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“A very mixed bag.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Swan Hotel

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The Swan Hotel
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   The Thoroughfare, Harleston IP20 9AS, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 7 Harleston B&B and Inns
Colchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“A very mixed bag.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

The Swan - was it okay? Sort of. Would I recommend it to anyone? Not at all. It's not what you expect when you have paid £75.00 for a room. To be fair, let's start with the good points. The staff who welcomed us to the hotel were helpful, polite and friendly. When we couldn't get a taxi the lady at the bar organised a private lift for us, something she didn't have to do, and something for which we were extremely grateful. The public areas of the hotel were historic and quaint and fascinating. We found the proprietor an interesting and much travelled man, but probably open to misunderstanding if you didn't have much in common with him. The breakfast was excellent, plenty of food and served hot straight from the kitchen rather than luke warm from a greasy bar. What a pity that the room so let this place down. Unfortunately it faced the main thoroughfare, and was subject to traffic noise and loud voices far into the night and in the early morning. The hotel is much in need of a facelift, and you can look at the exterior from the windows and see that it would benefit from a coat of paint at the very least. The conversion to an ensuite room is clumsy, and leaves lots of useless, strange shaped areas. The bathroom is hopeless. The bath is no bigger than a large tub, the sink is old fashioned with taps which can't be properly turned off and constantly drip, and the toilet is stained and in need of a good dose of bleach. This was a twin room, and the beds were too narrow and quite lumpy. The TV was too small, there was no clock in the room, and the furniture was utilitarian and mismatched. The whole effect was drab and depressing, with no attempt having been made to update of lighten things up. Not very comfotable at all.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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24 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012 via mobile

The Swan is a fantastic old building; fine timbers, exposed fireplaces, wonky floors etc etc. That's what the communal areas are like. However once we opened the door to our room, we left the 1770s for the 1970s.

I was disappointed with the room. Now I know we ordered a family room, not a honeymoon suite, but a little bit of class or charm would have been nice. Instead we got a cavernous room full of beds, a cupboard and a tv (circa today) on some drawers. To clarify, I'm not complaining about the beds- it is family room. The room was clean and tidy, just very soulless. This is heightened by the fact you are surrounded by character in the communal areas.

The en suite matched the room- dated but clean. My main issue was that even though I had a shower in the morning, once I got home I had to have another due the water pressure being unforgivably low.

In the Hotel welcome folder, there is mention of wifi. However the hub/router was not on for the whole weekend. We were out most of the weekend so I didn't have much use for it, but it would have been nice to check my emails.

We couldn't leave our car in the hotel carpark as there was a farmers market at the Swan. Fortunately there is a free carpark a short walk away, but when you have a one year old and all the accompanying paraphernalia, it makes it very annoying.

The main saving grace was the breakfast and accompanying staff. Good fresh food and lots of it. The employees were very accommodating and helpful.

My main problem however was the price. Even though we got a group discount, the price didn't reflect the hotel. I think that for the price being asked you would expect more. The fact the staff are helpful, the central location, cleanliness and breakfast is good saves this from being a 1 scoring review.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012 via mobile

Where to start?
It's a 16th Century Inn that needs a little TLC. The staff are very nice but it has a very quirky/eccentric feel about it. I stopped there on a business trip because it was convenient and would do so again, not sure if I'd stay with the family.
Three major points:-
1) The bedrooms were boiling hot.
2) The breakfast was excellent.
3) It was clean.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012

We held our engagement party here, despite prior arrangements with regards to the buffet, the food they provided (for a stupid price) was disgusting. The only plus was that as long as we paid for some buffet, we could provide some of our own. My friends and family cooked food far superior to the 'professionals' at this place.
We had booked out most of the hotel rooms and a relative organised the 'honeymoon' room at a cut price as we had provided so much business. The lovely manager was only too happy to give us this concession. Then it comes to the owner, he then tried to charge the highest price for our room despite the prior arrangement (which I had seen written in their bookings) and really argued the toss with us. Even prior to the event when we were dressing it up he barked at me and told us that no-one should go into any of the hotel rooms if they weren't checked in to that particular room, no bad behaviour would be tolerated etc etc. I pointed out that he had no reason to expect this of our party, and should it happen by some fluke (this was a family affair with young children) then he would be within his right to seek action. It was a ridiculous assumption and very offensive. Had family not been visiting from all over the country to celebrate this occasion we would have called it off there and then.
The room we had was a four poster, should have been amazing. Unfortunately you could see the filth and dust building on the fabric surrounding the bed.
We had one bar man provided for our private room (that we paid for) and had pre-warned them of the large number of our party. That lead to us waiting for a ridiculous amount of time to get a drink as the poor barman was rushed off his feet.

It would seem that whoever is running this place is not in touch with the hotel or private function side of things
It was unclean, unfriendly (not the staff's fault!) and the breakfast in the morning was awful. I have to say that I can't believe this is the staff's fault, who could possibly work happily under such an officious man.

A few months later my family wanted to go in for a carvery. DO NOT BOTHER. The poor staff clearly have no guidance and do the best they can but have no clue on service. The food was absolutely awful. I know the meat has to sit out for a while in a carvery so the best can not be expected, but when it came to the vegetables and potatoes, well they were pathetic. Limp veggies with no flavour, terrible roasties and an uninviting room.

AWFUL PLACE. Sell it to someone that would actually care about the building and it's staff

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2012

thank you to the proprietor and staff. we had a lovely twin bedded room, clean bathroom etc., for our stay on 16th march 2012. and you could open a window! - hate the hermetically sealed rooms in modern hotels. the swan is beautifully and authentically old, also comfortable and homely. we felt that the staff and owner really cared that we had a nice stay. the only down side was noise from outside, but not their fault - merely the usual drunken teenagers to be found anywhere
these days... i would recommend this hotel, and would like to return.

Room Tip: only saw our room, so couldn't say if others would be quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Shoreham-by-sea
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

The hotel is an old building full of character, the rooms are creaky but thats fine, its an old hotel. they are clean and met our needs for a one night stay. The bar had lots of atmosphere, Bar maid was miserable though.
Breakfast was good, and served with a smile. One of our freinds had there purse stolen from the bar.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Eye, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

Dining area is cold and shabby. All six of us agreed it was the worst meal we have ever had all of it being cold, should have been a HOT carvery. Not enough roast potatoes available, the staff said they to 'put some in the oven' and would bring some to the table, which although they cooked them they forgot to serve them, but at least they were hot! We complained main course was cold, but still the dessert, Hot sticky toffee pudding and custard was only luke warm. To be fair most of meal was nicely cooked, but it was just served cold. After complaining 10% was knocked of meals and we were offered 10% discount on another meal, not that we would ever go there again. To add insult to injury the owner tried to apolgize about veg, he did not accept meat was cold and came across as being rude.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about The Swan Hotel

Address: The Thoroughfare, Harleston IP20 9AS, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Harleston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Harleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Swan Hotel 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Swan Hotel Harleston, Norfolk

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