Address: Lake Road, Ambleside, Lake District, Cumbria, England, LA22 0ER, United Kingdom | 4 star hotel
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This 4 star hotel, located on Lake Road, Ambleside, is near Hill Top, Brockhole Visitor Centre, Bridge House, and Rydal Mount & Gardens.
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          • Swimming pool
          • Restaurant
          • Fitness/Health center


          • Free High-Speed Internet
          • Wheelchair accessibility
          • Free parking
          • Pets allowed


          • Room service
          • Continental Breakfast
          • Business Services

          Historical Traveler Reviews Waterhead Ambleside

          Good Boutique hotel


          Excellent Hotel. Bedrooms fantastic, Bathrooms with heated under floor and large comfortable beds.

          Food in restauarant very average with the service a little too quick.

          Only complaint that the rooms were a little too warm. But probbly one of hte best hotels rooms we have stayed in for a while. Service excellent.

          Overall excellent stay.

          Fantastic Hotel in Glorious setting


          We stayed at the 'Waterhead' for a glorious two night stay to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary. The hotel is beautiful & elegantly designed and we were very impressed. As we stayed in a 'Luxury' room, we overlooked Lake Windermere and were amazed by the stunning views. The room was fantastic, beautifully clean (as you would expect for 4 star), with a huge comfortable bed, plasma screen TV with DVD, stylish fire and very excellent bathroom facilities with a heated floor and again stunningly designed.

          The dinner menu was exquisite, and we both sampled the 'Chateau briad' for our main meal, which was absolutely divine. The menu was set for three courses, but in between courses the chef sent small sample dishes which we thought was a lovely touch.

          We found the staff on reception were extremely helpful & friendly and went out of their way to try to accommodate us by getting 'Sky One' in our room. Our only small gripe was that the waitresses in the restaurant seemed too eager to take away your food, and one did attempt to take my dish away whilst I was still eating, but that was only a minor incident which did not spoil our enjoyment of the dinner. The breakfast's were also very good, and we were very impressed by the service received each morning, friendly and professional as you would expect, with a huge array of food to suit most people's tastes.

          The hotel allows you to use the pool & spa facilities at their sister hotel the 'Low wood', and we found them to be basic but adequate, although possibly due for a re-furb.

          As the hotel is located in Ambleside, we enjoyed a very relaxing few days meandering around the village, feeding the ducks (they're practically tame), playing 'pitch & put' & sampling the drinks at various pubs. Ambleside has a lovely friendly atmosphere to it, and it's located in such a beautiful setting - so it's well worth a visit.

          We would whole-heartedly recommend anyone to stay at this hotel (we are already planning our next visit), but a small tip would be to check around for prices on the internet & also the hotel's own website, as you can find cheaper last minute bargins!!

          Wouldn't stay here again - I could have died!!!


          On arriving at the hotel, my husband I thought that it was lovely. Very well decorated and the Receptionist took us down to our room - where we could fill in our check-in card at our leisure. We were only in the room for 5 minutes when I decided to have a look in the bathroom - and the handle fell off! It had obviously fallen off before (by the state of what was behind the handle). I called reception and immediately the duty Manager was sent down to try and fix the problem. He couldn't fix the problem and told us that there had been many problems with the refurb in the hotel. The builders had not done a very good job and there had been things falling off left right and centre... anyway.. we were told that the bathroom handle would be fixed the next day.

          So.. onto the restaurant. We entered the restaurant - the staff were not very friendly. We had a drink whilst we perused the food and wine menu. We ordered our food and I informed the restaurant supervisor that I was extremely allergic to fish and nuts. Then we chose our wine - about five minutes later we were told that this particular one was out of stock. It is always so annoying when you are given a large list to look at - you choose - and then are told its not available. One would think in a restaurant - trying to build a top class reputation - that wine stocks would be frequently checked.. anyway.. eventually - we were taken to our table - and we chose another wine....

