Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF England
Traveller (1519)
Panorama of the Classic Room at the Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
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About

4.0
#11 of 13 hotels in Bowness-on-Windermere
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.4 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.6 of 5 bubbles
Value

Old England Hotel & Spa offers majestic views thanks to its position On the shores of Lake Windermere. The hotel's impressive facilities include a private jetty and lakeside moorings, one of the Lake District's most popular spas, a modern gym and the Lakeview Restaurant.

Just a short walk from the bustling town of Bowness-on-Windermere and perfectly placed for exploring one of the most beautiful areas of England, the Old England hotel is a popular choice for family holidays, countryside retreats and weddings.

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Property amenities
Paid private parking on-site
Free internet
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Taxi service
Business Centre with Internet Access
Conference facilities
Parking
Wifi
Indoor pool
Heated pool
Fitness / spa changing rooms
Sauna
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Kids' meals
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Spa
Facial treatments
Full body massage
Head massage
Massage
Salon
Steam room
Baggage storage
Concierge
Non-smoking hotel
Sun terrace
24-hour front desk
Express check-in / check-out
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Room features
Private balcony
Room service
Safe
Iron
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Bridal suite
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Marina View
River View
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish, Polish, Slovak

Location

23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF England
Getting there
Great for walkers
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 99 out of 100
99
Carlisle Lake District Airport
39.9 mi
See all flights
Newcastle Airport
67.9 mi
See all flights
4,250Reviews57Q+A100Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
Ray & Wendy wrote a review Jan 2020
Blackburn, United Kingdom47 contributions17 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Last night a party of 6 of us stayed in this lovely hotel which was a Christmas present. As it was dark and raining hard when we arrived, We took advantage of the valet parking service which is £20 per vehicle for secured parking, as it saved getting soaked and looking for alternative parking.

Our rooms where all on the 1st floor and where easily accessible by the lift. Our room 227, was just by the lift which was ideal as my husband has difficultly in walking. The room was very comfortable with a nice view of the lake. The bathroom was large with a walk in corner shower cubicle with a very powerful shower and plenty of hot water. There was also a separate bath which we found unusual as it’s usually either bath or shower or a shower over the bath. Complimentary bath robes and toiletries where supplied. The only
problem we had, was that we didn’t find the kettle, tea, coffee etc until the following morning as we where getting ready to leave, as they where hidden away in the cupboard under the television!!!

Dinner was included in our gift so we went down to the dining room to be met by a very helpful young lady who led us to our table. Dinner cost £30 for 3 courses which was enjoyed by all. The dinning room staff where very pleasant and helpful and where willing to “ tweak” the menu a little to suit.

