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“Really Disappointing Experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Old Swan & Minster Mill

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Old Swan & Minster Mill
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Old Minster, Minster Lovell, Witney OX29 0RN, England   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Sunday Night Sleepover
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Minster Lovell
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersBronze level
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Really Disappointing Experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Booked in for a Sat and Sun to celebrate our respective milestone birthdays taking our two dogs. The location is lovely but our room was cramped and the shower in a very small bath.We had expected to enjoy really good food but we got pub grub.The wait for the starter was an hour and another hour for the main which we had to ask for.Noisy children and families didn't help with the need for some relaxation.We checked out a day early.Our complaint was dealt with satisfact orilyby the duty manager on leaving but could not make up for a hugely disappointing visit for a special weekend which fell so far beneath our expectations.

Room Tip: Ask for details of dog friendly rooms, e.g size and location
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience of the Old Swan & Minster Mill and I am truly sorry that you felt it was wholly disappointing. I always take the opportunity to investigate any dissatisfaction to see if I can identify both the cause and the solution for the future. This helps our business to develop.

I spoke with the relevant staff, who you say dealt with your complaint satisfactorily and of course, I am glad that this demonstrated to you how seriously we take feedback. Your comments online and to the staff at the time indicate a slight mismatch in original expectations. Our business is set up to suit a very high quality and niche searching market. We market it as a 5-star boutique inn and gastro-inn. Everything inside and around the grounds is intended to ooze quality, attention to detail and backed by first-class hospitality but we also want a country chic informality, which helps our guests to truly relax and enjoy themselves. For example, we really welcome our guests with dogs, such that we offer a canine traveler trip package, as there are 65 acres of grounds, perfect for dog walking. The package itself offers many extras for the dogs and around the property there are always dog biscuits and bowls.

I am sure you understand that in today's world our success will be about being very clear about our markets and tailoring our product to suit. I hope that this gives you a greater understanding and, whilst I fully appreciate and respect the fact that this was not to your expectations, please do accept my most sincere apologies.

With best wishes

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,044 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (358)
Date | Rating
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English first
Witney, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Booked a birthday dinner for 6 and a room. Can't overpraise the quality of the food in the restaurant and the attentive, friendly yet unobtrusive service. Same again at breakfast. Room very comfortable, well appointed with lots of nice little touches (especially the sloe gin!). Warm and genuine welcome, personally shown to room and everything explained. Loved the river running by just the other side of the terrace and the peaceful setting. Public areas well maintained and all the fires blazing on a cold evening - wonderful! The de Savary family has made a real difference to this since our last visit 7-8 years back. Compares well to other quality places in the Cotswolds such as the Feathered Nest - you get what you pay for and you don't have to have the most expensive items as everything is high quality, well presented. I would say the one rosette rating is right as is the five diamond category.

Room Tip: River rooms are a good choice.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Thank you for writing a very comprehensive and positive review about the Old Swan & Minster Mill and Lana de Savary is delighted that her influence since purchasing the hotel is so noticeable. I am glad you enjoyed your River Room, which are among the most popular of our room types since you have your own private terrace alongside the River Windrush, complete with fire pit, furniture and marshmallows.

I was so pleased that you pointed out the high quality of everything within the hotel, which included our high quality and local food ingredients. Good food needn't be complex, nor fussy - the secret is in the quality of the raw ingredients and the team that put it together and thankfully we ticked both boxes for you.

Once again, thank you for your review and we look forward to seeing you regularly at the Old Swan & Minster Mill.

Best wishes

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

Had Sunday lunch at the restaurant - the food was certainly delicious and the staff were accommodating of my 3 year old niece. I've rated the property as 'average' overall, purely because I've had food of a similar standard in gastro pubs elsewhere which was far more reasonably priced. In addition - there were 6 adults - we each ordered a coke and a tea/coffee to finish and the bar tab came to £60! One bottle of coke in most supermarkets alone costs no more than £2 and teabags cost pennies. I understand there is a mark up on drinks but I loathe to spend nearly £4 on a cup of tea. I would strongly suggest the management reconsider the price of the drinks to something more reasonable, as this would be the main reason for me not to return to this restaurant.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for writing a review and I was very pleased that you found the food delicious and the hospitality good, when you visited us on Sunday for lunch. It's a shame that when all the critical elements of your visit met your expectations, you rated us average because of our pricing structure.

It is very difficult to draw parallels with unrelated supermarket distributors, since the business model is so different. Our pricing is based around many factors, which include other similar 5-star inns. Maintaining the high quality infrastructure to exceed our guests' expectations, set against our knowledge of the marketplace, determines our prices. That said, we will review this on a regular basis and take any necessary action.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for writing a review and I do hope that, notwithstanding your reservations about our pricing, you will return to the Old Swan & Minster Mill to enjoy the de Savary hospitality again.

