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Lake District

Cork wallcoverings and blue sofas inside a lodge like hotel room

At one with nature: the new Spa Lodges inside Gilpin Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
At one with nature: the new Spa Lodges inside Gilpin Hotel

Lake District interior design firm Nielsen House has completed work on a series of luxury Spa Suites, commissioned by the five-star Gilpin Hotel & Lake House in Windermere. Let’s take a look inside…

Cork wallcoverings and blue sofas inside a lodge like hotel room

Interior design firm Nielsen House, which previously designed Gilpin Hotel & Lake House’s pan-Asian restaurant ‘Gilpin Spice’ and five private Spa Lodges, has unveiled the design of the hotel’s five new Spa Suites, which are said to shelter ‘the ultimate spa retreat for two’.

Image of lodge in the lake district

Image credit: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

“Our brief was to extend the beauty and serenity of the lakes to all who visit,” said Sarah Jane Nielsen, founder of Nielsen House. “The experience had to be completely Gilpin, completely Lakeland, but with our Scandinavian style. We pride ourselves on sustainable design and the interplay between indoors and outdoors. Biophilic design plays a leading role, creating a healthier and more natural environment with all the warmth and comfort of home.”

Each suite, which aptly captures the unique sense of place of the hotel by bringing the outdoors in within the interior design scheme, features 100 square metres of private built-in facilities.

Image of half of the bed and plants

Image credit: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Nature has been carefully injected into all touch points of the hotel, including the bathroom, which features a circular internal bath with double vanity area, double rainmaker shower, steam room, sauna, massage chair and treatment room.

Taking wellness to new heights in The Lakes, the suites also features a large private sundeck, hydrotherapy stone-built hot tub, water feature, plunge pool and a living wall.

The five new suites are a well-timed addition to the hotel, while the hospitality industry adapts to meet new health and hygiene demands in public spaces – a movement that is expected to evolve with creativity in 2021.

Main image credit: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House 

Lodore Falls Hotel unveils new restaurant as part of £10m renovation

640 427 Hamish Kilburn

Lodore Falls Hotel, part of the Lake District Hotels group, has announced the launch of its new 70-seater Pan Asian restaurant, Mizu

Taking its name from the Japanese for ‘falling water’, Mizu occupies a prime and appropriate spot, directly overlooking the stunning Lodore Falls waterfall.

Becoming the hotel’s second restaurant, Mizu reflects a relaxed ambiance with cool, elemental colours, floor-to-ceiling windows coupled with natural textures and materials.

Leading the interior design project was Ashleigh Doherty from Greyline Design. She said: “Mizu took inspiration from the local colour palette of warm green hues mixed with timber elements reflecting the surrounding woods. A modern feeling has been retained with contrasting concrete tiling, glazed bar front and a beautiful geometric floor. We have tried to honour the clients own heritage with Scandinavian style furniture upholstered in rich, tweed fabrics bringing warmth and texture to the restaurant.  A lounge area was added with luxurious deep buttoned leather sofas and comfortable chairs. Feature pendant and wall lights enhance warmth, creating a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.”

Scheduled to launch mid May, the new restaurant’s open kitchen allows for guests to watch talented head chef Kasun Jayasooriya as he serves up a fusion of Asian dishes.

Marketing Director of Lake District Hotels, Daniella Hope, said: “We are delighted to have made recent investment, such as refurbishing our public areas, developing new larger, luxurious bedroom suites and now with the creation and launch of Mizu restaurant. The stunning natural beauty of the Lake District makes it a competitive market place but we at Lodore Falls Hotel are confident that we offer something uniquely exciting.”

The hotel’s overall investment is £10 million, with phase one now complete and saw the refurbishment of the hotel’s entire ground floor. Phase two sees the opening of Mizu restaurant and four spacious bedroom suites. As well as a further 14 bedroom suites and the much anticipated, The Falls Spa will launch during mid September 2018.


