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Swinside Lodge Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Newlands
Reviewed 10 September 2011

A snap decision had me looking for a secluded hotel, an inspiring location and somewhere where I could enjoy a bit of self-indulgence and the great outdoors. I'd pretty much decided on the Scilly Isles, could get a flight, but couldn't find a hotel with availability - a lucky break as it turned out.

Swinside has a perfect location at the entrance to the Newlands Valley, at the foot of Catbells, a few minute’s walk from Derwentwater, the jetty for the Keswick launch, and an hour's flat stroll into Keswick. It stands in its own Lakeland greenery with few other residences dotted around the landscape - you'll need to look hard to find them. To add some icing, there's a good old fashioned real ale pub just ten minutes’ walk away - the sort that readily welcomes muddy boots onto clean carpets.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect - perhaps it would be a bit too high class and formal for me, and I'd feel uneasy in a hotel winning such accolades? No worries. Mike met me when I arrived, and he was welcoming, interested and keen to make sure I felt completely at home.

I stayed in the Chestnut, one of the smaller rooms. It's not the best room I've ever stayed in, but for context better than the vast majority and perfectly comfortable. The decor was good, and the view of Catbells and the Newlands great. My judge of a hotel room tends to be the shower - very good in this case. I did get to see one of the rooms at the front, facing Skiddaw and Blencathra. I'd definitely recommend for couples - serious brownie points.

Dinner. I'd read the reviews and knew the food would be special but found that my expectations weren't high enough. Four nights of consistently brilliant and different food. I didn't know mushroom soup could be such a delicacy. Both Kath and Laurent were attentive and personable - no stuffy formality. For a Frenchman, Laurent has a great sense of English humour ;-). It is high class dining, but if you've seen Pretty Woman you'll be quite at home and able to work out which cutlery to use.

The wine list is extensive, but if you want beer with your meal, that's ok.

Kath was very knowledgeable about the local area, providing both advice and maps on walking routes and information about places to visit. Particularly memorable will be her demonstration one night, of the correct way to use walking poles.

I could say lots more. The whole experience is welcoming, the decor in the common areas fantastic and the two lounges comfortable and restful. I didn't get to meet Clive, the chef, but would like to use this review as a virtual shake of the hand, and would like to thank Kath, Laurent and Mike for ensuring that my stay was so wonderful.

I started this review with and explanation of how I came by Swinside. Uncharacteristically, and because of circumstance, I didn’t check TripAdvisor. Now back home, I’ve looked at other guest comments. There are five which rate this hotel as average. Of course Swinside may have had an off-week, but I’ve been around a bit – I’d suggest that these people take the time to take a real good look at themselves. I expected a good experience, good food and a good location, and I got more than I expected.

I'll have absolutely no reservation about recommending Swinside to anyone, and hopefully will be back when the occasion calls.

Thank you.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank RossiniKervene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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121 - 127 of 223 reviews

Reviewed 29 August 2011

Brillant location, fabulous food and wonderful service! Mike, Kath and family, plus Lauren welcomed us and ensured that we felt at home and pampered throughout our stay. The food was exquisite for both veggy and meat eater. We received valuable tips on walking conditions and local walks.
Cleanliness was to the highest standard.
Other than the food, our highlight was relaxing after dinner in the rear lounge listening the fantastic vintage (45's) Juke Box whilst enjoying a 15 year Balvennie!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DH237
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2011

Everything was perfect and we really enjoyed our 2 night break .Our room was fantastic, very roomy, large bed,comfortable and clean. The downstairs lounges were also very comfortable and beautifully decorated and the hospatility was first class. We had pre- dinner drinks and then moved on to the wonderful dining room and the food was to die for! Every course was delicious fresh quality food, if only we could take the chef home with us! The setting of the hotel is excellent too just a short stroll to derwent lake and an adventure climbing up catbells and thank you Kath and Mike for the jugs of iced water, local map and the loan of the rucksack. We will be back.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Annyalla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2011