          My starter arrived... I was eating it - and my mouth started to swell up... I asked the waitress whether there was any nuts or fish in the my "Duck Pate" - I was told "No" - I thought that therefore I must be imagining it - so I took some more... my throat started to swell....I asked the Restaurant Supervisor if there were any nuts or fish in the pate - and he also said no - but that he would investigate...... - by this time - 10 minutes had passed since I had started to eat my starter - and I was beginning to feel quite ill. I returned to my room to get my medication - finding it difficult to get into the bathroom - (as there was no handle - and had to fix it on manually ourselves everytime we entered the bathroom) - and took two antihistamine tablets - (I also have to carry adrenaline injections for my nut and fish allergy). After about ten minutes in the room the swelling started to subside and we returned to the restaurant. I always try to mentally overcome an allergic reaction - and also wanted to find out what was in my starter.

          After about 10 mins of sitting back down at the table - the Duty Manager - the same person who came to fix the door - informed me that my starter had been Mackeral!!!!! Apparently the Chef didn't know the difference between the duck Pate and the Mackeral Pate and I was served the wrong one! We were asked if we would like another bottle of wine - which we refused - after my medication - not a good idea! We did however say that we would take up his offer the followin evening. We were served our main course and dessert - which neither of us enjoyed because of what had happened and also because my tongue had blisters and my lips were swollen etc... It is always a shock for my husband when I eat something I should not - he has had to inject me several times before - and on one occasion I suffered a cardiac arrest.

          After the meal the Restaurant Supervisor did not speak to us - we felt as though we were being ignored by all the restaurant staff. The Supervisor went home - we were still sitting in the bar - and did not even utter "good evening - hope you are feeling better"

          After our meal I spoke to the Duty Manager and told him how disappointed I was with the hotel. 1) The bathroom handle 2) The wine list - not up to date 3) The Mackeral being served instead of the duck - when I had specifically told them that I was allergic to fish - (apparently two other people the same evening were also served the Mackeral (but didn't realise). 4) We were upset that after becoming ill - all of the staff seemed to ignore us - especially the Restaurant Supervisor - who did not seem to want to come anywhere near us!

          The Duty Manager moved us to the room next door (which is what he should have done when the door handle fell off after just five mins in the room) - this room was much larger - and I am sure was the room we should have had as I booked a "luxury" lakeside room - I think we were originally in a standard.

          My husband did not sleep very well that evening - I was fast asleep with the drugs! With anaphylatic shock it is always possible that the symptoms can return several hours after the initial reaction as the drugs wear off - so he was waking every hour or so to check on me.

          The following day we were given a nice table in the restaurant and were asked by all the staff how I was feeling. That evening was uncomfortable for both my husband and I - but we were on a Dinner Bed and Breakfast rate so we thought we would put our trust in the restaurant again. We were looked after service wise and the staff had obviously been told to talk to the guests more. The night before saw the staff just put your food in front of you without even an "enjoy your starter, enjoy your main course - is everything ok??" The Restaurant Supervisor was very pleasant - although I felt that maybe behind our back he couldn't wait to see the back of us!

          Anyway... all was well in the end. I lived to tell the tale but on leaving found that we still had to pay for that meal. On questioning this with the Receptionist she gave us 6.50 off and put in the comments "Guest did enjoy starter" - I felt like saying "I did not enjoy having anaphylactic shock!"

          I shall be writing to the Hotel's Head Office and to the Anaphylactic Campaign - of which I am a member - maybe they will send out some information. They will also inform all members of my experience and tell them to steer well clear of the hotel!

          On the whole - the rooms and hotel could be lovely. The staff need to be a little more professional - there is a lot of "larking around" in front of guests which is never good - we saw a waiter playing "air guitar" whilst we were trying to have a romantic dinner on the second evening.

          I think the Duty Manager - is trying to do a very good job - he must be getting bored of all these problems with handles etc..... The shower has a "stop" on it - so it's not very hot.... it could be stunning - but has a way to go yet. Without the Duty Manager - it would have been a disaster - but we never did get our "on the house bottle of wine!"