Ellerthwaite Lodge

Windermere hotel Ellerthwaite Lodge sells off-market for £1m

998 635 Daniel Fountain

Ellerthwaite Lodge, a four-star bed and breakfast located within walking distance of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, has been successfully sold, achieving a price in excess of £1 million.

The 19th century property which comprises 17 en-suite bedrooms, a dining room, and ground floor coffee shop was sold off-market by Alastair Rushton, of Lonsdale Hotels Limited to Jonathan Denby at South Lakes Hotels.

Jonathan Denby, managing director of South Lakes Hotels said: “I’m delighted to add this exceptional property to our existing portfolio bringing the group total to six Lake District hotels, all of which benefit from the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

“We aim to continue the excellent standards set by the previous owner Alastair Rushton. Our plans are to operate the business on an all-year-round basis, catering for both national and international guests.”

Alistair Greenhalgh, a director at LSH Hotels, which represented the seller during the sale, said: “Ellerthwaite Lodge is an attractive 19th century property which benefits from a superb corner plot and a honey pot trading location, which makes it a very appealing investment opportunity.

“This sale highlights an increasing trend for well-qualified purchasers returning to the leisure market to acquire correctly priced assets that offer a good reliable income, and strong growth opportunities. We are currently in contact with a number of buyers looking for similar opportunities.”

Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decor

Design Spotlight: Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decor

1000 589 Daniel Fountain

The Lake District’s premier self-catering cottage company, Heart of the Lakes, has learned that one of its most beautiful five-star properties is inspiring guests to ‘get creative’ in their own homes.

The luxurious Ghyll Crest Lodge, which sleeps six in complete indulgence is tucked away in 22 acres of forest, lake and gardens on the eastern slopes above Lake Windermere. Lovingly renovated by owners, Colin Sullivan and John Bray, their creativity and attention to detail has captured the special attention of those who have been lucky enough to stay there: “When we told people the shower rooms cost in excess of £20,000 each, they would smile in disbelief. But, we were delighted when our very first guests sent us a text declaring that the black and white marble shower room had inspired then to refurbish their own bathroom when they got home.” laughs Colin.

Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decorArty duo, Colin and John, who also own the hugely successful ‘Arthouse’ in Ambleside, which is filled with John’s contemporary paintings, acquired Ghyll Crest Lodge several years ago but had immediate vision for the establishment, with the potential of the property attracting their interest.

Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decor“The forest and gardens had been neglected for many years,” explains Colin. “Anything can be done to a house except to pick it up and relocate it, so, with our full intention to gut it and start again, we purchased the building. We went to town refurbishing and undertaking an extensive landscaping project, including the construction of a whole new house in the grounds by the lake, Ghyll Crest Lodge.”

Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decorThe Lodge itself forms an ‘upside down’ configuration, with three double bedrooms and a large open plan double height living space upstairs, with the gable ends fully glazed to flood the area with light and bring in the surrounding view of the lake and forest. The living room features two central kitchen consoles for cooking and dining, with bespoke light oak furniture topped in Corian. Double doors open from the living room to a generous outdoor balcony with dining furniture for al fresco living, which is bathed in sunshine – when the Cumbrian weather allows. And on colder days, the split-faced stone log burner is a central feature, although the contemporary heating system more than ensures comfortable living.

Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decorThe master bedroom has an unusual bath and ‘rain shower’ area; natural stone features throughout, from the light cream marble Italian floors to the riven slate hewn from the Himalayas on the walls, and red Turkish limestone brightens the walls of the master cloakrooms. Colin and John have always placed enormous importance on providing top-of-the-range beds for their guests, with new sprung mattresses and the very best quality cotton bed linen.

Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decor“In our experience, when staying away from home, it’s essential to be able to sleep in a good bed,” states Colin. The beautiful location justified a project with little regard for budget, but Colin and John have always believed that quality will pay back: “You only have one chance to get it right, so, you have to bite the bullet and just do it,” says Colin.

Ghyll Crest Lodge inspiring home decor
It’s hard to believe that Ghyll Crest lodge is located just minutes away from the bright lights of Bowness-on-Windermere with the fells forming a magnificent backdrop.

