On its own sculpture-dotted 67 acres above Windermere, this place oozes exclusivity from every carefully fashioned corner. Today the hotel is favored by the rich and famous and garlanded with multiple awards, but it avoids the snobbishness sometimes found in similar establishments. Rooms are elegantly traditional though not fussy, and have pretty wallpapers, muted colors, fireplaces, slate-floor bathrooms, and roll-top tubs. Service is a good mix of professional and friendly,
and the lake views are fantastic. The well-regarded restaurant (£65 fixed-price dinner) specializes in creative local fare; it's open to nonguests for dinner, afternoon tea, and Sunday lunch (call ahead). Book well ahead for the best prices.