Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa

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Address: Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick, CA12 4RE, England

Star rating:
4 star hotel

4.7

The best-kept secret in the northwest Lakes.

The spirit of Downtown Abbey lives on at Armathwaite, a grand, stately property with a history of land-owning gentry that stretches back to the 16th century.

It's an atmospheric, sprawling place with lots of historic nooks and crannies to explore but, more recently, it has become a haven for spa breaks with the huge, next-door spa recently awarded Residential Spa of the Year at the Professional Beauty Awards 2011.

For all its grand impressions, however, Armathwaite is also very friendly to people travelling with dogs or children; the latter receive a free entry to wildlife park Trotters World of Animals, which forms part of the estate.

Location
4.6
90%
Eating/drinking
4.5
90%
Leisure facilities
4.7
90%
Service
4.5
90%
Value for money
4.5
90%
Bedrooms
4.4
90%
Public areas
4.5
90%

Location

Set in a rural idyll on the northern tip of Bassenthwaite between Keswick and Cockermouth; 30 minutes from junction 40 M6.

Bedrooms

A recent wave of refurbishment has refreshed the 42 rooms, divided into four classes. They remain traditional but include lots of contemporary touches, such as iPod docking stations and flat-screen TVs.

Public areas

The diversity is huge with a country-house lounge all roaring fires and hunting trophies, a sun-trip conservatory leading to a terrace and croquet lawn, and a cosy bar with a jazz soundtrack, cigar menu and late-night feel.

My favourite little hideaway was the billiards room with a full-size table and an open fire.

Eating and drinking

The flagship is the hotel's fine-dining space, the Lake View Restaurant with high ceilings and wood panelling. The five-course table d'hote menu (£45.95 per person) is dress-for-dinner affair with an extensive wine list, a range of house-specialty flambé dishes and superb views across the grounds to Bassenthwaite.

For something more informal, the Courtyard Bra and Brasserie offers a relaxed, all-day menu among comfy sofas.

An Armathwaite tradition is the indulgent afternoon tea, a frenzy of cream, cakes and calories for £18.50 per person.

Leisure facilities

The £5m spa development, opened 2009, is one of the biggest and most impressive in the Lakes, covering all bases from pool and sauna to 10 treatment rooms with a huge range of therapies.

The whole complex is built around a bright, circular lounge with cream sofas and a central fire.

Service

The smart staff bring an attentive, personal touch to the service.

Who stays there

Pamper weekenders on spa packages, families looking for a luxury bolthole, couples with something to celebrate.

Price advice

Children under 12 years stay free on a b&b basis when sharing with parents; dogs charged at £15 each.

Amenities

  • Fitness Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
  • Swimming Pool

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Honeymooners
  • Mature travellers
  • Great views / scenery
  • People watching
  • Relaxation
  • Special occasions
  • History

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of character
  • Refreshed rooms
  • Superb leisure facilities
  • Hidden-away location
  • High prices
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