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“No catch!”
Review of Waterhead Hotel

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Waterhead Hotel
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Ambleside
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 10 November 2009

My boyfriend & I had been searching online for a hotel around Windermere but all we could find were expensive places with disappointing guest reviews. So when I found the Waterhead & read the reviews on TripAdvisor I thought what's the catch? In short, there isn't one, this hotel is great & for a fair price.
Location - very easy to find, right where the road divides & directly across the road from the lake itself. It is a 15-20 minute walk to Ambleside down the lower road, or shorter if you take the upper.
Parking - good, at both the top of the road near the main entrance & in the courtyard. Only complaint is when they were then seemingly fully booked at the start of half-term, there was a sudden shortage of spaces & guests weren't clear what to do, so had to double-park.
Food - breakfast was excellent, selection at the buffet & the cooked-to-order both very good. It is served in the tasteful dining-room & bar where you have views across the lake. We found our evening meal in the restaurant to be perfectly fine, but nothing exciting. However, there are several restuarants in reasonable walking distance.
Room - was very pleased to find it well equipped with fresh modern decor. Bed was cosy & the bathroom quite funky with underfloor heating.
Service - all staff we encountered were helpful & efficient & housekeeping was very good.
Activities - There are boat-trips going from the small pier directly opposite the hotel & it is a short drive to most other activities around the lake. For walkers, Ambleside must have a dozen outdoor equipment shops, so don't worry if you've forgotten your socks! There are many good walks you can do directly from the town & there is even a small path leading up the hills directly opposite the main entrance.
All in all a very good hotel at a fair price & in a great location. Would definitely recommend & stay there again.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GreenGloves09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,518 - 1,524 of 1,719 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2009

A great hotel; rooms are of a high quality & very well appointed. Furnishings are high quality, and little touches such as an electric fire make the room a great place to spend time when not exploring the surrounding area. Breakfast is of a very good standard, with both continental and cooked options included in the room rate. The location is great for a leisurely 15in walk into Ambleside, though it should be noted that whilst the hotel looks out over Windermere, there is a road Netween the hotel and the lake. The hotel is very clean, and staff polite and helpful. One minor downside is the appearance of the staff quarters at the back of the hotel, which detracts from the overall high quality finish of the hotel buildings. A stay at this hotel comes highly recommended

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank InkyPinkyPonky5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2009

I loved this hotel. It is situated in a prime position overlooking Lake Windermere and a 15-20 minute walk into the centre of Ambleside. My husband and I stayed there at the beginning of October for 2 nights to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary together with our son and daughter.
We all had bedrooms overlooking the lake (ours was a luxury room) and they were all beautifully appointed, very modern with luxury en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TV, dvd player, radio etc. The beds were large, very comfortable and spotlessly clean. The rooms were very quiet, we heard no road noise at all. The weather was lovely for the time of year and the view of the Lake from our bedroom was spectacular. The English breakfast was delicious and our celebratory evening meal in the Restaurant was first class.
All the staff were very helpful and friendly I would definitely stay in this hotel again.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank MalKenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 November 2009

Dear Malkenny,

Thank you for taking the time to post a fantastic review. I was glad to hear you had a great anniversary stay with us. I will pass your comments onto the team here and i look forward to welcoming you and your family back in the future.

Best regards

Mark Needham

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Reviewed 2 November 2009

We booked direct with the hotel, for a two night break, and got a great rate for dinner, bed and breakfast. I didn't see any of the the other rooms but the one we were given (No 41) was very roomy and quiet. The restaurant overlooked the Lake Windermere and on our first night we were given a table in the window with a lovely view, which made our meal all the more enjoyable. All the staff were pleasant and helpful - especially the reception staff who made us feel welcome as soon as we arrived. We would certainly stay there again.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Harewood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whmanager, General Manager at Waterhead Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 November 2009

Dear Harewood,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. It was great to hear you enjoyed your recent stay. Keep a look out for our midweek winter warmer deals and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Waterhead soon.

Best regards

Mark Needham

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2009

We booked this hotel based on the high tripadvisor rating and were certainly not disappointed.

We got an exceptionally good rate for a suite by booking through the hotels own website. Unfortunately due to illness we had to re-arrange our booking the day before we were about to check in so we rang the hotel to amend the booking. The hotel was more than willing to amend our booking and offered any date of our choice within a six month period subject to availability with no additional cost.

The hotel location is about a 15 minute walk from the centre of Ambleside which could be a problem for people venturing into the centre on an evening although the hotel restaurant is very good as is the bar/restaurant opposite the hotel.

The rooms were lovely, spacious, warm and modern and the hotel provided fresh milk (upon request) for the tea and coffee supplied with the room which is something normally unheard of!

On a final note all the hotel rooms have a cute toy dog named Sam thats acts as a "do not disturb" sign - Sam is available to buy on check out (we couldn't resist!)

