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The Regent Hotel 3.0

Ambleside, Lake District, Cumbria

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Review Summary

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  • Minutes to Lake Windermere
  • Spacious and lovely rooms, some with balconies and lake views
  • Breakfast is included with the room rate
  • Pleasantly cheerful interior courtyard with a garden
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • On-site restaurant has a bar
  • Smoke-free property (con for some)
  • On-site laundry facilities
  • Parking is free


  • Additional fees for pets (though very dog-friendly hotel)
  • Breakfast gets mixed reviews
  • No minibars or mini-fridges in rooms
  • No pool, spa, or fitness center

Bottom Line

This family owned-and-operated, pet-friendly boutique hotel in the Lake District is just a short walk from the charming village of Ambleside and across the street from the shores of Waterhead Bay. The 30 clean and comfy rooms differ in size and decor, and many have lake views and/or balconies. Breakfast is included and served until noon, allowing guests to sleep in or to rise early for walks along the lake. The lovely restaurant and bar are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the menu mixes traditional Cumbrian influences with modern British foods. Overall, this is an excellent mid-range option for couples looking for a quiet retreat on the lake. 

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A popular and relaxing stop for Lake District vacationers 

The Regent Hotel is lakeside living with a friendly vibe. Most guests are in town for a holiday escape and thus people are happy to converse in common spaces. From the outside, the hotel looks like a cozy Tudor-style house with a shingled roof and whitewashed walls. A wrought-iron sailboat flowerpot greets guests on their way in and the lobby is bright and blue, with turquoise walls and love seats topped with accent pillows. Manned by a welcoming staff, the reception area is modern and decorated with golden and metallic hues as well as a fireplace. There are no hallways per se as rooms are accessed from separate outdoor entrances, but the property feels safe. With the lake right across the street, most people are here to take advantage of the picturesque surroundings. Kids are welcome, but dogs are a more common sight as this is a pet-friendly hotel. 


On the bay in Waterhead, about a mile from downtown Ambleside

Located on Waterhead Bay near the northern edge of Lake Windermere, The Regent is just minutes from the cute restaurants, bars, and shops of Ambleside -- an ideal location for exploring the Lake District overall. A lake walk path can be found right next to the property, allowing guests to meander shoreside while enjoying the panoramic views of the water and Langdale Pikes across the street. The ferry to Bowness-on-Windermere is also here, and visitors are just a two-minute walk away from Borrans Park and Bird House Meadow. Though there’s a road running right outside the hotel, traffic noise is generally not an issue, especially at night. Parking at the hotel is free. 


Varying sizes and decor, some with lake views

The Regent’s 30 guest rooms range in size from Standard units to family-sized spaces, and the decor varies as well. Some rooms are more contemporary with slate-colored walls, tiles, and modern fixtures. Others feel a little more country, like the Sail Loft, which has an angled wooden ceiling with a skylight and light-blue decor. Family-sized rooms have separate bunk beds for the kids and a few suites are bi-level or have furnished balconies/patios. Spotless bathrooms have spa-grade toiletries made in Scotland and a variety of amenities, ranging from walk-in showers to shower/tub combos to hot tubs. (If you have a preference, ask.) Flat-screen TVs, electric water kettles, and plush robes are also included in each room. Wi-Fi is free. 


Pet-friendly property with free breakfast (served late) at lovely restaurant/bar

If you'd like to sleep in on your vacation but don't want to miss the free breakfast, you're in luck because The Regent serves hearty Lakeland fare until noon daily. This extremely pet-friendly hotel will even make breakfast for your dog if you ask, though additional fees apply for pet stays and are limited to Courtyard rooms. While there’s no on-site fitness center or pool, there are plenty of walking trails and parks nearby. There isn't a dedicated business center either, though there is free and fast Wi-Fi throughout the property. 

The on-site restaurant -- open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is pleasingly decorated with mauve and burgundy accent walls. The chef takes advantage of fresh, local ingredients for the menu, which blends traditional Cumbrian and modern British cuisine. Guests can also partake of the extensive wine list and a variety of beverages found at the full bar. Laundry services are available for an additional charge. 

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Waterhead Bay, Ambleside LA22 0ES, United Kingdom

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