Macdonald Old England Hotel

3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 Stars

Bowness-on-Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District, LA23 3DF, United Kingdom
Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 58% more than similarly rated 3.5 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families72
  • Couples79
  • Solo100
  • Business62

More about Macdonald Old England Hotel

very clean, quiet, and homely

by TripAdvisor Member christineuk62

We stayed at The Old England Hotel for two nights and found all the features of the hotel and the facilities really nice.
The twin bedded room we chose directly facing Lake Windermere was small but adequate containing lovely bathroom/shower/wardobes.colour tv/ hairdryer etc. Bit pricey but we wanted a treat as i hadnt been well recently.
The breakfast was half buffet/ waiter/waitress service. The staff are very attentive to please you during your stay.
We didnt have Dinner at the hotel as the food was a bit above our taste. plus we prefer to walk about and try the enormous range of local eateries. The Stag pub next door was nice to chill by the log fire with a fruit juice/beer during the day. They also show all the football on several large screens so great if you like a game or three!
they do have a night club below but left that to the younger generation!!
Overall we had a lovely stay and the weather was nice too for November!

Old world charm

by TripAdvisor Member Gameshowhost

Have stayed here a couple of times (5 or 6 over past 4 years). Hotel is a little tired but think that adds to the charm in a strange way. Yes its aged and could do with a refurb but the attraction is the gentle almost C19th appeal, its got grace which can be more than said for some chain hotels. I like this place and it's gentle, sophisticated charm. A place to take time out and wonder why the world is so busy ! Billiard Room and Night Bar are great. Has to be said I've always managed to get a tops rate and a good room, always clean and staff fine, just not in your face which is great !

transformation or what !!...............

by TripAdvisor Member shanklygate

Last time I was in this hotel (several years ago and pre Macdonald the current owners) it was more like a run down nursing home. It was beyond bad. It defied description. Such was the state of disrepair. It sucked the life blood. It was a place of no return. Jack Nickleson could be found talking to himself at the bar and every room was room 101.....Imagine my shock then when I wandered in recently to find not a nursing home but a hotel being tastefully restored to a high level of specification. This hotel is now unrecognisable and with the ongoing renovation being undertaken will be fantastic when complete with pool and gym (sometime late 2007 apparently). To reconcile my disbelief I checked in on a whim, extending my short break by a day. The lake view room, service and refurbished public rooms are real quality (although I wouldnt really like to pay the full wack 180 quid - I got the room for £100 b&b which was a very good deal). So no need to be afraid anymore. Its good now and is going to be very good when its finished.

Very attentive service

by TripAdvisor Member lib1

What a wonderful location this hotel is in. Even though there is still work going on, they are adding a vital spa, and the lift was also out of action which could have caused a bit of a problem as I took my 85 year old aunt with me - but the hotel staff, and in particular Moses, the Head Receptionist could not do enough to make this stay special. The original room was up 3 flights of stairs which of course was no good for my aunt so we were upgraded to a four poster suite and they very kindly added a single bed - what great service. Breakfast was extremely good, again attentive staff and the restaurant is well worth visiting, the food and the service was excellent as were the surrounds. I look forward to returning and sampling the spa facilities.

Amazing hotel, fantastic service!

by TripAdvisor Member QuarryCottages

Having stayed 3 nights in a charming b&b in Ambleside (the Hillsdale, highly recommended), we were thoroughly enjoying our minibreak in the Lakes. As it was my birthday on the last day, we decided to finish our visit in luxury.

On driving around Ullswater, we came upon Leeming House, a Macdonal hotel, which looked perfect - grand grouds, lovely reception, friendly staff. Alas, they were fully booked, but the Operations Manager suggested the Old English hotel (another Macdonal hotel). We had lunch there on the first day, and it was stunning; they are undergoing a £10M refurb; the main house has been redecorated, and the spa & gym will be finished in July. The operations manager then very kindly made the booking for us, and even managed to upgrade us to a gorgeous 4 poster suite for free! The room was stunning; softest towels i've ever had in a hotel, lovely shower, and very tastefully decorated. Dinner was fantastic - 5 courses, including soup and sorbet, with charming service. Overall, the best stay i've had in England. Fantastic value for money. We will definitely being staying at other Macdonald hotels.

Location, location, location.

by TripAdvisor Member Kiltedwarrior

Spent 3 nights here mid April with mixed group of family. This covered the tail end of the Easter weekend so Windermere was packed. Old England is undergoing major refurb which will include a much needed leisure complex and more rooms.

Parking is 100 m's or so away from the hotel and can be a bit of a fiddle to get to if you don't know the town. This is also made worse by the fact the builders are using part of the car park and makes space limited. The room were not very big and needed a bit of upgrading.

Front of house staff were all British and helpful, although appeared a bit weary of it all! The restaurant staff were all Aussies or Eastern Europeans and this place ran like clockwork - good quality food and friendly helpful staff (A1).

