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“The best Hotel in Bowness on Windemere the Centre of the lakes”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Bolton
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“The best Hotel in Bowness on Windemere the Centre of the lakes”
Reviewed November 1, 2010

The Macdonalds Old England is a 4 star Hotel which combines tradition with the modern expectation of a well travelled guest. Sited in the most central location to enjoy coffee shops, excellent restaurants and village atmosphere the front lawn looks on to Lake Windemere, warm scones for a cream tea served in the large lounge and a perfect breakfast in the lower terrace resteraunt both over looking the lake are complimented by Spa facilities and well appointed rooms. Even when busy with families we as business travellers were all treated as valued customers by all members of staff, I will certainly return with my family.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Keifer123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldOldEngland, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, November 2, 2010
Many thanks for all of your positive comments Keifer123. Macdonald Hotels have a passionate approach to hospitality and so it is really pleasing to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us here at the Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa. Please be assured that I have passed alI of your comments to my staff and I look forward to welcoming you and your family back to the hotel in the future.

Kind Regards
Kay Harrison-Mann
Regional General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Torrox, Spain
Level Contributor
66 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2010

My wife booked a 4 day stay here for my birthday having stayed at Macdonalds La Ermita in August & Dona Lola last July & being really impressed with both resorts we thought we would be really impressed with their hotel offerings.

We had visited before when it was a THF hotel & in the public areas there are definite signs of the £10 million refurbishment - the lounges are beautiful & the pool complex with sauna, ice room etc are very, very nice but the guest rooms did leave a lot to be desired for the hotels' rating.

We were given a lake view room in the original hotel building (presumably for my birthday as nothing was said on check-in) which was showing definite signs of tiredness. Don't get me wrong, flat screen TV, electronic safe & all the other trappings but the carpet was frayed & stained, the shower screen in the bath leaked quite badly which meant that the bathroom floor flooded every time you took a shower & this leaking had rotted part of the bath panel which hadn't been replaced & the sealant behind the bath taps was very dirty.

We had our teenage son with us & the fold away bed supplied was totally inadequate for a teenager - he was as long as the bed was so was constantly uncovered during the night

We had booked on a bed & breakfast basis which included a buffet continental breakfast, with a full cooked breakfast for £6 per person extra if required. The continental was perfectly adequate with fresh pastries, fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurts etc but for £152 per night I would have expected a hotel of this standard to include breakfast & compete with what every B & B establishment in the area offered - a fresh, local produce cooked breakfast within the room rate.
You had to wait to be seated for breakfast which led to long queues which really didn't make any sense when the breakfast offered was a buffet style anyway - surely room numbers could have been taken with the coffee & toast order at the table to prevent the ridiculous queues?

The reception staff were fairly unhelpful at both check-in & check-out with long queues forming due to mixed up bills & they didn't seem overly concerned with resolving issues.

Bar & lounge staff were predominantly foreign & seemed very surly as did the breakfast room staff - one morning we asked for 2 racks of toast & was told that the rack supplied with 4 half slices of toast was for 3 people - my reply was that we wanted another rack of toast, please could they bring it, again for in excess of £150 per night we found this very poor customer service

All in all we had an enjoyable stay, the views & setting we knew from our previous visit are stunning & the public room additions have really improved the hotel. BUT - in comparison with the Macdonald resorts visited we were disappointed that The Old England didn't match the levels of service & reputation that we would have expected.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank The-Wandering-Whites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2010

We had the pleasure of getting married ay the old England last saturday and stayed there for 3 nights as did Manu of our guests. What an amazing weekend. The staff could not do enough for us they were so polite and welcoming and went out of there way for us. All the rooms were beautiful an the food was delicious and superbly cooked and presented. There was real attention to detail and we were made to feel so special. The setting was fabulous with amazing views and we even had a balcony in room 103 where we stayed.

All in all this hotel and all the staff in it made our wedding a truly memorable and special experience!

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bncStaffordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, UAE and Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2010

I suspected things would not run smoothly from the moment I checked in.

Extremely hot room - even with a fan
Terrible bar staff (rude and no attention to detail)
Dire atmosphere in the restaurant (evening meal)
Poor cooked breakfast
Dirty tables
Remains of afternoon tea still in the lounge at 11pm
Poorly dressed staff
Presented with a bill charging for dinner (this was supposed to be included in the package)
Wine was included on the bill
Other items included on the bill with no signature, just a blank receipt and no apology.
Other guests were waiting around 45 minutes just to check out as others had similar problems
Management showed no real concern following several complaints

The only saving graces were the staff in the SPA and concierge.

All in all, 1 of the worst experiences I have had in the UK and 1 I would not like to repeat. Felt terribly disappointed with the experience and was glad to be leaving.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JamesProgressive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2010

This hotel is ideally situated and our room had a lovely lakeside outlook. The room was clean and nicely furnished. Room temp was chilly and on our last eve with outside temp dropping, we had to ask that it be addressed as room very cold on our return! Bathroom was a little shabby in comparison to room and other hotel areas. Tiles yellowed and some cracked! Door only closed over but wouldn't shut so a two inch gap between top of door and frame!!

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank annadhubh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2010

2nd time staying at the old England after a fantastic first visit earlier this year. This time we were given a 2nd floor bedroom in the old building and it was unbearably hot and stuffy and small. However we asked to be moved the next morning and were relocated to the first floor in the newer wing which was where we stayed last time but with the benefit of a lake view which was amazing. Receptionist was very helpful. If you get a good room this hotel is worth every penny. I would stay even the staff think they are under staffed and doing their best this skeleton crew is trying to run a huge bar terrace and lounge area. More staff needed!

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank joeygekko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northumberland,
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2010

From arrival to departure the welcome, service and ambiance could not be faulted.
On arrival we were asked to check in our luggage first and then our car would be parked for us in one of the hotels 4 car parks around the hotel and our bags taken to the room. By the time we reached our room the happy, cheerful porter who parked the car also arrived with the bags...efficiency or what I ask....
The room was very spacious with a large bathroom , walk in shower as well as a full size bath, well stocked freebies with shower gels to shampoo and all of this overlooking lake Windermere from two huge windows.
Tea, coffee and biscuits were provided in the room with a TV tuned in to all the free view chanels as well as the normal ones.
The deal we went on was bed and breakfast for two nights with one evening meal in the restaurant thrown in on the first night. Fantastic value at £120 per night per room. In fact what we got was, the normal evening menu with an allowance of £28 per person to off set the cost....fantastic value as the hotel has a fine chef...or two.? I don`t know...but I do know the food was excellent, even when I questioned the fried bread on the second breakfast....yes fried bread, I was quickly served another portion this time nice and crisp, as the first wasn`t ! hows that for customer service?
The staff were very attentive but not in your face...a couple of shinning stars...Josef and a lady called Valeria...I think.....nothing a problem always a smile and a little word or chat to make you feel welcome,
With the vast abundance of hotels, guest houses and pubs to stay in the Lakes, especialy Bowness on Windermere, the standard has to be high and maintained, we look forward to returning to the Old England in the future to see if its as good
Jules and Jan Northumberland

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Northumberland_Jules
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

Property: 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
#7 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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