An indulgent lakefront hotel with a full service spa, health club and a unique French Alps-like outdoor heated infinity pool, hot tubs and sauna. Perfect for active families looking to take full advantage of the lake with an in-house water sports centre for a variety of water activities as well as enjoying some relaxing and pampering moments.
The hotel’s history started in 1952 when it was purchased by Norman Buckley MBE, a man who broke the World Water Speed Record multiple times in Lake Windermere between 1951 to 1972. It became the first hotel on Lake Windermere and is still run by the extended family today.
It has been extensively expanded over the decades with the addition of a watersports centre, spa, health club, conference centre, marina and most recently the new extension housing the exclusive Winander Club rooms and facilities. Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa was awarded the Traveller’s Choice Award by TripAdvisor in 2020.
Where is it?
You will struggle to find a hotel with a better location in Lake District National Park. Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa is brilliantly located on the edge of Lake Windermere in between Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere. You can practically roll out of your bed onto the lake from the hotel (but you do have to carefully cross the busy A591).
The location is made even more amazing as it has its own Water Sports Centre where you can rent paddle board, motor boat, kayak, canoe, sailboats or try your hands at waterskiing, wakeboarding or even flyboarding.
What is it like?
It is a sprawling resort which has an original building that has a charming modernised Victorian accent coupled with a new contemporary-styled extension. White walls with black accents, brown leather, dark wood and thin black iron chandeliers are the design order in the original hotel building where the lobby, restaurants, bar and function rooms are housed.
Over at the new extension, where the spa, health club and lounge cafe are housed, you will find large floor to ceiling glass windows, bright orange coupled with grey furnitures and light vertical wood strips walls offering a clean-lined open and airy experience, but yet cosy and warm.
What are the rooms like?
The 131 rooms in the hotel are organised into two categories – Resort and Winander Club Rooms. The 29 Winander Club Rooms are luxurious and gorgeous. They have a contemporary-style, bright with large windows or balcony and spacious elegant bathroom. In addition to that, as part of the Winander Club, you will also get a glass of Prosecco and fruit bowl on check-in as well as exclusive access to the Winander Club Bar, lounge and roof top terrace with panoramic views of Lake Windermere.
The updated Resort Rooms are classy and beautiful but much smaller compared to the Winander Club Rooms. The older Resort Rooms are tired and needs to be updated.
All suites and bedrooms have air-conditioning and comes with luxury bathrobes & slippers and lovely ESPA toiletries.
Are there family-friendly rooms?
Yes, most rooms in Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa will fit a rollaway bed for one child. There are also rooms that will fit two rollaway beds for two children.
The best room for a family is the Oak Duplex Suites. The largest room available at 53 square metres. It is arranged over two floors. Sofa bed on ground floor for the little ones while adult retire on the upper floor, which comes with a private balcony with view of the fell.
We stayed at No.305, one of the dog-friendly Resort Hazel Room which is suitable for two adults and two children.
How are the dining options?
You will be well looked after for Food and Beverages. The hotel has two restaurants. There is the new intimate and classy Blue Smoke on the Bay with its wood-fired grill dishing out sticky pork ribs, steak, fish, prawns and lobster. For dinner, indulge in British-European classics at the grand Windermere Restaurant.
Afternoon tea is available on a pre-booked basis at the Atrium with floor to ceiling view of the lake as well as at the contemporary herringbone-patterned floor Langdale Lounge & Bar.
There is also the unique Norman’s Juice Bar which offers healthy juices, smoothie bowls and light lunch options – perfect after a work out at their Health Club or a pampering spa session. They also serve freshly ground coffees, cakes and pastries.
What is there to do in the hotel?
This is where Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa takes the crown. If you are after some active activities, cross the road to the Water Sports Centre for waterskiing, wakeboarding, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding or even flyboarding. There is also the less active motor boat hire option. 2 hours on a double kayak cost £25 and there is a 10% discount for hotel guests.
Back in the hotel, there is also a full service health club, not just a gym. There is a 50 ft thermal & vitality pool, dry salt sauna, coconut steam room and relaxation lounge with swinging pods.
If you are staying in one of the Winander Club Rooms or on a Spa Break Package, you can also experience the Outdoor Thermal area which has a heated outdoor infinity pool overlooking the lake, as well as hot tubs and a large sauna with panoramic window. Only 16 year olds and over are allowed in this area.
If that’s not enough, there is also an extensive spa onsite with a comprehensive list of massages, facials, scrubs as well as manicures and pedicures. A 90 mins tailor-made body massage cost £105, while an ESPA Purifying 60 mins facial cost £75 and there are plenty of packages to cater to your unique needs.
Last but not least is to enjoy a picnic at the guests-only green lawn in front of the hotel by the marina.
Who are the patrons?
Upper-middle class families from across the UK plus a handful of adventurous global tourists seeking a true English holiday experience. Families with children come to take advantage of the water sports facilities to keep the children entertained while adults take turns to be pampered at the luxurious spa and outdoor thermal spaces.
Are they pet friendly?
Yes, with a £20 daily surcharge, dogs are welcomed in the Resort Rooms. A maximum of two dogs are allowed per room. They are welcomed to dine with you at the Langdale Lounge & Bar bar as well as at Norman’s Juice Bar.
Unfortunately, they are not welcomed at neither of the restaurants. Hence, it will be room service if you are here with your dog.