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“fantastic setting, atmosphere and lunch” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Swan Hotel Lavenham

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Swan Hotel Lavenham
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   High Street, Lavenham CO10 9QA, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lavenham
Bedford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“fantastic setting, atmosphere and lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We visited Lavenham on a rainy day while on a drive to a weekend away with friends. What a charming town/village. We didn't stay at this hotel but went in for a drink. Upon entering we immediately decided to have lunch. We took this in the Airmans bar and it was very very good. The atmosphere was great, the staff very efficient, knowledgeable and friendly.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
IngoWiangke, General Manager at Swan Hotel Lavenham, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear Winewing

Thank you for you feedback, how lovely that you after visiting you decided to return. I am pleased to read you enjoyed both visits and I do hope to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards
Ingo
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604 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (144)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

This is another hotel I've stayed at many times, usually on business but once or twice for a long weekend in the Winter when it's at its best.
The hotel dates back a long way and has a history to match. Set in Lavenham, Suffolk, the character of the building is in keeping with the area and one can stay occupied just walking around the hotel, take in the Wool hall and ask a member of staff for the history.
There is a formal restaurant that provides a lovely dining experience and also a small brasserie for more informal eating but the quality is just as good.
Rooms are all different and delightfully quirky, worth upgrading to a larger room for the experience.
The staff work hard to make your stay as good as possible and on my last visit (last week) I was met at my car with the offer of taking my luggage, really nice touch.

Overall I would recommend the Swan to anyone that wants to stay in a hotel oozing with character, my american friends love it. One thing to mention is that the hotel has a strong link with the US Airforce from the second world war which makes for a respectful toast when in the bar.

Room Tip: Can get hot in the summer so ask for a room with larger windows.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IngoWiangke, General Manager at Swan Hotel Lavenham, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear Steve

Thank you for your kind comments. I am pleased to read your enjoyed our the traditional style and history of the hotel, how lovely that you can share the US history with your American friends.
We hope to welcome you back to The Swan in the near future.

Kind regards
Yvonne
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Billericay
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Myself and my wife decided on a "spur of the moment" first visit to Lavenham. It was such a lovely place that we agreed we would spend the night there. We walked into The Swan expecting to find a typically English 3 star hotel pretending to be 4 star. How wrong we were. From the moment we walked through the lounge area on our way to the reception it was obviously a very upmarket but warm cosy hotel. The Reception people although busy with other guests made us welcome straight away and quickly attended to us. We had no booking so had to negotiate a room and rate there and then which was done in a very pleasant and helpful way. We were accompanied to our room which was in the very far corner of the hotel and would have been difficult to find without the reception staff accompanying us. This is not a complaint as the room was a corner room with oak beams everywhere you looked, a great bed, furniture and furnishings to match or compliment hotel/rooms period. As we were only overnighting we did not use the the restaurant for dinner but the breakfast that was served in the morning was excellent, we will make sure we dine there next time we stay. We made use of the lounge area which was really comfortable and inviting for drinks in the evening and mid morning coffee before leaving the hotel. All the hotel staff were very pleasant and most helpful with a nice relaxed manner. We certainly plan to return again to this hotel but for a longer stay next time. Best hotel experience my wife and I have had for years. Can't praise the hotel staff and our room (12) enough. A great find.

  • Stayed April 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.
IngoWiangke, General Manager at Swan Hotel Lavenham, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear MichaelK

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at The Swan on your ‘spur of the moment’ trip. Your feedback is delightful to read and I will pass your kind comments on to the team. I look forward to welcoming to back to the Swan.

Kind regards
Ingo
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Ipswich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

At the weekend, I was treated by my partner, to a weekend stay at the swan hotel in lavenham. From the moment we arrived to the time we left, we both had an amazing time. We stayed in room 12, which was a lovely oak beamed room with bags of character and history. I was greeted with a birthday card in the room from the hotel staff, a lovely touch, especially considering it was only briefly mentioned when booking the room. The staff were beyond attentive, from the guy in reception taking our bags, to the restaurant staff, to all the waiters and waitresses throughout, all couldn't do enough and thier manners and pampering of us, made the stay incredible. The evening meal was beautiful, as was the breakfast and afternoon cream tea, I couldn't fault it at all. On Saturday we were very lucky with the weather, and the lady on reception was more than happy to follow us round the hotel taking our picture in the gardens, another demonstration of first class service and 'nothing is too much' attitude. The hotel is equally lovely on the outside and is situated perfectly to visit the sights of lavenham; the guildhall, crooked house, the local church, an array of shops and galleries to name but a few. I can't speak highly enough of this hotel and we would recommend it to anyone to try out, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IngoWiangke, General Manager at Swan Hotel Lavenham, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Carl

Thank you for taking the time to share you experience with us, what a lovely treat from your partner. I am very pleased you enjoyed every moment and will pass your kind comments on to the team.

We look forward to welcoming you back

Kind regards
Ingo
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London
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

London to Lavenham on a Friday late afternoon was a refreshingly easy journey, compared to the slog to the Cotswolds for example. Lavenham has some beautifully preserved tudor buildings, with the Swan Hotel being one of them. The hotel's accomodation dates to 1485 and you definitely know it from the weaving corridors and lopsided floors. It's not on the market square, which is the centre piece of this town (and has formed a backdrop to some filmsets).

