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“Be wonderful again”
Review of Bridge Hotel

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Bridge Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Buttermere
Certificate of Excellence
ipswich UK
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Be wonderful again”
Reviewed 16 September 2013

It was with great anticipation that I was returning to the Bridge Hotel. I had told my partner that I would like to be at my favourite place in Britain for this special birthday. I had stayed there several times in the 90’s and longed to go back. I was told at reception that the hotel has been in the same family for the last 35 years – a rare thing these days so I was looking forward to the same wonderful experience.

We were warmly greeted by a young man who helped us with our bags up to the room (No 23) which was delightful. The rooms have been beautifully refurbished since I was last here. This particular room has a balcony and views of Red Pike and the stream runs below (just ignore the car park – there is very little movement there). The bed was very comfortable too. I enjoy the fact that there is no TV or internet in the room; to just be in Buttermere is enough.

I had told my partner about the wonderful meals I’d eaten there, and how special the breakfasts were, so he booked to eat in the restaurant for 2 of the 3 nights. There are still notices on the door about being in the Michelin Guide in 2007 and for 2008; an independent indication of how good it was. Unfortunately I do have to say ‘was’.

We were thoroughly disappointed at the blandness of the evening meal, though the young foreign waitress couldn’t have been more pleasant and attentive. We cancelled our second night in the restaurant and ate in the bar instead (where the food was an improvement). Breakfast was no better. My scrambled eggs looked more like chopped hard boiled eggs swimming in liquid which I had to poor off in to a bowl so as not to drown the salmon. There was only one other couple at dinner and breakfast so there was no excuse. My partner’s poached eggs the next day fared no better, sitting out the ‘flood’ on top of very small, sad looking kipper – most unappetising. (We had delicious, beautifully cooked breakfasts in all the other places we stayed during our week).

I notice the demise of the resident’s free tea and cake in the afternoon which used to be compensation for the lack of TV, radio and phone reception and was a nice touch. There is now available a full afternoon tea for £17.95! I know things have to change with these economic times, still, a shame.

However being made to feel special staying at the Bridge is something that should never change. Yet S, who I assume is the General Manager, had such an air of condescension, of snobbery, a way of delaying a reply to a request, just enough to make you feel you were being a nuisance, that he managed to sour our experience.

Fortunately there was a different chap at reception the day we checked out who couldn’t have been more friendly.

Dear Bridge Hotel please make the dining experience as great as it used to be and Reception represent the heart of the hotel – that feeling of being welcome is so important. It takes us a whole day travelling to arrive at your wonderful part of the world – make it worth it again.

Room Tip: No 23 beautifully decorated with balcony, bed really comfortable
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Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank funat41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
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English first
Kent
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 September 2013

The Bridge Hotel had been recommended to us and we were not disappointed.
Great location: quiet and with some great walks straight from the hotel.
Food was good. Large breakfasts with a wide range of options. We enjoyed the evening meals in the dining room: relaxed atmosphere, not all stuffy.
Staff were very attentive. Sharon was very welcoming each evening and went out of her way to help me with driving instructions. We also lost something at the hotel and staff were very helpful in sending it on to us once it was found.
Hope to return.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrH875
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridge H, General Manager at Bridge Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Dear MrH875,
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us at The Bridge Hotel.

Again, I am delighted that you experienced exactly what it is we strive to offer. A very personal and attentive service.

Sharon is proving to be a very popular member of our team and I am delighted about this. She was quite nervous of entering into the industry and will be thrilled that she is "cracking it " so very well.

