Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa – a lakeside boutique hotel in the Lake District

 

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JULY 2019

Your heart beats a little faster as you set eyes upon the location of Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa. A boutique hotel in the Lake District immediately opposite Windermere Lake, it’s hard not to be instantly enamored.

To say it’s an impressive welcome to our stay is an understatement. There’s more to discover at this luxury boutique hotel, and I’m hoping you’ll consider staying here after reading this post.

Where is Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa?

Low Wood Bay is in the small town of Ambleside in the Lake District. It’s a green and striking region in the north-west county of Cumbria in England. The area comprises a national park, 16 lakes and is a popular destination for walkers, nature lovers and dog owners. The Lake District probably fits the classic image that comes to mind when you think of the English countryside.

What can you expect at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa?

There are 2 main buildings in the resort. The principle hotel area is where you’ll find the spa, health club and 2 restaurants. It’s also the location of the Atrium seating area and Norman’s coffee and juice bar. In recent years, Low Wood Bay underwent a huge refurbishment project, costing about £20 million. It’s something that becomes clearer as you walk around the main building of the resort.

 

Where to find Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa

Outside The Winander Club at Low Wood Bay – opened in November 2018

 

Boutique hotel in the Lake District – The Winander Club at Low Wood Bay

If you decide to check into Low Wood Bay — and you should — I recommend booking a suite at The Winander Club. Modern, bright and spacious, it’s the second part of the building that sits just behind the principle hotel area. Opened in November 2018, there are 29 stylish rooms and suites embracing earthy tones and textures. Rooms and suites at The Winander Club measure from 38 to 42 sqm.


 

Lisa at bed in Winander Club suite - Low Wood Bay - a boutique hotel in the Lake District

Chilling on the bed in our suite at The Winander Club

 

Only guests staying at The Winander Club can enter the premises; it’s exclusive as much as it is safe. They also serve breakfast in the dining area on your respective floor, meaning you can arrive in pajamas if you want.

Boutique hotel at the Lake District – breakfast at The Winander Club

 

 “Step outside and catch your breath as you take in the magnificent scene of Windermere Lake before you.”

The Winander Club Lime Lake View Room – Lake District boutique hotel

As its name suggests, booking the Winander Club Lime Lake View Room means checking into your very own lakeside room.

The suite was far more than we’d been expecting. On first entry, you’re greeted by plenty of natural light, a sofa, and the tea and coffee making facilities. Temptation arrives in the form of a refreshment tray, filled with homemade gingerbread — from nearby town Grasmere — and local candies.

 

Bedroom at Winander Club - Low Wood Bay

 

To the left and right are 2 double doors, leading to more living space in this grand suite.

The bedroom area’s inviting, tasteful and somewhere where you instantly know you’ll get some rest. A further sofa and coffee table sit at the end of the bed overlooking the doors to the terrace. Step outside and catch your breath as you take in the magnificent scene of Windermere Lake before you.

 

Gifts waiting on the bed at our Winander Club suite

 

Bathroom at The Winander Club suite – boutique hotel in the Lake District

I’m a sucker for a big bathroom, and the one in the suite at The Winander Club doesn’t disappoint. As well as having a good-size bathtub, the bathroom also has a separate rainforest shower and heated flooring. One feature I particularly like — and is something I want installed in my own home — is a button-operated shower. It removes any awkwardness of trying to dodge the water as you shampoo, while also saving water.

 

Bathroom at Winander Club suite

 

If you like the smell of nature, you’ll want to pay attention to the plant-based toiletries at Low Wood Bay. The resort sources their products from English company, Pure Lakes, and it smells heavenly in, and after, your bath/shower. Enjoy the scents of bitter orange, clary sage and cedarwood shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion in bottle form. They’re also available to buy in case you want to take home a reminder of your time at the lakes.

Plant-based toiletries from Pure Lakes

 

Best boutique hotels in the Lake District – a good night’s sleep at Low Wood Bay

What differentiates a standard hotel from a boutique is the attention they pay to detail. Sleep’s a big deal at Low Wood Bay, something that’s clear from the surprise gifts that await in your room.

On our first day, I found a complimentary ‘sleep well’ set from luxury spa brand ESPA waiting on the bed. Inside, are 4 travel-size beauty treatments, including a dreamy sleep booster. Add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer, apply before bed, and say nighty night.

 

Sleep well set at Winander Club

You sleep very well at this Lake District boutique hotel

 

After dinner, we returned to our suite to find the room had received the turndown service. Along with drawn curtains and dimmed lights, they’d given us some ‘sleepy’ tea bags and sleep pillow spray. It was heaven in a tea bag and a bottle! Whether it was the added extras, or simply the peaceful ambience of Ambleside, we slept so well during our stay.  

