At the southern tip of Windermere and on the banks of the River Leven. It's just 20 minutes from junction 36 M6, although be aware the A590 link road can get very congested at peak times.
All newly redesigned and upgraded, the 52 rooms divide between three classes. I liked the deluxe rooms with more space, river views and iPod docking stations, although the garden-view standards are quieter.
Families are unusually well catered for and the Potter Suite, comprising two interconnecting rooms, has a shared bathroom and a Playstation 3.
Well designed and varied. The roraing fire and comfty sofas by reception are welcoming, while the illuminated alcoves with abstract purples vases in the bar is trying too hard.
The Library is a graet resouce for families: a dediacted area for stories, games and DVDs before cokies and milk are served upstairs at bedtime.
Eating and drinking
The Bar, all mismatched tables and cosy corners, covers the all-day bases with a strong lcoal menu, kids' options and a particularly well stocked wine cellar, which recently won the hotel its first award. The Farmer's Platter of local Cumbrian goodies makes for a fine lunch option - £9.95 (small) - washed down by a pint of Loweswater Gold.
Breakfast in the ruby-red upstairs dining room continues the local-produce theme, but the River Room restaurant, the more formal dining area, feels a little out of keeping with its reliance on Italian cuisine.
Head downstairs for the gym and 10m pool, an all-glass affair so you can peer at people splashing about in the shallow end while you check in. Upstairs are the treatment rooms for a slew of ESPA treatments in the Vu Spa.
For kids, the grounds are home to an adventure playground and a nature trail.
Given the broad customer range, it's hard to be all things to all things but the smart, friendly staff do a sterling job.
Who stays there
Families will consider it a country-escape haven, weekday corporate clients love it for the mix of design and facilities.
But it's always a good sign when a couple of young, local farmers are to be found propping up the bar over a pint. As was I.
Rates hiked for Saturdays and public holidays; standard rooms are spacious enough without paying a supplement.
For families, budget on £10 for an extra Z bed, £10 for an infant cot and £10 for a twin.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Great views / scenery
- People watching
- Chilling out
Pros & Cons
- Style and substance
- Family friendly
- Italian theme to fien dining
- Decor needs to bed down