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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 21, 2009

We stayed here for Christmas on a 3 night break. The hotel itself has a beautiful location on the shore of Lake Windermere and also in the centre of Bowness which offers lots of bars and restaurants. All the public areas of the hotel are very nice, however the lounge and bar were very cold. We booked a suite and were given one in the old part that hadn't been refurbished. The room was Ok but not really the standard you would expect for a feature suite and the view over the lake was fantastic. Our main problem with this hotel was the service, it was absolutely awful. We complained on several occasions and it did improve on the last day. The problem seemed to be that they employed extra staff for the holiday period who had not been trained and were poorly managed. The bar seemed to close as and when the bar staff felt like it and on occasions they could be quite rude. The spa was good with a decent sized pool. We loved the hotel but they need to do a lot service-wise to bring it up to standard.

Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
2  Thank docajenk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2009

We stayed in the hotel for new year for two nights. When we arrived I was impressed we usually stay at the lakeside hotel but want to stay somewhere more central so chose this hotel due to money that had just been spent refurbishing it.
My first impression did not last long. ….. We could not check into our room when we arrived due to power cut so we headed to the bar for a drink, there we sat for 40 mins before deciding to head out for a drink.
We visited the Spa area and was told it was shut due to power cut and would re open tomorrow. This was the main reason we picked this hotel and I very disappointed.
When we booked we were told we could not eat at the hotel New Years Eve but we could any other time so we booked in for our first evenings meal. When we arrived at the restaurant we were left waiting for around 10 mins before anyone spoke to us. The first man we spoke to laughed! And said ‘I don’t think so!’ when we said we had a table booked. He got the manager for us took one look at us and said I will be 2 mins sorry……. After 10 he had not returned! This is the manager???? We left and eat at the Chinese over the road.
During the night our room was freezing!! My husband is one of those men who is ALWAYS hot. He slept in a jumper and jogging pants with a hat!
The following morning (new years eve) we had breakfast in the hotel. The food was nice but the service slow.
After breakfast we returned to our room to freshen up for the day. There was no water! I headed to reception and they told me there was ANOTHER power cut!! Why no water? It on a pump! I asked to speak to the manager and was told he was too busy. END of story no offer of bottled water or prediction of when power would return.
There were staff in the reception area on their phones complaining they were having a hard time because of the power cut and all the complaints!!!
I also returned to the spa and was told this was still stut and would be for our entire stay!
I returned to reception twice more that day asking for the manager and was told he would call me…………. He never did. On my 3rd visit I demanded to see him them and was told to wait in the lounge.
To my shock when the manager did arrive it was the same man who had left me waiting in the restaurant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He was very unhelpful at the start as I listed the problems we had encountered. He informed me there was nothing he could do and that he would give me an address to complain to!!!! At this point I told him I was leaving the hotel and would not pay for the time we had spent there or the time we booked!
With this he left to make a call.
He returned to inform me that we would only have to pay for one night of or stay and as it was New Years Eve and we had reservations for Tapas we decided to stay.
All around the hotel there are 50% of your next visit flyers….. I SHALL NOT BE USING MINE!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank macysnowstorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
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
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank SubReading
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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