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“Too many negatives, not enough positvives”

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The Lake Country House & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 17, 2013

We have just returned from this hotel, which was a birthday treat for my husband. We regularly enjoy two or three night breaks at spa hotels so like to think we have a good knowledge of what is good and what is not.

Where to start.

On arrival after a stressful journey I was told on checking in that I had not booked for two nights bed breakfast and evening meal, but that I had booked three nights bed and breakfast. I told the receptionist that this was incorrect and so was asked to provide an email from secret escapes. All of my emails had been passed on to someone at work so that my husband didn't get wind of his surprise, so I then had to call up my colleague to get her to email my information over to the hotel. Whilst this was being looked into we were shown to our room, and I was surprised to be told that we had been upgraded to a suite (I had paid for a suite), I was also surprised to see that the birthday balloons I had ordered through the hotel were not in the room. After around 20 mins, the receptionist knocked on the door and told me that she was correct that we had booked three nights bed and breakfast and flashed what she had printed off the secret escapes web site. I noticed that the price was different to what I had paid and told her this was not my booking and that I had paid more. She left with me unable to settle and my husband not having a clue what was going on!!

I then went down to reception to show them an email I had saying that we had dinner included and to also tell them about the missing balloons and to see if they had received my colleagues email. A young man (from the office behind reception) came to see what was going on and immediately noticed that the receptionist had been looking at the wrong name and the wrong booking, therefore putting us in the wrong room, the one without the balloons!

I went back to our room without an apology almost feeling like the mess had been made by me. I had to explain to my husband what had gone on and also about his surprise balloons. It then dawned on me that we were therefore not in the correct room allocated to us so called reception who offered to show us the other room so that we could make the choice. We chose the room we should have had as the views were far superior.

Not a great start!

Our room was OK although the bed was two singles pushed together so quite uncomfortable. The bathroom was fine although a little rough around the edges. The hair dryer cable did not reach the dressing table mirror. The tv channels were appalling and many were fuzzy, in this day and age this is completely unnecessary.

We headed off to the spa - or so called spa. On arrival we were told that the ladies changing rooms were out of order therefore the ladies were using the mens changing rooms and the men were using the disabled changing room. We were not told this on arrival at reception at the hotel. My husband said that when the door to the disabled changing room opened, you could see straight in from the pool which made him uncomfortable.

The pool area was clean and the pool was warm. The sauna was like a tiny hut that would only comfortably fit two people in it, there was no steam room. We made our way to the hot tub - this was tiny, not very warm and again would only have comfortably fit two people in it. At a spa you would normally hear tranquil music, not at this one. This is not a spa, just an over rated swimming pool.

When we went down for dinner on the first night we were told that the only draught beer was grolsch so my husband ordered a pint of grolsch. He wasnt convinced that it was draught and it certainly did not taste nice.

Having paid £38.50 per head for dinner we expected a fine dining experience. The canapes were tasteless, the roasted tomato soup was tasty but from hereon in it went downhill. The starters were poor and tasteless, my husband and I both had beef for main. We had three small round pieces of beef, a tiny portion of mash potato and a piece of curly kale, pudding was fine, but the cheese and biscuits is served with what are more like small tasteless crisps than crackers. The atmosphere in the restaurant is awkward and it is a relief to leave.

We have read that there is a turn down service - we didn't get this on either evening.

No tea and coffee making facilities in the room is a let down, and although apparently if you ask they will be provided, you shouldnt have to research to know this.

We did not receive tea or coffee to the room in the morning, like I have read on previous trip advisors and we werent willing to ask in case there was a charge!!!

One the second night the evening meal was better in taste but not quantity, both nights my husband left hungry. On the second night he thought he would try the guinness. He did know that it was from a can however when it arrived it was warm and barely drinkable. At £4.50 for a can it is not unreasonable to expect for it to be served cold!!!!

There are no pubs in close proximity and the hotel does not make it easy to sit and relax with a drink due to its poor facilities.

Breakfast was fine and the lady that served us both mornings was really lovely.

My husband used the toilets in the lobby and was appalled by the state of them, dirty, old and unkempt, not what you should expect.

The hotel itself has all the makings of a lovely hotel and the grounds are stunning, such a lovely location shame the hotel cannot match it's beauty.

Usually we wouldn't want to leave, but unfortunately on this occasion we were glad to.