Other features of The Winander Club Lime Lake View Room

All the Lime Lake View rooms are located on the 3rd floor and are only accessible by lift. Head to the rooftop garden on the top floor to see the mesmerizing colors of the sunset.

Additional features of the Lime Lake View Room include:

  • Luxury super king beds with 3000 pocket sprung mattress
  • Feather and Downs pillows or hypoallergenic pillows
  • Luxury hand pressed linen
  • Super soft bathrobes and slippers, and a
  • Turn down service. 

The desk area in The Winander Club suite

Rooms and suites at Low Wood Bay – Lake District boutique hotel

While there, I also managed to sneak a peek at some of the other accommodation types in the main hotel. Many of the rooms at Low Wood Bay are individually styled, with a decor that’s more traditional and classically English.  

Hazel Lake View Room

The clue to this room’s selling point is in its name. Wake up to a view of the marina and the lake, in a super king or twin bed. Room sizes range from 20 to 22 sqm, and comes with LCD TV and bathrobes and slippers.

 

Boutique hotel in the Lake District - Lime Non Lake View at Low Wood Bay

©Low Wood Bay

 

The Lime Room

The Lime Room is the next level up and comes with all the comforts and luxuries of Low Wood Bay. Also within the original hotel, sizes range from 22 to 25 sqm, and is ideal for couples or friends sharing.

You’ll either find a luxury king or twin bed depending on your booking, complete with hand pressed bed linen.

Lime Lake View Room

Enjoy all the comforts of a Lime Room with the added perk of waking up to Lake Windermere. The Lime Lake View Room is also 22 to 25 sqm with the same features listed above. A turn down service is also included.
 
Good WiFi is available on site and in your room at Low Wood Bay and The Winander Club. It’s something we take for granted these days, but a strong connection’s so important, especially if you need to work. 

The pretty Lime Lake View Room in the main hotel building ©Low Wood Bay

Boutique hotel in the Lake District – dining options at Low Wood Bay

While there are many top places to dine in the Lake District, you’ll need a car to get there. At Low Wood Bay, you’ve 2 excellent restaurants on site, as well as a café and lounge area.

Blue Smoke on the Bay at Low Wood Bay

The name gives a clue to the theme of the latest dining addition at Low Wood Bay. Blue Smoke on the Bay is a modern dining experience, serving woodfired grill dishes in a stylish lakeside setting.

 

Wood fire grill at Blue Smoke on the Bay

The impressive wood fire grill ©Low Wood Bay

 

The star attraction at Blue Smoke on the Bay is the 3m long double woodfired grill. It was brought over from South America and adds a special touch to the restaurant. Watch from your table as the chefs prepare high quality local and international dishes.
 
Chefs cook over hot embers, which create smoky flavors in aged steaks, meats, fish, and vegetables. They also use sustainable British wood such as elder, birch, and oak.

Our grilled vegetable salad starter

Boutique hotels in the Lake District – our dinner at Blue Smoke on the Bay

If you’ve not yet eaten, you may want to come back to this part later. The hunger pangs begin to kick in the minute you see what’s on offer on the menu. There are plenty of dishes to choose from, but not too much that your brain begins to frazzle.

For starters, we chose the simple grilled vegetable salad. While it may not sound as tempting as the monkfish scampi or soy flavored duck breast, we’d good reason.

We ordered the 16oz chateaubriand for 2 from the wood grill and needed as much stomach space as possible. As much as I enjoy a good joint of beef, it was far too big, but so, so good. They serve it with dauphinoise potatoes, blue smoked chips (fries) and peppercorn, béarnaise and red wine and shallot sauces. Word of caution: don’t think about requesting your chateaubriand to be well done — they just don’t do it.

 

Chateaubriand Blue Smoke on the Bay - a boutique hotel in the Lake District

A very delicious, but very big, Chateaubriand

 

Sides and sauces Blue Smoke on the Bay

And not forgetting the complementary side dishes

 

They also have a long and diverse wine list, specifically chosen to complement the food menu. We each took a large glass of Malbec to accompany our steak dinner, and it lasted the entire meal.

Fuller, but happy, bellies at Blue Smoke on the Bay

Believe it or not, after all that, we still managed to make room for a little dessert. The staff here are so friendly and highly attentive, it almost felt wrong not to!

We shared the lighter option of the peach melba. It’s served with vanilla mascarpone, raspberry coulis and toasted almonds.

All in all, the food at Blue Smoke on the Bay is superb, and with a beautiful setting to match. Do note, that they only serve food in the restaurant and not in other areas of the resort.

Boutique hotel in the Lake District – Peach Melba dessert at Blue Smoke on the Bay

The Windermere Restaurant at Low Wood Bay

Another day, another dinner, this time at the resort’s fine dining establishment, The Windermere Restaurant.
 
