We have just returned from a 1 night stay at the hotel following a booking through Living Social at £149 for Dinner, Bed & Breakfast. It was for our 1st wedding anniversary and as we have 2 young children we were thoroughly looking forward to a lovely relaxing stay.
Upon arrival the hotel looked beautiful set in a fantastic location.
As we made our way to reception we noticed that there was fairly large wedding reception with guests milling around. At reception we were greeted by the receptionist who was very perfunctory and polite if lacking in friendliness. We had to ask about the requirements for our dinner i.e. bookings etc.
We made our way to our room which was a 'standard' room and absolutely lived up to it's name. If you book a standard room don't expect anything special or out of the ordinary. It is literally a very small room with quite tired furniture. The bed was relatively comfortable and the bathroom quite large - although the bath itself was very small. I'm only 5ft and I was unable to lie back and stretch my legs out. Our room overlooked a fantastic view of....the carpark. Although if you lay on the bed at the right angle you got a lovely view of the fells.
We had been given a complimentary voucher for tea & scones which we took down to The Orangery which is an absolutely gorgeous room. I handed the voucher to the waiter who looked at it as if I'd handed him a snotty tissue and he didn't know what to do with it. We were seated at a table for 2 at the back of The Orangery with a lovely view of...the carpark as all of the other tables were 'set up for people having Afternoon Tea'. Annoying considering there was a table for 2 available overlooking the lake. He then brought us our cream tea which was average. The cream appeared to be the canned squirty variety - a bit weird.
We then thought we would head to The Ramblers bar which is the little pub attached to the hotel. A sign on the door told us we would not be able to use the bar after 5pm due to a private function. Annoying. The bar itself is a really lovely rustic pub feeling and I found the bar manager to be very friendly - as was the young lad waiting on. The drinks were reasonably priced and we had some sandwiches which they agreed to make for us despite the bar due to close in 30 mins for the private party. A big tick to the staff there.
We then went back to the hotel thinking we could enjoy a nice glass of wine and finally enjoy the view of the Lake (afterall that's why we had chosen the place). We ordered our drinks (again I felt these were reasonably priced) and were advised very abruptly that as we weren't part of the wedding party we were not allowed to use the bar area but may take our drinks to the other area by the fire. One of the wedding party who was being served at the time said' wow that's you told' - which says it all. We took our drinks through to the lounge and took a seat to drink them with a gorgeous view of...you guessed it - the carpark!
At this point I was beginning to become quite annoyed at being treated like second class citizen. Having paid to use the hotel and it's facilities large parts of it were off limits.
After having a drink we retired to our room to get ready for dinner.
For dinner we went down to The restaurant and we were greeted by the real jewel in this restaurant's crown - the restaurant manager. Unfortunately I didn't get his name but his customer service skills were superb and he had two new members of staff on with him who he was patiently training and who were also doing a great job. We were advised that we couldn't use the other side of the restaurant as this was reserved for (yawn) the wedding. We were then seated at a table where I got a great view of the wall (sadly not what I envisaged of a lovely large restaurant with open views across the lake). My husband stayed with the table d'hote menu and I upgraded to the a la carte (mainly because I would have chosen the exact same dishes as my husband and wanted to experience some of the other dishes).
Now I want to be as balanced as possible and I completely accept this may be down to personal taste & pallet rather than the chef.
We were given a chefs veloute (my husband given a complimentary one) which made me gag. It came in a shot glass and included a puree of red cabbage. My husband managed half a shot glass full before saying ti was too much. I had literally 2 spoons of it which made me heave. It could quite possibly be a personal taste thing but I just didn't like it.
For starter my husband had the asian squid salad which was DELICIOUS. I had the pan seared pigeon breast which was overcooked and tasted like kidneys - quite rubbery. Nevertheless it was edible and beautifully presented.
For main my husband had Lakeland lamb rump which was absolutely exquisite. It was beautifully cooked and absolutely delicious. I had cod which had a crispy skin and was really well cooked. It was a really delicious piece of fish. Unfortunately accompanying it was a chicken wing and a tiny bit of bouilabaisse which was really unpleasant and tasted like washing up liquid. Again it may be personal taste but I was happy to just leave that and enjoy the fish. I had deconstucted black forest gateau and husband had mini chocolate pot and both were lovely
** On hearing it was our anniversary, our deserts were served on plates with 'Happy Anniversary' on them in chocolate. A lovely touch and testament to the customer service skills of the restaurant manager.
After dinner we went into the lounge to have coffee. It was now fully open but was too dark to enjoy any views. We ordered a bottle of wine and took it to out room to enjoy. The room was very warm so we had to have the window open. Unfortunately the room was at the front of the hotel overlooking The Ramblers Bar where the wedding reception was taking place. It was like sitting outside a disco you weren't invited to. It was really loud and the guests sounded like they were having a fab time (more power to them - so you should on your wedding). However it made it fairly unpleasant for us.
We decided to go to sleep about 11.30 and the music continued on. We felt really there wasn;t anything we could do about this as the hotel wasn't about to turn the disco off early to suit us. Following this at a bout 12-12.30 once the music did stop there were a number of guests under the window talking loudly, shouting farewells etc which was again really disturbing. I'd like to stress again that the wedding party itself were not at fault but it seems remiss of the hotel to put us in the room they did knowing that there was a party on in the bar! I imagine the noise would have been diminished by shutting the window but the room was so hot and airless that we had to have it open.
Finally we managed to get to sleep and were woken at 9 by Housekeeping coming in on us. My husband feels the fault was ours for not putting a 'Do Not Disturb' sign up but I don;t understand how difficult it can be to only clean the rooms of people who have already checked out?? I paid for the room until 11 so please don;t come into it until after that time.
At breakfast we were greeted at the other side of the restaurant to where we had eaten the previous night. It was lovely with large windows and view of the lake. We were then led THROUGH there and back into the other tiny dining room as we weren't 'part of the wedding party'. We were seated quickly at a table near the back. The restaurant manager recognised us from the previous evening and remembered we were only staying one night. He then asked if we would like a Lake view (thank god - at last) we said we did and he proceeded to clean down an empty table and seat us. Finally we got the view of the Lake that we had come to the hotel for (although slighlty obscured by the fact the windows we were looking out of were though the fire door. This was fine I was just glad to see out). Breakfast was lovely, the coffee was hot and the staff again in the restaurant were impeccably polite.
Upon checkout I was asked if we had enjoyed our stay. I told Thomas, the receptionist, that it was 'ok'. I advised that the wedding party had been an issue and if I had been told about it at booking - I wouldn't have booked. I advised him about the noise and his response was that we should have called down to reception. A little ridiculous, as previously stated, what were the hotel going to do? Cut the wedding reception short?? That was it. No apology, no 'I will pass your comments on'. We were just handed the bill and he made a comment about what good value the Living Social deal was, as otherwise our stay would have cost £300. £300! If I'd paid that I would have been having a breakdown at how disappointing it was. As it was the deal wasn't even worth what we paid for it.
We have come away feeling very disappointed. This was special night away for our wedding anniversary that will now just remain a bad memory. We had looked forward to a relaxing break, drinking wine and looking out across the Lake and received none of the above.
Would we return - no. Despite the attention from the restaurant manager taking this from a 1 star to a 2 star rating.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Inn on the Lake Hotel ia a 4 star hotel that enjoys one of the most spectacular settings in the Lake District in 15 acres of grounds with lawns sweeping to the shores of Lake Ullswater. The Inn on the Lake is only 12 miles from the M6 motorway and the drive is very dramatic with the road curving around the Lake and the backdrop scenery of the fells. There are 47 en-suite bedrooms, all thoughtfully designed with most rooms having breathtaking views, some looking towards the magnificent Helvellyn mountain range, while the majority look over the ever changing Ullswater. Each room is fully equipped with everything you come to expect in this quality 4 star hotel. For that special occasion upgrade to a superior room or one of the very popular, stunning four-poster bedrooms. From the moment you walk into reception you will find an interior that compliments this fabulous setting. This leads through to the popular Lounge Bar where a warm welcome awaits with large bay windows overlooking the well landscaped gardens, which lead to the hotels jetties on Ullswater. Enjoy a drink any time of the day, a light lunch or afternoon tea in the Lounge or on our Lakeside terrace. The award-winning 2 AA Rosette Lake View Restaurant provides something for all tastes, or for less formal dining The Ramblers Bar, situated within the hotel’s grounds, offers the option to enjoy a pint of real ale. The hotel also has its own outdoor activities including pitch & putt, croquet and children's outdoor play area. Gary and his team at The Inn on the Lake Hotel look forward to welcoming you soon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Inn On The Lake Hotel Glenridding
- Inn On The Lake Ullswater
- Inn On The Lake Glenridding, Lake District