there. The decorations hadn't been put out as discussed and the cake I'd brought wasn't there. The food was lovely and my dad enjoyed the afternoon, but it wasn't what had been discussed. When I pointed this out at the end, I was offered a free Tea, and then I noticed we had not received the original complimentary tea! They also couldn't find the cake at first.
I sent an email later to point out the obvious problems, and was promised an explanation but nobody never got back to me.
It is a shame, as the hotel and location are stunning, but I would much prefer to visit a place where customers are valued.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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2  Thank SharronMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

If you avoid buying a drink from the bar, not really necessary when there are so many lovely wine bars and pubs in walking distance, then this place will not disappoint. This was my second visit and once again I walked in stressed from busy life and walked out feeling totally chilled. Staff are great, breakfasts are super and the location is to die for. We were in room 321 and left our curtains open at night so that we could wake up to the lake, wildlife and boats and it didnt disappoint.

Room Tip: Pay a little extra for a lake view if you are able.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank W0lfy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013 via mobile

Just read the reviews. After staying there the weekend and all I can say is. Those who wrote them must be really fussy or they must stay in hotels that are 5 star. You get what you pay for! And at The Old England you get that and then some.
What I witnessed about Andrew, was person who tries his best to please with the rest of the staff.
Andrew and the rest of the staff. I hope you read this and keep doing what you are doing.
I look forward to staying there in the summer.
Brilliant hotel and location.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Bodd14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

Address: 23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF, England
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
#6 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range: $113 - $394 (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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