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“Expensive drinks and a terrible bed ! ”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 18 March 2014 via mobile

Booked the McDonald as a change from our usual hotel as of its location.
Smack bang in the middle of Windermere with great views of the lake.
We booked in and were allocated our room 221 on the second floor, quite small but ok.
We headed to the bar for a few drinks.
We ordered a Guinness and black £4.85 +£1 and a Budweiser and black £4.25+£1 nearly fell over when we got the bill !!
The drinks in this place are so expensive,
We ventured to eat out on return my wife wanted a cup of tea, we entered the bar ordered a pot of tea and a coke.
The bill came £9:50 and £3.25 !!!
Nearly fell over!
Eventually headed off to bed and we had/didn't have the worst nights sleep ever, we checked out the next day and headed straight home for a sleep!!.
I would not recommend you stay at this hotel, the beds are terrible and the drinks sooooo expensive.
We even mentioned our poor nights sleep to reception but didn't get a sorry!
Very poor !!!

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Pilkinator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 March 2014

I had booked a couple of nights B&B and evening meal for my mum's birthday, whilst recovering from a major illness. Meet and greet was efficient and the concierge parks your car for you. Both our rooms had the lovely lake view, as requested. We stayed here for the first time over 23 years ago and the decor and furnishings were just the same - hence now they are looking tired and worn and could do with refreshing. The towels were fab, as was the white bed linen - however they then put tired, horribly coloured throws at the bottom of the beds!?

The restaurant markets itself as fine dining. However, there are no white table cloths for dinner - just dark, chipped at the edges tables. Not good. The two nights we were there we were cold while dining. There is a lovely view but, unfortunately, no ambience. The quality of food was rather good but portions very small and it is not cheap. Menu choice quite limited.

The bar/lounge area is a lovely, grand room with the lake view - here, again, starting to look a bit tired and in need of a refurb - however, still a relaxing area with brilliant staff.

Mum had two treatments at the 'spa' - the waiting room is quite a relaxing space. The pool is adequate for a good swim - not much room around to lounge though. It really is beauty rooms and a pool rather than a 'Spa'.

I had specifically made the hotel aware that this was a special birthday for Mum at the time of booking and they said they would note this, but there was no acknowledgement during our stay, which was a disappointment.

Room Tip: High rooms with a lake view
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank TessaNearLeeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

Not too far away from home but a rare, well-needed, birthday treat with Mr Harro leaving the babes in the arms of fab sitters.

The service on arrival was formal but friendly, polite and very efficient having our car parked for us and checking into our room v quickly.

We had booked on a B&B basis in a feature lake room and this one certainly had good features; modern, spacious, v clean, comfy armchairs in the window to enjoy the view (which we did with glass of bubbly in hand!) lovely bathroom, great wardrobe space, big bathroom with seperate shower, bath etc, standard tea and coffee making facilities plus a Nespresso coffee machine...lush. Oh and the bed was v comfy especially the v fresh linen and plump pillows.

We used room service once to request 2 champagne flutes and ice and this was delivered quickly.

Having lived in Bowness for numerous years it may seem a bit daft going for an over night stay there!? The little 'resort' on the banks of Lake Windermere can be a bit 'touristy', however the Old England had the qualities and level of service/luxury of other Macdonald Hotels we have stayed in and, in particular, the lounge adjacent to Reception has a peaceful, calm and relaxing atmosphere. There was (apparently) a wedding going on but this did not impinge on our chilled out time in the bar.

We hadn't booked in the restaurant for dinner - instead opting to eat in a lovely, little Italian restaurant across the road called Villa Positano recommended by ourselves :-) However, the breakfast the next morning was very enjoyable and, much to my preference, ordered and freshly cooked to order. The usual cereals, continental, pastries, fruit, fruit juice etc were available buffet style and fresh coffee (my only negative comment - not the best brew?!) and toast were delivered to your table. The view from our table for 2 near the window was just idyllic and I could have sat there all day. Service from the staff was excellent at breakfast.

Overall, we had a lovely stay, could not fault anything, would go back again and would recommend to others.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank JaneHarro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

Just back from a 3 day break at Lake Windermere where we stayed at the Old England Hotel & Spa situated right on the lakefront. We had not booked in advance and I was pleasantly impressed at the way we were greeted and even given a choice of rooms which we could view before booking. The room and bathroom were large, clean and well decorated, the twin beds with their duck down duvets & pillows were the icing on the cake. The hotel facilities, [pool & spa] staff and overall ambiance were perfect with a mixture of old [the original part of the hotel] & the new modern wing blending well. A gem of a hotel well worth a visit in a wonderful setting.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Kimberley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

we have just returned from 2 nights at Macdonald Old England. We ahd booked the Windermere experience which included a cruise and a cream tea both of which we enjoyed very much. Our room was a little "tired" --a piece of the dressing table had been stuck in a drawer . We have yet to find the safe and the hairdryer was almost impossible to use as it kept cutting out. Our main complaint was with the dining room.We ate there both nights..The food was good but the portions were so small that you could barely taste it. Two scallops on plate with a small teaspoonful of corn puree and a few bacon crumbs at a cost of £12.50 seemed very overpriced . On one evening I had monk fish and could barely find the fish on the plate.When I did find it the amount would hardly have covered a 50p piece.The service was erratic On the second night we waited 30 minutes for our starter.The staff were very nice but their command of the English language was poor. We enjoyed our stay but if we did return I am not sure we would use the restaurant

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Lynne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

The Old England is located in an enviable position next to Lake Windermere and is ideal for a comfortable, relaxing break or as a base for exploring this amazing part of the country.
We have visited the hotel several times while on day trips to the area but this was our first stay here.
Although normal check in time is a surprisingly late 4pm we were able to complete the paperwork formalities when we arrived at 11am. The concierge took care of our luggage and parked the car for us leaving us free to begin our two day visit.
The room was available by about 2:30 and we were very happy with our accommodation. It was very much what you would expect from a four star hotel but there was no room safe or heating control. Also there was no lift in the new annexe where we were housed. We had paid a bit more for a lake view and would recommend that you do the same if possible. However, there are fabulous views of the lake from the hotel lounge, restaurant, terrace and gardens at no extra charge.
We had a breakfast in the hotel as part of our deal and there was a wide selection of excellent quality food available. The hot items were cooked to order which meant that service was a bit slow and this could be annoying if you were in a hurry.
The hotel has a large lounge/bar with plenty of comfortable chairs and sofas and is an ideal place to sit and read, drink, eat or simply admire the view. There is also an outside terrace leading from the lounge. We had lunch and cream teas here. The food was good and the prices were reasonable but service was rather hit and miss. We were given the wrong item on one occasion, charged for drinks we didn't have and left waiting for ages between being served drinks and the food arriving for our cream tea. Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie could make a sequel here called "Scone In 60 Minutes".
The hotel spa and pool are great and it would be a shame to stay here and not make use of them.
All in all this a well run hotel with friendly staff and we would gladly return.

Room Tip: Feature King rooms with lake view are good value.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Hispanist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Stayed here for 1 night, very warm welcome from the moment we walked through the door till the moment we left. Staff couldn't do enough for you. Dinner was excellent and very good service. This place is set right on the lake with a gorgeous view. Would recommend this place to anyone. Thank you for a great stay.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank karen d
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

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
#6 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range: £83 - £285 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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