The Best Luxury Hotels to Book in the Lake District, UK

The Daffodil Hotel brings a touch of 1960s Hollywood glamour to the Lake District
The Daffodil Hotel brings a touch of 1960s Hollywood glamour to the Lake District | © The Daffodil Hotel / Expedia
Cassie Wilkins

An outdoor paradise home to Michelin-starred dining, decadent hotels, rejuvenating spas, hilly landscapes and picturesque villages, the Lake District is perfect for a luxurious getaway. Also tucked among the fells and valleys are magnificent country estates with incredible lake views, contemporary designs breathing new life into historic manor houses, and modern architecture adding a new level of opulence to this scenic spot. Here are the top luxury hotels in the Lake District – book your stay with Culture Trip.

1. The Cranleigh, for lovers of quirky interior design in Bowness-on-Windermere

Boutique Hotel

A retro lounge at the Cranleigh with an antique fireplace, curvy sofas and chairs, and a dangling chandelier
© The Cranleigh Boutique Hotel / Expedia

From the outside, the five-star, adults-only B&B Cranleigh looks like a typically scenic, ivy-clad Lake District flagstone house, but the interiors have unusually funktastic decor for the Lakes, with a kind of Boogie Nights meets goth vibe, featuring crushed velvet textiles, shiny wallpaper and moody lighting. It’s the kind of place you start the day with a cooked breakfast and end it with the clink of champagne flutes. The suites have jacuzzi baths and you’re only two minutes’ walk from soul-stirring views across Lake Windermere.

2. Cedar Manor, for a characterful manor stay in Windermere

Hotel

A vintage lounge at Cedar Manor with antique seats, gold-frame mirrors on one wall, and a flower-pattern wallpaper on another
© Cedar Manor / Expedia

A gorgeous Cumbrian manor house fronted by immaculate lawns, Cedar Manor has won many awards, and has large, characterful rooms and suites, with gothic windows overlooking the rural landscape of Ambleside. Some rooms have four-poster beds, some have jacuzzis or freestanding baths, and the decor is quirky, with wrought-iron chandeliers and feature wallpaper. Breakfast and an indulgent afternoon tea are served, and you can order snacks such as charcuterie, cheeses and more to your room.

3. Daffodil Hotel, for mud treatments in a 19th-century mansion in Grasmere

Spa Hotel, Hotel

A seating area at Daffodil Hotel and Spa with white table and chairs, Audrey Hepburn photos and hill views through the window
Courtesy of Daffodil Hotel and Spa / Expedia

A grand manor built in 1855, superbly set on the banks of Grasmere Lake, enveloped on all sides by emerald green, this excellent four-star hotel has dreamy lake views. Rooms are decorated in pastel colours, with pictures of Audrey Hepburn bringing a curious touch of 1960s Hollywood to the lakeside lodge. Perhaps all will make sense when you descend to the spa, which has a whirlpool, sauna, steam room and mud treatments. The restaurant is recommended, and the afternoon teas receive special plaudits.

5. Nanny Brow, for Brathay Valley views in Ambleside

Bed and Breakfast, Luxury

A homely living room at Nanny Brow with a grand fireplace, cushy sofas and antique side tables
Courtesy of Nanny Brow / Expedia

Boasting dramatic vistas over the nearby Brathay Valley from its elevated viewpoint on a private crag, Nanny Brow has a celebrated architecture, bright and airy bedrooms, and fine gardens that make for a gloriously luxurious holiday. Built in 1904 in the prized Arts and Crafts style, Nanny Brow has a fascinating history, which is shared in a book written by the friendly owners, Sue and Peter; just one of many ways they have poured their hearts into every aspect of this award-winning hotel.

6. Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, for Michelin-starred dining in Windermere

Spa Hotel, Hotel

The flourishing garden at the Gilpin Hotel has a wooden gazebo covered by canvas, under which is an intimate seating space
Courtesy of Gilpin Hotel and Lake House / Expedia
This decadent retreat has two incredible locations, each with unique characteristics. The ultra-modern Gilpin Hotel features two fine-dining restaurants, including the Michelin-starred HRiSHi, gloriously stylish rooms and extra-indulgent spa suites. Just a mile away, the historic Gilpin Lake House promises more traditional luxury, with six bedrooms, spa facilities and a private lake. As a guest at the exclusive lake house, you can make use of the chauffeur service to the Gilpin Hotel to sample the award-winning food.

7. Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa, for a high-end spa in Keswick

Spa Hotel, Hotel

A glam hotel bar at Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa with plush velvet seating, heavy drapes and an ornate mantelpiece over a fireplace
Courtesy of Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa / Expedia

Marrying all the beauty and character of an old British country estate with the opulence of a high-end spa, Armathwaite Hall is well-deserving of its place with the best luxury hotels in the Lake District. From the deluxe rooms and the cocktail bar to the infinity pool, outdoor hot tub and the distinguished Lake View Restaurant, it has left no stone unturned in its quest to deliver an elegant and enjoyable experience for all its guests.

8. Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa, for fine lakeside views in Keswick

Independent Hotel

A contemporary bistro dining area at Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa in Borrowdale with an outdoor pool next to the lake and mountains
Courtesy of Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa / Expedia

On the edge of Derwentwater, the imposing, 200-year-old Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa is ideally situated for exploring the region. Still, if you don’t feel like going too far, it’s also a perfect spot to enjoy magnificent lakeside panoramas over champagne on the terrace or from the outdoor pool. From the stylish rooms to the restaurants and the designer spa, Lodore Falls has everything you need to enjoy a trip to the Lake District without even leaving the grounds.

9. The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa, for a stay in a former hunting londge in Ambleside

Spa Hotel, Luxury

Seating around the grounds and gardens at Wordsworth Hotel and Spa, which has a stone exterior and flagpole out front
Courtesy of The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa / Expedia

Set amid 2 acres (1ha) of gardens in Grasmere, the historic Wordsworth Hotel was once the Earl of Cadogan’s shooting lodge. It’s a rambling country mansion, with 38 bedrooms. The best have sweeping countryside, garden and mountain views, though those overlooking the picturesque village are also lovely. There’s a colonnaded, mosaiced indoor pool in a conservatory-style room; also on the menu is a wide choice of fine dining, plus whimsical afternoon teas, high tea for the kids, and more-informal meals.

10. Ambleside Salutation Hotel and Spa, for urban comforts in Westmorland

Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel, Luxury

The wooden balcony of a guestroom at Ambleside Salutation Hotel and Spa, where candles flicker on the edge of a hot tub
© Ambleside Salutation Hotel and Spa / Expedia

A four-star hotel in Westmorland, Ambleside Salutation Hotel and Spa has all the class and character of a luxury Lake District hotel, along with all the benefits of an urban location. Part of Best Western’s Premier Collection, Ambleside Salutation is chic and comfortable, with stylish rooms, friendly staff and a gorgeous pool and spa area. Breakfast here is pretty special, with quite the lavish spread on offer, and the Lounge Bar, with cosy nooks and roaring fires, is a lovely spot to wind down with a nice glass of wine.

11. Moss Grove Organic, for organic breakfasts in Grasmere

Bed and Breakfast, Eco Hotel, Luxury

A sitting area with patterned couches, a chintz armchair, a fireplace and patterned wallpaper at Moss Grove Organic
Courtesy of Moss Grove Organic / Expedia

Moss Grove Organic partners grand Victorian vintage with a modern, environmentally conscious twist, offering a guilt-free getaway. In the picturesque village of Grasmere, where William Wordsworth once lived, Moss Grove delivers a luxurious home-from-home experience with a five-star touch – an ethos that is evident in everything, from the bespoke wallpaper to the hand-made beds and locally sourced organic breakfasts.

12. Applegarth Villa, for a butler service in Windermere

Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Villa

A bright guestroom at Applegarth Villa and Hotel in Windermere, with a bed, dresser, bedside table and pops of lime-green in the decor
Courtesy of Applegarth Villa / Booking.com

One of the best luxury hotels in the Lake District, Applegarth Villa is a showstopper. With some of the best rooms in the Lakes, some with private terraces, outdoor jacuzzis and even a butler service, this five-star adults-only retreat is wickedly decadent. On a quiet street off Windermere, it’s also perfectly positioned for exploring, with friendly staff on hand to give you all the insider tips and ensure your trip is extra special.

Abigail Blasi contributed additional reporting to this article.

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