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“Relaxing stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

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Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Level Contributor
75 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Relaxing stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

Just got back from a one night stay & this fabulous hotel & spa , it was a treat for my husband on his birthday & itcouldn't have been better , we were upgraded to the executive double room & the views over the lake were beautiful !! Staff really helpful & friendly especially a young waiter who supported st Helens , my husband is a big rugby fan & enjoyed the banter with him :) the food was lovely , drinks a little expensive but only to be expected in the lakes , the spa treatments we had were wonderful too , if you want a relaxing tranquil break , book a stay in this hotel , you will not be disappointed !!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Spookie18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldOldEngland, Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Dear Spookie18,

Birthdays should be a special occasion for everyone, so we're all really pleased that we were able to make your husband's so enjoyable.

Our situation by Lake Windermere is excellent, and lots of guests comment how tranquil it is, especially if they have been to our spa for a treatment.

Many guests comment on how friendly and helpful our staff are, and I'm really glad that you found this to be true too.

I hope we will get the chance to look after you again on another special occasion.

Warm regards,

David McGhie
Hotel Operations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,729 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (540)
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English first
East Kilbride, Scotland
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

We booked our room on one of the winter specials so we got it half price which made this much better value. The hotel is very nice and we also got a free upgrade when we asked on check in which was great. A very nice man even parked the car for us. Our room was a bit bigger with two windows over the lake. Really stunning views and very quiet mostly. Only issue was next door having a door slamming competition and you might notice that the floors are on a slant but it's such an old building that's to be expected. Oh and the pillows were too soft. Breakfast was lovely, really prompt and we got to sit at the huge windows looking over the lake. It's beautiful even in the rain.. The location is perfect for walks and for all the pubs and restaurants in Windermere as well as the boats.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade. Rooms on first floor in older part of the building seem to be that bit bigger an...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank angela0610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldOldEngland, Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Dear angela0610,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments about your recent stay with us.

I am glad that on the whole you had an enjoyable stay. We do have a number of special offers available for guests, that can be viewed on our website, but obviously there are some restrictions to availability depending on the time of year.

The views from the hotel are indeed 'stunning', and although I am in the hotel on a daily basis, they never cease to amaze me.

I have spoken with our Head Housekeeper, Fay. The pillows being too soft is not a comment that we hear often, but she's going to look at arranging some different ones, in case anyone needs them in future.

I do hope you will come to stay with us again - we look forward to the opportunity to look after you.

Kind regards,

David McGhie
Hotel Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

My wife and I booked into the hotel on Saturday for my birthday. Our room had an amazing view over the lake and the spa treatment was extra special. Along with fine evening meal (quite reasonably priced) we both had an amazing stay. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a relaxing weekend away close to Lake Windermere.

Room Tip: Room 102 had a great view over the lake, with large windows.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MrFox2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

My husband and I visited the spa at this hotel while staying in Windermere. Having looked at information about it on the internet we were really looking forward to it. Sadly, we were very disappointed. The pool is very small and when full of people it is impossible to swim without knocking into people. The whole area had a rather unpleasant smell and appeared rather dirty. I only spent a few minutes in the pool as the water looked really murky and I was left feeling like I wanted to have a shower. The changing facilities are tiny and I had to queue for a shower, not much fun when you are cold and wet. All in all this should have been a real treat and instead was a big disapointment. With a bit of care and attention this could be a pleasant place to visit but at present it's not what it promises to be.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jenwren13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldOldEngland, Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Dear jenwren13,

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent visit to the Spa at the Old England.

I am really disappointed that we have let you down, particularly since comments such as yours are not ones that we hear often.

It is unclear to me from your review, whether you were a guest at our hotel, or visiting on a day pass, but regardless of that, we clearly haven't met the high standards that we set for ourselves.

I have discussed your comments with our Spa Manager, Mike, and he is sincerely sorry for what you have experienced.

The Spa has been very busy recently, which may explain why you felt that it was small or full of people, but there is no excuse for a lack of cleanliness. This is not the experience that most people have of our facilities.

I do hope that our assurances will afford us the opportunity to welcome you back to the Spa in the future.

