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“Afternoon Nightmare Tea”

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Grand Hotel Swanage
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Swanage
Poole, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Afternoon Nightmare Tea”
Reviewed October 3, 2011

I recently purchase a Groupon voucher for "Afternoon Tea with Glass of Bubbly for Two at the Grand Hotel - Swanage"!! This was a treat for my best friend which I thought would be a lovely relaxing afternoon to have a catch up. What a joke!!
I contacted the hotel prior to our visit to tell them that I am Gluten intollarant, the gentleman on the telephone said that was not a problem and he would let the chef know to do me a Gluten free selection.
On our arrival on Saturday 1st October there was no where to park, reception staff didnt want to know, just said we would have to park somewhere else then!! Not a good start!!
We were shown to our table in the conservatory overlooking the sea, stunning views.
Then the nightmare began....... Champagne, well it wasnt! Food, (served on a chipped dinner plate) was disgusting! My friend had what we could only describe as "sick" in a sandwich, oh and of course there were only 2 small triangles! Cakes were stale and the tea when it eventually came was nothing to shout about either. I of course had a wonderful selection of Gluten free ..... I DONT THINK SO!!! My also chipped dinner plate came with 6 oat crackers (probably not even Gluten free) a small pot of cream, a tiny jar of jam and 6 strawberries....mmmm, not what I would call a selection at all!!
We complained, the staff were rude, unhelpful. They returned by Groupon voucher and said to get a refund.
Be very aware before booking anything with this hotel!! "Grand" is not what I think they should be advertising themselves as!!!
Groupon on the otherhand were wonderful, I contacted them this morning, they could not apologise enough and sure enough they have given me a full refund.

Room Tip: Do not touch this hotel with a bargepole!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank hbwell40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (394)
Date | Rating
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English first
Evesham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2011

I have stayed at this hotel 3 times before, the last time being 2 years ago and it was always good quality and worth the money. For this reason I arranged a group of us to stay 16-17 September 2011.
One couples room was so bad that my firend refused to pay the full amount. The restaurant served cool food with cold plates. I wrote a letter of complaint to the owner and 2 weeks on he hasn't even replied.

Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank simon s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2011

A great shame that this iconic Victorian hotel is losing its grandeur. The staff locally are doing their best with a very tired and tatty hotel that has definitely lost any semblance of refinement. You could easily be in a Holiday Inn Express. Only visit if you get a deal on the room rate/

Room Tip: Go for a sea view room (otherwise you overlook the car park) and get a deal on the rack rate.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RogerBest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2011

arrived at the grand for tea,not very grand,as for the tea what a joke.
in the brochure it is advertised as a glass of champagne,tea ,sandwiches and homemade cakes served on a silver cake stand as per the photos and text in their white oblong brochure located just inside the main entrance.

in reallity we got,a glass of peach cava[unchilled]a pot of tea 2 teabags,an extra jug of hot water to be used to top up the pot,no extra tea bags. why not ?8-10 cups of tea off 2 teabags hmmm.3 finger sandwiches,not even 2 slices of bread worth,a thin slice of shop bought angel and walnut cakes 1 shop bought scone[dry]with a thin smear of jam and cream already applied[how thoughtful !] all served up on the same chipped plate no silver cake stand.why not ?
a word to the wise,afternoon tea is a british institution. not some quick money making excersise,no homemade cakes no silver cake stand,why advertise it as such if it dosnt happen.its called false advertising.buyer beware.
finally i am baffled how 2 teabags 2 slices of bread and 3 shop bought cakes add up to £27
disgusting !! sort it out grand you are emmbarasing yourself.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank mancityman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2011

Stayed here with my 2 children during Swanage Carnival week. The hotels fittings & decor are tired and due an update but the place has a charm that would make you want to return. The location is excellent & the views across the bay make the decor forgivable. The breakfast was ok. The continental buffet selection was disappointing but the cooked breakfast was very tasty. They do seem a bit lacking in staff here though considering it was the height of the season. The reception & housekeeping staff were very pleasant & welcoming.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MoryBournemouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hitchin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2011

Swanage is a British seaside resort at its best. And The Grand Hotel has been what it says on the label. Now? Well, the building is still stately¸ and the sea views cannot be bettered, but the rest – let’s say there is definitely room for improvement.
The general ambience of the hotel is faded. Some members of staff were reserved rather than rude, but on further acquaintance could be friendly. The breakfasts were satisfactory, although not always what I had ordered. The bar meals were again satisfactory, but on the small side, especially for the money. I did pre-order a roast dinner on the Sunday evening, but was told by a smiling member of staff that “I am afraid there is no roast beef left; in fact, not even any roast potatoes”. Anticipating this feast, after a long walk all day – round the headland and beyond, very worthwhile – I was most disappointed.
I had not booked a room with a sea view, but was given a single room on the first floor, from where I could just see the bay, which was a bonus. The room, which had everything I needed, did have an unusual layout, in that the shower room was at one end of the bedroom, and the wash basin and toilet at the other. There was definitely not enough shelf space for necessary toiletries¸ although the jar with cotton wool, cotton buds, etc., was a nice touch.
It is probably one of the very few hotels in which I have stayed where the aroma of cooking does not wake you up in the morning; however, this might have applied only to the area of the hotel where I was sleeping. It was not near the dining room.
I would not give the hotel top marks, but I do think they tried. Would I go there again? Yes – if only for the views and the resort.

Room Tip: Definitely worthwhile paying for a sea view.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank granster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2011

Sea view only thing that was any good. The staff try hard but rather chaotic . The staff needs a good level of HOTEL & MANAGEMENT COURSE . Not professional at all .
Food was the WORST me and my family ever taste . The hotel is run down & in need of complete refurbishment & management , Its has so much potential due to its location & stunning views over the bay of Swanage. Small old fashion room!Not even a fridge which was very disappointing.Read the reviews before went there and i'm completely stunned at the reviews left from some visitors they either stayed somewhere entirely different or are in desperate need a trip to SPECSAVERS!!!!!!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank vani2201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Swanage

Property: Grand Hotel Swanage
Address: Burlington Road, Swanage BH19 1LU, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Isle of Purbeck > Swanage
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Swanage
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Hotel Swanage 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Swanage Dorset

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