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“As damp as a swan's nest”

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Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 29 August 2014

In Stratford to see Arden of Faversham and Two Gentlemen of Verona at the RSC theatres. For this two night, midweek visit we opted for a B&B deal offered via Asda Travel for The Swan's Nest. We booked the deal thinking that a four star Macdonald Hotel was bound to be ok, then we read the reviews on TripAdvisor and began to wonder if we'd done the right thing.

First impressions were good, we were allocated Room 51, ground floor. Room smelt musty but we opened the window and all seemed fine. Our bus to Stratford was late yet again so we dashed out of the hotel very quickly for a good dinner at El Greco.

When we returned that night the room seemed mustier; we then discovered the wardrobe doors wouldn't slide; the coffee table top was very loose; and the bed seemed very small for a double. But we slept ok.

In the morning the shower was hot but there was very little pressure behind it. Some of the grouting could have done with a good clean.

Breakfast was absolutely fine, pleasant staff who were attentive and food was very nice although after the various TripAdvisor reviews we steered clear of the Full English.

Returning to the hotel that afternoon,we noticed that the window had been left open which was a bit worrying as we'd closed it as the room had no safe. We requested fresh milk from Room Service which was delivered very quickly. After a cup of coffee we went out for a pre-theatre meal.

On returning from the theatre that night my partner noticed that the loo handle was becoming difficult to flush and that the toilet bowl was cracked on the inside. The musty smell was very strong by this point so we decided to leave the window partly open overnight.

We had a good breakfast. When we got back to the room we realised what we had thought was a small mark or shadow on the wall nearest the door was now a patch of damp running along the bottom of the wall. We were astounded!

When we checked out we were asked about our stay and we explained how we had become increasingly dissatisfied with the room. The receptionist was very nice and promised someone would investigate and contact us. She also said we should have complained earlier but as we pointed out we didn't have time and surely it is the hotel's responsibility to check that rooms meet required standards?

Over 24 hours later, no one from the hotel has bothered to contact us. We are now wondering whether to contact the local environmental health office as the room has a damp problem.

To sum up hotel is in a good location and we couldn't fault breakfast. Free wifi is offered via The Cloud which worked really well. But we feel that we were allocated the worst room in the hotel and Macdonald Hotels should be ashamed that their standards have fallen so low.

Room Tip: Check your room carefully when you arrive. If it smells in the slightest bit musty don't do as...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Widmerpoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire P, Manager at Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your constructive feedback. I am sorry to hear that your stay did not meet with expectations and I shall be working with my maintenance manager and housekeeping looking at ways in which to ensure rooms are kept to the highest of standards with issues rectified prior to guests arrival. I am sorry that this was not the case during your visit but would like to thank you for bringing this to my attention in order that we can make improvements with immediate effect. I believe my colleague has been in touch but should you wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me on ops.swansnest@macdonald-hotels.co.uk.
Claire Pizer - Operations Manager

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Reviewed 27 August 2014

We were looking for a hotel with character close to the town as per the photos but only the main building had any, the rest was 60s style annex. Room disappointing despite the £140/night price tag. I contacted the hotel before arrival to make sure the room was "nice" as this was our first weekend away since we got married recently. The double room was two single beds put together. Uncomfortable join down the middle of the bed. Overall room was average at best.
Bar and bar restaurant service was ok although main course of beef was tough.
Breakfast in Bistro Pierre was a disaster. When arrived staff not clear on explaining meal price options. We ordered English breakfast with toast, tea. Toast arrived in a few minutes in a basket and was as a result soggy. Breakfast arrived 25mins later, soggy toast eaten. Ordered more tea and toast, toast never arrived. Meal warned on "very hot plates" but that was all that was, the rest was warm at best. We asked for Worcester sauce to be told 'sorry guys we don't have any', maybe old fashioned but not the response I expect. When we left there was a full bottle on another table.
We complained to the reception staff and he promised to remove the meal from the bill and speak to the manager who would discuss with us the next morning when she was on duty. When we checked out the receptionist when quizzed said, ' oh yes we have removed this from your bill' despite the manager being there no comment or apology.
If the manager is not understanding the customers frustration then not a surprised the staff don't.
What was supposed to be a romantic weekend in a nice hotel with character turned into being average!

