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“In a class of its own”

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The Black Swan Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Certificate of Excellence
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
127 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“In a class of its own”
Reviewed September 16, 2012

We stayed on the 8th and 9th September to celebrate my birthday and also our grandson's. I was also treating my immediate family so there were 10 of us staying for the first night. Despite the hotel catering for a wedding on the Saturday, we were given personal service and all the prior special arrangements I had made were place. We began with afternoon tea which was served in the tearooms - what a treat! The sandwiches, cakes and scones were beautifully presented and tasted as good as they looked. A few bottles of reasonably priced champagne followed later in the afternoon before dinner was served. The food was excellent - a limited menu demonstrating the freshness of the ingredients - and at no stage did we feel rushed. In fact, we were still in the restaurant at 11.45! The staff throughout our stay were friendly, efficient and very professional. We have short breaks on a regular basis and believe this is the best experience we have had for many years. Whatever you do, please try the scones as they are better than any we have ever tried before! Only one very small negative and that is in relation to the wine list - there is plenty of choice but most are quite expensive. For example, a glass of the only Shiraz they had was £8. Other than that, we enjoyed our stay so much that we are hoping to return very soon.

Room Tip: The rooms overlooking the courtyard/garden are very quiet
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Alun L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Black_Swan_Hotel, Public Relations Manager at The Black Swan Hotel, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Thank you for your comments following your recent stay at the Black Swan. We are so pleased to read your kind comments and we are delighted that you really enjoyed your visit to the hotel. It is so nice to receive comments such as yours and we are really pleased that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay from the tearoom, to the restaurant, to the service that you received from the staff here at the hotel. We really look forward to welcoming you and your family back to the hotel again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Newcastle, UK
Level Contributor
45 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012 via mobile

We stayed on the great Yorkshire escape deal.

This is one of the best hotels we have stayed in for quite a while. Service was impeccable. Staff very knowledgeable of their product. The taster menu we had in the restaurant was a particular high point. Requests for a quiet room were met.

The food and service for both taster menu and afternoon tea was outstanding.

We thought the great Yorkshire escape deal was good value (DBB and afternoon tea for about £200).

I would trust this hotel to provide a great experience.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Chrisdawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

We recently got married at the Black Swan and I can't praise them enough. From the start, the wedding coordinator Nicola was very organized and helpful and on the ball, which you would expect but is in reality fairly rare. She not only planned everything how we wanted it but also had good suggestions about things to do, like a picnic blanket and picnic tea for the kids.

We couldn't have asked for a better wedding day, and I would say that mostly down to the wonderful staff, every one of them. In addition, the venue was just the right size and decor to suit us (we had 49 adults and 6 kids under 6). The Master of Ceremonies, Matt, ensured that everything went smoothly and to the plan Nicola had drawn up with us. He was always there to help if something wasn't clear or needed sorting out, and everything went without a hitch as a result.

The attention to detail was amazing - we'd specified various dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegetarian and pescetarian for some members of the party, for the meal. I hadn't thought about the canapes for the vegetarians, but I was told by a friend that Matt sought out the one vegetarian we had among us in order to deliver a veggie plate of canapes to her, which were nowhere near the fish. This wasn't something we'd requested (despite being tuned to this sort of thing myself since I have special dietary requirements) and went above what we expected. They really paid attention to our needs. This attention to detail is just one of the things that makes the Black Swan a really special venue for a wedding.

And of course the food was great, a high standard for a wedding, and the buffet on the evening was delicious - not your bog-standard, too much food buffet, but bacon or egg baps, refined sandwiches etc. My only regret on the day is that I was too full to try the yummy-looking profiteroles at the buffet!

We had a wedding package that included the cake from local cake-maker Rhian at Celebrate Country Cake Design. It was absolutely delicious - chocolate. Honestly so yummy we were eating the leftovers the next day. I'm not a big fan of wedding cakes, either.

The package also included chair covers and tiebacks, those little details that you'd like to have but are normally too expensive to justify (if you're being realistic) but the venue has their own so it doesn't add to the price as far as I'm aware, or it worked out reasonably.
Also included was the DJ, who was great and had everyone dancing. It was nice to not have to think about all these details and book them separately, and the price didn't come out at any more than if we had booked separately.

