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“Old style but in need of investment - beware of water pipes!!”

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Windermere Hydro Hotel
Reviewed 11 October 2010

We've visited Bowness on Windermere many times - usually staying at a guest house a few miles down the road. This time we thought we'd stay at the Hydro for three nights as it is in a good location, central to Bowness but set back from the main road.

The hotel seems quite grand at first glance although at closer inspection you notice it needs some serious TLC with lots of peeling paintwork. We'd managed to get a discounted rate by quoting an internet price but when we checked in there wasn't a record of this but we were able to set things straight and made our way to the room on the top floor. Although situated next to the lift shaft, the room itself was pleasant, clean and spacious - albeit with a bit more peeling paintwork on the inside of the wooden window frames. The bathroom was pleasant too and looked as if it had been recently updated.

Overall the accommodation was comfortable and clean but we were amazed when we heard several instances of very loud banging throughout our stay, seemingly coming from upstairs in what must have been the roof space. At first we wondered if it was the lift mechanism but as time went on we thought it was probably coming from old water pipes - at one time we were woken early in the morning by it with a sound that can only be likened to a drill digging up the road...I kid you not!

The day before we left we also had a couple of instances where the cold water tap didn't work on the bathroom sink so one wonders whether the water pipes need seeing to.

There were bits to like too - breakfast was straightforward but very pleasant. The look and decor of the place was old fashioned and sort of stately ....you could have gone back in time 50 years and it would have been much the same I suspect.

Overall it wasn't horrible...but when you're paying the best part of £100 a night you don't expect loud banging noises intermittently and water taps to stop working. There are better places to go for your hard-earned money. We won't be returning to the Hydro.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank DY71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 October 2010

Six of us stayed here in 3 radically different rooms. My wife and I were in an old style room with the decor and wallpaper well known to Lake District fans of the 80s but it was clean if a little dusty on the chandelier style wall lights. Two of our friends were in a partly refurbished room and the other two in a fully refurbished room and good luck to them! All had lake views and really for the time you are in your rooms perfectly adequate and comfortable. Squeaky flooring and noisy plumbing is almost compulsory in such hotels and the Hydro didn't let us down!

The staff were universally polite and helpful. And yes there was a sprinkling of nationalities but before you assume as others have that foreign means sub-standard our barman one night spoke three languages (English, Afrikaans and Zulu). The public areas were perfectly presentable if they could just go easier on the chandeliers.

Breakfast was fine if a little erratic at the hotplate as it wasn't manned so when they ran out of eggs and sausage no one seemed to notice for a while and many guests gave up. Dinner on the other hand was impressive and our whole party over three nights had few, if any, complaints. My only gripe was that on one evening the Roast of the Day (lamb) - allegedly sourced locally from farms in the area according to the menu - was as local as Brother Brake but, that one aberration aside, everything else was excellent. Wines were reasonably priced and good quality.

Retiring to the bar was pleasant if maybe slightly expensive but the alternative is down into the village and although quite steep the hill should be managed by most folk and certainly those coming to walk the Fells.

It's true there are a lot of coach parties and they can be noisy early in the morning when departing but as they tend to eat earlier for both breakfast and dinner and as the hotel discreetly separates the other guests from the coach parties in the dining room it's not really a problem and they do provide an income when times are difficult.

Much more needs to be spent on the exterior and finishing off the bedroom refurbishments but once completed I'm confident this will be a jewel in the crown of Bowness. The management need encouragement not criticism in my view and I'm not easily pleased. For the particular kind of break we had with friends having a laugh I'd certainly come back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank skelghyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2010

The first reaction when viewing the outside of the hotel does give one the impression it could do with a facelift , but inside it can be seen the management are trying very hard to bring the interior up to a standard one would expect for a place of this nature. The bathroom having no natural light was a bit dismal as tiles were very dark coloured, but one couldn't fault it otherwise. Beds definitely require replacing but duvet and pillows were comfortable. Dinner was first class, everything cooked and presented to perfection with friendly and attentive staff. All told we spent a very pleasant two night stay and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sinclairs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2010

As I walked in I saw the wet rot hidden by a large plant pot, the smell of damp was every where, large patches on the walls ceilings. When I saw the huge crack in the decorative
cornice in the dining room I moved table.
The place was very busy, so money is coming in but not being reinvested. The staff are very good and helpful having only eaten breakfast this was good and plentyful.
Would I go back no to much choice instead of building pools etc they should set up a maintanace programme the place does not look good to the visitor.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank saltytom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2010

