The moment you walk in to Another Place you know that when it comes to hotels it lives up to its name.
On the outside it may look grand and imposing but the vibe inside couldn’t be further from fusty.
There’s a jumble of muddy Joules wellies waiting to be filled with feet for a scamper on the lawns outside. A full-length blackboard is scribbled with the day’s activities for the tall and small of guests to partake.
Or you can slink off to the sanctuary of a snug lounge, sink in to a sofa, then order a Lakes Gin and tonic to enjoy while you take in views of glorious Ullswater.
Because glorious Ullswater is without doubt the star of this show of a newly opened hotel sitting amidst a quarter mile of private lake frontage on the famous lake’s lush and lovely shores.
The hotel is the first in the new collection of Another Place properties from the team behind the relaxed family-friendly Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall.
The vibe is calm, relaxed and as active as you fancy. The people staying number chic retirees, youthful professionals doing the mini-break thing and a fair few new dads parading their little ones in a designer papoose (whilst mum makes a break for it in the spa). It makes for an easy-going, wholesome atmosphere of all-round wellbeing.
It’s up to you whether your vessel for the day is kayak, paddleboard, walking boot or hot tub.
But for sure, a definite destination has to be the Swim Club. One of the most beautiful pools you’ll ever dip in to. It’s a sparkling glass cube with a pool that glides you towards a shore-side lake view. In the morning when the sun starts to shine it’s a dazzling shimmer of a place – complete with poolside sauna and an outdoor hot tub.
Close by is the hotel’s chic little spa which is a comforting place, offering a range of great therapies such as the hot rocks detox which is pretty much perfect as a wind-down treatment – whether you’ve climbed the fells – or just escaped a mountain of work.
Fell-climbing is an obvious attraction here. The ethos is eco and outdoorsy, making the most of the goodness on your doorstep.
So, you’re encouraged to take to the many and varied trails that are available from the hotel and suitable for all levels of fitness – from the sweet fun-packed hour-long story walks made for little legs – right up to the challenge of the breath-taking 20-mile Ullswater Way. Guided natural history walks can also be arranged.
Exploring Ullswater from the water is an obvious attraction and one of the things they do best here.
Paddle in hand, you have as much freedom as a cyclist in the fells. Drift along the lake shore on paddleboard or get out with the whole family in canoes or sea kayaks to explore Ullswater’s nine miles at lake level.
Parents can set their kids up at the very inviting Kids’ Zone which offers day-long treats in the outdoor cabin, safari tent and outdoor play area. There are supervised sports and activity sessions for all ages.
The place is hugely geared up for children but that’s in no way overwhelming if you don’t have kids in tow.
When it comes to eating, there’s a cool bar and bistro called The Living Space which is light and airy with great lake views. This offers all-day eating options until 10pm, including cocktail and drinks – and also has a children’s high-tea available.
Rampsbeck Restaurant opens for buffet-style breakfast (fine Cumberland sausage) but also offers a neat Cumbrian-inspired evening menu. With a Lancashire-born head chef, the provenance of the menu is assured – not least thanks to a vegetable patch and herb garden in the grounds of Another Place.
Feast on starters such as Morecambe’s potted brown shrimp or rillettes of Lakeland beef. Main courses might include Herdwick lamb hotpot or confit duck leg with cassoulet. A classic approach from a skilled kitchen backed up by an impressively chosen wine list. Do say yes to the Alsace pinot noir.
The hotel’s interior mixes classic with contemporary and is designed to make the most of surroundings and really bring the outdoors in. There are 40 rooms in total. The original Georgian house is home to luxurious high-ceiling romantic rooms whilst a new wing boast more contemporary rooms with wood panelled walls painted in foresty tones and accessorised with textured throws, luxurious velvet chairs and cool touches like the bedside Roberts radio. And as many Tunnocks teacakes as you can eat. Arm yourselves with these and get your in-room thermos flask filled for the day’s outdoor adventures. The hotel will also provide picnics and pack-ups for lakeside sustenance.
It’s all wonderfully Swallows and Amazons actually.
Out & about
– Rainy days are made for Rheged. A great indoor venue near Penrith with local food hall, craft shops and exhibitions. There’s also a huge 3D film theatre showing wilderness and nature films.
– Take it easy on the water with a steamer trip on Ullswater. You can sit back and take in the view or use it as a starting point for one of a number of great treks around the lake.
Another Place factfile:
Doubles from £160 and family suites from £270 bed and breakfast.
An Escape to the Lakes break includes a two-night stay with dinner at the Living Space and Rampsbeck restaurants. From £169 winter and £199 in summer. Sunday to Thursday.