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucestershire, UK
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Wonderful Easter lunch with friends - hospitality and service was exceptional. The food was superb. A lady called Karen took care of us impeccably even got a branded hessian doggy bag for my spaniel Daisy. 100% recommend - we will return.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
I am so glad that you had a wonderful Easter Sunday lunch and Karen, in particular, was delighted with the review you have written. Despite it being bitterly cold, we were pleased to host so many guests this Easter, who were able to get out and about in the Cotswolds and then return to the comfort of our roaring fires!

Lana de Savary is absolutely passionate about providing first-class hospitality and for making sure we recognise all our guests as individuals, so I was so pleased that we included your spaniel too. It's the little touches that count.

We look forward to welcoming you again on a regular basis.

Best wishes and many thanks

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berks, UK
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

Booked this as it is marketed as a gastro break but the food was less than we expected. The staff were very professional, friendly and always ready to help. The room in the old swan was nice with a four poster, very comfortable, bed but the room itself and bathroom was small but this is a compromise for staying in this lovely old building. Unfortunately we were seated in the bar area for dinner and it felt like a creche with children playing and running around (not exactly what we'd envisaged), however I think we could have asked to move. The location of the hotel is very pretty.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for posting a review and what a shame that we could have easily sorted your concern about being disturbed by fellow guests at the time you were with us. I'm sure it would have made your visit more to how you'd wanted it to be.

Of course, you're right that the idiosyncratic nature of such an old building means that bedrooms and bathrooms need to fit the template of the building and I'm pleased that you recognised this compromise positively.

I do hope that you'll return to the Old Swan & Minster Mill again this year so that we can achieve those higher expectations you had.

Best wishes and many thanks

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walsall, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Just back from two truly wonderful nights at the Old Swan and Minster Mill which simply could not be faulted. The overall level of service we experienced from every member of staff we encounted was superb and when you add this to an excellent room, wonderful food and a fantastic location you cannot and will not be disappointed. Looking forward to our next visit already!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Thank you for posting such a fantastic review and, on behalf of Lana de Savary, I'd like to say that it was our pleasure to ensure that you enjoyed your visit so much. Our aim is to provide a high quality product with total attention to detail, backed up by genuine, professional hospitality and good traditional cuisine. It sounds like we achieved all of this during your visit and so look forward to welcoming you again soon. There is something different to offer during every season at The Old Swan & Minster Mill, so you can enjoy great variety all year round.

Best wishes

Patrick Jones
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stoke-on-trent
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I have stayed here a couple of times now, with my partner, son and our dog. We are always made to feel very welcome, as we have stayed once when our son was a month old, and once when he was 2. The food is stunning and the surroundings and atmosphere create a perfect setting for total relaxation.

Always nice touches added to the rooms- we stayed in a garden room, and had a fire pit in the terrace overlooking the river, complete with marshmallow to roast, and a decanter of sloe gin. Also a little bed set out for the dog with bowl and food.

Would recommend and will probably return year after year.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review and, of course, for choosing to return regularly to the Old Swan & Minster Mill. It's great that you feel you can really relax, when staying here and have had the chance to experience all the little touches, which help make this possible. Without doubt, the hospitality is the overriding essential quality and we are all delighted that you have been made to feel so welcome.

We look forward to many more visits and, of course, don't forget that you can experience more of the de Savary hospitality at our "inn on the beach" at the Cary Arms in Devon.

Many thanks and best wishes

Patrick Jones
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Swan & Minster Mill

Address: Old Minster, Minster Lovell, Witney OX29 0RN, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Witney > Minster Lovell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Minster Lovell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Old Swan & Minster Mill 5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An historic Cotswold inn and boutique hotel,the Old Swan & Minster Mill is privately owned by the de Savary Family. Set is the picturesque village of Old Minster alongside the River Windrush, the 16 bedroom inn is stunningly romantic. A further 44 contemporary guest rooms are available in Minster Mill. Dining in the 600 year old inn feels like stepping back in time with stone floors, beamed ceilings, roaring log fires and delicious gastro-pub food based on fresh, local, seasonal ingredients with a modern twist.Over 65 acres of gardens and fly-fishing on over a mile of the River Windrush ensure a tranquil and pituresque setting. Children have a wealth of activities and there is a tennis court, badminton, croquet, petanque and spa treatments available. Located between the medieval market town of Burford and Witney, a short drive from Blenheim Palace and Bicester Designer Shopping Village. Oxford is 20 minutes drive. Nearest train station Charlbury is 15 minutes by taxi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Swan & Minster Mill Hotel Witney
Old Swan And Minster Mill
Old Swan & Minster Mill Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire

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