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“Picturesque, with a couple of improvements this could be perfection.”

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Old Swan & Minster Mill
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Minster Lovell
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Picturesque, with a couple of improvements this could be perfection.”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

My wife and I stayed here last night for a wedding and found the hotel / grounds excellent on the whole. Staff were polite, friendly and helpful and the room was generally quite excellent (especially as we were upgraded for free!). Our only real complaints were:

The bed was quite uncomfortable, largely because it was clearly made up of two beds, sadly with differing height mattresses. This meant that there was a hard seam in the middle which resulted in both of us getting a less than ideal night's sleep.

The breakfast was distinctly average (not bad by any means, but I expected better), and it took a very long time to refill the hotplates after they had run out of eggs, bacon and mushrooms. I was, however, very impressed that they had comb honey available.

Finally, the coffee provided for the room was bog standard Nescafe... which frankly isn't fit for man nor beast (so I'm a bit of a coffee snob). I would have expected something higher quality, especially given the expensive toiletries they provide.

Other than that, I'd certainly be happy to visit again (and probably will). The sloe gin was a really nice touch, as were the marshmallows for the fire pit on the patio. Sadly the marshmallows were covered in towel fluff, would probably be a good idea to have them under some sort of dome.

p.s. Mobile phone coverage was very spotty... but that might be all for the best.

Room Tip: The rooms with a river view seem excellent. On a warm day I imagine sitting out on the patio is sub...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Thank you for writing a review and, although I'm glad that you rated the hotel excellent overall, we must address the points you raised, so that we can continually improve.

Like you, I like my coffee and of course we encourage our guests to take coffee in the Old Swan by the fire or in nice weather on the patio. We will have a review of the bedroom tea/coffee tray to see if this can be elevated. Equally, I shall ask the housekeeper to review all of the beds to identify the one you occupied and address this problem.

It is disappointing that you thought the breakfast was distinctly average because this is not the normal impression we give. Although I cannot be sure, I think that the service was not sharp and efficient enough at the time you were in the Old Swan and we therefore need to improve. I am pleased that you noted our natural honeycomb. From Spring 2013 we're installing three beehives in the wild flower meadow, not only to contribute positively to the UK's bee population decline but also to hopefully provide truly local honey! This may help any guests with allergies during the summer, I understand.

All in all, I'm glad you enjoyed your stay and we'll work hard to make the improvements required. I hope also that you were pleased we were flying the Welsh flag over the weekend (to honour the Bride for the wedding we were hosting).

Many thanks

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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English first
Emsworth, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed March 24, 2013

A calm and relaxing atmosphere achieved by quiet but friendly and efficient staff,log fires with plenty of snug areas to sit and chill.Bedroom immaculate and provided with many unexpected extras, such as a carafe of spirit on arrival topped up in the morning, and hot water bottle placed in our bed ready for our return.Breakfast was full of variety and restaurant food exceptional quality.In a word "perfect"

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
The de Savary Family are absolutely delighted that you rate the Old Swan & Minster Mill as "perfect" and I am so pleased that you enjoyed your visit. All of the personal touches are indicative of what we're trying to achieve here, to set ourselves apart from so many others. If you liked the Old Swan & Minster Mill, don't forget to try our Inn on the Beach, The Cary Arms in Devon or, of course, Mount Cinnamon in Grenada. I'm sure you'll have a great time.

Many thanks, best wishes and we hope you'll return in the summer.

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This was a quiet weekend away on a Gourmet break deal and it lived up to our expectations. We stayed in the Minster Mill - rooms are cosy but that was fine as they were exactly as described. We had a lovely view over the garden and the river Windrush. It was a cold weekend but the rooms were lovely and warm. Dining was in the Old Swan - a short walk across the road but lovely for both breakfast and dinner. The food was excellent and the service friendly. We both used the spa and this was fine- although it would be better if they had a pool - we believe that this is on the cards and would certainly have made a difference

Room Tip: If you are looking for larger rooms book in the Old Swan - The Minster Mill are cosy but well equipe...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Yodacam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thanks for writing such a great review and our chairman, Lana de Savary was delighted you rated us 5 out of 5. Our gourmet breaks are ideal for those wanting to experience the best of classic British dishes and our team of chefs are extremely passionate and proud of the food they prepare.

Currently we offer an extensive selection of spa treatments, using exclusive YonKa products and I'm glad you were able to enjoy a treatment. Plans and designs for the more extensive spa development are well underway too.

Once again, thanks for a great review and do return again soon.

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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Hinstock
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

Very comfortable room with a beautiful garden view. Good free wifi so I could keep in touch with work while snatching a chance to explore the Cotswolds. Food was good but pricey and a rather limited menu. Overall the ambiance is good and relaxing with excellent service

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Xplane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you for writing a review and for highlighting that the Old Swan & Minster Mill is a great base for the Cotswolds. I'm glad you were also able to enjoy the free WiFi, which is so often not the case in hotels.

Our menus are based on offering classic British dishes, prepared using local ingredients and it was good that you enjoyed your meal. We always offer our main seasonal menu alongside daily special dishes.

Once again, thanks for writing a review and we hope you will return again soon.

