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All reviewsold englandfeature roomvalet serviceexecutive roomterrace barice roomrelaxation roomlake viewlovely hotelcar parkcooked breakfaston arrivalsauna and steam roomafternoon teablack puddingevening mealshort break
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Reviewed January 12, 2009

We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights on Jan 9th 09. As we approached the hotel in the car it looks very nice although parking outside rthe hotel to get our bags out of the car did become a little tricky.
We paid £130 a night B&B and we went up to our room. The room was lovely inside very modern but our view was a skylight window. We had to stand on a chair to open the window to look out. Now for £130 i would expect a room vith some view not just the sky.
We then went out into Bowness which has plenty of bars and restaurants. We came back into the hotel which was freezing. I sat in the bar next to the fire with my coat on thats how cold it was.
The drinks are pricey but thats what you expect now in a hotel. If you are going to put drinks on your room bill make sure the hotel swipes your card before as this will cause mass hysteria to the barman and will result in him phoning you in your room to pay for the bill.(this was after telling him i would put my card details in later with reception).
The second night we arrived in the bar at 11pm and was told by the barman that the bar would shut at 12 but we could go to the lounge and continue drinking in there. A group of women came in and the barman was quite rude to them and told them the bar was closed and pushed them into the lounge.
We then sat through 40 mins of the barman clashing glasses, tutting as we were we clearly keeping him at work.
Another bad point from the hotel is that a lot of the staff dont speak very good english so when you have to repeat yourself several times asking for a drink does get annoying.
Once we were pushed into the lounge we then sat and watched the 15 taxis that were waiting outside the hotel so if you were arriving late you would not get anywhere near the hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank chrisdawson32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2009

We stayed at the Old England Hotel from 28-30 Dec 2008. It was to be a romantic break before going back to work in Jan for myself and my fiance. My fiance had not been to the lakes before and was impressed with the magnificent scenery the lakes has to offer. But the hotel was a bit of a let down. We booked an Executive room (316) that had an absolutely gorgeous view over the lake. The Check in was a very late 4.00pm !! Which is completely ridiculous. The check out was 11.00am! Why such a delay ? We attempted to check in early but was told our room was not ready and so came back at 4.00pm to be told the same. We said that we would wait and the very nice concierge went to physically check himself that our room was ready. We got in the room at 4.30pm. First day nearly gone !The room was nice, spacious,looked refurbed and clean. Tea and coffee facilities, good bed and the room was very warm, too warm. This was the only warm place in the hotel. ALL other areas were cold and draughty. The bar/lounge/reception areas were all cold. Such a shame because if the whole hotel had been warm it would have had a completely different feel about it. At breakfast, we sat by the window in a quite nice dining room but we could not appreciate the view because of the cold draught from the window. Continental Breakfast was just ok, normal cold meats etc and cereal but not much of anything was left on our first day. The second morning we opted to pay the extra £6.50 for Full English and that was very nice. But I think that for what we paid for the package ( 2 nights with b.fast.exec room £298.00) Full English should have been included. We did not go to look at the Spa facilities so cannot comment on that.
The bar prices were extortionate but you get to expect this. On the Sat night after our meal we came back to the hotel bar. We asked for 2 drinks to be told that the barman had to make 2 coffees and that we would have to wait 10 mins to be served!! We did not bother.
The main car park is a liitle walk up the hill. You get a pass to open the gate, they absolutely squeeze as many cars as they can in and then have your phone number to ask you to move if someone wants to get out ! Strange ? What if you have had a few drinks ? But there was no other spaces so .....
We ate in Hyltons Rest (Meditteranean) in Bowness - which was quite good and reasonable on the Sat night and the Thai Rest at the top of the town -Jintana on the Sun. DO NOT BOTHER with the Thai.Overpriced and very underfed. Also cold.
Overall the Lakes themselves made our break wonderful, shame about the hotel. There looked to be a few nice B and B places so maybe next time try them.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Reddo-and-Wrighty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2009

We booked at the Macdonald old england for a few days leading upto the new year. It was exorbitantly expensive however the experience was the most awful we have ever had.
Here is the summary of our nightmarish experience.

1. We had booked for an executive family room with bunk beds for children. But on arrival they said they did not have any family rooms available and gave us an executive room with a sofa bed. The lady at the reception treated us like we were asking for a favour by asking for the room type we had paid for.
2. There were no bed linen for the sofa bed and our daughter had to wait way past her bedtime before the hotel staff could get us some blankets, sheets and pillows.
3. Our room was in the old part of the hotel where the floors are very creaky and insulation is poor. The fire exit door in our room was right next to a corridor light which kept turning on and off all night.
4. For more than 16 hours there was no electricity in the hotel. Hence on a freezing December night, there was no heating, no hot water , not to mention the lifts and lights. And worst of all they did not even have the common courtesy to inform us about what was happening or how long it would take to fix. They couldn’t even provide hot breakfast the next morning. Again they made us feel that we ought to be obliged because they had atleast given us hot water for our tea. One would have thought that a huge establishment like that would have some form of power backup. They didn’t even provide us with candles in our room during the power failure at night.
5. Any normal B & B serves hot breakfast at no additional charge but be warned this high and mighty hotel charges 14.95 for the breakfast. If you don’t want to pay extra, you have to settle for the cold continental breakfast.
6. We had paid for the new year package which included dinner for 2 nights, but on the evening of the party they said that children would not be allowed during dinner. They said the kids would have to have high tea earlier ( charged at 10 pounds ) . We had no intention of leaving our child unattended in the room while we dined. When we informed the reception, they appeared to be delighted and more that eager to cancel our dinner reservation with not so much as an apology leave alone any kind of refund. We were infuriated that they had not informed us at the time of booking the hotel that children would not be allowed in the dining room during the 2 days of new year celebrations.
7. When the Sky channel in our room was not working, all they could say was “We are sorry we don’t know where the sky box is”.
8. There is a mini bar / small fridge in the room but it is completely bare.

We have never ever felt so cheated in our lives and by spreading this message we hope to make other people aware of the scam going on underneath the glamour and fame of this hotel.

The only good thing we can say is that the hotel is in an excellent position right next to Lake Windermere and we had some excellent lake views and could enjoy the spectacular fireworks on new years eve from the comfort of our room.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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Thank SubReading
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2008

After sifting through and discarding many hotels on the basis of the Trip Advisor reviews, I settled for the Old England. I wasn't disappointed, which is probably an understatement. The staff are all courteous and the Concierge (sorry I can't remember your name either) was very friendly and helpful. I booked the four poster room-outstanding, clean and terrific view. The breakfast was incredible and we even had perfect weather to go sailing on Lake Windmere! There is nothing more to say really, thanks to the Old England for a short but amazing stay.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank travellingtim51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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