A beautiful hotel in the Lake District
Hotel Ravenstone Lodge (Bassenthwaite)
Member Name: nykied
Hotel Ravenstone Lodge (Bassenthwaite)
Date: 11/11/10, updated on 07/01/13 (64 review reads)
Advantages: Lovely views, gorgeous food, good base for walking near Keswick
Disadvantages: Could be classed as a little expensive if you're on a budget
When myself and Mr. Nykied went up to the Lake District, we didn't need a hotel. We were camping. Everything was packed and ready, but when it rained hard all of the day before we were due to travel, Mr. Nykied decided to look at other options. He looked at a last minute hotel booking site and decided on the Ravenstone Lodge Hotel. He booked it, we unpacked the camping equipment and off we went.
The hotel itself isn't hard to find as such. It's more that it's difficult to spot. The driveway is almost parallel to the road, so you almost have to turn back on yourself to enter the car park. The car park is spacious, with more than enough room even if all the rooms are booked.
The hotel is based in Bassenthwaite, about ten minutes away from Keswick. It's perfectly situated if you want to climb Skiddaw, one of the greatest walks in the Lakes. The actual hotel building is a stone's throw from Bassenthwaite itself and in a very rural location.
Walking into the hotel, we were greeted by Adam, who's both the manager and the head chef. He was very friendly and showed us round the ground floor of the hotel (which comprises of a conservatory with seating, a dining room and a small bar) and then showed us up to our room. He explained about the evening meal and even directed us on a walk down to Bassenthwaite and back up through some woodland. In addition to this, if you're a walker, there are numerous books in the conservatory that you can flick through.
The room we were in was nice. It wasn't a huge room but it served its purpose and was nicely appointed. There was an en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower rather than a bath. The only downside to the room was that the TV was parallel to the bed, so that you couldn't lean against the headboard to watch TV and it was difficult for both parties to watch, as one had to watch over the other one. There was also free wireless internet in the hotel, but (as you would expect out in the wilderness of the Lake District) it was sporadic, to say the least.
The view from the room was fantastic, looking down towards the lake. I've read another review that said their room was spoiled by the noise and the light coming in from the conservatory at all hours. This wasn't a problem for us, as our room was at the back. My suggestion would therefore be to request a room at the back.
Breakfast is included in your stay and you have the option of three fried breakfasts, various fruits, cereal or porridge, along with toast. The atmosphere in the dining room was pleasant and it was a good start to a day out walking.
We stayed in the hotel for the evening meal once during our three day stay in the hotel and it was delicious. There was an option of four starters, five main courses and four or five desserts. You could choose as many or as few courses as you liked. I had, as a main course, chicken in a gorgeous mustard-y sauce with potatoes and vegetables and for dessert I had lime cheesecake with cream. The meals are by no means cheap (£16 and upwards for the main course alone) but they were worth it. The chicken was sublime and I'd go back to the hotel just for the food! One thing I did notice was that the choices didn't change throughout the three days we were at the hotel, although the menus were quite wide-ranging so you could easily choose something else, although I'd be happy to eat that chicken every day for a month. Adam (the manager and head chef) was even nice enough to email me the recipe for the sauce after we'd left the hotel, so I could try to recreate it at home. It's never hit the heights of the initial meal in the hotel restaurant yet though.
The hotel cost us £110 per night for the room, although that was through a third party website. If you go direct through the hotel, it costs you £100 and you can get a discount on the meals if you book in advance.
This is the nicest hotel I've stayed in in the Lakes (and I've stayed in a fair few!) and I'd recommend it without hesitation.
Summary: It's the hotel I'll be staying at next time I'm in the Lakes