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“Brilliant hotel”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed November 25, 2008

We were already quite familiar with the Old England as we stay at Bowness a couple of times a year but this was our first stay in the hotel.
We booked direct via e-mail mainly to make sure I got a re-furbed room as I had heard some weren't, I think almost all are now.
On arrival we got the weekend off to great start with the pleasant and funny Desk manager and concierge (I'm not too good with names), they were extremely helpful and extremely courteous at all times - a welcoming start to things.
We booked an executive room with lake view and it was very well furnished, very comfortable and very quiet through night, the double aspect view was great in the morning looking over the lake.
All the staff were pleasant even on just passing in the corridor and never failed to speak with a smile.
The public rooms and bars are very well thought out and decorated to a high standard, the service is second to none (we have stayed in country house hotels in the area quite alot and this is up there with alot and exceeds most)
We had dinner in the restaurant on one night and it surpassed my expectations again, basically, no its not cheap but neither is it overly expensive, this is a double rosette winner not Harry's greasy spoon!!
Room service also faultless on the couple of times we used it.
I would add that we didn't do breakfast on either day in the hotel as we knew we could get a very nice feed within a 5 minute walk at various cafe's, Bistro's etc, don't be afraid to go room only there are also some excellent restaurants in walking distance (chinese, indian, italian, american, briitish, tapas...) there's even a Costa 2 minutes out of the hotel door!!
All in all we couldn't fault the place, we loved it and we love Bowness although we only go in off season.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank emperor78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,870 - 2,876 of 2,962 reviews

Reviewed November 2, 2008

A beautiful hotel in an ideal location for the wonderful lake side town of Bowness. We arrived after a phone call the day before stating the pool out of action owing to recent flood that damaged the plant room. Obviously disappointed, especially having a little 2 year old would have been an ideal activity. However, they didn't have to ring us and let us know and I just feel that typifies the courtesy of the staff and hotel.

On arrival we were up graded to a larger room with lake view as they felt that 2 adults plus an infant would be too small for the room allocated. Lovely room with stunning lake views, although tv reception poor and little of described channels available. All the staff warm and welcolming and very helpful. Breakfast - wide variety, excellent service and location.

The location allowed us to explore the town and the lake easily. Real cosmo feel about Bowness with restaurants and bars to suite all. Would recommend Jacksons Bistro, across from the church and around the corner and also Rastrelli's on the hill towards Windermere (750yards) who are very family friendly.

A traditional and up market hotel with a warm and homely feel.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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Thank GeoffBoycott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2008

My wife and I booked a short notice Saturday night stay at this hotel. From entering the door until leaving we felt completely comfortable and welcome. The friendly and efficient receptionist directed us to the car park with pass in hand to get through the barrier. You don't need the pass to leave the car park and we were advised we could leave the car as long as we liked on check out day which was very handy as we took a boat trip on the Sunday and had a look round Bowness.

We booked an executive lake view room in the newer extension which was a very good standard with a large and comfortable bed and the view was fabulous and uninterrupted looking over the lake and boats coming and going in such close proximity is a real treat. The same view from the terrace of the bar and the window seats in the exceptionally comfortable and very large lounge makes this hotel that much more special. We also had dinner in the restaurant and again we felt really comfortable and welcome. All the hotel staff were very efficient and friendly at the same time.

The meal was enjoyable and well presented, portions not too big but more than adequate and and we really couldn't fault anything with the food or service.

We used the indoor pool and facilities which are excellent and again the staff were very friendly and welcoming.

All in all an excellent choice which we would certaiinly recommend. It all comes at a price of course but we felt it was worth it for the whole experience and we are already discussing our next visit.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank jasperparklodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2008

We have stayed at the Old England several times over many years and it is way and above my favourite hotel. From the warmth of the welcome and the attention to detail to the quality of service and indeed the hotel itself - I love it! I particularly enjoy curling up with a book or newspaper in the wonderful lounge with those fantastic views. Every need is catered for and every request dealt with in a friendly timely manner. We are looking forward to coming for new year celebrations - this is a first and something I have long wished to do but was unable for several reasons but now that we are independent we can please ourselves and we are. I cannot praise this hotel and its staff high enough. See you 30th December!!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank cabincrewBolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2008

On a weekend getaway when time is precious, it's great to be staying somewhere where you can have fun regardless of the British weather. The Old England is just the place.

We arrived in typical Lake District weather - heavy rain interdispersed with medium downpours, and it stayed like that for the rest of the day. The hotel car park is a two minute walk from the hotel - it's best to drop your bags off outside and the concierge will direct you to the car park.

The rain made perfect weather for a swim in the indoor pool, followed by a spell in the steam room, sauna and, for the brave, 30 seconds in the ice room.

On another day we spent the afternoon in the hotel's large and comfortable lounge area, absorbing the Sunday papers while ploughing our way through a mountain of finger sandwiches and cakes.

We booked one of the "executive" rooms in the hotel extension. We had a fantastic lake view and i believe all of the rooms in that wing look out onto Windermere. The room was spacious and well decorated. The bathroom had a disappointing shower over the bath and no extractor.

We were there for three nights to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, and my requests for flowers and champagne to be in the room on our arrival were successfully executed (for anyone else looking to do similar, contact the florist Brackens of Bowness directly and they will arrange flowers for the hotel).

We dined at the hotel's restaurant on the night of our anniversary and had a very good meal. The food is quite complicated but very well prepared and presented.

As others have written a cooked breakfast does attract a surcharge, but you do get a very good quality fry up for the extra money.

Our original plan had been to go to Budapest for our anniversary, but with the strong Euro a weekend getaway in the UK, for once, represented good value for money.

There are cheaper places to stay around Windermere but I doubt any have the facilities, views and restaurant to match the Old England.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Richard A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2008

Having read good reviews, we decided to give it a try for a weekend stay.
On arrival in the evening we were asked which newspaper we wanted for the morning when we checked in, but we did not receive any in the morning the same occurred the second morning. When we asked for it at the reception, we were told that it would be struck off the bill though we were never advised that it was being charged for in the first place.

Beware of the extra charge for hot breakfast as you might pay extra: it depends on the rate you pay. Also, if you get one of the rooms at the rear of the building, the local pub opposite plays music loudly - this is not ideal.

The breakfast china (ie. bowls cups etc.) were slightly dirty and the full English whilst good was slightly cold on the first day. This was obviously a little disappointing.

On the whole its a good hotel though the above points make it slightly under the expected par. The decor is lovely but yet there is something lacking in terms of atmosphere - Its a little soulless. Also it is slightly over priced given the comments made above.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank lovetatemodern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2008

I have known the Old England for years, and was pleased to see the scale of the investment that has recently been made into updating and improving what were quite tired facilities. I arranged a small business conference here and every one of the delegates was bowled over by it. I should also say that the conference rate was very competitive. We had one or two little issues which were managed very professionally by attentive and friendly staff. The new conference and leisure facilities are exceptional and the refurbished rooms, particularly those with lake views are spacious, and well appointed. The hotel has an 'old England' charm and tranquility about it and I have no hesitation in strongly recommending it.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank Dutch1204
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
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: $155 - $426 (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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