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“Beautiful!”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Southport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

We stayed at the hotel at the beggining of August. The hotel itself is very grand and in a lovely setting overlooking the lake (Shame the kids were off school!).
Check in was very smooth, receptionists very proffesional and immaculate. We were fortunate to have a room over looking the lake, I think its the nicest view I have ever seen out of a hotel window. The room itself was very clean and serviced to a high standard however slightly dated decor, but anything modern wouldn't be appropriate in a hotel like this. You kind of forget the decor with a view of the lake and a big window!
We ordered drinks from the bar... Be warned VERY EXPENCIVE! Small white wine (125ml) and pint Lager came to £12.95. However we were given complimentary olives and nibbles which did compensate a little. We ordered 2 large whiskeys later that night which were served in crystal glasses.
Now onto the negatives. Breakfast was awful. It took 10 mins to seat us because they couldn't find our name on the list, it was only when a suppervisior interupted they managed to seat us. 40 mins to even order our breakfast and when it arrived it was wrong. Fried eggs instead of poached. The breakfast staff appeared rude- Bit of a language barrier. Black pudding was like slop, I have never seen anything like it, bacon undercooked and full of fat, slightly confused why a full english option wasn't available you had to choose between beans, black pudding or sausage. Couldn't have all 3! Service caotic, Kids running round the dining room.
On check out we told the gent on the reception desk about breakfast and he kindly appologised and took the 2 drinks off our bill which we had ordered the night previous.
Overall the hotel is beautiful and the staff friendly and proffesional, however don't have breakfast, have a walk up the hill there are some lovely cafes that do a great breakfast.

Room Tip: See if there is a room available overlooking the lake. Opt for a room only rate, the breakfast is aw...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katie172
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,774 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (555)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Richmond-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

We booked this hotel through Otel.com for the Sunday evening of the August bank holiday weekend. When we checked in, we were greated at the doors by the porters who carried our luggage to the room and also parked the car in the hotel garage, returning the keys to us.

The receptionist informed us that we had been upgraded and we were given room 23 which was lovely. It overlooked the lake and hotel garden and had its own balcony with a table and chairs. On arrival in the room, there were glasses of sparkling wine and canapes waiting for us - a lovely welcoming touch. There was a coffee machine with complimentary coffee and my husband enjoyed using this - he likes gadgets!

The room was beautifully decorated and the bathroom was well equipped, spacious and clean. The bed was wonderfully comfortable which was very welcome after a long day walking!

The breakfast was very good indeed and it was lovely to eat it whilst looking out over the lake. It was only spoilt for a while by a man next to us who insisted on talking on one of his two mobile phones throughout his breakfast. Why are people so rude? They should leave the room if they want to make/receive a call. Fortunately he finished his breakfast and left whilst we were halfway through ours.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the hotel and would definitely like to return.

Room Tip: A lake view is well worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

We booked a suite in this hotel, this was very expensive. The hotel website stated this was a feature suite with a separate sitting room. The room we were allocated was not a suite, it was a bedroom and en-suite only without a separate sitting room.

I was not fully sure that we had booked a suite as the booking confirmation I took to the hotel was retained by them.

When I got home I checked and discovered that I had booked a suite and immediately wrote to the general manager of the hotel. They have not replied to my letter.

IF YOU ARE BOOKING AT THIS HOTEL ENURE THAT YOU PRINT OFF ALL THE WEB PAGES THAT DISCRIBE WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR AND IF THEY DO NOT GIVE YOU THE CORRECT ROOM DEMAND IT.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Paul A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, England
Level Contributor
74 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

We have stayed at several MacDonald signature hotels and they have never been a disappointment. This hotel was no exception.

