Skip to main content
Beginning of main content

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We have stayed at the Old England before, admittedly some years ago and chose the hotel again to celebrate a Birthday. We booked an Executive Room which has a lake view (recommended), however, on arrival we were handed the keys to a room facing the rear of the hotel overlooking the side wall of a neighbouring building. In fairness when I returned these to reception we were transferred to an executive room immediately. We assumed that this was a genuine mistake. The new room was fine once we had turned the heating on and the question of heating became a major issue throughout our stay. The hotel itself is lovely and stands in an excellent position on the lake shore. The Dining Room has panoramic views of the lake BUT was not very warm and a little draughty. my wife returned to our room for something warm to wear around her shoulders. Other diners were seen wearing fleece jackets etc. The meals were very nice and the staff in the restaurant were excellent. For those with a larger (or even normal) appetite I would certainly recommend ordering an extra side dish of vegetables or delicious hand cut chips. If we thought that the dining room was not warm enough then we were in for worse news in the Bar Lounge. This room was entered from a very cold reception area and people were sitting in here relaxing after dinner wearing coats and in a couple of cases scarves! We soon spotted that there are only three seating areas located next to radiators but even here there was the occasional blast of cold air when someone opened the hotels entrance door. Needless to say the bar was never busy and the lounge relatively quiet. The drinks were a little more expensive than expected (6 pounds for a pint and 28 pounds for a bottle of Merlot) however, it was the room temperature which made our stay for after dinner coffee a short one. As for car parking the hotel runs a Valet Service at a cost of 20 pounds per DAY. We noticed that cars were simply driven on to an open car park which was actually right next to the public car park (Rayrigg Road Car Park) at a cost of 15 pounds for three days. All this having been said the room, the views and the food were excellent and we would stay again in the future but definitely not during the Winter months. If the heating was improved and modernised this hotel would have been given very high marks from us.

The hotel totally exceeded my expectations. For a start the room price was excellent, (it halved over the three weeks before I booked but maybe I should have looked on the hotel website from the start and not and for a small upgrade fee the day before we ended up in a beautiful newly done-up room in the main building with a full on lake view and beautiful furnishings, thick dressing gowns and slippers. It is February and freezing outside but once I rolled the curtains up onto the window sill (bit of an interior design fault here - they look beautiful but totally block the radiator) the room was really cosy. The spa is missing a jacuzzi but the steam room sauna and (pretty big) pool were lovely. Having read reviews about the parking I dumped daughter plus multitudinous bags then parked at Rayrigg Road car park which was £15 for 3 days . If you drive up to the top of the car park on the left and park near the back you can walk out of the back and it’s 2 minutes from the hotel. No hanging around for valet parking and £25 cheaper. The location of the hotel is perfect with numerous pubs bars and restaurants a few steps away and literally right on the lake. Breakfast was included in the price and had everything you could possibly want apart from (oddly) baked beans. Although the staff are so lovely I’m sure they would have rustled some up if I’d asked. Maybe I’ll try that tomorrow :) Totally glowing review because I can’t think anywhere in the Lake District could be better to stay than this !!!

Having just returned from a 2 night stay at the McDonald Old England hotel I thought I would give my experience of our stay, we arrived at the hotel around 1pm but was told the room would not be ready until around 4pm even though I had told the hotel my time of arrival, I was also made aware the cost of parking our car in the car park which was £20 per night, not very customer friendly, we were told we could wait in the bar and we would be notified when our room was ready, it was a bit of an inconvenience but we didn't want to make a fuss,we booked a superior king double and when our room was ready the room was a large room and bed but when we looked out of the very small corner window found we overlooked the bins from the hotel next door, we were now very disappointed, there was no bath robes or slippers as advertised, the bed was hard and the pillows were like sleeping on sand bags, the room was a double room but they only give you one of everything, for the cost of the two night stay with breakfast and parking was not far short of £500, a hotel like this should pay more attention to the finer details at these prices, we found the breakfast below par as it was only warm at best, you are asked if you would like toast on arrival for breakfast which we both wanted, six very small pieces arrived with an Oxo size cube of butter, not very practical, overall we would not stay here again and would not recommend it to friends or family.

My wife booked us a three night stay before we headed across country to Blackpool for a further week. As a disabled traveller we book an accessible room and bathroom. On arrival there were disabled parking space in front of the hotel, however the reception staff will deal with your car, you just unload at the front and they take the car away. They also offer the return of your car whenever you need it without charge (blue badges only) this is an amazing service and put my mind immediately at ease. The room we were allocated was excellent and offered us so much room ( I have a mobility scooter that comes with us and there was plenty room to have this in the room to charge etc ) The bathroom and shower were excellent and agin offered me plenty space with a well thought through arrangement. We were able to come an go without any issues, my mobility scooter fitted in the lifts, got in and out of the doors and with a turned kerb immediately at the front we were easily able to get around. After our initial 3 nights we moved to Blackpool - this was a disaster and we only stayed 24 hours in Blackpool before calling the Old England asking for our room back. Unfortunately it had already ben booked but the staff sorted us out another room with as good accessibility as the previous one. The staff couldn’t have been kinder on our return. There had been an accident with my mobility scooter and some parts were being sent to the hotel, when this was explained the service manager wanted to get the repairs done for me - the staff at this hotel cant do enough to make sure you have a fantastic stay. The breakfast here is outstanding, during our stay I pretty much worked my way through all the option and they are good!! If you want to find a place to relax, have great customer service and tasty food then this is the place for you!!