          Fantastic hotel


          We booked a two night break at this hotel and we were not disappointed! We stayed in a deluxe lake view room - which was wonderful. The decor is stunning and it's the small touches that make this hotel special. Under floor heating in the bathrooms, rooms with individual names and styles and luxury toiletries.

          The food in the restaurant was of excellent quality (although the portion size is on the small side). My only small complaint was the price of a glass of wine - over 7 for a glass of white wine!

          The location of this hotel is ideal, it is quiet but only a 10 minute walk from the centre of Ambleside.

          We would highly recommend this hotel - especially for a romantic break!



          Have just returned from this hotel and what a hotel it was.

          From the moment you enter the reception you know you have booked the right place.

          Although it is a little expensive it is worth every penny.

          Having arrived at our room to be shown what I can only describe as a delight.

          The plasma tv on the wall takes centre stage to the view of Windermere Lake from the window.

          The bathroom is ultra modern with glass sink and funny shaped shower to the luxurious towels and full size toiletries and not to mention the underfloor heating (why did I not think of that when I refurbished my own bathroom at home! - maybe the cost of 3000 put me off a little).

          Although we did not eat the hotel the menu looked just as good. The bar is an ideal place to chill out of an evening.

          From the hotel there are plenty of buses to take you into Ambleside and beyond although we walked most of the time and it only takes about 15 minutes into the centre of Ambleside.

          The staff are so friendly and will go out of their way to help you.

          This hotel has undergone a 3.7 million refurbishment and I can tell you where every bit of money has been spent.

          I would highly recommend this hotel for visiting the Lake District and although is a little expensive you don't mind paying the money when you look inside.

          Top marks for English Lakes Hotels for transforming this hotel.

          Great place to get away from everything


          Just returned from a 3 night stay at the Waterhead.

          Great location, right by the waterfront and pier for jumping on the ferry.

          Not a great deal to do in Waterhead the place, more to do in Ambleside and surrounding area.

          I booked very last minute through the --- website and stayed in one of their luxury rooms, great views over lake, rather large room, cd/dvd player, LCD tv, nice touch with the binoculars/great gingerbread. Agree with previous comments about bathrooms being on the small side. I would have expected bathrobes for the price and staying in the hotel's best room. Bed was extremely comfortable.

          Staff were extremely friendly and very professional, also very observant even getting some us some bread to feed the ducks with.

          Food wise, the hotel has a daily set dinner menu 30 per head which is great value and the food was inventive & stunning however it is a shame it doesn't have an a la carte menu. Service wise it was very good but could improve by topping up wine/water during meal. We lunched at the Drunken Duck Inn and the food there was fantastic, and I would have to say the Waterhead was on par with it. Breakfast was on par with other 4 Star hotels I've stayed in and couldn't fault it.

          The only area of criticism was the lack of leisure facilities although the sister Low Wood hotel is a mile away. We tried to book some beauty treatments at the Low Wood but were fully booked for 3 days - so book well in advance.

          Expensive but worth it!! Recommend it for a special break and would try to book the luxury rooms and try to book with special offers - Luxury Room rack rate is 200 a night B&B. I phoned the hotel to find out if I could get a better deal from the internet but was told the only rate available was the rack rate which did surprise me - so would recommend booking on the internet.

          Christmas at The Waterhead


          As a family of 7 (ranging from age 15 upwards), booking our first ever Christmas break away was a decidely risky thing to do. We did, however, strike gold with our choice of The Waterhead in Ambleside.

          Every aspect of our stay was a success - from the more than comfortable bedrooms to the fantastic cuisine on offer. All this, and mum didn't have to do the washing up!

          The hotel has a particularly personal feel; the staff are attentive without being overbearing and guests are constantly surrounded by thoughtful touches which made our stay even more enjoyable. The location is unbeatable, right on the shore of Lake Windermere, and we were blessed with our first white Christmas - I don't know how the hotel managed to arrange that!