Thank you for your kind words, we truly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Yours Sincerely

Steven
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunderland, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 September 2013

We stayed 3 nights, 2 were great, one was bad.
Beware diners of the restaurant. You will be hasseled into purchasing water!, more wine and coffee or tea. The later carrying a heavy supplement and not worth it.
For our last 2 nights though we had a lady called Sharon serving us, What a delight, she was professional, polite, funny - just great. She made our stay, nothing was to much trouble, She went out of her way with all the diners. Congratulations to the Manager that employed her - a real asset.
Beware of some of the other staff, that is a different thing.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridge H, General Manager at Bridge Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Dear John D,
Thank you for your review of The Bridge Hotel, I am sorry that you felt at all pushed into buying anything other than what you wanted during your stay. I would never enforce a "hard sell" tactic on anything in the Hotel and I will be reiterating this to the service staff. We will always be very happy to serve Iced water on the tables during dinner as we are blessed with the best of Tap water in this part of The Lake District, again my apologies you felt hassled.

Yes, Sharon is proving to be a real asset to the team and I am delighted to have her with us. When I employed her she was very clear in offering the "lack of experience" she has in the industry but her calming manner and quality of care was evident from the outset. i am sure she will grow to be an invaluable member of our Hotel team and I will certainly ensure she gets to read your kind review.

I look forward to being able to welcome you back in the very near future.

Steven
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, UK
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2013

For us, a nice place to stay does not just have good facilities and great food, though the Bridge Hotel certainly has both. We value the personal touch that one more often associates with a pleasant B&B or guest house. This hotel manages to combine the best of both worlds. All the staff were friendly, helpful, courteous and quite simply made our stay really enjoyable. So much so, that we intend to return and take advantage of one of their 'Muddy Boots' deals later this year.

Facilities-wise, the hotel has an excellent drying room. Of no consequence to us was the absence of a TV in the bedroom. The free wifi didn't reach as far as our room, but worked fine in the lounge.

We arrived too late to have a meal in the residents' restaurant, but the bar food was tasty, good value and the portions generous. Breakfast was high quality. It was selected from a menu rather than self-service and I wondered if I'd be able to charge up with enough calories to cope with the day's walking. Once again, however, portions were ample and my concerns were unfounded.

Located in beautiful surroundings, in our opinion this is a great place to stay.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fishkinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridge H, General Manager at Bridge Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Dear Fishkinger,

Thank you for your very comprehensive review of your experience with us at The Bridge Hotel. I am delighted that we were able to offer "Exactly what you wanted" we all work extremely hard to deliver the high standards of service that today's discerning traveler should enjoy.

We pride ourselves being able to offer "plenty of calories to scale mountains" with breakfast and I am please that your batteries were suitably charge - We will always deliver more food to your table if you would like.

I look forward to being able to welcome you for a return journey when you are next able to travel.

Until such a time I wish you all the very best.

Steven Langley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Here is why it scored so many stars:
* 1 : As we arrived through the main doors, having never been before, the receptionist (Ray) jumped up and said "Hello, Dr. Shackelford - welcome"... I was very impressed and felt immediately that this was going to be good!
* 2 : Ray showed us to our room and carried my wife's heavy case, and explained why the room (No. 22) was his favourite - and with good reason.
* 3 : The room was on the third floor - with a balcony looking over the Fells - gorgeous.
* 4 : The main fell in view was Rannerdale - our family favourite for several generations
* 5 : The bed was big (I am over 6 foot) and very comfortable
* 6 : The decor was excellent and had been individually designed to fit the room
* 7 : The bathroom was brilliantly and elegantly equipped, and thoroughly clean
* 8 : The maid had folded one of the bath towels into a Swan - fantastic!
* 9 : The residents lounge was full of large comfy chairs, lots of interesting books and magazines about the Lakes and wi-fi and sockets for my laptop
* 10 : Whilst sitting with my laptop, Ray popped in to see if the lights were OK and whether I needed a drink.
* 11 : After a pleasant scramble up Rannerdale, we had a pub meal in the bar. Great selection of ale including a local Buttermere Ale brewed especially for the Hotel.
* 12 : Great "Specials" selection - we recommend ignoring the basic bar menu and go with the Specials - we had Roast Duck (tender and delicious) and Devon Crab salad (fresh and tasty)
* 13 : Very helpful bar staff, making sure we had everything we needed
* 14 : After a stroll round the area photographing the gorgeous sunset over Haystacks and Melbreak - we retired for a very good nights sleep - large soft comfy bed
* 15 : Excellent breakfast - freshly made to order (nothing sitting in warming cabinets) - especially the Cumberland sausages!
* 16 : After a good walk round Crummock and Buttermere (about 15 miles) we booked in for the full Dinner - four course meal that was delicious (pate, blueberry soup [!], roast Lamb and serious puddings).
* 17 : Sharon, our waitress, was great fun and very attentive, and put up with a somewhat cheeky set of guests!
* 18 : Another great breakfast, and then time to set off.
* 19 : Ray was on reception and very helpful as we checked out - no fuss, and we could bring the car up to the front of the hotel to load up (slight drizzle!)
* 20 : And the location - right in the middle of Buttermere, in walking distance of all our favourite Fells and Lakes.

