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Hot tub delight, plus gorgeously chic rooms and suites in the heart of the Lakes

Hot tub suites? Count us in for the new offer from Applegarth Villa, a glam 5-star Lake District retreat up in Windermere village. The building is a bit of a gem in any case, one of those lovely Arts and Crafts mansions built by Victorian gents hankering after a country villa.

As a hotel it's perfectly formed and seriously stylish, with 15 individually fashioned rooms that go for bold colours, designer furniture, sumptuous fabrics, and super-smart bathrooms with underfloor heating and mood lighting. They start at 'deluxe' and go up to 'ultimate luxury' – which, in the case of the top two suites, means lavish apartment-sized spaces with the choice of either an enormous spa bath and private sun terrace or an 8-foot-wide circular bed in front of two panoramic bay windows. That's a tough choice! Every Victorian gents' villa had a coach house, which at Applegarth has been re-fashioned to offer 7 new hot-tub suites – more stunning, boutique spaces, each with their own private terrace and tub and far-reaching views. Two of them are dog-friendly too.

The hotel is at the top of the village, which means some sweeping mountain views from most of the rooms and suites. The conservatory restaurant has the same outlook, so breakfast is a joy on a sunny day, with everything from crepes to eggs florentine on the menu. No need to go elsewhere for dinner either, which is good value and artfully presented (2 courses £29.95, 3 courses £34.95), with plenty of local produce (plus gluten-free dishes and catering for special diets). There's also a handsome oak-panelled bar with open fire for cosier Lake District nights.

The other great thing is the location – away from the lake, sure, but literally a minute's walk from the train station, a leisurely stroll down to Bowness and the water, and only a quick jaunt on the open-topped bus along to Ambleside, which means you can leave your car at the hotel and avoid the busy roads and challenging parking. But they basically had us at 'hot tub suite', which is good enough reason not to go anywhere else at all.

Reviews

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★★★★★

We will definitely return!

Applegarth Villa is a hotel in Windermere that we stayed at last weekend. The free dinner offer caught our eye so we booked Friday and Saturday night. We were impressed from the moment we checked in. It is a family owned and run hotel and only 14 bedrooms so we got excellent service. The bar area was really nice and being so sunny outside, we had pre dinner drinks on the terrace overlooking the fells. Dinner was lovely, we both had the local feel bred beef. Breakfast again was really good, great choice. We would definitely return.

by Jennifer Smith

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