A 7-year love affair that’s run its course and not due to failings or lack of enthusiasm on my part. No, not a very poor rip off of “Dear John” but my relationship with Winderemere Suites. What I once considered to be a hidden Lake’s luxury, I now wouldn’t recommend. Here’s why…
The Lake District is world-renowned for incredible beauty, Windermere Suites sits right at the heart of The Lakes. Read that as you’ll struggle to find a better location in The UK. If you’re travelling by car it’s an easy hotel to get to being only 15 miles from the M6 and there’s free onsite parking. If you’re travelling by train, Windermere station is only a half a mile walk through the town.
Checking in is a simple process, none of the faff you have to go through with a large chain. The only difficult part is choosing what breakfast items you’d like and at what time. We’ll get onto that in a bit. Plenty of awards on display from years gone by.
If it’s your first visit you’re typically shown to your room and given a quick tour and even a demo of how things work if you’re unsure.
TIP… If you’re going with your other half you’ll want to order the “Romance Package” a box of chocolates, loads of rose petals on the bed and a bottle of bubbles await you in the room. (Romance ain’t dead yet kids)
The Ambleside Suite is listed as one of their “Super Luxury Suites” or in laymen terms, a middle tier of what suites are on offer. It’s big though earning the suite title by being almost 35 Square Meters. You’d struggle to find a room the same size anywhere near the £250 a night price tag in Windermere.
The hand made super king bed. Once upon a time, it was heavenly, somewhere you could easily spend a good 12-15 hours. Comfy, warm, plenty of space, a plethora of pillows to chose from.
Pay close attention to the above picture, you can see the lines in the duvet dipping on the left and right. That’s due to their being 2 huge dents in the mattress where people have laid. I ran this by the hotel after my last stay and they said it was an optical illusion due to where the feathers in the duvet had clumped up. This isn’t the case, however. When you’re lying there and go to roll over, it’s like trying to roll out of a trench. I’m not sure about you, but I’m not one for working on my obliques whilst trying to sleep…
This is a prime example of why mattress manufacturers recommend flipping and rotating your mattress every few months.
The bathroom is where your stay is transformed. The huge bubble bath for 2 is, well huge taking a good 25-30 mins to fill. Grab yourself a magnum (or 2), 2 glasses and an ice bucket and you can easily spend hours in there of an evening. If you’re more of a bath in the morning kind of person, have a soak whilst catching up on the morning news on the built-in TV.
Again with size, the shower is more than big enough for at least 2 should you be living the Mike Tyson life… Plenty of water pressure just a shame the showerhead is as small as it is. It would be nice if it was a large ceiling-mounted head, then 2 people could actually make use of it.
Toiletries are taken care of courtesy of The White Company.
The walk-in wardrobe along with the clothes rack are decent sizes however, you only get 1 draw to store clothes. The mini bar has everything it needs including a bottle of bubbly, it isn’t Armand de Brignac but who actually drinks champagne in their hotel room anyway? The little shoe storage gizmo is cool but only fits 3 pairs, whilst we’re on things that are undersized, the mirror could be a good bit bigger (Still at least they have one) and they could provide a step for accessing the shelves.
Moving out to the patio and on a summers evening, it’s a nice place to chill out and have a few drinks before heading into town. Alternatively of a morning to sit and have breakfast. As you can see though, a good clean is well needed!
Should you have left anything in your car that you need, you have your own dedicated parking bays taking some of the frustration of leaving something you needed.
Speaking of breakfast, it’s another thing that makes the stay great and starts you off to a good day. At check-in or the night before, you are handed a long list of things you can choose from for your breakfast. You are also able to choose what time you would like your breakfast to be served.
Choosing a time for your breakfast is rather crucial as it is served to your room through a serving hatch. There no knock or anything, just a light above the hatch is turned on, It’s a flawless system. I kid you not when I say the full English is 👌. It’s that good in fact, that even the rather small table of which you have to try and fit it all, doesn’t overshadow it. When you’re all done, just place it all back in the serving hatch and tada, it’s taken care of.
Access to the offsite spa is complimentary for all guests. The Choices Health Club is a short 5 min drive away from the hotel. Approaching looks a bit rough (Read as don’t leave anything valuable in your car), but when you’re inside it’s nice.
Any morning I’ve been to the spa side was very quiet. The full-length pool is nice to have a stroll around in. Not sure why one side is laned off for actual swimmers. I have a hunch the water would be a bit too warm to be exerting yourself setting new PB’s. The hot tub, sauna and steam room were all nice too and no complaints there. If you’re more into moving slabs of metal the gym is fully kitted out. As it’s so close to home though I’ve never wanted to do a gym session there.
The most basic thing about a hotel is being able to provide a decent bed, The likes of Premier Inn at £35 a night understand this. Windermere Suites is set as luxury with a matching price tag yet fail to provide the fundamentals. For this reason, I can’t recommend staying there.
As I alluded to at the start, it was a bloody nice hotel in a nice area. Lack of investment and care has taken hold, A new mattress and sprucing the place up a bit would transform it back into the hotel I used to rave on about and would easily warrant the price tag.