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“Lovely place, lovely stay”

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Swinside Lodge Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Newlands
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We stayed at Swinside Lodge for three nights in May on a walking break. We spent our two full days walking along Derwentwater on the Catbells side and around Buttermere, both ideal going for my rather creaky back, and well chosen for us by the ever-helpful Kath, who provided both maps and man-sized packed lunches! The weather smiled on us on the whole and the waterproofs stayed in the rucksack.

Our room was lovely and quiet with a great view towards Blencathra across the garden with its big old copper beech. The abundant feeders ensured plenty of wildlife visitors and we saw a red squirrel, a hare, jays, a nuthatch, a woodpecker and a pair of yellowhammers, among all the rest. All you have to do is sit at the window and watch!

Kath and Mike are the perfect hosts. They work so hard and with great enthusiasm and are generous with their time in sharing valuable local information. The fact that the hotel is small contributes greatly to the warmth and homeliness of the atmosphere. Had we been less lucky with the weather, it would have been no tribulation at all to have spent a lot more time "indoors", definitely something to consider when you're chancing your arm with the Lakes weather!

The choice and quality of the breakfast menu was superb. Every taste is catered for. Kath served all the tables and the food always arrived in timely fashion. The evening meal starts with canapes and an aperitif in the lounge with the other guests, then we all go into the dining room together. The experience is one of true fine dining. Every single course on each of the three evenings was superbly prepared and presented - the chef is a man truly inspired! You get to choose one of two dessert options, otherwise there isn't choice, but it's hard to imagine anyone being disappointed. We both loved everything that was put in front us. There was a good old mix of guests during our stay and we greatly enjoyed the inevitable mealtime banter - we couldn't imagine it having been any other way. The dining room, by the way, with its big window looking into the garden, is a beautifully elegant place in which to relax, testament to Kath's good taste and design skills.

There's no doubt that you could stay elsewhere in the Lakes for less money than at Swinside, but, for your layout, you're getting a lovely hotel in an unbeatable setting, charming and friendly hosts and an unforgettable gastronomic experience. That adds up to top-drawer value for money in our book. Think we might be back...

Room Tip: Our room was Beech, a smashing room on the first floor with a view over the garden and fields toward...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kernowsteve51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 - 44 of 223 reviews

Reviewed 19 May 2014

Small comfortable guest house feeling. Very personal attention from owners and you do feel that you are sharing their family home. Food outstanding. Walks and rambles on the doorstep. Mike and Kath very helpful.

Room Tip: We were in Beech. Good outlook
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank a18frg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2014

The location, food, service, cleanliness, welcome, value for money are all fabulous. What a delight to find a hidden treasure. Kath and Mike could not be more accommodating. I wanted a one night break to chill. Having achieved that I plan to return with my family on another occasion. The red squirrels and birds in the garden add more to the relaxing experience. There are fun walks to Derwentwater and up the hills.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
Thank RobinDesBoisBucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

A return visit to Swinside Lodge. The most striking feature of this hotel is the warm hospitality which starts the moment you arrive and continues until the moment you leave.
The hotel is small and comfortable. The position is enviable, virtually at the foot of Catbells and a few minutes stroll from the lake and the boat landing.
The rooms are well equipped and comfortable. we stayed in Elm which has a view of the bird feeders in the garden as well as the surrounding countryside. This meant we could watch birds such as woodpeckers as well as a red squirrel which lives nearby.
Breakfast is a freshly prepared and substantial meal which sets you up for a day outdoors. Dinner is a no-choice menu which is also excellent and the wine list is extensive for an hotel of this size.
All in all a very good balance between homeliness and comfort making it an ideal Lake District destination.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank IanHYarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

How this place is classed as a 2 star hotel is quite beyond me. We stayed on a last minute deal and had a fabulous experience. The welcome, food, location, and cleanliness were all first class.
Our room overlooked Catbells, was spotless and warm. Veggie hubby accommodated very well by chef for dinner, though we would maintain every kitchen should store veggie sausages in the freezer to make the alternative breakfast option more robust.
Overall, we were thrilled with our choice and definitely intend to return. Well done to the whole team.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank julie t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

I was looking for a break that was a little different for my wife and myself in the North West of England. Searching through TripAdvisor I found Swinside Lodge. As other reviewers have stated they could not believe that this hotel was only rated as 2 star. I read all of the reviews and booked on line following a quick conversation with Mike who was extremely helpful.

The hotel is a few miles out of Keswick and well in the country, situated in splendid isolation at the foot of Cat Bells. It is a beautiful and peaceful place with the only sounds that you can hear are those of the sheep and birds, bliss.

On arrival we were greeted by Kath, who dealt with much of the front of house during our stay, who made us feel at home. Mike provided us with directions for our pre-dinner evening stroll down to the lake, both he and Kath were local experts providing guests with detailed information on local walking routes.

Our room was Beech which was excellent, spotlessly clean with lovely bed coverings and a view to die for. We overlooked the front of the house and in the garden is a tree with various bird feeders which obviously worked because we spent a great deal of time watching chaffinches, pheasants, woodpeckers and red squirrels. Absolutely delightful, this makes it well worth making sure you get a room at the front of the house, we would certainly book the Beech again.

Given the title of 'fine dining' we were rather apprehensive about our dress for the evening meal and would we feel uncomfortable. We had no need to have worried. Both pre and post dinner drinks with the other guests turned out to be a joy. The food was to die for. There are sample menus on the Swinside web site and the taste even better than they sound. The menus are all set with the only choice being either hot or cold pudding, this may put some off, but please don't let it. Other guests agreed with us that they would not have chosen some of the dishes from a 'choice' menu, but all agreed that it had been a real treat and opened up our taste buds. The breakfast was also a fabulous event, as we both had the full Cumbrian on both days of our stay we can only say that this choice was superb.

Although this hotel may appear to be rather expensive, when you work out the cost of the fine dining experience it is not too badly priced. A bit more than we would have normally paid for a weekend away, but the extra in this case was well worth it.

We fully intend to revisit Swinside Lodge Hotel and can unreservedly recommend it to anyone else looking for a weekend away that is just that bit special.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Beech at the front of the hotel and would not hesitate to highly recommend it to ot...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Graham W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

We spent 4 nights in this gorgeous Georgian hotel, home of Kath & Mike Bilton. It is has an intimate ambiance in a scenic quiet location 7 minutes walk from the shore of Derwentwater. The house is beautifully furnished and the decor shows off the talents of Kath who has flair as an interior designer who loves taking on projects on commission out of season ( tel 07745436480 ). The meals are prepared by Clive the chef who provides 4 course evening gourmet delights, you can ask for vegetarian meals by request. We stayed in Lilac room which is the largest on the first floor , and in our opinion the best room in the house . The 3 rooms on the second floor have dormer windows and some sloping ceilings , previously we have stayed in Elm, which is cosy, but lacks the larger windows of the first floor rooms , Oak is better & has a lovely light large bathroom . The second floor rooms may be a cheaper option but I would prefer a first floor room . For details of the rooms go to booking tab, and click on the link that says on-line booking facility, then if you click on the room name more details are visible in a pop up box. In summary , I love this hotel, which is much commended, and rightly so.

Room Tip: Go for a first floor room, front facing .
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chris N
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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