The new owners of an historic Lake District hotel have unveiled the new-look retreat in the epic Borrowdale Valley to guests following a £1.3million investment.
Dating back to the 1750s, the Royal Oak at Rosthwaite is a former farm and miners’ tavern located on the Coast to Coast route near Keswick – the renowned long-distance walking route, just earmarked as the UK’s newest National Trail.
The now 23-bedroom hotel and restaurant has been a popular spot for visitors and walkers alike for many years, with the previous owners at the helm for the past half a century.
The Royal Oak has now undergone an eight-month makeover with the arrival of Nick Wyatt and Matthew Welbourn, who have put a strong emphasis on collaborating with local artisans and suppliers to maintain a distinctly Lake District personality for the peaceful, luxury hideaway.
The Royal Oak’s refurbishment has uncovered a variety of historic features, from original beams and fireplaces to a name etched into a window when the building was a Temperance Hall back in the 1920s. Meanwhile, the new interiors have been carefully crafted for a stylish, natural and authentic feel, including reclaimed furniture, soft woollen curtains and bespoke carpets.
Eco-friendly innovations have also been a top priority, with examples including handmade local soap and reconstituted plastic bottles being used to create feather-like, vegan down for all the pillows and duvets.
Alongside Matthew and Nick, the new-look team is a mixture of new recruits and well-established staff, including Manager Ann Jackson who has been at The Royal Oak since 1978 and has been christened ‘Head of Authenticity’. She has a wealth of knowledge about the local area and plays a vital role in helping guests to feel a real connection with the local community they are visiting.
Co-owner Matthew Welbourn says, “The Royal Oak is a quintessential Lakeland hotel in the heart of the Lake District National Park. The previous owners did a fantastic job is building a loyal customer base over an impressive five decades and our aim is to stay true to the heritage of the property by offering a truly authentic local experience.
“At the same time, visitor expectations continue to change and evolve – with personal wellbeing being a key factor in people’s holiday choices. This major overhaul is all about taking the hotel to the next level by offering a modern product which helps our guests make the most of the unique Lake District landscape just outside the window.
“Our service ethic focuses making people feel at home, very much like a ski chalet you might find on an alpine resort – a relaxed atmosphere, with a real focus on wellbeing, quality and comfort. Our drying room and new boot dryer is straight out of a ski resort and has already been getting rave reviews from guests!”
He adds, “We also support local businesses, from produce to decor and everything in between. Where we can, we make sure to use local businesses and their products not only because they offer the best, but also to do our bit for the local community and reduce our carbon footprint in this world-class destination.”
The Royal Oak’s location in the epic Borrowdale Valley is a paradise for walkers and explorers of all abilities. Set against the mighty backdrop of high peaks like Great Gable and Scafell Pike, visitors can explore Derwentwater and the market town of Keswick to the east or head over the mighty Honister Pass towards Buttermere and Loweswater to the west.
Other scenic highlights include the 2000 tonne Bowder Stone and the sensational ‘Surprise View’ – you can even spot Scotland from here on a clear day!
A standard double room for 2 people starts from £165, on a B&B basis.
See www.royaloakhotel.co.uk for more information.