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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed February 19, 2009

I visited this hotel with my boyf for Valentines Day, and stayed 2 nights. Overall, we had a wonderful time. The hotel is in a nice location, right on the lake and as you enter, has a welcoming reception. Check in was very efficent, although we asked for some help with our bags, which didn't arrive. They did however park the car for us - which was nice. We had a lake view room which was OK - clean and OK furniture but i have stayed in better - there are a number of room types above this one, which i think have been refurbished. Our room was fine though - lovely view of the lake, flat screen TV, small but serviceable bathroom, nice power shower. If we went there again though i would upgrade the room just to have a bit more luxury.
We had booked on a dinner, b&b basis and i have to say the food in the hotel restaurant was superb. Alot of foreign staff, but they worked very hard and the service was very good. Some of the food was out of this world - best fish dish i have eaten in a long time and the pre-starter veloute was absolutely sublime. We eat out quite a bit and this definately rated amongst the better meals we have eaten. Nice wine list too - and quite reasonably priced.
Breakfast was good as well, although cooked breakfast isn't included in the b&b rate - they charge an extra £6.50 for that which i think might be a bit stingy! We had it both mornings and did enjoy it, but noticed alot of people weren't prepared to pay the extra.
We also made use of the spa - having a couples massage which was very good and at £90 for both of us, quite reasonable.
Overall, the hotel is very good - quite pricy in some respect - 2 nights cost us £1000, but we did have wine/champagne/treatments etc. so i suppose that isn't too bad. Would i go back? Yes, but Bowness is a bit of a dull place - full of tacky tourist shops and hairdressers that close on a Saturday!!

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

We loved it !
Stayed on 12th Jan 09 for one night birthday celebration.
I rang prior to our visit and spoke to Justine who was really helpful, she was also on reception when we arrived and was welcoming and helpful.
Our room no. 321 overlooked the lake, was spacious and special. dble bed, coffee table, chairs, large dressing table, flat screen tv, tea/coffee etc. spacious and clean bathroom.

The classic lounge rooms in the hotel had fantastic views over the lake lake, pure relaxation.
We used the pool and sauna's which were brand new - didnt even think the pool was too cold !
We opted for full english breakfast but there was plenty of choice with the continental.
will definitely book again, cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank brownshols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Old England Hotel at the end of January, having been given a gift voucher towards our two night stay.
The location on Windermere is great and the views from the lounges and restaurant are superb.
We did manage to check in before 4.00pm and were given our key . I presumed a second floor room as the key indicated 200+ but then had to travel up a floor to third! Perhaps the receptionist could have pointed this out?
The "Classic " double was very small but included all facilities. Perhaps the expensive "broom cupboard "was a punishment for querying the booking system! I had wondered why a regular booking was actually cheaper on line than the booking made under the "Winter Saver" Special deal? We had to remove the bulky robes from the tiny wardrobe to enable a small hanging facility. The trouser press and ironing board etc were also squashed into the space.The room was rather cramped but the bathroom was fine and cleaning standards were good.
Service in the bar and lounge was good, all staff were friendly and efficient.The bar was however rather empty on the Thursday night - a bit like the Marie Celeste with no barman to be found for a while.
The restaurant food and service were excellent, with the Set menu dinner choices varied. I was disappointed that the a la carte menu was not available. It's worth having cheese for t dessert , just to look at the great descriptions of the cheeses available.Wine selections are good .
We opted for the cooked breakfast choice in the morningsbut the continental options were plentiful and varied.
We did use the pool and Sauna - as others have noted the pool temperature was on the chilly side! but it was enjoyable.
All in all a great couple of days - but not a budget break.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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Thank NWMisas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2009

Just got back from the Old England, stayed over Saturday night the 24th January, myself, my wife and my 6 year old daughter.

Arrived 12.45pm, room ready! Parked car in the free car park approx 100 yards down the road. Receptionist's very friendly and courtious.

Room spacious, well presented and clean. A little 'tired'. Bathroom spot on.

We all went for a swim in the Spa, the whole Spa (changing rooms, pool, sauna etc etc) looks BRAND NEW, as if just opened yesterday!! Fantastic. Great view from the pool over the lake. However beware, pool was not very warm - I would say cold in-fact.

Went to the Albert (now done up) looks great and onto the Hole Int Wall a family favourite and then had an excellent Chinese at the 'China Boat' just 20 yards on from the Hotel. If you like Chinese then this is a must!!

Up for Breakfast. We decided a head that we would not be paying extra for a cooked breakfast. Who needs a cooked breakfast??!! There was loads to eat, loads of choice & great views again of the lake. You DONT need to buy a cooked breakfast, trust me and I normally swear by them when Im away.

Overall great short break, all enjoyed and we wil be back.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2009

My girlfriend and i stayed at the Macdonald Old England for one night on 19th January.

We decided to book the hotel as it was ranked 2nd on Tripadvisor(at the time) and was in a great location in Bowness.

We easily found the hotel and there was plenty of parking space right at the side of the hotel so parked up and checked in. Check in was short and simple and we were put in a lovely room in the new part of the building. The standard room was lovely, flat screen tv with sky sports, bathroom with shower cubicle and bath. Upon arrival we were told there was going to be a power cut at 11am the next day, so i guess this must be a regular thing!

we used the spar on our stay on the first day, the pool was lovely and my only complaint was the lack of hot tub and the pool was freezing but this was due to the heater or something being broke.

We opted for a lie in so didnt have breakfast, we didn't fancy paying the 15 quid for a cooked one. The spar was shut the next day due to power cut so we left and explored the lakes instead. All in all a lovely hotel in an excellent location.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Paddy459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank macysnowstorm
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
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
#6 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range: $124 - $431 (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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