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Gilpin Hotel & Lake House
Ranked #3 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 August 2011

We stayed for a two night stay for my husbands birthday. The cost was a lot more than we would usually pay for a weekend away but we weren't disappointed as the food, room and service were all outstanding and I felt worth every penny. The only gripe I would have is that the promotional material specifically states that they don't 'do weddings'. In actual fact they do. As we pulled up to the hotel in expectation of our 'intimate welcome which will feel like a home from home' (also on the promotional DVD) we got caught up in a wedding party who were arriving for a reception. This meant that our welcome was rather chaotic and we were ignored by the lady on reception whilst she fastened a button hole onto one of the wedding guests.
However all was forgiven as the service from then on was impeccable. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank LeanneKenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,168 - 1,174 of 1,387 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2011

Short summary here, full digest below:
An attractive hotel, away from the hustle and bustle but could be anywhere rural, extremely expensive but doesn't deliver. Very attentive staff, good food, stylish new parts of the hotel, disparate main areas, badly lacking in technology, not worth the money. Your fellow guests are likely to be the over 65 brigade with a small smattering of honeymooners, and the atmosphere may leave you feeling rather more on edge than when you arrived.

In Full:
I stayed at Gilpin Lodge with a friend for a 3 night break, and was looking forward to a total unwind, chilling out in the fiendishly expensive Garden Suite that we'd booked for the purpose.....£460 per night half board.

Unfortunately we were assigned the room Sergeant Man which was miserably dark. Yes it was decorated with immense style, however it was a huge room with a relatively very very small west facing window/door which was shadowed by two large trees. Another reviewer here said it had a view of the Llama field.....that's one way of putting it. Another way would be that it had a view of a steep grass bank. Most of the other Garden Suites had views over the garden (funnily enough), and would have had considerably more light. I asked if we could move rooms but was told that we could only be moved on night two of our stay and would then have to be moved back on night three. The sofa area was so dim that it was impossible to read by natural light with my 43 year old eyes.....not my idea of relaxing. This room should be cheaper than the others and disclosed as such - I wouldn't have booked it at all had I known.

Whilst on the subject of the room, there were several very basic things lacking that one would find as a matter of course in even a mediocre hotel. Yes the decor is wonderfully stylish, but it is hopelessly impractical. The lighting is all on one circuit so when you turn off the main lights, everything goes off except the bedside lights. If one of you wants to go to bed or have a kip and the other wants to read on the sofa......nope, not possible, and no sign of a much needed lamp by the sofa. High up on the faux chimney is a tantalizingly large flat screen TV......tantalizing as it isn't actually a TV - it's a very trendy fire. The TV is instead a particularly small affair, far too small for this day and age and for a room of this size, and positioned so low that you can't see it over the foot of the bed. No satellite channels either (I've seen the owner's reply to a similar review that he doesn't expect his guests to want to watch TV, but it didn't stop raining heavily for 48 hours when we were there......). Oh well, plug your iPod in instead. Maybe not. No iPod dock, which frankly is pretty amazing in a room costing £460 per night, given the money that's been spent on decor. The owner did very helpfully bring a mini iPod unit for us to borrow after reception answered my enquiry with "there isn't an iPod dock", but I suspect there'd be a problem if more than one guest fancied a bit of light entertainment in the rain.

Next I thought I'd go onto the internet to catch up on some fairly urgent emails as I had absolutely zero mobile reception (O2). Wireless internet? Nope, not in the Garden Suites. Problems with BT apparently, but those comments have been on here for ages. They're trying microwave currently, and it's available in the main house, but that's a hike from the Suites and not an environment to relax in (I'll come to that in a minute). I was offered a dongle to borrow by the owner......fantastic.....until he remembered that he'd cancelled the contract when he started the microwave trial. Why cancel the contract if it's only a trial?? What about the guests? Provide one or the other for the high price you're charging, surely. It left quite an unpleasant penny-pinching taste.

