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“never again”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 2 August 2009

we arrived on saturday, at dinner time. very lucky because our "family room" was ready. check in time is 4 pm!!!!!! the staff at the desk were very courteous and friendly as was ron the consierge, what a funny guy. unfortunately the courtesy and respect stopped there. the family room was basically a bunk bed in a very tired looking tiny room which you couldn't open the wardrobes in. i stayed in this room 20 years ago and my brother and myself were kept awake by the inadequate curtains at the window with a lamp shining outside. next generation, still the same problem!!!! we spent a lovely day around bowness, used the excellent spa facilities. the children are restricted to 12-2 and 4-6 for the pool. this is for respect for the members (gym, i presume) and will be "strictly adhered to" if they don't want children in the pool, don't have family rooms! they do, however, like charging £212 for the said "family room." after this alloted session at the spa we tried to get a drink in the terrace bar. the wind was blowing right through. my dad asked if they could shut the doors and was answered very abruptly that the doors MUST stay open. the barman left us and we sat down. we waited 15 minutes and still no one took our order so we moved to the lounge. the waiter aproached us and took the tablecloth off the table and then walked away. ten minutes later my husband went looking for him to order some drinks. the waiter said he would be over because "that is what i am here for" still waited a further 5 minutes and then took our order. because they had no crisps to buy in the hotel and my children wanted some crisps, i went to the shop across the road to get some for them. the waiter came flying over, the fastest i had seen him move to tell us that it wasn't allowed. i said that i didn't think it was a problem as they didn't sell crisps in the bar and i would have bought them if they had. i was told that this was "NO EXCUSE" and it was still not allowed. He was very insulting in his manner and stance. going off that service, we didn't eat in the hotel and chose to eat out. we then called in at the terrace bar for a drink and again had to wait 20 minutes from arriving to actually getting our drinks! the children had trouble sleeping in the room as previously mentioned. the bed in the main bedroom is no way near a double bed. the breakfast the following morning was a joke. my husband and dad asked for tea. the smallest teapot arrived after 10 minutes which barely filled one cup, never mind two. you couldn't catch any member of staff's eye and when you eventually did, they acted as though you were being unreasonable requesting, perish the thought, a secong pot of tea. turns out that it was in fact a pot for one anyway. the term left hand doesn't know what right hand doing certainly describes this hotel to a t. i'm very disappointed with this hotel and will never return. just one last thing, check out is 11 am. seems a bit early for me since check in isn't till 4pm. looking around the lakes there are plenty of hotels with the same facilities, the wordsworth in grasmere for one at around the same price and we will definately go there next time.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank nicanddaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,761 - 2,767 of 2,896 reviews

Reviewed 1 August 2009

We had a lovely stay here, it’s an ideal base to explore the Lake District.

Situated right on the lake we were fortunate to have one of the lake view suites, the suite was spacious with a chaise lounge underneath one window with views to the lake and double doors out onto a balcony again with lovely views.

Whilst there are not many spaces in the car park they do have a local car park which is only about a minutes walk from the hotel and accessed by a key card from the hotel, it was easy to drop off the luggage at reception and drive to the car park and then walk back through the small street at the side of the hotel.

The pool and spa facilities were excellent. We chose not to have dinner at the hotel as there were a lot of local restaurants that we wanted to try right on our doorstep. The breakfast food and service were of a high standard and the breakfast room is in a lovely position looking out over the gardens and lake.

The bar was open for a late night drink and the atmosphere was warm and cosy.

A comfortable hotel in a good location for sightseeing around the lakes.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank bobbinuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2009

Just had a super break at this hotel. Can't really comment on the price as we used Tesco vouchers, but we had a lovely time there. The staff were courteous and helpful, the spa facilities much enjoyed and the dinner we had was of excellent quality. Our room was a little 'tired' but had a great view and was perfectly adequate as we were there to enjoy the countryside so didn't spend much time indoors during our stay. Had the weather been worse, I'm sure we would have spent time in the delightful lounge area which overlooks the lake. I would definitely recommend this hotel as a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank Clareandbetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2009

Hotel overall is very comfortable with a lovely though warm swimming pool.Upgraded on arrival to a four poster bedroom room 126,which was lovely but unfortunately had very poor ventilation, in particular the bathroom had no form of ventilation and resembled a sauna after shower.Room supplied with a fan so I suspect this is a common complaint.
After reading previous tripadvisor comments on the food we found the continental breakfast to be very good for £15, why an additiona £6 supplement for a cooked breakfast was necessary? The evening meals on our three evenings 5th -7th July were excellent in quality and presentation and trully deserve the two rosettes. Staff are very efficient, friendly and courteous.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wyandour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2009

We arrived for a two-night mid-week stay with a large group (40). The location is magnificent - a beautiful view with lawns down to the edge of the lake, wonderful lounges, restaurants and common areas and a clean and commodious room.
Unfortunately we were at the end of the heatwave and our room was at 90 degree (plus), so we asked whether the (ground floor) window could be unlocked. We were assured it would be done immediately - 3 hours later it was still locked.
As a large aprt we were allocated a separate restaurant where the portions served were miniscule and on the last night (despite our having pre-oredered our menu at 9.00 am) one of our table was left without food for nearlt quarter of an hour.
On returning to our room, we found that the bathroom was partially flooded - apparently the bath sloped outward, and so any shower water hitting the rim ran round to the outer edge and on to the floor. We mopped up and reported the situation, but 24 hours later it had not been looked at (and, it turned out hadn't been logged).
When we arrived we were asked whether we wanted a morning newspaper. We had subscription vouchers and they were handed over. Regrettably on both mornings a different paper arrived which we had to change.
THIS IS ALL down to poor management - all the above are minor items, but should not happen at a top-class hotel. They appear to be the result of a slip-shod attitude and penny-pinching.
These are my own observations - others in our group had similar issues. And they could all be corrected by a little care down through the staffing. Then this would be a 4-star plus hotel!

  • Stayed: July 2009
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1  Thank Longhaul-uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2009

Spent three nights here and had excellent break. The room we had was a refurbished room in the extension. It was lovely.Enormous queen size bed in large room with a large beautifully furnished bathroom. We were at the back of the hotel with a lot of work being done so no views to speak of. This didnt matter as most of the lounges had lovely views of the lake.The dining room has lovely big picture windows looking out on to the lake.The breakfast is continental but you can have a full cooked breakfast for £6 but if you only want 3 items ( eg sausage egg and bacon ). its only £3.95.

The only down side was the bar prices quite expensive 1 pint and 1 spritzer £10.95 needless to say we only had this once and sat on the terrace overlooking the lake. After that we went to the pub next door- same drinks£5.40. Lots of eating places in the area and right on hand for cruises on the lake. We happened to go during the heatwave and the rooms were very hot. No air conditioning which would have been a great plus. They did provide an oscillating fan which we had on the whole time we were in the room also overnight but the downside was they were noisy making sleep quite difficult. But to be fair we dont have these temperatures very often in this country.

We found the staff very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank McCon1325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2009

The hotel is on the lakefront with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.
We got a 'Feature' room with lake view - It had a tall thin window instead of a big picture window like some other rooms, but it was still nice.
The lake view rooms seem to be a lot more expensive - if we stayed again we might save some money and just get a regular room. You see enough of the lakes anyway when you are out, and most of the the public rooms face the water. The hotel terrace bar is a relaxing place to have a drink at night and watch the boats go by.
Ferries/ Cruises depart regularly from the nearby pier giving an opportunity to leave the car behind for a day trip to Ambleside.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank scotripz
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

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: £133 - £292 (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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