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“fantastic romantic getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Swan Hotel

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The Swan Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   on the B4425, Bibury GL7 5NW, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bibury
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“fantastic romantic getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

I couldnt praise this hotel enough, stayed for an evening in the whooper cottage complete with hot tub, champane, chocolates and an evening meal. From arrival onwards the staff were friendly welcoming and helpful, the setting is beautiful, autumn leaves complimenting the cotswold cottage scenery. The room was equipt with all you could need bathrobes, coffee machine and molton brown tolietries. Food was fantastic as was the wine. breakfast was a great standard with local bibury trout availible to sample with scrabled eggs. It maybe on the pricey side, but if your looking for a treat, this is it. With marvellous food, open fires and a top service I could'nt think of a better way in which to spend a romantic night in the cotswolds. Highly recommended

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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482 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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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Bristol
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

I wouldn't normally be this picky, but at the price (£170 for DBB) and with all of their plaudits I think they should be doing better

Good bits:
- Lovely room with very comfy bed
- Excellent quality of the complimentary bottle of champagne included in the deal (although we had to phone down to reception to remind them to bring it up)
- Superb main courses at dinner and great cooked breakfast
- The location is, of course, beautiful even in the autumn rain. Watch out for all the coach parties though!

Less good bits:
- Breakfast took ages (40 mins between ordering the cooked part and getting in) and no-one came to apologise or explain. Lots of other hungry, disgruntled customers too, but the promised discount didn't turn up in the end
- I had to send my dessert of plum tarte tatin back as the pastry was totally raw. The second one was cooked and quite nice (still not a proper tarte tatin though) but I saw other undercooked ones going out later to other guests. Both starters were also fairly average. We have eaten much better food overall for less money at other pub/hotels in the south west.
- Towels were well past their best
- All around the room were twee little notices saying 'We hope you love this gorgeous teddy/rubber duck/shampoo/a basic glass bottle with tap water in. If you want to take it home (or, even more twee, 'adopt' the teddy) £.... will be charged to your credit card.'
I think most guests are intelligent enough to work out that you can't take this stuff home and if you do you'll be charged. Also, it made it feel too much like one of those over-priced Kirstie-Alsop-esque 'lifestyle' shops that are all over the Cotswolds.

Definitely 'could do better'

Room Tip: Ask for a river view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

Beautiful lunch. Well cooked food. Local cheese and pate was delicious. Ordered a little too much food but we made our way through it washed down with some great wine. Only downside are the smokers who are allowed to smoke at the tables! The smoking on the table next to us was making our kids feel sick, as the breeze was blowing our way. We moved our own food and drinks inside. Other than that, a lovely place to visit. Oh, save a small bread roll to feed the trout in the stream outside...the kids loved it.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Kidderminster, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

The swan was recommended and the location and building certainly didn't disappoint. The room was lovely, overlooking the river and the champagne included in the DBB deal was very nice. What let the hotel down for us was the service in the restaurant.
We had advised ahead of time that we were vegetarian (no meat or fish) but this seemed to be an effort to understand for the waiter. When we ventured to say we didn't like goat's cheese he replied "I don't know what you can have if you don't like that" and then commented rudely when we wanted to see the wine list, "do you drink wine then?" I have to say that the food was nice in the end but for a four star hotel and in 2012 being vegetarian should not be such a problem. The restaurant is in need of a good manager to oversee orders and add a little sincere charm to dealing with customers. It's a good job we weren't the mystery guests! We were not asked about the service at checkout but were still charged 10% for it- not realised until we got home.

Room Tip: River view room - 'Butterfly' was lovely.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
Thank you for your comments with regards to your stay with us at The Swan Hotel as I feel that it is essential to hear customer’s feedback irrespective of good or bad in-order for us to progress customer satisfaction levels and take the hotel forward.

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the hotel and the location, however I am disappointed to hear about your dining experience with us. I am surprised that the waiter seemed flummoxed by the request for vegetarian options as we do offer a separate vegetarian menu for such an occasion.

We are currently in the process of re-structuring our food and beverage team. I have spoken with the team at length regarding your experience to ensure this never happens again. As you mention excellent customer service is the key to any memorable experience. I would again like to apologise for the shortcomings you experienced whilst with us and I hope you will return to The Swan to experience what we are known for.
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Aiken, South Carolina
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

My husband and I stumbled on this delightful hotel when our rental car had a flat tire in the Bibury car park. A disaster turned into an enchanting experience, thanks to the kindness of the hotel staff and the magic of our surroundings. Since we could get only spotty cell-phone re reception, the front-desk personnel at the hotel graciously allowed us to use the hotel phone for an entire afternoon while we tried (unsuccessfully) to resolve the flat-tire problem. They truly went above and beyond to try to help us.

We were very fortunate to be able to book one of the two remaining rooms at the hotel. It turned out to be one of the loveliest rooms we have ever had in our travels. The room and bath were gorgeous, but the best part was the view from the huge windows out over the bridge, the two streams and the beautiful gardens.

We thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the incredibly picturesque village. We also enjoyed several meals at the hotel: a snack and wine in the cozy bar with its welcoming fireplace, and then dinner and breakfast in the beautifully decorated formal dining room. The quality of the food and the sophistication of the presentation at dinner were outstanding, at least as good as we have had at many more expensive hotels and restaurants; clearly the Swan has an excellent chef. In addition, our young South African server was most friendly and helpful; he gave us excellent advice about how to continue our Cotswold tour without a car.

