More about The Howbeck
Relaxing high quality hotel
My husband & i have just returned from a 2 night stay at the Howbeck, the quality of our room ( mereghyll ) was first class, there is a lot of care being taken with the decor, breakfast was very nice, staff where very pleasant and helpful, its about a 5 min walk from the village, a notch above the rest & already re booked for Easter!
My partner and I hvae just returned from a two night staff at The Howbeck for our anniversary. We treated ourselves and stayed in The Retreat - which was fantastic. The room is very large and decorated in a modern yet cosy way.
We really enjoyed our stay we eat in our room and I must say that the breakfast and evening meals were fantastic. The staff were friendly and very helpful too - which made the stay even more enjoyable. It was great having our own entrance as I like to left to my own devices whilst on holiday and don't normally enjoy staying in small hotels.
I only have two small negative comments about The Retreat, the shower leaked all over the bathroom floor and the main curtains were very difficult to close (maybe that was just me).
We will go back to The Howbeck again, however we will probably stay in another room as The Retreat was lovely but very expensive but worth a treat!
Lovely hotel, but disappointing leisure facilities
My girlfriend and I chanced upon the Howbeck while driving through Windermere, looking for a place to stay.
The receptionist was friendly, and told us that there was one remaining room available. When we saw it we immediately said yes: although it was £90 for one night, it was the highlight of our trip, as we just wanted a nice relaxing evening that night.
The room we stayed in ("Lingmell" - all rooms are given names) was absolutely lovely: it had a super king-size bed which was very comfortable; spotlessly clean, luxury bathroom; and exquisite decor - not ridiculously opulent, but just right for a classy, comfortable stay.
There is a computer in the lounge which is free for guests to use - and as an additional bonus, free wi-fi available throughout, which is useful for your own laptop in your room.
There is a selection of DVDs which the hotel will lend you for the evening: just ask, and you'll be able to play it on the player in the bedrooms. This comes at no extra charge.
The breakfast was very tasty, and there was plenty of it: included in the price of the stay.
The only bad point to mention at all is the leisure facility; access to which is included in the price of the room, as the hotel has an agreement with a local establishment. The receptionist there was unfriendly, and they charged us for towel use. The showers in the changing rooms had temperature fluctuations; the main swimming pool was far too cold for comfort, and the jacuzzi was mysteriously on a timer, which meant we could only use it for ten minutes at a time, after which we were forced to get out and wait for another ten minutes before we were allowed to press a button to start it again. There is no good reason for such a restriction, and the whole experience left us with a sour taste in our mouths. I strongly suggest that the Howbeck find another locan establishment with whom to come to an agreement, because otherwise their [the Howbeck's] facilities are first class.
Great place to stay in Windermere
We stayed at the Howbeck as an overnight stop en route through the Lake District. The location is superb and only a couple of minutes walk to the main high street in Windermere. The room we stayed in was lovely and very comfortable - everything looked brand new, including the bathroom. The breakfast in the morning was excellent - I can honestly say that it is by far the best cooked breakfast I have had in any hotel in the last few years. A number of other reviews complain about having to pre-order the breakfast, but this only applies to the cooked options and really wasn't an issue for us - I'm not sure it's that uncommon, particularly in smaller hotels. The hotel staff were helpful, polite and courteous. We liked the hotel so much that we have already booked another stay there.
I booked this hotel for a couple of days relaxation in the lakes with my husband, and having read the mainly excellent reviews on this site, was really looking forward to our stay, however we left disappointed.
On arrival, there was a man drilling and we were assured by the owner that this would cease at 2.30pm (normal check in time, we were a little early). We returned to the hotel at 5pm to find men cutting tiles directly below our bedroom window, the noise was awful. After 30mins of wondering when this was going to stop, I complained (had to go to reception on foot - no phone in room??) and the noise did stop.
