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“Great hotel, value for money.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Waterhead Hotel

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Waterhead Hotel
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Ambleside
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Mickleton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great hotel, value for money.”
Reviewed 15 March 2011

I've just spent two nights at Waterhead Hotel, an enjoyable experience.
Our lake view room was of a good size very clean and comfortable. There was every ammenity in the room including iced water and gound coffee. Linen was very good quality and the bed very comfortable.
The decor and furnishings throughout the hotel were stylish and had obviously been well planned.
Service was excellent and the staff created a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere which enhanced our enjoyment.
The food was good with plenty of choice both at breakfast and dinner.
The only down side was the car park at the front of the hotel. It was on a busy main road
and you had to reverse either in or out into the traffic.
A lovely place to stay, we will be back.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank belljack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2011
Dear Belljack,

Many thanks for the great review. It was pleasing to read you enjoyed all aspects of your stay with us. Keep a look out for our upcoming spring and summer offers. I look forward to welcome you back to the Waterhead in the near future.

Best regards

Mark Needham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,622 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (450)
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English first
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
70 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2011

This was our second stay at the Waterhead - our last being 3 years ago.

As at our previous visit, the room was excellently presented, the dinner was superb, and breakfast was very hearty - setting us up for the day.

We arrived prior to our earliest check in time, but the hotel had no problem with us leaving our car there whilst we explored Ambleside - and when we returned our room was all ready for us.

If I have one small observation to make, and this is in no way a criticism of the staff, but it was very noticable that the majority of the team are from Europe, and I find it hard to believe that the hotel cannot find more local staff who meet their employment criteria. This was noticeable not only in the hotel mind, but across the region.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jt0475
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this review, 27 March 2011
Dear jt0475,

Many thanks for taking the time to post another great review. Its even more pleasing to know we are still delivering the goods as well as we did on your last visit and we will do our very best to continue to do so with a view to always listening to our customers and adapt and enhance our product as peoples expectations vary. Regarding your comment on staffing, having worked in the hospitality industry for the last 15 years i came to work in the lakes in late 2009. It's always a challenge to entice people to form a career in our business but with government support and working with local colleges we as a company will always look to advertise all of our positions locally through newspapers, the job centre and online. It seems to be even harder in the lakes however i am fortunate to work with the great team we have here at Waterhead.

Best regards

MarK Needham
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South Shields
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2011

The building looks like a traditional Lakes slate building but belies what's inside.....excellent decor, superb staff and fantastic food.

If you like Masterchef - this is the place for you.

Never mind those massive hotels chains (I've stayed in them) food-wise this beats the lot.

Some great value deals, as well

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JanetteSouthShields
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2011
Dear JanetteSouthshields,

Thanks for taking the time to post your recent review. It was great to read the title of your review. Our chef was very pleased. He is constantly looking at ways of utilising all the fantastic local ingredients in the development of his menus. I do hope to welcome you back soon to try our upcoming spring menu. (It sounds great!).

Best regards

Mark Needham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2011

Stayed for 2 days in March as a belated birthday treat.
The Hotel is situated less than a mile from Ambleside, so is a pleasant stroll into town. It is right by the lake so again perfectly situated for strolls by the lake. There are a number of walks easily accesible from the hotel without having to take the car out of the (free) car park. We climbed Wansfell Pike, which was strenuous but worth it for the fabulous views from the top of Windermere to the South and Grasmere to the North.
We stayed in a Lake view room which was very pleasant. The bed was comfortable although it would be better with feather pillows.
The bathroom was lovely and clean and the shower great after a long walk.
Our package included dinner, which was a 3 course affair. Menu choice was good, as were the meals. The choice of wines is good and very reasonably priced. The Brown Brothers Chenin Blanc is a steal at £16.50!
Nice touches include chocolates on the pillow at night, fluffy towels and bathrobes, slippers, an MPV player in the room (although ours didn't work too well with our i-pod - very crackly sound).
Would definitely recommend this hotel and will go back again.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank intrepidcbp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2011
Dear intrepidcbp,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay with us. I hope you enjoyed your birthday break with us and took away some nice memories. Thank you for the feedback, i will look into the ipod dock sound problem. If you do return be sure to ask for feather pillows as we have an assortment available.

