10 of the best luxury hotels in the Lake District

Advice

Not all that long ago, a stay in the Lake District (campsites, aside) meant a choice of cheery B&Bs, cheery pubs and rather stuffy, traditional hotels with table d’hôte menus and anti-dog policies. Oh my, how things have changed. Today, you’ll find hotels that rival the famed beauty and allure of the Lakeland landscape with their striking design conceits, attention to seductive detail and sheer levels of wanton comfort. Private hot tub and steam room? No problem. A Michelin-starred menu with produce from the kitchen garden? Of course. Glamping with proper beds, sofas, loos and private chef? Absolutely. Spa gardens, rejuvenating treatments, outdoor Finnish saunas? Naturally.

You can find all this and still be welcomed with your muddy walking boots and muddy dogs. Or you can just lie back and wallow in the scenery, glass of fizz in hand. Here’s 10 of the best luxury hotels in the Lake District. 

Linthwaite House

Windermere, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This is a country house hotel without the swags and fuss but with plenty of stylish warmth and comfort. A sprawling Edwardian pile, the outside is whitewashed render and black-and-white timbered gables, inside it’s a study in relaxed, modern elegance: rooms flow into one another with an apparently effortless style, yet it’s magazine-shoot perfect. Linen sofas, tub armchairs and glossy tables with hefty art books are carefully scattered on rug-covered wood floors. Grown-up colours of pale grey, milky-whites, tans and bottle-greens are jazzed up with splashes of leopard print or tribal patterns. Views through picture windows to the lake and fells are particularly stunning.


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From


£
225

per night

Rates provided by
Booking.com

Holbeck Ghyll

Lake Windermere, Lake District, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A magnificent hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere. The hotel was built as a hunting lodge in the 1880s for the eccentric Earl of Lonsdale, known as the Yellow Earl, and later embellished with Art Deco touches. A fire blazes in the cosy panelled hall, which acts as a sitting room, while another sitting room has an Edwardian feel. Staff here are excellent; the service is friendly and solicitous. The restaurant offers fine dining and guests can head off to the spa for a relaxing treatment. Bedrooms are divided between the main house and those in converted cottages. They range from the somewhat old-fashioned, to the freshly decorated, many with beautiful views, to the stunning, especially the rooms in the last bungalow to be converted.


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From


£
169

per night

Rates provided by
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Brimstone

Lake District, Cumbria, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This hotel in the Langdale Estate brings something different to the Lake District’s luxury market. Hosts are on-hand for everything from tips and turndowns to taking orders for breakfast in bed. As well as a boot room downstairs stocked with a complete range of Berghaus kit for guests to borrow (including torches for night hikes to the pub), there’s the cosy reading room where books, newspapers, wines, local ales, tea, coffee and cakes are complimentary throughout the day. For those that can pull themselves away, the Langdale Estate’s impressive spa, treatment centre, pool and gym is 50 metres away. From the glowing, glass-fronted stove to the double shower, enormous spa bath and bi-fold doors opening out to Lakeland views – it’s impossible to find fault with bedrooms


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From


£
175

per night

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The Samling

Lake Windermere, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

The gabled house dates from the late 18th-century and was once owned by Wordsworth’s landlord. It still has the air of a stately country manor: tall windows framed by ruched curtains, lounges filled with antique armchairs and pianofortes, walls decorated with Wedgwood and watercolours. The quintessentially English ambience makes it popular with celebs: Nicole Kidman, Stella McCartney and the Beckhams have all stayed here. Five rooms and six cottage suites are all different: some plump for Oriental fabrics, some for tartans and gingham, others for modish tones of slate and taupe. The cottages offer the most luxury: the best are Lethera and Hovera, split over three floors and richly decorated using local stone, slate and timber.


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From


£
490

per night

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Applegarth Villa

Windermere, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

An adults-only, luxury retreat with designer bedrooms — some with their own hot-tubs — in a grand Victorian villa that has a central, but quiet, Windermere location. The design is certainly striking; parquet floors, oak panelling, decorative cornices and sweeping stained-glass windows are offest by bold wallpapers, statement chandeliers and velvet, leather and leopard-print chairs and sofas. Breakfast, refreshingly, is waiter-served and with an excellent range, from porridge with whisky or yogurt and fruit compote to crêpes, smoked haddock and a full grill. You’ll find it hard to leave the conservatory dining room with its constantly changing fell views.


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From


£
128

per night

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Askham Hall

Penrith, Cumbria, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This grand hotel, the medieval family home of the Earls of Lonsdale, offers authentic country house living in stately surroundings: vast rooms, scattered antiques and a well-worn but comfortable, informal and inviting air. Highlights are the English gardens and the stylish cooking, which uses estate produce. You don’t get much closer to the landed gentry lifestyle than a medieval pele tower (fortified house) with hefty walls, battlemented parapets, leaded windows, stone griffins at the entrance and topiary in the gardens. There’s a vaulted library (with honesty bar) and a self-operated sauna. External therapists can be booked for treatments, and there’s a small heated outdoor pool.


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From


£
150

per night

The Forest Side

Grasmere, Cumbria, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Forest Side is a glamorous address in the heart of the Lake District that puts food – and foraging – firmly at its centre. It is an imposing and handsome slate-built mansion, built for a wealthy industrialist in 1853, close to the popular village of Grasmere. The house has been beautifully transformed, with a mix of eco, heritage and designer looks (authentic Lincrusta walls in the stairwell; shimmering crushed velvet sofas; silver and bird of paradise wallpapers; floorboards reused to make the dining tables). When it comes to the food, Head Chef Paul Leonard serves dishes brimming with ingredients such as scurvy grass, curds, whey and pickled allium flowers.


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From


£
319

per night

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Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Lake Windermere, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Gilpin Hotel is a stylish and characterful Georgian house with a well-deserved reputation for being beautifully run making it one of the best luxury hotels in the Lake District. Décor is glamorous boutique meets country pile. Classic rooms have views over the moors, six opulently-decorated spacious garden suites have private hot tubs, but splurge on one of the new spa suites, with your own hot tub, sauna, steam room and Sonos system for music. The floor-to-ceiling window means you wake up to views across the fells. Aromatherapy treatments are performed in a wooden cabin overlooking the water. Try a hot stone massage in the early evening, as the mists roll in.


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From


£
295

per night

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Rothay Manor

Ambleside, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This is a smart hotel with a seriously good restaurant and elegantly understated bedrooms. Although close to busy roads, it’s screened by trees, and is on the outskirts of Ambleside at the northern tip of Lake Windermere. The core of the building is a charming, white-painted, Regency house (much extended, though sympathetically) with deep windows and a strikingly pretty first-floor balcony stretching across the front. Two sitting rooms, with fires, overlook the gardens and south-facing broad terrace, the latter invitingly set with tables and chairs. There are plenty of walking routes nearby, and dogs are welcome – they even have their own, extremely smart, dog-wash in the dedicated boot-and-clothing-drying room.


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From


£
269

per night

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Another Place, The Lake

Ullswater, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Another Place takes its inspiration from popular Cornish sister hotel, Watergate Bay, and its epithet, ‘a ski resort on a beach’, aimed primarily at families and younger adults. The easy-to-live-with yet stylish and appealing décor, which features good local art on the wall, plus plentiful sofas, armchairs and spacious tables for eating or board games, perfectly embodies the Georgian origins of the building while appealing to a young, sporty clientele. Facilities include a superb 20-metre glass-fronted indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, gym and two spa treatment rooms, while watersports on offer are stand-up paddle-boarding, sailing (from the sailing school across the lake), kayaking and wild swimming.


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From


£
210

per night

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