On the up side, the quality of the styling and furnishings in the room was very high, the bathroom was huge and stylish, and there was a useful bar area between the two for drinks, wardrobes etc.

The main part of the hotel looks like a regular house that's been extended several times over the years, and has been given 'the treatment' to turn it into a near-boutique hotel. I say 'near' because the main building doesn't quite make it. I didn't see properly into the rooms there (though I glimpsed through a door), but the public areas are a disparate mix between designer and fuddy-duddy. Not unpleasant at all.....immaculate.......but it feels slightly odd, as though it doesn't quite know what it is. The Garden Suites are in a different building (the funky one on the website) and are totally modern and boutique in style. But back to the main hotel. The atmosphere is probably the least comfortable I've experienced in a hotel, and I'm fairly well travelled. It has a deathly hush about it. You feel like you need to talk in a whisper, and indeed, other people's conversations became fascinating. We spent one dinner barely speaking to each other, so transfixed were we by a debate at another table in our tiny dining room. The eating areas are small rooms generally as this was once a private house (I assume)......imagine putting three tables in your living room, four tables in a conservatory.....that's the sort of scale, and they too are in deathly hush, apart for your own startlingly loud voice. The food was mixed in quality. I had some excellent courses for dinner, though I repeated a starter two nights later and it was not as good, and a main course was just trying so hard that it killed its own flavours, but when I had a pudding that I didn't enjoy the chef made a different version the next day, unprompted. I didn't check to see if we were charged for it. Breakfasts were not so good - great choice on the menu but a full English (always a yardstick) was very mediocre, as were the pancakes and "crispy" bacon, despited repeated requests for it to be so. And don't ask for baked beans - a) you'll have to explain what they are to a waiter who seemed incredulous that I could ask for such a thing and b) when the waiter comes back from the kitchen you'll have to face a somewhat derisive 'no', and a suggestion to have the cassoulet. Yeuch. There's nothing worse than a chef who thinks he's soooo good that he's better than certain culinary icons such as Heinz baked beans, Heinz tomato ketchup, HP sauce (I don't even eat the latter) etc. The service was excellent, the waiters being attentive and friendly, though we did think that they were trying too hard and had almost become caricatures....not a problem, just a source of mild amusement.

I went away from Gilpin feeling ambivalent, maybe even slightly glad to leave, and quite ripped-off.

Room Tip: Sergeant Man is dark and has no view. Ask for a room overlooking the garden. No internet in Garden...
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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15  Thank Agentfruit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2011

We stayed at the Lake House and it was beyond superb. The service, venue, food were wonderful and we cant wait to return before Christmas. Our favourite, luxury bolt hole in the Lakes.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Norma024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2011

This is a suberb hotel and without doubt the best in the Lake Distict by a mile-and i have investigated the other options.
Its run in a very hands on way by the cunliffe family, who work tirelessly to ensure that standards never slip. All the waiting staff are impecably polite and helpful and the chef and his team tirelessly produce some wondeful food....try the bircher muesli for breakfast: its delicious. The rooms are wonderfully appointed and very thoughtfully decorated. All in all its so much better than that dreary place down the road... holbeck somethingorother?
...A few small comments: perhaps large parties of non resident diners should be discouraged, as this possibly overburdens the kitchen with needless extra covers which occasionally extends dinner longer than necessary for the residents?
Also, a spa extension would be a very welcome addition and would help to justify the prices. charged.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank yourlordship
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2011

Nothing but accolades for this beautiful Relais & Chateaux hotel. Wonderful hospitality from the Cunliffe family who ensured that everything from theguest suites to the food service was to the high R&C standards.

Room Tip: Try for the suites with hot tubs in the new wing at the top of the hill.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank BRtoronto77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2011

My husband and I stayed at Gilpin Lodge in June. Very pleased with this R&C hotel.
The previous TA reviews sum up our overall experience. We were made to feel very welcome, comfortable and pampered under their roof and everything was first class.

