Nestled within the tourist honeypot of Bowness-On-Windermere, this 19th-century hotel, once a ‘water cure’ hotel where people would come to rest and rejuvenate, has definitely not lost its ability to do just that.
Following a multi-million pound refurbishment, The Ro hotel tastefully mixes the traditional with the modern resulting in a décor that is harmonious and pleasing. At times you could be forgiven for thinking you are in a city centre boutique hotel with fake flower walls and pops of brightly coloured furniture dotted around, all subtly complimenting the surrounding views of Lake Windermere.
Location – 9/10
Sat within its own grounds, The Ro is ideally located, close enough to the main drag of Bowness yet perfectly positioned above the town allowing you to submerge yourself within the wonderous views of the Lake District. All the main attractions are within a 10 min walk of the hotel. The World of Beatrix Potter, Lake Windermere and lake cruises, shops, bars and restaurants. Transport links are also very accessible and Windemere station, which links to the main west-coast line, is a 30-minute walk away.
Rooms – 8/10
There are 87 rooms to choose from ranging in size from the compact Snug and Cosy rooms all the way up to The Ro Suite. The contemporary décor of the hotel is mirrored within the bedrooms with subtle tones and clean lines, no-nonsense luxury. For my stay, I was in one of four very spacious Super Lake View Balcony Rooms which provided enviable, uninterrupted views of Lake Windermere and sunsets from the balcony. The attention to detail was what you would expect with an array of essentials at your fingertips – a Nespresso coffee machine, walk-in shower bathroom with luxury toiletries, bathrobe, fridge and smart TV that can be linked to your phone.
Food/Drink – 7/10
The Ro provides all-day dining with a good range of locally-sourced items balanced with some much-loved classics such as 10oz ribeye steak, 6oz marrowbone beef burger and haddock in beer batter with triple cooked chips. Breakfast is a self-serve hot and cold buffet with tea and coffee provided from a machine which did leave you feeling slightly underwhelmed. The restaurant is tastefully decorated but felt a little deprived of ambience and although the food was plentiful, it did lack finesse.
Overall – 8/10
The Ro prides itself on being a new kind of hotel that it doing things differently and at times it was hard to establish what that is. If you are looking for a hotel that has an excellent location and does the basics right, The Ro will not disappoint. If, however, you want all-out luxury, fine dining and value for money, The Ro just misses the mark.
Related: The Langham Hotel