“ Address: Castle Green Lane / Kendal /Cumbria LA9 6RG „
I stayed in this hotel earlier this year with my husband. It was during the run up to our wedding, and as we'd been very busy we decided some quality time together was in order. We looked at several different places and ended up booking this hotel in Kendal, which is part of the Best Western chain.
The hotel is based in Kendal, Cumbria, and is described as being on the edge of the Lake District. This makes it accessible from other places, and it's a good base for exploring the Lake District. It is 8 miles from Lake Windermere, which is always worth a visit if you're in the Lake District, and the M6 is about ten minutes by car.
However, in terms of entertainment closer to the hotel, it is also a little on the outskirts of Kendal, so it's not really within walking distance of anything. That said, there are a couple of pubs/restaurants at the hotel, so if you're not really bothered about getting out in the evenings, this shouldn't be a problem.
==Booking and Prices==
We booked through booking.com as I have used this website many times and generally find it to be hassle-free and cheap. You can probably get a cheaper rate by going directly to the hotel, but this isn't in my nature as despite being thrifty, I hate haggling.
The room cost £90 for one night's bed and breakfast. This was the higher end of our budget, but we'd had a really bad experience at an awful hotel not long before going to this one, and I wanted to wipe out any bad memories by making this a good stay.
Well, lets start a little before reception. The driveway to this hotel is long and slightly uphill. It's all very scenic, but we did ponder on the practicality of staying here during the winter if ice and snow was on the cards. There was plenty of car parking space, although the ones closest to reception were reserved for disabled badge holders (of which there weren't many bays), and so everyone else had to drag their suitcases up the hill from the next level down. It wasn't a massive walk, but anyone with mobility issues may struggle.
Reception itself gives an excellent impression of this hotel. My mind was at ease immediately that we were going to have a good stay. The checking in process was straightforward - I simply gave my reservation email from booking.com and we were handed a key card. One of the porters offered to carry our bags but as we were only staying a night the bags were light so this was unnecessary. I've never stayed anywhere where they've offered to carry my luggage before!
The hotel itself is pretty grand to be honest, with 14 acres of garden and woodland. Its set in very beautiful grounds with well maintained gardens, and I imagine this would be a lovely wedding venue for anyone in the area. It has 99 bedrooms so is of considerable size, and it also has leisure facilities including swimming pool, spa, steam room, a gym, and beauty treatments. We were allowed access to the swimming pool during our stay, but as usual didn't manage to find time to fit this in.
The hotel has two bars and two restaurants. These are separated, one is part of the building and looks like where functions are held such as weddings. The other is a pub/restaurant which is in a little building at the side of the hotel. It's only a few metres away, but makes it feel like you're having a night out rather than sitting in the hotel bar all night. We had a meal out in Kendal followed by a few drinks in this pub, and it was a very pleasant experience. It's almost like a conservatory in style, but the walls have exposed brick and it's traditional inside. The only problem is it is more suited for diners than drinkers so we found ourselves perched at the end of someone else's table whilst having our drink. This wasn't an issue, but also wasn't very private or intimate.
It does also have facilities for business people, although it strikes me as being the kind of place most people would come for pleasure rather than business. It offers 9 meeting/conference rooms, and free WiFi.
Our room was on the second floor, which as you'd expect was accessible by lift so we didn't have to drag our bags up any stairs. The room was bright and airy, perfectly adequate in size, and had a little balcony with a lovely view overlooking the grounds, with some hills in the distance.
The room contained a double bed, a bedside table at each side of the bed, some built-in wardrobes, tea and coffee making facilities with biscuits, a small desk, a storage unit in the corner, and two armchairs. Although it wasn't huge, it didn't seem cramped, and to be honest I am willing to give up unnecessary space for the sake of a nicer room. This room was beautifully bright and just had that feelgood factor when you walked in.
The bathroom was very modern and spotlessly clean. It had plenty of room to move around. The surfaces were a lovely marble effect, and there was a heated towel rail. There was no bath, but this isn't something I tend to look for in a hotel room, and we knew this when we booked the room.
The shower was very powerful, and we had some lovely smelling toiletries provided.
Facilities in the room were excellent, with spare pillows, towels and everything that we could have needed. The bed was comfortable, with a good firm mattress, although I guess this is all down to individual preference. We both had a great night's sleep, with no noise from outside or the corridors. Although a couple of pints of cider before bed probably helped!
We had breakfast included in our rate, and this was in the hotel restaurant on the ground floor. It was a combination of buffet and table service. You helped yourself to cold items such as croissants, cereal and juice, and then someone came round to take our order for hot breakfast, giving us a choice of items, and providing tea or coffee. The Full English was excellent quality, I suspect they had used locally sourced sausages and bacon, and the setting was really pleasant as you could see the view over the hills out of the window.
We had a very enjoyable stay in this hotel, it was exactly what we needed for a night away to escape the hustle and bustle. I think if we had been staying for more than a night we might have got a bit frustrated at being so rural, the hotel is very remote. Likewise, it's not somewhere I would recommend going to stay in really bad weather, as the lanes leading to the hotel are windy and narrow, and the drive to the hotel is uphill and steep. The staff were very pleasant and friendly, however, and it was refreshing to stay somewhere with a choice of venues for eating and drinking, rather than being restricted to the usual hotel bar. I couldn't fault the room itself, it's one of the nicest hotel rooms I've stayed in. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking to escape for a night in a romantic and scenic location.
(This review is also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)