Reservations and check-in were slick and the staff well grilled in customer service (no trace here of the over familiarity of assuming prospective guests are immediately on first name terms with the reservations assistant when making email enquiries).

Upstairs, the rooms are signposted to reach them. 'This way for reception' signs for the way back would be useful as well: I ended up out on the street having exited through the bin area after getting lost in the upstairs maze trying to find my way back to the bar. It's part of the charm though.

The closeness of the corridors upstairs gives way to spacious and comfortable downstairs areas. The hotel is very well preserved and modernised and one gets the feeling that no expense has been spared in renovations, particularly given the no doubt sensitive fabric of the building. Our room was very comfortable, with a recently refurbished (but small and relatively plain) bathroom. On the downside, given the location the choice of views is out to the street or over uninspiring back yard areas.

Dinner in the brasserie was reasonably priced, but Saturday was busy and after delicious soup the main courses took an age to arrive. My steak looked perfect but lacked any taste at all and the accompanying chips were undercooked, though I did not ask for them to be changed as we had waited long enough. Service is friendly. The cheese was excellent.

Breakfast in the vaulted dining room was very good. Fully laid tables, linen napkins and table service of freshly cooked choices.

There is no spa/swimming pool and so the Saturday was spent out in Lavenham or the surrounding areas. One tip is to avoid Long Melford. It is promoted as being marvellous. It was OK, but we had a poor lunch in the Bull there. After trotting round we left again to come back to Lavenham.

The staff at the Swan are all professional and seem eager to please. Quality and delivery are generally very high. I came away however with the feeling that £580 for two nights (junior suite rate, excluding dinner) had promised more than this hotel can actually deliver however good the maintance and refurb, given the inherent limitations of this building - albeit very charming and full of character - in an offcentre location in this town.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the noisy kitchen
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
IngoWiangke, General Manager at Swan Hotel Lavenham, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Bilbo

Thank you for taking the time to share you experience. I am pleased to read that overall you enjoyed your stay with us and that you enjoyed the unique charm and character of the building. I do hope you will visit again soon, please do let me know if you would like to discuss further.

Kind regards
Ingo
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Windsor, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

We stayed at The Swan for the weekend in March - it was snowing heavily when we arrived however it just added to the beauty of the village and the hotel.

We stayed in a Superior room which was beautiful, however the only big downside was our room was directly above the kitchen the smell was awful and the noise unbelievable, I did complain and the hotel we very good and removed the upgrade price, however I was extremely surprised for such an expensive, quality hotel they would have a superior room or any room subject to that smell and noise.

The rest of the experience was fabulous and we really enjoyed the bar and restaurant.

I would really recommend this hotel if you fancy a complete chill out and no mobile signal!!!

Just avoid the room over the kitchen!!!

Room Tip: Stay away from the room above the kitchen.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
IngoWiangke, General Manager at Swan Hotel Lavenham, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Becky

Thank you for your comments and taking the time to share your experience. I apologise for the difficulty that you experienced and it is very rare to have noise and smell problems due to the kitchen. We believe a faulty extraction unit was the reason for the discomfort. We are, however, happy to report that this issue has now been resolved. I do hope you will visit again, please do call me if you would like to discuss.

Kind regards
Ingo
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Ascot, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013 via mobile

Really enjoyed our stay at the Swan. It was our first visit to Lavenham. In spite of the unexpected snow, we enjoyed the sights and atmosphere of this impressive and welcoming town. Our room was very spacious, with its own living room. The bed was very comfy and the bathroom well appointed. We were very impressed that the receptionist took interest in our visit and arranged tickets for us to visit the Gainsborough gallery in Sudbury. The restaurant was very good, especially eggs benedict for breakfast. We'll certainly go back to the Swan, but perhaps in summer.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IngoWiangke, General Manager at Swan Hotel Lavenham, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Dear VespaMan

Thank you for visiting, I am pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. What a shame there was snow but I do hope you have a chance to visit Suffolk in the Summer, it is truly beautiful.

Kind regards
Ingo
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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 Swan Hotel Lavenham

Address: High Street, Lavenham CO10 9QA, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Lavenham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lavenham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Swan Hotel Lavenham 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestling in the Suffolk countryside, between Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury, is The Swan Hotel in Lavenham, perhaps one of England's most iconic hotels. The Swan dates back to the 15th century when it played a key role in Lavenham's wool trade. Today it is a quintessential English country hotel and restaurant, proud of its achievement of AA 4 Red star, two AA Rosettes & Visit England Large Hotel of the Year 2013. Ancient oak beams and inglenook fireplaces blend beautifully with rich furnishings and fabrics to create the perfect ambiance for rest and relaxation. The historic old bar boasts a wonderful collection of memorabilia, including a wall signed by British and American airmen stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II. The Swan is a wonderful place in which to celebrate a variety of special occasions, including romantic weddings, christenings and family get-togethers. It is also a unique venue for seminars, meetings and conferences, where 15th century inspiration combines with 21st Century innovation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lavenham Swan Hotel
Swan Hotel Lavenham Suffolk

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