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“Disastrous decline in quality”
Review of Dale Head Hall

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Dale Head Hall
Ranked #12 of 12 Hotels in Keswick
London
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Disastrous decline in quality”
Reviewed 25 October 2009

We had stayed in this beautifully situated Lake District hotel twice before, most recently in 2003. So my wife and I were excited to be able to bring her brother from Australia to what we thought would be a very special experience. How wrong we were! The food and service, which had on our two previous visits been of the highest quality and eminently justified the high prices of the rooms, were totally mediocre and comically inept respectively. As we were leaving we learned that the business had changed hands four years ago which explained the disastrous decline in standards. The feeling of genteel luxury which pervaded the hotel on previous occasions had been entirely removed by the new owners and the prices are now outrageous for what you get. Avoid at all costs.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank smyslov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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176 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
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  • English first
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English first
selby
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 August 2009

We spent a week here and the hospitality from the staff was zero - we would not stay there again - hover bag was full when asked for new given another hover same as first full - bedding not ironed - our room was at the back of the hotel facing the kitchen and was damp - if you wanted to eat at the hotel it was £42 a head and drinks were expensive too. the veiw from the hotel was good and if the weather was nice the\walks\ are great - but as for the hotel stay well away it cost us over £500 for a week and not worth the money deffinetly not recommened

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank michaeln1204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Keswick hotels

London
1 review
Reviewed 27 May 2009

I'm slightly surprised, having looked at the other reviews, by the number of people who have thought this was either excellent or dreadful, since it seems to me to be neither.

Our room was perfectly clean, and to my mind charming, with exposed beams, low ceilings and bay windows. It was somewhat poorly lit, however. The bathroom was good, but bathing slightly late in the morning, the water was lukewarm. I didn't try the shower, but my companion did and felt it could have been better.

The staff were very friendly. When we arrived, the proprietress (I assume) brought us drinks on the terrace, which was lovely. However, there only appeared to be three staff in the hotel, and they were clearly struggling to keep up at breakfast.

The public rooms were a bit of rabbit warren, confusingly labelled with the wrong signs (e.g. "lounge" for the dining room). The lounge was comfortably furnished, but probably too dark for some people's tastes. I rather liked it. The dining room was perfectly functional, but had no atmosphere to speak of. The terrace and lawn were definitely the hotel's best features. The lawn, which was immaculate, ran down to Thirlmere, and had splendid rhododendra.

Dinner was good, but really, £42.50 a head is too much for very limited set menu (without vegetarian options, as far as I could tell) in Cumbria. Also, a bowl of soup is not an amuse bouche. I don't mind the absence of amuses bouches from dinner in a country hotel (surely this is a trend which has been carried too far?), but it seems an absurd pretension to put "amuse bouche" on the menu when what you mean is "soup". The wine list looked as if it had once been good, but an enormous number of the wines were unavailable. A cellar restocking is clearly in order. The wines at least were reasonably priced, possibly because the wine list hadn't been updated for years. The raspberry posset was excellent.

Breakfast, as I mentioned, was understaffed, and as a result there were a few errors. They forgot our coffee and toast, although they quickly rectrified the fault when we pointed it out. Also, they served both breakfasts without tomato, when that order only applied to one. The porridge was good, the full English merely adequate. They could be a bit more generous in their servings, particularly of orange juice. (Mind you, I'm continually surprised by hotels apparently thinking that their guests would like to drink orange juice out of thimbles.)

So in summary, we had a very pleasant stay here, but I doubt it was worth £130 a night (B&B), particularly in an area where so many cheaper options are available.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rdj24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manchester
1 review
Reviewed 24 May 2009

We have stayed at many of the top hotels in the Lake District and rate this as one of our top 5.The view was breathtaking.The staff were very friendly and helpful.Our room was beautiful.The evening meal and breakfast were faultless. If there was a down side it was that they could have done with more staff, as we had to wait a while to get served with an after dinner drink.The present owners have been there only 4 years and we wish them well. we hope to return there soon.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank emily60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2009

There is no denying the beautiful location of this hotel - we had a truly lovely view of the Lake from our room for our one night Saturday night stay in May 09. However the standard of service was diabolical and the room was a real disappointment. At £130 a night I expected more.
Our room was quite old and shabby with the loudest extractor fan I have ever heard in the bathroom - even with the door shut it sounded like a plane was taking off.
Firstly, there was no toilet roll in the room when we checked in - when we rang to ask for some we were told this was because there was new staff on.. umm. We also rang down and asked for a hairdryer as there wasn't one in the room - we were told one would be brought up - however as this didn't arrive we had to request a second time.
Breakfast was a joke really. We were made to wait 45 minutes until we were even allowed to see a menu. There were no opportunities to order a drink or help ourselves to any food during this wait - there were 2 staff on who were seemingly incapable of dealing with about 12 guests. When we finally got to see the menu there was no vegetarian option and so my fiance asked for the breakfast without meat assuming there would be some extra food compensation for no bacon or sausage. When it eventually came however it was a pathetic half plate of food - one egg, about 5 mushrooms & a small handfull of baked beans. When we mentioned this to the waitress she suggested we order more food but after enduring such a wait we decided to give it a miss - it also took about another 15 mins for a round of toast to come. The one good thing I can say about breakfast is the coffee was nice.
Upon check out we complained about the level of service and were treated with distain and excuses. Apparently we were told they have been thinking about doing something about catering for vegetarians for some time - but still haven't - oh and apparently they have some really nice rooms that have been refurbished just that ours was yet to be refurbished - he explained they can't do them all at once - well lucky us. And my favourite excuse being that Saturday night is their busiest night but the rest of the week is quiet so they only have a small staff - so on Saturdays they can be overstretched - he asked us outraged what was he otherwise meant to do have staff sitting round in the week just to accommodate the Saturday rush? He also had a horribly rude and defensive manner.
Such a shame as like I say the view and location are amazing but service, breakfast and room really let it down.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jillatron15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
1 review
Reviewed 29 April 2009

Stayed here for a quiet weekend. We were upgraded to a beautiful room which overlooked the lake. Could not have been better, the staff were friendly and helpful and the food was lovely. Definitely come back.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Great187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2009

My husband and I stayed in the Leatheswater appartment which is part of the Dale Head Hotel.

If you are thinking of going to the Ice Hotel in Finland forget it - stay at this place and save yourself a whole heap of money. It was so cold in this place during the night that we had to move the matress into the lounge (see photo)! However, this made little difference and I had to wear a thermal vest, pyjamas, 2 pairs of socks and my Ronhill trousers to keep warm. My husband's thermometer on his watch measured between 6 and 7 degress. Given that an average fridge is about 5 degrees you can perhaps understand why we were cold! The temperatures outside were minus 6 degrees but there was no heating on in the appartment at night to get the temperature up to a suitable level.

The proprietor gave us a quilt (which was big of him!), but said he had no heater he could give us and he couldn't put the heating on at night because that would mean resetting it or getting up every hour to turn it on.

Maybe saving money on heating during the credit crunch is more important than ensuring the comfort of guests. If you are happy to stick it out in a freezing apartment then this is the place for you - providing you can scale the treacherous icy steps (12 or so) first!

On the plus side the views and the wildlife were great!

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — The cold!
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dee014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dale Head Hall

Property: Dale Head Hall
Address: Lake Thirlmere, Keswick CA12 4TN, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Keswick
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 12 Hotels in Keswick
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Dale Head Hall 3*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Dale Head Hall Keswick, Lake District
Dale Head Hall Hotel Keswick

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