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“OK food, terrible service” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Swan Hotel

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Swan Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   High Street, Alton GU34 1AT, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Alton
Farnham, United Kingdom
1 review
“OK food, terrible service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

My mum and dad had their wedding reception here 50 years ago, i thought it would be lovely to go back 50 years later to have a meal here. how wrong i was. after confirming a few times that we had ordered our food and that mum and dad would order when we got there, our starters arrived but none for mum and dad, same happened to main meal, had to ask several times for drinks, we gave up on coffee after waiting 20 minutes.
i was very disappointed, it was meant to be a special day.
the staff didn't seem to really care.
the food was OK, one of the guests food was cold.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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266 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle upon Tyne
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

I arrived fairly late so did not have an evening meal. The check in was friendly and efficient and the room was lovely and a refreshing change after staying in chain hotels. Room was clean with exposed roof beams and a very comfortable bed. Not air conditioned but window opens fully, this is an old building after all. Breakfast was excellent and freshly cooked with very good coffee. I would stay here again without hesitation.

Room Tip: My room was in the roof at the back of the hotel and very quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Where to begin?!?
Firstly I must say that thankfully we did not book our full wedding here ... We did however book for many of our guests to stay over night, and for me (Bride to be) to stay the night before the wedding with my 3 bridesmaids to get ready from here on the day of my wedding, and then for myself and my new husband to stay on the night of the wedding.

So - The week before the wedding I call to check how much myself and my new husband's bill will be so that we have enough money in our wedding bank to pay when we check out (When planning a wedding every penny is essential to know). With that, I am told that I only have a reservation for the day of the wedding in the honeymoon suite and that there is no record of my booking for the family 5 room for the night before. (It is important to add here that I had booked these two rooms face-to-face and had in fact been show the family 5 room due to wanting to check that it would be big enough for 4 adults to get ready in). Therefore, upon being told that there was no booking for me and my bridesmaids the night before I burst into tears and simply asked the question 'So where is the bride to be meant to be getting ready then?'. With that they informed me that there had been a computer error due to the fact that I had pre-booked 20 of their rooms under my name for my guests to call and book and they had not in fact allocated the fact that the family 5 room was being used and was not up for booking! So they had therefore booked my brother, his Fiancee and their 2 children into that room!!! I told them that they had to sort something out because currently I have no where to be getting ready on the day of my wedding - As you can imagine I was slowly becoming a very stressed out bride to be. They eventually fixed the issue by moving my brother to the other family room which only sleeps 2 adults and one child therefore meaning that the children had to either sleep to to tail or they had to bring their own put up bed ... I said that this was not really acceptable, but it would have to do and asked for a discount - Which they refused to give even though my brother was going to have to supply his own bed for one of the children to sleep on!!!

So ... I turn up the night before and check in with all being fine! However, on the morning of my wedding I get a phone call to the room from reception reminding us that we have to check out at 11am! Thankfully it was not me who picked up the phone, but one of my bridesmaids who told them straight that would not be happening due to the fact that I am getting ready for my wedding and will not be leaving until 12.45. It is here that I would like to point out the fact that it was my mother in law who was going to be in this room that night anyway and the room was booked under my name for the two nights!!! My bridesmaids then went to check me into the honeymoon suite whilst I was having my hair and make up done - They would not let this happen and therefore made me and my new husband do it when we got back to the hotel at 12 that evening which was the last thing that I wanted to be doing!

The morning after the wedding we went to breakfast - we had booked for 50 of our guests to all have breakfast together so they had therefore put us into the function room so that we could all be together. This is where the rude staff came into the equation ... Our guests were coming down as and when they were getting up from 9am onwards. This was proving too much for them to handle as they were extremely rude to our guests insisting that they must sit in certain seats etc and when our guests were sitting near people that they knew the staff were telling them to move 'as they had put the correct amount of cutlery out'. Our guests did not move and were simply asking for teacups etc and the responses from the staff were disgusting! At one point in the morning I myself asked for a teaspoon as there were not enough on our table and was told 'that I had obviously sat in the wrong seat' - With this I asked the member of staff to not be so rude to myself and my guests and her response was 'well people should be sitting in the right place'. I expressed my concerns over this matter to the manageress to which she apologised and said she would call me that afternoon to get more details to the fact that I was so upset - She never did call me.

