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“Lovely room with good facilities”

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 7 April 2010

This is a hotel that is worth the money, especially in the lake district. Having stayed in other hotels locally and paid far more, we were very impressed at the Macdonald. The room was huge as was the bathroom. Nothing was a trouble for any of the staff and the breakfast , which we had in our room was lovely. We paid extra and ordered cooked, but in reality the continental is sufficient. We ate in the restaurant on the night time and just wore smart clothes and that was sufficient. The staff, especially the bar staff were very knowledgeable and all courteous. The hotel is central and the views from the back of the hotel and restaurant are lovely.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank vankaiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,727 - 2,733 of 2,916 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2010

We discovered this hotel while staying at the Windermere Boutique Hotel where guests had free use of the spa facilities at the Old England.

As soon as we walked in we wondered why we hadn't booked here! I checked the rates and it was cheaper than where we were staying. Gutted! After our 2 night stay at our hotel was up we walked down the road to the Old England and booked in for an extra night. I'm so glad we did!

I booked a room at reception at 11.30am and was immediately given the keys even though check-in isn't until 2pm. I was also upgraded to a lake view room at no extra charge.

The room itself was very nice and what you'd expect. We ended up with a twin room instead of the double I asked for but the beds were pushed together anyway so it didn't really matter. There's the usual tea making facilities and also bottled water and glasses. A nice touch I thought. There's also an ice bucket provided with ice available on request as is fresh milk. The bathrobes provided also added a touch of luxury.

There's so many places to explore around the hotel, the lounge is very relaxing with daily papers provided, there's a cosy bar area with views over the lake, library and other sitting areas dotted about the place. We didn't dine there or have breakfast so I can't comment on that. Drinks and snacks in the lounge and bar are overpriced but its such a lovely atmosphere I really didn't mind paying a bit more, plus free nibbles were provided with our drinks which I thought was a nice touch.

The spa and pool are fantastic. There's a steam room, sauna and ice room as well as a state of the art gym. The only thing missing is a jacuzzi. Everything except spa treatments are free to guests.

The staff were very helpful and friendly and we always asked if we needed any help if we were wondering around aimlessly.

I can't fault this hotel at all and I'm thrilled to have found a 50% off code for mid-week breaks and I'm planning on going back to celebrate my birthday in style!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank juliasuzanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2010

We paid £200 for two nights and got room 101 with a lake view. This was a special offer including one evening meal for two (no drinks) and an afternoon tea. Without the offer, this package would have cost £370.

The hotel is in an ideal location on the banks of Windermere in the centre of Bowness. Having stayed at (and been disappointed by) The Swan at Grasmere, expectations were not high. As soon as you enter, you realise Old England is a different class of hotel to its local sibling. The features and decor are subtle and elegant, the staff are friendly but professional and the whole feel is of luxury. The room was well fitted with a table and chairs overlooking the lake. The bed was a little small, soft and too bouncy (one partner moving always disturbed the other) but this is a small criticism of a well furnished room. There was no mini-bar; a surprise but a plus point from my perspective.

It was mentioned more than once that the restaurant had a dress policy - jackets in the evening for men. Despite this, I didn't see anyone wearing one. Like other Macdonalds, the restaurant is very formal and aims to appear high class. Smartly dressed waiters, white gloves and butler-like manner. I don't mind that - but there were little niggles with the operation. e.g. after the meal, we asked for decaff coffee and were left for over half an hour before they admitted they had none. So we went to the bar - to be told they'd run out of ingredients for any of the cocktails we wanted.

Breakfast (identical to The Swan in Grasmere) was a little disappointing. Continental was included but hot food could be ordered from the kitchen at extra cost. We waited quite a while for someone to take the order before giving up. We were just finishing when someone came over. Hmmm. The cooked option has no consideration for vegetarians. I really don't understand this - no other 4-star hotel I've stayed in has such poor choice. It's because the hotel is so good that these things are irritating.

For the money we paid, the stay can't be faulted and at that price, I'd recommend it to anyone and gladly stay again. But this is a promotion to show-case the hotel and tempt us to pay £170 more for a return visit. In that regard it failed. There's lots of shine, and lots of polish in a very good hotel - but it's basic stuff which lets it down.

One final note. £1 was added to the bill - without asking - as a contribution to their charity. This is blagging, plain and simple. It may be for charity - and it may be only £1 (so no-one will complain) - but a hotel like this should be above such practices.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank JerryFXD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2010

Fantastic hotel, beautiful room, plenty of space and decorated tastfully. Everything was scrupiously clean. Staff all very attentive and polite. Great continental breakfast and plenty of it. I can not fault the hotel in any way and its in a good location in the centre of Bowness and next to Lake Windermere. A big thanks to the Old England staff.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank ritz102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2010

Excellent hotel. Great views of lake from rooms and excllent lesiure facilities. Fully enjoyed our stay.

Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
1  Thank EdinburghJohnMcK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2010

Perfect Paridise!!
You must spend your next visit in the Old Macdonald hotel if visiting Bowness in the Lakes, its a must and your will enjoy every minute of your stay! Upon booking, request the new side of the hotel, there are a number of newly refurbished rooms and it will make your stay all the better.
The staff at this hotel are very friendly & helpful, they make sure that your time spend at the Old Macdonald is a very special occasion, especially Paul who walk on front of house, everytime we visit, he manages to make our stay extra special and makes sure we have everything we need. Employee of the Month

Dont miss out on this hotel
Gold Member - Westland

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bez1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2010

Booked this Hotel in January and paid up front for my stay in March only to get a phnoe call the day before telling me they where fully booked. Totally disgusted with this hotel and that's before I even had chance to stay there.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank UpTheTown
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 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range: £109 - £297 (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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