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“Not worth the money” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Swan at Hay

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The Swan at Hay
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Church Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5DQ, Wales   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hay-on-Wye
Leitrim
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Not worth the money”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2011

Not a truly terrible hotel but just not very good at all. Tired furnishings - the curtain rail had come down in our original choice of room and they kindly offered us a superior room - which was so dreary we went back to the first one. With damp stains on the ceiling, rotten wood by the door frame - the bedrooms really need renovation and updated decor. The shower also needs attention as it veers between very hot indeed and cold. The breakfast, though copious, was poor with a very strange taste of soap powder (I thought I was imagining this until my husband said afterwards he had tasted this too). Service was friendly but not very professional. If it had been around £50 -£60 per night I would think this was fair value but it's overpriced at £90 (and this was a special offer) and doesn't warrant its three star rating.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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280 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Palo Alto, California
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2011

This appears to be the only major hotel in Hay-on-Wye, and, as such, it doesn't have much competition, which is a shame: it is tremendously overpriced as a result. It's an old hotel, so one can expect compromise in terms of furnishings, or wi-fi coverage, but this hotel really could do with renovation, particularly to the bedrooms. We stayed in room 16, a good-sized room, with some lovely views of the Brecon Beacons. The twin beds were soggy, with easily-felt springs, and subsequently not at all comfortable. We mentioned this and were told it would be sorted out, but I couldn't tell the difference (we cut our stay short, because of this). The furniture was old, with drawers that wouldn't shut. The bathroom was ok, though the shower curtain didn't fit, and there wasn't a great deal of pressure from the shower-head. Wi-fi is only available in particular spots downstairs. The staff are very friendly indeed, and really do make an important difference to the experience. The food is good: fresh, local produce, beautifully presented and cooked, and the wine is very good, too. Breakfast is also freshly cooked to your order, but it's quite a slow process. Breakfast is included, but dinner isn't, and this ratchets the bill up further. The public areas are very pleasant and well furnished, so it really is a pity that the bedrooms are shabby, and lacking from attention.

Room Tip: Ask for a renovated room--if there are any.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

The staff at the Swan couldn't be friendlier or more accommodating. The rooms are nice (clean, comfy and spacious in our experience), the bar and bistro are great and the restaurant is exceptional - I know it's tempting to wander outside to find somewhere for dinner, but the in-house food is sublime. Good wine list, lovely atmosphere. The garden too, if you get the weather for it, is an absolute joy. Nothing quite like a glass of something lovely and some exceptional catering to while away a sunny afternoon! In our experience, the only down-sides to this place are minimal - it'd be great to have an extra flat surface somewhere in the bathroom for toilet bags / make-up bags (this is a minor quibble with a long list of other lovely places) and it has a very limited room service menu, but with so many great pubs, bakeries and cafes on your doorstep, this isn't a huge issue . So, all in all, a very nice hotel with an exceptional restaurant - even if you're staying elsewhere, this is a fantastic place to eat.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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St. Albans, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2011

My first visit to Hay and The Swan proved the perfect place to stay. A young, enthusiastic team who clearly enjoy their work and are rightly proud of their beautiful hotel - nothing was too much trouble for them. I had taken a couple of days off work to chill out and do some walking, and I couldn't have picked a better place.

My large, airy room looked out over the stunning garden to the hills beyond. Bedroom and bathroom were beautifully decorated (I luxuriated in an half-tester bed!) and spotless. Breakfast was excellent and I couldn't resist delaying my walking plans while I had another coffee in the garden and read the paper in the sunshine. The staff insisted on bringing everything out to me, so I felt thoroughly spoilt - just the R&R I was looking for.

So much to do in an around Hay that I feel I've only just scratched the surface and can't wait to go back - and I'll be staying at The Swan.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Margate, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

We believe it is far too expensive. We payed £99 for a courtyard room in which the double-glazed (if that's what it is called, i'm not sure) windows did not close properly and the shower was less than adequate. I had to hop back and forth out of the stream of water because it went from freezing cold to boiling gradually, never staying at a fixed temperature. No wifi either. Not value for money and based on this we will not return.
However, The breakfast was nice and a fair helping. The family were friendly and helpful and the village is wonderful - we loved it. It just could not make up for the things that should be fine and were not.

  • Stayed May 2011, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Tring
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2011

We didn't actually manage to stay at the Swan in spite of booking 13 double rooms for a two night stay with the hotel a whole year ago. We had stayed at the Swan last May and thoroughly enjoyed our stay so we provisionally booked before we left in 2010. We confirmed our booking by email in June and we received a confirmatory email back from the owner saying she would book us the whole hotel.

We heard nothing after that until the next January when I happened to phone to book an extra night, I was told that there was no booking recorded for us. It turned out that they had forgotten to book the hotel for us and had taken another booking later on in the year. I left numerous messages for the manager to call me to explain what the situation was and I did not receive a single return call or email. The person that organises our walking group and who had booked the hotel originally managed to get through to the owner and was told that they were sure they would be able to sort things out with the other group. He then heard nothing from them in spite of leaving several urgent messages with other staff only for them to be completely ignored. Finally she did call him and said she had found us alternative accommodation elsewhere. When we looked it up on Trip Advisor it was clearly not of the standard we were wanting and declined. She then ignored any calls from us and we never heard another word! Absolutely unbelievable. In the end at the beginning of March we had no other choice but to rush around and try to find another hotel that could give us13 bedrooms at very short notice.

Considering the hotel has breached their contract with us it is quite incredible that they did not give us preference on the booking and that they have never written to apologise, nor offered us any compensation or suggested they would give us a discount next year if we went back. Their unprofessional behaviour is quite beyond belief for such a prominent and successful hotel. Perhaps this is the problem: they feel they are able to treat customers in such an arrogant way because they know that their hotel is going to be filled at the Hay Festival which is the following week.

Stayed May 2011
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Salisbury, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2011

We had a really nice stay at the Swan. Really good value for money. Staff are very friendly and helpful. It's a listed building so expect slopey floors and creaky floorboards. Excellent location in the town. Good food too. Would definitely choose this one again.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Swan at Hay

Address: Church Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5DQ, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Hay-on-Wye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hay-on-Wye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Swan at Hay 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to The Swan at Hay, a family run hotel and restaurant in the Marches town of Hay on Wye where warm hospitality and good food await you. Standing alongside the glorious river Wye, Hay on Wye retains all the charm of a late Georgian, early Victorian market town. With its markets, book shops, boutique style shops and access to the unrivalled scenery of The Black Mountains and Welsh Marches, Hay on Wye is the ideal base for your short break and we look forward to meeting you at The Swan. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Swan At Hay Hotel Hay-On-Wye
Swan At Hay On Wye
Swan At Hay Hotel
The Swan At Hay Hay-On-Wye, Wales

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