The Villa Levens, near, Kendal, Lake District: hotel review

April 3, 2016

Despite a mildly corporate feel, this Victorian pile in the Lakes redeems itself with historic features and our writer’s favourite luxury: TVs in the bathrooms

As an atheist, I am unlikely to ever need spiritual guidance in the Lake District. What I do require, however, in an area where hotel room-rates frequently cause me to invoke God’s name in volleys of unchristian language, is more value-for-money accommodation.

Therefore it gladdens my heart to see that Villa Levens – a handsome Victorian pile originally built as a family home and then used as a convent until 2012 – has been turned into just such a dependable bolthole. Most tourists head straight for the Lakes’ heartlands of Windermere and Ambleside, where, naturally, bedrooms command a premium but here in the relatively unfashionable (and, yes, flatter, less visually striking) southern portion of the Lakes, you can book an unusually spacious, hi-spec double room from £85 a night midweek. Those prices may be less charitable than they were when the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco ran Villa Levens as a religious retreat, but then they weren’t big on Temple Spa toiletries, smart bathrooms, crisp linens and comfy beds.

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You can then secrete yourself in one of two lounges – the butch gentleman’s club-style Snug would be my preference

I will take laughter over Eye of the Tiger any day

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