We will forever be grateful to the warm, courteous, efficient, generous personnel at the Swan. In addition, we will always treasure our memories of the delightful afternoon and evening we spent there. Should we return to this part of England, we will most certainly make this hotel our home base. Indeed, it would be worth a return visit just to re-live this most pleasant way to experience the best of the Cotswolds.

P.S. Don't ever make the mistake of renting from Hertz to visit this area. We heard both from our cab driver and another hotelier that ours was a very common story in the Cotswolds -- flat tire on a Hertz rental car, no spare, no replacement tire available in the whole region, no other car available. Both said they can't understand how Hertz stays in business.

Room Tip: We had Golden Eye -- great bed, great jacuzzi bath, gorgeous views.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

We booked a standard room one night DBB including a half bottle of champagne on arrival. This hotel is expensive but this was an incredibly good deal. We booked over the phone and the lady we spoke to is very efficient and warm and friendly. The hotel probably used to be a county pub but is now a proper hotel. Externally it's a beautiful old cotswold creeper clad mansion, and inside there are open fires, even in summer. Note there is a lift which is unusual for this type of building. Our room had I would say a super king bed, very comfy, with a feather duvet and good pillows. The view was over the main road to the river - very picturesque. One of my pet hates in hotels is inadequate mirrors, and this one had that in spades. Very small mirrors and I wanted to go to dinner with a scarf draped around me, but gave up because I couldn't see what I looked like! The "wardrobe" was an alcove with a curtain, and if they had a proper wardrobe they could have put a long mirror on it. The daytime temperature was forecast at 14degrees, but the central heating was off which is another pet hate of mine. The bathroom was attractive with a large bath and an antique fixed shower which didn't work too well. This is really horrible - the bathroom waste bin had a plastic liner with bloodstains in it! Ghastly! You can take economising too far and I think re-using a bathroom bin liner is appalling. The rest of the hotel was clean.
We went down to dinner - the food was lovely I will say, and so was the wine. However, we got treated to alternately very good and very bad service. One waiter gave us a vegetarian menu, and we aren't vegetarians (he didn't ask first). Another person offered us the cafe menu as well because I thought I'd prefer the cafe menu. The first waiter came to us and said we couldn't have the cafe menu. He told us the amount of dinner allowed in our tarrif was £29 but the menu said it was £35. I gave up anyway and had the restaurant food, which was enjoyable. There were only a few people in the restaurant, but we had to wait ages between courses, and there was no one hovering in attendance to see if anybody wanted anything. One of the worst things about this hotel is they take 10% "discetionary" service charge whether we like it or no. What is discretionary I wonder? Anyway, we had 10% added to our bill and no one asked us if we had received good service. This is pretty appalling. We give tips as a rule, but not automatically - people have to earn it. Bibury is a beautiful village, with it's famous Arlington Row, but I think next time we'll stay in Bibury Court. I'm not sure why Bibury Court only has three AA stars, but The Swan has four - wrong way round I think

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Thank you for your comments with regards to your stay with us at The Swan Hotel as I feel that it is essential to hear customer’s feedback irrespective of good or bad in-order for us to progress customer satisfaction levels and take the hotel forward. I am disappointed that you would rather post on trip advisor than mention any of your points on check out or to myself personally. I would have liked the opportunity to discuss your experience in person. I would like to take this opportunity to touch upon a few of the points you mention in your review.

I am glad you enjoyed the hotel as a whole, as you say we are located in a beautiful location with a stunning building. With regards to the mirrors this is the first time it has been brought to my attention. I am now in the process of reviewing the situation across all of the bedrooms. In relation to the heating, the hotel is operated by a thermostat system which is regulated by the temperature outside. If you found the temperature to low, a request to any member of staff would have made you more comfortable.

As you state the 3 course menu price is £35 per person, however as a resident on a dinner inclusive package you are offered a reduced rate of £29 per person. If you choose to dine off the café menu this is the allowance that is allowed. You mention about the discretionary service charge. It does state on both the hotel confirmation letter and the menu that a discretionary 10% service charge will be added to your final dinner bill. As it is discretionary it is your decision as to whether you choose to have the service charge removed if you feel you have not received the service you expected.

I would again like to thank you for your comments, and I hope you will return to the Swan Hotel again in the near future.

Kind Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed for one night at the Swan Hotel and found it a very warm welcoming place to stay. We had a lovely room with views of the river. We loved the open fire in sitting/bar area which was very welcoming. We ate in the A-la-carte restaurant and the food and service was excellent. Breakfast was also very good. A delightful place to visit.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Swan Hotel

Address: on the B4425, Bibury GL7 5NW, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Bibury
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bibury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
History surrounds you at The Swan Hotel, located in the picturesque village of Bibury, described as the 'prettiest village in England' by William Morris. The Hotel offers you a relaxing stay in comfortable surroundings, featuring cosy lounges, roaring log fires, antique furnishing and rich decor. Our dining room is home to great English cusine and a fine wine selection. In our Bar meals are served all day.The tranquil Swan Gardens offer residents the delights of the outdoors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan Hotel Bibury
The Swan Hotel Bibury, England

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