We traditionally go for a weekend blowout in Majorca for our company board meeting, however this year we decided to try somewhere closer to home. The Lakes are just over an hour from home, and our 'Tripadvisor Friend' told us about Gilpin Lodge. We trust their opinion and booked our weekend away.
We were greated at the main house by Taryn, a delightful lady, who checked us in in seconds, and arranged to meet us at our garden suite. By the time we had driven to the garden suites, and parked, she was already there waiting for us. The garden suites are above the main hotel building and have recently been built.
We were booked into Sergeant Mann, which we chose since it is very private. The suites closer to the front entrance are apparently less private.
The room was beautifully furnished with a super king bed, sofa, desk and chairs. All swish and new. Between the bedroom/lounge area and the bathroom is a dressing area which has a huge cupboard that has a mini bar in it plus kettle etc on top. Plenty of wardrobe space and safe.
The bathroom is huge, with large walk-in shower, massive bath, fluffy robes and slippers. Molton Browne products (large bottles!).
Through the patio doors in the bedroom is the deck, which has two wooden sun loungers, coffee table and a hot tub. The beauty of this area is that it is totally private, with only the hotel lamas for company! They are over a fence though.
We had booked dinner for 8.30, so were advised that our pre dinner drinks and canapes were ready from 7.30 in the bar.
You enter the hotel through the rear, walking past a few of the standard rooms, and down the stairs to the drawing room and bar area. All very muted creams and greens with plush sofas and antiques. It is fairly formal and we had ensured that we dressed appropriately - I would not have felt massively comfortable without a jacket, or at least a freshly pressed shirt. Mrs M-B was in a suitable dress.
They make a good margarita and served a beautifully chilled Lake District lager. Canapes were intricate and delicious.
We had opted for dinner, bed and breakfast, so it was pretty straight forward on the ordering. I think that we had beef, duck, lamb and pork over the two nights but cannot really remember! The menu was the same for both nights and the choice is not massive, but we were more than happy. We also chose the wine that went accompanied each dish.
Again, I cannot remember exactly what wine we had, but I do recall it being EXCELLENT! The chief wine man, Ziggy, is obviously hugely passionate about his wines. He comes and tells you about every wine, in detail, when it arrives. I feel that his patter may be wasted slightly on everyone, but I loved it.
The staff are not what make Gilpin Lodge, since the hotel, rooms, food and wine speak for themselves, but I do think that the staff definately diserve a mention. I think I worked out who the owners were, who were very welcoming, but all the staff clearly were proud of Gilpin Lodge and proud to work there (something that cannot be said about other hotels in the Lakes, or elsewhere!). They do not rush around after you because that is their job, they just seem to provide excellent service because that is what they do. I liked it and other hotels should learn from them.
After dinner we retired to the hot tub for a night cap or two and a cigar. Very civilised. Very private.
We had breakfast the following morining fairly late - we arrived just before ten, but didn't finish until pretty much eleven. Breakfast is very good. I had poached haddock with a hollandaise sauce on a muffin - a first!
We had booked into the spa, which is at the MacDonald Hotel in Windermere. This is an arrangement that Gilpin Lodge have for their guests. Mrs M-B had a facial while I went for a run on a treadmill and watched the rugby. It kind of makes you appreciate how good Gilpin Lodge is when you go to the MacDonald spa. It is nice enough but basic, although they do have a funky fusion shower (or something like that) that had different coloured lights and aromas!
Mrs M-B said the facial was poor, as was her therapist.
We then had a mad dash to the Sharrow Bay hotel on Ullswater for afternoon tea. We were late but it was good. I would recommend it - even at £25 per person. We drank alot of tea and many cakes, all beautifully presented. Great view over Ullswater from the tables (all by windows!). Unfortunately Mrs M-B started feeling ill from the moment we left.
We returned to Gilpin Lodge for a late afternoon nap - at least Mrs M-B did, I sat in the hot tub ready her new Louise Bagshaw novel!
We had a repeat of the previous nights drinks and dinner, but cut short due to wife illness. The staff were all very concerned - especially as we had to leave dinner before desert.
The following day we had breakfast in bed - awesome - particularly as I accidently ordered two breakfasts, by mistake. The best sausages I have had in a long time.
Reception buzzed us and asked what time we would like to leave - check out is at eleven and they were more than happy for us to check out at twelve. In fact we didn't leave until half tweleve. Absolutely no problem.
We paid our bill and departed.
Conclusion - Excellent. We will come back next year and get our desert!
You cannot really fault a hotel like this. Everything is done so well. Someone did manage to put a round of drinks onto our tab by mistake, but this was quickly refunded onto my card - I didn't notice until after I had paid.
On the second night someone forgot to bring out the wine to accompany my pre-appertiser. I din't notice until my starter came with the wrong wine. Ziggy immediately noticed but it caused all sorts of confusion - obviously throwing all the next course wines out of sync. It was actually quite amusing since they clearly have a very slick wine pouring strategy and are not used to mistakes!
After we departed we went for a wander round Windermere - went shopping and ate fish and chips on a park bench - back to reality - ha ha!
Total cost was about £1200 for two nights all in. Cheaper than Majorca and home in an hour - bliss.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Odigeo, World Independent Hotel Promotion, Hotels.com, Hotel.de, HRS and Ebookers so you can book your Gilpin Hotel & Lake House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Gilpin Hotel And Lake House
- Gilpin Hotel Windermere
- Gilpin Lodge Windermere
- Gilpin Hotel & Lake House Windermere, Lake District