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“Exceptional quality in the heart of the Lakes”
Review of The Samling Hotel

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The Samling Hotel
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 September 2014

We had an absolutely marvellous (first) stay at the very end of August and on every level it surpassed our expectations. Now with a MIchelin star, the cuisine was superb and matched its billing (by our son) as the best place to eat in the North of England. Our room had an unrivalled view of the lake and the service was quite exceptional - we felt duly pampered. First class all round. Not however for the faint-hearted in terms of ones wallet but we knew that in advance.

Room Tip: The deluxe suites behind the hotel are the ones to go for.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank tonythebigfella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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328 - 334 of 712 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2014

This is a difficult review to pull together as there is more right than wrong, so it could be described as "bitter sweet" literally but we felt it was important to share with potential guests our experience so as they may be able to get more out of what is i am sure a fantastic offering when its on its game.
Back ground: For my partners birthday i decided to book a Michelin rated food experience in the tranquility of the lake district and reserved us both at the hotel with our chosen room [Manmire] Gourmand [7 course taster] and wine pairing. The total cost for B,B & Evening meal was just south of £600 [included flowers and chocolates in the room] so i felt no more could be done and confident to leave everything in the hands of the experts.

The issues:
1.The wines did not pair or match the food.
2.The management choose not to engage on the issue.
Dealing with the former point first its true to say we are not fully experience or indeed wine experts but clearly a wine match / suits or sits along the food or it doesn't in this particular case only the Riesling accompanying the green tea panna cotta sweet was anything close to a pleasant pairing the rest not only where unpalatable but totally ruin the good work created the kitchen and delivered by the restaurant staff. The first wine was Lowery's pass Chenin Blanc accompanying Shetland Salmon with baby beetroots, licorice and grape fruit [for us this dish in its self did not work the grape fruit not working alongside the salmon] anyways we put this down to experience as you can not get it right every time. So we pushed on with the next course not going to describe all the details suffice to say from here on in the food was outstanding creative and with some theater,for example using an old coffee peculator fish stock was heated to rise and infuse with seaweed and vegetables to create an Asian broth, not only was the taste sublime it was a table talking point as was and always is any form of dry ice effect accompanying food as was the case with the pre desert which was an excellent palate cleanser. Anyways back to the point the second wine came and despite a fantastic talk from the waitress / manager of how well it would work with the Ham hock fritter [for us] it was almost undrinkable and completely eradicated the pleasant experience of the food after each sip taking you back to square one with only a distant memory of what had just been eaten. You may ask why carry on well we thought the next must be right and no point ordering a bottle of our choice now, how wrong all four accompanying wines completely and utterly wiped out any enjoyment from the excellent food that was being presented us. No other way to put this but a complete disaster!
Point 2. On presentation of the third wine the manager opened by saying now we are starting with some seriously good stuff olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc so that was my in "are you saying the first two where not that good then?" no response..we asked who selected the choice to accompany the food he replied himself with some in put from staff, clearly there was no way in for us to explain our dissatisfaction as it could have been viewed a criticism against him personally and we have not the knowledge for a full debate only what tastes nice and what doesn't. The whole point here as there is a strong play on service is social talk and passing the time of day is not sufficient to side step an issue and the subject was avoided like the plague to the degree no one even asked what our experience was like or offered any sort of solution [recognition would have gone a long way].
The good points apart from the food was the room being of a log cabin interior design was tranquil with excellent views over lake Windermere and the walk down in to Ambleside through what can be described as almost an Arboretum with teenage Giant Redwoods [200 years old] with plaques stating they are the tallest tree's in the lakes and Blackberries so ripe and abundant.
Conclusion: Can only be if you do not know your way around wine with an intricate detail stay with what you know works for you other wise risk negating probably the reason why you came in the first place like we did.
Anyways that is it hope it is helpful and to the manager please do not take this personal as clearly you are one of life's good guys and wishing you and the establishment all the best for the future and good look with the expansion of the restaurant once the bats have moved on.

Room Tip: Manmire is the top room
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
11  Thank DHM01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2014 via mobile

Absolutely perfect stay.
We were personally greeted by the GM- Alasdair and shown to our 3 floor, cottage style accomodation.
It was totally exquisite.
Discreet service, friendly staff, amazing food, complete attention to detail.
It was absolute perfection.
Cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Nikki A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2014

From the moment we were greeted at the front entrance by the GM Alasdair, our stay at The Samling was highly enjoyable. Our room was large, very clean and comfortable and the location is amazing. 5 minutes from Ambleside Pier and within 15 mins drive of all of the attractions we wanted to visit.

The food is rightly lauded and overall I cannot recommend this hotel enough.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Richard J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2014

The hotel staff and everything from the spectacular view to the exterior/interior design was amazing and luxurious. It's the best hotel in Windermere so far. Food was great and you feel like a valuable guest in the nice luxurious hotel and you will feel a lot to do from the nearby lake where lots of activities to the spectacular view of the Lake District.

Room Tip: All the rooms are overlooking the lake .. So it's fantastic. Very family friendly too.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Dr_G18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We only had one night here but it was excellent and we will return. Service is excellent - really friendly staff only too happy to help - always there yet not intrusive. Lovely room with great view over the lake. Cosy dining room and lovely food. Not cheap but we'll worth it.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Peterblake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2014

We have just spent 2 nights in the spacious Methera Room at the Samling and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. There is a lovely relaxed ambience, with all of the staff working very hard behind the scenes to ensure you feel very pampered. We particularly enjoyed the Tasting Menu in the Restaurant, which was a theatrical experience, not just a meal! We also enjoyed having breakfast in our room, with the wonderful view over Lake Windermere. A lovely weekend treat for our 30th Anniversary!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Alison W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Samling Hotel

Address: Ambleside Road, Windermere LA23 1LR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Windermere
#6 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
Price Range: £303 - £558 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Samling Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
3 Aa Red Star Hotel 3 Aa Rosettes1 Michelin Star ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Samling Hotel Windermere, Lake District
Samling Hotel

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