All in all, I can't recommend the Black Swan enough as a venue for a wedding, I really can't. And Helmsley's a lovely town to wander round the next day and for guests to explore.

Room Tip: The newly refurbished rooms are great. The older rooms in the low-ceilinged old section are now refu...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Zodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for dinner, bed and breakfast for my wife's birthday. The daily dinner menu was excellent, service was prompt but you didn't feel rushed, food was great (all local Yorkshire produce apparently which means it must be good! ) the wine menu had a bit of everything.
Room was fine, not spectacular but clean and modern. One minor issue with the lights tripping when a lightbulb went in the middle of the night but all in all a really enjoyable stay!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DarrenB999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northeast
Level Contributor
60 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2012

A last minute decision to go away for the weekend resulted in a stay at the black swan. Our original plan was 1 night at the Black Swan but because we were so impressed we stayed an extra night. Our room was towards the rear of the hotel, so away from any street noise. As it is an old hotel the rooms are not the biggest. they are well furnished, clean and comfortable. The beds are extremely comfortable, good storage, tea/coffee making facilities, hair drier and iron and ironing board in the rooms.
Dinner menu gave a good choice, i can highly recommend the halibut and the tastes of the black forrest dessert.
Breakfast was a combination of buffet and hot food, cereals, fruit, yoghurts through a full english.
The standard of service by the staff was outstanding, polite professional and nothing was ever a problem. I would highly recommend this hotel and will definitely return.
As mentioned in a previous review, high praise to Zoltan, his smile and laugh have an infectious quality.

Room Tip: Quiet rooms are at the rear of the hotel.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank happytreks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Biannual stay at Black Swan. Rang on the day and got a "reasonable" deal fair bit below website price. Dog accommodated no problem. Choice of menus now range from £20/25 for market menu, £35 for Dinner menu and £50ish for tasting menu. As always excellent selection of wines from £18 up to £eye watering.
On the food front, above average but lacked some of the touches of recent years, such as every cheese on the board described and laid onto slate in order of strength. All waiting staff were excellent particularly Zoltan who kept us amused with his covert vampire impressions from across the restaurant! Outstanding. Had a red wine from Puglia £24 with meal which was fantastic. Drinks in bar afterwards, house red was revolting but quickly changed by bar staff. Room was clean and well appointed but bathrooms are in need of replacing. Breakfast was super.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Twatsons1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darlington, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I stayed at the Black Swan on the 28th of August on a special deal that we found in a local magazine for afternoon tea, a six course taster menu and breakfast on the following morning. The reason for the stay was to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary.
The room was clean and comfortable; however it had a very dated bathroom with a shower over the bath that leaked everywhere when used. The afternoon tea was very good with the sandwiches and scones and the morning breakfast was a really good traditional breakfast of bacon and eggs.
Sadly the evening meal “the chef’s special taster menu” was a big disappointment. Taster menus we have had in the past and at different restaurants have consisted of small portions of food where all of the flavours are meant to come out of the food and tantalise your taste buds. However at the Black Swan the food was bland and very uninteresting.
Our first taster was a cold green soup that was served in a small glass that had no taste due to being stored in a fridge. Subsequent courses had a similar theme of being cold as if they had come out of the fridge. With two exceptions that involved fish both dishes had warm fish but the rest of the meal was fridge cold. It appeared to me that it is either the policy of the hotel to store everything in the fridge and thus compromise the delicate flavours of the taster menu, or perhaps it was the chefs night off and the food had been prepared earlier in the day.
The service towards the end of the meal was very poor leaving us to wait 25 minutes for the final course.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank 14daytripper14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Black Swan Hotel

Property: The Black Swan Hotel
Address: Market Place, Helmsley YO62 5BJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Helmsley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Black Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in one of Yorkshire's prettiest market towns, The Black Swan in Helmsley is a superb historic inn, turned boutique hotel. Dating back to the C15th the hotel, rich in history and charm, blends antiques with classic contemporary design creating the perfect place for a relaxing break. With its own 3 AA rosette restaurant and award winning tearoom, The Black Swan Hotel provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway and a chance to escape the everyday stresses and strains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Black Swan Helmsley
Black Swan Hotel
The Black Swan Hotel Helmsley, England

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