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“my favourite hotel in the lakes” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
156 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“my favourite hotel in the lakes”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

ideally placed in the centre of Bowness, handy for all the sights.the boats are nearby and they are well worth a trip.

a lake view room is a must. they are very well kept , the service is very good and food good too. it is a great stop to explore from.

Room Tip: lake view room would be best for an unforgettable vista
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 25Steve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,743 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (545)
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English first
Ripon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

Just returned from weekend stay. Perhaps our room was different to everyone elses, we had a good lake view but the room was desperate for a refurbish, tiny room with damp patches on the ceiling and desperately waiting for redecoration, the view was good, but only one window possible to open, it was a tiny shabby room with no air. The breakfast was pleasant, but we could not justify the cost with such a dreadful room. Oh and we were also told we had to pay ten pound per night for parking. Would we return? never. There are good standard hotels in the Lakes, this is not on our list.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Molly261
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merseyside
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

One of the finest hotels in the Lake District. I booked a "Feature Suite" and I wasn't disappointed. We checked into room 22, a marvellous suite with a large balcony with views on Lake Windermere. The room was clean, tidy and very spacious, with a lovely bathroom that contained separate shower and bath. The hotel staff were ever so helpful and friendly, from the moment we arrived early in the morning, to collecting our luggage late in the evening. They went out of their way at every given moment to make sure that our stay was an unforgettable one! A must on a sunny day is champagne with strawberries on the terrace overlooking the lovely Windermere Lake, Although we dined out at a restaurant in that evening, the hotel wouldn't be beaten, upon our return we decided to sit on our balcony and gaze up at the clear sky which was full of stars, an amazing sight! The breakfast in the morning was served prompt to our room at our desired time and carefully laid out on the dining table on our balcony. I will most certainly be returning in the near future.

Room Tip: The Feature Suites, although expensive are worth every penny!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MustacheMario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bromborough, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

My friend and I arrived at the Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa in Bowness on Monday 21st July for our two night stay. Luckily, the weather was fantastic and our first impression of Bowness was the sun’s rays bouncing off Lake Windermere, the flurry of little boats out on the water and the large numbers of visitors. There were a lot of tourists from overseas and I felt very proud of the Lake District! It was lovely to see so much wildlife – the swans, Canadian geese and ducks milling around among the people.

We arrived at the hotel and were greeted by Tina at the reception desk. We met with her a few times during our stay and she was always very pleasant and friendly. In fact, all the staff we encountered during our stay were incredibly helpful and extremely attentive. We were advised to bring the car to the front of the hotel once we had booked our spa treatments and taken our first view of the terrace (which overlooked the Lake and on such a beautiful day it was quite something!) I commented that I would be ordering a Bloody Mary cocktail when we got back from sorting out the car. On our return, about half an hour later, the waiter (Oliver) had remembered what I wanted to order! My friend had the Bramble cocktail and both were absolutely delicious!

We were delighted with our room. We booked a twin room and it had some view of the Lake. The room was modern, very clean and we liked all the little touches. You could order ice and ‘fresh milk’ (rather than UHT) from reception and I think, given the weather, they were kept very busy with this during our stay! The bathroom had a wonderful, separate shower and was very spacious.

After our drinks, we went for a walk around the area and found a lovely pub called the “Angel Inn”. As we had booked dinner back at the hotel we ordered light. We shared the most delicious Heritage Tomato and Yorkshire Fettle Greek Salad starter with olives and basil pesto and then we shared the Home Roasted Honey and Mustard Ham roll with Heritage piccalilli. The views overlooking the town and the Lake on such a wonderful day were really lovely. We also met some lovely people and chatted to them about the stay.

We then enjoyed passing some time sitting on the jetty and we more wonderful people who were happy to talk to us about their boats and how they spent their time on the Lake. One couple, who were there with their granddaughter actually let us have a look around their boat!

