Having read other reviews I decided to make a reservation. All I can say is that what is one person's heaven can be another's hell. This hotel does not deserve the previous paudits and I write this to give some balance.
I made the reservation online, the price was a bit on the high side but I thought what the hell. Online reservations come with a £10 credit on food or drink, however staff on check-in failed to remind me.
I paid for a feature room, which was described as in the new lake wing with uninterupted views of the lake. On arrival I was asked if I had stayed at the hotel before to which I replied no. I have Diamond status with Hilton and Platinum with IHG but this was the first stay at MacDonalds.
Given the room they allocated to me I think they thought that as I hadn't stayed there before they couold fob me off with any old room. The room was in the old hotel and not in the lake wing. The views were not uninterupted to I returned to reception. I showed them their description of the room I should have been allocated and was quickly changed. This treatment is almost fraudulent.
The second room was as described and the views truly are great, however, this hotel is in need of refurbishment. The term NEW is only relative to the age of the original building. I think this wing was built about 8 years or so ago but has the feel of and 1960's motel. They obvioously haven't bothered to keep up the maintenance.
The bedroom window sills have the top layer of ply or cheap MDF separating and looks like a very bad blister; there were two burn marks on the carpet from someone leaving an iron on it; the furniture is fake old and cheap and would be better of in the skip next door; the bed was supposed to be a double but was in fact two singles (not connected properly) and zipped together. I'm sorry but no matter how strong the zip is you cannot lose the sag in the middle. The wallpaper is peeling away from the bootom of the wall to the bathroom and it is clear they have a flooding there that was badly fixed.
The bathroom floor tiles were badly chipped; the tiles on the wall at the bottom of the bath are coming away and the sealant is brown (should be white or off white) and filthy. The bathroom door has a one inch gap at the top and I think this may have come from the flooding in the bathroom where they may have cut the bottom of the door and then reversed it. The paint on the door seems to have been nothing more than an undercoat or a matt and then they forgot to gloss it.
This room (321) was not worth the £151 paid for it and the management should be ashamed of themselves. I did ask to speak to the duty manager to offer feedback but he/she was too busy. What does that tell you?
On another point watch out for the check in and check out times, 1600 and 1100 respectively. These times are more in keeping with a cheap B&B in Blackpool than a 4 star international chain. Customer friendly this is not. To make matters even more customer unfriendly they state that if you need the room longer then check with reception but again be very wary, to keep it until 1300 it will costyou an extra £40 and until 1400 a whopping £50. You should be ashamed.
I do concede that the breakfast was very good but the dirty cup on the table just reinforced my overall disappointment.
This hotel states it is 4 star but seriously this is 2 star quality but with asperations to achieve 4 star status. If this was going to tempt me to transfer loyalty then MacDonalds will need to do a lot better than this. You spoiled a short break.
- 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