When booking, my partner and I were a little concerned by the 2 star rating of this hotel. However, these fears were totally unjustified. This is high class accommodation serving top end food with attentive, helpful staff and managers.
It’s a small hotel in an isolated, but easily accessible location. This means that the “atmosphere” in the dining room at night is very much dictated by the nature of the people in residence at the time. Over the three nights we stayed it ranged from formal to very friendly. Nevertheless, fellow guests aside, you will not be disappointed by this hotel and, like many others, we thoroughly recommend it.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Snow-gnome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights an found it to be a wonderful oasis. Beautiful peaceful location, 10mins walk from Derwent Water, fabulous food (I think I had one of the best starters I've ever had! Gravadlax, crab remoulade and a beetroot dressing - delicious!). Very friendly, helpful hosts where nothing was too much trouble. Our room was the smallest in the hotel but perfectly formed! Lovely touches like home made biscuits, a little dish of choccies! Eveywhere was very clean and well maintained. Would definitely recommend it for a relaxing weekend where excellent walks, beautiful location, fab food and wine are what you want! Looking forward to a return visit!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank KathyRyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2011

I visited the Swinside for dinner with family, and although much of it was good food, there was no choice at all. For the price, I thought this was quite expensive. Unfortunately, the atmosphere in the dining room was not what we were looking for - it may depend on the evening but people were not chattering and there was no 'buzz'; making it feel slightly uncomfortable and less relaxing than hoped.
I have eaten in several restaurants and hotels within the area, and would prefer to revisit one of these.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank rbh1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mjbkb, Owner at Swinside Lodge Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2011

Hello Outside Diner, Thank you for taking the trouble to post a review albeit three months after visiting for dinner only. You would have been made aware at the time of booking that we only offer a daily changing fixed four course dinner with any dietary requirements noted and catered for and informed of the £45 per head charge inclusive of Vat. As such i am a little surprised you should wish to comment of there being no choice and that you found it expensive. What is offered at Swinside Lodge is fine dining with a relaxed and warm ambience and not unfortunately a wine bar 'buzz' and constant chattering that drowns your dining partners conversation - there are obviously from your comments many alternative venues around Keswick where you can enjoy this atmosphere and as a hotelier i would appreciate knowing exactly where these places are so we may also enjoy them when opportune.

Exactly what warrants your rating of 3 out of 5 for cleanliness and 2 out of 5 for service completely baffles me as out of literally thousands of guests and outside diners who we enjoy the company of each year i don't think anything on your rating could be further from the truth, if nothing else i'm confident it will raise a titter amongst everyone who comments to the contrary.

I would add that i am a little more than 'slightly disappointed' that no comment was made in your review of cleanliness and service if this was an issue with you - possibly it helps you to justify your mistake on choice of dining on this occasion.

Mike Bilton
Proprietor

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2011

have just spent two nights in this lovely hotel.We were made very welcome from the owners kath&mike.the hotel is set in a peaceful area ten minutes walk down to the lake. We stayed in the chestnut room which was nicely decorated and very comfortable.The food at the hotel was superb compliments to the chef ;also an extensive wine list on offer.We look forward to a return visit to the swinside lodge.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank juliemarie28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swinside Lodge Hotel

Address: Grange Road, Newlands, Keswick CA12 5UE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Keswick > Newlands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Newlands
Price Range: £111 - £164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Swinside Lodge Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small luxury hotel in the heart of the English Lake District personally owned and run by Mike and Kath Bilton. A warm welcome awaits - hospitality and food are our passions, and the hotel has recently been voted in the top three Fine Dining Restaurants in Cumbria with an AA 2 Rosette Restaurant supplemented by a 75 bin wine list. Local wildlife including red squirrels can be seen in abundance in the gardens, and spectacular walks and drives start from the hotel's door. Seven bedrooms all with beautiful mountain views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swinside Hotel Newlands
Swinside Hotel Keswick
Swinside Lodge Hotel Keswick/Newlands, Lake District

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