My partner & I were desperate for a few nights escapism and booked a last minute break - two nights (Fri & Sat) at the Dog & Partridge.
Unfortunately I read the reviews of this hotel after I had booked, we were tempted to cancel, but as I had paid a £40.00 deposit on booking we decided to risk it anyway.
On arrival at the hotel (motel is more accurate) the outside of the inn seemed nice & exactly like the country retreat it is described as on the website.
I entered the reception with some trepidation as I was already expecting the worst. The small reception area was cosy but verging on cluttered, with a large lady seated on the sofa who appeared to be on the telephone. I explained that we had come to check in & she asked me to wait at the cluttered reception desk. She then proceeded to call around the hotel for someone to assist me(I was left waiting for nearly 5 mins whilst she sat idly on the sofa). Eventually, a pleasant South African man came to help, our details were taken, we were advised on meal times and then escorted to our room.
The rooms around back look, on first appearance, like 1970's chalets with small windows and slated wooden cladding. The woodwork is rotting in places, dirt & cobwebs abound, and generally needs overhauling. Our room had a shared carport with another room (most rooms had a carport each) . The inside of the room was spacious & clean with a nice bathroom but again reminded me of an cheap holiday chalet. We had a double bed & bunk bed (ideal for a small family), coffee making facilities, tv & hairdryer. On the downside, the decor was dated & there was a very tatty futon which should have been thrown out years ago. The lack of a shower was inconvenient although the bath taps had a integrated shower attachment which was useful for washing hair. The dog was allowed in the room with us which was a big plus point.
We had a wander around the hotel, there is a nice grassed area for children to play, with pet rabbits, however the patio area has several loose slabs & the rendering is peeling off the walls both of which could be dangerous.
The hotel is very dog friendly and allowed us to take our dog into the bar - this influenced our decision to try the evening meals on offer. The restaurant seemed busy, despite the very expensive prices (steak diane £21.95, scampi £12.50) and the food that we ordered (oatcake £10 & mixed grill £15) was good although overpriced. The bar was cosy and comfortable & the service was acceptable. We were allowed to charge the bar & restaurant bill to our room which was convenient.
On returning to our room, we were kept awake for a while by noise from an adjoining room as the walls seemed to be paperthin.
The next morning, we were pleasantly surprised by the breakfast buffet on offer, there were plenty of cereals, fruit, yoghurts & juices & a hot breakfast menu to select from. We went for the oatcakes (again) which were good with nice quality bacon & mushrooms. We again took breakfast in the bar to allow the dog to join us (another plus point).
On the Saturday night, we decided not to pay the excorbitant restaurant prices & went to the Ye Olde Oak hotel a few miles up the road, where we enjoyed a lovely meal (at around £6.00 per head) with the dog & a very warm welcome (sadly lacking at the D & P),
When it came to checking out, the bill was pre-prepared and correct so was very quick & efficient.
In conclusion, at £85.00 per night, this hotel is vastly overpriced (£50 pn would be reasonable) and has clearly seen better days. The owners seem to care little that the reputation and condition of the hotel are sliding downhill rapidly, which is a great shame for an inn with such potential.
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- Also Known As:
- The Dog And Partridge Country Inn
- The Dog & Partridge Country Hotel Swinscoe
- Country Inn Swinscoe
- Swinscoe Country Inn