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“A super Christmas break” 4 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 website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Sunday Night Sleepover
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Minster Lovell
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersBronze level
Derbyshire
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A super Christmas break”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

The venue is perfect for a short break; a quintessential English village replete with a ruined manor, wood fires, a characterful inn, good food well prepared and presented, knowledgeable staff, great walks right from the door and Georgina the 'Host' manager - quite simply exemplary!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,043 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 (357)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

An old hotel on the banks of the Windrush and the best thing about it was the dogs. No walk in shower, service appalling, (although the staff tried hard), difficult to manoeuvre stairs and not enough leisure seating for the number of guests especially with the number of children which we had not expected. Several times there was just nowhere to go except back to the room. Cannot believe that jets 7767 was so enthusiastic. (I'm glad he enjoyed breakfast - ours took ages to arrive and then it was the wrong order) In our view, the food was mediocre and the medieval buffet nothing but left overs from Christmas Day. We did agree that the jazz band was great - the best thing about the whole stay.

Room Tip: I think rooms in the Mill were probably the better choice except that in the wind and rain difficult...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, January 6, 2014
Thank you for your review and I am so sorry that you didn't enjoy Christmas at the Old Swan & Minster Mill. Our host, Georgina, and I spent all of our time talking to our guests and hosting the drinks receptions so we are upset that we hadn't picked up on your disappointment at the time. Our aim always is to ensure that we fix any concerns or problems at the time our guests are with us rather than responding subsequently.

You made some very negative comments about our medieval influenced buffet on Christmas Day evening. I would like to assure you that every item was a new product and as a matter of coincidence I photographed the buffet, so I can be completely satisfied of this fact. We chose to provide cold meats, dressed salmon, pies, pate, fruit, cheese, a chocolate log and a Christmas cake, as we felt that this would be pitched correctly for our guests' appetites after a large Christmas Day lunch.

Having checked the total numbers, you are correct that there were quite a number of guests who brought their dogs with them and in reality they exceeded the total number of children.

You will appreciate that our Christmas House Party offers a subjective experience and please do accept my sincere apologies that this fell short our your expectations. Subsequently we debrief on the whole experience and will take into account all of our guests' comments, including those of jets7767, so that we can continue to improve and tailor-make future packages. The overwhelming feedback has been extremely complimentary, which is why we are so disappointed to learn of your comments.

With best wishes and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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Herts
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

Staff were wonderfully helpful, even before we arrived. We'd booked with Secret Escapes and then suffered a death in the family which may have meant needing to cancel or alter dates- the staff couldn't have been more helpful and accommodating.
The Old Swan is a beautiful old building and full of character in the public areas. I'm sure it would be a wonderful place to sit outside and enjoy the river in the summer. We had a "Cosy Room" which we did find exceptionally cosy - we had two small suitcases as we were going on elsewhere from the hotel and there wasn't really room to put them down - the room had a lovely comfortable kingsize bed and bedside tables with just room to walk around the bed and a large desk/dressing table at the bottom of the bed, with a tall wardrobe on the other side beside the step up to the bathroom, but included everything you could want including a hairdryer, safe, ironing board and iron (not sure where you'd put it up!) and the sloe gin other guests have mentioned.
Our stay included a 3 course dinner in the restaurant and that was most enjoyable. The meal was beautifully cooked and served and we had a most attentive waiter. Our red wine was served at a perfect temperature. My husband also enjoyed trying some of the extensive list of malt whiskys available in the bar after dinner - they even have a separate booklet with tasting notes!
Breakfast the following morning was also very enjoyable, although after the big meal the night before we couldn't face a full English so my husband opted for an omlette (not on the menu, but no trouble to provide) and I just had scrambled egg, bacon and mushrooms. Delicious.
We had particularly liked the glasses in the room (with insets of coloured glass) and were delighted to find these were sold by the hotel, so on check out requested a couple as a reminder of our stay. The supplies were apparently kept some way away, but staff chatted and entertained us while we waited for these to arrive.
To me the staff were probably the biggest asset this hotel has, every single person we spoke to was helpful, pleasant, and went out of their way to make our stay more enjoyable and nobody ever said "no"!!
I would definitely visit again, but probably opt to pay a little more for a slightly larger room.

Room Tip: We found our cosy room rather small, so consider paying more for a more spacious room if this is imp...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
Harbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

We have just returned from a three night "Christmas house party" and we had a fabulous time. The room right next to the River Windrush was gorgeous. It had its own terrace and fire pit. Marshmallows to toast had been thoughtfully provided and were much enjoyed! The room was quiet, peaceful and spotlessly clean. A Really comfy bed added to our relaxation. The rest of the hotel was beautiful too and a clever mix of old and new furnishings - a real home from home. The staff couldn't do enough for us and nothing was too much trouble. The activities arranged by Georgina were low key and just to our liking. No redcoats here!! A delicious afternoon tea was provided on Christmas Eve followed by a champagne reception and delicious three course dinner at the Old swan. Story telling followed by the brilliant Chloe -(what a delight that was ) then Midnight Mass at the local church. Christmas morning was yet more champagne and a yummy Cotswold breakfast. A visit from Santa Claus delighted young and old in the morning. Lunch followed - a delicious five course feast which couldn't be faulted. Christmas cake and more stories followed. In the evening the hotel put on a magnificent medieval buffet - unfortunately we struggled to eat anything but it looked splendid! Finally on Boxing Day an evening dinner dance with a fabulous jazz band.

This was definitely a Christmas to remember and we will definitely return to the old swan and minster mill later in the year for more walks and relaxation.

Highly highly recommended. Thanks to all the staff who were superb and who worked so hard to make everyone's stay extremely enjoyable.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

Just fabulous. From the second that I first contacted the Old Swan and Minster Mill back in August to book our break we have had superb treatment. We had a long list of requests - wheelchair bound diabetic guest - dog friendly - oxygen to be delivered and collected were just the beginning of my list - oh and could we have another room as close as possible etc etc. From the second we arrived nobody could do enough for us and the rooms, ambiance, grounds and food were brilliant. Most praise must go to the staff though - if only all hotels could have staff who are so professional and passionate about customer care. Nothing was too much trouble and we look forward to returning. Many thanks to Rob, Brodie, Katy, Poppy and Leanne for contributing to such an excellent first Christmas away from home.

Room Tip: Dog friendly rooms book up quite a long way in advance.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

Just what we were looking for. Old country charm, one of the only places where the whole place has been looked after, had a cosy room in the Old Swan, wasn't small at all and has its own little terrace out the back. The restaurant and bar area were very comfy, fantastic staff and great food. All of the things i ordered beforehand were in the room, and great little massage after a day of exploring the Cotswolds. Only slight greavance was getting confused as to where to check in but the staff were extremely helpful in showing the right way to go.

An amazing place to go for a walk around with very friendly staff and was a great place to escape away to for a relaxing weekend of rambling and sitting infront of the fire!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

Stay was excellent.A very picturesque spot in a beautiful part of the country Staff were very hospitable and food in the restaurant of a very high standard . The only issue was levels of noise heard through bedroom walls If this issue could be addressed this hotel would be faultless

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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, December 30, 2013
Thank you for writing a review of your winter weekend at the Old Swan & Minster Mill. On behalf of our Chairman, Lana de Savary, we were thrilled that you enjoyed your visit and rated both the food and staff so highly.

Hopefully we'll see you again in the spring or summer to experience the beautiful gardens and enjoy the 65 acres of our grounds.

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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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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