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All reviews old england valet parking valet service feature room executive room ice room lake view relaxation room lovely hotel car park cooked breakfast sauna and steam room afternoon tea black pudding evening meal fantastic views short break
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Reviewed June 14, 2019

Was really looking forward to our spa visit during our 'relaxing' weekend away! We booked a treatment with access to the thermal suite. The robes were smelly and the pool was FREEZING, 27 degrees apparently (according to a regular). We were not informed of this prior to visiting and even when we got there. We only found the moment we were about to get in!! Absoloutley shocking that reception staff didn't feel the need to tell us? Also extremely disappointed as I was really looking forward to having a swim, which I couldn't do because the water was just far too cold! Should have gone elsewhere! The treatment itself was lovely and the therapist that I had was really nice, other than that is was just poor.

Date of stay: June 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank Ashlie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2019

Dear Ashlie F

I wanted to thank you for your comments from your recent spa day.

Certainly a rare comment and I am sorry the pool was not to a suitable temperature. The pool was to the right level in the morning and we will continue to monitor.

Great to note that you enjoyed your treatment and I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Peter Llewellyn
General Manager

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Reviewed June 13, 2019 via mobile

Stayed in this hotel for one evening, had spa treatment during the day of arrival and breakfast following morning.

The hotel is in a great location, few minutes walk to the lake and to local shops bars and restaurants.

Parking is expensive at £15 per evening. Feel like this cost is down to the fact that there is nowhere else to park locally so it's an easy way to made additional revenue.

The spa area was nice and clean and staff friendly, limited seating area around the pool and spa treatment felt rather rushed? Wasn't the best facial I have had.

Room was very comfortable with nice view of the lake and reception staff friendly.

Breakfast was rather disappointing, lots of choice with buffet style foods such as cereals, fruit and fresh juices. The cooked breakfast was very small with one of each item, well half a mushroom, half a tomato an egg yolk and a thimble full of beans ( teaspoon) was all abit strange. The service was good and maybe we should have asked for the other half of the mushroom? Breakfast was very quiet and felt rather formal?

Overall I feel the hotel was nice for one evening but a bed and breakfast would be just as good if not better if you was staying in bowness.

Date of stay: May 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Q263HHjamesj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2019

Dear Q263HHjamesj

Thank you for your view and great to read that overall you enjoyed your stay.

Lovely to read you also enjoyed our team in the hotel and in the spa who are always keen to offer the best of experience to all our guests.

I would suggest that from a point of view of the location, comfortable rooms, spa facilities with a 20 metre pool, lovely lounges along with option for dinner and not forgetting the amazing view of Lake Windermere, the hotel offers more than a B&B.

The breakfast offers a full array of continental offerings as you mentioned and the hot breakfast menu has a choice of dishes from omelettes to a full English on a plate which is full.

We have many guests who stay for a few days or for one night depending on requirements along with return guests throughout the year.

I appreciate your comments and I hope you will give us the opportunity to see you again in the future.

Kind regards

Peter Llewellyn
General Manager

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Reviewed June 11, 2019 via mobile

We’re do I start. Maybe with the positives:

Great location
Great view from the “feature” room
Great staff - apart from one!
Nice pool and spa area

And the negatives:

So called “feature” room is smaller, has no fridge, no safe and a bathroom that can only accommodate 1 person at a time (unless the other person is in the shower)
Bar staff (only one TBH)was very rude to our family over proof of ID. See below for details
Restaurant that’s supposedly 2 AA Rosette rated cooks lamb well done without asking the guest first, then takes 30 minutes to redo the dish.
Bar service really slow (making the drinks not taking the order) only one member of staff from 9pm
Cannot get the same drinks selection in the restaurant as you can in the bar, it’s only down a short staircase!
Lift left in a very dangerous condition, see pictures

So the details:

We booked 3 rooms, 2 executive doubles and 1 feature king. On arrival the “feature” king had a great view (see picture) but turned out to be much smaller than the executive rooms and didn’t have a fridge or safe, which the executive rooms did. The bathroom was tiny, one in one out size and were only little people! So it appears the extra cost is just for the view! Hardly an upgrade, as it was sold to me