Room Tip: Ask for No. 22 if you want a great view over Rannerdale and Melbreak. The bed is really good, and th...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark-and-Sue-Sussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridge H, General Manager at Bridge Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Dear Mark-and-sue-sussex,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us at The Bridge Hotel. Clearly I am very happy that you seem to have absorbed the essence of personal service we strive to deliver.

Ray is certainly a brick in the wall and foundations of the Hotel and I couldn't be happier with the way he looks after our guests.

The Housekeeping team can also make Elephants, Monkeys and at times the bathrooms can look like a Zoo. Amanda thoroughly enjoys learning new ones occasionally.

Sharon has only been with me for a few weeks and is doing extremely well. Again, her personal level of service is of note and Thank you for pointing this out.

Your offer of a very generous 20 stars is greatly appreciated. Yes, everything freshly prepared and had delivered to your table is the way forwards for us! ... some people do prefer a buffet style but we will be sticking with our personal service standards.

Please come again as soon as you are able to. i look forward to welcoming you back.

Steven, Ray Sharon and the rest of the team.
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UK
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2013

A warning to anyone thinking of making a reservation at The Bridge. If you pay a deposit and subsequently cancel for whatever reason, not only does the hotel hold on to the deposit but also states in the terms and conditions that, if they are unable to re-let the room, the full outstanding balance will be payable. This means that you would not only lose your deposit but could also be asked in addition to pay for any meals not taken.
We booked for a birthday party weekend at The Bridge this summer. The hotel asked for substantial deposits to cover two nights’ bed and breakfast and one dinner (the other dinner being the party meal).
Over seven weeks before the date of the party, three friends had to cancel owing to a family commitment which they had not known about when the booking was made. The hotel refused to refund the deposit of £280 although they did eventually transfer about a third of it to a reservation made by another family member and, to be fair, they did not demand the full outstanding balance. They did offer to transfer the deposit against a future booking or to use the room for other occupants but this was clearly unacceptable in view of the fact that the whole point of the hotel stay was to share in the birthday celebration and to offer the room to anyone else would not have been appropriate.
To sum up: we brought 31 guests and eight children to the hotel for two or, in some cases, three nights filling virtually all the rooms. The total expenditure of our group was around £7,500 to £8,000. In spite of this, the attitude of management concerning the deposit was inflexible.
We first visited The Bridge in 1975 and since then we have been back a number of times including for a similar big birthday party ten years ago. I am sad to think that we shall not be returning and suggest that the word ‘hospitality’ is not understood by the management at this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deechops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridge H, Owner at Bridge Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Dear DEECHOPS
Thank you for your recent review of the financial situation surrounding your birthday celebration.
As per the letter in reply:
Your party member had the offer of allocating his deposit against a future booking, he declined, the offer was withdrawn.
The original deposit of 280.00 was for room 17, a superior double to be occupied by two people. In addition to this a second room , room15, was reserved with a deposit of £110.00. Both of these rooms were cancelled with the out come being a single traveller was accommodated into a single room which we allocated a deposit of £200.00, so £90.00 was added to the original deposit of £110.00 as a gesture of good will. As you are aware £41.35 of that credit was not used by **^^!!** and was transferred onto your account.


