A beautiful looking hotel in wonderful surroundings, but let down badly by inconsistent service and some real glaring errors.
Having arrived late evening we were pleased to have the option for valet parking of the car. Unfortunately that was the best that happened. Check-in was painfully slow with one couple checking in before us. I really don't expect to wait 10 minutes before I can get to my room. The room was small and the bed was of equal proportion. I had booked an executive room, so If I really had got one (which I have some doubts) then the standard rooms must be miniscule. The flat screen TV was smaller than my computer monitor, but having Sky Sports was a plus. Lack of any indication of Internet access was a big minus. The room was clean and tidy with only two visible cobwebs.
We'd booked dinner in the restaurant and this is when it really started to go wrong. We sat in the lounge with a drink looking at the Menu; which was a £30 set meal with limited choices. I asked to see the a la carte menu only to be told that 'that was last year, this year we change menu daily' the purveyor of this information was Eastern European (as arfe most of the staff). I tried to ask why there was still an a la carte menu on the Website and in front of the entrance, but her English deserted her completely (which is a polite way of saying my question was just ignored).
The food itself was superb, but I was still simmering about the fact that I wasn't allowed a wider choice. There seems to be an assumption that everyone is there on some form of Dinner, Bed and Breakfast break and I always feel slightly insulted to be told that if I want Cheese and Biscuits there would be a supplement. The same thing happened at breakfast when I asked for a full cooked breakfast - 'that will be £6 extra' - yes I know it will I can read.
Badly trained staff, lack of attention to detail makes this a very poor 4* hotel - a good 3* maybe. The facilities in the room really don't go with the star rating - no sign of a mini-bar, and the 'generous work area' helps redefine the word 'generous'.
At checkout there was chaos as the car park was packed and people were blocked in. It took me 45 minutes to actually check out and get on the road. Badly understaffed.
- 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