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“Only book the refurbished rooms”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
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Reviewed 31 August 2014

We stayed here last year in a second rate shabby room , this year we stayed in a newly refurbished room , WOW! what a difference , these rooms are what you would expect from a top class modern hotel , well done Old Macdonald !
I can only describe our room (131) as fit for a king , fantastic bathroom , robes , hair dryer , safe , fan , fridge etc. The only reason I didn't give this hotel five stars was the lack of air conditioning , the (very quiet) fan provided in the room saved us from melting in our beds , we left it running all night .
We found all the staff around reception friendly and professional , and particularly appreciated the valet parking. There was an issue with newly imposed parking fees which didn't affect us last year. I pointed out to reception that I hadn't seen anything on the website about parking charges and that £10.00 a day was a bit extreme , thankfully the receptionist reduced this to £5.00 a day which is more of a reasonable amount per day. If Old Macdonald insist on £10.00 a day to park next year I would regretfully look to stay elsewhere.
The jewel in the crown for us was the pool , ice-room , sauna and steam room. Yes the pool can get busy at times but not at all times of the day. The staff were friendly and helpful and we really enjoyed the pool amenities.
We stayed bed and breakfast and so cannot comment on the hotel restaurant and bars. we really enjoyed the choice of food at breakfast however if you enjoy an English cooked breakfast I would recommend using a local café , you will get a bigger and better quality breakfast a lot cheaper.
I did have an issue with finding a piece of metal from an industrial pan scrub embedded in my poached egg on our last day , not good but I suppose were only human. The staff at breakfast didn't seem to be managed in any way , although they were very friendly.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Old Macdonald and would recommend it providing you book a room in the refurbished part of the hotel and the parking was set at no more than £5.00 a day.

Room Tip: book a refurbished room
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank jonathan h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 August 2014 via mobile

Not a resident at the hotel but went in for a drink at the terrace bar. We were not disappointed, a stunning view of the gardens and lake. The staff were soooo friendly and very attentive...again really reasonable prices for good and drink... I would recommend this hotel to anyone wanting somewhere nice to stop off and have a bevy.... Short listed for a place to stay in the future.. Thanks for such great hospitality :-)

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Thank ScoobyLeicester
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 reviewResponded 30 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent visit to our Terrace Bar & Lounge.
We are very proud of our bar team here at the Old England Hotel and it is great to hear that you enjoyed your visit.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel soon.

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Reviewed 28 August 2014

The highlight of our stay here was the fact that I brought in my birthday here! The staff was very very helpful and accommodating, especially Matt, who helped organise a beautiful surprise for me.
The rooms do not have an Air-con, but have a small fan and openable windows.
Clean well maintained rooms.
Breakfast was good, and the walk in the gardens by the lake was the high point every morning.
It is very very well located too!
Loved it, will definitely go back.

Room Tip: Lake View Rooms!
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank PMathur1890
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 reviewResponded 30 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent visit to the hotel.
I have passed on your kind comments to Matt in the bar who is delighted to have been able to make your stay extra special.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Old England and to the beautiful Lake District upon the occassion of your next visit.

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Reviewed 25 August 2014

We have just returned after spending August Bank Holiday weekend at this delightful hotel, which I can highly recommend. The Old England Hotel & Spa ranks amongst one of the best hotels in the Lake District. It oozes olde world charm & a level of personal service which sets is head & shoulders above the rest. The accommodation is very good & the food is excellent. It is everything a country house hotel should be. The views are exceptional & matched only by the staff who are at all times pleasant, professional & polite. We would in particular like to thank the lounge staff Aitana, Connor & Matthew together with Maria from the restaurant who all went that extra mile to make our stay so very enjoyable & memorable. Best wishes to you all from Mark & Sylvia H. of room 315.

Room Tip: Pay a little extra for a Lakeside view - it is well worth it.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Mark H
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 reviewResponded 30 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay here at the Old England Hotel and Spa.
I was delighted to read that you thoroughly enjoyed the class and charm of our hotel.
I have also passed on your kind comments to all the staff members mentioned who were all thrilled to have contributed to your enjoyable bank holiday weekend break.

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Reviewed 25 August 2014

Bowness's Old England Hotel & Spa holds a special place on this wonderful lake. This hotel is reminiscent of the old days and is very well appointed with classy rooms and a great breakfast. However the piece of a room is too much in August and I would not rate it as 5 star even though it seems to favour itself that way.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a lakeside view room on the 2nd floor
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank CliffyTours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014 via mobile

We started our honeymoon here last week and were really touched to find a congratulations card and chilled champagne in our suite upon arrival! What a nice thoughtful touch. Later that evening at turn down, two filled champagne glasses and a box of chocs appeared in addition.

The weather was dreadful and not the start to our honeymoon we had hoped for but this warmed is nicely.

Lovely bar areas, fabulous breakfast and super spa. Plus, the views from our suite, out into the lake, were stunning.

Well done McDonald Old England!

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank cacadave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Other reviewers have said it so well.....great location on the lakeside. BUT I booked a family feature room, the website implies feature rooms gave lake views but family rooms do not. As soon as we found our room this became evident. I queried this with a receptionist who told me I could not have made such a booking and then asked me to prove it. Fortunately I have screen shots on my ipad of the differential in cost between these alternative rooms and I am still awaiting an outcome from the Manager regarding my query.
The girls could see the lake if they stood on a chair and looked out of the velux.....not great
Restaurant stuck in the 70's, service very, very slow. Not 4 star. Plenty of local restaurants to try though.
Great to have a pool but very mundane as previous reviewers comment. Lanes for swimmers, great, but filled with couples chatting so families and swimmers all in the remaining pool area, not ideal for either. Poorly managed. Aroma-shower not working properly. Disappointing compared to website images.
We stay at Macdonalds hotels on an almost monthly basis. Others are far superior. This experience has rather put me off the chain and I gave deliberately avoided the Oxford Macdonald for my current stay in Oxford.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank G M
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 reviewResponded 30 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay.
I am sorry that you found our website misleading, I have reviewed the room type descriptions on the website to see if indeed any updating is required to eliminate insofar as possible any confusion.
Thank you also for your comments regarding the Restaurant and Spa which I am investigating with the relevant managers.

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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 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range: £104 - £320 (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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