Crook Road , Windermere, Cumbria, United Kingdom, LA23 3NE
- Recommended for:
- Culture vultures, Foodies, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Design and architecture, Escaping the crowds, People watching, Relaxation, Special occasions
Best for Escapists - Expert review of Gilpin Lodge
A quintessential country-house hotel, Glipin Lodge has hoovered up the gongs at both regional and national level in recent years as Best Small Hotel. With a close-knit team and over 20 years of family-managed experience, it's little wonder. This is one slick operation.
But does it feel like home? Sort of. The labyrinthine property is certainly grand and the attention to detail is superb, but don't put your feet on the upholstery. The interior designer will be having a word.
To up the luxury ante, Gilpin recently unveiled the Lake House, an exclusive retreat of six private suites set in 100 acres around the private Knipe Tarn. I thought I would find a Bond villain stroking his pussy in the lounge.
A chauffeur will drive you to dinner at the main house, or private hire the whole place and throw your own house party for £6750 for two nights.
Deliciously secluded between Kendal and Windermere on the Crook Road (B5284). Pray for four-wheel drive.
The 20 rooms in the main house, arranged across four room categories, are packed with flourishes of individual character and calmed by soft-tone furnishings. Of these, the six Garden Suites come with their own hot tub submerged into the decking beyond patio doors. Worth an extra £120 per night.
I liked tucked-away Sergeant Man best, a high-ceilinged suite with more contemporary touches and a sense of privacy. The only prying eyes are those of the llamas grazing in the fields beyond. Intimate.
Seriously swanky - even the copy of the Radio Times has its own designer-leather sleeve to luxuriate in.
Old money, aside, however, I did like the terracota-hued bar leading to an external decking area alive with local birdlife. Proof that fat cats and garden birds do mix after all.
The menu, overseen by head chef, Russell Plowman, covers all bases from morning coffee to afternoon tea via a five-course signature dinner. The latter puts a modern twist on classical dishes and most guests tend to dine in each night.
There are four small dining areas rather than one large room, making for a more private, intimate feel. The wine list is huge, so ask the sommelier to devise a plan for your dinner. He will choose wines by the glass to reflect your courses.
And, if you're dying for a pint, there's Hawkshead Brewery ales on tap.
You name it, they can arrange it: croquet on the lawn, boat trips on Winderemere, guided walks. The management provides complimentary passes to the nearby Old England Hotel leisure facilities, including swimming pool, gym and treatment rooms.
Alternatively, with notice, you can book an in-room spa treatment, or take a dip and a treatment at the Lake House - anyone for a chocolate body wrap?
One word: unfaultable.
Serious money. Bankers with bonuses. Repeat business.
Rates include complimentary use of nearby spa for hotel guests and an in-house spa for Lake House guests. Dinner, bed & breakfast (DBB) rates include a five-course dinner. Lake House rates also include a light afternoon tea and a chauffeur to and from Gilpin in the evening (if dining). Minimum two-night stay at weekends.
More information on Gilpin Lodge:
- Crook Road , Windermere, Cumbria, United Kingdom, LA23 3NE
- Free tags / Keywords:
- Award winner
- Business Centre, Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool