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“There is a reason why this place is one of the cheapest in the area.”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“There is a reason why this place is one of the cheapest in the area.”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

From the moment we turned in, we were greeted by a large tour group consisting of senior citizens. We waited till our turn but the lady at the desk told us to wait (not sure why because she isn't doing anything, maybe because she can't multi-task) so finally she got to us and check in took another 30 mins because she was so slow and inefficient. The other male member at he concierge was also inefficient when dealing with his clients too. So anyway, we paid about £176, which was not the cheapest room. Wondering if it was a room with a lake view, we found out after much difficulty (probably due to their inefficiency) that we could only get a room with a lake view with an upgrade fee of £20. We went for it. Another problem we had with the concierge is that after telling them to park our car (at a cost of £10), it was still left outside of the hotel near a ditch almost 2 hours after check in. This is ridiculous as we had a lot of expensive equipment in it.

Moving on to the room, we had 309. Do not think its on the 3rd floor, instead, it's in the basement. Whilst entering the room, we realised that well, it is a room with the view of the lake, but it was more of a garden view, with a slight view of the lake. That's £20 extra for a room that has no privacy as kids are constantly playing in the garden. The room was old, and so hot in the summer. What kind of hotel has no air conditioning?! The light was dim when its first turned on and insects kept flying into the room at night because they're attracted to the light. (We had no choice but to open the window because it is so hot in the room)

On to the facilities. During check in, the lady told us about their on site spa facilities which is beautiful and amazing. Those aren't the words that came to mind when we went to the pool. It was absolutely a disappointment. The pool was small, and old and there were kids playing and throwing each other in the pool, which was a nuisance. The saunas stunk so bad (even the one that was supposedly aromatic). We left the "spa" within 30 mins.

The hotel is in a good location, if you want to be in the middle of all the tourist activity.

Finally on check out, we were hoping for a quick and easy check out, but no, instead of understanding that the bill was already being paid, they went on to charge the amount on my card. And when i realised and told them about it, they "mistakenly" charged it on the card again. So it took another £20 for their inefficiency as they scramble to refund the amount to me. Which is annoying because money will be held on my card.

I think this hotel operates worst than any motel. They are charging ridiculous prices thinking that they are a luxury hotel which they are clearly not. The concierges in the hotel are so inefficient and should not be working there. This hotel is a disgrace to the Macdonald chain of hotels which is probably why they "changed" their name to the old England hotel and spa.

Room Tip: Stay in another hotel if possible.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank greckang
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.
Whilst I am glad that you found our prices to be very reasonable compared to other local hotels,
I was sorry to read that you found the presence of children in the hotels gardens and in the swimming pool to be a frustration. We do offer adults only swim times twice a day in the spa and we do at all times attempt to balance the needs of our family guests with those of our guests travelling without children.
Thank you also for your comments regarding inefficient service at check in and check out, this is most unusual and I do apologise for the frustration this caused. I am investigating to ensure there is no repeat of the issues you encountered.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Fabulous is the word for this Hotel. Staff could not be more helpful regarding our questions on various day trips in the area. Room was gorgeous and the view ....breathtaking...... Food good. Lots of eating places outside the hotel too.

Room Tip: Just do it
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 44helen342
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • 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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Stanthorpe Qld Australia
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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 5 Contributor
51 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mummybobYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
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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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