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“Heavenly”
Review of Waterhead Hotel

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Waterhead Hotel
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Ambleside
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 14 February 2007

Short review
Could hardly fault it. Just like the website photos. Felt really pampered and content. Room 15 very nearly perfect.

Long review
There are so many hotels to chose from in the Lakes that I was dizzy doing my initial research. My most important criteria was to have a lake view. The next 2 requirements were to have fabulous decor (not too worn and olde worldy) and that the cost for 2 nights b and b did not equal a fortnight in Spain. (Not as easy as you might think!) I knew when I stumbled across the website for this hotel that all my boxes had been ticked.
Upon arrival I would recommend parking at the back of the hotel as the signs guiding you to reception from the front carpark involve A LOT of stairs. Hard work when you have seriously overpacked and your husband is excused suitcase lugging duties due to poorly knee.
Our room had a lovely bay window with a stunning view of the lake and the boat moorings (and ducks and swans). We had beautiful bespoke furniture making up the wardrobe, sideboard and bedside tables and then lovely comfy leather chairs in the bay windows. There was a stylish kettle and cafetiere and complimentary hot drinks, gingerbread, fruit and water. The bathroom was exquisite. Huge bath, loads of hot water, an abundance of white fluffy towels. I am starting to suspect myself of manufacturing this too perfect review - surely there must have been something I can moan about? Well - there wasn't a minibar - but hey, they kept our ice-bucket filled! There wasn't a safe. Mmmmm - I could live with that. The traffic was a bit noisy - oh but I was soooo relaxed I really didn't care.
And there wasn't a chocolate fountain. Too picky?
The bar and restaurant were both lovely places although going in early February meant that it was hardly buzzing. However, the prices were reasonable and the service good. I would definitely recomment it over the pub over the road. The pub over the road may be ok in summer when you can sit on the outside of it but it was a bit downmarket compared to this lovely hotel.
I know I have gone on a bit but look at my photos and you will see that I am telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  • Stayed: February 2007
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12  Thank jean-s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,649 - 1,655 of 1,721 reviews

Reviewed 22 January 2007

This hotel ruined what should have been a perfect birthday present and didn’t even have the courtesy to apologise. My boyfriend worked very hard to find a hotel I would love and booked this as a romantic getaway for my 30th birthday. He booked for two nights and on arrival it was perfect - the room was fantastic with all the little touches to make you feel very welcome.

However, we went into Ambleside on the Friday evening and returned at approximately 9pm to find the hallways in darkness. The electricity appeared to be working in our room, and it was only when I popped to reception to get a DVD that I was told the electricity was off in the main hotel and some rooms, the TV would not work, the under floor heating would not work and there would be no hot water in the room. They were unable to give any estimates of when this would be resolved, although they expected it to be on again in the morning. In fact, there was no water AT ALL, although a bottle of still water was provided so we could make tea and coffee. We decided that, as we were going to bed in any case that the hotel had plenty of time to resolve the issues and we decided to see what the morning brought. On waking in the morning we found the issues had not been resolved, we were unable to shower or even use the toilet (nor did they advise whether there were any working toilets that we could use). Instead we were told our only options were to stay and the water and electricity might come back on or they could send us to Storrs Hall Hotel with a 50% discount.

Did they apologise? No. Instead the only option we were given was to move to a shabby country house hotel near Bowness which was a world apart from the sleek, modern hotel we had originally booked. Yes, we were offered a 50% discount, but the poor service continued when we arrived – nothing to make us feel welcome on arrival bearing in mind we were being shunted out of one hotel into another, we were given a terrible room, the key didn’t even work and had to be WD40’d before we could get in and then to top it all off there was no hot water in the room. Furthermore, despite The Waterhead being aware of and advised in advance that we were there to celebrate a significant birthday, they obviously had not informed Storrs Hall – or if they had, then Storrs Hall obviously couldn’t give a monkeys and did nothing to recognise the fact. They couldn’t have made us feel more unwelcome.

The Waterhead could have been perfect – the hotel itself was everything we wanted for our romantic weekend. However, the service was truly appalling. Would it have been too much trouble to have informed guests of the problems, rather than waiting for guest to query the problem with reception? Would it have been too much trouble to have apologised to paying guests instead of blaming United Utilities? Could they not have offered to move guests to a hotel more in keeping with the style of hotel which had originally been booked? Did anyone consider mobile generators or moving guests to parts of the hotel which had electricity and water? Did anyone, in fact, do anything to try and resolve the issues, or did they hope it would sort itself out? It should be noted that we spent the rest of the weekend in Ambleside (NOT at Storrs Hall) and could not see any work taking place outside of The Waterhead.

From the way reception spoke about the issues, we got the impression that this was not the first time something of this nature had happened. While this could be a perfect getaway for some, don’t expect to be treated with any respect or receive an apology when things go wrong.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank Anon21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2007

Booked this hotel from reading trip advisor and was very impressed with the hotel and location. The hotel is modern, clean and obviously well run and deserves all the praise it gets.
Will definately be staying there again when next visiting the area.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Whitleywarrier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2007

I have been staying in hotels week in week out on business over the last 4 years and this was by far my favourite. The view I had from room 2 was fantastic. The staff could not be more helpful. The cleanliness of the room was first class, the bed was FANTASTIC, and everything from the toiletries to the gingerbread biscuit left in the room was excellent. I can honestly say I have never felt so at home in a hotel before and I shall certainly be returning for pleasure purposes as well as business.
If I had to pick at something it would perhaps be the breakfast, what I had was great but if you want quantity rather than quality then perhaps it wouldn't be for you.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled on business
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9  Thank GDix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2006

We had a party package of evening meal, disco, room and breakfast.
The hotel was refitted 2 years ago and the internal decoration is one of the most inspired I have seen. As said below the room had a real wow factor. The hotel has a good location at the head of the Lake.
The food was good and service competent if a little formal. Car Parking is a bit of a challenge at times.
To me it is the kind of hotel to enjoy spending some time in, it would be a waste to just use it as a B&B

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled with friends
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5  Thank towerridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2006

I think this hotel is overpriced for what it offers. For the amount we paid I would have expected a minibar, dressing gowns, WIFI and air conditioning. This hotel has tried to go for the boutique, design hotel style but I feel it has been done on the cheap. Things like the pictures, carpets etc cheapen the look and the hotel has real motel feel as most of the rooms are around the car park. With just a bit more attention to detail I think this hotel would be worth the money.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Andy_Manchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2006

Just back from a 2 night stay and thought it was wonderful. We arrived earlier than expected (around noon) and our room was ready. We went for the House Room to save money and we still had a view of the lake (and a bit of the car-park) which was great. Room was spacious and exactly as seen in their photo gallery on their website. Housekeeping was fantastic - the cleanest hotel room I have ever seen. I thought the breakfast was great and the staff so friendly. We didn't have dinner in the hotel but the pub over the road has excellent meals. All in all, a very impressive stay and I can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank slong5082
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 Romantic Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Family Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Green Hotel in Ambleside
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ambleside
Price Range: £140 - £206 (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:
Ambleside Hotel Waterhead
Hotel Waterhead
Waterhead Hotel Ambleside, Lake District

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