Borrowdale Hotel almost unrecognizable after ground floor refurbishment!

The historic Borrowdale Hotel situated within the pretty Borrowdale Valley has received a new lease of life following a contemporary renovation project.

The traditional hotel, which first opened its doors back in 1866, closed at the beginning of 2023 for 2-months to modernise its reception, restaurant and two lounges.

Lake District Hotels‘ 3 Directors envisioned bringing the hotel’s décor into the 21st century with a more contemporary design scheme, however, they were careful to do it in a way that would be respectful to the traditional interiors and historic features that had already captured the hearts of many repeat guests.

“Making big changes to the Borrowdale Hotel was always going to be a risk because there are so many returning customers who enjoy the hotel’s historic features. It was important for us to give them a space that retains the hotel’s heritage feel, but in a more distinctly modern fashion that has moved with the times. We are confident that we have produced a product that ticks both boxes.” – Dani Hope, Director of Lake District Hotels


What inspired the risky refurbishment project?

In true Lake District fashion, the design project was inspired by the outdoor landscapes surrounding the hotel, whilst plush furnishings were incorporated to instil a feeling of luxury. Examples of local inspiration can be seen through the use of earthy tones and natural materials throughout.

Food for thought…

The most notable transformation is arguably the hotel restaurant, which has been converted into a graceful, light-flooded space with an abundance of elegant touches; from flauti tiles that have been incorporated into a new breakfast bar and a newly plastered ceiling with intricate beading, to lavish green marble tables and bespoke banquette seating.

Providing guests with a warm welcome

Another area that has received a noticeable upgrade is the hotel entrance. Guests are now greeted by a fresh space complete with bespoke open shelving allowing glimpses through to the roaring fireplace and inviting features of the cosy entrance lounge. Additionally, a contemporary reception desk has been installed which is coated in beautiful mosaic tiles to modernise the check-in experience.

History in the making

Also donning a fresh appearance is the generously sized resident’s lounge, which offers a feel of relaxed Georgian elegance in a more modern setting. The focal point of the striking lounge is the refurbished fireplace which is complemented by comfortable seating and homely furnishings; giving guests that home away from home feel.

This cosy yet luxurious space has retained and amplified its historic features, seen through the preservation of the grandmother clock and the addition of a colossal gallery wall made up of historic images collected throughout the Borrowdale Hotel’s rich history.

Take a trip down memory lane

Other historic elements of the hotel which remain intact are the butler’s bells located in the reception corridor, the grandfather clock in the entrance lounge and the hotel’s iconic wine cellar in the restaurant that can hold over 1000 bottles of wine.

“The new design allows guests to truly appreciate and understand the legacy of the hotel throughout the years, but in a luxurious environment that feels welcoming to those of any age” – Kit Graves, Director of Lake District Hotels

The 4-star Borrowdale Hotel is open daily for afternoon teas, bar meals and light bites. In addition, the hotel’s iconic Sunday lunch is served weekly with roast meats served from a traditional silver carving trolley. Overnight accommodation is available starting from £160 per night and bookings can be made via the website.


In 2023 the Kings Arms Hotel in the centre of Keswick also received an extensive renovation which you can read more about here.