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“Beautiful place/poor hotel”

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Swan Hotel & Spa Lavenham
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lavenham
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level Contributor
218 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Beautiful place/poor hotel”
Reviewed March 8, 2010

Swan Hotel is absolutely beautiful, medieval, exposed beams and large dining room with piano gallery.
The food on the first night - the risotto was lukewarm, the pannacotta was solid. The second night took forever to be served, the food was hot but overcooked and the fruit salad was that hard chunky stuff (lots of granny smith apple etc) and the ice cream was poor quality. The sticky toffee pudding was perfect but the apricot tart and the steamed pudding were abysmal. The pastry on the lemon tart was as tough as it gets,
Breakfast one day was cold, cold bacon, cold egg and toast which had that tired quality you only get when it has been stacked flat in the kitchen, Breakfast the following day was hot but the toast the same.
The staff throughout were extremely helpful, patient and always pleasant.
The rooms were dusky and dark, maybe they thought that would lend itself to the period but it was impossible to read kn your bedroom. Funnily enough they have an early morning paper of your choice delivered to your bedroom.
This hotel used to be considerd one of the best hotels in England but it is sadly missing its top class chef/cook, and the pastry chef needs, as they say, to review his position.

The quality of bedding, towels, bathroom accessories was good if not excellent.
The television had only 4 channels and thoughtfully had a maximum sound control.

To sum up, I reckon the biggest disappointment was to my expectations. If you were looking for a fairly comfortable (my room was cold but it was icecold outside) stay in Lavenham with staff who could not do enough for you and you didn't care about the food you would be alright.

Lavenham itself is an absolute delight.

  • Stayed March 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RestingEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (284)
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English first
Ferndown, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2010

The Swan is located in the picture post card village of Lavenham which is that oh so rare thing today - totally unspoilt. The Swan itself is a lovely old building. it is comfortable though on the pricey side for what you get. We had a feature room which was no more than OK for the money paid. We also stayed on a dinner,bed & breakfast package. The food was good but on one evening the service very slow even though the restaurant was only half full. The restaurant is a large beautiful timbered room with a minstrel gallery and a massive inglenook fireplace. A plus was an excellent drop of Adnams Broadside on tap in the bar. For business travellers there is no broadband and the signal on the wifi very week although the butchers across the street has broadband access available (on only one computer) at £1.50 per 30 minutes.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mirjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincolnshire
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2010

Booked a private room for a meal for 16, and rooms for 12 for one night in this charming hotel for my Mum's 75 birthday party.

Rooms were lovely, and service fine, but my one gripe is with the understanding of a gluten free menu (my Mum and two of our kids are coeliac). We were there for less than 24 hours, but 3 times we were assured meals were gluten free, only to find, when we insisted that the waiting staff check further with the chef, that this was not the case (Horlicks pannacotta, tempura, stuffing served with roast duck). This made us suspicious of everything that we had been told was gluten free that had already been served to us. What made this particularly upsetting was that I had informed them of our requirements some weeks before on making the booking, on an email a couple of days before, and on arrival at reception.

When we raised our concerns with the Manager, he was most courteous, and apologised for the restaurant's lack of care, and offered us a generous discount, which all went a little way to rescuing an altogether unsatisfactory experience. We did discuss ways in which the hotel could possibly remedy this situation in the future, but for the time being, I could not possibly recommend this restaurant to anyone who needs to follow a special diet.

Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank bigblackzac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
north norfolk
1 review
Reviewed February 22, 2010

We were looking for a few days of rest and relaxation in beautiful surroundings,with great food and a quiet bedroom-and this certainly ticked all the right boxes..the staff also deserve a special mention for our idea of really good service.We will be returning in Autumn with friends who are particuarly fussy and we are sure that The Swan will meet their high standards.Thank you again for a wonderful break.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lalanegri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northamptonshire, UK
Level Contributor
278 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2010

We stayed for three nights at the Swan to celebrate my wife's birthday. I must have mentioned what the occasion was in passing when making the booking, months earlier, because when we arrived there was a birthday card from the hotel in our room and also a box of chocolates.

The room was just beautiful - a carpenter would have thought he had died and gone to Heaven - but the very best thing was the food (dinner and breakfast) and the quality of the service. Both were beyond criticism.

There was a coach party staying on one of the nights we were there, and I did hear a couple of them complaining to one another about slow service in the restaurant at dinner, but I have to say that from what we saw they were served in a timely way. Perhaps they prefer to eat faster than we do.

The wine list was fairly wide-ranging, and the prices in most cases were reasonable.

There was also a very pleasant garden attached to the hotel. It was not large, but it was very well cared for, and had some interesting plants etc.

Would we go back? Most certainly.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Intrepidity060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2010

A three day break after Christmas and new year. Good value, beautiful room, wonderful food. Looking forward to staying again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank justjohninuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolkuk
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2009

10 of us stayed at The Swan 15 months ago and were very happy. 4 of us have just stayed there and it is even better. The locals say that the manager, David Burns, is resposible for giving them, and us, an extremely well run hotel with happy, friendly and efficient staff.He is on hand at most of their functions and with John Morrell in charge of the restaurant and Alice Iles the reservations there is a winning team.That is why they so often have a full hotel with the additions of weddings, celebrations, courses etc. Even their web site covers so many points and the information booklet in each room is as composite as one could wish for. There is a newish chef -excellent food- for their old but modernised restaurant with perfect furnishings. Lots of proper fires around the hotel in the Winter, and many places to sit outside in the Summer. They have up-graded some rooms- tastefully done- and in keeping with a building that is so old that there are lots of oak beams and medieval wall paintings. Lavenham has lots to see especially the Church and the Cloth Hall ( built about 500 years ago). If you want another special treat the Great House Restaurant ( see Tripadvisor ) is just a 5 minutes walk away.
The Swan is as good as they come for a country hotel and is owned by Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club which is as good as they come for a golf break ( see Tripadvisor.)
CANDANorfolk.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CANDANorfolkuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swan Hotel & Spa Lavenham

Property: Swan Hotel & Spa Lavenham
Address: High Street, Lavenham, Babergh District CO10 9QA, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Babergh District > Lavenham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lavenham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Swan Hotel & Spa Lavenham 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestling in the Suffolk countryside, between Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury, is The Swan Hotel & Spa in Lavenham, perhaps one of England's most iconic hotels. The Swan dates back to the 15th century when it played a key role in Lavenham's wool trade. Today it is a quintessential English country hotel and restaurant, proud of its achievement of AA 4 Red star, two AA Rosettes & Visit England Large Hotel of the Year 2013. Ancient oak beams and inglenook fireplaces blend beautifully with rich furnishings and fabrics to create the perfect ambiance for rest and relaxation. The historic old bar boasts a wonderful collection of memorabilia, including a wall signed by British and American airmen stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II. The Swan is a wonderful place in which to celebrate a variety of special occasions, including romantic weddings, christenings and family get-togethers. It is also a unique venue for seminars, meetings and conferences, where 15th century inspiration combines with 21st century innovation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lavenham Swan Hotel
Swan Hotel & Spa Lavenham Suffolk

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