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“Lovely setting, helpful staff, but expensive”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Lovely setting, helpful staff, but expensive”
Reviewed 5 August 2012 via mobile

Upside: Wonderful setting right on Lake Windermere. We requested a lake view and stayed in a lovely room (145) for 2 nights to attend a family wedding. Our family stayed in 2 other rooms, which did not have a lake view but were large and well furnished. All our rooms were clean and very comfortable. High quality bathroom products. Bed and pillows very comfortable. Lovely breakfast. All staff polite and helpful, nothing was too much trouble.

Downside: Expensive. Expect London prices for rooms, food and drink. The shower, although good would have been difficult for less able people to access. High step up and narrow door, which opened outwards and dripped water all over the floor.
Poor choice for dinner. We are not fussy eaters, but found it difficult to find something we wanted. Steaks tough. There was Internet access in the rooms, but no wifi. This is a major minus for such an expensive hotel. Wifi is an expectation these days in all rooms, in quality hotels. Our bill for 3 rooms for 2 nights was £1100+, although this included some drinks and dinner. Yet, I was expected to pay a £2 charge for using a credit card. I stay in many major hotels around the world and have never been asked to pay this before. I know it's petty, but I disputed this and the receptionist agreed to waive the charge.

Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Kim_sunseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Lancashire
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2012

I am only commenting on the spa as we did not stay in the hotel. The spa is quite new so the quality is very high but I would not recommned it as a the main point of a break. It is basically a pool with 2 small rooms, one a sauna the other a steam room. There are only 4 loungers. The main problem was the fact kids were aloud to use the "Spa". There is no age limit and no members of staff around other than at the desk so children were running, jumping, diving, shouting and generally having a great time. Reminded me more of a pool at the local leisure centre or a 3 star package deal in Majorca only without a lifeguard. If you want a relaxing spa experience this is definitely not it. Choose an adults only. Might be better mid-week. They seem to do a lot weddings at weekends, the hotel was very busy with guests leaving. We were going to have a coffee in the lounge but were put off by the lad fast asleep on the sofa with his boxer shorts hanging out. suspect he was a wedding guest - staff ignored him. We moved on.

Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank basnettma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancashire
Level Contributor
59 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2012 via mobile

We have stayed at the old England on a number of occasions over the past 4 years. We actually got married here in August 2008 & have returned at least twice a year to visit. This hotel really does tick all the boxes. The location is simply breathtaking & when you actually take a moment to sit back and take in the view of the lake, you realise that you cannot really put a price on staying here! I have stayed in many different rooms and can honestly say that there isn't a bad room. A tip for anyone making a reservation for the first time would be to ask for a lakeside view room and make sure you ask for a room in the "renovated section". The bathrooms are devine and equipped to a really high standard. Everything u would want or need is in your room - bath robes, slippers, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, complimentary water, fridge, coffee/tea facilities etc.
The spa is just beautiful and really worth a visit, even If it's just for a quick swim and a visit to the sauna/steam room. I have had treatments, and yes they are expensive, but no dearer than what you would expect from a hotel of this standard.
The breakfast is absolutely scrumptious and it's taken by order, so no buffet style full English, but a personal order which is taken and the choice is excellent and varied. You will leave in the morning feeling full!

Overall, always a consistently wonderful stay. Great rooms, attentive staff where nothing is too much trouble, perfect location with stunning views and plenty to do just on your doorstep. Great place to come as a treat.

Can't fault the wedding service - first class! We used Michelle who is the hotel wedding planner; she was amazing and looked after us really well.
We will continue to visit and would recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
durham
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2012

We had a very pleasant stay, couldn't really fault the hotel. The weather was terrible, but that been the case for much of the summer. Breakfast was good,loads of choice available, on both morning's had a table with a lovely view of the lake, and the service was fine. Also enjoyed the pool, steam and sauna.

Room Tip: Didn't have lake view, but just as well as it was very misty.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank materialgirl49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2012

Stayed at the Old England to celebrate our wedding anniversary. From arrival to checkout, the staff were excellent. We received a complimentary upgrade to a suite overlooking Lake Windermere, it was absolutely stunning. Food excellent, cleanliness spotless and the whole hotel both inside and out was wonderful.

Room Tip: Lake views are a must.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank herindoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malvern, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2012

A wonderful hotel with excellent attention to detail in a stunning location. Our room had a beautiful view of the lake and was clean and well-appointed with nice toiletries, fresh milk available for tea/coffee and a very comfortable bed with goose down pillows. The spa was great and breakfast also excellent. The day after I left I discovered that I had left some jewellery in the room - the housekeeping staff were really helpful and sent it back to me by special delivery. Great service!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alison K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2012 via mobile

We arrived having to unload our bags ourselves as the one person who was responsible for this was also the same person that showed you to your room.

The only English worker in the hotel seems to be the receptionist which started to cause problems when trying to communicate to the staff throughout our stay. Although once the staff did understand you could not fault there level of service and always seemed very happy to help.

Rooms were large, kept very clean and had good facilities.

The pool area was disappointing. The steam room smelt like a toilet and the pool was too cold to enjoy. You couldn't sit by the pool area for too long as the whole room seemed to be too cold for our group and the same comment was made by other groups in the pool area.

The lack of enough towels at the spa reception wouldn't have been a problem if the receptionist would have brought us one in as she had said. Instead we had to go out dripping wet to get it!!

We eat at the hotel restaurant once for dinner and were totally shocked and at poor the food was for the price you pay. The manager seems to be the only other English worker and he is also the only person allowed to seat guests and take their order. With at least 5 other staff members walking around this delayed service was not good enough for this level of hotel.

Bread cut at dinner was so small not quite sure why they bothered and the overall quality and range of food on the menu is poor. Our other two nights were spent at Hylton and The Spinnery restaurants which can be found just outside the hotel and were half the price and 100x better food and service.

We prebooked dinner at £25 a head for 3 courses from main menu without being told that meant you had £28 to spend in the restaurant and that anything over this would be charged on top. I refused to pay the extra £15 for our table and was disgusted at being conned on the phone for such a 'great prebooked deal'

Cooked breakfast was cold on first day but fine for remainder of stay.

Great location, not so great hotel. Disappointing stay

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Mdoherty83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

Property: Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Address: 23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Bowness-on-Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#3 Business Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#7 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is one of the finest 4-star Lake District hotels. Set on the shores of Lake Windermere - England's largest lake - our hotel offers the best of breathtaking scenery and exceptional facilities. From unrivalled views over our mature lawns, to private jetties and moorings on the lake - our hotel proves a popular choice for family holidays. Our hotel in Cumbria is perfect for country adventures - hire a private jetty on our lake and marvel in the glorious scenery we have on offer. And once you've finished exploring, we recommend a visit to our spa and thermal suite for a relaxing steam before you dine in our award-winning Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Old England
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Bowness-On-Windermere, Lake District

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