We ate in the restaurant every day for breakfast. Service was slow for the cooked items, and portion control is a little meagre. For example you get one small sausage, a tiny “bowl” of beans (about the diameter of a ginger biscuit and about 3cm deep). On one day there wasn’t any honey or yoghurt left (there had been 2 coach parties in overnight) but that’s not an excuse as the hotel would have known this well in advance. When we ate dinner (one night only) the service was dreadful (nearly 3 hours to serve 2 courses). We couldn’t get the same drinks selection as offered in the bar, even though it’s only up a short staircase. Nobody ever came to ask us if we wanted anymore drinks or to top up our water etc. My wife had the Lamb Noisettes for main, which came very over cooked. When we told the waiter he said “that’s how our chef cooks it”! I’ve NEVER been to an AA Rosette restaurant that doesn’t ask you how you want your meat cooked, and I’ve never heard of a Rosette standard chef who would cook lamb well done

On our 3rd day my daughter (21) and fiancé (20) went to get some lunch and a drink in the lounge bar, whilst we were in the spa. The barman refused to serve them without ID (perfectly fine). So they fetched their ID. The barman said this wasn’t good enough and wanted proof they were staying in the hotel (they had their spa white robes on so not sure where he thought they had come from) but they didn’t argue and fetched the room charge cards. This still wasn’t good enough for the barman, who insisted that they fetch a parent to get permission. So I had to come all the way from the spa to listen to this guy “try” to convince me he was right. Bear in mind we had been at the hotel for 3 days at this point and had no previous issues. I took my concern to the hotel manager who, unsurprisingly, confirmed that what the barman was saying was rubbish. He went and spoke to the barman who, when my kids left the lounge, still had to get the last word in to say he was right!

Now last but not least! There is a lift at the spa end of the hotel. We didn’t use this lift until the last day, which is when we realised we could walk across the 1st floor of the hotel to get to the spa instead of through the bar lounge and reception (why this wasn’t explained to us before is anyone’s guess). So we went down to the lower ground floor (-1) in to the spa. On returning we got in the lift and obviously wanted to go back to the same floor we came from. But we couldn’t as the button was covered with some sticky tape (see picture) when pressed this reveals that the button is not existent, in fact your finger goes into the workings of the lift controls, electricity and all ⚡️⚠️ literally shocking. I checked the following morning as we checked out, and it was in exactly the same condition. This is when I took the pictures. There were NO warning signs!

We won’t be returning to this hotel Perhaps unsurprisingly we haven’t been contacted to give a review! Pretty standard practice nowadays

4 star - no way

We’ve stayed at the Gilpin Hotel a few times, just outside Bowness-on-Windermere. This is also a 4 star hotel, the contrast is huge. Chalk and cheese comes to mind

My view is that the hotel seems happy to have 1 night stay foreign coach parties, who are very unlikely to come back or even complain. It’s a shame as the location is great, the staff in the main are great and the view is great.

Date of stay: May 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
1  Thank richardcF5605SS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2019

Dear Richard

Thank you for your review.

I would agree with you that the location of the hotel is probably one of the best in the lakes due to it's central point in Bowness & Windermere, the shops and the boat trips along the beautiful Lake Windermere which is a World Heritage site.

The views looking over Lake Windermere from the hotel every day are stunning come rain or shine and many a time I have seen guests relax and enjoy the views over breakfast and dinner in our restaurant and lounges. Our terrace is also very popular as it offers the opportunity to sit back and watch lake life happening all around them.

Great to also note you enjoyed the spa area which with 4 children I am sure the 20 metre pool kept them busy along with the steam room, sauna and ice room. I hope you as busy parents also got the chance to relax and indulge in some of our Elemis treatments and take a moment for ourselves.

To comment on a couple of your main points, the restaurant is 1 rosette and we can offer a full range of drinks from any bar and make sure dishes are cooked to the guests preferences when taking the order.

The process of checking ID on young persons is important to the hotel and parents. I remember speaking to you and I understand my barman was being over concerned which I fully appreciate was not required. But he took interest in making sure you were happy with the decision to serve a young person alcoholic beverages which can be a good point as well.

