Waterhead Hotel

Lake Road A5095 , Ambleside, LA22 0ER, United Kingdom
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good


Value Score No Data

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Good For Solo
  • Families91
  • Couples95
  • Solo100
  • Business95

More about Waterhead Hotel

Style on the lakeside

by TripAdvisor Member Taisteal

Waterhead Hotel, Ambleside
From the outside the Waterhead looks like a traditional Lake District gray cutstone building, but inside contemporary style has transformed this hotel. The bedrooms and bathrooms are beautifully furnished, but not sparsely. My room had a lovely fireplace, and the gingerbread was gorgeous. The furniture is made locally and a great example of local skills. We only ate breakfast in the lakeside restaurant and it was beautifully cooked and presented. Well worth a visit.

A great place to stay

by A TripAdvisor Member

We have just returned from a long weekend break in the Lake District. We stayed at the Waterhead Hotel, Ambleside. This is a fantastic hotel. It's not cheap, but even so, the staff were so helpful it made the break effortless - well worth paying for. We booked it through Laterooms so got a good deal and our room had fantastic views of Lake Windermere. It was my birthday so my wife organised for a cake and a bottle of wine to be delivered to our room on arrival - the hotel sorted this out no problem! The food is very good and the bar area has great views of the Lake. There is a really good pub (Wateredge Inn) within 2 mins walking distance and this has a great beer garden running down to the Lake. The bar food at this pub is excellent. Ferries to Bowness run every half hour from the Pier opposite the hotel. It took us between 10 and 15 mins to walk into Ambleside, so not too bad. All in all we would recommend this hotel for quality rooms, quality service and quality views. It's also a good location to start many walks from Ambleside.


by TripAdvisor Member ladylala

We just returned from a perfect 2 night stay at the waterhead hotel. The hotel from the exterior doesn't do it justice, but when you walk inside to the reception its bright and contemporary. We stayed in room 17 a large deluxe lake view room with a seperate lounge area with an extra tv. There were no plasma screens in this room so perhaps thats why you get 2tvs!
We ate in the hotels Bay restaurant on the first evening and the food was superb especially the dessert!! There were few people in the restauant but at this time of year the lake district in general is very quiet, a perfect time to visit in our opinion!!
The breakfast also was delicious and the waiting on staff very friendly and happy to chat.
We ate in the acclaimed Drunken Duck Inn on the 2nd night but found it very overated, quite pricey and eveyone is sitting right on top of one another, we were wispering to each other so as not to be overheard. We would give it a miss next time.
The waterhead is a wonderful modern hotel not really suited to children, they would be better at the Low Wood the sister hotel down the road.
We will definately return next year!

Good value

by TripAdvisor Member maximilion

Very much enjoyed my stay here - good food, attentive service and a nice large room. Not my idea of a top-class hotel, though - was missing that indefinable "certain something" that creates a feeling of elegance and luxury. Sharrow Bay (also visited on this trip) had this in abundance, but was also 3 times as expensive! Would certainly visit again, as The Waterhead offers splendid value for money.

Poor Value for Money

by TripAdvisor Member John75

We stayed at this hotel at the beginning of the half term weekend. We paid over £100 pp a night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

I would make the following observations:

1. The hotel is situated in a fork in the main road into Ambleside. Although we were not overtly bothered by traffic noise we did not think it was a particulary tranquil location.

2. There is no central air con and so our room was cold when we arrived. There was also a hair on one of the pillows and one of the lamps bulbs did not work.

3. The room had a dvd, plasma screen tv and was reasonably sized. The bathroom had under floor heating but the toiletries were in bottles that were clearly re-used. We could hear music from the room next to us.

4. The dining room is lit with chandilers and hidden purple light fittings (purple light appeared to be a theme to this hotel). There is piped music. Every table had a number card on it. The menu was dirty. The plates and cutlery were clean. We were served sliced white bread to accomany our dinner. The dining staff have nametags. I ordered what was described to me as "slices of duck" and recieved a slice of duck pate. The food was very ordinary but was not dreadful. There was fresh orange juice and coffee at breakfast.

5. We found the staff pleasant and likeable. However we felt they had had very little formal training: my plate was taken from me before my wife had finished eating, we were not offered anything to drink when we sat down, the wine list was not given to us at the same time as the menu.

The above are objection obsersvations. My subjective opinion of this hotel is that has focused too much on gimicky attempts at sophistication rather than the fundamentals of a 4**** hotel - excellent food, properly trained staff and attention to detail. As such I thought this hotel was very poor value for money and would not recommend it.

Top quality hotel, but not without its flaws

by TripAdvisor Member Skwark

Booked 1 night at this hotel based on the reviews at TripAdvisor.

At first arrival I was a little suprised by the hotel's location, situated between two roads, not right on the bank of the lake as I expected and the pictures/description implied. The layout was also a little confusing when entering from the lower car park, but after some directions we found our way to the unusual reception desk and we were shown to our room, given a brief run through of the facilities and left to return our check-in form after we had some time to settle in.

The quality of the room/equipment/decor was probably one of the best I have stayed in. Oak furniture, leather chairs and a very comfortable bed.

We took a walk downstairs to the bar, unfortunately there appeared to have been some leak/flood of some sort (maybe from the unusual water feature!?) and a lady was doing her best to mop it up aided by a very loud fan to try and dry it out. We hung about at the bar waiting to be served and had to get someone's attention to take our order. The hotel was very quiet and I think this leads staff at most hotels into a false sense of relaxation, which doesn't always bode well for service.

