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The Daffodil Hotel & Spa, Grasmere, Lake District
The only hotel in Grasmere on the lake shore, the hotel surprises in other ways, too; its traditional slate exterior hides bold and colourful interiors from slinky lounges to colour-coded bedroom floors. Although the surrounding views are a constant reminder of your location, it has a decidedly more metropolitan than a country hotel feel with chic and sleek bedrooms, a sophisticated cocktail bar and a buzzy restaurant. With a spa, including thermal pool and tepidarium, and lake-view terrace, the hotel is more for people after a leisurely break than hiking the hills.
We love the round-lake circuit from the hotel. Around two miles long and some of it on roads, it is easy enough for anyone and particularly lovely in autumn with the trees turning golden.
Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount are nearby, while the shops and tea rooms of Grasmere are a five-minute stroll.
By car: 2 hours from Manchester, 3 hours from Edinburgh and just under 5 hours from London. There is free parking on-site.
By train: trains run from Manchester Piccadilly (just over 1 hour), London Euston (3 hours) and Edinburgh (2 hours) to Oxenholme Lake District station. The hotel is a 40-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The Daffodil is for people who want a leisurely break in a contemporary-style hotel with scenic views. We're constantly drawn to the eclectic artwork - from Penguin book covers and Sue Macartney Snape's witty cartoons to star-studded photographs from the National Portrait Gallery.
Service & Facilities
We are enchanted by the self-playing grand piano in the lounge. A handful of rooms take dogs, and they're allowed everywhere in the hotel apart from the restaurant. Owners can take their meals, with their pets, in the lobby bar.
- Spa and wellness centre
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
- Facilities for disabled guests
- Family rooms
Both the Valley View rooms and the Lake View rooms have charming views. All rooms have big modern-art prints or iconic photographs; Audrey Hepburn a favourite.
Lake View, Valley View, Family, Daffodil Double and Accessible Rooms, Junior, Senior and Molton Brown Suites
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, Molton Brown toiletries, free Wi-Fi, TV, tea and coffee facilities, a safe suitable for laptops
Food & Drink
The wine list is well-priced, wide-ranging and helpfully arranged by taste preferences - which encourages you to experiment with wines rather than opt for the safe and secure. The afternoon tea has been given a contemporary edge: including pastrami bagels, mini savoury tarts, chocolate truffle cones - messy to eat, but fun - and mini fruit crumbles.
The Dining Room: stunning views, modern British cuisine. Open all day. Mains from £16.
Lounge: cosy, indulgent, light bites and afternoon tea. Open 12-9pm. Plates from £5.
Lobby Bar: sophisticated, contemporary. Open til late. Cocktails from £8.50.
Lakeside Terrace: relaxing, al fresco dining. Open 12-9pm. Plates from £5.