We stayed at Glen Rothay on an Amazon Local deal for two nights. Booking was easy and it was nice to have a chat with Andrew the Manager. On arrival we had a warm welcome and had a table booked for evening meal in the restaurant. We stayed at the best room in the hotel - Kentmere which was palatial in size with massive windows overlooking the road and Rydal Water beyond.
Dining in the restaurant was pleasurable - we had table 31, it was lovely to see original wainscot panelling dating from the 17th Century and our table ensconced on either side by settles was most charming. Look out for the mirror above it made from a privvy seat once sat on by Oliver Cromwell - yes, really! I take issue with those prior reviewers who stated that the room needed redecorating - obviously the sort of feckless chavs whose idea of sophistication and interior decor excellence comes ala mode of Ikea and DFS!
Similarly, the Badger Bar was charming and boasted a range of five cask ales, expertly presided over by the knowledgeable Andrew and well deservedly winning a CAMRA award. The Barngates Red Bull Terrier being especially lush and enjoyable. The Jennings was not as I remember it and although my palate had not experienced the Marston brewery influence, Andrew changed my half without quibble - top chap who knows his beers well. Again, I cannot see why anyone would criticise the decor here and I would suggest that if you want beige colouring everywhere then get yourself a National Health hearing aid and stay way from this cosy and characterful bar.
Food was not bad at all, and I can recommend dinner as the smoked salmon had an exceptional cure and there was plenty of it and my rare steak that followed was a triumph.
There were two further highlights to my stay, first was meeting our Head Chef during our stay who looked like Alistair McGowan - did I tell you that he cooks a mean rare steak as well as being like the rest of the staff, very friendly and a font of local knowledge. Unfortunately Ronnie Ancona does not come out with the puddings nor does she turn down the bed for guests every night - awwwww!
The second was meeting Graham, the second half of the management team who was both a bon-vivant and badger expert. Yes, a badger expert as for the past 4 and a half years, he has acted as foster parent to a cete of 13 badgers by feeding them the kitchen scraps at 20:45 sharp - and guess what, they are waiting for him every night come rain or shine. A top action which earns an accolade from me and many other guests who found the vision of thirteen of these ferocious little creatures unconcernedly guzzling food whilst we ooohed and ahhhed only some 10 foot away quite charming. Interesting that the hotel also won an Eco award too - wonder if this food recycling was as a consequence of the award.
Continuing with the food, try the smoked salmon blinis for breakfast, most enjoyable.
The spa experience at a neighbouring note some eight miles away was enjoyable and a nice bonus.
We enjoyed our time at Glen Rothay and the positives far outweighed the negatives, however, for the sake of a balanced review we must mention cold baked beans at breakfast, poor ground coffee - change the blend as this one is truly dire, a shower with poor water pressure and comensurate trickle. Putting these minor quibbles into perspective though - especially if you read my other Lake District reviews - there are a lot of Lakeland businesses that are truly dire,trading on past glories and taking advantage of a captive clientele with a take it or leave it attitude to their appallingly poor and expensive service provision.
What I would say is save your displeasure and vilification for the these and give your support to hotels like Glen Rothay who are really trying - go visit and judge for yourself and hopefully like us, you won't be disappointed with your experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Famous Lakeland hotel perfectly located between Ambleside and Grasmere. Huge rooms with 4-poster beds. Woodland and mountain views all around, and a 2 minute walk to the lake. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Glen Rothay Rydal
- Glen Rothay Hotel Rydal, Lake District, Cumbria