Lake District, Cumbria, England, Hotel Reviews, Newsletter, United Kingdom

Rothay Manor Hotel, Ambleside, Cumbria

27/11/2022 by .
Rothay Manor Hotel

Terry Marsh visits the lovely Rothay Manor Hotel following the opening of its new Pavilion extension.

Close by the River Rothay on the outskirts of Ambleside, the Rothay Manor Hotel, known before it became a hotel as Rothay Bank, was the sometime residence of John Crosfield, a retired wholesale grocer from Warrington. The house was built at his behest around 1835 in the pre-railway days, though he was still trading as a merchant in Warrington in 1841.

Today, the hotel sits, in effect, in the middle of a roundabout, though it was not always so. That might lead you to suppose that this 23-room boutique hotel offers anything but peace and quiet. But, on the contrary, the surrounding gardens, green, lush and secluded, are more than adequate to create a mellow and welcoming ambience which is reflected as you enter the hotel.


Eight of the rooms are suites located in the new adjacent Pavilion building, replete with huge beds, free-standing baths, and balconies, along with direct access to a private courtyard garden. The remaining rooms in the hotel are no less luxurious, all offering sumptuous furniture and elegant decoration, many have balconies, too, overlooking the garden. Several rooms come with dual washbasins, Monsoon shower and a fine selection of bathroom ‘condiments.

In terms of taste and style, it’s a question of balance. And a harmony that strikes just the right note and reflects the personalised approach of the owners. Elegance and comfort without the feeling you shouldn’t sit on or touch anything. There is a relaxed atmosphere through which the staff whisk softly about their business, never intruding, yet always there to help.


Not without good reason does the integral restaurant have a deserved reputation for fine dining. Head chef Daniel McGeorge learnt his craft at some of the finest UK restaurants and won the prestigious Acorn Award in 2020. A year earlier he had been crowned ‘Champion of Champions’ for his banquet dessert ‘Give a Dog a Bone’ on the 2021 series of BBC 2’s Great British Menu.

His cuisine, prepared by a talented brigade, takes inspiration not only from the Lakeland landscape but from Scandinavian and Japanese influences. Not surprisingly the restaurant has 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, but don’t be surprised if a Michelin star doesn’t pop up before too long. Chef and his team certainly deserve it.


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The interiors of the restaurant, like the rest of the hotel, have been designed to reflect the heritage of Rothay Manor, with wood panelling, stunning Lewis and Wood wallpaper, and hardwood floors. What is particularly pleasing is the spacing of the dining tables, which allows for intimate conversation and a much less quieter experience than can be found in many fine dining restaurants. Equally helpful is a separate dining room that accepts visitors with dogs, as do several of the bedrooms.

Tasting menus are seasonally available to sit alongside a thoughtful à la carte menu offering the best of what is available throughout the year. The wine list is equally thought-provoking as I discovered when I found an excellent English chardonnay, but the list embraces the finest selection sensibly priced.

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On reflection, we could see that the Rothay Manor was about a sensitive balance between the level of expectation that goes with country boutique hotels and provision. So often there is a disparity between the two, but not here. Not in the Rothay Manor Hotel.

All images (C) Rothay Manor.

Tell Me More about Rothay Manor Hotel

Rothay Manor Hotel, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH. T: 01539 433605; E:

From £390 for three-course dinner, bed and breakfast in a Classic Superior room for two people sharing.

Dog friendly; large on-site car park with electric charging points; speedy online check-in.


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