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“A quick trip to Wells”

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Best Western Plus Swan Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Wells
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Great hotel with a view of the Cathedral from our room number 41. Wells is a fascinating City and there is so much to see and do in the surrounding area. We only had 2 days but we will return again as we missed so much detail on this trip.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Best Western GB
Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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570 - 576 of 938 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2014

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Best Western GB
Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 9 May 2014

I must start with a small confession... I worked in the Swan when I was twelve years old, carrying bags on a Saturday morning. This was when it was a fiefdom run by the then owner Freddie Chapman... on the other hand I haven't set foot in the place for about thirty five years, so this is an unbiased review!!

First thing to say is that the location is wonderful, right opposite the Cathedral, and with a clear view of the West Front from the front of the hotel. If you're in one of the (few) rooms that has this view, you'll be impressed.

I didn't... but that's OK, I was in one of the labyrinthine corridors connecting the Swan with what used to be the Star Hotel on the high street (they link behind the various shop facades) a very nice modern room, well appointed and with its own little courtyard outside - nice for couples sitting out in the sun. Everything worked - though the Wi-Fi was a bit dodgy... otherwise very good standard of accommodation.

The restaurant (dinner and breakfast) was good, and came as part of my DBB price - £110 through Expedia last-minute; good service and reasonable food. The a la carte menu looked a bit pricey, but my TDH was good value and well cooked.

So, all in all, well worth a visit... deffo the best hotel in Wells by a country mile... BUT... there are many private B&Bs, several of which I have used in the past, and most are exceptional value. Not as central but its a small place and walking is easy.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Thank TACHSuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

A most beautiful hotel in the heart of wells with spectacular views of the cathedral. Would not ask for anything better than this, staff, atmosphere and accommodation top quality, a must for the most seasoned traveller.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank robert b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2014 via mobile

We sat on the terrace across the street from the hotel which looks over the Cathedral Green with a lovely view of the Cathedral. That alone is worth coming here for. The lunch menu was decent. The ploughmans was fine, some ingredients obviously better quality than others (Branston pickle and what tasted like shop bought bread) and there wasn't much variety (pickled onions, dill pickle AND Branston pickle was a bit too much vinegar on one plate for me). The lamb burger was good with average quality chips. We had chocolate and pear torte with a whiskey truffle cream, which felt like a poorly chosen accompaniment as it didn't contrast at all with the torte and was just more rich gooey stuff on the plate.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful especially the two young women behind the bar.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank ACH999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

This was our second stay at The Swan and we were there for three nights over the Easter weekend. The location is flawless - extremely convenient in the town centre, with wonderful views over the cathedral and cathedral green. The staff were almost to a person, excellent. The decor is tasteful and the restaurant attractive. Our "superior" room looked very appealing; however, the bathroom was poorly equipped - the shower screen was not large enough to stop water coming out of the bath when you shower and there was not a single surface to put anything down on (I ended up bringing the chair from the bedroom and placing it by the sink). We ate in the hotel restaurant every one of the three evenings and in honesty, only really enjoyed one of the night's main courses.The starters were quite good, the deserts were hit and miss, but the main courses were really disappointing for a two rosette restaurant. I had a hake dish on the first night - the fish was nicely cooked, although the skin was not crisp, but the sauce was thin and flavourless and the purees were watery and tasteless. My husband had a chicken dish which under-delivered on every level. It had nothing to recommend it and was entirely forgettable. We both had steak on the second night, which was quite good actually, but the "homestyle" chips it came with were to my tastes, inedible. They were anaemic and had a sour tang to them as if they had been fried in re-used oil. The third night we both ordered the lamb which was a really nice dish - well seasoned accompaniments and perfectly cooked meat. Over all the restaurant is just too patchy and I would not go back there. If I stayed in Wells again I would probably go to the Swan, but I would almost certainly try dining out.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Chilli-Cymru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2014

After a stressful couple of weeks, we decided that a night away in one of our favourite cities would help us to recharge the batteries, so to speak. We called the Swan Hotel having stayed once before and loved the location - but given the upcoming Bank Holiday we really didn't expect to find great deals to be had. However, we were offered a package include dinner and breakfast for an incredibly reasonable price, so we snapped it up and headed off to Wells. It's important to note that the journey to the city is beautiful in itself, and while my location might reveal some bias, the sight of the Somerset countryside on a misty afternoon is rather unique. Seeing the improbable and awe-inspiring cathedral rising from the levels as you approach Wells sets the scene for the city perfectly too.

