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Reviews (1,116)
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All reviewshipping hallevening mealcream teatravelzoo offerlovely hotelthe ground floorwhirlpool bathvenisonlake districthomemade biscuitscheese boardafternoon teastandard roomsmall portionstasting menucomfortable loungelake view room
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Reviewed 20 June 2015

We were looking for a hotel in the Lake District to celebrate a special occasion, and hence wanted quality accommodation, which we were prepared to pay for. Judging from the advertising material, and the prices, the Ryebeck seemed to have a top of the range offering that would meet our requirements. Hence we went with high expectations, and have to make our observations accordingly.
The hotel failed to live up to what we had expected from the publicity information, with the main failing seeming to be inexperienced staff working without suitable management guidance. This was most obvious in the restaurant where every evening there were embarrassing incidents of dropped cutlery, dropped plates and food, and a dropped tray of drinks. We were embarrassed to be sitting there, and this was made worse by loud or inappropriate conversation from the staff. There were two waitresses who seemed to have done the job before, but the rest looked like they had just arrived off the street, and there was no-one overseeing what they were doing.
There were other incidents where the other staff in the hotel were off-hand and didn’t behave in the way you would expect in a 5 star establishment, and although we had made the hotel aware that it was a special occasion for us, it wasn’t even mentioned. We have had much better courtesy from lesser hotels.
We also had high expectation of the evening meals in the restaurant based on reports, but I guess these must be a bit subjective. There is no doubt that the chef worked hard in the preparation and presentation of the food, which came to the table like works of art. However, there were only small amounts on the plate, and the meals all tended to be in the same style, giving a lack of balance to the menu, which was also quite game oriented e.g. rabbit, venison, wood pigeon, and was the same every evening while we were there. The result was that we had to eat a lot of bread and butter with the meal, and after 2 or 3 days were longing for something more straightforward e.g. a chicken or salmon dish. Obviously a number of people have commented how good the food is here, but it comes down to personal taste, and I was left wondering how many people are just trying to say the right thing.
We found out on the second day that the restaurant has a time-slot booking system for dinner, and so you can’t always eat at the time you choose. I understand that this is to spread the load on the kitchen, but maybe with a bit more organisation, the kitchen could meet the customer’s requirements instead?
There were some minor points with our room which I would not normally mention, but since the Ryebeck are positioning themselves at the top end of the market, I would have expected a safety deposit box in the room, and I would have expected the extractor fan to work in the bathroom. This had no windows and so got unpleasantly steamed up after using the shower.
It’s also worth being aware that although some of the rooms have a lake view, this is some distance away, and is partially or mostly obscured by trees, depending on which room you are allocated.

Room Tip: Lake view rooms get the evening sun.
  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank EagleEye55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2015

Nicely situated hotel, on the Bowness to Kendal road about two and a half miles out of town. This was the second time we have visited this hotel, following a nice break late last year 2014. The highlight of this establishment is the food, which is of a very high standard. The rooms are not luxurious but are more than adequate.
The staff are attentive and friendly. Overall a very nice spot.

Room Tip: Rooms with a lake view are very nice and worth the extra.
  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Colin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2015

Rybeck Hotel. Bowness on Windemere. Lake District. 11.5.2015 – 13.5.2015.
We booked this through Secret Escapes and stayed for two nights. Unfortunately our only full day in the Lakes was very wet and windy, and the proposed trip on Lake Windemere was off the agenda. We did walk up from the hotel to Blackwell House, an Arts and Crafts house about 10 minutes walk away, and it was delightful.
Our room was lovely with a view over the garden and down to Lake Windermere. It was very comfortable, fortunately, as we stayed in for the afternoon of our full day! The toiletries provided in the room are also gorgeous, and as we were at the start of a long holiday, much of which was self-catering, we treated ourselves to the shower, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. Still masses left three weeks later, and it is a lovely reminder of the start of our holiday.
The hotel itself prides itself on the standard of the food, and also offering “free luxury toiletries” for all guests. The former proved to be the triumph of hope over experience, in that the menu suggests the food will be of a more imaginative and flavoursome experience that it was in reality – see menu: www.ryebeck.com. There was also very little of it, and virtually no vegetables to speak of. On our second morning I had fresh fruit only to find the melon tasted of onion. The staff was embarrassed when I pointed this out, and after discussion with the chef said that he had used the wrong chopping board. An easy mistake I guess, but one in a hotel that purports to be four stars? There is also the most horrendous and loud light classical music playing on a constant loop of around 6 tracks playing in the restaurant ALL THROUGH EVERY MEAL….. We did ask for it to be turned down at least as our table was right by the speakers, but this seemed not to be possible.
Unfortunately there was also a female member of staff, possibly the restaurant manager, who had a rather officious manner, and this, combined with the looped music, proved too much on occasion, and we were tempted to do something outrageous, as we felt we were being treated in a patronising way, more like naughty children rather than fully paid up (and paying) adults. Despite this urge, our overriding Britishness prevailed, and we stuck to a subdued giggle!!
The “free luxury toiletries” were a rather horrible tasting lip salve and a small bag of lovely smelling bath salts, both presented in a pretty gift bag.
Overall our stay was ok, but not special as other reviewers had reported, and not somewhere we would want to stay again.

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank ctkportsmouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2015

This hotel on the banks of Lake Windermere is in a stunning location. Our twin room was on the ground floor with double doors out on to the patio with a lovely garden between us and the lake. Staff were very friendly and both dinner and breakfast were very good. Spa facilities were available but we didn`t have time to take advantage of them unfortunately.

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms with access to patio with view over the lake
  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank 19Baxendale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2015

A friend of mine recommended this hotel to us as we go the lakes regularly and he promised that we would not go anywhere else after trying it. He was not wrong. We arrived early and left the car and went off walking. Took the wrong road back and missed afternoon tea by 5 minutes but the receptionist told us this would be no problem, just go to our room and she would advise the staff we would be down in 15 minutes. From then on we had a fantastic stay, the Jacuzzi eased our aching legs and then the evening topped off by a fantastic meal. I cannot believe some of the reviews on here. As the saying goes, "you can't please all of the people all of the time". This is one of the best hotels I have stopped at with food that surpasses all other hotels. The décor matches the hotel. If it was all modern people would say it didn't match the hotel. I think some people should stick to camping!! The walk to Bowness takes about 15 minutes and if you stick to the highway code and walk facing oncoming traffic and keep in you will find most drivers pull out to go round and give a little wave of acknowledgement. The gardens and view are superb. That's it - I've run out of things to say. Just give it a try - I don't think you will be disappointed - unless you are one of these people who look for the tiniest thing to complain about - like "it rained when I was there"

Room Tip: We had room 8 , 1st floor, 4 poster bed, overlooking the lake
  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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