Lake Country House, go and visit the Armathwaite in Keswick, where it is cheaper to stay but the a la carte really is stunning, the rooms are beautiful, even the standard ones and the spa is a spa where you truly feel spolit. You are a 3* and that is all you should be, you have a long way to go before you become a 4*.

And even though the surprise was spolit regarding the balloons, we were still charged £21 for them!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank rubbles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mrhoward66, Guest Relations at The Lake Country House & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We are glad to hear there were certain elements of your stay such as the breakfast service and the grounds that you enjoyed. We can only offer our sincere apologies for the misunderstanding that occurred on check-in.

It seems to us as though this early mishap may have had an impact on the rest of your stay. We cannot possibly hope to address all of your points as we know that it’s impossible to please everyone, but in the question of fairness, we would like to offer a little balance. Our spa is currently being developed to improve our overall spa offering. The toilets in the lobby are regularly checked and appropriately cleaned when dirty. Finally, our Grolsch is as described - we would never mislead our customers in this way. Once again please accept our apologies that we were unable to meet your expectations but let us assure you of our very best intentions at all times.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 15, 2013

We have just returned from this excellent hotel, having been to a few hotels recently we were very surprised it only has 3 stars. The quality of the room was excellent, it was cleaned everyday and turned down every night. We had a Junior Suite which was lovely, we used the swimming pool every day on our visit and the gym, the hot tub is lovely but can get a little cramped at busy times. I used the spa service and had a lovely massage from a lovely lady. All the staff were very friendly and helpful. We had asked for tea and coffee making facilities to be in our room prior to our arrival and it was there. We ate in the hotel for the 3 nights of our stay and can confirm that there was a new option on the menu each night. If you are looking for a relaxing stay in lovely countryside we would highly recommend.

Room Tip: Be aware this is a dog friendly hotel, so you can hear dogs barking in the rooms occasionally.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SuzMunday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We had a four night break from a Wednesday to Sunday during which my husband celebrated his 50th Birthday. From the moment we arrived we felt relaxed and looked after, we were greeted by the very cheerful and helpful Laura who walked us to our room. The French room was very comfortable, there is somewhere to plug your hairdryer in, near the dressing table in the bedroom, the hot water does take a few minutes to run through in the bath tub and we did not find this a problem, as long as you know you just run the taps beforehand.

The food in the restaurant was very good, I do however have a thing about hot food on hot plates, on a couple of occasions the plates were luke warm, the lounge is very comfy, lots of squishy sofas, wood burning stove, board games, magazines etc, we also used the spa and enjoyed the pool and hot tub on the covered balcony overlooking the lake, the walk around the lake, even in the rain enjoyable, there are two resident dogs who will happily accompany you on your walk if you so wish.

The hotel, location and the staff made our experience all very enjoyable, I do read reviews when making a final decision when selecting a place to stay, they are however only an individuals opinion and in this instance we will definitely return and recommend.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank thirstywelshgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mrhoward66, Guest Relations at The Lake Country House & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of your stay. We are delighted to hear that we were able to make your husband’s birthday an enjoyable one. We look forward to welcoming you back; hopefully when the weather is a bit brighter!

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Reviewed April 14, 2013

The Lakes is a wonderful country house hotel set in glorious grounds complete with the obligatory Labrador and spaces for the green wellies, both the owner and the staff are very accomadating and were very obliging to the special needs of our party.
However the negatives spoil what would have been a lovely weekend,

1. The rooms whilst decorated to a good standard, the polyester duvet and man made pillows are not acceptable and should be rectified.
2. The water in the bathrooms was exceptionally hot to the point of being dangerous. I understand from Health and Safety legislatin, exceptional hot water and the risks had to be identified to guard against accidents, something which was lacking and moreover concerning given that we had members in our party could have easily burnt themselves unintentionally.
3. In addition there were no safety mats provided for use in the bathroom, something which I also believe is against new legislation.
3. The stairs to our rooms had issues, some were very narrow with metal edges, which had not been adaptedly correctly, which led to slippage, others were exceptionally steep and narrow, which were also not pleasant to negotiate.
4. Our bill had to be checked several times, as not only had onerous items had been added on but items from other rooms had been included on ours and whilst incorrect charges were amended with good grace, given the size of the establishment, these errors were basic and should not happen.
5. The food whilst of good quality was disappointing, twice the scallop starter was ordered and twice I had just 1 scallop on a plate with a sprinkling of greenery, when you pay £38 for an evening meal, I do expect more than 1 scallop.
6. The menu overall was disapointing with very small choice and exceptionally small portions, every night I left the dining room hungry, something which should not happen especially at the prices charged.
7. The Hotel is not child friendly but having accepted our party's booking ( and thereby our money) that included children from 8 to 16, apart from the accomadation over the meals, a Dickension attitude did seem to pervade and whilst I except that bositerous behaviour in the pool would not be to some guests liking, the childrens hour of 4 to 5 was very extremely restrictive, especially when the facility was empty and alternatives were not avalibale due to weather/ our occasion.
All in all very disappointing.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Batty1Dog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mrhoward66, Guest Relations at The Lake Country House & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Many thanks for taking the time to share a review of your recent stay. We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the grounds and found the staff very accommodating. As you say, our team worked hard to make your stay enjoyable and solved issues such as the bill with good grace. In reply, and to add some balance, we would like to take the opportunity to respond to some of your points.