I wrote my concerns to Green king and the response I had was quite simply a thank you for your letter and we will look into it. I am disgusted with this response due to the fact that we booked over 20 rooms at a minimum of £69 per night and were treated so awfully. We were not even offered any discount or even an apology for the fact that they had me in tears the week before our wedding or that my brother had to supply his own bed for one of this children!

I would not recommend this place to anyone, especially not for a wedding/function.

Room Tip: Do not go here!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, UK
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights at the end of June. Overall we had a pleasant stay in room 12. The hotel itself is in the centre of Alton and it was nice to see a bustling town centre which has many interesting shops to investigate.

The staff were courteous and friendly and there is free parking for residents in the car park at the rear.

The hotel might not be for everyone. The room, as previously mentioned in some reviews, was hot. With the windows open you did get the noise from the high street below and at night this could be a disturbance for some. Also, the floorboards do squeak which I find characterful but for others it will be a nuisance.

The breakfast buffet was well appointed and it was nice having hot food cooked for you rather than it being a buffet.

I would be more than happy to
return to this hotel at a future date.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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orpington
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

enjoyed a one night stay at this hotel,nice rooms with large double ,very clean ingrate location in the high st,
enjoyed a good lunch in the bar which has two real ales on the pump,so good beer ,hotel was full which is a good testament ,breakfast is waiter served cooked to order very impressed with service overall,would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

I really liked this place. A simple hotel above a pub - Our double room was a lovely size, with a window over looking the high street, although our friend was in a single room and it was TINY. The customer service was great here, and the rooms were clean - although slightly on the hot side.
Location wise, this hotel is right in the middle of the the little town (...or is it a village?) so anything you need, shops, restaurants etc are just a stones throw away. The breakfast (which included) was lovely - a huge selection, a la carte AND buffet. This place is not Buckingham Palace, but it is comfortable pub hotel, and fantastic value for money.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed here for a weekend break, and found it very acceptable. The room was large and clean, and if the floor was sloped and creaked - that's part of the charm. The bed was huge, and comfortable, and there was plenty of storage. The bathroom modern and clean, although with no extractor fan it did get a bit smelly, and the radiator could not be turned down so it was very hot. As mentioned in other reveiws the room was hot, although the radiator here was off. The window opened onto the high street, so a bit noisy in the evening. Everything (TV, kettle etc) worked fine, though the bedside lights were almost too dim to see by. The building is very old, with lots of stairs and odd steps, and no lift.

Dinner was quite nice, though the choice was limited, the beer was good, prices very reasonable. Breakfast was better, plenty of choice, I've had a lot of worse coffeee. There was a baby shower in the dining room the evening we ate there, and the next morning the glitter and cake crumbs were still there - rather shoddy.

The staff were freindly and helpful, if you could find someone, as the reception desk was not always manned. Beware of the free car park- you need a ticket from the hotel, before the traffic warden spots you, other users have to pay, and it can get full quite quickly, access is from the road at the back..

Overall the hotel is dated but quite good value.

There is a lot to do in the area, as well as Jane Austen's house and the railway, there is also the Gilbert White's house down the road at Selbourne. In addition to this local author's furniture and effects, it holds the Oat's collection, of Captain Laurence Oats (Scott's Antarctic expedition) and his uncle who was an African explorer. Very well presented.

There is a nice Indian restaurent in Alton, at the bottom of the High Street, but it's hard to find as it is above some small shops near the old Town Hall.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Swan Hotel

Address: High Street, Alton GU34 1AT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Alton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Alton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Swan Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Swan Hotel Alton near Farnham and Basingstoke, is located in the Hampshire town of Alton with easy access via the A31 making it an ideal base if visiting Farnham, Aldershot, Winchester, Basingstoke. The Swan Hotel dates back to the 16th century and was a main stage on the old London-Southampton coaching route, and the Swan Hotel has been catering handsomely to passing traffic since the 16th century. Tradition has it that the poet Edmund Spenser, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex all broke their journeys here. Another famous guest was Lord Nelson. Our guests include many people of sense and sensibility - that is to say, devotees of Jane Austen, who make their pilgrimage to her cottage in the Chawton, where Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, were both written, during their stay with us. The cottage now is a popular tourist attraction and museum dedicated to Jane's life and work. Today the Swan Hotel is popular with locals and travellers alike and along with the new refurbishment is an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan Hotel Alton

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