This was our second visit to the Hideaway and I can say I have never stayed in such a clean, friendly and prompt hotel. Dawn
Thank you for a lovely time, the room was perfect, the breakfast was a great start to our day. I only wish we could have stayed longer! Katie
We came back to your lovely hotel and the service and food was excellent. Thankyou for making our stay so special. Susan & Paul
A BIG thank you for making our honeymoon stay at your lovely Hideaway so special...the perfect way to start married life... Ali & Mark xxx

About Us

Richard & Lisa Gornall took over The Hideaway in November 2004; this is our story so far...

We have Sir Richard Branson to thank for the start of our path to The Hideaway at Windermere. Both originally from the North west of England, we both studied food & hospitality at universities in Sheffield and Liverpool respectively. Our paths crossed whilst working within the Inflight Services team at Virgin Atlantic Airways; romance blossomed, and the rest as they say, is history!

We were very fortunate to travel extensively with our roles at Virgin & whilst working in the far corners of the globe, we experienced some of the best hospitality in the world. The Hideaway presented the opportunity for us to combine and share our skills to create a luxury hotel in Windermere experience; pampering for guests looking to treat themselves without having to seriously break the bank. We set about the transformation, and The Hideaway at Windermere, was born.

Built in 1890, this was the former school masters house for the college next door (now converted apartments); the main aim was to sympathetically revive the Victorian features whilst adding a contemporary twist. Pulling on the inspirations & experiences of our travels, we planned, designed and project managed the renovation ourselves; choosing & co-ordinating all finishes, colours & fabrics with meticulous detail.

In 2008, we were awarded 4 Yellow Stars by the AA which signifes being in the top ten percent of the four star category. Continual improvements have followed with the completion of more guest rooms.

We have searched high and low to gather our small team who share in our passion for great breakfasts and homemade cakes, exceptional service & stylish surroundings; we really couldn't do this without them, and together, it is our aim to consistently deliver The Hideaway experience in this beautiful part of the world.

We hope to welcome you very soon.

Meet The Team...

Richard trained as a Chef at Kendal College, also gaining his Advanced Patisserie Diploma, honing these skills at a local Artisan Bakery.  He went on to study Hotel & Catering Management at Sheffield University.  His hotel experience includes Claridge's in London, before joining Virgin Atlantic Airways.  Starting in Inflight Catering, duties took him to India, China, Japan, South Africa, and the USA.  He then progressed to become Clubhouse F&B Executive, managing the food & beverage service for all Upper Class Lounges.  Richard then joined the Yates Group as Head of Food, where he designed, developed and trained menus across the UK.  Now, firmly fixed at The Hideaway, Richard is back on the stoves, and is enjoying sharing his passion for creating truly delicious Modern British Food.  Favourite Hideaway: Wine Cellar!

Tomasz is our Duty Manager.  He joined us in 2009 and has been a steadfast support ever since.  His exemplary skills in customer service are a true asset and you will find him equally efficient in the Restaurant, Bar and Reception.  A master in many other 'trades', he often lends his hand in maintenance jobs at The Hideaway, and he has even taken the Lakeland images used on the website!  Tomasz is a keen cyclist, he also enjoys walking, travelling, photography, cooking, and a glass or two of full bodied red wine!
Favourite Hideaway - Super Comfy Room 10.

Ania is our Head Housekeeper; she joined us in 2005, and aswell her daily job of running Housekeeping to a 'gleaming' standard, she has lived through & supported us in every stage of our refurbishments, or more to the point, helping in the huge clean up afterwards!  Ania is a fully trained Dental Technician and we are very lucky that she applies the same intricate detail to her current role!  Ania enjoys Fell walking, cooking for her family, sewing and internet shopping.
Favourite Hideaway - Super Comfy Room 2.


Adam is our Breakfast Chef and all things 'Food'.  Adam cooks our delicious Full English Breakfasts, and is responsible for baking all of our Homemade Cakes.  He particularly enjoys dipping our 'Chocolate Dipped Strawberries'!  An avid film watcher, Adam is also a web developer, so has a keen internet knowledge and interest.
Favourite Hideaway - Room 15!