After a good nights sleep, we all went down for breakfast which was a good choice of cereals, fruits etc then a choice of various cooked breakfasts. Again they where willing to “ tweak “ the menu by doing just poached eggs on toast for me.
As we where only there overnight, sadly we didn’t get chance to take advantage of the spa facilities and as the weather was bad, we didn’t venture out to the Lake but it certainly didn’t spoil our visit.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General M, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 15 Jan 2020
Dear raywendyg Thank you for your stunning 5 out of 5 review! I was a real pleasure to have you all at the Old England and wonderful to read you all enjoyed the experience. Room 227 is a great room for space so lovely to read the room was as you required and close to the lift. Agata, our Operations Manager was the helpful young lady who I know will be over the moon about your comments for our restaurant service. Thank you again for your awesome review and we hope to see you all again in the future. Kind regards Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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Mike S wrote a review Sept 2020
Manchester, United Kingdom178 contributions73 helpful votes
+1
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We enjoyed a couple of nights here as a late September getaway.
The hotel has an enviable location. We have previously stayed at the Burnside round the corner but this tops it for location and views.
The check in was quick and efficient and the hotel has done a lot to be covid secure and it felt so on the whole.
I especially liked how they sectioned the lounge area but still made it feel normal and in keeping with the ambience of the hotel.
The bedroom was a little dated and lacks mod cons like plug sockets by the bed. Some of the furniture was chipped or marked but it was comfortable, clean and quiet and the housekeeping cleaning was very good.
Where this place lets itself down is the service.
I do feel for them as it’s clearly been a busy few months for the staff since reopening after lockdown but there are basics which just aren’t right that cause frustration and need looking at by the management.
It’s by no means cheap at £6.20 a pint and possibly one of the priciest pints in the lakes and when paying that you expect decent service. Having only 1 or 2 staff on the bar juggling a few things seemed to be one of the issues. They really struggled with table service and you often had either a long wait or 20 mins or more for a drink or,after ages waiting for someone, had to go to the bar to ask for a drink which is what they are trying to avoid. It was clearly annoying a few people and a common theme over the 2 days whether sat inside or out.
Dinner was very good in terms of the food quality and presentation although again the service wasn’t overly impressive. 4 different staff members asked us to bare with them whilst passing doing other things prior to us being seated. Maybe one person should just do that and be responsible for it so people aren’t left standing about? The drinks also seemed to take a while and the soup was out before them.
Breakfast was disappointing although there was a good selection to choose from and I like how they’ve maintained the continental selection with a staff member serving it.
On day one the cooked breakfast was luke warm at best but given it took a while wasn’t worth sending back. The toast comes well before it so if you like it warm with your breakfast be sure to tell them. By day two the oat cake had become a hash brown but the breakfast was at least hot.
Crockery was chipped and cutlery was marked and that’s not what you’d expect given the prices charged here.
You had to pre book a pool spot and we did and found it was well managed, the pool well laid out so you had space and the lady in the spa reception was friendly and we had a nice hour down there.
I wouldn’t rule out a return here as it was a decent stay but given the prices I’d look at other options too as I expected a little more.
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General Manager, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 1 Oct 2020
Dear Arkwright88 Thank you for your personal review. Great to read that overall you enjoyed your stay and as you say the location of the hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere could not be better for any of our guests. Thank you for also mentioning about our COVID guidelines we have in place and we are pleased that we are getting plenty of understanding from our guests. The food and menus as you highlighted has been very successful with lovely presentation. I appreciate your views on our service and we will continue to strive to offer the most friendly of personal services to all our guests. Thank you for your comments and I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future. Kind regards Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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veghedgehog wrote a review Jan 2020
West Kirby, United Kingdom132 contributions58 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Don’t get me wrong, I love this hotel. Ive stayed here in six or seven different rooms over the last 10 years. This is the first visit in two years. I stayed with a family member and we had a room each, There was no reduction in price except for a small amount for meals deducted as we were sole occupants of each room. The hotel has definitely gone downhill. The general infrastructure needs investment from Macdonald. The staff are still lovely, I’d like to mention Joanna from Poland at breakfast, Who was the first person I’ve ever seen spraying hygiene spray onto a cloth so that customers don’t have to breathe it in over their breakfast - Thank you for being so considerate. Paul on Reception and Agata who tried her best regarding the disaster that was my dinner. I don’t think when you book dinner bed and breakfast you expect there to be a fixed menu where there is basically nothing to eat for vegetarians or vegans without goat or sheep cheese. I ordered a superfood salad and was given hot boiled white rice with beetroot bleeding into the top of it. It didn’t even hit the table before I said no. This was then followed by cheddar cheese which had rind on the long side and the short side and was inedible. For the whole of the month of January they only have the same fixed menu of four dishes so if you are staying more than one night you’re basically getting no choice if you have a different dietary requirements. The rooms with beautiful views need attention and new carpets. Perhaps you need to move the family rooms to the ground floor not on the top floor where children are running around keeping everyone else awake. I didn’t use the spa facilities this time. Though we got a good deal considering how much this hotel can cost at other times of the year it was not worth it for what we received, causing a lot of stress and totally ruined my birthday trip away. For my birthday I ended up going to Tesco’s to buy houmous and celery and eating it in the room After the fiasco of dinner it was too late to go out. Not what I expected from a McDonald 4* Hotel
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General M, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 27 Jan 2020
Dear veghedgehog Thank you for your personal review and loyalty over the past 10 years. It was lovely to have you both here enjoying the delights of the hotel, spa and Lake Windermere and all it has to offer. I understand you are non-meat eater and I fully appreciate your concern. I can confirm we are just about to have a separate menu for vegetarians and vegans to make sure we are catering for all our guests correctly. This was an odd situation and thank you for speaking to my colleagues about this. The current menu offers a good selection of dishes on all 3 courses and there are more to come to keep your options open for all who dine. The hotel has had a number of investments recently to do with increasing the speed of the Wi-Fi and additional beds for children along with new curtains for the four main suites. I can confirm other plans are currently being discussed. It was also very kind of you to mention some of the team who all have a genuine interest to make sure you have the best of stays with us. Thank you again for your comments and we hope to see you again in the future. Kind regards Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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pearcesid wrote a review Sept 2020
Portsmouth, United Kingdom53 contributions63 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
The hotel has a great position with lovely views of the lake, this I am afraid though is where the good stuff ends.

