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“Short break with Alf” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Swan Hotel

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The Swan Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EG, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 4 hotels in Southwold
GreenLeadersSilver level
Billericay, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Short break with Alf”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

Stayed at The Swan for 2 nights with Alf, our dog, yes, even The Swan has rooms that dogs are allowed, not in public areas, that is normal. Had a lovely time, rooms very clean and modern, Light House Room not in the main Hotel, just a short walk across the car park. Adnams umbrella in the cupboard, just in case. Staff very friendly and helpful, food good quality.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdnamsSouthwold, General Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, December 11, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your recent visit to our hotel, its great when you can include the whole family whilst on a short break, none more so important than the dog! I do hope Alf enjoyed the endless walks on our coast line. Thank you for your kind words regarding the food and staff, which have been shared. We look forward to welcoming you all back in the near future.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas
Martin Edwards
Swan Hotel Manager
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312 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (73)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Oakham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

We have just returned from 2 nights at The Swan hotel on the wine,dine and stay for free offer.
We have stayed there on quite a few occasions and again we had a very enjoyable experience.
The hotel exudes old world charm with the lovely fire in the lounge and beautiful dining room
Our room was a standard room in the hotel and was both comfortable and large with views towards the lighthouse..
The food was very good and the Adnams wines are always of a good quality.
The staff were friendly and professional.
The hotel may be a little tired in places but any changes would only need to be cosmetic

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
AdnamsSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, December 11, 2012
Thank you for your review. It genuinely pleases me that your recent stay was as good as previous visits. I have shared your feedback with my team, and we all look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas
Martin Edwards
Swan Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We've been visiting Southwold for at least 30 years, and it never fails to please. Over the years we've stayed at both of Adnam's sister hotels, The Crown & The Swan. The Swan is something of a 'mixed bag', with some highs and some lows, although with it's central marketplace location and elegant facade it should be the jewel in Southwold's crown.

On this occasion, we arrived very early to make the most of the day, quite aware that it would be too early to check in. The General Manager, Martin was very friendly and helpful, offering to upgrade us to a larger, detached garden room, which we accepted. We then left the hotel, expecting to come back later when the room was ready. To our surprise, Martin ran out of the hotel and down the street to find us, just to let us know that the room was now ready.This was very good of him as it meant we could unload the car and settle in much earlier than anticipated, which we appreciated.

The garden rooms are slightly 'tired' but furnished to a good standard, with plenty of storage space and with comfy beds. The room could have done with a little doormat, as it was all too easy to walk mud onto the pale carpet at this time of year.

Our evening meal was preceeded by aperitifs in the bar, where I overheard a couple being told that there were no peanuts. Given the proximity of the supermarket this could have been easily rectified. The sumptuously elegant dining room can never fail to impress, but our starters were disappointing in as much as they would have been more suited to summer dining; my husband chose a Feta cheese pannacotta with melon and prosciutto, while I opted for the Confit of Hake, which I did not anticipate would be served cold, but we fared much better with our main courses. Desserts lacked refinement and were rather heavy-handed, however,the wine and spirit selection was reassuringly reliable. Julie, the restaurant front of house was extremely pleasant and personable during the evening.

We still enjoyed staying here despite the negative points, but we were glad we were taking advantage of a seasonal special offer and not paying the full rack rate for the room. That said, we will be back!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
AdnamsSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you for your review. Im pleased that you were able to benefit from the offer of an upgrade, and also thank you kindly for pointing out I still have the ability to run! It's been awhile..... I have discussed your food comments with the Chef, and Julie (Jenny). We very much look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards
Martin Edwards
Swan Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
168 reviews 168 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

We booked dinner, bed and breakfast for one night. The purpose was to give my wife a clear break, and a little luxury after she the death of her 93-year old father in her arms, arranging the funeral, and caring her 91-year old mother. On arrival we were told that we could not eat in the dining room because a large party had taken it over. We could eat in the bar, or go down the road to The Crown and eat there. It was just not what we expected, or had been looking forward to. We did not want second-best. We decided not to stay. The hotel did refund our deposit. Had we been informed of the problem posed by this late, large-scale request for the whole dining room we could have made other arrangements, there , or elsewhere. They had our email address even if our phone was busy when someone tried calling us.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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.
AdnamsSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
My team and I were aware of the reason behind your visit and felt that an email to inform you of the dining room being booked that evening may not reach you in time. Therefore we opted to contact you by telephone, but unfortunately we were unable to speak with you. I genuinely sympathise with you and understand your disappointment.

