The Swan is situated on the edge of Grasmere village in an ideal spot for exploring the central and eastern fells. The original building dates from 1650 and the various extensions over the centuries have created a maze of linked buildings. Finding your room could be the first challenge of a week in the Lakes.
My wife and I stayed for 7 days in a feature room with canoped bed. We booked the full dinner/b&b package and generally enjoyed our stay. The room was comfortable and large enough. It was a little shabby and in need of some refurbishment. All the radiators controls were broken and on our arrival we had to call for a maintenance man with wrench to turn off a fiercely hot rad in the bathroom. Fortunately the weather was quite mild and we did not need to trouble him to adjust the heating again.
If the rooms were brought to the standard of the public areas the hotel would receive a better rating.
The selection at breakfast was as good as any that we have enjoyed in our experience of 3 or 4 star hotels. Dinner was excellent, well prepared and presented and served by attentive staff. However the menu does not change. It is the same as displayed on their website and you could plan your meals for the entirety of your stay before go. Before the end of the week we were a little bored with the choices. Other hotels in Grasmere have daily changing menus or at least daily specials. Surely the Swan's 'award winning chef' cannot derive any satisfaction from cooking the same meals seven days a week.
The hotel does not have free wi-fi which is usually available in hotels of this category. It cost from £6 per day to use BT's network. Fortunately the pub up the road has the facility and if you need to check your e-mails, pop along to the Traveller's Rest for a pot tea or a pre dinner drink.
Another little niggle is the policy of charging £2 for using a credit card. When you are settling a bill for £1500 it seems a little mean to apply this charge. I know it is not the hotel's fault that it has to comply with the Macdonald group's rules but I cannot be the only one with a profound mistrust of a company the squeezes every last pound from its customers. In what other areas might they be penny-pinching?
- 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
- Macdonald Swan Hotel Grasmere, Lake District