          I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this superb hotel to anyone. In fact, we have already booked our stay for Christmas 2005. If you're looking for a touch of luxury in the midst of the stunning scenery of the Lake District, The Waterhead is the place for you.

          Superb food, great service, spacious rooms


          We found this hotel through tripadvisor and it exceeded our xpectations. The recent refurbishment has created a very contemporary hotel right on the shore of the lake. Make sure you go for the luxury rooms with high celings and lake views. Bed was extremely comfortable with great LCD TV. Extra touches such as binoculars and quality toiletries in large bottles were much appreciated. Food was excellent with service to match. The breakfast was one of the best I've ever had.

          Only downside was the relatively small size of the bathroom, but the underfloor heating made up for it! Great value for money, and well worth a visit

          Very pleasant


          We came here last month and it was a very good stay. The rooms are nice, a little small but nothing really to complain about. The only dissapointment is the bar which is ok, but not a reflection on how nice the rest of the hotel is.

          Also we booked through a third party and had agreed a price with the hotel. They later said the price was incorrect and needed to charge us an extra 40 a night. I agreed to this but did not think it was very good customer service.

          Comfort and luxury


          Loved it!

          Right in the heart for things but quiet too. 10 to 15 minute walk into the centre.

          Excellent, caring staff. Helpful and considerate.

          Comfy, homely style and contemparary furnishings.

          Bedrooms spotless and beautifully equipped.

          Breakfast was an unhurried joy.

          Dog walking field just along the road past the youth hostel - right on the waters edge. Great place for a picnic!

          Stunning walks from the door. Ample car parking.

          Will definately return.

          TripAdvisor Reviews Waterhead Ambleside

          4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

          Travel Blogs from Ambleside


          A travel blog entry by maryannes on Oct 16, 2015

          5 photos

          ... Found the gift I've been looking for for Jeffrey at Mountain Hi in Grasmere. Back to Bowness for a bit of shopping, a chance to catch up on email, a shower, then off to a most enjoyable dinner at Jackson's Bistro. Not many pictures today. Enjoyed the bus ride but difficult to take photos out of its ...

          Day On The Lake

          A travel blog entry by maryannes on Oct 15, 2015

          1 comment, 10 photos

          They stop serving breakfast at 9:00. We slid into our seats at 8:50. After a "full English breakfast", we headed to the dock. Boarded the steamer M/V The Tern and headed to Ambleside, about a half hour away. Lovely scenery, beautiful day, calm waters made for a most agreeable trip. Took the scenic path along the lake from the dock to the ...

          Day 11 - The Road To Victory

          A travel blog entry by tscoast2coast on Oct 15, 2015

          3 photos

          Woke up this morning on a high but emotional, looking forward to seeing Karen and the rest of the family, but also completing what has been a very hard challenge. I have asked myself why have I put myself through this, my son Ryan wanted to do this and asked me if I would join him as he was unable to join me and Kimberley on the Grand Canyon Walk in 2012, his story on his just giving page speaks for itself, I needed to do this for Ryan and ...

          Day 9

          A travel blog entry by tscoast2coast on Oct 13, 2015

          4 photos

          ... not stress enough about map reading skills the journey is not well marked, many people get lost on this stretch, we managed 20 miles today, when we arrived at our accommodation in the middle of nowhere, we saw a car in the drive with the number plate MAD, and a women opened the door with a parrot on her shoulder, " the hills have eyes " actually she was the sweetest lady ever, hospitality at its ...

          The Lake District & Area

          A travel blog entry by eurotrekker01 on Sep 21, 2015

          12 photos

          After a long 4 hour drive from Holyhead we arrived in Ambleside of the Lake District to a dreary rainy afternoon. This is a very beautiful small town with many places to eat and many many outdoor stores to wet anyone's appetite when it comes to outdoor gear.

          It's not overly a large community but it certainly has a very outdoorsy feel to it and a flare for the outdoors and no wonder, you are in the heart of the Lake District where walking, ...