I hope that you will accept my sincere apology for not being able to accommodate you in our dining room on this occasion. If you wish to discuss this matter further then please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Yours sincerely

Martin Edwards
Swan Hotel Manager
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Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

First the good bits. Our bed in main hotel was most comfortable, it was great to have free wi-fi and the Freeview TV (there wasn't a TV on one of our previous visits). Also nearly all staff were helpful and friendly.
Not so good for a four star hotel are: the badly marked stair carpets, the tatty and awkward car park, the drab reception area (which totally lacks privacy and is a poor introduction) and our room, pleasant but clearly needing a refurb. Adnams have built nearby a great new wine store which must have cost a lot - shame they have not put bigger money into their flagship hotel.
Dinner has never been a strong point at The Swan - there are many things on the menu which look over-complex and rather showy. Keep it simple might be a way of getting better results.
Sorry to say, the vibrancy and ambience that we have felt in several earlier stays were barely in evidence. Compare another Suffolk hotel we visited on our return journey home where we were greeted as soon as we walked in with warmth and charm.
All-in-all, I think Adnams could do with stronger competition in top-level Southwold hotels: their virtual monopoly may be working against real improvement. We did enjoy our visit but as before, feel the hotel is expensive for what it offers and could do with more modernisation and compensation for present deficiencies eg newspapers in the lounge and sending us away happy with say, a bottle of Adnams wine.
By the way, it's good to see the manager responding here. Wish more did that.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
AdnamsSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share recent visit. It goes without saying the Swan is an old building, and our intention is to keep this property as traditional as possible whilst maintaining 2 Rosettes for our food and our 4 star grading. All of your feedback regarding our property has been taken on-board and will be discussed. It pleases me greatly that you only had positive comments regarding my team, thank you. It appears from your review that you are a regular visitor to Southwold and the Swan Hotel, so on your next visit please ask for me so we may have the opportunity to talk and maybe discuss past, present and future experiences.

Yours sincerely

Martin Edwards
Swan Hotel Manager
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

My friend and i stayed at the swan for three nights. The garden rooms are good the evening meals were good as was the service in the evening. But the breakfast staff let our stay down. My breakfast was wrong on all three days.I asked for my egg to be cooked on top, as the day before it was cold in the middle, under cooked eggs are not good!! when it came back it was rock hard, so we had to have them raw or solid. The toast came out not cooked cold and white so we asked to have it well done, It came out burnt and when we pointed this out to the waitress she cocked her eyes up and walked of with out a word so we gave up on the toast.There were things we had ordered i.e. beans mushrooms that were left off , why bother taking orders for breakfast if the chef is not going to check the orders out properly, just go self service. Some of the breakfast staff need retraining as they are letting the place down. Also i dont think it was the waiters fault who took the orders, i think the chef is not reading them properly. These may seem small thing,but when you are paying good money to stay at the swan you expect the service to go with it.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdnamsSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your recent visit. Whilst it pleases me that your room and evenings were of the required standard, I’m equally disappointed that we not only let you down but ourselves. I sincerely apologise for the misgivings at breakfast, and would like the opportunity to discuss this with you in person. I would ask that you contact the hotel and ask for myself.

Yours sincerely
Martin Edwards
Swan Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

We stayed in the standard light house room for three nights in october. The room was quite small but comfortable, quiet and clean. The garden area outside the room was lovely and would be a nice place to sit and relax in the summer. The breakfast, served in the main building, was good. Overall, we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdnamsSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for your review. I’m glad that you enjoyed all that the Swan offers. The garden area is highly recommended during the warmer months, or for the brave, it can be enjoyed all year round! I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
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Additional Information about The Swan Hotel

Address: Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Southwold
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 hotels in Southwold
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Swan Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just yards from the Adnams Brewery the hotel has been awarded 4 Stars by The AA and two Rosettes for the food in the restaurant. A short stroll from the hotel is the beach at Southwold with its rows of colourful beach huts and the town has a wide selection of individual boutique shops to browse. Our Garden Rooms are Dog Friendly and wheelchair accessible.Brewery and Distillery tours can be arranged for guests and there are plenty of Adnams pubs within walking distance to enjoy a taste of our beer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan Southwold
Swan Hotel Southwold
Hotel Southwold Swan
The Swan Hotel Southwold, Suffolk

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