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“THE BEST IN SOUTHWOLD”
Review of The Swan Hotel

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The Swan Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Southwold
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed August 4, 2011

I have been going to the Swan for years. Usually in Mr Crisps or the The Admirals room which are both lovely, (a bit expensive, but you pay for what you get!) It was my daughters wedding and we had 10 or so friends staying at the hotel. The friendly helpful service was fantastic, Anna who handled my booking was great, even with the slight mix up with all the rooms----very gracious. All in all, I put my faith in this place and I was NOT let down, The lighthouse rooms although out of the main hotel and rather small were very comfortable.
Downsides--hmmm nothing really, but It's a tad stiff and I am 60 and I definitely felt like a youngster!!!

THANKS AGAIN---Louis Austin

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Rvrman21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMadSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2011

Although you have stayed at the Swan numerous times over a number of years it was particularly pleasing to hear that on such an important occasion as your daughters wedding we did not let you down. The member of staff you mentioned will be delighted to hear your feedback and to hear that you found similar levels of friendliness and helpfulness accross the board was terrific.
A tip for your next stay :There are 9 of the Lighthouse rooms which are larger than those you stayed in on this occasion and all have been recently refurbished although the Admirals and Mr Crisp rooms are the largest and command beautiful views accross the town.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences at the Swan , it is easier for a guest to be motivated to post a review if all was not as it should have been and we really appreciate it.Please pass our best wishes to the newly weds and I hope we can continue to welcome all of you to Southwold for many years to come.

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489 - 495 of 601 reviews

Reviewed July 27, 2011

We ( 2 of us in late 50's) have just returned from 3 nights in a Lighthouse room at the Swan.
I am not sure what other peolpe were looking at when they suggested the place needs refurbishing. All looks good to me - with an old hotel the outside is bound to be rustic in places but this adds to the charm surely.
Yes it is expensive but you cannot get a better location and the service we experienced throughout our stay was excellent - breakfasts good too.
My only 2 things to mention specifically as negatives ( but nothing to put off future visits) are 1) - fascias etc on lightouse rooms need sorting - spiders dropping on me contously while I sat outside was not too good and 2) if you want absolute quiet ask for a lighthouse room in the higher numbers away from the brewery.
Thanks must go to the company for putting blinds on the windows to help with privacy and to restaurnat staff for very attentive service at dinner and breakfast - even wjen very busy.
We aim to stay there again.

Room Tip: If its silence you want ask for lightouse room in high numbers.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank odonjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMadSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2011

A headline that reads 'Brilliant Short Break ' is exactly what we hope to achieve at the beginning of every working day so naturally we were delighted to hear that on this occasion we met your expectations and thank you for taking the time to share your experience . Its much easier for a customer to be motivated to share thier views should the experience not meet expectations so we really do appreciated it.
The team are on the case re the spiders and I hope you will notice some improvement when you next stay and whilst many customers enjoy the feeling of being in the centre of things with the brewery on one side and the Lighthouse on the other you are right to point out this means absolute peace and quiet is not always on the agenda.
Many of the rooms in the main hotel building are also suitable should a quieter space be required and I would recommend guests considering a visit to Southwold also talk to our reception team when booking and they will endeavour to direct you to a room that best serves your needs.Thank you once again and I hope we can welcome you back soon.

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Reviewed July 24, 2011

The room itself was nice enough, what you would expect for a nice (if a bit stuffy) hotel, but the bathroom was grotty - and worse than this, the mattress was clearly past its sell by date, really soft and could feel the springs, along with clearly cheap pillows where you could feel the polyester stuffing coming apart. I recently spent a few nights in a student halls of residence and the bed there was a million times more comfortable.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Tempe17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMadSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2011

Clearly your feedback is very disappointing and I am sorry you did nt enjoy your stay but thank you for taking the time to share your experience. It is by listening to and responding positively to customer feedback whether it be good or bad that we aim to maintain the hotels hard earned reputation and we will review your feedback and aim to improve.

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Reviewed July 19, 2011

We have often visited Southwold on a day out basis as I lived in the area and always said that one day we would stay over and so we have had our eye on this hotel for a long time...years actually! I recently moved to Leicestershire and so the opportunity arose last weekend. First impressions were very good. We thought the room was lovely and spacious with a very nice bathroom which we commented that it was nice to stay somewhere with hot water for a change. The bed was an absolute dream and was so comfortable.

