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“Old and tired” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Old and tired”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

Visited the hotel for a three-night half board stay in August. On arrival at the hotel and despite having a confirmation print-out, reception had a record of only two of the three on line bookings, missing our feature family room which has a separate room for children. After an age, the receptionist finally offered us a standard room with no separate room, or second bed and in fact still had the previous occupants' belongings in it. We returned the keys. After another age, the operations manager offered us a feature family room. The following morning we submitted a list of six things wrong with the room to the duty manager (missing light bulbs and bedside light not working, iron burn on the carpet, curtains torn and hanging off the curtain rail, no working lights in the children's bedroom and a blind which did not close properly and had a dangerous loop hanging down from it, no main light in the bathroom). We were given every assurance that all the items would be fixed. One light bulb was changed and the tawdry curtain was rehung. The lake view, whilst stunning, simply did not make up for a room that fell far, far short of its 4-star status. Moving on to the dining room, this was a huge disappointment. Whilst the food was pretty good, the service was poor with no apparent supervision of inexperienced staff. To be fair, the staff were very polite and friendly (and so my sympathy lies with them for not being correctly trained or managed properly) but such basic mistakes ranged from incorrect orders to lengthy waits between courses. I noticed that in a separate room the hotel was catering for large groups of foreign tourists and it was apparent that this was where the main effort lay. As an example, on the final night, we had ordered the starter and main course long before the large group of foreign tourists had arrived in their dining room (they got table cloths too!). And yet they departed after their 3-course meal long before our main course plates were even cleared away. My two previous efforts at complaining had got me nowhere so I simply gave up and accepted the hotel for what it was, tired, over priced and poorly managed.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edward C, General Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 23 August 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay.
I was sorry to read about the issues that you experienced with your reservation and your allocated room and am investigating these points. We did indeed have a private event on the evening of your visit to the dining room however the event was serviced from a separate area of the kitchen and should certainly not have impacted on your meal service.
I apologise that we did not meet your justifiable expectations on this occasion and can assure you that all of your valuable comments will be taken into consideration.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,744 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 (546)
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English first
Stanthorpe Qld Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

The McDonald Old England is located right on the lake at Bowness on Windamere at the end of the main street. It is a large hotel that has plenty of lounge areas and great views of the lake.
The food served for dinner in the restaurant was an example of fine dining and the attending staff were proficient.
Unfortunately the room was disappointing and not up to the standard expected. While the room had a great views: there was no air conditioning, no refrigerator, no ironing board, a very small television and no easy way to get any ventilation. (The window only opened partially.) The noise from the adjacent boats made it difficult to sleep.
The side of the bath leaked causing water to go all over the floor- a definite slip hazard. The side of the bath seemed to be enclosed with a hard plastic sheeting that had been incorrectly installed.

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank greenlds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
49 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2014

This hotel is in one of the best positions by the edge of the lake. It's a large traditional hotel so may not suit you if you only like the city style. The service is very good and the staff are helpful,pleasant and professional offering good old fashioned service. It's well worth paying extra for a lake view room and if possible a feature room.

The evening meal in the dining room is expensive so unless you're on a deal you could find something equally good, if not better, for a much better price nearby. The 3 course set menu is £40 per person and side dishes of vegetables are £4. Tea or coffee is also an additional £4 pp. The service is good and the views across the lake may make a bill of £102 with 1 bottle of wine easier to swallow for fairly small helpings.

The hotel is very central which is a real bonus. The swimming pool is nice but you need to swim during the adult only times unless you want to play with the kids.

I have stayed here twice and would stay again. If you don't mind the odd cracked tile in the bathroom so long as everything else is good, this may be the place for you.

I left happy and relaxed.

Room Tip: Have a lake view room. We had room 320 which was lovely.
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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 mummybobYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2014

Visited the hotel with my wife for a nice relaxing break from work and the kids!!!

Lovely hotel, excellent location right on the lake and breakfast was a joy with the views of the lake! all staff were friendly and very helpfull!

Spa is also well worth a visit...

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights for our anniversary and booked the 'Windermere Experience' which included dinner and a lake cruise. We stayed in a Feature room which had great views over the garden and lake. The room was comfortable and clean, though there was no safe and it was very hot in July with no AC! The bathroom was fine too. All staff that we met were friendly and helpful, especially at reception and the lounge bar. The dinner we had was nice, again with good service, and we had a good table at the window looking out over the lake. It was included in our rate, though I think at the price it was listed at there are better options available outside the hotel. The breakfast service was a bit slower without the restaurant seeming too busy at the time; though the food was good. We also used the pool facilities which were nice and surprisingly weren't too busy. All in all, a pleasant and comfortable stay in great surroundings.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Neil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

Located right on Lake Windermere in Bowness - gorgeous views from both room, the Bar & Restaurants! Excellent food, efficient service & very good staff. Fantastic indoor pool & Spa facilities - great being pampered then toddle back to your room! Valet parking - always quick to deliver car when needed. Really enjoyed everything about the hotel during 6 night stay. Good location to access everything the Lakes District National Park & surrounding areas have to offer! Be prepared for rain when in the Lakes District!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the old part of the original building - there's real character in this part of...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Izzontour09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
156 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
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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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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