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“Impulsive booking”

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Swinside Lodge Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Newlands
Essex
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Impulsive booking”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

Lovely hotel in beautiful surroundings. We booked the night before we stayed and was pleasantly surprised. We read the reviews and they are spot on! A very talented chef produced a fabulous 4 course dinner. We would have liked an after dinner stroll but the hotel is quite isolated and the road was very dark, windy and wet in November. Our welcoming hosts did warn us and offered a torch and the stroll was quickly abandoned. All staff were friendly and welcoming.
Breakfast was really good and set us up for the day ( I loved my plump kippers).
Our room (Oak) was a bit characterless but spotlessly clean and fully equipped. The sloped ceiling didn't cause us any problems. The whole hotel was immaculate.
Recommended. Wish we could have stayed for longer despite the weather, very atmospheric.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sheree L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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223 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Just stayed here for 5 nights and can honestly say that the four course dinner was perfect every night. Very nicely presented, good balance of meat and fish, and served in a beautiful dining room. I don't recall one item in 5 meals being anything less than excellent.

The hotel is very well located just a few minutes from the shore of Derwent Water and a stone's throw from the terrific walk up Cat Bells and beyond. If you like walking you can forget about the car for a few days. The view from our room was of Cat Bells and Causey Pike.
The two lounges are comfortable and elegant and a pleasant place to chat to other guests over a pre-dinner drink.
A really peaceful spot in the heart of the Lakes.
The staff are very accommodating - particularly Laurent.

I have only given 4 stars as I did not like our room (Oak).
It was on the second floor in the mansard roof and was decidedly gloomy. There is a dormer window set into the sloping roof. Although the floor space was quite good - I'm guessing about 16 or 18 foot square - the useable space is severely restricted by the sloping roof. At 6 foot tall I found half the room only accessible at a stoop. Of course one can easily forgive the quirks of a charming period room, but this room was peculiarly lacking in charm. The bed was firm and comfortable and nicely dressed with crisp white linen, but beyond that there was not one attractive feature of the room. The plastic-looking bedroom suite was particularly grim. Above the bed, there was one of those Jack Vettriano prints that seems to be the exclusive preserve of hotels and surgery waiting rooms. The whole effect was rather depressing and very much detracted from the sense of staying in a luxurious and special hotel.

The bathroom was very nice, although that too suffers from the sloping roof. The toilet had been artfully placed below the recession for the dormer window which at least meant that you needn't stoop while taking a pee and whilst doing the same you could enjoy the view of the fells.

I felt that the quality of the dining room and the elegance of the downstairs rooms was badly let down by the bedroom. I didn't see the other bedrooms so I can't comment on their decor, but I think unless you are quite short you would definitely be looking for a room on the first floor.

This is an expensive hotel. Our dinner bed and breakfast rate was £102 per person per night, of which I think about £45 is accounted for by the meal. As already mentioned, the food was unfailingly good, and so £45 was not outrageous. But then you have the cost of the drink - and that is seriously expensive. A fairly modest bottle of wine was about £25 - £30. A Chablis or a Sancerre £40, £50 or more. And don't even think about a big red wine unless you've £60 or even £100 to spare.
There was a Bin End List that cheerfully posed the question "Why not enjoy a bargain?" and went on to inform you that certain wines were now available at reduced prices. These included a Sassicaia at £195, which may indeed be a bargain, but sadly not one that my modest means would permit me to try.
The desserts were accompanied on the menu by a range of complementary dessert wines and ports. These ranged in price from about £4 to £10, but were all served in 5 cl glasses. To my mind that's a thimble, not a glass, and again I was not tempted.
The pre-dinner G&T was about £6 or so. I forewent a glass of champagne on my birthday - £12.50. (I was more than compensated for that by the candle that was very thoughtfully put on my dessert.)

Breakfasts: first class.

In summary this (in my humble opinion) is a seriously good restaurant let down (in our case) by a dull and not very comfortable room.
Deep pockets required if you want to give the food the wine it deserves.

Room Tip: See above!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DockBrief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mjbkb, Owner at Swinside Lodge Hotel, responded to this review, November 10, 2013
Many thanks for your review albeit with a certain lack of eloquence and accuracy. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your choice of the Oak room but judging by the number of guests who find the room very attractive, i'm perplexed as to why in your opinion it is 'decidedly gloomy'. It is decorated in tasteful and matching colours, the bed dressed in crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets with contrasting throw, wall mounted Tv/ Dvd player, walk in shower with adjacent bath but unfortunately it appears bedroom wardrobes and dressing table that were not in wood colours you appear to prefer.

With regards to the ceiling accessibility without the need to stoop, i think if you had taken the time to assess this accurately you may have found an area of less than 25% and not the 50% you imagine.

A cheap shot at Jack Vettriano prints - it was anticipated this would have been preferable to sheep, trees, leaves and Cumberland stone, all of which may be found in abundance both outdoors and adorning the walls of many a hotel.