Room Tip: From our experience choose an alternative hotel. The rooms were quiet despite being close to main ro...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Paul O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire P, Manager at Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your constructive comments, which will be discussed at our weekly heads of department meeting and with the manager of Le Bistrot Pierre and taken on board. I would like to offer my sincere apologies for any shortfall in standards during your stay. Staff training is ongoing and your feedback will be valuable in helping us to move forward. The issues you highlight will be worked on as a priority and we hope to make improvements in these areas with immediate effect. Should you be returning to the area in the future please contact me direct on ops.swansnest@macdonald-hotels.co.uk and I shall be pleased to offer you a complimentary upgrade to one of our feature rooms in the original building so that you can experience what we can achieve.
Claire Pizer - Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2014

We stayed 2 nights, room only, over August Bank Holiday weekend using Tesco vouchers. Having had an enjoyable stay 4 years ago, we did not bother checking the reviews on T.A. until after we had booked, so were somewhat concerned about what we would find. However, everything was fine - the room (including the bathroom) was very clean, everything worked perfectly and the hotel was ideally located, a pleasant 5 minute stroll from the stylish restaurants and bars in the town centre. As we were room only, we didn't experience breakfast in the dining room. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and if we ever return to Stratford, we would happily stay at The Swans Nest.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Andy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire P, Manager at Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2014

Dear Guests,
I would like to thank you for your comments and for the time you have taken to give this feedback. I am delighted to learn of your positive visit over the Bank Holiday. We shall use this valuable feedback to pass on to our teams as this provides great motivation

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Macdonald Swans Nest Hotel in the near future, once again thank you for the feedback.
Claire Pizer - Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2014

We were staying in Stratford for one night to meet with friends (who were also staying in the hotel) look around during the day and have a meal in the evening. We arrived to the hotel earlier than the 2pm check-in time and were pleased to find our room ready and given our key. First impression of the hotel was it was ok and fine for a night's stay - the room was ok too - nothing offensive about it; the bathroom does need some updating (although lovely and bright) but the shower was very powerful so that was a plus. After a lovely meal out in town and a nightcap back at the very busy hotel pub we went off to our rooms.

Now for breakfast - given the price for one nights stay it's not that cheap and I really would have expected a much better service/breakfast than that provided. We arrived at the restaurant to be greeted by a polite chap, were told to help ourselves to the buffet and told that someone would be over to take our hot food order. We went for some cereal and then managed to order tea and coffee. We were still wondering whether or not anybody was going to bother asking us about our breakfast order so then I asked if we could order. We both ordered the full English breakfast. A time later our breakfast was brought up by someone warning us how hot the plates were - I asked, who I am assuming was the manageress as she'd arrived and started taking charge, whether we were getting any toast - the response I received was not very professional; she asked me whether I'd ordered any? I responded I assumed that it came with the breakfast (as is normally the case, and is clearly stated on the menu!) looking as if I'd asked for the world, she asked whether we wanted brown or white; at this point I had tried the baked beans (which were a sorry looking excuse for baked beans and I suspect had been in and out of the microwave a number of times) and found them barely warm, along with the scrambled egg and black pudding - he too realised his breakfast was barely warm and the woman said she'd get us another one (begrudgingly I felt). She then brought out some toast and said another breakfast was on the way - it arrived with the same (but different) sorry looking spoonful of baked beans, but it was ok temperature wise - then as I put my fork into the scrambled egg my face dropped (as did my husbands) when I realised it was not cooked properly. I appreciate that some scrambled egg can be a bit underdone and some people prefer it like that, but this was just not cooked, and even my husband (who was actually starving at this point and desperate for his breakfast) put his fork in his, agreed and could not eat it either. At that point we'd had enough and did not want to eat there, the young waitress was nice and didn't really know what to say, we told her it wasn't her fault and got up and left. Anyway, the hotel is just ok, would I stay here again, No.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Just5470
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire P, Manager at Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your constructive feedback and I am sorry to hear that your stay did not meet with expectations. I shall be working closely with the manager of le bistrot pierre looking at ways in which to imporve standards at breakfast both in terms of customer service and quality of food served. Staff training is ongoing and your feedback will be valuable in helping us to move forward. I can assure you that the issues you highlight will be worked on as a priority and we hope to be able to welcome you back in the future in order to show the improvements that have been made.
Claire Pizer - Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Having previously stayed at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel and after a great experience decided to stay at another one of their hotels this weekend whilst staying in Stratford Upon Avon.

