If I’m asked to describe Armathwaite Hall, one of Luxurious Magazine’s latest destinations, the words grand, opulent and unforgettable spring to mind. The imposing country house, vast grounds and, of course, the breathtaking setting all come together to create one spectacular stately retreat.
n 1930 Hugh Walpole put into words his impression of this splendid stately home, “Speaking of romance, is there anything more romantic than Armathwaite Hall? With the trees that guard it and the history that inhabits it, and the lake that stretches before it, it is a house of perfect and irresistible atmosphere.”
Set in the heart of the Lake District, by Bassenthwaite Lake, near the town of Keswick, Armathwaite Hall dates back to the 11th Century. The estate certainly had its fair share of trials and tribulations throughout its history until it was eventually developed, remodeled and modernized by the current owners in the 1970s.
Whether it’s for a special celebration, a relaxing spa break or a romantic getaway, this hidden gem of the Lake District attracts visitors throughout the year, so much so that the luxurious magazine team had to take a closer look.
The journey to the hotel began with the mesmerizing sights of the Lake District, and once we arrived at Armathwaite Hall, we were thrilled by the location. This splendid country house is set like a jewel against a background of lush gardens, stunning silvery lake and a paddock, playing home to a small herd of free-roaming Alpacas. Before we even checked into the hotel we couldn’t resist the temptation of going for a refreshing walk around the adjacent grounds to take in the beautiful views.
As dramatic as the scenery is outside, the interior of Armathwaite Hall does not disappoint, in fact, it comes close to matching it. The lavish traditional décor of oak-wood paneling, magnificent stags’ antlers as well as beautiful ornaments and works of art on the walls of the public rooms alongside feature fire-places cleverly blend in with the latest state-of-the art facilities creating one truly remarkable combination.
The same goes for accommodation. Since Armathwaite Hall started its journey as a stately home, all 42 en-suite bedrooms of the hotel have distinct character, varying in both size and décor. You can choose from suites and rooms facing the gardens, looking over Bassenthwaite Lake, deer park or the courtyard. The bedrooms in the main house have more traditional feel bringing back the memories of La Belle Époque with sumptuous furnishings and attention to detail. In the en-suite bathrooms you might be surprised to discover a duo of a full-size bath and a separate shower-cubicle, not to mention the treat of a separately-controlled digital wall-mounted television in addition to the bigger one in the bedroom. So, should you wish to luxuriate in a bubble bath watching your favourite TV program in the privacy of your own en-suite bathroom, this could easily be arranged. The spa bedrooms are decorated in a more contemporary style continuing the modern and high-tech theme of the spa complex. Whichever style of the décor or view you choose for the duration of your stay, you can be safe in the knowledge that fluffy feather pillows and duvet coupled with peaceful rural setting will secure a restful night sleep in total comfort. Should you need more help to relax and unwind, just head for the spa.
The Spa, as well as being a part of the hotel, is a popular attraction in its own right. Many become members of the club to use the well-equipped gym and participate in fitness classes and other activities. And of course there is an inviting 16-metre infinity pool complete with a huge outdoor hot-tub, surrounded by the lush greenery of the forest, a steam-room, an aroma room and many more exciting features for the club members and hotel guests to enjoy.
Even though our team didn’t get a chance to sample the actual spa treatments due to filming commitments, the facilities did look exciting. From chic contemporary décor and beautiful country-yard setting to variety of treatments designed for pampering, relaxation and de-stressing, the spa has the vibe of a real modern oasis of well-being.
Another popular attraction is the Lake District Wildlife Park located just a short walk away. The 24 acre park houses hundreds of species of exotic animals from zebra to tapir and has reptile and birds of prey centres. Here you can spend a fun-filled day interacting with animals as well as learning about their natural habitat through daily on-sight demonstrations. To get even closer to your favourites, you can take part in personal encounters – “experience the wild” sessions where you can have some hands-on time and feed some resident lemurs, meerkats or tapirs or learn how to handle a hawk.
Armathwaite Hall has something for everyone. It’s a perfect setting for a wedding or a milestone celebration, suitable for a conference or corporate events and, of course, a dream destination for a romantic get-away or a long-awaited escape into a fantasy world of beauty and tranquility away from the hassle and bustle of our busy lives.
By Natasha Godbold
Part two of this travel feature ‘Dining at Aramathwaite Hall’ follows soon.