Weekend Away : Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa
Kat Hannon took a nostalgic trip to a luxury hotel and spa in the Lake District.
Deep in Wainwright country the Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa nestles in the mountains of the upper Lake District with Lake Derwentwater spread before it. The lake mirrors the view, expanding the horizon and giving a wonderful depth. The epic mountain views and stunning light changes at Lodore Falls are there to enjoy all year round.
The Lodore Falls Hotel dates from the 1870’s and is a Victorian period building which was built to be a hotel at that time. It is mounted in front of the Lodore Falls, hiding a secret waterfall worthy of exploring between the hotel and the mountain. I stayed at Lodore Falls Hotel with my parents many years ago, throughout my teens and into my 20’s and we even celebrated one of our last family parties before my dad passed a little time later. Going back was not only nostalgic but quite emotional for me.
Opposite the hotel, across the lake, is the popular tourist town of Keswick. Cobbled streets are lined with beautiful cake shops, tea rooms, traditional fish and chip shops, pub dining, and varied independent retailers. The town offers plenty of parking, lots of dog friendly pubs and is easy to walk around, accessible for all. The Victorian park in Keswick is the terminus for the Derwentwater Launch, a water taxi with various stops around the Lake including one at the Lodore Falls.
I drove down the east side of the lake to get to the Lodore Falls Hotel from Keswick. Rolling around the final corner of Derwentwater, I was greeted by the familiar and beautiful period building that I fondly remembered. A feeling of familiarity and yesteryear came over me. I then saw a striking building adjoining the hotel and realised immediately it was the new spa.
Thoughtfully designed by the architect and built entirely from slate, fronted with wooden beam features, the new build not only complimented but blended beautifully with the original hotel and its surroundings. Steam could be seen rising from the front of the spa - and lots of it! This was, of course, the Outdoor Hydro Zone which I will tell you more about shortly.
The Manager gave me an interesting tour of the Hotel, the new Mizu Pan Asian Restaurant and the adjacent spa. The plan was to lunch at the Mizu Pan Asian, experience the spa in the afternoon, followed by dinner later in the evening at the Lake View Restaurant, which was also where I had my breakfast the next day. Delighted with the schedule which the hotel had put together I started with lunch.
I believe the Mizu Pan Asian restaurant is unique to the Lake District. In my view this restaurant, along with the spa has set the Lodore Falls Hotel apart from any other hotel in the Lakes.
The styling of the restaurant is contemporary. Calm space, combining neutral grey tones and green accents, with lots of window views. The food is fresh and so, so tasty. I genuinely struggled to choose, not that there was too much on the menu but the smells coming from the kitchen, where you could see chef at work, were wonderful.
I always think visual impact sets a scene and the spa has certainly does that. Beautifully designed and executed they have accomplished a super plush spa that oozes luxury, from the Thermal Suite to the Outdoor Hydro Zone.
In real terms this means in the suite you can experience, laconium, aroma steam room, herbal sauna, salt steam room, ice fountain, drench showers and heated relaxation loungers. The outdoor hydro pool, is super warm, which in the colder weather was just amazing. The pool deck jet features were delightful and offered the opportunity to drink Champagne in the pool whilst looking at the sun setting on Derwentwater and over Catbells Mountain.
Did I also mention, this is a no kids’ spa? Now I have children (and I thought long and hard about this) I’ve concluded this is a great feature. I truly love my kids but being in a completely grown up zone meant I could actually stop, look, take in the breath-taking views and truly relax. Making me a better Mummy when I got home.
Exploring the spa, you will find the Champagne and deli bar, offering refreshments and treatments rooms. I had a luscious Elemis massage which completed my spa experience and gave me a placid persona for the rest of the evening. Post treatment, in the relaxation room, they brought cake, just enough sugar to perk you up again. Great touch.
There is a well-equipped fitness gym and had my visit been longer I would have made good use of it. I was far too enthralled with the thermal suite to even consider it.
Contrasting with Mizu Pan Asian Restaurant is the traditional classic Lake View Restaurant, where I experienced a five-course dinner. I sampled sublime amuse bouche and bijou dishes, that were divine to taste and slowly filled you up. We finished the evening with cheese and grapes, which I never do but felt that, whilst in the Rome of the Lakes, I must. This was a really lovely evening experience after what was already been a truly fantastic day.
Having slept like a baby I had breakfast in the Lake View Restaurant. This time it was morning light and I could see across the water as I contemplated my next trip back to this tranquil hotel and spa.
Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa Borrowdale Valley, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5UX
t: 0800 840 1246 e: email@example.com