“All we can hear is birdsong and the wind through the tall trees,” says Colin. “Seeing the dappled sunlight shining on the tarn and being able to enjoy this level of tranquillity is bliss. For our guests, it really is their own private ‘Rivendell’.”


Low Wood Bay

£16 million investment for Windermere hotel Low Wood Bay

1000 628 Daniel Fountain

Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa is set for a brand-new look in 2017 with a major refurbishment and new build. English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues are set to establish a world-class resort in the Lake District, the idyllic lakeside destination closes its doors this week as work begins on the £16 million transformation, which will be unveiled from April when the hotel reopens its doors.

The multi-million pound project will see the existing historic property completely renovated, with a full upgrade and refurbishment of all existing rooms, new outdoor leisure facilities, along with a stunning Atrium, world class spa, and an additional new restaurant concept, “Blue Smoke”. Later in the summer a new building will open with a further 32 suites and studio rooms including its own club lounge and roof garden.

The hotel, which enjoys a fantastic waterfront setting looking out onto Windermere, will reopen in April 2017, once the first phase of the renovation is complete.

Simon Berry, Chairman and MD of English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues said: “It is a really exciting new chapter for us here at Low Wood Bay. This stunning building has been here for over 300 years and this will be the biggest change it has gone through in its history.

“The Lake District is a uniquely beautiful holiday destination and we’re creating an exceptional, stand-out resort from which to enjoy it. We want to make something truly special, bringing modern, top quality facilities to the area but without compromising the integrity or charm of this historic building; we really feel we have achieved that with these plans. We can’t wait to welcome our guests, both old and new, to see their reactions’.

English Lakes Hotel Resorts & Venues, which owns the property, has worked closely with the Lake District National Park Authority to progress the plans and create a ‘world class destination’ whilst remaining in keeping with the area and using local connections and expertise.

The whole new experience will start with the enhanced sense of arrival of the brand-new entrance which sweeps around and up to the existing car park. Bespoke art work will significantly improve the arrival experience for guests as they make their way to one of their 133 luxurious, upgraded and new build bedrooms and suites.

Set to open in summer, one of the most significant investments is in the luxurious Spa, complete with an outdoor heated infinity pool, sauna, steam room and Canadian hot tubs with views over the lake and mountains. The extensive fitness suite will also feature state of the art equipment and an express salon. The introduction of the innovative ‘Blue Smoke’ dining concept will provide British produce within a South American wood fired grill – the first of its kind in the area.

Opening later in the year, the addition of a luxury accommodation block, complete with its own private bar, club lounge and roof terrace will finally transform the hotel into the Lake District’s first world class luxury resort.

The Boathouse, Storrs Hall, WindermereJENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Storrs Hall unveils exclusive new ‘Boathouse’ bolthole

1000 566 Daniel Fountain

A boathouse in Windermere has been transformed into one of the Lake District’s most exclusive holiday destinations, set in secluded woodland at Storrs Hall hotel, which recently became part of the Bespoke Hotels collection.

The Grade II* listed building has undergone renovation work costing more than £500,000. Available to book from September 2016, its guests will be able to enjoy the totally private luxury accommodation with stunning views across the lake.

The Boathouse; Storrs Hall; WindermereJENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY

The Boathouse; Storrs Hall; Windermere

Guests will access the 200-year-old boathouse via a keypad at the handmade gates. The building’s refurbishment includes bespoke fixtures and fittings, from the unique American black walnut bed, Arte three-dimensional textile wall coverings and a Keuco bathroom, to an iPad-controlled mood-lighting and sound system which controls everything from the window blinds to the Sonos music equipment. This historic building has been reinvented with solid oak woodwork, a huge spa shower which becomes a steam room, and underfloor heating.

Both the bed and the bath face the picture window, making the most of the location. Mark Hindle, the owner of Storrs Hall, said: “We are creating the perfect holiday destination with total privacy for those who want all the service and luxury this lovely hotel has to offer.