Another cheap shot that it is an 'expensive hotel' - if you remove your summized £45 for the 'perfect dinner' from the £102, this would then leave £57 for bed and breakfast. If that is your considered opinion of expensive within the Lakes for B&B in comparable hotels then i would suggest with all due respect you carry out a little more research on tariffs prior to your next vacation.

'Seriously expensive cost of drinks' - a wine list within a 7 bedroom hotel containing 12 bins under £25, 12 wines by the glass, big reds as you refer to them with Chateauneuf du Pape 1999 at £130 and a popular Bin End List with Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido1996 at £195. For the more discerning that have a preference for vintage and quality then the choice is there for them. It will not suit everyone, nor was it intended to, but the choice from around 75 Bins is there for everyone to enjoy either by the glass, as a bottle of house wine or for more modest tastes.

Dessert wine and ports are served as a 50ml measure, perfectly adequate to compliment both dessert and cheeseboards alike - they were not intended to be a primary drink for the evening in wine glass measures.

For the pre dinner G&T you conveniently omit the 50ml double measure served and in your case Tanqueray Gin for £6. I would not consider that to be even remotely seriously expensive nor the Champagne at £12.50 which did raise a muffled tone of slight astonishment from fellow guests that you wouldn't partake on a special birthday for the difference of some £6. Presumably again, that is also down to choice.

In my also humble opinion, apart from a partial sloping ceiling coupled with bedroom wardrobes you didn't like and a Jack Vettriano print i think you have done an excellent selling job. If you consider staying in the Lakes in the future i hope you'll consider Swinside Lodge once again as you would be more than welcome.

Regards
Mike Bilton
Proprietor
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abingdon, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Everything about this hotel was, for us, really good. Set in a beautiful area 3 miles from Keswick, the accommodation in this lovely old house was excellent. Our spotlessly clean room was very comfortable with a great view, large comfortable bed, soft towels, deep bath and good shower. But while this bit of the hotel was very good, the food was superb. At dinner, there is a set menu for the four courses plus coffee (the chef will cook an alternative to cater for personal taste or all types of dietary requirements if requested) and the taste, texture and presentation of each course was as good as we've experienced anywhere. The service was speedy, efficient, and very friendly. Tasty and interesting canapes are served before the meal, and petits fours afterwards. Breakfasts were equally good with a good choice. The hosts were very welcoming, helpful and friendly, and their knowledge of local walks and of things to do in the vicinity was second to none. We were only there for three nights, but felt relaxed, and were made to feel at home for the whole period of our stay. We would recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BobandBarbara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wetherby, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 16, 2013

A gem of a place to stay with a welcoming and friendly team offering superb food and service in a stunning and peaceful location. Their personal attention and care for those with special dietary needs is second to none. You couldn't wish for a better place to enjoy a relaxing break.

Room Tip: Would probably opt for a room on the first floor next time
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Don G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bamburgh, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We stayed here recently for 3 days and found it delightful - full marks for everything. We had a lovely spotless, comfortable bedroom and bathroom but best of all was the food. The 4 course dinner each evening, preceded by canapes and an aperitif, was first class as were the breakfasts and our hosts were very helpful and friendly.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Ruth075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cambridge
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

What a great find. This is a really friendly place, excellent food and beautiful accommodation. We had a lovely front bedroom with views of the bird feeders on the magnificent old tree. We are bird watchers and could hardly leave the window so many birds to see. It is set in an ideal part of the Lake District both for walking and climbing. Mike was very helpful in every way and Lauren our waiter very efficient, friendly and he kept us amused at all times. There is a set menu each day so let Mike know if there is something you do not eat. As we do not like shell fish he was very accommodating.
I am sure we will return next year as we felt so comfortable.

Room Tip: Lilac is a lovely room at the front.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nettleham23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed September 28, 2013

My wife and I spent two nights and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Everything about the hotel was immaculate . Our welcome and hospitality were excellent and this high standard fed into the dinners which were of the highest quality with service to match. The hotel is ideally positioned for easy access to Keswick and surrounding area while at the same time is far enough out of the town to be quiet and peaceful. The hotel is ideally suited as a base for wonderful walks or as we did, cycle. Would return without hesitation.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John B M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swinside Lodge Hotel

Property: Swinside Lodge Hotel
Address: Grange Road, Newlands, Keswick CA12 5UE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Keswick > Newlands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Newlands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Swinside Lodge Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small luxury hotel in the heart of the English Lake District personally owned and run by Mike and Kath Bilton. A warm welcome awaits - hospitality and food are our passions, and the hotel has recently been voted in the top three Fine Dining Restaurants in Cumbria with an AA 2 Rosette Restaurant supplemented by a 75 bin wine list. Local wildlife including red squirrels can be seen in abundance in the gardens, and spectacular walks and drives start from the hotel's door. Seven bedrooms all with beautiful mountain views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swinside Hotel Newlands
Swinside Hotel Keswick

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