Low Wood Bay, Lake Windermere, Lake District

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With views across the glistening waters of Lake Windermere, the newly refurbished Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, part of the English Lakes Hotel group, sits proudly on the shore. After a multi-million pound investment, the historic hotel has undergone a complete renovation, the largest in its 300-year-old history, to an exceptional spec, giving its guests an unparalleled experience of the Lake District.

It was important to pay homage to the listed building status of the hotel in the Old Building bedrooms, reflecting a classic yet contemporary finish, which is incorporated through all the interiors with clever use of dark woods and mirrors. These were integral to creating space and making the best of the reflections of the light from Lake Windermere. Water references, such as ripples in the carpet, reflections in fabrics and artwork, give a subconscious association and a sense of calm and decadence.

The Atrium’s concept was to maximise the experience of the first point of entry, with strong visual lines leading to the end window overlooking the lake, with an illusion of almost floating on the water, giving a true lake-lifestyle feel. Overall, the architecture is more contemporary here and the interior reflects this.

Like the rest of the build, the spa will emphasise references of the lake through reclaimed wood, natural finishes and an informal relaxation area. A former stable, it was important to retain elements such as the cattle feed racks and natural slate stone walls, which influenced the idea of a natural straw bed to relax on after treatments in the private day spa.


The colouring and finishing of the Blue Smoke on the Bay restaurant is strongly influenced by the environment; think reeds, bleached wood, pebbles, water and fire, as well as a large vintage mirror to create even more space and calm, as well as a deeper view of the lake and surrounding elements.

‘One of the fundamentals of the design was to ensure the historic quality of Low Wood Bay wasn’t lost. Even with the more contemporary aspects, a natural feel has been kept throughout with the use of natural stones, wood and elements such as fire and water.

Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on Lake Windermere is more than just a place to stay; it’s an experience we wanted to encapsulate in the design, from the bedrooms through to the spa and restaurants. Each part of the property brings something new and different for guests to enjoy. It’s like no other in the region.’ – Sarah Humphreys, IDA Design Ltd