West Vale Country House

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Address: Far Sawrey, Hawkshead, LA22 0LQ, England

Star rating:
5 star hotel

4.4

A little country escape with silver-standard service.

Traditional with a modern twist, West Vale recently completed a full refurbishment and is looking smarter than ever. It's a stone-built Victorian property with a country-house feel and surrounded by rolling fells, all the way down to Esthwaite water.

This is a tight-run ship with an old-school approach to standards of service, housekeeping and attention to detail. It feels genteel and traditional but the reowrking of the rooms has brought a touch of romance and modern chic to the decor.

 

Location
4.3
90%
Eating/drinking
4.4
90%
Leisure facilities
n/a
90%
Service
4.5
90%
Value for money
4.4
90%
Bedrooms
4.5
90%
Public areas
4.3
90%

Location

On the quieter west of Windermere and 1.5 miles from the lake-crossing car ferry on the B5285. It's 2.5 miles to Hawkshead.

Bedrooms

Surprisingly stylish. There are seven individual rooms, six en suite, with lots of well-though-out touches of home: tea trays, bathrobes, Moulton Brown toiletries and a decanter of sherry upon arrival. A cuddly, black Herdwick sheep awaits you in each room.

I liked the two attic suites with leather sofas in a lounge area and wood-floored bathrooms. Room six has a love theme for have-it-away weekenders; room seven boasts a writing desk and a turquiose theme.

All the rooms have views with the craggy peak of the Old Man of Coniston looming on the horizon.

Public areas

The cosy bar area, complete with roaring fire and antique furniture, is appropriately littered with copies of walking maps and the Daily Mail.

Eating and drinking

The owners no longer offer evening meals but offer practical advice on where to eat out locally and will book it for you. It's worth noting that the Tower Bank Arms (see my [node:174882} page ) is walking distance.

If the weather turns ugly and you can't face the outside world, you can order a slate of local ham, cheese and pickles to be served by the fire in the lounge - £17 for two people.

There's also afternoon teas, daytime sandwiches and an extensive wine list, plus a small bar by reception for a nightcap.

The breakfast buffer, graoning under the weight of fresh produce and local goodies, earned the hotel a Visit Britain
Breakfast Award. Tasty.

Service

The high standard of service reflects the traditional and meticulous appraoch of the owners.

Who stays there

According to the no-nonsense manager Dee: "Cash-rich retirees, courting couples and a smattering of London trendies." Couldn't put it better myself.

Price advice

Ask about adding a few extras before arrival - champagne, flowers, chocolates. Romance is not dead.

Amenities

  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Restaurant

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Honeymooners
  • Mature travellers
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • Romance
  • Special occasions

Pros & Cons

  • Anti-steam mirrors for a good shave
  • Fresh look
  • Quality service
  • No dinner
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