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“In gross need of upgrading”

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The Borrowdale Hotel
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Borrowdale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 September 2008

Borrowdale Hotel for a family gathering. We looked forward to the break which we had previously encountered on visits to the hotel.

Check in dreadful, our room was a superior room which I would rate as standard but my sister and brother had very basic rooms for the same price. They would not complain.
The standard of the food was fair, but not brilliant. Certainly not what we expected for the money.

The sausage at breakfast, to say we were in Cumbria was a long thin chipotalata !!I I was told it 20 minutes to cook a Cumberland saucage !!! However the dining room was lovely.

The service in the restaurant was also fair. This is an expensive hotel, costing nearly £400 for two nights DBB including wine with dinner. We expect high standards for this and, while they have been excellent in the past, things have definitely slipped in recent years.
THIS HOTEL HAS DEFINATELY GONE DOWN IN QUALITY !!

IT NEEDS TOTALLY REFURBISHING WITH NEW FIRE DOORS !!
Cannot recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank jasper57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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968 - 974 of 989 reviews

Reviewed 24 May 2008

Having just returned from the Borrowdale we feel compelled to write, especially as the previous contributor seems very unfair on this charming hotel.

Yes the property has just been taken over by a local, family owed, company but from what we could tell this was only enhancing the experience of this traditional hotel. The welcome was good in all departments, the food was well cooked and presented with an extensive menu that changed every day. The rooms need a little up dating, but the staff advised us that the new company intend to start work on this very soon.

What do people expect? £400 for two people to spend two nights dinner, bed and breakfast with wine!!! We think that is incredible value for a hotel of this standard in this day and age.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank StumpyCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2008

We arrived at the Borrowdale Hotel for a romantic short break, during which we also planned to do some walking. We looked forward to the sumptuous luxury which we had previously encountered on visits to the hotel.

At first, we were delighted. Check in was pleasant, the room was small but adequate and the ambience was lovely. It appeared unchanged from our last visit just over two years ago.

However, some problems ensued. The standard of the food was OK, but not brilliant. Certainly not what we expected for the money. The meat served was not of the best quality; both the steak and lamb (served on two different nights) were inferior cuts covered with a thick sauce. The dining room was crowded on the second night of our stay, and after we had ordered our food whilst having a drink in the bar, the staff promptly forgot about us. When I reminded them that we were there, 15 minutes after the time we had booked our meal, the casual response was 'Oh, did no one come and get you? Just pop through now'. This was despite the fact that the maitre d' had come through and escorted other diners to their tables.

The service in the restaurant was also poor. Staff interrupted our conversations, attempted to rush us through our courses and served and cleared in a manner most convenient to themselves, rather than doing it properly.

This is an expensive hotel, costing nearly £400 for two nights DBB including wine with dinner. We expect high standards for this and, while they have been excellent in the past, things have definitely slipped in recent years. This could be due to the Borrowdale recently having become one of a chain, but whatever the reason, I really could no longer recommend the Borrowdale as a good place to stay. I would also hesitate to recommend other hotels within the chain.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Cheyanne_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2008

We have just arrived home after a short break at this hotel.
The room was nice and clean decoration very good and a view of the lake from our window.
We think it is good value for money, the staff are all very pleasent and helpful the barman Steve is a real asset to the hotel although he appears to be an admin assistant as well as bar man which i feel is poor management.
We would certainly stay here again and found lots of the guests are regulars at this hotel, which i feel is a lot to do with long serving staff.
Breakfast was very good we did not have dinner here but i would be very surprised if it wasn't excellent.
Two recommendations -fans in the bedrooms, our window didn't open just tilted the room became very muggy. Bigger beds ours was a small double it appeared to be short in length and quilts not blankets on them.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank StNeotsCambs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2008

We arrived at the Borrowdale Hotel looking forward to a very rare romantic break away from our farm. We found the hotel easily and pulled into the car park past the staff sitting outside the rear door having a cigarette break. My wife went to check in whilst I started to unpack the car, upon entering the hotel there was no-one behind the reception desk and not seeing the bell on the wall my wife called out hello. The receptionist was not the most welcoming of people and was very abrupt.

We were handed the keys to our deluxe room and went off to find it, upon entering the room we quickly established the room was in a very tired state with the wallpaper peeling away around the windows, noisy radiator, a bed that wobbled and mattress that was so old and saggy you both met in the middle. The room was not deluxe at all more in need of dulux! The standard of cleaning was however very high.

