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The Borrowdale Hotel
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Reviews (1,072)
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Reviewed June 12, 2013

I've been visiting the Borrowdale for many years but this was my first time since it was sold to new owners. It isn't the same but we still enjoyed our stay. It has had a lot of work done and our room was lovely. The furnishings and bathroom were modern and spotlessly clean. The towels and bathrobes were so soft and fluffy. The menu for the evening meal has been reduced significantly. It would have been nice to have been able to have cheese and dessert. Choices within the four courses was a bit limited and vegetables were lacking in imagination. Plain boiled chunks of carrot and swede with French beans without any sort of dressing could have been made nicer without much extra effort. Portions were also a bit small. However the service was excellent. The wine list is extensive but a bit pricey. We had a bottle from the specials list at about £20. It was very good. Breakfast is excellent and you can choose from several cooked dishes and then mix and match without making the staff cross! The situation is excellent but the drive from Keswick can be a bit scary so don't drive too fast. The garden is very pretty and we were lucky and could sit out quite late into the evening, as the weather was on our side. If the weather is inclement there is a large conservatory. Do remember that there would be no lakes without rain. There is a bus stop outside the door and lots of lovely walks in one of the most beautiful places in the country, so you can leave your car in the car park if you want to. I was a bit apprehensive before my visit and despite the changes,not all for the best, will be going again.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Joy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Visited here with my mother for a two night break, as we don't get to spend much time together due to me travelling a lot on business. Got a Travel zoo deal, and paid for an upgrade. I don't know why they bother to offer these deals as clearly their staff feel it is beneath them to deal with these guests. I have travelled to many hotels all over the world, and have never had such poor customer service.
The middle aged woman (sheila if i recall correctly)manning the reception desk when we arrived was patronising, unhelpful, and sarcastic. I think she feels as though she is doing the guests a favour by doing her job. We duly checked in, and ordered our newspaper for the next day, and got to our room feeling a little surprised by the lack of customer service. We put it down to a blip and looked around our room, which was of a decent standard.
During the first evening the toilet in our room was constantly running and wouldn't flush properly, which in itself wasn't a problem, this could happen anywhere. What was unacceptable was the reaction from the woman at reception when we mentioned it to her (the same woman who had checked us in). When we mentioned it to her she grinned in a supercilious fashion, when we asked if it would be fixed for us getting back, she replied in a very irritated manner ' Well hopefully.' No apologies or niceties; obviously a little beneath her in her 3 star hotel receptionist capacity. Our newspaper hadn't turned up, when we checked on returning from our walk, we were told that it was at reception. Apparently we were expected to collect it, again whilst unusual from any other hotel I have stayed in, fair enough, but again the delightful receptionist had omitted to tell us.
The restaurant was a different story; lovely staff (mainly Eastern European) and much much better service. The whole silver service thing is a bit much though, all quite old fashioned 1970's feeling. They'd be better off stopping the pretence and getting back to basics. The wine list was pretty good, and I ordered a decent bottle on both evenings. The older english guy bringing the wine (couldn't really be called a sommelier as he was clueless) brought me a very inferior vintage on one evening to that which I had ordered, he wasn't happy when I pointed it out but duly changed it. The second evening's bottle desperately required decanting, but sadly it was beyond the same waiter to recognise this. All of these things I really wouldn't have minded, but stop pretending to be something you're not!
When checking out, we had to wait for about ten minutes for someone to turn up. By the time a man decided to come to the desk a queue had built up, there were no apologies for keeping us all waiting, just 'who is first?' In an irritated tone.
In terms of service this hotel needs to ditch the English staff, drop the Fawlty Towers act and put the Eastern Europeans in charge to show them how it's done. They have a product which has great potential; a lovely hotel, decent food, beautiful location etc but an embarrassingly poor standard of service, and laughable ideas above its station.
I would go back if I heard the place was under new management and had ditched Basil and Sybil. Until then, no thanks!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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14  Thank happy75london
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

This hotel is in an idyllic location in the Borrow Dale valley and so it is straight out of the door and off for wonderful walks around Derwent Water and the surrounding area. A bus from/to Keswick (worth a visit) stops right outside. We spent a few days here and really enjoyed our stay, the friendly service and the Hotel generally. They have a nice bar, conservatory area and small outside patio and garden. One word of caution, though, is that some of the rooms can get very warm (we were not there at the peak of temperatures) partly because the fire doors in the corridors, particularly in the evenings, prevent circulation of air so if you can, ask for a chance to check out the room before accepting it. Otherwise, the room was well equipped and comfortable. We were on a special offer which included dinner and were pleasantly surprised to be given full choice from the table d'hote menu and coffee to follow in the conservatory. They have a good, extensive wine list which is a little on the pricey side although periodic promotions seem to ensure there is a value alternative. The Hotel has undergone considerable refurbishment but care should be taken to spot the first tell-tale signs and not to let that all go to waste when a rigorous cleaning and maintenance regime including out-of-sight areas (behind beds and in bathroom corners, etc.) could make sure it stays really nice and always fresh.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ramleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I cant praise this hotel highly enough. What a little gem. The food was tasty and plentiful.

Staff we very attentive and helpful.

I am very fussy and i can honestly say this place is perfect.

Will be back.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank juleslady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Just got back from a three day break. accompanied by two nieces and my 13year old grand daughter. Staff and accommodation could not have been better. The staff really made my grand daughter feel special, many thanks to them.The visit was to spread my wife's ashes so it was very important to me that things went well.I would like to thank all the hotel staff for their kind consideration.

Room Tip: Room 31 but any room at the front of the hotel
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Norman W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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