If you like staying away in country hotels, with excellent food, comfortable bedrooms and super friendly staff then my recent weekend at the Swan ticked all the boxes! The Hotel is a mixture of Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian and is perfectly situated in the charming small town of Helmsley. A short walk takes you to the market square with a collection of shops to satisfy the most choosy shopper. The ruined Helmsley castle (EH) and Duncombe Park are nearby and there is plenty to see and do.
I have been coming to this little gem for many years and have always had a wonderful stay. However, the Hotel had recently changed owners (they own The Feversham Arms, also in Helmsley) and I was concerned that it may have lost that individuality that distinguishes a good hotel,to a hotel you want to go back to again and again.
I need not have worried! There are definate improvements to report - from comfy chairs and sofas with log fires in beamed lounges with local magazines and newspapers handy to read to a tasteful and charming re-design and refurbishment of the Restaurant. The food was of a very high standard, beautifully presented by attentive staff with ingredients sourced locally, cooked and presented with care. Despite being busy the staff were eager to serve you and I saw guests treated with courtesy. There is no Bar so a pre-dinner drink in one of the Lounge's is recommended!
My bedroom was comfortable, clean and tastefully furnished. Complimentary robes, magazines and T&C. Try and stay in the main part of the Hotel which overlooks the square, the rooms are more traditional and have character. There is a modern extension which is at the back of the Hotel and overlooks a small garden.
What makes a Hotel exceed expectations? for me it is the staff. Nothing was too much trouble, for example my hairdryer broke and James the receptionist lent me his own. Everyone I met had a genuine interest in making my stay as enjoyable as possible.
Some tips: Try the Tea room with is tempting cakes; take a walk to Rievalux Abbey over the hills (not too hard walking!) Tea shop at the end! The Duncombe Park Shop has some lovely gifts and a delightful tea room at the back!
The Verbena Spa looked tempting but I was here to get some fresh air and walk the dog!
- 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