This was a surprise birthday present for my partner and I can only say I was left bitterly disappointed and upset and will not be staying at a further Macdonald Hotel.

To summarise, we stayed in room 1 on Saturday 9th August and found the following in the room: The smell of damp throughout the room as soon as entered. Mold on the shower curtain. Paint stains to the left of the TV. Badly filled holes in the wall. Dirty bedding. Dusty throughout. Ice bucket tongs filthy. Information folder dirty. Safe unable to ope.n No attention to detail - writing pad was for room 15. Big clump of hair hanging from the rails in the bathroom. Felt like the hotel is used as an overflow for the neighbouring Alveston Manor.

Did attempt to discuss this on check out but the receptionist couldn't care less - I have since read further reviews on this hotel and it would appear I'm not alone in my view, which is probably why the staff do not care, I'm just another unhappy customer. I even emailed the customer service centre for the entire chain and have had no response.

Feel that £141 for 1 nights stay is very overpriced. Needless to say I will not be returning.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Hannah N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire P, Manager at Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2014

Dear Guests,
I am very disappointed to hear the Macdonald Swans Nest Hotel did not meet with your expectations on your recent visit.
The vast majority of our guests leave the Swans Nest more than satisfied with their stay and I am very sorry to hear that on this occasion this was not the case for you.
I would be delighted to discuss your stay with you directly and can assure you that the issues you highlight will be acted on with immediate effect in order to make improvements in these areas as a priority. I can be contacted on ops.swansnest@macdonald-hotels.co.uk.
We do hope we have the opportunity of welcoming you back again in the future in order to show you what we can achieve.
Claire Pizer - Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014

We were looking for a break in Stratford to revisit all things Shakespearean, including The Rose Theatre, Anne Hathaways, The Bards Birthplace attraction which turned out to be great and his grave in HolyTrinity Church, never mind the fantastic opportunities for Shopping and Dining. We were so pleased to find that the large Hotel is right by the Avon, within walking distance of most Sites, Theatre and attractions. Hathaways is a bit further out. We had a couple of niggles only. Our room was a little small for the money and because we had a deal with dinner on the first night, when I told the waiter he promptly withdrew the nice menu and gave us a shortened version which we thought was peevish. At other Macdonald hotels we have stayed at this didn't happen. Anyway the food was very good and we rested well. The Swimming pool and spa is also a short walk across a busy road to their sister hotel. The Swans nest has a great pub as part of its offer. Staff excellent.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Anne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire P, Manager at Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Dear Guests,
Thank you sincerely for your comments and for the time you have taken to give this feedback. I am delighted to learn of the positive stay you had. We shall use this valuable feedback to pass on to our teams as this provides great motivation. I shall work with the Bistrot in order to improve communication regarding our inclusive menus as our main aim is for guests to be given a varied and fexible choice when dining with us.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Macdonald Swans Nest Hotel in the near future, once again thank you for the feedback.
Claire Pizer - Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

I stayed in this hotel for 2 nights and really enjoyed my stay. The room I was in was very comfortable, spacious,quiet and well appointed. The breakfast service was great with a wide variety to choose from and the staff attentive and helpful, although a tad inexperienced.

I did not have lunch or dinner here but some of those in the group I traveled with did and were very happy with the quality of the food and the selection the menu offered.
This hotel is also centrally located,close to all things Shakespeare,the city center, the river and all its activities. There are many good restaurants within walking distance. I'll be back!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Roamingspirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire P, Manager at Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Dear Guests,
Thank you sincerely for your comments and for the time you have taken to give this feedback. I am delighted to learn of your positive visit. We shall use this valuable feedback to pass on to our teams as this provides great motivation

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Macdonald Swans Nest Hotel in the near future, once again thank you for the feedback.
Claire Pizer - Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel

Address: Bridgefoot, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7LT, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Stratford-upon-Avon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
#12 Luxury Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
Price Range: £73 - £167 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Swan's Nest Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 68
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Swans Nest

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