Need to know
40, including six suites.
11.30am; check-in: 3pm
Double rooms from $209.14 (£167), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
All rates include a buffet breakfast. Each morning, the restaurant turns into an open pantry, with guests helping themselves to hot and cold dishes, including fresh waffles. Chefs are on hand to whip up made-to-order items like omelettes or porridge.
At the hotel
Acres of grounds (18 in total) including a vegetable garden; a fire-warmed library stocked with board games; a gym with Matrix cross-trainer, rowing machine, treadmill, fitness bike, weights and yoga mats. In rooms: TV; free WiFi; fridge stocked with fresh milk and Tunnocks teacakes; kettle; coffee and tea-making kit; Ruark Bluetooth sound system; Watergate Bay Elements bath products.
Our favourite rooms
If you’re bringing the whole clan to this very family friendly hotel, opt for the Best Family Suite, which sleeps two adults and four children, with bunk beds for kids. Still not enough space? The Best Family Cottage has an open-plan living area, kitchen and wood-burning stove. Couples will love the Better rooms, which have a partial lake view. Some are in the Georgian House and have antique furniture, the rest are in the contemporary wing and have Juliette balconies or access to the garden.
There’s an impressive 20m infinity pool, with incredible views of Ullswater and the fells beyond. Winter guests, don’t worry: it’s indoors and heated, encased within sculptural, glass-lined walls. There’s even a hot tub outside for romantic star-gazing (once the resident little Smiths have scampered off to bed): it's particularly arresting in a national park with two Dark Sky Discovery areas. Wild swimming awaits for those who want to embrace the outdoors further.
After long lakeside walks, the spa is a sanctuary, with two treatment rooms and a treatment snug, where you can spruce up with manicures and pedicures. Massages, body scrubs, wraps and facials are available – even a Full Works option for head-to-toe pampering.
Grab your Fjällräven eco-shell jacket, Aigle wellies and backpack by Topo Designs.
All ground-floor common areas can be accessed by wheelchair and there are two accessible guest rooms. There's also a hoist in the pool and a disabled parking space near the door (which has a ramp). Beyond the hotel grounds, the terrain gets trickier.
Lake-loving hounds welcome in the family cottages or 10 other dog-friendly rooms; charged at £15 a night and £5 extra for a second dog. See more pet-friendly hotels in Lake District.
All ages are very welcome. Under-threes stay for free; children aged three to seven are charged at 25 per cent of the double-room rate.
Another Place is suitable for children of all ages.
The Best Family Suite, which has a master bedroom with a seating area and a separate bunk room. All family rooms have placid lake views, too.
There’s an Ofsted-registered creche on site (the Kid’s Zone), that takes babies as young as six months – it’s free and open daily, but booking in advance is recommended (you’ll need to stay onsite, too).
The hotel can provide games to maintain happiness for hours on end, in the rooms, as well as outside. Speaking of outside, you’ve got 18 acres of gardens and national parkland to explore… For older children, the hotel can organise family kayaking and paddle-boarding lessons – they’ll even saddle you up ponies for a spot of trekking. During school holidays, extra adventures are arranged, such as archery, raft building and night walks. Got a budding biker on your hands? Take a ride around the Dales and Lakes loop or hit the family friendly trails at Lowther Castle. In wet weather, make the most of the two indoor play areas: the Cabin for little Smiths aged three to seven and the Safari Tent for over sevens. Play areas are free to use all day, with supervision at certain hours. Little ones won’t want to go home.
Children are welcome in the swimming pool during family hours (9am–6pm).
Children are welcome in both restaurants. There’s a children’s supper at 5pm in Rampsbeck Restaurant, a kids' menu in the Living Space and high chairs at both restaurants.
Book in advance for babysitting; it’s £12 an hour, for a minimum of three hours.
No need to pack
Travel cots; cot linens; highchairs; books; puzzles; crayons and paints; age-appropriate DVDs and indoor/outdoor toys. The hotel can provide a tablet so you can keep an eye on your children.
There are also games consoles; arts and craft materials; a pool table; table tennis; table football; an outdoor climbing frame; camp-fire cooking; bush craft, orienteering and more.