If Windermere Suites had been around in Wainwright’s day, I fear that there would now be hoards of walkers aimlessly wandering around the fells, with absolutely no idea where they’re headed. Because who’s to say that Wainwright would have been any more immune to this high-end B&B’s charms than the majority of guests who barely venture out of their rooms during their stay?
According to Windermere Suites’ owner, most guests will pop out in the afternoon for an hour or so but otherwise, they stay put. These folks are clearly more interested in spending time with their old man than Coniston’s. It seems a bit odd to go to an area of incredible beauty and then not experience it; but on the other hand, why not? Why should the Lake District only be about the outdoorsy stuff and cracking pubs? Windermere Suites’ USP is about enjoying quality time with your partner in an intimate and luxurious cocoon. If it’s a common complaint of modern life that time with one’s partner is being shoe-horned in between other priorities, that’s starting to sound just a little bit clever.
All the nudge-nudge-wink-wink aside, there must be something pretty compelling about these suites. Huge, luxurious bed? Yep. Massive flat-screen TV that you can angle to view from anywhere in the room, including the bed? Sure thing. A good-sized dining area with table and chairs so you can enjoy your breakfast without getting crumbs all over the duvet? Done. Sound-proofed so that you’re not irritated by other people slamming doors or arguing? (Well come on, not everyone’s going to be in full-on romantic-bliss mode for the whole twenty-three hours.) Yes, indeedy.
All perfectly lovely but not the main event. Because what matters here is the piece de resistance. The coup d’hotel. The maraschino cherry on the Bakewell tart. The bathroom.
OMG, as the cool kids would say. Oversize. Double. Air. Bath. Put those words together and right there is the reason why people don’t leave their suites. Its micro-jets of bubbly heaven will not easily release you. It’s the Venus fly-trap of the bathroom world. With mood-lighting on remote control (natch) and a TV too, this is prolonged soak-time rather than a quick scrub. There’s also a power-shower, and even that is designed to be enjoyed by more than one person at a time.
You see, this place is meant for lovin’. That could mean it ends up feeling a bit dirty weekend / 1970s shag-pile, but Windermere Suites smartly circumvents that danger. The bathrooms would elegantly and happily sit alongside those in some of London’s chicest boutique hotels. The bedrooms are styled with quality and attention to detail (even if they are a little on the ostentatious side for my personal taste, but then I’m probably being deeply trad). Your Great Aunt Maud could stay at Windermere Suites and – unless something had gone mortifyingly awry during the booking process – have absolutely no idea that there are such things as a ‘Naughty Package’ on offer, complete with “naughty dice, mask, tickling feather, massaging body butter, and a vibrating mini massager, all beautifully packaged”. Ahem.
There are on average 15.5 million visitors to the Lake District each year. If you love the Lakes but want to avoid the feeling that all 15.5 million of them have arranged via Facebook some sort of hiking flash-mob for the same weekend you’re there, then go to Windermere Suites and don’t see a soul other than your soulmate. When you get back to work you can always fib about how you got that healthy glow.