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“Swanage Old Grandeur”

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Grand Hotel Swanage
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Swanage
Wisbech, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Swanage Old Grandeur”
Reviewed April 21, 2012

Stayed as part of a large group so booking was handled by someone else. Team were helpful on arrival. Our room was on the third floor and having asked for quiet room found ourselves right behind the lift which did make some noise. However most people weren't up too late or rising early so the impact was minimised. I travel a lot and it was one of the most comfy beds I've slept on. Yes the hotel is a bit tired, but the location is great, breakfast was really good with the team helping with all the different requests and the sauna downstairs was a bonus at the end of a long walk.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ClazR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (405)
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English first
Slough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2012

Three generations of our family spent Easter at this hotel, and it was fabulous for all of us. The younger ones went out during the day but my Mum stayed in the conservatory and was well looked after by the staff there (especially Irene and Carlos).

Some of the rooms are a little tired, but for such a fantastic location the room rate reflects this. There is loads to do within walking distance, fabulous cliff walks, steam train to Corfe Castle etc. We will definately be back.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank weekendclaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brockenhurst
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2012

Average hotel, dull room, useles shower. Good comfortable public rooms with great views. Superb location at edge of sea, therefore it was unacceoptable that the only fish on the dinner menu was fishcakes!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Brin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2012

Oh dear, where do I start?!

Let's start with the Room:

Firstly, we didn't have a sea view room due to the extortionate mark up for the privilege. The very dated 70's look and decor was not too pleasing on the eye but we sort of expected this due to the type of hotel. The room only had 2 plug sockets, both at the same side of the room hence you could not plug anything in near the bed or the dressing table. On our tea tray, we were also welcomed by an open half packet of biscuits (1/3 bourbons remaining!).

There was no way of moderating the room temperature - no thermostat or air con; The worst feature of the room were the very noisy floorboards. We were awoken at night / during the night / in the morning to the people above walking around their room. Obviously not their fault but the prehistoric creaking floorboards were so loud, it was an uncomfortable sound even during the day.

The bathroom was very poor, again a very dated look with some floor tiles crack and taped up by Sellotape! We had an awful looking toilet that flushed but even one sheet of paper would just swirl round a take a few flushes to go. A shower which was attached to the bath taps with little force however decent the temperature.


Onto the Breakfast:

There was only a window of 8.00 - 9.30 for breakfast apparently. The first morning we arrived at 9am; we did not get served until 9.45 with our half portion cooked breakfasts. Others were in the same situation with various grumblings around the room. One was heard to say "I'm a man not a baby!" about his portion whist others claimed "oh, we've all had half portions!". Not only did we have to wait nearly 45 minutes, whilst waiting, at 9.30 prompt, the buffet was cleared away by staff so there was no ability to get anything after the cooked breakfast was finally served.

Fair enough, have a cut off time but have that to stop people coming in for breakfast at that time, do not start clearing everything away at that time! We were told the wait was due to having a "rush on" but what do you expect with a short window whereby most people come down around 9am, and how hard is it to cook sausages/bacon etc together? The next day we had to wait around 15 minutes to order whilst people coming in after us had orders taken sooner, and then a wait of around 5 minutes just to be seated on the final day.

The reception:

On arriving, we were not told of breakfast arrangements or even advised where our room was; never mind any mention of the "spa" below (note the "pool" is virtually a large bath). On departure, they advised the wrong billing amount at least twice and there was not even a question of how our stay had been (probably knowing the answer from previous guests!). Also, there were limited parking spaces and surrounding roads can be restricted by other cars and yellow lines, beware.

The only good feature is the obvious good views from the hotel, however the hotel cannot rely to just trade on this. I have seen below notes from the hotel that they are "working on updating features" however no evidence of this can be seen anywhere.

Certainly beware, the prices cannot be justified here and the hotel needs much investment to bring it up to standard.

Room Tip: Get a top floor, sea view room on a big discount and take your own breakfast!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank CarltonFandango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2012

I have recently stayed at the Grand and left feeling very disappointed! Where to start.....staff seem very poorly trained on arrival the receptionist didn't advise about breakfast arrangements or even where our room was! At breakfast there was chaos, on some days waiting upto 15 minutes for someone to even come to our table to take orders, and a wait of upto 40-45 minutes before receiving very small portions of hot food, usually arriving before we got a cup of tea. Staff seemed very abrupt and disinterested in providing good customer service, frequently getting orders wrong and when questioned by other guests about the wait for food/service, the reply was simply..."well everyone has come in at the same time" with no apology (when they only give guests an hour window for breakfast, what do they expect?) On departure it took 3 attempts to get the right amount on the bill and again totally disinterested staff, no questions about how we found the hotel or if we had, had a good stay! The room was large and reasonably clean, but the bathroom has not been updated by since the 1970's and was not really adequate. There was a general lack of attention to detail, the toliet took 3-4 times to get it to flush properly each time, no where to plug anything in, and half eaten packets of biscuits left on the tea tray to name a few!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank sarah r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hatherleigh, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2012

Just came back from a 2 night stay at the Grand Hotel Swanage, wouldn't go back !