Upon first glance, the restaurant’s stately appearance seems a little intimidating. High ceilings, wide windows with floor-to-ceiling heavy curtains and perfectly set tables with pristine cutlery welcome you upon entering.

However, there’s zero pretension here, just great service and really good food. The Windermere Restaurant’s been a resort favorite for years, not just for dining, but for weddings and conference events too.

 

Sticky toffee pudding at The Windemere Restaurant

Low Wood Bay’s ‘famous’ sticky toffee pudding

 

What to eat at The Windermere Restaurant

Compared to Blue Smoke on the Bay, you’ll find more traditional British dishes here such as Beef Wellington. Its chefs use local and seasonal ingredients, meaning you get a true taste of the rich produce of the region. The Windermere Restaurant’s open daily from 6.30 to 9.30pm.
 
To start, we had the twice baked cheese soufflé and duck egg in crispy breadcrumbs. Our mains also arrived in good time after; 1 Coq au Vin and 1 herb crusted rack of lamb. Though the portions were as healthy as in Blue Smoke on the Bay, this time we’d saved space for dessert.
 
The ‘Low Wood Bay famous sticky toffee pudding’ isn’t just an English classic, it also lives up to its name. Rich, gooey, yet with a light sponge, it’s insanely delicious.

We also tried the exotic sounding rhubarb and coconut milk panna cotta. In truth, I don’t really like rhubarb, but I adore panna cotta. However, the flavor of rhubarb is so light in this dessert, I licked clean every morsel from the plate.

After your meal, I advise talking a walk to the jetty by the lake. It’s a place where you can absorb the view, and the stillness of the landscape.

Lake District boutique hotels – head to the jetty by Windermere Lake just opposite Low Wood Bay

Langdale Lounge – boutique hotel in the Lake District

For a taste of something quintessentially English, book in for afternoon tea at the Langdale Lounge at Low Wood Bay. They serve the classic cream tea with sandwiches and cakes, alongside a view of the lake daily from 1 to 5pm.

Norman’s and the Atrium

The Atrium is a recent addition to Low Wood Bay. It’s a place to meet, relax, and keep warm and toasty by the fire installation during the winter months.

Take a coffee, or a glass of wine by the window, and enjoy uninterrupted views overs Lake Windermere.
 
Norman’s is another new feature at Low Wood Bay. Serving tea, coffee, freshly made juices and food, it’s a low-key alternative dining option.

The warm and welcoming Atrium at ©Low Wood Bay

The Spa at Low Wood Bay – boutique hotel in the Lake District

Regular readers of the blog will know how much I appreciate a decent spa. The Spa at Low Wood Bay is modern, luxurious and a place in which you can easily spend a few hours.

I’ll be writing about my complete experience in a separate post, but know this: don’t forget to bring your swimsuit! Spa facilities include an outdoor heated infinity pool, sauna, steam room and outdoor hot tubs with lake views. It’s sheer, sheer bliss.

One of the sauna rooms at Low Wood Bay

Lake District boutique hotel – how do I reach Low Wood Bay?

Arriving by car

The most convenient way to reach Low Wood Bay is by car. There are plenty of parking spaces towards the back of the hotel, and it’s also safe too. Saying that, you may want to follow our lead and book a car for the length of your stay. The Lake District’s big, and with plenty ground to cover. We managed to see much more of the region thanks to the car.

Low Wood Bay is situated adjacent to the main road called the A591, and is between Windermere and Ambleside. We came from the main highway, the M6, from the south of the country. However, this route will naturally differ depending on your starting point.

 

Low Wood Bay from across the lake - a boutique hotel in the Lake District

The resort from across Windermere Lake ©Low Wood Bay

 

Arriving at Low Wood Bay by train

The closest train station to Low Wood Bay is Windermere. Once you exit the station, you can take a taxi or a local bus (555). The former takes about 7 minutes, and the latter around 9 minutes to reach Ambleside.

The verdict on Low Wood Bay

Our stay at The Winander Club at Low Wood Bay was the ideal boutique hotel in the Lake District. It was the icing on the cake for our first time visiting the region, and we’d happily return again.

Interested in staying here? Check dates and availability and start planning your Lake District visit.



Booking.com

What do you think of Low Wood Bay? Could you see yourself spending a few nights R&R here? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Till next time, happy boutique travels x

Disclosure: Although I was invited by Low Wood Bay, all views expressed are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

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Lisa Rivera

Lisa Rivera

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Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience; a demographic (late 20s onwards) that enjoys glamping over camping, staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels, sampling the local food and wine, cultural activities, and indulging in a spot of wellness on their travels. Read more here…

       

 

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