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Applegarth Villa, Windermere, Lake District
This Victorian villa, tucked off the main drag through Windermere town, hides top-end designer bedrooms and some seriously luxurious hot tub suites, yet never loses its warm and friendly touch. Run by the Mumford family, the adults-only Applegarth Villa is a place where you can hole up for the weekend undisturbed, or tick off the Lake district sites and be welcomed back, muddy boots and all, with a warming cuppa or cocktail in the bar. It's a cliché, but no two rooms are the same, other than in their designer furnishings - bold wallpapers, quality fabrics - and ultra-modern bathrooms. Hot tub suites, in the separate coach house, enjoy views across the valley as does the conservatory dining-room which serves up Modern British food.
The footpath to Orrest Head, a short and easy climb, is five minutes from the hotel and gives superb views for such an untaxing walk.
The shores of Lake Windermere are around a 20-minute walk from the hotel.
By car: around 1 hour 30 minutes from Manchester, 3 hours 15 minutes from Nottingham and 5 hours from London. Free parking on site.
By train: there are direct lines to Oxenholme Lake District Station from Glasgow Central (1 hour 45 minutes) and London Euston (3 hours). The hotel is around a 20-minute drive from Oxenholme Station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Applegarth Villa is firmly aimed at couples who enjoy modern design, luxurious details and spoiling bathrooms. We love the variety; from the smart cocktail bar, like a modern gentleman's club, to the ligh-filled conservatory restaurant to the richness of the entrance hall with its oak panelling and stained-glass window.
Service & Facilities
If you're in a Hot Tub suite, the late check-out is a very tempting idea. Three of the suites - one in the main house, and two with a hot tub - accept dogs, who are welcomed with bowl, bed and treats, plus dog-friendly walks, but aren't allowed in the rest of the hotel.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
The attention to design detail is faultless, whether it's pretty glass knobs on bedside tables or the sparkly-coloured, mosaic tile trims in the bathrooms. Room 10 has views of fells and striking scarlet and black colours; if splashing out, then Stickle suite with its fuchsia-pink highlights is our choice.
Deluxe, Superior, Luxury, Ultimate Luxury rooms, Hot Tub Suite
Facilities include: Egyptian cotton bedding, ensuite with shower, luxury toiletries, bathrobe and fluffy towels, Bluetooth speakers, DAB radio, tea and coffee-making facilities
Food & Drink
The conservatory dining room with its evening sunset views and fell views at breakfast feels a world away from the bustling tourists around Windermere. We love relaxing in the bar with one of their 50-plus single malts, including Welsh and Japanese as well as some very fine Scottish bottles.
The Villa Restaurant: formal fine dining, modern British cuisine. Open for breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Mains from £19.95.
The Villa Bar: elegant, sophisticated, extensive wine, whisky and cocktail menu.