In the evening, we tried out the restaurant. A little pricey and not a great deal of choice but found the quality to be above average and overall enjoyed the meal very much.

Overall, we were happy with the hotel and would stay here again, but it could probably benefit from some staff training to give it that 4 star service to round off the experience.

Good but not perfect

by TripAdvisor Member PeteM

We booked an out of season late deal at £78 for the room per night (incl breakfast).

The hotel lies in a fork in the road, it is long and narrow and overlooks Lake Windermere. It has evidently undergone a major refurbishment. Our room had no lake view (understandable for the price we paid) but was large, extremely well decorated and furnished (incl large plasma telly) with a good quality bathroom.

On our first night we ate in the restaurant (£30 for 3 courses) and were slightly disappointed. The dining room is very smart and we had a table overlooking the lake. However the food was a little bland and lacked finesse. (Like another reviewer I also ordered Rillettes of Duck and was given some kind of meat pate.)

Breakfast was good with fresh fruit salad/juices and a nice cooked breakfast.

On our second night we walked into Ambleside (less than a mile walk) and enjoyed a good Thai meal at Doi Intanon.

Hotel staff were friendly but some details let them down, such as the room cleaners playing music at full volume as they cleaned the rooms. When we checked out there were 2 errors with our account (incorrect meal charges and incorrect room rate). These were rectified without a fuss.

Included in the room rate is use of the leisure facilities at the Low Wood Hotel. The pool here is OK but is a little like a public swimming pool!

All in all I'd recommend the Waterhead. For £78 it was excellent value and much nicer than the Low Wood.

Excellent Hotel, highly recommended.

by A TripAdvisor Member

Was a little uncertain before we arrived after reading some comments but we had been looking for a more modern hotel than the Lake District seems to offer and definitely found it here.

The Waterhead was fabulous. So much so we stayed twice in one week. We had booked in for two nights before heading up to Scotland. Had booked a 'Hotel Double' direct with ELH for two nights and were shown to a room in the new extension. No real view of the lake but room was great. Very clean, felt very new and like no-one else had used it. Bathroom was stunning with funky spiral towel heater and under floor heating, lovely tiled design and fab hand basin and shower head with large bath, and toiletries were lovely.

The bed was so incredibly comfy and we had requested hypo-allergenic bedding which the hotel had called us about the morning of our arrival to tell us what the bedding was to ensure it was ok. Decor of room was contemporary but retained a cosy feel.

Very cool flat screen wall mounted tv and living flame fire. Great tea tray facilities with delicious Fresh local Gingerbread instead of the tired old shortbread fingers you usually get. Complimentary fruit and water and an ice bucket full of ice.

Breakfasts were fantastic and staff were very quick to serve and friendly. We also had one evening meal which was pricey but very very good standard and one 'room service' meal which was also of very high standard and delicious.

Nice bar area with water feature and an open fire, public toilets in bar area were very clean with beatrix potter stories being read instead of piped music and im told the gents was a marvel in design!!.

Hotel is in the middle of a fork in the road but traffic wasnt heavy at this time of year and it was a 2 min walk over to the lake and cruise pier.

We loved it so much we booked another two nights on our way back from scotland, we tried to use the 50% off another stay voucher they had given us but no rooms were available at that rate so we booked a 'superior room' this time which was in the original part of the hotel but had been refurbished to match the new extension.

Room was a fabulous, large, bay windowed room on the front of the hotel with glorious views of the lake. All decor the same as before, shower head in bathroom was a different design to the the previous room and was like standing under a waterfall, lovely.

Overall we loved the hotel, we felt comfortable and relaxed, food was good, staff were friendly and helpful, hotel is in a good position for your base in the lakes and the attention to detail and standard of design leaves many other hotels needing to take a leaf out of their book.

If you like something a little more modern and less chintz then this is the place for you. Ask for room 8 if you want a fab view.

Loved it

by TripAdvisor Member katyoldfield

on entering the reception the staff were so polite
and helpful, showed us a room of which overlooked
the lake it was wonderful.
The decor of the room was lovely it had everythin
that myself and husband look for in a room, great
coffee, water, bath with taps in middle,t.v plasma
with sky and a dvd player.
The bathroom was very modern with lovely spa toilitries to use.
Booked dinner we had steak and chips served on
a plate that looked like a boat, gorgous bread
selection, champagne by the glass, we were recommended
a white italian wine which was lovely, sat by the
front window of the restaurant overlooking the lake.
The staff couldnt do enough everyone was so helpful
great points of interest, we will stay longer next
The also have a dog on the bed that is the do not
desturb sign and binoculars to view the lake great
Kathy oldfield, cheshire

A lovely couple of days

by TripAdvisor Member oxsj

My husband and I have just returned from two nights at The Waterhead. We had a fab time. The Hotel is lovely and very stylish. Really nice to go out into the wild countryside and return to such comfort. Our room was big with a lovely bay window looking out on to the water - couldn't see much though as v foggy! There is a bit of traffic, but not enough to spoil our pleasure. Its quite nice to see people going about their business, whilst all you have to do is relax and enjoy yourself! The bathroom was great.

The staff were really helpful particularly with advice for walks. The food was very enjoyable at both dinner and breakfast.

We loved our stay and will definately go back - One small point though, they urgently need to change the colour of their fire escape though - it does not give a very good first impression of the outside of the hotel!


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 Waterhead Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Ambleside Hotel Waterhead

Address: Lake Road A5095 , Ambleside, LA22 0ER, United Kingdom