Best regards

Mark Needham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, England
Level Contributor
29 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2011

We spent 3 nights last weekend at The Waterhead. It was our first visit and we booked it on the strength of the reviews on this site so we had high expectations.

I am happy to say that the hotel lived up to those expectations. We had a luxury lake view room and thought it was well worth the extra money to be able to look out over Windermere. The room was a good size and was well equipped – the bed was the comfiest I think I have ever slept in! There was plenty of drawer and wardrobe space and a flat screen TV (not that many channels but we hadn’t gone to sit and watch TV so it didn’t matter) We liked the fact that in addition to the normal kettle plus sachets of instant coffee etc there was ground coffee and a cafetiere plus lovely Grasmere gingerbread.

We thought that the hotel was immaculately clean throughout. The staff were all very friendly, polite and efficient. The service in the restaurant was discreet but attentive. The food was excellent and we felt that the dinner, bed & breakfast rate was good value. It was good to have freshly cooked hot breakfast rather than the more common buffet arrangement of bacon, sausages etc and we appreciated the fact that there were alternatives to the usual cooked breakfast eg eggs Benedict, smoked haddock with poached egg etc. The three course dinner was excellent every night and there was quite a wide choice. All of the food was beautifully presented. My husband is still telling me how good the sea bass was and I should say too that my fillet steak (had to pay £9 extra) was divine.

I noticed that somebody has commented about the lack of a lift and I have to agree that people with mobility difficulties could find the stairs a problem. I did notice a “disabled” parking space in the car park and a room which was directly accessible from the car park though.

The location of the hotel was perfect: an easy walk into Ambleside, a pub just across the road for a change of scene, easy access to bus routes and of course Lake Windermere. If you show your room card when booking the river cruise trips you will get a 10% discount. We didn't use the leisure club facilities at the Low Wood as we were blessed with dry weather so stayed outdoors! All in all, we had a very pleasant stay and we will definitely return.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Almatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2011
Dear Almatt,

Many thanks for writing your detailed review of your recent break with us. It's encouraging we lived upto expectations and our great TA reviews. I am glad you enjoyed all aspects of your stay and you can be sure i will pass your feedback onto the team. I look forward to welcome you back to the Waterhead in the near future.

Best regards

Mark Needham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2011

We have stayed 3 times at this hotel. For 2 of those occasions we had rooms with lake views. The hotel is opposite the top of Lake Windermere. It has a great location. Ducks and swans are plentiful and the unused breakfast toast is never wasted.
The rooms are modern styling, well equiped and reasonably spacious. We had an evening meal in the restaurant. It was good, probably describe it a gourmet pub food. Breakfast appears to be cooked to order and there is a good selection on offer.
We had an anniversary and a birthday to celebrate on 2 of our stays. On each occasion we had cards form the hotel and on the birthday, we had balloons too! Nice touches. Staff were friendly and effiicient.
Only drawback - this is not a hotel to stay at if you have a mobility problem. There is no lift, nor is there a marked disabled bay in the hotel car park. Never saw any ramps on outside steps to aid admission for the less able.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bec011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2011
Dear Bec011,

Thanks for the great review and for choosing to stay with us for your third visit. We are a great place to celebrate special occasions and we always do our best to make a point of recognising these to help create special memories. In response to the mobility problems, i appreciate we do not have a lift in the hotel, however we do have 2 disabled rooms which can be accesed without any steps. We also have a room with direct access from the rear car park which is just in front of our disabled car park bay. If you require any further info on these rooms please do not hesitate to contact me.
I look forward in welocming you back to the Waterhead for your 4th visit.

