Another World Awaits At Another Place, Ullswater
The first time I visited the Lake District was on a day coach trip many years ago entitled The Seven Lakes. The night before I had been visiting some old friends in Warrington (believe me it is possible to have a good mid-week night out in the town). I was so tired the day after I fell asleep on the coach and only saw 2 of the Lakes, my request for a refund was, as you might imagine, politely turned down.
View of Ullswater from the hotel
Times have moved on since then, back in the day you would be able to count on one hand the number of good hotels in the Lakes. These days there are as many boutique, 4 and 5 star hotels as there are fells to climb.
View from terrace of hotel
When I told my friend that we were going to stay at Another Place on Ullswater he remarked “isn’t it that upmarket place that is owned by Watergate Bay where all the rich southerners go?” He was partly right in that Another Place is indeed owned by the team behind Watergate Bay, but as you will discover, whatever the size of your wallet or the scope of your outdoor activity pursuits, there is something here for everyone.
View of Ullswater from the marina
The hotel is situated on the western shore of Ullswater, the original Georgian house is still there but new suites and the Swim Club have been sympathetically added.
Before you arrive emails are sent to you about the COVID 19 measures and other useful information about the hotel. Staff wear masks all the time and there are plenty of sanitizer stations throughout the hotel.
We arrived early so had a bite to eat in one of the two on site restaurants, the less formal The Living Space serves up favourites like Fish and Chips, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and burgers. The food is tasty but you need to be picky where you sit as many residents use it as a thoroughfare to get to other areas of the hotel.
Another Place Hotel
Our first experience of the excellent service came when I asked a member of staff how long it would take to walk up Arthur’s Pike which commandingly stands opposite the hotel on the other side of Ullswater. Within 5 minutes she returned with a map and directions to the start of the walk. That level of service continued throughout our stay. I got the feeling that when they had been trained they were told if a guest asks you a question you are to be as helpful as you can be and if you do not know the answer - find it out.
Inside a better room
Rooms come in various guises from the standard room to the Joules suite. We stayed in what was classed as one of the Better rooms. The decor for some reason gave it quite an austere feeling, perhaps it was the wood panelling or the colour scheme? Who knows, but the best view was looking out from the Juilette Balcony over Ullswater, an inspiring and beautiful view that would be hard to beat.
The room had a super king bed, ideal after a strenuous walk over the fells, a flask to take with you on your walks, tea and coffee facilities, good Free WiFi, a settee perfectly placed to watch the television, good air conditioning, a digital radio, a fridge stocked with a jug of water and Tunnock marshmallows!
A roll top bath in the bathroom was opposite a sky light so you could lay back in the bath and look out over the fells or at night discover the starry sky, free of any light pollution. A powerful rain shower was available in the bathroom too.
Most things in the hotel are accessed through the App, such as menus for the restaurant etc. As we were having a Tech free day paper menus were brought to our table. A huge blackboard in the reception area lists the weather for the day, the sun rise and sunset times, how long it takes to do various walks and what activities are available that day, I thought this was a good idea but others might think it looks a bit like it has come from a holiday camp and perhaps not in keeping with the rest of the hotel.
Set in 18 acres of national parkland the hotel has its own formal gardens, a lakeside beach, private jetty and a vegetable patch.
The hotel seems to be very popular with young families (the dedicated Kids Zone was very popular) and couples with, if you like, an emphasis on getting outside and being active - the hotel offers stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing, sailing and wild swimming delivered by qualified instructors. We saw more people participating in the water sports than actually going out walking, which is understandable when all the water based activities are on your doorstep.
Evening meal can be taken in the more formal Rampsbeck Restaurant with the menu focusing on Cumbrian produce. If you are lucky enough to get a table overlooking the lake and fells you feel as inspired as Wainwright did when he discovered the Lakes.
My local Beef fillet was as pleasing on the tongue as the views in front of my eyes, whilst my partner's Butter poached hake was perfectly cooked. Excellent service added to a fine dining experience.
Butter poached hake
Breakfast can also be taken in the Rampsbeck restaurant either full English (excellent) or small plates which include fresh toast, fruit salad etc. although I would give the croissant and pain au chocolat a miss. The waiter was sure that they were freshly baked that morning but having eaten as many pain au chocolat as miles from Calais to Cannes over the years, I begged to differ.
The Swim Club will help you burn off the calories with its 20 metre lake view swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, sauna, cardio room and three treatment rooms. The massage I had was one of the best I have had, the knots in my back and neck were banished, hopefully for good.
Another Place is indeed Another World, a world where you can make it your own whether you want to be active, to relax or just to de-stress yourself. The setting itself is one reason alone to visit. With only a 15 minute drive from the traffic chocked M6, you realise as you drive along the hotel drive and the breathtaking view unfolds, that yes, you have indeed arrived at Another Place.
Another Place, The Lake, Rampsbeck Grange, Watermillock, Penrith CA11 0LP
Telephone 017684 25632