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Macdonald Leeming House

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We have stayed here several times before. Just had a weekend break at Leeming House and found it absolutely excellent. We had room 3, small but nice with a balcony and great views over Ullswater and the fells. It was spotless and very comfortable. The best bit was the food. Dinner both nights, we have really never tasted flavours like this. Every course was a joy and our taste buds couldn’t wait for the next mouthful. From the canopais to the meal, all superb. Then breakfast, and again excellent. The chef is to be complemented. All the staff were friendly and professional too. Well done!

Having previously stayed and dined at MacDonald Hotels across the country I was thoroughly disappointed with the service and food I was served, It will be a long time before I revisit any MacDonald establishment again due to this. "It is our dedication to serving only the highest quality food that makes us different." Is a statement from the Macdonald website. However this was proved to be very untrue. Having arrived at the hotel with my partner for lunch and afternoon tea I was disgusted with the service I received. Now I don't mind paying a lot for food but my partners meal reflected the same caliber of a Mcdonalds burger and chips rather than a premium product. We were at the hotel for just over an hour. The waiter failed to ask either me or my partner if we wanted a drink at any point, at no point during dining where we checked back on or asked if we wanted any accompaniments. The table wasn’t cleared meaning we were not asked if we wanted coffee etc. Apart from another couple we were the only people in at the time and the waiter at no point other then taking our order and bringing out the food was in the same room as us! Eventually me and my partner had enough, paid the bill and went to Inn on the lake for coffee. The burger pictured below we paid just under £20 for... ridiculous.

My husband and I wanted a lovely romantic break and this was just perfect, the views were beautiful and the hotel itself was gorgeous! The dining experience we had by the new head chef Brandon, was one of the best we have had, canapés in the lounge in front of a crackling fire, wine, home made bread AND butter...... Followed by a delicious fine dining meal... And cheese and biscuits in our room! A very talented chef and wonderful hotel! A two night stay wasn't enough, we cannot wait to visit again! Thank you Leeming house x

Lovely room with great views, service in all parts was very good. Would love to go again soon. Very comfy bed. Just bed and breakfast except for wedding meal, all food was very good. Just the right sort of place to hold a wedding

Four our anniversary this year we decided to try a different hotel and stayed at lemming house hotel, we were not disappointed! From the moment we walked through the doors we couldn't fault the place, welcoming staff and a warm environment. Our room met our expectations and more and we felt right at home. Evening meal was faultless, the food was delicious and nothing was to much to ask for. We will be returning, thank you for everyone at the lemming house xxx

I stayed at Leeming House a number of years ago and was sorely disappointed on my return. They simply don't understand good service and the overall experience is well below the rating of the hotel and the price you pay. We drove up from London and were held up in traffic so called to cancel our 8pm dinner reservation but said that we'd hope to get there in time to eat. We arrived just after 9pm having navigated our way past a worse-for-wear wedding guest (I presume) whose colourful language made the entry less than desirable. We were told that the kitchen closed at 9pm but could have room service. Frankly, if the kitchen staff can cook up room service then why not let us eat in the dining room if we're only 10 or so minutes late? What a difference it would have made to our impression if they'd made the effort to let us eat dinner. But then I understood why they were pushing the room service - possibly the most expensive room service I've ever experienced for what you get. My recommendation to any other guests is that they avoid room service at all costs.The hotel in itself is fine - a gorgeous spot on the lake - and some lovely rooms to relax in. The bedroom we had was fine - nothing special with an outdated bathroom with a far-too small bath - but it did have a lovely view to the lake. The setting of the hotel seems to be taken for granted by the management of the hotel who seem to have no hold on the quality of the service. A few examples: The receptionist we generally dealt with was one of the grumpiest I've come across - you always got the sense he carried himself with an air of superiority that was becoming of staff at a snooty top London hotel, not a receptionist at an average chain hotel. When I told him, on checking out, that the iron in the room hadn't worked, instead of apologising (an obvious basic standard of good service) he said "no problem - I'll have it replaced"! Well, it was a problem to me whether or not it was a problem to him. One morning at breakfast one of the serving staff took away the last remaining croissants on a plate clearly intended for the team in the kitchen - so I literally had to stop her in mid-stride to rescue the croissants for us! And she actually looked annoyed!! And, the worst of all (to those who like a spot of ketchup with a full English) no ketchup! So, in itself, not a big issue but this illustrates how the management team and/or waiting staff simply don't get it. One morning we were told there was no ketchup as the delivery hadn't arrived. Jokingly I suggested I could pick some up for them from the shops but I don't think her English was good enough to understand the joke. And, then amazingly, we were told the same thing the next day without even so much as an apology. Really! Anyone who knows the basics of good management would know that you simply run down to the shops and buy some ketchup. That way you don't annoy guests who have paid good money and can expect ketchup with their breakfast rather than lazily doing nothing using the excuse that the delivery hasn't arrived. When you're paying this sort of money it's the little things that actually matter. I won't go on about another waitress who didn't now what whole grain mustard was and the confusing conversation we had as she described it was mustard with bubbles in it! There were other examples, but too many to list. A great shame - a lovely hotel spoiled by awful service. We ate at and visited a number of other inns and boutique hotels while we were in the area all of which seemed no more expensive (often less expensive) than this place and all we concluded was how much we regretted not booking one of these other places. For the price you pay here you should be able to expect a high standard of service but (with a few exceptions) this hotel doesn't seem to have a clue about the very basics. Won't be returning and do not recommend.

Beautiful room, location and furnishings. Pretentious dinner menu, shocking service, ridiculous pricing. When we sent our £35 dinner back because the food was not hot, we were told the chef said that if the food was hot we would not taste it!

