Travellers take note...
Stayed in the Lodore for 2 nights recently to celebrate my 40th Birthday. Expected high quality from the reviews I'd read here but was very disappointed and angry at the end of my stay.
Firstly, the 'Family Room' is just a normal room with a couple of single camp beds shoved in it. Very little space. The room quality is very poor; white PVC trunking up the wall to the TV, blown vinyl wallpaper on the ceiling, dreary wallpaper and prints on the wall, flourescent lights; more Travelodge than 4 star hotel I think. The bathroom has an extractor which sounds like a loud diesel engine (not so good for relaxing in the bath) and a toilet lid which won't stay up. The white toothpaste stains down the varnished plywood bath panel with exposed screws didn't impress either. Add to that the shower over the bath which flexed when stood in it, and which required me to crouch in order to get my head wet... well, you get the picture. During booking I’d asked if the room was one of the ‘refurbished’ rooms and was told “Yes, yes – it’s all been refurbished”. Talking to a staff member, she proudly pointed out that it had indeed been one of the very first to have been refurbished all those years ago (about ten at a guess).
We asked to change rooms upon arrival but were shown two others which were pretty similar and didn't have the camp beds (or much room for them to be added). Consequently we stayed put hoping to curtail our visit to just that one night. However, talking to the Deputy Manager it seems that once they have your credit card details they'll just charge the booking anyway – using the 24hr rule (cancellations less than 24hrs incur full charge). Basically, if you turn up and don't like the room you've got to pay for it whether you're happy with it or not. Apparently, the Deputy Manager would be (quote) "Severely reprimanded by the Directors" if he didn't charge our card in this way. I suggested the room was very different from the luxury seen on the website and he just suggested that it's acceptable to show his best room on the web and that we should expect that to be the case. I didn't. I still don't. He added that I should have stipulated in my booking that I wanted a room of comparable quality to that which I had seen on the web. Ah, my mistake then.
In terms of room rates, I'd seen a discounted rate on Bookings.com but went direct to the hotel to see if they could match it and save them some money on the commission, which they gladly did. Upon check out the rate had mysteriously risen from £336 to £376 for the two nights. By this stage I was just pleased to be at the end of a totally miserable hotel experience and paid the money after being told (once again) “we'll just charge the money to your card anyway”. I wish I could run my business that way.
I asked for someone to call me to explain the price hike and indeed received one this morning from a foreign sounding chap with a poor grasp of English who just kept repeating "No, we charge extra for the children" - despite the price that I verbally agreed clearly being for the four of us (myself, wife & 2 kids). Incidentally, the emailed confirmation I’d asked for prior to arrival never appeared. Strange. I ended the call on the basis that I could argue until I was blue in the face but I was never going to see that £40 again.
My advice, fellow traveller, is to avoid this place like the bubonic plague. If you feel compelled to stay there then avoid the family bedrooms (ours was room 125), and keep your credit card details to yourself. Pay with cash as then you can control what you pay for on the basis of whether you’re satisfied. Don't let them take an imprint or details of your card, otherwise they'll just charge you regardless of whether you're satisfied or not. You have absolutely no comeback other than to cancel your card. Ideally, ask to see the room before you part with any cash or card details.
To keep it balanced, Chris(?) the bar manager was a very nice chap and served a decent pint. The location was great, as generally was the food except for the unwashed grapes which came with a thick layer of dirt on them as part of the cheese and biscuits selection. The menu was perhaps a little pretentious and may not be to everyone’s taste also, but the presentation (grapes aside) was very good.
Hope you find this useful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the heart of the Borrowdale valley and overlooking Lake Derwentwater, the four-star Lodore Falls Hotel has one of the finest settings in the Lake District. Delicious light meals and afternoon teas are available throughout the day in the comfortable lounges overlooking Derwentwater and in the early evening you can enjoy a drink in the bar before experiencing some of the region's finest cuisine served in the elegant Award-Winning 2 AA Rosette Lake View restaurant. Hotel Improvement works 2017. We have exciting plans to create a new chapter in the history of the Lodore Falls Hotel. The ground floor of the hotel has been completely renovated, our leisure club and beauty salon will remain closed until Summer 2018, when we reveal our brand-new luxury spa, dining experience, and 18 new bedroom suites. While this carefully planned development is underway we will do everything in our power to ensure these works do not impact on our guest’s experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lodore Falls Keswick
- Hotel Lodore Falls
- Lodore Falls Hotel Borrowdale, Keswick