As another reviewer has already said, the reviews seem to fall into two categories: "the vast majority of guests find it excellent, but a very small number find it very poor". I fall into the latter category and would not return.
My husband and I stayed for one night in September 2012 whilst on our way home from The Borders, as we wanted to break up our journey.
The food was amazing and of good restaurant quality. The quality of the food is what has saved my overall rating from being very poor to poor.
This is a small hotel, so I expected friendly and personal service. However, this was not my experience from check in to check out. Considering that I had to specify our approximate arrival time in advance (6pm) I got the impression that our arrival was an inconvenience and our welcome was rather curt. Nonetheless we remained cheery and polite.
The room was on the small side and looked fairly recently decorated, but the bathroom (although clean and functional) looked like it was still awaiting refurbishment.
The waitress at dinner was friendly and helpful, but the lady (possibly the owner?) that had greeted me on arrival remained curt and abrupt (to us and the waitress). Other guests (who were staying longer) seemed to be treated differently and we felt like second class citizens for either not being walkers or for only staying for one night, perhaps. We were nothing but polite and jovial and this response seemed unwarranted.
It was just before dinner that I started to notice the rules/notices! Most of them were quite reasonable and what I would describe as polite or considerate behaviour eg. not using mobile phones in the dining room (although if my memory serves me correctly, it was that no electonic devices at all were allowed in the dining room). The room had little notices about the shower gel, the shower, the sherry etc. In the room there was also an information book which contained all sorts of rules - they were generally rather verbose and almost seemed like a bit of a rant, eg. do not ask for glasses from the bar to consume drinks (in your room) that you have purchased elsewhere because of the cost of washing them up afterwards and how it affects their profits etc. Please make sure that you take all your belongings when you leave - seems like a reasonable request, but it then went on to say that they wouldn't send it back to the owner and described an event where someone had left a ring behind etc. etc. They just went on and on and all seemed to have a bitter tone about them. (Even the terms and conditions at the point of booking covered a side of A4). Like I say, most were reasonable requests, but they either didn't need saying or could have been put in a more polite/succint manner. In the 25+ years that I have been travelling, I have never experienced anything quite like it. Further examples are present on this website in the form of responses to anyone that has critisised this hotel.
Check out was equally as frosty and we were glad to leave. I should have said something at check out, but I just wanted to go. I received a standard e-mail following my visit asking me to leave a review on Trip Advisor if I had enjoyed my stay. Even though I didn't enjoy my stay, I still felt compelled to leave a review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in Grasmere Village in the heart of the English Lake District, Oak Bank Hotel is perfectly placed to explore the surrounding lakes, fells and tarns. Oak Bank has two lounges both with plenty of comfy sofas and armchairs to relax in. The front lounge has a converted range and the bar lounge has a real log/coal fire. Breakfast and dinner are served in our Two AA Rosette awarded beautiful dining room and conservatory. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Oak Bank Grasmere
- Oak Bank Hotel Grasmere, Lake District