We are a couple travelling with a toddler and decided to book this hotel for three nights (despite some bad reviews on trip advisor) which included dinner b&b and a bottle of wine with our meal on each night. We were blown away by the staff at this hotel from the moment we arrived until we left they couldn't have been nicer and really made you feel like you were staying at a real family run hotel and not a modern soulless hotel that seem to be the norm these days.
The hotel is old but well kept and extremely charming. It obviously has a good local name,as many of the local clubs and societies seemed to meet here in the meeting rooms on a nightly basis.
The room was fantastic we had a seating area and television where the baby slept so it was separate from the bedroom part which also had a television. We had a shared balcony overlooking lake windermere which was a lovely view to wake up to in the morning. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was spacious.
The five course evening meal had a brilliant selection of food and it was very tasty and cooked to our liking. Even when getting the free bottle of house white wine you had a choice of at least 3. Restaurant staff were excellent and the high chair was already set up for us at every sitting.
The pool and jacuzzi were lovely and, as it is a residents only pool, it is very quiet which was great for us getting our son used to the water.
Location was excellent and the reception staff had no shortage of suggestions on things to do in the lake district.
Over all i am delighted we stayed here and would definitely go back. Excellent value for money. And to think we nearly didn't stay in this hotel because of some of the previous reviews. Thank god we did.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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Thank sarahstrikes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2010

On the positive side - the bed was extremely comfortable.
Bathroom extremely small with toilet squashed between bath and wall with only inches either side. Remember to remove toilet roll from holder if you need to use it as the holder is behind you and impossible to reach.
Very old portable television in room very few channels.
Wardrobe had 4 plastic hangers
Breakfast is a joke - the first morning we had to wait for bacon - when that arrived there were no eggs. Eventually you have to settle for what is left.
Cereals were of poor quality & only tinned grapefruit & orange available.
Second morning - no eggs - had to wait for 20 minutes by which time the queue had formed yet again and when eggs finally arrived they were taken by first people in queue as there were only ten eggs. The kitchen staff appeared to be bringing out food in very small quantities.

Parking is also an issue if you return late at night and there are coach parties staying - as the coaches occupy such a lot of space.
I didn't notice anywhere on their website where they stated coach parties welcome or we wouldn't have stayed there as generally such parties are offered very cheap rates and other guests suffer!
For a cost of £120 per night B&B this hotel offers very poor service and we were extremely disappointed.
For a cost of £120 per night B&B this hotel is

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JasperStoke_on_Trent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

My husband and I booked the Hydro for one night, our enquiry was dealt with efficiently and quickly by Lauren, we booked a special offer which included breakfast and evening meal.
Rooms: - Our room, number 23 was lovely, it had its own balcony, seperate small seating area in the room, large well equipped bathroom and amazing views. Our check in was quick, we arrived early at 12.30 and although check in was at 2.30pm our room was ready early.
Facilities:- The hotel has a pool which we did not use but i'm sure it would keep the younger ones occupied. There was a games room which we did look in...and admittedly this has seen better days. I agree with some comments that the hotel is a little outdated.....however,...this is what gives the hotel its charm, too much change would destroy its character.
Service / Food: - We cannot praise this enough, firstly the staff we met were all extremley helpful, nothing was too much trouble. We booked in for our evening meal, this was fantastic!! The meal far surpassed our expectations..we could find nothing to fault. For our main course I chose lamb and my husband the beef, it was amazing. The restaurant manager and his staff were brilliant. At breakfast the following morning, althought the restaurant was busy, the restaurant manger remembered our table from the previous evening and seated us at the same table.
Overall, if your are looking for good staff, fantastic food, value for money and are prepared to over look that this is not a comtemporary hotel this hotel is a brilliant stay.
Well done Hydro, we will be back.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ashley35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Windermere Hydro Hotel

Address: Helm Road, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3BA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Bowness-on-Windermere
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 13 Hotels in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price Range: £57 - £162 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Windermere Hydro Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 86
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Also Known As:
Windermere Hydro Bowness On
Hotel Windermere Hydro
Windermere Hydro Hotel Bowness-On-Windermere, England - Lake District

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