The Lake District’s very first serviced accommodation ‘aparthotel’ has opened its doors in Windermere, bringing a unique offering to the local area. The 21-room establishment, Kotel, is the brainchild of local businessmen and father-and-son duo, Graham and Edward Kennedy.
The luxury accommodation – perfect for those seeking flexibility – has been hailed ‘a breath of fresh air’ for visitors to the region and offers a sleek alternative to the more formal hotel and B&B offering. Residing in one of Windermere’s most recognised buildings on Lake Road, Kotel comprises high-specification rooms and suites that accommodate up to six people. Kitchenette’s with microwaves, fridges, king-sized beds, free wifi and 40-inch TV’s are standard in each apartment, with prices starting from just £97 a night.
“In creating Kotel we have brought something completely different to the Lakes,” explains Edward. “The aparthotel model is found typically in cities, such as Manchester, but in launching this here, we are offering visitors, be they couples, families, or singles, a luxurious yet affordable stay with complete flexibility. Guests can stay for one night and our self-service check-in enables visitors to arrive and leave at a time that suits them. Despite being open for just two months, business is brisk!”
It took Graham and Edward more than 12 months to refurbish the historical building, which operated originally as a Christian centre. Removing walls, opening up spaces and modernising throughout, they have created a contemporary, yet comfortable space.
“We were keen to preserve the heritage of this beautiful building and restore it sympathetically,” says Edward. “We retained many of the original features, such as the dark wooden flooring and paneled walls; they have blended effortlessly with the soft greys and luxury furnishings used throughout. We like to think of Kotel as boutique city chic in beautiful surroundings!”
One of Kotel’s more innovative design features is its digital keypads to enable 24-hour entry into its apartments. Imported from Norway, and the first of their kind to be used in the Lake District, guests are sent a unique four-digit ‘pin code’ on the day of arrival to allow seamless entry, and security. Kotel will undeniably ‘shake up the competition’, but Edward views his new project as a positive development for all.
“Change equals progress and we are delighted to have brought something utterly unique to the Lake District,” he says. “We view our model as very much a collaborative venture. We do not offer breakfast or restaurant facilities at Kotel, so guests are eating in one of the area’s many café’s and restaurants. We’re boosting the local economy and that can only be a good thing.”