I'll start with the room, fantastic sea view 'which we did pay an extra £20 a night for' but our room had what I'm sure a professional would call 'Distressed' furniture but we thought it looked very grubby & was definately dirty as well as distressed... The curtains also could have done with a good clean or with really being replaced as did the bedding.

The restaurant, very very overpriced, cottage pie £13.50 & the service on the one night we did eat there was appalling, there were only another 3 tables in the restaurant being used when we arrived & by the time our food was served only 1 other table left but the 'head waiter' couldn't even be bothered to check on our food & was more worried about getting the restaurant laid up for breakfast, not a good experience at all & thats why we didn't eat there the next night.
The same chap 'head waiter' was there at breakfast the next morning & he was about as on the ball as he was the night before, e.g couldn't be bothered to top up fruit juices, sauces, yogourts, etc etc. The breakfast when it did turn up wasn't as ordered but by then we couldn't be bothered ourselves.
We went elsewhere for a meal our second night which we wouldn't normally do as we do prefer to eat & drink in the hotel we are staying in as that means we haven't got to worry about driving anywhere.

The lady that was acting as head waiter on our 2nd morning for breakfast was a lot more efficient especially in stocking up the self-serve area for juices etc.

The only thing we were impressed with apart from the views from the hotel & our bedroom was one particular member of staff, his name was Gi Gi 'probably didn't spell it like that but I'm sure the management & he will know who we mean', he was working behind the bar & was a very pleasant & helpful chappie, I think he was Rumanian ! Anyway thank you Gi Gi you were a star !

I was hoping that when we settled our bill that I would be asked the inevitable 'did you enjoy your stay' but was just given the bill with no pleasantries at all.

Shame, we did have a nice couple of days as the weather was particularly good for that few days but it was no thanks to the hotel !!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank WattsofDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindsay B, General Manager at Grand Hotel Swanage, responded to this review, March 31, 2012
Thank you for your comments. It is important for us all that we meet our guests expectations at all times and when we do not quite get it right, it is very important that we know. Perhaps you could contact me directly .
Lindsay Bish-General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, UK
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2012

What a fabulous situation this hotel has! Standing high above the cliffs this old style hotel, built in 1897, has a commanding view of the bay and the town in the distance. The entrance is modest, but opens out into a lovely lounge area with a tempting conservatory and glorious views beyond. Our arrival was warmly greeted, our registration efficient and we were given a nice, clean airy room on the second floor. I had made this booking through LivingSocial so it was pre paid, consequently I had been rather annoyed to be charged extra for a sea view, as they had no other rooms available. Our room did have lovely sea views, but who goes to a hotel to sit in their bedroom and admire the view when there is a panoramic view downstairs for free? The single we also booked was a floor above, but its surcharged sea view was obscured by the letters Grand Hotel and rather a lot of pigeon droppings. Not that pleasant.
Throughout our stay the staff were exceptionally friendly, helpful and seemed genuinely happy to be there. Always a good sign. Our bar lunch was adequate, though the bread roll with the soup had been microwaved to death and resembled sailors hard tack! Dinner was perfectly acceptable, nothing out of the ordinary, perhaps the menu reads better than it is. But certainly no major complaints.
However, I was really dismayed by the furnishings in the bedroom. We had a knotty pine dressing table, wardrobe and chest of drawers of the kind found in Sally Ann charity shops. The bathroom was tiled all over in a beige and brown tile not seen since 1970 student bedsits and the bathroom suite was just dated, dated, dated. That said, it was faultlessly clean and everything worked. But to live up to its name 'Grand' a major facelift is needed.
When we checked out, I raised several small issues with the management which can be
easily resolved. I am of the opinion that if a guest wants to make a meaningful comment about a hotel or restaurant, it is best done at the time, and not after they have left or in public. I do not believe this forum should be used for nit-picking for the sake of it, as the establishment cannot reply and is given no chance to rectify the grievance.
We had a most enjoyable long weekend which was a much due to the weather, and the company as to the Hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BarbaraRCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindsay B, General Manager at Grand Hotel Swanage, responded to this review, March 31, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. The Grand is a beautiful Hotel with stunning views. The staff take great pride in ensuring that our guests have a pleasant stay with us . I am pleased to advise you that we are in the process of refurbishing some of our rooms and public areas and we hope on your next visit that you will be able to see some of these changes.
Lindsay Bish-General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #2 of 6 Hotels in Swanage
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Hotel Swanage 3*
Number of rooms: 30
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Swanage Dorset

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