The Boathouse; Storrs Hall; WindermereJENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY

The Boathouse; Storrs Hall; Windermere

The transformation of the boathouse is part of a massive renovation project at Storrs Hall by the Hindle family. Since 2013, the public areas and nearly all of the 30 bedrooms and suites have been refurbished, with the rest of the rooms due to be completed by early 2017. More renovation work is then planned for the rest of the Storrs Hall estate, including its self-catering lakeside lodges.

The Boathouse; Storrs Hall; WindermereJENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY

The Boathouse; Storrs Hall; Windermere

More than £50,000 is being spent on each room and suite in the hotel. They have been individually designed to feature Italian marble, contemporary bathrooms and décor to frame the lake views many of the rooms enjoy.

The Arthouse Ambleside

Heart of the Lakes ‘wow’ customers with five-star The Arthouse

780 520 Daniel Fountain

The Lake District’s most successful self-catering cottage company, Heart of the Lakes, is delighted to be representing one of Ambleside’s most unique holiday properties. The Arthouse, which is located minutes from Lake Windermere, offers the ultimate in five star contemporary self-catering accommodation and sleeps up to seven guests. Owners, Colin Sullivan and John Bray, a well-known artist, were keen to create a luxury environment that cannot be matched in most people’s own homes.

“We’ve stayed in so many self-catering houses over the years and the majority have been disappointing.” said John, who studied at Winchester School of Art and whose abstract original paintings are located throughout the property.

“The Arthouse offers a real luxury five star experience, that – even if the weather is bad, as is often the case in the Lake District – guests don’t want to leave. It has everything one would expect to find in a top hotel, but with that element of independence. When you opt for a self-catering holiday, the accommodation must be better than your own home. That’s what we have striven for here,” he continued.

The new-build property was constructed by local builder, Thomas Armstrong, with local Kendal based suppliers such as Sharps tiles and Webbs kitchens, used to produce the contemporary look and feel. With underfloor heating throughout, Manhattan marble walls and furniture from upmarket Cheshire outlet, Arighi Bianchi, no expense has been spared in creating Colin and John’s concept.

“We had a vision of our finished product and worked backwards.” explains Colin. “We were determined to get the small things right. For example, in our experience, when staying away from home, it’s essential to be able to sleep in a good bed. The beds in the Arthouse are top of the range and that was always going to be non-negotiable. There are dressing gowns in every bedroom and plenty of storage space.”

A combination of luxury and art are rarely found in a Lake District self-catering property, but that’s certainly not the only original feature of The Arthouse. Colin and John, who reside on a 22 acre estate at nearby Storrs, also insist on greeting every guest personally.

“Guests don’t need to collect a key from anywhere when staying at the Arthouse as we are always there to greet them personally. Even when guests are here, we are on call continuously. It’s a very bespoke service.” adds John.

“We are delighted to be representing a property as stunning as ‘The Arthouse’” said owner of Heart of the Lakes, Sue Jackson. “It is no surprise that this exceptional house is already booked up until September. We are extremely proud of our history and reputation at Heart of the Lakes and work very hard to ensure the best possible experience for both visitors and property owners. That we have been entrusted with a property such as The Arthouse speaks volumes as to the continuing high standards that we uphold here.”

Duke of Edinburgh Hotel

£300k extension for Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Barrow

1000 368 Daniel Fountain

Owners of a hotel near the Lake District have revealed their plans for a major extension which would see 9 new bedrooms added to the property if it’s approved.

Planning application has been submitted to Barrow Borough Council by owners Lancaster Brewery to expand The Duke of Edinburgh Hotel in a £300,000 project.

Lancaster Brewery celebrates its tenth year of ownership this year, having taken over the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel in 2006, a property they have spent more than £2 million refurbishing and renovating – including a complete overhaul of the bar area.

If given the green light, the project would take the number of bedrooms at the four-star hotel to 51. Lancaster Brewery hope to be starting the project in the next eight weeks.