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“Perfect short break!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hillthwaite Hotel

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Hillthwaite Hotel
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Chirk
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Perfect short break!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

After reading some earlier reviews we were a little dubious what to expect from our 'Living Social' 2 day deal. We need not have worried, from the moment we arrived we were impressed by the hotel, lovely rooms, helpful and very hard-working staff, great views down to Bowness, etc, etc.
The food on our first night was excellent, we had a 5 course meal included as part of our deal, breakfast was also superb on both days, our only regret was that we ate elsewhere on our second evening.
We had a garden room with a jacuzzi bath, a very comfortable bed and the whole place was kept comfortably warm, very welcome as the start of our visit coincided with the weather deciding to revert to 'normal' Easter weather! Fortunately the second day was wall to wall sunshine, we stayed out all day so did not get the chance to use the pool and sauna.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SteveRoffey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,350 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (424)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
pendle hill
Level Contributor
140 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

very relaxing stay with friends.All staff were efficient and friendly,dinner was excellent.Room fine.location overlooking lake windermere ideal

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jimmor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mansfield, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

i have just returned home today i was with a party of 16 ages from 19 to 70 we have all enjoyed our trip the hotel is 1st class we could not fault the food everything we had was top class the staff could nt do enough for us all they were so friendly we would deffinately go back again

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Freda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2012

The Hillthwaite House Hotel is quite a charming hotel overlooking Windermere, but I don't think it deserves all of the rave reviews it's received. My friends and I booked three nights’ accommodation, with inclusive breakfasts and dinner. Though it seemed like good value for money, the rooms were a massive let down (nothing like the rooms on the website photos) and the food was nothing to write home about.

On arrival to the hotel, Yvonne was really welcoming and helpful. However, this pleasant atmosphere suddenly changed when Geoff (the owner/manager) came along and I remarked on the "Please review us on TripAdvisor" sign sitting on the counter. Geoff launched into a massive tirade about his feelings on the site, including how people who write reviews on TripAdvisor don't know what they're talking about. With that attitude it doesn't surprise me that he has inspired people to write negative reviews! Frankly he came across rather like Basil Fawlty...

As mentioned previously, the rooms were a massive let down (nothing like those depicted on the website). I think there are probably nicer rooms at the hotel, however as our rooms were the cheapest available; we ended up with rooms which have not had any TLC since the late 1980s or early 1990s. It does seem that efforts have been made to update the hotel, but much of it seems half baked (i.e. some rooms updated and others not, and half of the dining room updated, the other half not). The conservatory and lounge are however very spaces nice to hang out in.

The meals and service provided in the dining room were also really hit and miss. The system of making guests sit at the same table for every meal is definitely of an era and bizarre... Sometimes our drinks orders weren't taken until after our entrees had arrived. Jerry was a real star (so attentive, friendly and funny), but the rest of the waiting staff were quite average. The presentation of the food was great, and the deep fried brie, Eton Mess, and orange sorbet were really very good. However, the canapés, bread roles, canned whipped cream, soggy goujons and gherkin infused cream on chocolate cake (yes, you read correctly - someone mixed up the ingredients in the kitchen!) were real low lights.

Finally, on departure, we were quite shocked to have been charged for newspapers. We were asked if we wanted newspapers, but we were never advised that we were going to be charged for them. We could have complained about it at the time, but none of us felt like having Geoff rant at us again, so we just let it slide...

Room Tip: Don't go for the cheap rooms; they're cheap for a reason. Make sure you explicitly ask for...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank BonnySue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SOUTHLAKER, Manager at Hillthwaite Hotel, responded to this review, 15 March 2012
I have read this reviewer's comments with a certain amount of incredulity and more than just a hint of suspicion regarding its intended purpose. Firstly I cannot understand why it has taken the reviewer 8 months to post such a negative review. Secondly to say that I suggested that Trip Advisor reviewers dont know what they are talking about is simply wrong as we encourage all our guests to genuinely review us on Trip Advisor. Whilst at this distance it is difficult to recall this reviewers visit specifically I can confirm that I have had many good humoured disc ussions with guests about the positive and negative aspects of travel reviews but to describle these discussions as 'rants' is frankly ludicrous. By the way I am sure Basil would be quite flattered to read that his name had been associated with such a professionally run business as the Hillthwaite. However, be that as it may, to describe the majority of the hotel's staff as 'average' seems to me to be at least a little disengenuous. Our staff like most of their colleagues in the Hospitality industry do a tremendous job day in day out, often under very difficult circumstances, starting very early and finishing very late for little extra reward to ensure that guest expectationsare met at all times of day and night. I have also investigated the reviewers flippant comments regarding the food and due to the time lapse in posting the review I have been unable to identify the particular dinner to which they allude. I can only refer to the many positive comments we receive about the consistently high quality of our food, we are only human and mistakes dooccur from time to time but the vast majority of our guests consider our food in all its aspects exceeds their expectations. As far as decor is concerned this is, as I have commented on other occasions, a matter of personal taste. We have a continuous programme of refurbishment but we like many other independent hoteliers can only do what the current economic climate allows. Whilst it is impossible to satisfy all tastes we will continue our efforts to maintain and wherever possible improve upon the high standards we have set ourselves, which incidently have been confirmed by our latest hotel inspection (March 2012) by Visit England, which confirms that in all major aspects the hotel achieves a 4 star rating. In addition I must respect fully point out to the reviewer that all parts of the hotel's dining room were refurbished and redecorated at the same time and decor defects therefore have been caused by genuine wear and tear. Many non-corporatehotels offer a variety of rooms and rates, the latter usually reflecting the size and appurtenances of the former. Our reservation staff make every effort to offer prospective guests as many room choices as possible, unfortunately on this occasion a room upgrade must not have been available. It is unfortunate that once again the intended purpose of Trip Advisor has been used to launch a particularly vindictive and highly suspect attack on the hotel and its staff. Such reviews serve no more of a purpose than to undermine and discredit their genuine efforts to meet and whenever possible exceed guest's expectations which I can assure past, current and future guests that the Hillthwaite will always endeavour to achieve.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2012