On our second day, we returned from a days walking at 3pm to be greeted by the same tile cutting - directly below our window again, but this time coupled with an even louder nise, drilling I suspect. Again after a while I complained, and was told the noise had to continue for another 30mins and nothing could be done!To say we were furious would be an understatement. However, 30mins would have been a blessing, the noise actualy carried on until 5.30pm, although I had complained at 3.45pm!
To quote the Howbeck's own leaflet ' the guest really does come first' - not in our experience.
The noise wasn't the only problem, on my first visit to our bathroom I went to put something in the bin - to be greeted by the previous guest's rubbish - the bin had not been emptied - disgusting. The bathroom itself needed some work (see photos), the bath panel was hanging off, the sink leaked, the door desperately needed painting and the bath was surrounded by an unpleasant looking brown substance.
To quote the Howbeck's own leaflet again ' rooms continually receive loving attention keeping the 'just right'', 'highest standards are the norm', 'everywhere is spotlessly clean and bright as a new pin' - again - not in our experience.
If you are still reading this - there is more to come - the heat!! We stayed on some cold, windy, wet March days, and bearing in mind I badly feel the cold - the place is stifling, it felt like a hospital. We resorted to opening 3 windows and turning off both radiators in an attempt to get some sleep (we got V little as it was so uncomfortably hot). The open windows resulted in our door then banging and my husband resorted in the early hours to stuffing face cloths underneath it, again in a bid to get some sleep.
Needless to say, this is not we expected from a '5* ' establishment!
It wasnt all bad, the staff were lovely (and did handle complaints well), the room itself was beautiful and the breakfast was great. I did voice the above concerns to the owner on leaving - who did immediately offer us a discount, however she also said we should have been offered another room - great news just as we were leaving!
Would we stay here again? Probably not, for the amount we paid (even mid-week in March it isnt cheap) I do not believe we got value for money, I have had more relaxing stays in a travelodge! Im looking forward to a good nights sleep in my own bed tonight - not how I expected to be feeling on my return from The Howbeck.
relaxed intimate and sexy
lovely hotel, small, welcoming and great fun. A great couples retreat. We stayed in mickleden. (All the rooms have names). has been recently refurb'd. was great. 4 poster bed, spa bath, very cosy. Breakfast was great and the choice excellent. It's a two minute walk into Windemere, which is a nice liitle village, Good local food to be found. Champagne on arrival option was great, house champagne excellent and cold!!! Thanks to all the staff, see you again
'Luxury' for the easily pleased.....
Stayed in ‘Meregill’, two nights (Sat/Sun), January 2007
Cost, including dinner for two (on one night only) + 1 btl of wine - £300
Comments as follows:
Staff – friendly and efficient. Didn’t see the owners until paying the bill on Monday morning.
The ‘luxury’ room was very small. Have a look at the website photo. The comfy looking sofa/armchair at the bottom right isn’t actually there. You get the dressing table chair and one other small, uncomfortable chair. There is a wardrobe, but no drawer space or anywhere to put your suitcase. We found the bed uncomfortable, but maybe others would disagree.
The bathroom was as described, but small and poorly finished/maintained. The tiles had subsided over the bath, leaving an unsightly gap to the ceiling. The bath panel didn’t fit properly and the towel rail was not easily accessible.
Breakfast best described as mediocre. The cold table was basic, and the bacon and sausage were dry and tasteless. The literature described these as oven cooked as if that were a ‘good way’ to prepare an English Breakfast. The baked beans tasted like an economy catering product.
We had dinner on one night only. At £27.95 each, this was vastly overpriced for basic, passable fare. Everything was ok….but just ok. The main problem here was the price. I would have happily paid half that amount, and no more…..maybe our expectations were too high, but they were based on the website/literature which did include the word ‘gourmet’.
As with other reviewers, the rules were waiting for us on the bed when we arrived. These consisted of an A4 list of do’s and don’ts, all serving to put you firmly in your place as a ‘guest not to be trusted’, rather than a ‘valued customer’. As did the padlocks on the drinks cabinets in the guest lounge. We had a laugh at them, but ultimately we found those locks insulting. Far better surely to keep the front door locked and trust your ‘guests’ with some form of honesty system. Or don’t have a bar at all. Whichever, but don’t demean the integrity of those people on whom you depend for a living with such overt symbols of distrust.
