As hotels expand in size to guzzle up the tourists, it is a relief to find a hotel that still recognises that small can be beautiful. This gem of a hotel on the lakeside offers comfort and service at the highest level. The bedrooms are superb, with or without a lakeside view and provide the facilities all hotels should – real ground coffee in the bedrooms, a turn down service that replenishes stock and underfloor heating in the bathroom (a necessity in the UK climate!). A relaxing drink is to be had in the hotel bar, sitting at natural slate tables overlooking the lake. The food in the restaurant is simply superb in quality and choice – and the service is top drawer. (other hotels take note). Should the weather let you down the hotel provides reading material and DVDs and lots of information on where to visit indoors. A quick flat mile's walk from the hotel is the town of Ambleside – filled with quirky shops and outdoor pursuits outlets – but of special note is a brilliant fine arts shop – with an outstanding range of painting, glass and pottery. The rugged outdoors combined with fine artistry indoors – all washed down with a nice glass of the finest wine in the evening. Little wonder we visit The Waterhead every year (next visit in June 2014) – they are still providing a service at the top of their game. Long may it continue!