The hotel itself is as some have commented a bit dated but I like this and I think gives it a lot character. It is a grand, old fashioned hotel and if you stop to think, you are in a rural community on the coast of Suffolk so it fits very well.

I only have three faults with this hotel. The first is that some of staff are slightly aloof and can come across snooty and not really interested in you whatsover which is disappointing when you are paying a higher than average price for staying in 'their' hotel. Secondly, they do not really cater for a minority of people that eat late i.e. myself and partner. We rarely eat before 9 pm and so was horrified to find that there was no hot food available only a sandwich. I know that there must be a cut off point for the kitchen staff to shut up shop so to speak but surely an extension to 10 pm wouldn't be too much to ask. And finally, we had breakfast and it was a bit of nightmare to firstly even get a table. We had to wait for one to become available. Once we sat down it took a least 10 minutes for someone to come and take our order and then another 10-15 mins before we actually got any food. Then when we did receive our cooked breakfast it was on the small size. I noticed from the pictures on this website that the breakfast looked lovely....shame ours wasn't like that all! The only saving grace was that it was hot.

Overall a good stay and as the title of this piece suggests ... We will be staying again..... (but maybe we will bring our own food next time!!!)

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JesterUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMadSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2011

Firstly , thank you for taking the time to post a review and secondly we are delighted to hear you will be staying again ! This is usually an indication there was more right than wrong .
It is incredibly unusual to hear a comment that our staff are anything less than warm , friendly and welcoming . We have however ensured your comments have been shared with the team and I am sorry that on this visit you found the team to have been a little aloof.We have invested heavily in ensuring all of our teams have been through customer service training and intend to continue doing so. I hope your experience can be considered a one off and perhaps when you next visit your assessment of the team will be more in line with what I believe customers can usually expect in Southwold.
With regards to restaurant opening time we tend to set those not for our own convenience but rather in line with customer demand. The vast majority of our guests request tables between 7 and 8pm and very rarely are tables requested even as late a 9pm.Clearly it would nt make much business sense to keep a restaurant fully open and manned if there is little or no customer demand but we will continue to monitor this situation and respond to our customer needs if nessessary . Upon your next visit however please let us know if you wish to dine a little later in advance and we will do whatever is practicable to accomodate you.
Breakfast can be similar to dinner service in that the majority of guests do wish to dine at the same time which can on occasion mean all tables are occupied.There is no excuse however for tardy service once you have been seated nor poor portions so I hope that upon your return you will notice your feedback has been put to positive use and you will will see an improvement.

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Reviewed June 19, 2011

This hotel is quite pretty and overall a good choice, especially for location. We stayed in one of the Lighthouse rooms which have a wall of windows facing onto the rear courtyard garden. Luckily the windows had both roller blinds and standard draperies which were easy to keep closed for privacy.
The lights in the bedside lamps were incredibly dim, even after being on for quite a while, they'd cause eye-strain if you were trying to read by them. There are many overhead halogens that can be turned on instead which is a bit better.
There's a small flat-screen telly which received all the local digital freeview channels (they've recently switched over from analogue). It should have had satellite as well but the cable to our box wasn't crimped properly and had pulled out from the actual connector. We mentioned this at reception and when we came back in the evening, all they had done was reverse the cable so now there was a cable dangling behind and not connected to the wall. It wasn't a huge problem since there was the standard freeview channels to watch and we were out all day seeing the sites anyway.
The bathroom was mostly very clean except the bottom of the shower screen seemed quite scummy especially in comparison to everywhere else in the bathroom. The rest of the screen was spotless. The toilet paper holder was awkwardly placed on the wall behind the loo but not sure how they could improve that, short of installing a free-standing holder.
The bed was quite soft and had a bit of sag to it which made it a little bit difficult to sleep in it. Kind of like sleeping in a soft hammock. It wasn't easy for me to sleep as I usually sleep on my side.
There is free wifi but it only works in the Lounge. It's through some provider that requires you to click through on a browser first. It seemed to work fine with a laptop and an Android handheld too.
We had a combination deal which included dinner and breakfast for the first night. The dinner was quite nice - I recommend the set menu as it seemed more interesting with as much choice as the a la carte menu. I'd say it's at minimum a smart-casual affair - we felt very underdressed in clean jeans and t-shirts after spending most of the day on the beach and pier.
The breakfasts (we stayed another night with just bed & breakfast for slightly cheaper) were a bit hit or miss. I loved the Broadside bacon in the "Hotel" cooked breakfast but the eggs vary in quality. Scrambled eggs seems to be fine though my husband's tasted rather deliciously slightly oniony one morning and not the next. I ordered poached eggs and I broke into the yolk and found it was quite cold inside. I did mention it to the staff but decided not to try another egg. I also highly recommend the Danish pastries if you're only having the Continental breakfast - the pastry is airy and delicious and the fillings are not overly sweet.
Overall I think this is a good choice if you want to stay close to the beach (and the pier isn't too far away either) and if you can get in on a special offer. I'm not sure it's worth its full price rate but I'd be happy to stay again at the special rates.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Akki14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMadSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience following a recent visit to the Swan in Southwold. We are indeed fortunate to have such a great location and naturally we were happy to hear that overall you felt the hotel was a good choice. We value feedback and actively seek to improve in any areas we can, so you can be assured the cooking of eggs at breakfast is currently under scrutiny by our Head Chef! Whenever we have special rates available they will be highlighted on our website although at this time of year demand is high and special deals have less availability. Keep a close eye however as deals can appear at short notice for short periods and we'd be delighted to welcome you back to Southwold.