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Soho_Travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2009

Wide and I stayed 3 nights in a luxury lake view room. Room was fine with comfortable bed and modern bathroom and the view was great. The location is a real plus but yes there's a road - the traffic is pretty much non-existent at night but starts up around 7:30 in the morning - it didn't bother us much but some secondary glazing might have made it a complete non-issue.
Breakfast was good with great service and a good selection available - there was even whisky for porridge!
Ambleside is a 10 minute walk away (or 15mins by the pretty route). We ate in the Hotel restaurant one night and service was great, the food was pretty good too but pricey. The restaurant is quite small and a tiny bit cramped - half the chairs seem to have issues too.
We had a couple of issues to complain about - a dirty glass and noisy large group in the restaurant - and they were fixed quickly and without fuss - the army of waiters that descended to move us in the restaurant was particularly impressive. But better if they had been avoided altogether.
Car parking is far from straightforward - we had no problems from the second day but when we arrived at around 8 on the first evening there wasn't a spot to be found and the reception staff didn't seem to have any suggestions.
Use of the Swimming pool and leisure club at nearby (~1mile away) Low Wood Hotel was included at it was a nice place to visit.
So good hotel, great location but maybe not quite as good as they could be - we had a good stay though and would stay again if we were in the area and could get a sensible deal.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Steev_jo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2009

My husband and I recently enjoyed a very relaxing 3 night stay at The Waterhead. This is a lovely hotel finished to a very high standard in a contemporary style that creates a calm and stylish environment.

ROOM
We had booked a luxury lake view room, which I think is the one used in the publicity photos (no. 8). This was a gorgeous room with a big bay window and a fabulous view directly over the garden to the front of the hotel and the lake beyond. The binoculars provided came in very useful! Plenty of complimentary drinks sachets and water provided daily, excellent gingerbread, top-quality full-sized toiletries, fluffly towels, large flat-screen tv (with free DVDs available from reception), armchairs to look at the view, and a huge bed made this a very comfortable room to spend time in. It was a struggle to tear ourselves away from it! A couple of niggles - I would have liked either a fridge in the room or an ice machine in the hotel. They give you an ice-bucket and ice each day but I would have liked more ice without having to ring reception for it. Also, there are no room safes.

STAFF
All staff we encountered (check in/out, cleaners, restaurant) were very courteous and friendly.

LOCATION
The hotel is an a enviable location, directly by the lake, where the ferries depart for cruising down the lake to Bowness and beyond. The location is it's biggest selling point for me. Although the hotel is in the area of Ambleside, the centre of Ambleside is about a half a mile away, but it's an easy and picturesque stroll. Yes, there are roads at the front and rear of the hotel but we didn't find it "very noisy" at all. Perhaps some rooms are nearer to the roads than others, but we found our room very quiet. I can imagine the front road by the lake would get much busier during the peak summer months. I guess if you go to bed very early it could be an issue, but there is very little traffic during the night - this is the Lake District not Las Vegas!

FOOD
Is this hotel perfect? Almost, but not quite. It grieves me to say that I agree with other reviewers that the food lets it down. It's just doesn't seem to be on a par with the standard of the hotel. Breakfast is fine, pretty standard fare, and the breakfast experience is made a bit more special by the lovely lakeside restaurant - there can't be many more luxurious places than this to enjoy breakfast. We had room service on the first night - this was ok but the room service menu was very limited in choice. I can't understand why they can't offer the full restaurant menu. We ate in the restaurant on the second night, which was hit and miss. Food was luke-warm and didn't live up to the appetising descriptions on the menu. There were bright spots - soup was hot and tasty, salmon was fresh and nicely cooked, but the rest was either undercooked or over salted or just bland. I wondered if the chef was on holiday. If there weren't so many other places to eat nearby, this might be a more significant problem, but it's not - just go out to eat. In fact, go to the Log House about a quarter of a mile from the hotel towards Ambleside - I guarantee you won't be disappointed. We had one of the best meals we've ever eaten there.

BOOK IT
Don't let the food reviews put you off this hotel - some reviewers have praised the restaurant food so it comes down to individual taste. You will not be disappointed by a stay at this hotel. The bar overlooks the lake and is perfect to open a bottle of wine and watch the world go slowly by. The location enables you to access the rest of the area surrounding Lake Windermere quite easily - by boat if you wish. It's not the cheapest hotel you'll find, but for the quality and location it's not badly priced at all - especially for the Lakes. I would definitely return to this hotel - in fact I hope to be back as soon as I can!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JusG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 Luxury Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Romantic Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Family Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Green Hotel in Ambleside
Price Range: £139 - £216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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:
Hotel Waterhead
Ambleside Hotel Waterhead
Waterhead Hotel Ambleside, Lake District

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