Why didn’t we complain at the time? Several factors:
The staff were lovely, and our problems were all about value for money, and our perception of the difference between the luxury offered on the website and the reality we were experiencing. We wanted to enjoy our weekend, and kicking up a fuss wasn’t going to help us do that. Also, the owners were nowhere to be seen throughout our stay…...at least until Monday morning, when the time came to settle the bill. A lady I hadn’t seen before who I assumed to be Vikki (she didn’t introduce herself) enquired if we had enjoyed our stay. I replied ‘The staff were excellent’, at which point she seemed to notice my lack of enthusiasm.
There followed a brief, good natured, exchange of views about the definition of luxury and value for money, during which time she debited my card with the total balance due.
Apparently, we were in ‘The Lakes’ where all rooms are small. In addition, works were in progress and ongoing to make improvements. You can imagine how pleased I was that my generous contribution was to be promptly reinvested for the benefit of future guests.
At no time did (Vikki) ask what she might do to address my concerns. Had she asked, I would have answered honestly, to the effect that £300 was too much, and that maybe £200 would be closer to good value. We might have bartered a bit and ended up meeting in the middle. At £250, I still would have felt a bit hard done by, but at least it would have been a gesture.
Anyway, as I said, she never asked.
As it happens, we are not penny pinchers. We purposely look for, and are prepared to pay for, luxury. We didn’t find it here.
not worth money average
just returned from 2 day visit stayed in the so called luxury suite retreat, room just ok owner vicky told us there was problems with the shower it was flooding the bathroom and that she had canx forth coming bookings, she never offered us a reduction on the £350 we paid, also the so called petels on the bed were plastic and they forgot the wine we had pre booked, the bar was non existent just a padalocked fridge in the guest lounge, and they even got our meal wrong, we had to pre book it and send them a e mail in advance telling them what we wanted, 1 asked for penne pasta and got taglatellie and i didn't ask for the chorizo but got it it was awfull, they even forgot my garlic bread. i know some people might read this and think us so petty but this was a special treat for my wife's 40th birthday and it did not amount to the luxury we were expecting, we will definately return to the l akes but not to this hotel oh sorry guest house. tr scotland.
Loved Every Minute!
My boyfriend booked this two night stay in 'the retreat' as a 21st birthday present for me. I am such a fussy person but I really had such a great time.
All the staff are constantly smiling and are very friendly, the food was gorgeous (especially the soup), the location is great but overall the room was fantastic.
The bathroom in the retreat was out of this world...I felt like a princess in the spa bath and I could watch eastenders whilst in the spa on the 'tile vision' tv! The bed was very comfortable and with its own door and patio it was private.
I will definitely go back as soon as possible.
Simply stunning place to stay,
My husband has just treated me to a 2 night stay at this wonderful luxury hotel for our 10th wedding anniversary & i wanted to share with others what a lovely place it is, from the moment we arrived we where made to feel as if we where friends, we where checked in by Martin the manager who was very efficient and could not do enough for us,
The when he showed us to our room, a 4 poster deluxe room i was greeted with champagne, stawberries and silk rose petals my husband had organised for me, then when i thought things could not get any better i saw the bathroom, i want one!
We had dinner on the first night, great food & nicely presented all washed down with our champagne! breakfast was also above average, the second night we ate in bowness at a restaurant called White house, this was also excellent, theres not a lot to do in Windermere village its self which is being re generated when we visited but Bowness is much livelier with more bars and shops,
This is a great little hotel which is a notch up from the usual, care is obviously taken in the decor which looks new & the owners obviously take pride in providing such a lovely place to stay, we met the owner on check out and She asked if we had enjoyed our stay, we complimented her and said we would be back!
Well done, highly recommended.