Nestled in the heart of the Langdale Valley, Brimstone is the newest addition to the Langdale Estate, a small leisure complex that offers self-catering accommodation and timeshares in the English Lake District.
Brimstone is different. The hotel was opened this May, so is very new, and was opened with the intention of offering the best rooms in the Lake District. The hotel itself is very impressive. A slick, new building constructed from Lakeland slate, fitting in with the surroundings very well. It has just a total of sixteen rooms and suites making it a very small and comfortable place to stay. It’s situated on three floors, with the ground floor being the underground car park, and a lift connecting all floors, with automatically opening doors along the way. This makes getting around so easy, with step-free access all the way from the car to the rooms, which was great for us, in terms of getting our luggage to our rooms.
The rooms are seriously luxurious and modern. They’d definitely be a hit with anyone liking technology, with light buttons instead of switches to adjust the lights to the occasion, from ‘perky’ when you’re getting up for the morning, to ‘tinkle’ if you were to wake up in the night. There are two interactive televisions in the room, should you wish to tweet from the TV, and a whole host of TV channels and iPlayer available through the television. Even the curtains are opertated electronically. All these gadgets don’t feel gimmicky. The room is decorated very tastefully in subtle greys, with a spotless white bathroom. It is clear that every detail in the rooms at Brimstone has been very carefully considered and is of top quality.
One of the most unusual features about Brimstone is that there is no Reception desk. Guests are looked after by the hotel’s Hosts, who are available by telephone at any time, for literally anything you could want. There is just one communal room, the Reading Room, which is great. It has plenty of comfy seating, a TV and a good selection of books, magazines and newspapers. It also has a back wall bar with refreshments, including a Nespresso machine, bottled water, wine, beer and soft drinks available free and in unlimited quantities to guests at any time of the day or night. There are also cakes and fruit throughout the day, sandwiches to take out with you for the day available in the morning and cheese and biscuits to enjoy after dinner. They really have thought of everything, and this is a very popular service with guests, understandably. I was touched when Harriet, our host, brought us gluten free brownies especially to take out with us for the day.
There were three different hosts on duty whilst we were staying and all were great. They’re there to help with luggage, bring you breakfast in your room, call to see if you would like a turn down service, and help you with any other needs you might have.
The Langdale Estate is a great place to stay in the Lake District, particularly if you enjoy outdoor activities. It is around 15 minutes drive from Ambleside, the nearest town, but is a very short distance from many of the finest walks in Lakeland. There are also plenty of activities on the Estate, with a swimming pool and spa on site. The Spa is absolutely brilliant. It’s just a minute’s walk from Brimstone to get into the main building. On the first night, I enjoyed a manicure and pedicure with Kelly in the Spa. It was lovely to have an evening appointment, as the spa was quiet and I could relax and chat to Kelly, who was a complete delight and did a wonderful job of my treatment using OPI nail polishes. I had so many compliments afterwards. On the second night, I had an Anne Semonin Facial with Rachel. Again, this treatment was fantastic. Rachel was just lovely: very experienced and knowledgeable, and gave me so much information on the gorgeous Anne Semonin products, including a huge range of samples to try at home.
While staying at Brimstone, it makes sense to dine on the Langstone Estate, unless you fancy a fairly long drive elsewhere. There isn’t anywhere in Brimstone to eat, as all the restaurants and kitchens are over in the main building. Breakfast is great however, as guests at Brimstone are given a card in the room on which to choose what you want to eat, and leave it outside the room for the morning. There are 15 minute slots for delivery, and we found our food arriving bang on time. There is a really good choice of food available and the quality is good and there is no extra service charge for this.
There are several dinner options available on the Estate. We dined in Purdey’s Restaurant, the flagship restaurant for each night of our stay. It is a relaxed, unstuffy place to dine with very attentive, friendly service. There is a good selection of wines and the staff are keen to advise. Portions are generous – so much so that we couldn’t manage dessert. We retired to the Reading Room at Brimstone for an espresso and found other residents in there enjoying wine and cheese after dinner.
What is clear about Brimstone is how great the staff are. It is particularly nice to speak to staff who clearly love their jobs and care about where they work and their guests.
Brimstone is a fantastic place to stay in the Lakes. The rooms are just gorgeous and extremely comfortable. We particularly liked how autonomous you feel staying here – it’s a hotel room with hotel service, but a bit more freedom and privacy than some hotels to relax and do as you please during your stay. It’s so private, you could get away with hardly seeing a person during your stay if you wished. We met a couple staying who were on their third visit since May, they loved it so much. Have they succeeded in creating the best rooms in the Lakes? A good number of guests we encountered seemed to think so.