My wife and I were looking for a relaxing short break with my 21 year old son for some much needed quality family time where we'd enjoy good food, service and surroundings with easy access to the stunning outdoors of the Lakes.
I found Rothay Garden Hotel by Googling 'Luxury Hotels in the Lake District' and from the start was impressed by the friendly response when I called to enquire on availability. We booked at very short notice for reasons beyond our control so my wife and I took the Silver Howe Suite and my son had one of the Grasmere double rooms, complete with 6ft KIng bed!
The Rothay Garden is located a five minute walk up the road from Grasmere village towards the Keswick road, with beautiful views on all sides and plenty of parking at the front secluded from the road.
First impressions of the building upon arrival were very good with the cleverly designed atrium/reception area that keeps the character of the original Victorian country house while also feeling ultra contemporary and premium.
Reception staff were welcoming and friendly and escorted us to our rooms explaining the features and mealtimes etc as we went. I should mention also that due to our late booking and no single room availability, we were kindly offered a more attractive rate for my son's single occupancy of the large double room.
This room was beautiful, richly decorated with crimsons and pale golds, a substantial bathroom housing a large feature bath with shower. This was an excellent start but our suite exceeded expectations. Silver Howe is beautifully decorated in plums and burgundys, greens and golds, it has what turned out to be an amazingly comfortable bed, a beautiful bathroom with walk in double shower room and separate feature bath. This may be sounding like a design review but then I am a designer by profession and I really appreciated the attention to detail and quality of the decor. There is a separate seating area with sumptuous settee, two flat screen TV's (one in the bedroom) and lovely colour co coordinated beamed ceiling.
So first impressions were pretty exceptional all round and the detail touches like free wifi (no we weren’t working but this was useful for catching up on ‘The Apprentice’ on i player !), air con, bottled water and chocolates, quality tea making kit and organic bathroom products just kept on coming.
The bar is equally contemporary and sumptuous and just encourages you to relax into the ambience of the place. Some top quality venues can put you on edge, making you feel as though it’s your job to step up to an imposed standard. Not the case here, the staff are friendly and discreet so they don’t impose but are always there when you need them. i.e you don’t get hassled by housekeeping if you don’t leave your room till late in the morning- How many times in a large chain hotel have you had a knock at the door and the ‘housekeeping?’ call when you just want to chill? They should know you are still in your room and that’s how it works at Rothay. This was the kind of break we wanted, leisurely paced.
We booked the dinner, bed and breakfast basis for our three-night stay and the dining experience was superb. This is fine dining make no mistake, but again in an accessible appealing way. Meals appear like works of art and are completely delicious but don’t think these are tiny ‘nouvele cuisine’ portions, they are substantial and we never managed to do justice to all five courses on offer with pre starter soup and post dessert cheeseboard…maybe next time!
The desserts are just amazing and the wine list is extensive.
I’d read that the chef has substantial London experience including the Savoy and this translates not only into gorgeous food but also fast turnaround, the service is very efficient and consistently friendly.
The dinner menu features three elements, a table d’hôte that changes each day, a ‘bistro’ menu that remains constant and a vegetarian offer. It’s possible to mix and match across all three which we did.
The breakfast menu is equally extensive, delicious and customisable, superb.
The boss was regularly in attendance throughout our stay and always attentive to ensure our comfort, a nice genuine touch consistent with the ethos of Rothay Garden.
At first glance you may think the tariff is not cheap but once you’ve experienced the quality, comfort and ambience of the hotel you realise its actually very good value.
A spa facility was nearing completion when we stayed and this will really round off the offering nicely.
Regrets? ..that we only had three days there, we’ll be back.
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- Also Known As:
- Rothay Garden Grasmere
- Hotel Rothay Garden
- Rothay Garden Hotel Grasmere, Lake District