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“Wonderful stay in a great location” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Macdonald Swan Hotel

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Macdonald Swan Hotel
Ranked #10 of 14 Hotels in Grasmere
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful stay in a great location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2012

Great old hotel, fantastic atmosphere in a convenient location for all Lake District attractions. We stayed 3 nights mid week in June, Food and service were excellent with plenty of other eateries within walking distance. Met some of the staff in the village and they spoke to us like old friends we were really made to feel at home. Our room was fantastic with great views across the garden out to the hills. Lots of great walks locally . We really enjoyed our stay here and would definately stay here again. The only problem we had was the bathroom was too too hot so we had to have the window open and as we were on the ground floor by the garden this felt a little exposed gave us a few laughs though!!

Room Tip: Those at the garden side have great views and higher up have more privacy
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fpd123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (208)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
winteringham
Level Contributor
315 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2012

The Swan is a fabulous old coaching house superbly located in the heart of Lakeland just 5 mins walk from Grasmere village and with plenty of walks from the door, it has 2 main dining areas the bar & main restaurant with a good choice of well cooked and prepared food served by friendly and helpful staff and a good choice of real ales.
The rooms are in need of a refurbishment looking tired and dated especially the bathroom although couldn't be faulted for cleanliness.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WinteringhamSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2012

In the heart of The Lake District. Stayed two nights in mid-October for some walking and R&R.
Despite being very busy the staff were very attentive and cheerful.
The restaurant is very good quality - and there are plenty of other eateries in the area if you want to vary your meals.
Would thoroughly recommend.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mortian1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blackpool, England
Level Contributor
108 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2012

The Swan is a stunning 17th century coach house in a stunning location on the edge of Grasmere village. Although it is outside the village it is only a few minutes’ walk to the village and lake.

The building is what you would expect of something of this age but bedrooms are mainly quite large and very comfortable. You do need to check out the heating though as some quests complained their rooms were inadequately heated (yet mine was fine).

I found the bed to be extremely comfortable and the room to be light and airy. The furniture is of a good quality (period) yet with modern facilities such as flat screen TV and coffee making facilities. Rooms do however lack in built room safes (something I expect of a 4 star hotel these days).

I found service in the hotel to be a bit mixed. It wasn’t unusual for the bar staff in the main bar to go missing for periods (this happened on at least 4 occasions on the two days I was there) and service in the restaurant can be slow. The hotel was full whilst I was there for a wedding but I don’t think this should be an excuse.

Food in the restaurant is excellent although watch out for small (houte cuisine style) portions on some of the dishes. I would recommend the braised beef cheeks (decent portions and well cooked) although the catch of the day I had on the first night was possibly the smallest fish I have ever seen on a plate (although well cooked).

I would recommend this hotel for its stunning location alone although it is let down slightly by its somewhat mixed service.

Room Tip: Check room as some indadequately heated (e.g. room 1 very cold)
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Worslesr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
226 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2012

We have stayed at the Swan on numerous occasions in the past but only had lunch there on this trip. Little has changed over the years. The bar area and lounge were very smart and well cared for. The copper and brass ornaments were nicely polished and there were fresh flowers in vases. The easy chairs had recently been recovered and looked pristine. The staff were very welcoming and friendly and the food nicely cooked and presented.

The hotel is located on the A591 between Windermere and Keswick. There is a little traffic noise but it gets quieter after dark. It is within walking distance of Grasmire village and it is advisable to go there on foot as parking in the village is difficult.

We have always loved the Swan with its inglenooks and open fire places. On one visit a few years ago we asked reception for a "cute" bedroom. She replied that "cuteness costs money". She was right and we willingly paid the extra.

Room Tip: Ask for a cute bedroom at the rear of the hotel. It is worth paying the extra.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Abrumar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2012

This hotel is in dire need of refurbishment. The room had dirty carpets and disgusting mouldy net curtains and window frames. The bathroom floor needed a scrub and the sink was cracked. The breakfasts were OK but some items were extra; dried out haddock and poached egg £ 2.50! The evening menu was pub grub fayre. One might have expected local dishes other than Cumberland saussage!
This is the second Macdonald hotel I have stayed at in a month, I can now understand why their share price has plummeted. I will avoid their hotels in future.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Whealy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Linton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
335 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2012

This hotel has a few good assetts and could so easily be transormed into a great hotel, with a little competent management.

Firstly, location. This is a a real breath of fresh air compared to the crowded tourist traps of Bowness and Ambleside. There is good walking in every direction from the Swan.

The second assett is the food. If you want basic, then the battered fish and chips is above the average, but other dishes on then menu are to a good restaurant standard. The special on one night was a delicious duo of salmon and haddock, with lemon sauce, served with herb mash. At breakfast, the high standard continues, with teh best ingredients (eg the king of black pudding sourced from Stornoway), all well cooked, without the greasiness of so many full breakfasts.

The management of the Swan is however appalling. Checkin was in theory from 4:00PM, later than the average hotel, yet there were still people waiting in reception for their rooms to be ready at 4:30. In our case, during checkin the staff lost our registration card (the bit you normally use as proof of signature for extras), but we managed without. At dinner, time and again, the waitresses wandered around with dishes asking each table in turn if they were what the guests had ordered. Breakfast was much the same, with guests waiting a long time to order, and then watching dishes arrive in an ad hoc fashion, in no particular order, and again with little knowledge by the staff of who had ordered what.

To be fair, the staff worked hard. Top marks went to the barman, who wrestled with taking drinks orders, and serving food to 3 different lounge areas, while the rest of the staff focussed on the restaurant.

On decor and cleanliness, suffice it to say that some areas of the hotel are very tired.

The common theme then, is a bunch of hard working staff, in a hotel in a great location, and serving great food, who just need a bit of common sense management to organise them properly.

Final point, I noticed one reviewer who complained of dogs in the bar. We stayed at the Swan because we were travelling with our dog, but I can appreciate that for people who don't like dogs, the Swan may not be the best place, as there are a lot of them, although to be fair dogs are not allowed in the main restaurant. In fact, Grasmere is probably the most dog friendly place I have visited in the UK, with most of the shops bearing "dogs welcome" stickers. For non-dog lovers, its safer to ask when booking whether dogs are allowed or not. The opposite of a few years ago when it was difficult for those of us with canine friends to find hotels!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rick E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Swan Hotel

Property: Macdonald Swan Hotel
Address: The Swan Hotel Keswick Road, Grasmere LA22 9RF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Grasmere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Grasmere
#9 Romantic Hotel in Grasmere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Macdonald Swan Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
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

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