However, I do have to agree with the previous poster on one issue. In the beginning, although the emails were responded to promptly, some questions remained unanswered regarding the B&B and the D-B&B, and I needed clarification on others.
Several emails had different rates per night (perhaps the result of different people manning the emails at their end). In the end I did have to call.
(I do think they are so busy with reservation inquiries, that individual emails are not read carefully enough, leading to unanswered queries.

Nevertheless, this is only one small hiccup in an excellent stay, and we would return to the lovely GL should we be back in The Lakes.

Room Tip: Enjoy the experience of this Relais & Chateau hotel.
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank celticmoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2011

We stayed at the Gilpin for 3 nights on a long family weekend in July. Overall the lodge was great:

The staff are all attentive, pleasant and provide excellent service.

The lodge itself and the grounds are beautiful. The gardens are lovely and the bar, lounge and dining areas are stunning.

The rooms were very spacious. We had a master room which in many places in Europe would be classed as a suite. Loved the Molton Brown bath products although it would have been even better if they also provided the Molton Brown liquid hand soap as opposed to the bar.

Although there are no lake views from the lodge, the location is still excellent. A short drive to Lake Windermere and surrounded by the green Lake District landscape. Perfect for relaxation and chilling out.

The food is great. The menu is varied with some exceptional day specials. It is however worth noting that, if you want to have a quick meal and head out (or to bed) you will be disappointed. Dinner is a slow-paced affair allowing you to savour every course. I felt that the dessert options could be improved, but then again that might be just my own personal taste.

The only thing that took the "gold star" away for me was a slight lack of attention from the reservations team. During my various communications with them during the booking process, I found myself asking a number of questions and only one being responded to. This lead to me emailing back asking the same questions again. They were always quick to come back to me, which is a plus, but I felt that a little bit more attention would have made a big difference and topped up the exceptional service provided at the lodge itself. We would certainly return.

  • Stayed: July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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1  Thank PhillipP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Address: Crook Road, Windermere LA23 3NE, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Windermere
#1 Business Hotel in Windermere
#2 Luxury Hotel in Windermere
#4 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
#7 Family Hotel in Windermere
Price Range: £222 - £445 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Gilpin Hotel & Lake House 5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the heart of Gilpin is a very passionate family and team, dedicated to creating lasting memories for their guests, who return time and again for celebrations and escapes. Warmth and friendliness are balanced with extraordinary service, exquisite décor and stunning culinary experiences. This five star hotel comprises two separate estates in the beautiful Lake District, with a luxury country house on each. At Gilpin Hotel all of the 25 bedrooms have lovely Lakeland views, most leading directly onto the gardens - including six Garden Suites with their own cedarwood hot tubs, and five fabulous detached Spa Lodges. The Spa Lodges were added in 2016, and are cedar-clad with king size beds, gorgeous bathrooms and a fabulously private en-suite spa each, with a convertible treatment area, steam room, rain maker shower, free standing oval stone bath, outdoor sauna and hydrotherapy hot tub surrounded by a walled garden. Add this to the mood lighting, fires, electric blinds and a state-of-the-art music system, and all of the senses are invigorated. Just a mile away at Gilpin Lake House, six gorgeous rooms share a fully staffed boutique hotel with a heated indoor swimming pool (for Lake House guests only), outdoor hot tubs and saunas, and exclusive access to 100 acres of grounds with a stunningly beautiful private lake. Our chauffeurs bring you to the hotel in the evening to dine. Dine in either the Michelin starred main restaurant, 'Hrishi', where Hrishikesh Desai combines great Lake District produce and classic methods to deliver unbelievable textures and flavours with just a twist of Asia, or in 'Gilpin Spice' a new informal restaurant transcending international boundaries, with an open kitchen focussing on dishes from the spice trail spanning the Indian sub-continent, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and China. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gilpin Hotel And Lake House
Gilpin Hotel Windermere
Gilpin Lodge Windermere
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House Windermere, Lake District

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