Warm regards,

David McGhie
Hotel Operations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2012

Pros: Wonderful location, ideal for exploring Bowness and the lake. Staff were very helpful, even when busy. Bed was huge and very comfortable. Our room was a standard double, but was spacious and very clean, with a good sized and well equipped bathroom.

Cons: The view from the bedroom was disappointing, being a back alley. A move was only possible through an upgrade of £50 per person per night. The room was difficult to keep warm with the heater provided. Dinner was meant to be included in the booking price, but it was only when sitting at the table we discovered that it was only up to a certain amount, and anything over that had to be paid for. The food was good, but not good enough for the price tag.
The main issue was the spa. The main reason this hotel was chosen was because of the spa facilities. However, when we wanted to use the pool and thermal suite, we were told that they were full, and would be so for the next two hours. This was not hotel guests, but leisure club members using the pool.
The last con is perhaps the most worrying. Sitting in the lounge, and asking for a coffee, brought the response that there was no coffee machine working, and only filter coffee was available! In a FOUR STAR hotel? The substitute hot chocolate wasn't hot, and tasted like a sachet made drink. OK, things break down, but this was an ongoing situation, so we heard.

Overall we found this hotel to be a real mix of good and bad, and felt sorry for the staff who were trying very hard to help, and clearly the problems are not with the staff, but higher up the chain.

Room Tip: Make sure when you book that there is a view of the lake, otherwise you could end up with a view of...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Clive B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldOldEngland, Manager at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Dear Clive B,

We really do value all the feedback that we receive, as it gives us the chance to improve the service that we provide. I am sure that this is evident from the other comments that I have left in response to previous reviews.

However, I do feel though, that on this occasion your comments may be slightly misleading, especially since some of the comments that you made are really more opinions, rather than facts.

Our hotel has stood at this site for over 100 years, making it difficult to change the location of some of our rooms. Every guest coming to our hotel hopes for a room with a view, and some do book an upgraded room at an extra cost to ensure that this is what they get. It is disappointing for us to have to let people down, but it is not a reason for guests not to stay at our hotel.

All of our team - both staff and managers - work very hard to deliver what is generally considered to be a pleasant experience for all our guests. To suggest that there are problems 'higher up the chain', is an unfair and unfounded opinion, and one that I hope other readers will not consider. With this in mind I would like to clarify two of your other comments.

There are some occasions when our pool becomes very busy, because it is a popular place for guests and members to relax. I am sure that most readers would agree though that it would be irresponsible of our team to exceed the capacity of the pool, and potentially spoil the experience of all those using it, and worse still, expose people to harm or injury. This is the purpose of the limits that we have to put on the pool.

With regard to the coffee machine, I can understand why this would have let down your stay, as everyone enjoys a hot beverage. It is not the case though that this is an 'ongoing situation'. Our espresso machine broke down on a Saturday night, and as anyone who runs a business will agree, the response of organisations who supply such equipment is not always forthcoming over weekends. The coffee machine was repaired by Tuesday morning - a interlude of two days. Your comment implies that this is something that has been going on for much longer, or else is something that the managers and myself don't seem to care about. This is absolutely not the case.

At any time of the day in our hotel, there is a manager on duty who is available to speak to guests about any issues, both good and bad, or to help rectify any difficutlies that a guest may have. We would have been delighted to provide clarification to any of the matters that you raised in your review, during your stay.

I am glad though that you recognise the great contibution that our team make to the hotel, and I am sure that this will be noticeable once more, should you return to stay with us again.


Kind regards,

David McGhie
Hotel Operations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

Property: Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
Address: 23 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Bowness-on-Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#3 Business Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#7 Luxury Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Family Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere
Price range (per night): $191 - $516
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is one of the finest 4-star Lake District hotels. Set on the shores of Lake Windermere - England's largest lake - our hotel offers the best of breathtaking scenery and exceptional facilities. From unrivalled views over our mature lawns, to private jetties and moorings on the lake - our hotel proves a popular choice for family holidays. Our hotel in Cumbria is perfect for country adventures - hire a private jetty on our lake and marvel in the glorious scenery we have on offer. And once you've finished exploring, we recommend a visit to our spa and thermal suite for a relaxing steam before you dine in our award-winning Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Old England
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Bowness-On-Windermere, Lake District

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