We settled in and were both determined not to let the initial disappointment with our welcome and standard of room spoil our break. So that evening we went to the bar for a drink by the fire before our supper. To say the barman was a little un-welcoming and not the life and soul was an understatement, in fact I have never been to a hotel where the bar staff were so melancholy and so obviously in the wrong trade.

The 6 course silver service supper was something we were both really excited about as we are both avid foodies. The meal was well cooked and the staff were very polite and friendly in the restaurant. it’s a shame the food was a bit bland and stuck in the 1980’s. I mean who serves a vegetarian chilli with rice and then puts braised red cabbage, mashed potatoes and croquet potatoes on the plate? All in all, a bit disappointing.

The reason I’m writing this review

On the second day our phone rang in our room at 7.30am, I sleepily answered the call to hear the barman asking me to come and unlock the front door and let the staff in to the hotel as someone has locked them out. My first thought was ‘do you mean there is no member of staff in the hotel overnight?’

I walked downstairs in my pyjamas to have the receptionist start shouting at me from outside whilst banging furiously on the front door, ‘can you open the door’ bang bang ‘open the door’. I was a little annoyed that she was shouting at me so I had to explain I was a guest and I had been woken up to unlock the door. The response I received was ‘we owe you big time for this mate’ Am I now her mate? Did she really call me mate? I’m sorry I didn’t have Bob the Builder pyjamas on, please don’t call me mate it’s not what I expect.

Safe to say this pretty much ruined our 3 night stay, we complained and were offered a bottle of wine with our meal that evening. Neither of us wanted to chance croquet potatoes again so we went for a meal in Keswick instead.

To sum up our stay it was a bit like Fawlty Towers but without laughs, it is no wonder people would rather go abroad for less money than stay in hotels like this. What an absolute tragedy the place could have been so nice but for a few people that need a course in customer relations and a bit of regular TLC.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank CLS1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2007

I suspect this hotel has changed little in the last 20 or so years, and seems a little in a time warp. For me this was part of the charm and I would not hesitate to recommend the Borrowdale for a relaxing, traditional old-fashioned stay in this beautiful part of the Lake District.

The bedroom was very comfortable and clean with wonderful views, and although possibly a little dated, this did not detract from the comfort.

The evening meal was extremely good, with a good choice for each course, and I went to bed feeling extremely satisfied and full after eating all 6 courses! The breakfast was also very good.

Not somewhere to stay if you are after state of the art facilities, but if you are looking for a comfortable Lakeland Inn with fantastic views and good food this I would definitely recommend the Borrowdale!

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank ClareWLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2007

We stayed here for a short break before Christmas and were pleasently surprised by the friendliness of the staff and quality of the food in the restaurant.

The bedrooms need a little updating as the decour look tired, but the rest of the hotel is very homely and the roaring fire in the drawing room, where you can sit and enjoy a nice glass of wine is perfect!

Silver service 4 course breakfast - this was very unexpected and very welcome after the previous days hiking.

Stayed: December 2006
2  Thank skymike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Borrowdale Hotel

Address: Keswick CA12 5UY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Keswick > Borrowdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Borrowdale
Price Range: £119 - £190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Borrowdale Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled at the foot of Shepherd's Crag in the beautiful valley of Borrowdale, this completely refurbished 4 Star hotel has a totally unique atmosphere enveloping the visitors from the moment they arrive. Warm and welcoming fires in the Winter and cool drinks and Lakeland cream teas on the lawns in the Summer served with a smile. Built in 1866, the Borrowdale Hotel has an interesting history with the original 41 room bells, which, although no longer working, are still proudly displayed outside the reception area. The restaurant has been refurbished to a very high standard and is very elegant and comfortable. It also now boasts a superb walk-in wine cellar stocked with some very interesting bottles. During the day the lounge bar and conservatory are open for light lunches and afternoon teas and in the evening a splendid 5 course silver service dinner can be enjoyed in the restaurant with coffee and mints served in the lounges. The 40 cosy bedrooms have all been refurbished within the last 3 years all have TV, telephone and hospitality tray. There are also 2 extra large, easy-access rooms too. If you are arriving or leaving on a Sunday make sure not to miss the famous Sunday lunch - it is well worth trying, but remember to book your table well in advance, as it is particular popular with both locals and residents. For those looking for dog friendly hotels, all of our bedrooms are dog friendly and are available for well behaved dogs. Please contact reservations for information about our dog friendly accommodation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Borrowdale Hotel
The Borrowdale Hotel Keswick

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