The Swan is a very, very old coaching inn. Located near the market square and in the very centre of England's smallest city, there is a pleasant bustle outside in the daytime, but surprisingly little night time noise at all. Entrance is via the lounge area, with comfortable seating and a fireplace for cold days, with the small bar located adjacent. Opposite the hotel is the terrace, a gap between the buildings which reveals one of the finest views of the West Front of Wells Cathedral to be had anywhere. Ordering drinks from the bar and sitting here until our dinner reservation was a wonderful way to relax into our evening away.

The dinner service is casual and unfussy, but still feels very professional. The fixed price menu which was included in the room rate was very good, with a reasonable range of choices. There are more delights to savour on the a la carte menu, which can be calculated as additions to the bill. The hotel has an extensive wine list too, including some English wines which aren't often available elsewhere. The whole menu has a locally inspired feel too.

After dinner we headed for our room, which was an adventure! This huge, old building rambles for quite a way - and the hotel also includes an annex in the rear of the former coaching area. We loved the opportunity to explore the panelled corridors and little nooks of the place, but if mobility is an issue it's wise to let staff know in advance. On our previous stay we'd found ourselves in one of the larger, four-poster rooms here and we were surprised that our rate included the same room type tonight. In fact we were in a somewhat larger room this time, with a very comfortable bed. The room looked out over the rooftops of the City, providing a pleasant view - however we understand there are rooms with a Cathedral view too. The room was clean, in good repair and well provisioned with everything we'd expect. Some older hotels use their venerability to justify poor repairs or idiosyncratic features, but the Swan genuinely manages to combine age with modern convenience. For example, the wifi here worked far better than some purpose-built modern hotels we've visited recently!

Breakfast is served in the restaurant, and along with the usual continental fare, includes a range of hot dishes prepared to order. This includes the signature 'Taunton Toast' which sounds intriguing, but had to step aside for the full Somerset grill this time. This was a well-cooked, sizeable breakfast including local ingredients. My one minor gripe (and I have agonised over whether this is worth a loss of a star!) was that the black pudding on the menu wasn't served. Given that I am something of a black pudding enthusiast, and had spoken of little else but the great black pudding we'd been served last stay since we'd set out, I have to mention this - but I know that more reasonable people would probably not be too concerned :-)

After breakfast, we stepped out into Wells with the Cathedral and the local shops and market to enjoy. The Swan staff are happy to hold luggage for a few hours to let you wander the magical city, which should be on the itinerary of anyone who wants to experience England and it's history. Certainly, it's place is deserved alongside Bath, York and all the other regular spots. For those wise enough to head this way, the Swan Hotel is the perfect base.

Room Tip: There are so many rooms, which understandably vary due to the age of the hotel. It may be worth aski...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank MikeGTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Best Western Plus Swan Hotel

Address: Sadler Street, Wells BA5 2RX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Wells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Wells
Price Range: £107 - £169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Best Western Plus Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly opposite Wells Cathedral, parts of this historic building date back to at least 1422. Today, the hotel offers guests modern amenities in a beautiful and relaxed setting. There are 49 bedrooms, a luxurious suite and 5 self-contained apartments to choose from. For a real treat, stay in the award-winning Cathedral Suite (complete with free standing brass bath). Swan Mews provides a peaceful retreat, ideal for small families or individuals on business. These self-contained apartments are situated in the middle of Wells, amongst a host of shops and restaurants. During the summer, al fresco dining is available on Swan Terrace (with a magnificent view of the West Front of Wells Cathedral) or in our peaceful Walled Garden Cafe. The hotel's award-winning kitchen (2 AA Rosettes) uses only the finest seasonal ingredients, locally sourced wherever possible. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Wells
Wells Best Western
Best Western Plus Swan Hotel Wells, Somerset

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