My wife and I booked the Food Lovers 2 Night Break via the internet.
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon 3rd June, in our hire car, having travelled around Yorkshire for the previous 5 days. The hotel car park is located at the rear and is open to all and sundry. Surely it should only be for hotel residents and their guests? Anyway we managed to bag the last remaining space.
We were given the keys to our room ( No. 28 ), which is located on the ground floor.
This room and others are located on a busy thoroughfare for the house keeping staff. Our door was opposite a room that stores bed linen, cleaning equipment etc. There was a lot of chatting and door banging by cleaners.
I remembered that this Food Lovers deal entitled me to a room upgrade if available ( the hotel was less than half empty on arrival, as evidenced by the number of people in the restaurant that evening ). In addition, this deal promised a bottle of champagne in the room upon arrival........Guess what., no champagne.
I went to the receptionist, who seemed absolutely clueless. She did not appear to know about any details of the Food Lovers break.............I asked whether a room upgrade was available, and after consulting with others I was given a choice of Feature rooms.
Now why was this not offered at the time we booked in? I also mentioned the problem with the champagne,and it was therefore agreed that this should be served with the Tasting Menu on the following night.
Ok so now we had the keys to room No.2, situated at the front of the hotel. This room looks over the quaint market place of Helmsley....lovely. However, although the bed was very comfortable, the decor ( as it is elsewhere in this hotel ), is very very tired looking......a complete refurb is urged!
I had asked for a " quite table for 2 in the restaurant ", which was given to us on the first night, but not on our last night! I ordered a bottle of wine to be taken with our meal, whilst we were having a drink in the bar. The restaurant manager queried this with me as there was already a bottle of champagne being chilled by our table! There was obviously no communication by the receptionist of my request, to have this served on our second night. Not exactly 4 star stuff is it?
The restaurant staff are of various nationalities, with which I have no problem. However the way they have been trained is extraordinary.
I could give so many examples, but let me give you one........ the young bread waitress asked me if I would like some bread, to which I replied " Yes ..thank you ", she
promptly turned and walked away.
At breakfast everything was done in a rush. I was still chewing my last mouthful, when a waitress appeared and took my plate away. Yes my plate was empty, but please give me
a few more minutes. This was the only place I think I have stayed at where English marmalade is not put on the table, you have to ask for it!!
On a positive, the tasting menu was very good.
- Also Known As:
- Black Swan Helmsley
- Black Swan Hotel
- The Black Swan Hotel Helmsley, England
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in one of Yorkshire’s prettiest market towns, The Black Swan in Helmsley is a superb historic inn, turned boutique hotel. Dating back to the C15th the hotel, rich in history and charm, blends antiques with classic contemporary design creating the perfect place for a relaxing break. With its own 3 AA rosette restaurant and award winning tearoom, the Black Swan provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway and a chance to escape the everyday stresses and strains. ... more less
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