You refer to your daughter being moved as her room was needed for other guests. I assure you this was not the case and the room remained empty for the weekend. Your daughter was originally checked into the room she had booked. The room was already made up with the two camp beds, as requested, and it was noted by Steven that your daughter was travelling with a dog. It was a kind gesture by Steven, offering to move the family and pet into a self catering apartment for the duration of their stay to ensure they were made as comfortable as possible. No charge was made for the dog, normally £10.00 per night.

The additional guests you mention at breakfast were residents that we had accommodated to be able to release you from your exclusive use contract. As you failed to fulfil this contract we were actually in a position to claim £1,261.00 for the accommodation we had lost; again, an extremely generous gesture that we did not do this and tried to re-let the rooms. This means a total gesture of £1,846.00 already offered by us. I deem this as fair and certainly not “penny pinching”.

I was, however, very pleased that you enjoyed the excellent service my staff delivered during your Birthday celebration weekend, a remark echoed by all other members of your party.
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Stourbridge, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

We were eagerly awaiting our return visit to this hotel (Previously here about 7 yrs ago) recalling the busy little hotel with fantastic food. Well the evening meals were still excellent and the lounge still very comfortable but the hotel was surprisingly quiet with very few guests. We stayed in the same room, which had been refurbished and was lovely. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the staff. Had we not stayed previously and had we not had walks in the area planned, we would probably have checked out after just one night. The pompous, short man (Don’t know name) seemed to feel that he had to issue instructions on how to behave in a hotel, what time to arrive for pre-dinner drinks etc. We may have looked somewhat scruffy after a day walking on the fells but we have extensive experience of all types of hotels, all over the world and have never before been spoken to in this manner. Things did not improve over dinner. The young foreign waiter seemed to think that every comment had to be made into a joke and at times this verged on downright rude. Thankfully these 2 members of staff were not on duty again until the morning of our departure. In their place was the wonderful Sharon who knew how to make guests feel welcome and she provided excellent service with a smile. As stated previously the evening meals were delicious – varied choices each evening. The breakfasts were probably the poorest we had during our Lake District touring holiday. Not necessarily due to the quality of the food but due to the small portions and limited choice. It seems very unusual nowadays for a self service choice of cold items – cereals, fruits, juices etc not to be available. Not sure that we will return again- the magic seems to have disappeared.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LJS60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridge H, General Manager at Bridge Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Dear LJS60,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us at The Bridge Hotel. Firstly, my sincere apologies that it would appear aspects of your stay were not quite up to expectations. I am however very pleased that others were met.

I assure you that I would never wish to appear pompous towards my guests, my experience in the hopsitality industry tells me that this is never going to do me or our company any good. Attila does have a very light hearted manner in his approach to service and this is greatly appreciated is many of the guests that stay with us. Please see below a recent Facebook message from previous guests.
"Had an awesome evening with a fantastic meal and great drinks. The staff in the bar also made it a night to remember, a special shout out to Attila for his crazy sense of humour."

I am very surprised that your view of breakfast was one where our portions were small. As a point we try to encourage guests to have both starters and mains which we would hope sets them up for the day. We do not offer a buffet service as we try to maintain service standards and deliver these to our guests personally.

I really would like to be able to welcome you back on another occasion so you were able to experience again in a more favorable light the "magic" that is The Bridge Hotel - Even with me here! ...

Please call me at your earliest convenience.

Yours Sincerely

Steven Langley
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Additional Information about Bridge Hotel

Property: Bridge Hotel
Address: Buttermere CA13 9UZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Buttermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Buttermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Bridge Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set between two lakes and surrounded by Fells in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Bridge Hotel is situated on a site which has been occupied for over a 1000 years. Licensed as a Coaching Inn in1735 it has evolved into a luxury traditional Lakeland hotel offering a warm welcome, comfort and attentive service. Innovative chefs provide excellent, freshly prepared, locally sourced, quality food both in the dining room and bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bridge Hotel Buttermere, Lake District

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