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loughborough, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed March 20, 2013

We stayed for one night, but it felt like more as we came home relaxed and refreshed. The room was clean and cosy, and even the weather did not manage to spoil our stay, although it was too wet to take advantage of any walking. The only down side (but it could be classed as a good thing) was the lack of a mobile phone signal. The breakfast was excellent too. We would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LillyBo_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you for writing a review and I was so glad that your short stay felt like a much longer break and you returned home feeling refreshed. It's a shame that the wet weather meant you couldn't go walking but I do hope that you'll return later in the spring or summer, when our gardens and grounds are simply outstanding.

Best wishes

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We took advantage of the Sunday night special for a long weekend away, which is a very good deal. The village was covered in snow on our visit and looked beautiful – I’m sure it’s stunning anyway! The Old Swan is the only ‘life’ in the village, so don’t expect to be able to potter to other shops/pubs as you can elsewhere in The Cotswolds (there is another pub in walking distance, but it’s not one I’d recommend!). However, it’s very picturesque to walk around, and the ruins and church nearby are lovely, as are the grounds of the Old Swan. Perfect for a quiet weekend away from it all!
We got upgraded to the main (pub) building, which I think made a difference; I saw the more modern addition and was pleased not to be staying there – although it looked very nice, it felt extremely cold (it was a freezing weekend!), and didn’t quite have the ‘olde-worlde’ attraction of the rooms in the main pub.
Check-in was very friendly (and we were able to arrange early check-in), and once shown our room we then went for treatments. We both had massages, and both were wonderful – it was a great start to the trip. We took tea in front of the fire, and were brought freshly-baked (and warm) scones, which were divine.
The food in the evening, and for breakfast, was excellent, and they have a good choice of wines. The variety for breakfast is extensive, both for self-service and from the cooked options.
All in all, we got exactly what we wanted out of the weekend - a little R&R, nice walks, papers in front of the fire, and indulgent service! Would recommend and would go back, but would want to make sure I stayed in the ‘old’ part.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank FoodWineHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you for taking advantage of one of our special Sunday night sleepover offers and as you described it as "perfect R&R", I think it did the trick. We were pleased to offer you a special complimentary upgrade too.

Most of our leisure guests use us as a great base from which to explore the Cotswolds or head into Oxford. But many prefer to go for walks locally, heading to the ruins, round the picturesque local villages or along the river Windrush. On a cold winter day, a seat by the fire with some of chefs homemade scones is often the best, so I'm glad you were able to enjoy this too.

We hope you'll return in the summer to enjoy more of the area.

Best wishes

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorkshire
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The hotel is in a lovely position in a pretty village. We had an enjoyable overnight stay, with a good dinner in the bar area, which was welcoming. It would have been nice if the fire had been lit - it was a freezing cold night, and it would have been pleasant to peruse the menu with a drink by the fireside - if not on that night, I can't imagine when they do light the fire! My husband said his steak pie could not have been better. All the staff were very pleasant and helpful. Just a couple of niggles, though: we had a garden view room, which were described on the website as having views over the garden. However, our room overlooked another building across a walkway perhaps 12 feet wide, which was quite busy next morning - it felt quite exposed in the room, despite the venetian blinds. For a one night stay in early March, it didn't matter much, but I would have been very disappointed if I'd been expecting to enjoy a view over the garden. The 'Garden-view' rooms were strung out along a very long corridor of attractively polished flagstones which were quite noisy in the morning when people were trundling their cases along. Although quite small, the room was very nicely appointed, but part of the ceiling was very low, and my husband, of average height, couldn't stand up properly in the shower. We would certainly stay again, but would be more careful when choosing a room.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JFDYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMOldSwanMinsterMill, General Manager at Old Swan & Minster Mill, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you for writing a review and we were glad you enjoyed your visit to the Old Swan & Minster Mill. We offer many different room types for our guests to choose from and perhaps on your next visit you might like to choose one of our river rooms, directly adjacent to the River Windrush with patio area and fire pit. The olde world charm of the the Old Swan bedrooms are often our most popular bedrooms, full of character dating back to 1445.

You're absolutely right that on a cold winter's night, there is nothing more appealing than a roaring log fire. There are always two fires burning in the Old Swan, although there are a couple of other fireplaces, which are decorative only. Our lounge in the Minster Mill offers another beautiful log fire, so I do hope that you were able to nevertheless enjoy some "fire time".

We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Patrick Jones
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Swan & Minster Mill

Property: Old Swan & Minster Mill
Address: Minster Lovell Mill Old Minster Lovell | Cotswolds, Minster Lovell, Witney OX29 0RN, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Witney > Minster Lovell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Minster Lovell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Old Swan & Minster Mill 5*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 15 miles from Oxford and 11 miles from Blenheim Palace, the Old Swan & Minster Mill is nestled in 65 acres of idyllic grounds in the picturesque village of Minster Lovell. This quintessentially English inn and adjoining mill seamlessly blend the rural charm of these historic buildings with modern design, luxurious comfort and delicious menus crafted from the best seasonal produce. The magical gardens, wild flower meadows and woodland which enclose the mill and inn come alive during the summer months – fishing, walking, croquet and tennis are the order of the day while throughout cooler weather roaring log fires provide a welcome retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Swan & Minster Mill Hotel Witney
Old Swan And Minster Mill
Old Swan & Minster Mill Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire

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