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“Beautiful location.”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Southport
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Beautiful location.”
Reviewed November 16, 2013

Hotel is situated right on the shores of the lake, not easy to spot when driving in as it is a bit hidden behind the Church. Parking is no problem there are a couple of off site car parks with valet parking available. Hotel staff from reception to waiting staff are all very pleasant and helpful, and registering at the hotel went without a hitch. Rooms all seem to be of a good size, but can be a bit on the cool side, even with the heater on, bathrooms are a good size as well. Bed was comfortable and I managed a good nights sleep. Free wifi is available throughout the hotel, and it has a leisure, centre, pool and spa. Breakfast was very nice, really good choice and served piping hot and very quickly. A very nice hotel in a very good location, well worth staying at.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank ashute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (575)
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English first
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

The hotel is in a superb location; slap bang on the east shore of Lake Windermere, at the very centre of Bowness village. Any nearer to the water - and you're in it.

It's shabby chic; one of those quintessentially English small chain hotels that is neither in tip-top condition, nor run down. It's a twin-set and pearls anachronism carried over from the last century. It's a perfectly acceptable, charming hotel. The reception, concierge and bar staff were extremely helpful and courteous. For them alone I give 4 stars for service.

The reason I've deducted 3 service stars is because of one member of the breakfast staff - possibly the manageress. As I had done on two previous mornings, I obediently stood at the entrance to the restaurant, waiting to be shown to my table. But today I waited. And waited. I could see that staff were not busy showing other guests to their tables, and neither were they in attendance of the smattering already seated.

I cleared my throat. Nothing. A queue was now forming behind me. Again I cleared my throat. Zilch. I was hungry and, to be perfectly honest, felt a little awkward standing there, alone, ignored. I chose to traverse the 10 meters or so of carpet to the same table I'd eaten at on two previous mornings. Uh-oh, big mistake. The walk of shame.

I was almost home and dry when a staff member - yes, you know who you are - deigned to come to the rescue of the growing number waiting to be seated, and usher the couple now at the front of the queue to a table. As she did so, she turned to me and hollered across a hushed room. "Come back and wait to be seated". Excuse me? I informed her that I had, indeed, been waiting - for an awfully long time, and continued the now perilous journey to the table. I had frosty service from that point on.

Now I am of the old-fashioned point-of-view that hotel systems are in place to assist the comfort of the guests, not the convenience of the staff. If she had been fully trained in her job, she'd have known that I had been first in line, and walk across to discreetly ask my name and room number. Not berate me across a restaurant whilst dealing with another guest. If she is the restaurant manager or, indeed, any staff member full-stop, she needs to brush up on her customer skills. As a seasoned traveller of a certain age, I had not expected such discourtesy.

Again, for food alone, I give breakfast 4 stars. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked; the sausage, bacon, beans, tomato, toast were spot on; the cold buffet, with its array of meats, fresh/dried fruit and cheese was very well presented. And Marmite!

But it's also about ambience and comfort, and because of this episode, I deduct 3 stars.

It was an enjoyable 3-night stay, but here's the thing about memories: they always say that you don't remember who attended the funeral, only those who didn't. As such, I shall remember my break here, not for the beautiful location, not for the misty autumnal dawn across the lake: not for the other helpful, friendly staff; not for the comfortable room; not for two wonderful breakfasts.

But for that one experience alone.

Room Tip: Be sure to book to a lake view room in the "new" wing.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ansel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

I'm very surprised with some negative reviews on here. We just returned from our 2day stay at this hotel and we loved it! The rooms are spacious with high ceilings and comfy beds. Lovely furnishing of high standard. Nice selection of teas and shortbread! Rooms very clean. The hotel is very central to Bowness and in close proximity to everything. The parking is 1min away and there's plenty of space, plus it's free! We used all the leisure facilities: pool, sauna, gym and spa, of course. Only positive things to say! In comparison to some other hotels and B&Bs in the area charging similar prices, this is a far superior place. Mind you, we did get room&breakfast at discounted rate of £95 per night. They also allow young children to stay for free and you don't have to pay for their breakfast. The hotel staff was very helpful with us and assisted at every request we had. They did have some issues at breakfast but mainly with customers who tried to squeeze in just before the 10AM breakfast end! The room service was very prompt albeit quite costly...however, the ingredients used were of superb quality and everything tasted deliciously! We had a lovely time and can't wait to return!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Angelique1gr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2013

We stayed at this majestic Hotel - the rooms were big and beds were huge and comfortable but the location of this Hotel was beautiful - right on Lake Windermere. Had 3 days around the Lakes District and our location was perfect - quaint villages surrounded us and within easy reach for a stroll. The staff at this Hotel were great especially Paul at the front desk he was jusr great and helped us when needed and he has a good sense of humour. Breakfast was fantastic and so was diinner. A stay at this hotel is a must and enjoy the Lakes.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Domenic L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altrincham
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Perfectly located close to the lake and the heart of Bowness, this hotel has seen better days. We were a party of four with two rooms booked. Slightly disappointing start to our visit as neither room was ready and it was nearly 4 pm. Despite the published check-in times most hotels I've stayed in would be able to provide a room a little earlier. We waited a while and decided to explore the lakeside and upon our return our cases had been delivered to the rooms. There is ample car parking in an adjacent car park and valet parking is available. We chose rooms in the wing with lake views and were not disappointed. In practice we did not actually spend much time in our room but it was worth it to see the mist over the lake when we awoke.
We agreed to take advantage of the hotel's special promotion for dinner which amounted to a £5 per person reduction if you spent £40 each (excluding drinks). Whilst this type of offer may force you to buy a more expensive dish it was not too difficult to tot up this sum
We found all staff were attentive and eager to help throughout our stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Vic G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
306 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Stayed one night. Reception and staff good overall. Room a little "tired" with a small bathroom which made access to toilet and bath difficult.

Room was clean and bed comfortable but a major problem was the old sash window - very very draughty and allowed all the noise from the street uninterupted access - sadly night time revellers and cars made it impossible to sleep until the early hours. There were signs of a double glazing fitment but no glass!!

Others have commented on bar prices - a large Merlot was £9.50. Maybe I am out of touch since I have commented on what I consider to be excessive bar prices in other hotels.

Restaurant service was OK and the food good. Would I stay again - strangely yes but in another room.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kenny131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edward C, Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 12, 2013
Thank you for the comments regarding how we can improve the comfort levels in one of our classic rooms. Refurbishment works are about to begin on some of these rooms very shortly and glazing will need to be considered as part of this investment.

We look forward to welcoming you back and thank you for brining this matter to our attention.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frodsham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

We have recently returned from a 2 night stay for a 50th birthday celebration, the whole experience from start to finish was beyond expectation. Upon arrival our luggage was taken from the car, then the car was taken and parked for us. The room we had was fabulous, clean, spacious and had a wonderful Nespresso coffee maker...so much better than a kettle!! We had excellent views of the lake and pier, what better place to watch an electric storm over the lake! Service at the Old England is traditional old fashioned service where nothing is too much trouble, without exception every staff member was polite and went out of their way to ensure that we had everything we needed. Breakfast was good with lots of choice both continental and cooked, and plentiful, and not a toasting machine in sight! I can't thank the staff enough for making our stay a memorable experience.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JKHCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edward C, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 12, 2013
Congratulations again on your celebratory break at the Old England. We were pleased to hear you enjoyed some of our recent service enhancements such as valet parking, concierge and Nespresso coffee in all of our Executive Feature rooms.

My team will certainly enjoy hearing about your memorable stay and I thank you for your kind words of praise for there service commitment.
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 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 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family 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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