We have visited Grasmere many times over the years always staying at other local hotels. However as this was a present and my wife has always liked the look of the Rothay Garden we chose to stay there. Reviews by "A Kiss before you go" and "Daliuniverse" make the points that I would reiterate.
The staff are efficient and one or two are friendly, especially the Romanian lawyer who was our barman but many of the staff are simply functional. The quality of the food is excellent but I would say that I have eaten as well for less in the UK. The spa was closed on the day we left and the garden is still a building site (as of 11th August).
We stayed in Room 11 - don't! It is possibly the smallest room, I can't be certain and it has a window that has to be jammed open to stay open (the TV remote can be used for that).
For a hotel with high aspirations, it lacks esprit and elan.More