Our breakfast is a combination of a full buffet of continental offerings which stretches a very long wall. In addition to this the full English breakfast is a full plate with plenty of tea and coffee available. Certainly are guests take advantage of all that is available and leave all ready for the day ahead.

One of our lifts did have a button missing due to a guest pushing the button in too hard. Our lift company taped up the button straight away but I would suggest a guest has decided to peel the tape aside. The button has been replaced and daily we were re-taping this area prior to this. Your photo would have been in-between us checking this throughout the day.

It was lovely to note that overall you through the 'staff were great' which is much appreciated.

As a hotel and team working to offer the best of service, I know in my position and what I see and read that overall we do delivery our guests expectations as a 4 star hotel.

The hotel you mentioned is a country house hotel which is small compared to the Old England Hotel. As a hotel we look after all types of business from long stay guests who may be returning, guests wishing to get away from city life and detox from mobile phones to groups of international guests enjoying the Lake District.

I am sorry you may not have enjoyed some aspects of your stay with us, but I do hope in the future you may return and it would be a pleasure to welcome you back.

Kind regards

Peter Llewellyn
General Manager





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Reviewed June 10, 2019 via mobile

This is a hotel which has a high percentage of overseas clients, many in groups but this somehow adds to the atmosphere. We spoke to Aussies and Indians and Chinese all of who me were charming. Our room had a wonderful view of the lake and was very well appointed. There is little immediate parking but the valet parking was very efficient. All staff ( well one was rather toffee nosed) were charming and helpful. The hotel is well situated for buses and boats and easy walking distance from the new Windermere Jetty museum.
Downsides, the public rooms look a bit tired and the breakfast toast was awful: very thin, cold and done to a crisp
All told though would go for a short break again but leave the toast as we did this time

Date of stay: June 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Gareth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2019

Dear Gareth C

Thank you for your review and it was great to read overall you had a wonderful experience.

The location and views are amazing and it is so easy to see all you need to in the area from the hotels location.

Lovely to read you also got to speak to many of our international guests who also enjoyed our rooms which as you mention are well appointed.

Look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back again in the future.

Kind regards

Peter Llewellyn
General Manager

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Reviewed June 5, 2019

I had booked an electric wheelchair on arrival. The booking clerk Sandra (who was lovely) told me they had 1 electric 2 manuals.
Upon arrival:
1. The concierge claimed he had never even seen a wheelchair on the property, After I left the front desk, 2 manual wheelchairs appeared from their storage. then i was told the electric would come the following day which never happened. Then that changed to 2 days notice! It was either there and not being given, or it was never ordered in which case I would not have gone. it was a struggle all through.
2. Couldn't keep away passports as the safe was blocked. No one answered the phone.
Not reception. And housekeeping is just a button on the phone with no connection.
3. They did not have any travel electrical adaptor plugs.
4. Full advance payment was made but concierge randomly changed keys to room and did not inform us. Maid opened and said new keys were being sent up. They never arrived.
5. Breakfast was very good but the service was atrocious. Had to ask 3 times to get tea of my choice. Their male staff appeared to have no customer service training.
6. Elevator button was broken. Could not access the first floor.
7. There was no manager/supervisor and the concierge at reception on the 4th of June was inept, callous, and very unpleasant.
8. We paid for an executive room, what we got was basic.

The hotel was a very disappointing experience, in a beautiful place, with very lovely local people!

Room tip: If you need a room with twin beds, ask specifically. Their reviews look good, but we were very disappointed.
Date of stay: June 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank sam1ra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 7, 2019

Dear sam1ra

Thank you for your review.

I can confirm that unfortunately we do not have an electric scooter or electric chair but we do have manual wheelchairs which are readily available for all our guests. I am sorry for any miss-understanding.

I was concerned to learn of the safe issue which I fully appreciate must have been frustrating. The hotel can offer travel adaptors but our current stock were never returned by guests. The lift button is in the process of getting replaced due to a guest pushing the button in too far. There is another lift to all floors.

Lovely to note you enjoyed our breakfast which has a great array of continental and full breakfast options while enjoying the stunning view of Lake Windermere.

My team always strive to offer the best of service to all our guests which is mentioned in many reviews and thank you for offering these opportunities which are resolved.

I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Yours sincerely

Peter Llewellyn
General Manager



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