We went back for dinner and though at first it seemed as though the portions were a little small, they food was of such high quality that it was actually very filling. I had the scallops which were divine! On the second night I started with Chicken and lemon thyme infused scrambled egg with poached yolk and crispy chicken skin which was unlike anything I have ever tasted! One of the mains that I ordered was pea and shallot tortellini with baby vegetables and white truffle broth. The peas were so incredibly fresh and a lovely twist on any tortellini I have had before. Canapés were served and the desserts were also so lovely, my friend described hers (the roast white chocolate, strawberry sorbet and white chocolate ice cream) as one of the best she had ever tasted! As a coconut fan I really enjoyed the Mango sorbet, coconut crumble and dark chocolate jelly. The staff at mealtimes were, particularly Maria (and I think Esemet – apologies if the spelling is incorrect) were incredibly attentive and lovely to talk to. There were others as well, such as the gentlemen working in reception and the staff who changed the rooms. Everybody was extremely polite and always greeted us.

I was very pleased to discover that the pool had ‘adult swim times’ (such as 7am to 10am). My friend and I on both mornings had a lovely child-free swim before breakfast! Breakfast itself was in the same room as dinner, overlooking the late and there were rabbits on the lawn! There was a large variety of cereals, cheeses, meats, fruits, juices and breads. There was also an extensive cooked breakfast menu to choose from as well. We ordered mixed toast (the poppyseed bread was delicious) and could not resist the supplementary breakfast on the first morning. For a small, extra charge my friend had haddock and poached egg and I had scrambled egg and salmon.

The town was picturesque, though very busy! We decided to divert out a little and took a stroll through the Riverside Lodges around the Lake. Later, we took a walk up the Belsfield Hotel, which was an impressive building overlooking the Lake so we couldn’t resist it. They were having some work done at the time but you could still see how marvellous the place was and again the staff were very pleasant. The view overlooking the Lake was incredible and their Pimms was excellent!

We also had a look around St Martin’s church where we lit candles and made a donation. This was a really beautiful building and the church warden gave us information about the place.
We had booked in for massages and I requested a deep tissue back, shoulder and neck massage, concentrating on my upper back and shoulders as this is where I get the most tension from working on a computer so much. My masseuse was Hannah and she actually listened to what I wanted and did give a very intense shoulder massage. I was really pleased as often they are lacking! I just wished I’d had an hour rather than thirty minutes.

We ended up staying for another, full day on the Wednesday as we just didn’t want to go home. On Tuesday and Wednesday we ate lunch at the Hole In T’Wall (17th century) pub which served the best Greek salad I have ever tasted. I like to try different things but it was so delicious I had it on both days! Again, the staff were as lovely as everywhere else.
The hotel let us leave our car and our cases and so we took the boat to Ambleside on Wednesday morning. We had a drink at the lakeside at the Wateredge Inn which was a real find.

Reluctantly, we collected our bags and the car and came home. I can’t wait to go back already!

Room Tip: If you can get a view of the Lake, do so!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Joanna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lytham st annes
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

Nice looking hotel from the outside. Staff very helpful and friendly. Food is very pricey but plenty to eat outside of the hotel. Clean room and spacious, shame that our view was a skip full of rubbish!! Drinks also very pricey here but again in a good location so can drink out of the hotel. Breakfast was quite nice but very slow service. All in all a pleasant stay for our first wedding anniversary.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SophieG27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
143 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 876 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed at the old english on Saturday for my partners birthday,we had stayed here the month before and had loved the hotel and location.We booked a feature suit with a lake view,the room was fantastic and the view on a summers day was out of this world,we did not eat at the hotel as we had booked a table at porto,the fine dining restaurants around the corner.The staff are friendly and attentive and the spa facilities are great,my partner had the deep tissue back massage,and she loved it.So if you want a hotel with great views,helpful staff,then this is a hotel you must try,it is expensive,but so is bowness in general.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
14 Thank illuminate322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

Went to the Old England hotel in Windermere twice in one week and can only say its a 10 out of 10. First we went for lunch sat outside weather was great service was great we only had sandwiches and drinks but everything was fresh the young Australia waiter is a great asset to the hotel and to your chain. On the last stay in WIndermere we went back for cream tea and can only say the service was better than the first time. The team in the bar are great all round and a credit to the Old England Hotel and a credit to Macdonald Hotel and Resorts

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tiverton2169
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 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family 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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