Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Located in Lakes, Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel is on a lake and convenient to Brockhole – the Lake District Visitor Centre and Townend. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Wray Castle and Armitt Museum and Gallery.
Make yourself at home in one of the 30 guestrooms featuring DVD players. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Bathrooms have bathtubs and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, as well as coffee/tea makers and a turndown service.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. You’re sure to appreciate the recreational amenities, including an outdoor tennis court and a sauna. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and wedding services.
Food & Drink
Satisfy your appetite at the hotel’s restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services. This hotel has 3 meeting rooms available for events. Free valet parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
Spent a night away in this lovely hotel. Very peaceful and in a lovely elevated location. What a joy to wake up to such an amazing view. Delicious food and excellent staff. Make sure you take the walk down to the water from the hotel.
We were greatly impressed with our stay at Holbeck Ghyll. Upon arrival we were greeted by Lisa who was most welcoming. The 19th century building set in its own landscaped grounds is magnificent and sports a colourful history being previously owned by Lord Lonsdale who famously lost it in a poker game. More recently, Renee Zellweger stayed here while shooting Miss Potter; an A-list character reference if one was needed.
Our Room No. 5 in the main building was delightful with stunning elevated views across Lake Windermere and the distant Langdale peaks. The complementary locally distilled damson gin was delicious; an excellent digestif.
Our dinner at Holbeck Ghyll was exemplary – our compliments to Luke and his culinary team. Our gastronomic evening started with G&T aperitifs on the terrasse accompanied by delicious canapés. The Bulgarian Maître D was witty and conversational. Our three-course dining extravaganza was exquisite – served in the Arts and Crafts style wood panelled dining room. A delicious amuse-bouche was followed by a starter of Spring Pea Risotto, delicate flavours of smoked ham, truffle and parmesan expertly interwoven. Our main course of Spring lamb was sublimely delicious, pink and succulent married with sweetbread, quinoa, carrot and pea – scrumptious. We finished with a sumptuous dessert of white chocolate, strawberries, meringue and tarragon – delectable. Our wine accompaniment of an Argentinian Malbec (£38) was perfect.
The next morning we took breakfast in the dining room, my wife’s eggs benedict was super as was my choice of Full English – this accompanied by a choice of fresh fruit, juices and delicious home baked bread. Sufficiently fortified we embarked on the Wansfell Pike, half-day circular walk as recommended by the hotel. We were blessed with an azure sky and generous sun and the views across lake and dale were stunning. The walk is quite challenging and requires good walking boots and a strong constitution – so be prepared. In total we estimated that the round trip took upwards of 7 hours which included a welcome 30-minute break at a hostelry in Ambleside. The 10 mile round trip involves an arduous climb to the summit of Wansfell with the reward of breath-taking views across Windermere, Rydal and Grasmere.
After a hot bath and soothing bath salts, we were suitably revived to drive to the ‘Mortal Man’ hostelry in Troutbeck for a meal, selected on the basis of TripAdvisor reviews. Unfortunately the meal was disappointing – standard pub food fare - the landlord was friendly and we chanced on a delightful Folk music session which perfectly bookmarked our wonderful short stay in Troutbeck.
The next morning after another delicious Eggs Benedict, taken this time in the luxurious ‘overflow’ dining room – we visited Jesus Church, Troutbeck – approx 5 minutes’ drive from the hotel. The exquisite stained windows were designed by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown and are a must-see for aficionados of the Arts and Crafts movement. Beautiful works of art enjoyed in a truly beautiful intimate setting – a place of great tranquillity and spirituality.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Holbeck Ghyll, excellent value during peak season at £298 for two, comprising two nights B&B and one evening meal. A truly memorable wedding anniversary celebrated in a beautiful building set in amazing grounds, made special by the Michelin-star quality culinary skills of Luke Newton and his team, and the genuine hospitality of Lisa and her colleagues. We shall most certainly return.
My wife and I stayed here as part of our little gastro-tour, having stayed on previous evenings at Hipping Hall and L'Enclume. We thought it would be a similar experience: we were wrong.
The welcome we received at check-in was friendly and efficient, although I was asked to pay for the room up-front, rather than when checking out (perhaps they aren't confident about getting paid?) and at first glance our room (4) looked great, spacious and with lovely views over the fells and Windermere. Unfortunately the bathroom was tiny and had very badly cracked floor tiles and a door you had to force open (see photos). It had obviously been like this for some time as the bottom of the door was flared out by successive attempts to open it. The ceiling had patches of black mould on it. The bath had been re-enamelled, but done very badly - it looked pock-marked and had a very rough texture. The shower over the bath was ancient and water pressure was poor. I read they had invested in a biomass boiler recently; pointless unless you invest in the plumbing to deliver the hot water! The separate WC had cheap laminate flooring which was starting to split apart.
When we went down for dinner the bar/lounge area was quite uninviting as it had the doors to the kitchen at one side of it and the constant traffic to and from the kitchen was off-putting. The restaurant/bar manager bollocking his staff, albeit quietly, in front of the guests didn't add to the ambience.
We had some cocktails while waiting to be seated which were good. The menu is limited, with either a tasting menu or a la carte, which is really just a cut-down version of the tasting menu. I chose the wine flight to accompany my dinner and my wife had a glass of Merlot. The wine list is quite expensive and the choice limited, especially if you wanted to order by the glass.
Once seated in the restaurant we were disappointed to hear the screaming of children from the adjacent room. Holbeck Ghyll make a point of restricting access for children in the restaurant, but to have them screaming in the next room rather defeats the object. I have no problem at all with children in restaurants; our two boys (9 & 11) frequently accompany us, but we make sure they are well behaved.
The food was served promptly, unfortunately by seemingly inexperienced staff who obviously struggled with English. I had no idea what they were trying to explain to us. The other hotels we had stayed at previously had plenty of staff for whom English was their second language (I appreciate that is just how things are) but the others seemed better trained and had a much better grasp of spoken English.
The food was good, but not outstanding. The major issue was the wine. I thought (mistakenly) that for £35.00 I would have received more than two (small) glasses of wine, which was fairly average at best. Hipping Hall charged £40.00 for the wine flight and I think it amounted to six glasses. I didn't have a dessert, instead opting to pay an additional £8.00 for a cheese course. This was served by the bar/restaurant manager himself, who had to slide out a little shelf from the cheese trolley to read from a crib sheet to describe the cheeses. I would have expected the manager at least to have known what he was serving in his restaurant!
All told we were in and out of the restaurant in just over an hour. We had coffee in the lounge and then retired to our room.
Breakfast was okay, with a buffet-style offering of cereals and fruit/juices in the bar, and table orders of cooked breakfasts. We both had the eggs Benedict, which were tasty. The same waiting staff as the previous evening were in attendance, and whilst friendly enough seemed to struggle with getting the correct orders to the correct guests.
After the previous two evenings it was disappointing to say the least that the place didn't live up to our expectations. Previous reviewers seem to have experienced exactly the same problems as us.
When we checked out I spoke with the person on reception and gave all the above information as feedback. To their credit they did not try and defend anything and said that they couldn't argue with anything I had said. They also refused to accept the balance of the payment due, which was appreciated, but not the reason I chose to give them the feedback.
Dinner, bed and breakfast, plus the wine and a couple of cocktails came in at a little over £600.00. I would say that it was probably worth half that at best. Compared to Hipping Hall (much cheaper, and far better) and L'Enclume (more expensive still, but worth every penny) I think they are trading on past glory and need to up their game considerably to justify their prices.
It is probably the only place we have visited in the past few years in the Lakes and Dales to which I wouldn't return.