We provide hollow fibre bedding as it is less likely to cause guests with allergies an uncomfortable night’s sleep. We are however able to provide goose down duvets if requested. As you will see from other feedback on this page, we have received many positive comments on our bedding. We are also happy to provide safety mats if required.

Our policy on children’s use of the pool is to ensure that the spa is maintained as an area of calm and relaxation for the benefit of other visitors. Guests, including yourselves; are always made aware of this policy at the time of booking and we do not see it as a problem in regards to accommodating children.

We would like to assure you that we will always do all we can to ensure our guests get the best possible stay and we can only apologise if you felt there were a couple of points that had an impact on your lovely weekend. We wish you all the best for the rest of the year.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We had a three day break here if only it was more. The facilities are outstanding and we used every one of them, There was not a shortage of things to do, from using the spa to playing golf, Tennis and Billiards. The staff were exceptional and could not do enough for us. The food was to die for. The two resident dogs were a pleasure to be with and would happily escort you around the grounds. There was also a very pleasant walk along the river for about a mile. It was great to park the car and forget about it for three days. A big thank you to all the staff at this wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Graham R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

It's been a while since I stayed here and although we enjoyed our visit I think things have slipped a bit.
We stayed in 'French' room which is perfectly lovely except for two things. First there was nowhere to plug a hair dryer in near to a mirror. This is something even I make sure is available in my guest bedroom! Second, the shower is pathetic. It took 8 minutes to warm up & yes I did time it because I had rung reception to ask what was going on with hot water. Apparently, the room is a long way from the boiler. Not really acceptable for a luxury hotel.

The spa is still brilliant - highly recommended.

The food is above average but not as good as it was the last time I stayed. I don't want to sound like some poncy wannabe food critic but I was left with the impression maybe the chef had lost a little bit of his passion for the job or was maybe having an off day.

On the other hand the sommelier was brilliant. Knowledgeable without being overbearing & gave us an excellent recommendation for our desert wine.

It was good but could be better!

Room Tip: Avoid 'French' if you want a decent shower
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Eddiefatpaws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

We loved our stay at the hotel even though we had to turn it into a family holiday last minute. The hotel was flexible enough to accommodate us all and even let us use the swimming pool. It was a very cold day, so the pool was a bit on the chilly side. The hotel itself is excellent and the food is superb. We enjoyed it very much though next time just the grown-ups will be travelling.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank MWG24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lake Country House & Spa

Address: Llangammarch Wells | Powys, Llangammarch Wells LD4 4BS, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Llangammarch Wells
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Llangammarch Wells
Price Range: $152 - $268 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Lake Country House & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lake Country House Hotel is a 4 star hotel set in the Heart of Mid Wales and is the perfect destination for a luxury hotel break or romantic getaway. The Spa offers a range of Heath and Beauty treatments and is equipped with and indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi overlooking the lake. Game Fishing and golf are available on site and there is a good range of other golf courses in the area. Horse riding, the Elan Valley and of course the Brecon Beacons are all near by.An air of elegance and calm informality pervades this exquisitely furnished Welsh country house hotel. Standing serenely in its own fifty acres of parkland, with sweeping lawns, rhododendron lined pathways and riverside walks, this magnificent mid wales hotel is comfort epitomised.The country house itself is an architectural bagatelle, begun in 1840 and remodeled in 1900. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lake Country House And Spa
The Lake Country House Hotel Llangammarch Wells
The Lake Country Hotel
Lake Country Hotel
The Lake Country House & Spa Llangammarch Wells, Wales

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