On arrival we were completely underwhelmed, in complete contrast to the website the hotel is dated and scruffy, the male receptionist had a tone that bordered on rude.

Along with this:

Terrace whilst holding amazing views was scruffy with peeling paint and just general disrepair.

Room was absolutely boiling hot with windows that don’t open.

Drinks and evening meal were completely overpriced and whilst the food was ok it certainly wasn’t worth its cost.

Towel had a hole in it

Paper cups in the room for tea and coffee

Breakfast was served cold

The general decor of the hotel borders on dirty and on 2 occasions we saw smashed glass that had been left on the floor.

In general the things you expect of a 4 star hotel like linen tableware, good quality condiments and juices were replaced with alternatives that appear to be designed to scrimp and save money. One piece of toast per person and a single portion of butter between 2 people. You could ask for more but really!!

At £250 a night this hotel is a complete rip off and there are much nicer hotels and pubs in walking distance of the lake. I would actively recommend to any family and friends not to stay here and to eat at either the flying pig or the Albert which are steps away and really good food.

It is a shame to write such a scathing review as with some money spent on renovations and some staff training this could be a great hotel.

The staff did not even ask how our stay was when we checked out, perhaps a good thing !?
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General Manager, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 14 Sept 2020
Dear pearcsid Thank you for your personal review. It was great to read you enjoyed not only the stunning Lake Windermere views but also overall the hotel experience. To clarify, the current paper cups in the bedrooms relate to the COVID requirements from the government and not our normal standards. More toast and butter is always available on request and we are more than happy to offer. The entrance environment is not as you suggested and with marble floors and a grand style. The team have been highly praised in many reviews and we will continue to offer the best of service to all our guests. Thank you for your review and I hope we do have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future. Kind regards Peter
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Alison M wrote a review Aug 2020
Liverpool, United Kingdom27 contributions27 helpful votes
+1
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Just arrived here with the worst smell I’ve ever smelt in a hotel, we arrived at 12.30 my room was not ready so went for a walk as receptionist said it wouldn’t be long, arrived back at 2pm as we had treatments and pool booked and needed to change. Because we are not allowed to use changing facilities during these times... room still not ready at 2.30 so had to change in smelly toilets and put case back in luggage room. Went to spa where apparently we could use changing facilities because we had no room. Wish she’d told us that earlier when we came to see her. Came at 4.30 to finally get a room key just the one and an actual key. Walked into room which is like a heat box 1opened window to broken metal glass the other was stuck and extract fan from a restaurant it smells so bad. As my daughter is pregnant and this was my birthday treat I though this 4 star hotel would be perfect. I was so wrong. So I asked reception about the heat in the room and the view with broken glass he said there is a fan,No there isn’t he replied it a classic room, maybe back in 1970.So I rang reception explaining I couldn’t see a fan and the phone died that was in the room. I then returned back to reception where the guy came up to my room said no there is no fan and tried to wedge the broken window with a ice box. I said I’m sorry we can’t stay here so he offered us a room a couple of doors down smaller but it had a fan. Unfortunately the fan was that old it kept us awake all night long we switched it off the room was unbearable I don’t know if someone had left the heating on but I’ve never in my life stayed in a room that hot. All the towels smelt of vegetable oil and the room stunk. We decided to go to the bar and get a drink was told to take a seat as we where guests of the hotel and someone would serve us sat there for 17 minutes watched 2 tables that came after us get served. So told the guys behind the bar who where drying cutlery we will leave the drinks you’ve obviously forgot us. Breakfast wasn’t much better offered us hot drink and toast before we ordered breakfast. The toast was so thin and cold by time breakfast arrived. my daughter And I requested scrambled eggs which where inedible didn’t even taste like eggs. They where all left on plates in front of us no one cleared or asked what was wrong. All in all the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in outdated, smelly and staff training needed, so overpriced for what it is.
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Date of stay: August 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General Manager, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 16 Aug 2020
Dear alisonm548 Thank you for your personal review. I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay at the hotel and thank you for your comments. Please be rest-assured that all comments both positive and of concern are reviewed internally. Having been at the hotel for a couple of years, I was surprised to note about a smell in the hotel which has never been mentioned before and I am not aware of but will monitor. With regard to getting access to your room, I am sorry we were not quick enough to arrange a room on arrival. Check in time is from 4pm but we do get the rooms serviced and returned when possible as we understand some guests arrive early. It was good to note we managed to resolve the option of using the changing rooms which currently due to the COVID guidelines we have had to reduce the usage of this area. Thank you for your comments. Yours sincerely Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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Railton wrote a review Apr 2020
Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom39 contributions37 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We managed to squeeze in a three night visit just before this lovely hotel has to close due to the current situation. Reception staff were very friendly and efficient and checked us in with no problem. We were given an upgraded room on the ground floor overlooking the lake, obviously fabulous views. The room was well equipped with the usual facilities,tea and coffee, a kettle, toiletries, bottled water, biscuits etc. The bed which was big was very comfortable.
Dinner on each evening was exceptionable , compliments to the chef and his/her team, food was piping hot and really tasty, all courses were lovely. Breakfast was equally as good, I had the full English which again was piping hot and very tasty, there were the usual cereals and pastries on offer with plenty of tea and coffee. Like reception the restaurant staff were really friendly and helpful. The spa which was open at the time we were there was great, huge pool, sauna, ice room, steam room though that wasn’t working at the time but that wasn’t a problem. The only slight minus to our stay was the parking, £60 for three nights we thought was a little steep.That aside though, a fabulous stay, will definitely return when the current situation allows. Good luck to everyone connected with the Old England
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Date of stay: March 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Try and get a lake view room
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
RamblerSuffolk_UK wrote a review Sept 2020
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom99 contributions54 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Old England is one of those traditional English hotels with a country house feel. The public areas were furnished with heavy curtains, comfy armchairs and lots of 'dark wood' furniture. (I counted at least three grandfather clocks!) Tall windows lit the lounge and one could gaze out across the well manicured garden to the shimmering mere beyond.
Staff were respectful, professional, friendly but not 'matey' , as they can be in some other establishments.
Our room overlooked the water. It featured an enormous and very comfortable bed, a walk in shower of faultless efficiency, a writing desk with chair and two armchairs. Like the public areas it too had heavy light and sound excluding curtains.
Due to covid we took both our lunches and dinners in the hotel. Whether we ate in the restaurant or the lounge/bar area we were pleased with our menu choices. (The two areas had quite separate menus.) We stayed a full week and were thus able, between us, to sample a wide range of dinner and breakfast choices.
I only have a few negative comments and they are relatively trifling.
1. Sometimes food service was a little slow but I would always prefer that if the alternative was poorer food.
2. I would find the two menus tiresome were I to stay more than a week. (They may change them weekly. I forgot to ask.)
3. The furniture was a little tired in places but it was always clean. The hotel must try to maintain its character nevertheless.
4. Hotel parking is expensive. I parked my car in the local district council's car park at Rayrigg Road. £31 buys day and night parking for seven days and one can both come and go as one pleases and use other car parks in the South Lakeland District Council's area.
5. I didn't notice any attempts by the restaurant staff to promote either local or organic food. For instance, neither Cumberland cheeses nor the famous 'Cumberland Sausage' were available; but I may be mistaken.
The Old England is a good hotel on a lovely lake and I would like to go back. I shall have to save up however. As one would expect it is not cheap but it is value for money.
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General Manager, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 14 Sept 2020
Dear RamblerSuffolk_UK_ Thank you for your lovely 5 out of 5 review!! Great to note you recommend the hotel and would return and thank you for your kind words about your overall experience and the respectful, professional, friendly team. It was also good to note you felt it was value for money. Thank you for also mentioning that the hotel style is one of tradition and country feel with the awesome stretch of Lake Windermere to enjoy. I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future. Kind regards Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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Rachael S wrote a review Jul 2020
Reading, United Kingdom3 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We visited not long after they reopened the hotels and were very pleased. The room was clean and very spacious with a large bed and entrance area. All staff wore masks etc and stuck to guidelines well. Table service only at bar and restaurant with servers wearing gloves and time slots for meals so it was never too busy. All servers were really polite, cheerful and professional.
We had a meal and breakfast in the restaurant which was very enjoyable and the dinner particularly was very tasty and beautifully presented.
The location is perfect with views of the lake from the restaurant and the hotel is surrounded with bars etc in the town.
Would highly reccomend! We had a great weekend.
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Date of stay: July 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General Manager, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 17 Jul 2020
Dear rachaelsA7683CB Thank you so much for your stunning 5 out of 5 review and recommendation!! Great to note so many awesome elements to your stay with us and I think your review says it all. Thank you also for mentioning the team who have been working hard with the new changes and different approach to our service to all guests. Hope to see you again in the future. Kind regards Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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MS260967 wrote a review Oct 2020
12 contributions14 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
My partner and I stayed here for a long weekend. There were a number of ‘picky’ things, one or two of which wouldn’t have been an issue but all together became frustrating. We’ll put these down to the current pandemic issues though the hotel could definitely do with more staff - especially in the bar at what are logically going to be busy times.