Good location with a gentle walk to the Lakeside ,quiet at night and some staff very helpful but don't expect to be served on time in the Restaurant , we waited 90mins and then the courses had large gaps . The portions were miniscule and when we queried the lack of food we were told we were not used to " Three Rosette ,Fine Dining"; what pretentious nonsense! It would be quicker to eat in Penrith and still get back before your meal arrived

We were very disappointed to read the recent poor reviews of this hotel, we had hoped that our experience in September was a 'one off'. We have been visiting Leeming House for the last 30 years and to us it is a very special and magical place. An idyllic location on the shores of Ullswater with beautiful views and walks in the grounds. However our last visit was not up to expectation. On the first evening we waited ages to order and then after another long wait we were told that our choice of main course was 'off'. The choices on the menu were not extensive so this was disappointing. The meal itself when we eventually got to dining room was average. We asked to see the manager the following day and she could not have handled our concerns better. Very charming but professional. The reason given was that a large party was staying at the hotel for several days. The hotel needs to be able to cope with these eventualities and needs to look at at the ability of the Chef and his team to handle these situations. The bookings are all made in advance so there should have been no surprises!! In our opinion the menu choices are not very exciting and and very limited. The wine list was grossly over- priced and should be reviewed. It is not surprising that few guests ordered. We will return because we very much hope that this is not a normal experience and we have enjoyed such happy and special times in the past.

This hotel is in a stunning location and is, by and large, furnished and decorated in accordance with 4 star standards. However, consistency and communication seem to be sorely lacking. We booked four nights DBB Monday night we opted not to have a starter; this proved to be a big mistake as my husband's main course of lamb rump contained only 2 bite-sized pieces of lamb; I had duck which was more ample but whoever cooked it made a rookie mistake as they did not crisp up the skin - it was flabby and totally yuk. My husband never takes the cheese board but, for the first time in 25 years, he did because he was starving; I had the pannacotta which had no wobble. The next night, in order to ensure we'd enough to eat, we ate off the "day menu"; the prices, as another reviewer has observed, are very steep - £17 for a burger. The food was fine but we'd a 15 minute wait for drinks and we'd to prompt. The following night we returned to the dining room. As per the hotel's custom we went into the lounge for drinks and to order. The Scottish Maitre D was excellent (he knew exactly what was / was not gluten-free) but he spoilt it by upselling when we ordered our drinks "do you want to make that doubles?". No, why ? And, yet again, another 15 minute delay for drinks. Dinner, however, was excellent and ample. On our last night, for some reason, guests were being invited to go straight to the dining room; we chose not to and, whilst we got our drinks speedily, it took them 40 minutes to take our order, it was another 15 minutes before we were shown to our table, then another 20 for the amuse-bouche to appear - generally speaking you are shown to your table when the food is ready to come out. So, 1 hour 5 minutes in total. Those on duty had not a clue that I have to eat gluten-free so that caused a lot of unncessary to-ing and fro-ing. The starters and mains were, again, delicious and ample. However, my husband's Bakewell tart was, sadly, solid (pastry 1/2 inch thick); my fruit salad (from the day menu) was crunchy apple salad. Breakfast was mixed : the cooked breakfast varied from two rashers of bacon to one; and one day there was only half a mushroom. My omelette was hit x 2 and miss x 2. With the exception of the Scottish Maitre D, silver service is non-existent and, in a 4 star, this should be automatic : my water glass was on my right but the restaurant supervisor reached right across me to fill it; she also reached right across a table, between two guests, to clear plates. Generally you sit at a right angle to each other so the waiting staff arrive between you and put down your plates from this position, one to the left, one to the right. One evening all tables were set with only a fork for starter, ie no knife - bit tricky to cut panacetta with only a fork. Dinner service was haphazard, at best chaotic at worst. And there was never more than 12 covers each night - I do not know how they cope when the hotel is full. No table ordered a bottle of wine - probably because the cheapest is £27. Why are the prices so high ? Surely it would make sense to lower the prices so encourage guests to drink ? We have never stayed in a Macdonald hotel before and I suspect we will never stay in a Macdonald hotel again. Two years ago we stayed in the 3 star Rampsbeck Hotel (now Another Place, The Lake). It may have been 3 star but the service and attention to detail were exemplary and certainly completely and utterly superior to that of the 4 star Macdonald Leeming.

Watermillock Nr Penrith Penrith England

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining
  • 24-hour front desk

Located in Watermillock, Macdonald Leeming House is within a 10-minute drive of Aira Force and Ullswater. This 4-star hotel has 41 rooms and welcomes guests with a restaurant, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking. It's on a lake and also close to Gowbarrow Fall.


Enjoy a bite to eat at the hotel's fine-dining restaurant, or relax with a drink at the bar/lounge. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with 24-hour room service, or get a quick energy boost at the coffee shop/café. Start each morning with full breakfast, available for a fee from 8 AM to 9:30 AM.


Macdonald Leeming House's 41 air-conditioned rooms provide coffee makers, free bottled water, and phones. Guests can enjoy free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms have hair dryers and free toiletries. Other standard amenities include ironing boards and desks.

Property features

Macdonald Leeming House features free WiFi in public areas, 2 meeting rooms, and conference space. Free parking is available if you drive. Front-desk staff can answer questions 24/7, and assist with dry cleaning/laundry, tours or tickets, and luggage storage. Additional amenities include coffee/tea in a common area, a library, and free newspapers.

Room options

Executive Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Double Room (Executive King)

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Deluxe Double Room (Feature Double)

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Deluxe Twin Room (Feature Twin)

Twin 2 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

82% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1254 reviews