Any small negatives this place may have are relegated firmly by the location. If you like the Lakes and British views this place is fantastic. Our bedroom window was only about 40 uninterupted yards from Lake Windermere. Well worth a visit.

Hope the staff will get an overhaul too!

by TripAdvisor Member EmilyJC

Stayed in the Lake District recently and noticed the "Old England" looked like it was having a re-vamp. About time too! The last time I stayed there it was quite attrocious. I have never stayed in such a disgusting hole. The food was beyond disgusting and it took a week on antacids to sort me out. Apart from rooms which were very tired I would strongly suggest they sort out the staff. Lazy, ignorant and lifeless. Too many foreign workers who cannot understand the english language. This is not a racist or prejudicial comment but quite a legitimate one. They could not understand me and I could not understand them. It was a bit like Faulty Towers. The whole place was tired and had all the smell and appeal of a nursing home. Would I go back again after a refit? No. Would I go back if it was run by a private family firm who care about guest stay and not about the pound notes in the bank? Yes. The location is fabulous. Shame on you Macdonalds. You are just like the burger company - absolutely tasteless!


by TripAdvisor Member Newlywedwhites

I have just returned from my wedding at the old england and it was absolutely fantastic! The staff were amazing couldn't do more for me and my wedding party, whether it was helping us in with our bags, parking our cars, bringing us extra ice etc they were pleased to help.
The wedidng itself went without fault thanks to Michelle (events coordinator) and Richard (toastmaster) who really organised the guests and the day.
We chose this hotle because of its location and when we heard it was being renovated we were even more pleased. The designers have done a fantastic job! the bedrooms are really comfortable and all the public areas are decorated beautifully.
Me and my husband will be returning to share many a romantic break im sure.
Thanks to all the staff you made our stay a great one!!


by TripAdvisor Member JaxxLeeds

We stayed at this hotel for my husbands’ birthday from 21 – 23 September 2007
We have stayed in a lot of hotels owned by the Macdonald group and always find the very good; the Old England was no exception.
It has recently undergone a multi million pound refurbishment and has been very well done. They have managed to retain the character of the hotel but made it better.
A lot of refurbishments can look sterile this was definitely not the case here
This hotel is fantastic for several reasons
The location is amazing right on the shores of the lake the hotel has its own boats and jetties.
The hotel itself has a country house feel it was like being in the 1930’s, with all today’s conveniences. There are lots of small rooms, a library and several private dining areas.
The is a very sumptuous coffee lounge where, a very traditional afternoon tea was being served, we did not have this ourselves but it was very popular
We chose an executive room it an unrivalled view across the lakes. One downside for the price £165.00 per night I would have like a mini bar but this was a minor point and the price was worth if for the view alone.
The room was very well appointed in keeping with the style of the rest of the hotel
The staff were very efficient but never once officious! They couldn’t do enough for us.
The offered to park and collect of car for us and were always on hand to help with luggage.
Breakfast was served in the terrace restaurant again with fantastic views of the lakes. The food was plentiful and there was a very good choice.
We didn’t have dinner in the hotel but instead chose two local places I would like to recommend the first was The Village Inn very close to the hotel this place serves superior “pub food” and was very friendly and welcoming. It cost around £40 for a 3 course meal plus wine for two.
The second The Postillion” further down the road in a quiet alleyway. They offer outdoor eating, [with the help of a patio heater] which we took advantage of it was very romantic eating outside and the end of September. The menu was original and the food extemporary. It cost just under £60 for both of us 3 courses, coffee, liqueurs and wine.
All together this was a very enjoyable stay; I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

Perfect stay

by TripAdvisor Member JBWirral

Thinking of staying in Windermere then stay here. It's not cheap but you only get what you pay for. We payed £100 per night B&B for a twin as the lake view rooms are a little too pricey at around £180 per night. We arrived at 2.10pm to be politley informed that our room wasn't ready but would give us a complementary upgrade to a double lake view room, which was really nice. Rooms are OK but the view was the best you can get in Windermere. The parking outsdie the hotel is very limited however the concierge will happily take your keys and park the car for you just up the road and transfer your luggage whilst you take a look around.
We took a trip across the ferry ( 5mins ) to take a walk around the beautiful Tarn How. Went to the Drunken Duck for lunch which was excellent and highly recommended, does get V busy though.

Breakfast at £15.95 each illustrates how good £100 per night is and it was also excellent with a good choice.
Onlt quibble was the price of drinks, £11.60 for 2 vodka and tonics (£4.40 for 2 small tonic waters) explains probably why the hotel bar was empty, you are paying for the view though so understand the premium.


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 Macdonald Old England Hotel

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

Hotel Macdonald Old England

Address: Bowness-on-Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District, LA23 3DF, United Kingdom