As our luck would have it, the bank holiday weekend fell right in the middle of exam revision period and our visit to the Lancaster House Hotel couldn’t have been a more welcome break. Located on the Lancaster University grounds, this is a fantastic spot that caters for everyone.
As you drive onto their property and wait for the painfully slow metal gates to open, it becomes clear that this is a place of peace and serenity. The hotel is located at the top of quite a large hill, like an old castle protecting its rights over the quiet Lancashire countryside, and its grounds offer plenty of parking. The flags waving proudly in the breeze and the floral hanging baskets dangling by your head make the entrance look rather impressive.
The reception itself is grand. A staircase from the first floor protrudes down into the lobby, and comfortable sofas give the impression of a good old-fashioned British manor. A visit throughout the winter months will offer a roaring fire in the lobby, but this appears to be replaced by a flower arrangement throughout the summer. It’s homely, relaxed, and comfortable.
The rooms look decent upon first glance, but closer inspection will find the odd scuff here and there. Each of the ninety-nine rooms in the hotel appear to have a different theme, with some offering a rustic old-world style, and others offering a more chic, modern twist with brighter colours. The beds seemed comfortable enough with extra pillows on the side. Each room comes with a whole offering of hot beverages and biscuits and the corridors are well equipped with ice machines and water coolers. A plush dog can be found laid on each bed too, although his collar reminds visitors that a charge will be applied if someone decides to “take him for a walk”.
One of the faultless areas I found was the Sandpiper Leisure Club. The whole area was spotless and the reassuring smell of chlorine wafted throughout the building. The heated fifteen metre indoor swimming pool can be used for both relaxation and exercise, although it did feel a little crowded even with just a few other swimmers. The whirlpool spa was wonderful as the sun shone through the windows, but the outdoor hot tub was even better. Luckily we visited on a warm day, but Lancaster is notorious for its troublesome weather conditions, so I’m sure the outdoor facilities are of limited use for the large majority of the year. The sauna and steam room were extremely relaxing, with scents helping to clear your mind of worries.
The hotel’s location suggests its primary audience would be families who are visiting their son or daughter through the year whilst they’re studying at university. However, the conference and function facilities are catering to a much wider audience, with fourteen meeting rooms accommodating up to two-hundred visitors. The hotel is often used by academics attending conferences or seminars at the university. Whilst a few improvements may need to be made in the rooms, the communal areas are very well-kept, and it was a pleasure to spend the night.