As some other reviewers have noted, the Royal Oak is traditional with a capital T, which is great in terms of overall atmosphere, but some aspects seem like a throwback to Victorian England - heaven forfend if you are more than 20 minutes late for mealtimes or don't turn up for breakfast, for example. We made the latter gaffe through the desire for a bit of a lie-in (breakfast is 8-9 strict) and our no-show prompted an unfortunately timed knock on our door and a voice asking if we were coming down for breakfast - you have been warned. That said, if you're a bit of a rebel and enjoy engaging in playful sparring with matron, you're in for a treat. The bathroom was also a bit too traditional with the usual uncontrollable "power" shower and hospital decor.
If you are a keen hill walker (which virtually all of the Royal Oak's clientele will be) many aspects of the hotel are spot on. The location in Rosthwaite can't be bettered, the optional evening meal is good home cooking in plentiful quantities, the room (in the house) was comfortable (no TV is a big plus), most of the staff are very friendly and the bar and lounge areas are cosy. All-in-all, a great place to come back to after a day on the hill.