I'm fussy about hotels especially when I pay a,reasonably amount. So I find the poor comment about this hotel very strange. Yes the parking charge is high so I parked around the corner, the drinks in the bar are expensive there is a pub 10 yards away. The staff were lovely, the room was great with a side lake view, the breakfast was really good the hotel had great charm and the spa and pool did what it said on the label. A lovely staff in a beautiful part of the UK.

Hotel very elegant, if a bit tired this is a classic luxuary hotel. Room was a feature double and nicely decorated, bed was extremely comfortable and the bathroom was very well decorated. Breakfast had a good selection of hot and cold buffet food. Hotel staff were very friendly and helpful, thank you for the flask fill prior to our walk. The negative for me was that smokers are made to smoke outside the front of the hotel with no shelter, with the large rear garden and decked areas a small area could be created for them and this would be an improvement. The hotels location is great and near everything in Bowness excellent for whatever you plan on doing.

I have always wanted to stay at this Hotel due to its wonderful lakeside position. I was bitterly disappointed with my very expensive three night stay and Macdonald Hotels need to do something about this place. Here area few of my complaints. No information in the room about any hotel facilities. Awful smell of sewage in the lift near reception. Dreary lounges .No atmosphere. Slow breakfast service. Food mediocre and cold on two occasions. Hot milk given for tea. Dusty room and a cold draft coming from under the bath.Cold bathroom floor.. Showers in spa not cleaned. Same hairs and marks for two days Lumpy pillows stuffed into pillowcases which were too small. Hotel Parking at £20 per night. Expensive drinks. Reception often unmanned. No sign of any management. Lack of staff training. One receptionist abrupt and difficult to understand. No power in the room on arrival due to not having a card to put in a slot or knowledge of having to have a card. So as you can see I was glad to get home. Never again.

Booked for a one night spa break. On arrival was told it would cist an additional £20 for 'valet parking' which involved a member of staff driving the car 15 yards to the hotel cp. I refused this rip off surcharge and then had to find the council cp and leave it there overnight (paying until 8pm then from 8am) a hassle that irritated me for my stay. Wanted to give this a lower rating but in fairness the room, food and spa were good. I won't be staying again as having to pay for parking on top of the room rate is a rip off. I'll go elsewhere in the town.

We stayed here 3 years ago and it was blummin fantastic! Since then we have been looking forward to the time when we can eventually come back. Our first anniversary we decided to fork out £££ and come back to this amazing hotel with amazing service. What a huge let down. We arrived to be told that now the car park was £20/night - I thought that would include a valet or maybe a new paint job lol...but apparently not... Across the park it's £15 for 3 days... They have removed the complimentary robes from your room unless you book a suite, we asked down at the pool and we were told no. The next morning we asked at reception to also be told no - 4* service? Really? When we stayed back in 2015 the breakfast was a nice luxury experience, a waiter who couldn't do enough for you came and took your order whilst you helped yourself to continental - now it's an "OK" buffet self service! The little added extras like jams on your table have being removed...probably because the new manager is a tight git and has decided to save on costs whilst charging guest more £££.... The lift smells of rotten eggs (take a deep breath if going down more than one flight) and the hotel in general looks really run down. The staff have absolutely no desire to give you an amazing experience or to go above and beyond. It's such a shame really because Windermere is a place we come regularly for special occasions. Like many of the reviews I have read from people who have also been before the hotel may have got our £££ from us this time but have lost us for good. For the cost look elsewhere!

Stayed here 10/02/2018 with my husband. We are regulars visitors to the lakes and have always fancied trying this hotel. I really wish we hadn’t bothered. The staff were all friendly enough, however our room was appalling. Given the face this hotel is on the lake I would’ve hoped for a slightly better view than a back alley with the back door of another pub to look at. all I could hear al night was music and bottle bins getting emptied. The heating in our room didn’t work either. Now given the price we had paid you would’ve though we would’ve been moved to another room. No no, they gave us a plug in heater. The shower head was also broken so the water sprayed everywhere apart from where you actually wanted it to. Iv honestly never been so disappointed.

23 Church Street Windermere England

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa
  • Indoor pool

Located in Bowness-on-Windermere, Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is within a 5-minute walk of sights such as Old Laundry Theatre and World of Beatrix Potter. This 106-room, 4-star hotel has a restaurant along with conveniences like a full-service spa and an indoor pool. It's on a lake and also close to Hill Top and Lake District National Park.


This hotel serves as home to a fine-dining restaurant, which has garden views and specializes in British cuisine, along with a bar. Satisfy your hunger from the comfort of your room with 24-hour room service. For your convenience, a full breakfast is served for a fee each morning from 8 AM to 10 AM.


The 106 rooms have an array of amenities, including coffee makers, free bottled water, and safes. Flat-screen TVs come with digital channels, and free WiFi keeps guests connected. Beds are dressed in premium bedding and bathrooms offer hair dryers and free toiletries. Other standard amenities include ironing boards and desks.

Property features

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa features a full-service spa, an indoor pool, and a children's pool. Valet parking is available for GBP 20.00 per night. Front-desk staff can answer questions 24/7, and assist with dry cleaning/laundry, concierge services, and luggage storage. Other amenities at this spa hotel include a health club, a sauna, and free WiFi in public areas.

Room options

Classic Double Room (Walker)

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Classic Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Classic Double Room (King)

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

74% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 3037 reviews