The decor of the hotel is very traditional and this is why it is perhaps chosen by so many oriental tour groups, who appreciate the experience. Although it was what must have been one of their busiest bank holidays, the service did not suffer, except perhaps at breakfast, when on both mornings there was a little confusion about what had been ordered for the cooked breakfast. It was also a little slow on the Monday morning, when three young waiters were occupied in clearing one table? The service at the hotel reception was very good, especially that of the young lady who was very helpful and pleasant when we required assistance.

The rooms are traditional in style (with a suitable hint of Regency) with dark wood, but this fits in with the style of the hotel, which was I think formerly one of the Heritage hotels. I certainly wouldn't like to see the style changed from traditional as it is so easy to get pale and plastic elsewhere. The room and en-suite were clean and the bed comfortable. Unfortunately, the room safe wasn't working, but we were able to store our valuables in the large safe in reception. We had a lovely view out to the lake and the ferries and could have used the two chairs and small table in our room to have a room service meal whilst enjoying the view.

The public areas are also clean, spacious and comfortable, with large chairs and sofas. There is also a quiet library area. It is possible to have afternoon tea, or a drink, on the terrace overlooking the garden and the lake. There are tables and chairs in the garden itself. I do think however, that they should section off an area near the spa and have sun loungers available. Although it does rain quite frequently in this area, when the weather was as lovely as it was on the weekend of our stay, it would be nice to have the option to stay in the hotel grounds and enjoy the sun.

It was very pleasant to have dinner in the restaurant overlooking the lake and the hotel jetty as evening fell. The a la carte, although not on the inexpensive side, gives a good choice. The presentation and quality was good and although the portions are not large, they are, I think just right, for a three course meal. There is a good selection on the wine list, but I would suggest they also include a few more inexpensive wines. Wine by the glass, is also available. The Macdonald's cooked breakfast is excellent and plentiful, with also a good choice for continental breakfast, although it is better to get down earlier for this, especially on a busy day as the choice does diminish.

This hotel must have one of the best locations in Bowness. It is very well located for taking boat trips and visiting the park, however, for someone with walking difficulties, there is quite a slope going up to the top end of the town if you wish to shop or to visit the Beatrix Potter Experience. Parking space immediately next to the hotel is limited, but they also have a larger car park nearby.

I would be happy to recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jay F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. Excellent service, amazing location, lovely bedrooms with comfy beds, very comfortable lounge. The staff are exceptional, especially the lady on reception. They make you feel extremely welcome. I have seen some reviews which state that the hotel is a bit old fashioned. That is simply not true. it is traditional and extremely comfortable.

It was our second visit and I will definitely go back!

Room Tip: Go for renovated part
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ruth54076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
191 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile


The Old England is a beautifully located hotel overlooking the lake. The rooms are of a good size and very clean. The food is very good. It is one of the excellent hotels if you want to stay here but make sure you get a room in the renovated wing. Rooms in non-renovated part are old and torn out.
Make also sure that you do not meet Paul when checking in. We were 3 families of 18 pax out of which 8 were children. Have driven from Dublin we arrived at around 9.30 pm tired and exhausted. Paul at the Reception, could not have been more rude. For every question we asked his answer was "you have booked late and arrived late". Sorry but even if we booked late the hotel accepted our reservation and is responsible to treat us as regular customers. The hike of the incident was when we asked for dinner and Paul's answer was "you booked late and we can't provide you with dinner at this time". He didn't care even to check with the restaurant. It was only after we threatened that we will leave all the children in the lobby to cry from hunger that he agreed to call the restaurant. Alexandra from the restaurant came up and was very helpful. She explained that due to the large number she could not offer us the full menu but she can offer us soup, steak and pasta for the children which was fine with us as we only wanted some food after a very long journey.
In brief, it is a very good hotel but needs to upgrade the staff and to learn to cater for its customers

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DrHabib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2013

We stayed 2 nights for my husbands 50th . Got champaign sent to our room on both days . Food and service was outstanding . And the staff were fantastic. We will be booking again . But we shall stay longer next time

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lindacavanagh
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

Property: 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
#7 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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