Best regards

Mark Needham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2011

I booked a two night stay at the Waterhead based on location and previous Trip Advisor reviews, and overall had an enjoyable stay although the hotel definitely has areas to improve on.

The location is good, about a 10 minute walk into the centre of Ambleside and right on the lake, next to the pier for boat trips. On arrival the reception staff were very welcoming, polite and efficient, as were all the staff we encountered. I booked a lake view room which was well worth the extra cost, it definitely enhanced the stay for us with a lovely view of Windermere. The room on the whole was well presented with everything you could need for a short stay - the Grasmere gingerbread on the tea tray was delicious and the bed very comfy. However, our room was the first at the top of the stairs and right next to the fire door so we were disturbed by noise every time it banged shut. Also, the room got very hot at night and with no air con we had to open the window which was fine until about 7am when traffic noise disturbed us as the hotel is on the main road into Ambleside - the room would definitely benefit from the addition of a fan.

Unforunately I was very disappointed with the cleanliness of the bathroom which I felt was extremely poor for a four star hotel. Some areas in the bathroom were very dusty, particularly around the heated towel rail and the shelf above the toilet. The first time I went to use the bath, I was greeted by numerous hairs from the previous occupant which I had to wash out, very off putting! There was a nice tray of tolieteries in the bathroom but some of the hand wash had spilt onto the tray and become a sticky, dusty gunk. I ended up cleaning the tray myself which took all of 30 seconds so can't understand why housekeeping couldn't manage that? The shower curtain was very smelly - I had to spray deodrant on it and it definitely needed washing or replacing. The worst thing though was the filthy toilet brush which definitely needed replacing, I actually think in it's current state it's a health hazard!!!

The total redeeming feature of this hotel is the restaurant, which contributed to my overall enjoyment at staying at the Waterhead. The staff again were welcoming and friendly with very efficient service. The menu offers good choice and dishes were well executed - very tasty, cooked well and good quality. I have to give a special mention to the delicious duck confit and chocolate fondant! We had such a good meal on the first evening that we chose to eat there again the second night. Breakfast is also served in the restaurant so you can appreciate the views over the lake - a good selection of dishes and cooked to order which is a nice touch.

My only other complaint is on check out when I received the bill and had been charged for the newspaper we were offered on arrival! I know it seems petty to complain about a few pounds but my partner and I spent almost £500 on food, drink and accomodation at the hotel during our two night stay and the least I expected was a complimentary newspaper as this has been my experience at the numerous other hotels I have stayed at. If the Waterhead are unable to provide this service, guests should be told at check in that they will be charged for their paper, we were not informed of this and only asked if we would like one. Not to mention, I was woken both mornings at 5:30am by the paper being 'delivered' to our room (loudly dumped on the floor outside the door!)

In summary, the hotel was average but the food and service did make up for this. I would probably stay here again and recommend it to friends/family but would like to see improvements.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JD2585
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2011
Dear JD2585,

Many thanks for taking the time to post a review on your recent stay. It is only through constant feedback we can continue to improve our overall product. I appreciate you highlighting the issues you unfortunately experienced throughout your stay. Although i am glad you enjoyed your overall experience, it is our goal for people to go away with fantastic memories and i can only apologise that this wasnt the case. You can be sure i have spoken with my head housekeeper regarding your comments on cleanliness and she sends her apologies also. If you would like to stay with us again be sure to contact me directly at the hotel and i will ensure a preferential rate is offered as an apology for the shortfalls of your stay.
I do hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Best regards

Mark Needham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Waterhead Hotel

Property: Waterhead Hotel
Address: Lake Road, Ambleside LA22 0ER, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Ambleside
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Green Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Family Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ambleside
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Waterhead Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
4 star town house hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere near Ambleside. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ambleside Hotel Waterhead
Hotel Waterhead
Waterhead Hotel Ambleside, Lake District

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