A hotel set in the heart of the Lake District is eagerly anticipating the return of tourists as it prepares to open its doors for the first time this year.

The Glaramara Hotel, based in Borrowdale, will finally begin to welcome back guests from May 17 after a year filled with uncertainties and financial difficulties for many businesses in the retail and hospitality industries.

David Oglethorpe, managing director, made the decision to keep the doors to the hotel shut during the brief lockdown lull in December as most of their clientele were in tiers three and four, so there is a sense of relief to finally be reopening.

“It feels fabulous,” he said.

“We’ve only been trading for three-and-a-half months out of the last 14 months which puts it into perspective when you think about it like that.

“When the pandemic started it was just the sheer shock of it all.

“Like a lot of hotels we do a lot of our refurbishment in winter so cashflow is not brilliant but you’re guaranteed to get that money back in April, May, June but of course it just didn’t happen.

“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.”

But Mr Oglethorpe is optimistic about the upcoming tourism season and what it will bring to the hotel.

It is an opportunity for the hotel to begin to recuperate some of the money that it has lost out on in the last year.

Many holidaymakers have already booked up rooms, and those who had booked to stay during one of the previous lockdowns are eager to secure their places too.

“We have a very loyal clientele; they have been very supportive of us and virtually all of them have told us to keep hold of their deposits,” said Mr Oglethorpe.

“We’re trying to get them fitted in now, making sure they get their first choice in the place.

“We’ve got all the systems in place so we’re ready to go.

Business insights The Cumberland Building Society

Business insights The Cumberland Building Society

“If everything goes to plan, it’ll be an absolutely incredible summer and it’ll be really busy.

“We’ll start making up some of the losses.”

The Glaramara Hotel is the perfect place to spend time with family and friends as it offers a luxurious holiday destination with a huge selection of adventure activities such as ghyll scrambling, archery, caving and rock climbing.

They have found that people are now more interested in staying at the hotel longer than they usually would.

“We’re doing the same activities but obviously there are certain restrictions,” he said.

“Traditionally, we get families who come to do activities and they stay at the hotel for two or three nights.

“But, we’re finding that last year and this year people are staying seven, nine or 10 nights and they’re doing a lot of activities while they’re here.”

Mr Oglethorpe purchased the property in 1999 and has transformed it from a hostel and outdoor activity base into a hotel and activity centre enjoyed by hundreds of Lake District visitors, businesses, and wedding guests every year.

A high street bank originally declined David’s commercial lending application before The Cumberland stepped in with its flexibility and industry knowledge.

Bob Bishopp, head of commercial relationships at The Cumberland, said: “The Glaramara Hotel is a fantastic business that we’re very pleased to have supported right from the very beginning of its journey – more than 20 years ago.

“Although the last year has been tough for many businesses across the country, the idyllic location and the exciting activities at Glaramara will help it bounce back quickly.”