I must start of by saying how beautiful the location of the hotel is. From the entrance at the front to the exceptional view of the lake from the back terrace.
We were a party of 11 staying and 13 dining on the first night. However, due to the large party we were often made to feel as though this was an inconvenience to the staff and we were often told there are other 'normal paying guests'.
Check in: Was fairly straight forward and we were allocated our rooms quickly.
Room: I believe all of our party were happy with their rooms. We stayed in the Garden Suite room 41 and we were very happy with the room.
It was split level with bunk beds upstairs and a standard double in the main room. Considering the size of the room, they could have had a bigger bed but the bed was comfortable enough.
The bathroom was spacious with a separate bath and shower. All of our parties complained about the shower feeling more like a dribble rather than a nice pressure shower.
The balcony was large with a table and two chairs. The view was wonderful of the gardens and lake. It was lovely watching the rabbits hopping around the garden.
Drinks/Bar: Sometimes we had to wait a while before we could order drinks and at least once our order wasn't bought to us. The bar seemed to close quite early (11.30-12ish) so it was lights out fairly early.
Breakfast: The first morning our large party had breakfast together in the separate room from the restaurant. This was fine however little things like having to walk into the next room to get water was a little frustrating. They are able to deal with large parties so they should have set the room up with simply things like butter, water and condiments.
Dinner: We had dinner with our large party on the first night and this was very nice. We had to stick to a set menu which was understandable considering the size of the party and we had to pre order. Everyone seemed happy with their dinner.
The portions are small, especially the main. I had the pork which consisted of three small slices of pork (sausage size slices), mash and vegetables. However, I did not feel hungry after three courses.
One of the biggest issues we had was the lack of supplies. Often we would order a bottle of wine, champagne or port and they would run out of stock. We were not ordering large quantities however they ran out of a lot of items.
Service: As mentioned above we were often made to feel as though we were an inconvenience. When our party first arrived we were sat in the back room as it started to rain and we were told we may not be able to sit together as other normal guests also have the right to use the sitting area.
This comment was made a number of times and we all found it very rude. All of our party were normal paying guests and do they honest expect large parties not to want to socialise together?
Although the waiting staff were often very friendly, they did not have adequate training. Simply things like pouring the wine and clearing the tablets was not always completed in the most professional manner.
There was a young blonde waitress who was extremely helpful and professional, sadly I can not remember her name.
However some of the other staff clearly did not have formal hospitability training.
Grounds: The gardens and terrace were wonderful and very well kept. The walk down to the lake was very peaceful and we were even brave enough to take a swim. If you plan to do this, bring some shoes you are happy to swim in as it is very rocky getting into the lake.
Although we all had a very nice time, I am not sure we will return to this hotel. I think we all expected the service to be considerably higher considering the price for the weekend.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Macdonald Leeming House is one of the finest 4-star Lake District hotels offering luxury and comfort in beautiful surroundings. Set in 22 acres of beautiful grand gardens in the countryside of Cumbria, our 200 year old country house hotel offers breathtaking scenery and fine facilities. With direct access to the shores of Ullswater and a private fishing licence, this hotel is a popular choice for family holidays, business and weddings. Macdonald Hotels' Lake District location in Ullswater offers the perfect retreat whether you're on a romantic break away, a business trip or exploring the surrounding countryside. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater Hotel Penrith
- Macdonald Leeming Hotel Ullswater
- Macdonald Leeming Penrith
- Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater Watermillock, Cumbria - Lake District