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Reviewed June 12, 2011

The location in Southwold is great-we didn't move our car in 2 days. Rooms are ok,they are clean and simple. The public areas are a bit worn and really could do with upgrading
We had one dinner in the hotel which was ok,helpful staff and good wine list .However the breakfasts were beyond awful. I had smoked haddock one morning that was horrible and dried out . The next day was even worse-horrible dried out bacon ,a sausage that was dry and stiil pink . Even the toast was burnt beyond recognition. Surely its not difficult to cook a breakfast ?
On our second night we ate at Sutherland House which was superb and very good value

  • Stayed: June 2011
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Thank KSlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMadSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to share your views having stayed at the Swan in Southwold. We were delighted to hear you didn't have to move your car for two days given our efforts wherever possible to operate in an environmentally responsible manner! Clearly there is a need for us to improve upon the consistency of our breakfast provision and the team will work hard to use your feedback positively to ensure we get it right moving forward. Having invested heavily in our public areas, with the bar, lounge and public toilets all having been totally refurbished within the last year we are however a little surprised you would have found them to be worn and in need of upgrading. That said, our maintenance team are already armed with paint brushes in hand and seeking any small areas which may need touching up. Thank you again and despite breakfast I hope we may have the opportunity to welcome you back to Southwold in the future and demonstrate that your feedback has been put to good use.

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Reviewed May 5, 2011

The Swan has the best location in town with my room with a view of the sea as well as overlooking the markets, on market days. The room was stylish and different - a real change from a standard Hilton-style room.

The breakfast was one of the best I have experienced in a hotel - a great choice as well as a buffet too. Very hard to beat. For dinner they didn't put anything wrong - simply wonderful.

The staff were friendly, caring, and with a fantastic sense of humour. We were staying over the Royal Wedding and the staff really had a lot of fun providing us with silly hats over breakfast - getting us some silly looks.

I proposed at this break and found the staff so genuinely happy for us. I can't recommend this place enough - book soon as it is by far the best hotel in town. For dinner, there aren't many restaurants - although plenty of great pubs - so I strongly suggest you book especially if you are travelling at a busy time.

You don't be disappointed one bit if you stay here - that is for sure.

Room Tip: Request a room in the main hotel (not the annexe).
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ed S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMadSouthwold, Manager at The Swan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2011

Firstly , on behalf of all the team at Adnams Southwold , congratulations on your engagement! We are naturally delighted to hear that your stay at the Swan helped make this such a memorable moment for you both.
Thank you for taking the time to let us know and I hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you both back to Southwold soon...... perhaps for the honeymoon ?

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Additional Information about The Swan Hotel

Address: Market Place, Southwold IP18 6EG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Southwold
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Southwold
Price Range: $348 - $363 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The transformation is almost complete and The Swan will soon reveal its beautiful new feathers from mid October 2017. Whilst retaining much of its original charm and character, the new Swan has a contemporary and coastal look with oodles of thoughtful touches and treats to delight all guests, both new and returning. Stay with us to enjoy an experience like no other. You can simply escape for an indulgent treat or a much-needed wellness break. With Adnams’ brewery and distillery right on your doorstep, you can be immersed in the wonderful world of beer and spirits, or you can explore Southwold and the stunning countryside surrounding it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan Southwold
Swan Hotel Southwold
Hotel Southwold Swan
The Swan Hotel Southwold, Suffolk

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