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“Good service, room fine but over priced”

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Macdonald Swan Hotel
Ranked #9 of 14 Hotels in Grasmere
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed May 16, 2013

We stayed here for two nights. The location is great with absolutely fabulous views from our room and from the beer garden. The staff were all friendly and helpful but it was unusual on check in to be asked "security" questions - we were asked to confirm address and telephone number as well as name.

Our room was OK. Comfy and large bed in which we slept well. Clean but tiny bathroom with no place to put our stuff and low level lighting - seems to be the vogue these days but no good for applying make up. Shower over the bath. Usual soap & shampoo provided (though I noted one day that the housekeeping for some of the rooms nearer to reception appeared to have higher quality toileteries). Room let down by peeling wallpaper above the radiator that looked as if there had been a large leak or a lot of wet clothes dried there. It was also on the ground floor - as many of the rooms are - which would be an issue in the summer if you wanted to sleep with the windows open.

We had booked the web dinner and wine, giving us an £25 food allowance each for £20. The menu was very good with plenty of choice and decent prices. We found ourselves ordering three courses just to get our money's worth. Very nice meal with all courses enjoyed and the highlight being the desserts. Waiter was helpful but new and illustrated a lack of knowledge about the dishes - I expect better for our room rate. There were few other diners leading to a lack of atmosphere so we opted to cancel the meal on the second night - no problem in doing that.

Breakfast was very good indeed. Everything fresh and cooked to order. Buffet had clearly been thought about with quality ingredients. Staff helpful and prompt.

We knocked a star off for the fairly high room rate for mid week in early May and another for the shortcomings of the room. If you can get a decent rate for this hotel, then do consider it and go B&B and eat out in the village which is a few minutes' walk away.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CultureVultureCamb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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915 - 921 of 1,220 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2013

After a lengthy break from staying at the Swan due to other local hotels providing an all round better service and value we decided to try again. With this hotel situated in a superb position it seemed churlish not to check if there had been any improvements. No hotel is ever perfect but the Swan was heading in that direction at last.
Check in was fine, the reservation was correct and our room was as requested. This was one of the newly refurbished rooms and it was in excellent condition and pretty much faultless. Very clean and good lighting and bathroom facilities were excellent.
The menu had been updated and expanded and one could stay there for more than three days without having to repeat menu items. We were on a DBB basis and every meal was well presented, flavourful, and perfectly proportioned. The chips that accompanied some of the dishes were made to perfection, chunky, fat free and perfectly cooked. The breakfast menu was designed to suit every palate with fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals, meats and cheeses. The cooked breakfast to order used excellent and flavourful bacon and flat large mushrooms. All round excellent food.
Service at the hotel was also improved with the young, keen and eager to please staff notable Claire on reception, Alex in the restaurant with Lewis as strong back up. The wine list erred on the expensive with notably some cheaper ones out of stock!
Road works outside the hotel started at 06:30 on Sunday morning and this caused a series of complaints that although was beyond the hotels control, was only casually dealt with by the assistant manager. The management have not responded to Trip advisors comments since November 2011 so one assumes that only other travellers read the reviews. So enjoy the food, and the new pet free rooms, and helpful friendly staff. MacDonalds have put some serious much needed money into the hotel, lets hope standards don’t slip again.

Room Tip: Ask for refurbished room, others are in great need of an uplift.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank rogshe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

It was one of those pubs that looked great from the outside, and delivered inside too - warming fire, local ales on tap, low beams and comfy chairs. Had a lovely ham terrine and piccalilli starter, but went for the pheasant as a main - I know it's a game bird and can be a bit varied, but there really wasn't more than a few mouthfuls of meat on a pretty scrawny bird and what was there was very dry. Shame as i think there was a nice course hoping to get out. We were in a big group of fifteen and it went ok, quite a few good comments and the service was great

Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

5th visit to the Swan and the 5th feature room we've stayed in.
As always the staff were brilliant and always helpful.
Now that the bathroom refurbishment has been completed the experience is really top notch.
If you want a hotel with real character that really knows how to look after walkers you can't do better than the Swan.

Room Tip: Best feature rooms have to be "Helms Crag" great view over the garden and said fell &am...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank zteve63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

visited for the second time after the recent refurb what a transformation the rooms are much better appointed and the staff were delightfull willing to help at every turn. i would have no hesitation recomending a stay at the much improved swan.

Room Tip: ask for a refurbed room if available
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wakefieldmarsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2013

We had a wonderful time, the atmosphere was memorable, the food was quite out standing and our rooms were clean and warm and quiet.
However when I was presented with my bill I noticed £100 had been added as a gratuity, not to my room but to one of my guests rooms. When I questioned this I was advised that my guest had authorised it, when I asked him he said absolutely not and when I returned to reception they said that it had been added in mistake, the employee had pressed the wrong key.
Also make sure that if you are booked in on DBB rate you book your table for Dinner. We assumed it was automatic, it is not and we ended up on 4 different tables at different times resulting in some of our party deciding to use room service.
How can I award Excellent well it was excellent, pity about the accident with the gratuity key.

Room Tip: The rooms at the back are certainly nice and quiet and the passages have a wonderful creak: could it...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank HappyChappy70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

This old hotel in a most beautiful part of the country appears to have had a make over. It keeps its charm whilst the bedrooms are beautiful and modern. Spotlessly clean. The service fantastic, the staff are so friendly, and helpful. The food was superb. We had dinner in the restaurant. Good choice. The presentation excellent, and tasted wonderful. Excellent value for money. The produce for dinner and breakfast is where possible locally sourced and of very good quality. The location is fantastic. You can walk from the door into Grasmere or around the lake and Ambleside is 10 drive down the road. Overall we highly recommend this fabulous hotel. Could not fault it in any way

Room Tip: We stayed in room 12. It was spacious and well decorated
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Swan Hotel

Address: The Swan Hotel Keswick Road, Grasmere LA22 9RF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Grasmere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Grasmere
#9 Romantic Hotel in Grasmere
Price Range: $119 - $251 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Macdonald Swan Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1650 as a coaching inn, and mentioned in a Wordsworth poem "The Waggoner", Macdonald Swan Hotel, Grasmere is one of the oldest hotels in the Lake District. Nestled in the Cumbrian countryside, with views across the Fells, our cosy and inviting hotel is ideal for walkers and cyclists. With open sunny vistas in summer and blazing log fires in winter, it's the ideal base for exploring the wonders of the Lake District National Park. Afterwards, relax with a delicious meal in our restaurant or enjoy the convivial atmosphere of the Walkers' Bar before retiring to a traditionally - furnished, comfortable room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Swan
Macdonald Swan Grasmere

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