Director pays a visit to the second property in Laura Ashley’s small but charming collection of boutique hotels…
Reinventing a classic
Hauling a Victorian, Grade II-listed building into the 21st century without stripping it of its original charm is no mean feat. But that’s exactly what Laura Ashley designer Kay Cullen pulled off last year with her nifty makeover of this stunning property, which teeters on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere.
The building was erected in 1845 as a private residence for the Baroness Von Sternberg, the house was acquired by the steel magnate Henry Schnieder in 1869 and converted to a hotel in 1892 and extended to provide additional bedrooms shortly before the First World War. The boutique hotel has since been refurbished throughout by Laura Ashley designers and now sits comfortably as the second hotel in their collection (the first being The Manor, Elstree). Laura Ashley say their designers drew inspiration for the project from the original architecture of the building, along with its picturesque location by the side of Lake Windermere.
The Laura Ashley Guide to Relaxation
Check-in takes place in the glass reception area affixed to the Victorian/Italianate building. This front conservatory effect works beautifully, thanks largely to the vista on offer – the hotel’s six acres of landscaped gardens, with the snow-capped Langdale Pikes beyond. Stress levels are guaranteed to plummet further when stepping into one of the Belsfield’s 25 lake view rooms. Breath-taking scenes of Lake Windermere are augmented by a stunning design of dark timbers and muted colour schemes, and small touches, such as underfloor heating in the bathroom and Egyptian Cotton linen on the bed, guarantee relaxation.
But it’s when entering the meeting and conference suites that the potential for mind-freeing company conferences, seminars and awaydays hits you – their USP is the brain-replenishing levels of natural daylight offered in each of them. It’s hard to think of a better setting in which staff can find their creative mojos.
For more on The Belsfield Hotel click here.