Key issues were the room and the food. We booked a Super Deluxe Double with Lake View. There was nothing Super Deluxe about it. The room was small to start with, and by the time they’d put in a desk and two armchairs we pretty much had to take it in turns walking around as there simply wasn’t room for us to pass. The room description promised a bath with shower but we only had a shower - again something that would not normally bother me but after a long day hiking it would have been nice to have had a soak. That said, the room also promised luxurious Elemis toiletries. We got a shower cap, a small bar of soap, a small bottle of shower gel, and a tiny bottle of shampoo (see photo attached). They were from three different companies, none of whom were Elemis.

Breakfast was fine, but we made the mistake of having dinner at the hotel twice. The choice was limited and the cooking second rate. The ham hock terrine included a crostini type offering that was so greasy it was more like a fried slice, the basil linguine looked and tasted like it had been pre-made quite some time before, and a ‘medium’ sirloin steak came out so bloody my partner couldn’t eat it (again see photo below). To be fair to the hotel they did take the cost of the steak off of our bill, but that’s not really the point.
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General Manager, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 3 Oct 2020
Dear MS260967 Thank you for your personal review. I hope you had a wonderful time on your hike and enjoyed all the Lakes and Lake Windermere has to offer. It is such a lovely location and with the hotel being on the shores of Lake Windermere you are central to so much more. I can confirm the hotel is 4 star and represents this in all we offer while following the COVID guidelines and we will continue to strive to offer the best of service and care to all of our guests. I appreciate your views and recently changed over to other new toiletries offering the same luxury product as the last brand which is in the process of getting changed on the website. Dinner has been a highlight for so many and since reopening we have been very busy with a full restaurant very night. The menu offers a number of choices offering over 6 dishes for each course including steaks, scallops and creme brulee to name a few. I am sure given the opportunity the team in the restaurant would have arranged for your steak to have been cooked a little longer if required. We are more than happy to assist our guests. Thank you and I hope we do have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future. Kind regards Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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Philip H wrote a review Aug 2020
Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom538 contributions278 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Everyone wants a Covid-19 review of safety etc these days, so here goes....
As someone who works in the NHS and has been at work (not working from home) every day during the pandemic, I've lived though all the tough stuff in real life, not via Facebook. Since hotels have been allowed to re-open I have stayed in more than one, and they all take varying approaches to being "Covid secure".
I have to say, the MacDonald Old England is by far the best I have stayed in so far. They have taken appropriate and proportional steps, but not turned the place into a hospital operating theatre. The (formerly) buffet breakfast is now a very sensible combination of table service (excellent) and a "served buffet" where you walk up and a team member serves you whatever you desire. Outstanding. The evening meal is simply divine. Haute cuisine superbly executed. Also outstanding.
We stayed two nights in a lake view room which was fabulous. The overall experience was absolutely superb. Not cheap, but worth every penny.
Having worked myself almost to the point of meltdown in the last few months my short break here was an absolute epiphany. We had a wonderful time, and it was great to see such an outstanding, iconic hotel rising to the challenge of the current public health guidelines.
If you want an amazing, relaxing stay this is the place for you.
If you want to pay buttons and stay in a dettol scented operating theatre look elsewhere.
I will be back. This place is amazing!
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Date of stay: July 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Lake View Room
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from General Manager, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Responded 2 Aug 2020
