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Hillthwaite Hotel 3.0

Windermere, Lake District, Cumbria

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Review Summary

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  • Set in traditional country house with 2015-renovated interiors
  • Perched on hillside with gorgeous panoramic views
  • Just five minutes' drive from Lake Windermere
  • All rooms have flat-screen TVs and tea- and coffee-making facilities
  • Suites add iPod docks and Egyptian sheets
  • Buffet and cooked-to-order breakfast included 
  • Heated indoor pool, sauna, and steam room
  • Lounge with log fire and countryside views


  • Some rooms are tiny and out-of-date
  • Limited free Wi-Fi and poor connection
  • Some rooms lack any view 

Bottom Line

The three-pearl Hillthwaite Hotel is a bed-and-breakfast with a prime elevated position overlooking the gorgeous Lake District on the edge of Windermere town. Most of the property was renovated in 2015 with a tastefully modern take on traditional styling, including the majority of guest rooms. The 34 rooms vary considerably, however, between having stunning lake views or none at all, from polished and spacious to tiny and drab. Breakfast is excellent and always included, plus lunch and dinner are available on-site. Additionally, there are a heated indoor pool and cozy lounge with a log fireplace. Travelers looking to be closer to the lake may enjoy the Cragwood Country House Hotel, though some rooms have dated decor.

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Peaceful family-run country hotel with updated traditional interiors

At the top of a steep road stands a handsome goat statue, marking the entrance of the driveway to the Hillthwaite Hotel. Built around the turn of the 20th century, the property is a pleasant country house mixing natural stone, whitewashed plasterwork, and slate roofing with a few more modern touches. Major renovations were last completed in 2015, resulting in an updated contemporary take on traditional styling throughout. Original architectural features such as molded coving, fireplaces, and dado rails are complemented by floral wallpaper, elegant chandeliers, and a scattering of smart-yet-comfy seating. The family-run property comprises the main house plus smaller buildings holding further accommodation. The atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful, and a lounge with a crackling log fire adds a cozy country feel. An elevated hilltop position ensures plenty of lovely views over the surrounding countryside, which is the main draw for guests who tend to be weekending couples of all ages. 


Elevated hillside setting with spectacular views close to Lake Windermere

The hotel is one of one of area's most elevated, affording spectacular panoramas over the surrounding Lake District. Its position on the edge of the town of Windermere means it's about a five-minute drive (or a pleasant 20-minute walk downhill and tough uphill slog back) to England’s largest natural lake. The pretty, historic town of Ambleside is also just 15 minutes' away by car at the north end of Lake Windermere, while golfers can find the Kendal Golf Club 20 minutes away. Families with kids can enjoy The World of Beatrix Potter theme park, a 15-minute walk away in the nearby lakeside town of Bowness. The nearest major airport is Manchester, at around an hour and a half by road. 


Wide range of rooms with varying sizes, views, and amenities

There are a total of 34 individually styled rooms, most of which were renovated in 2015. Standard updated rooms feature smart, muted decor with cozy and contemporary furnishings, while more premium rooms offers extras such as glitzily decorated antique-style pieces, four-poster beds, or striking patterned wallpaper. Rooms awaiting an update are drab in comparison, while some of the "Cosy" rooms are tiny. Views can also vary wildly, plenty providing stunning lake or countryside vistas, but some none at all. Standard amenities include little beyond flat-screen TVs and coffee- and tea-making facilities, though suites add a range of high-end extras such as iPod docks, DVD players, and Egyptian cotton sheets. Most bathrooms are impressive and contemporary, though all different, with either just walk-in showers, shower/tub combos, or separate showers and tubs (some jetted); all come with high-end bath products.


Free cooked-to-order breakfast, plus a heated indoor pool 

Breakfast is served in the bright and tastefully modernized dining room, with a continental buffet plus a la carte items such as Eggs Benedict, grilled kippers, and, of course, the Full English. Breakfast is always included in room rates, and the prime seating is by the bay windows with glorious countryside views. A dinner of refined country fare is also served in this room, while a lunch menu is available in the Poet's Bar & Lounge, with smart booths and a decent cocktail list. A heated indoor pool makes for a pleasant addition, together with a sauna and steam room. Wi-Fi is also available throughout the hotel, though it's only free up to a limited data allowance and then then there's a fee (and connection can be spotty).

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Thornbarrow Road, Windermere LA23 2DF, United Kingdom

Also Known As

  • Hillthwaite House Hotel

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