We read many reviews before making the decision to stay at the Hillthwaite to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary. When making the booking we were told we were not able to book the best room with the four poster bed but we could book the Langdale with the canopy bed and jacuzzi bath. The receptionist told me we would feel very comfortable as we could leave our curtains open and still feel very private and not overlooked. My husband and I were very much looking forward to our stay and we did have very high expectations . When we checked in, we were asked to take a seat and wait to be shown to our room. We did not expect to have to wait as long as we did. The porter (or waiter as they all seem to chip in) was quite relaxed when he walked into reception and I had to stand up and ask if he was showing us to our room! We have checked into many hotels but have never had to sit and wait this length of time before. The Langdale room was lovely but we were very disappointed in the aspect of the room overlooking the car park! This room had absolutely no degree of privacy at all and the whole time we had to keep our curtains closed otherwise we would have been seen from the car park. We visited the swimming pool which was nice but beware when swimming toward the shallow end (near the roman steps) as both my husband and I grazed our knees on the bottom of the pool. The pool is small but the swimming area is even smaller! The sauna and steam rooms are well worth a visit after swimming. You are urged to order Dinner before 7pm so chef can prepare your meal in time for dinner. We ordered at reception around 6pm. At dinner we enjoyed canapes, a fabulous starter and our delicious main meal when we realised that we have not been offered our soup course. I pointed this out to whom I thought was the restaurant manager (whom also serves meals and works on reception). He came back to our table during dinner to proclaim that he had spoken to chef and that we did not order soup and he showed us a piece of paper that obviously the receptionist wrote our choices on. I insisted that we had, but that it was no big deal and for him not to worry about it. He offered my husband and I a glass of port each for after our meal to make amends, which we graciously accepted. (However, when we checked out we found we had been charged for the port and pointed this out to the receptionist who removed it from our bill.) At breakfast (our anniversary) the hotel had left an anniversary card on the table for us, which was a nice surprise. You help yourself to juices, cereals and fruit but you order table service from the menu for a cooked breakfast. There must have been staffing issues or something because we waited (along with a lot of other guests) for around 25 minutes for our hot food to arrive. This was very frustrating as we were very keen to go out exploring..We were not given a reason or an apology for the long wait. However, we did not complain though because we felt a bit of an atmosphere from the 'restaurant manager' following the previous evening. That afternoon we arrived back at the Hotel and ordered afternoon tea which we really recommend, very fresh, very well presented and excellent value for money. The older gentleman on reception was particularly helpful, attentive and very nice. When we ordered our anniversary dinner we wrote down our choices so there was no room for error. (the restaurant manager was paying us a lot of attention at this point and again we felt uncomfortable like he was checking up on us) We both ordered the steak which is charged an extra £7.50 each but the best melt in your mouth steaks we have ever tasted. However, be warned, the Au Poivre sauce is very hot and my unsuspecting husband poured it all over his meal and was then unable to eat it. The restaurant manager poured our sparkling wine and spilt some on to the carpet! Neither my husband nor I made reference to this but we felt he did not like us! I hope this was not the case. On checking out we were 15 minutes late due to my husband feeling a little unwell, I was met with an Aaaarrrrhhh! from the receptionist as if to say 'about time!!' which I did feel was a little unnecessary as I did apologise for being late. To summarise my husband and I did enjoy our weekend but feel it could have been made so much better if we had not been made to feel uncomfortable for pointing out the little problems we encountered. We are not complainers at all but wanted to highlight the little aspects of our stay which slightly flawed it for us. To err is human and customer feedback is very important to avoid any such problems occurring in the future. We did not wish to upset anyone. On hindsight, my husband and I should have stayed in one of the larger hotels that we usually stay in when visiting the Lakes. It is highly unlikely that we will stay at the Hillthwaite again purely because we were mis sold the room and the unwelcome feeling we got from some of the staff. This is purely how we felt and we are sure all the other reviewers who visit the Hillthwaite time and again have obviously built a good rapport with the staff over the years. Sadly we did not feel welcome!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank karen p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hillthwaite Hotel

Property: Hillthwaite Hotel
Address: Thornbarrow Road, Windermere LA23 2DF, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
#10 Family Hotel in Windermere
Price range (per night): ₹ 9,804 - ₹ 18,039
Hotel Class:3 star — Hillthwaite Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
You will find Hillthwaite House Hotel is the most ideal accommodation for all types of breaks including short breaks or for use as a base for your walking holiday in the Lake District National Park. Impeccable service and comfort, lovely food sourced from local produce, friendly, attentive staff and the many guests that return to us time after time speak for itself. For Lake District Hotels please look no further than Hillthwaite House Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hillthwaite Hotel Windermere, Lake District
Hillthwaite House Hotel

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