Dear Philip H THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR THE UK AND ALL THOSE PATIENTS YOU LOOKED AFTER! You are a star! Your 5 out of 5 review and comments say it all and I cannot Thank you enough for this review. It has been a very hard return but we are so pleased to be open. We are very excited to see our guests again and as you mentioned we have worked out a suitable way to not over-approach the new norm while keeping our hospitality at the centre of all we do. THANK YOU ALSO FOR THE 100% RECOMMENDATION! A well earned rest of you and I hope we have the pleasure of welcome you back in the future. Take care and keep safe! Peter Peter Llewellyn General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Answer from Patsy P
Dumfries, United Kingdom4 contributions
Not when we were there. There were local pubs advertising entertainment though. To be honest we were more than happy with the stunning situation of the hotel plus the scenery & atmosphere.
lisamaca38 asked a question Jun 2022
South Shields, United Kingdom1 contribution
Do the rooms have a fridge in please?
Preston, United Kingdom28 contributions57 helpful votes
yes
Charlotte C asked a question Aug 2021
7 contributions8 helpful votes
Can you use the spa facilities without a treatment?
Answer from Monika P
1 contribution3 helpful votes
Yes, if you're lucky and it's open. We followed the info as it's 7am-7pm but at 6.27pm it was already closed... we couldn't use the sauna coz it was packed and the steam room was out of order. Good luck!
Paula B asked a question Sept 2020
Bury, United Kingdom57 contributions
Hello, please can you tell me if they serve drinks in the gardens?
Answer from Paulo260
Liverpool, United Kingdom92 contributions46 helpful votes
Hi When we were there few weeks ago yes they did
Peter C wrote a tip 5 Jun
Barnsley, United Kingdom4 contributions4 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Parking not on site and need to collect a kids key From reception the drive short way to parking. Extra £20.00/per night parking charge."
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Rebecca A wrote a tip 3 Jun
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"You need a fob for the car park from reception. If you have a lake view room, shut your curtains if it’s sunny and you’re going out!"
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Pam M wrote a tip 2 Jun
Winchester, United Kingdom5 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for the rooms on the lake side. Worth the additional cost "
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kerry3571 wrote a tip 1 Jun
9 contributions1 helpful vote
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Parking is £20 per night. We were able to check in at 12pm as our room was ready."
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jamie wrote a tip May 2024
3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Beware of £20 parking charge per day"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Bowness-on-Windermere area.
PRICE RANGE
£175 - £272 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
hotel macdonald old england
LOCATION
United KingdomEnglandCumbriaLake DistrictBowness-on-Windermere
NUMBER OF ROOMS
106
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect nightly room rates, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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MACDONALD OLD ENGLAND HOTEL & SPA - Updated 2024 Reviews, Photos & Prices

Frequently Asked Questions about Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Which popular attractions are close to Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Nearby attractions include Lake Windermere (0.2 miles), The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction (0.2 miles), and The Lakes Gallery (0.08 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an indoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Yes, paid private parking on-site is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Conveniently located restaurants include Boardwalk Bar & Grill, Graze, and Jackson's Bistro.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Yes, guests have access to an indoor pool, a fitness centre, and a sauna during their stay.
Is Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.1 miles away from the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere.
Are any cleaning services offered at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Does Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business centre, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Polish, and Slovak.
Are there any historical sites close to Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Townend (3.4 miles), Blackwell - The Arts & Crafts house (1.4 miles), and Bridge House (4.9 miles).
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