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“"Sweet dreams are made of this ... ?"”

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The White Swan Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“"Sweet dreams are made of this ... ?"”
Reviewed 29 August 2014

Arriving later than expected at The White Swan we gave our room, 111, a cursory glance before heading out for what turned out to be a delicious meal at the RSC Rooftop Restaurant and an incredible production of The Roaring Girl at The Swan Theatre.

On returning to the room we realised that one of the windows overlooked Reception, giving an impressive view of the painting above the desk and the rather beautiful chandelier. On turning out the bedroom lights, my partner realised that this was more of a cursed view than a beautiful one - the bedroom, in her view, was 'lit up like Blackpool illuminations'. And, yes, we had the blind and the curtains fully closed. We also discovered that the bed clanked every time I moved. Needless to say we did not have sweet dreams; my partner finally fell asleep about 4am, I know this as she kept waking me up to complain about the light.

The following day was a busy one as we had tickets for Henry IV parts 1 and 2. My partner decided she'd rather risk another sleepless night as she had fallen in love with the bathroom; she was also worried that another room might have similar problems.

That night in bed we switched sides. The bed clanked less, presumably as my partner is much lighter than me. Before going to bed we tackled the lighting problem by strategically placing cushions, etc around the gaps between the door and curtains, the chandelier still illuminated the room as I found to my cost, it was my turn to sleep next to the window.

Moving off the subject of the lighting, we have to say that the hotel was lovely with friendly helpful staff. Breakfast is good and the hotel is in a great location.

We would love to stay again - it is certainly one of the nicer hotels in Stratford - but would definitely not stay in room 111.

Room Tip: Avoid Room 111 if you need a dark room to sleep well.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Widmerpoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim_Hughes_GM, General Manager at The White Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 13 October 2014
Dear Widmerpoole

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel.

I am very happy to hear that you found the hotel lovely and the staff friendly and helpful. I’m also glad to hear that you enjoyed breakfast and had a wonderful time visiting Stratford-upon-Avon. However, I am sorry to hear that you had trouble sleeping due to some issues.

Please accept my deepest apologies and thank you once again for taking the time to review The White Swan Hotel.

I and all the staff look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Kindest Regards

Jim Hughes
General Manager
01789 297022 / whiteswanhotelmanager@fullers.co.uk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,520 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (281)
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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2014 via mobile

I don't usually review hotels but I'm writing this on the free wifi, sitting in bed on my second night in Room 205 at The White Swan and feel inspired to rave about it. This is a beautiful hotel, with real attention to detail, and a gorgeous pub and dining room downstairs. My classic room for just over £100 per night is comfy and beautifully designed, with furniture I'd like to take home with me, and a luxurious bathroom with a rain shower over a generous tub bath. There's a mini fridge empty to use for your own things, complimentary mineral water, restocked both days, flat screen tv and hub to connect a laptop to the tv via as well. Breakfast was delicious and the service was exemplary and although I didn't eat other meals the restaurant menu looked varied (if a touch pricey) and the bar is great for a drink. All the staff are friendly and helpful but best of all is the amazing Karolina on Reception, who could not have been more welcoming, professional and kind. This visit was to see a friend who lives in Stratford and I will definitely stay here again on future visits.
There are a couple of tiny points I'd advise the hotel to look at:
1. The pillows are VERY soft and not at all supportive for sleeping. I asked for firmer ones but they didn't have any, but gave me another pair of soft ones, which doesn't really help.
2. No margarine or low fat alternative to butter at breakfast. I'm waiting for gallbladder surgery and can't have butter so that was a little strange as it would be something I'd expect from any hotel.
3. There's no obvious switch for the heated towel rail in the bathroom (housekeeping switched it on at my request though) also the toilet roll holder was annoyingly positioned and the roll kept falling off!
Otherwise it's practically perfect!!! :-)

Stayed August 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank Jo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim_Hughes_GM, General Manager at The White Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 13 October 2014
Dear Jo B

Thank you for the wonderful review!

I am very pleased you made full use of the free WIFI we offer and I am very thankful for the wonderful feedback. I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us!

I am certain Karolina will be very happy with her wonderful mention.

Thank you once again for the feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back to The White Swan Hotel in the near future.

Best Regards

Jim Hughes
General Manager
01789 297022 / whiteswanhotelmanager@fullers.co.uk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

My wife and I stayed overnight for a wedding in Stratford. Given the hotel had been advised multiple bookings were taken for the wedding guests, we were surprised to be shown to the disabled toilets to change into tails, wedding gown etc, since the room was not ready.

Admittedly, it was 1pm and check in was billed as 3pm, but given the large number of guests staying, surely room service should have been stepped up to make rooms available. This has certainly been our experience at other premier hotels.

Room ok but overpriced at a "special rate" of £185 a night, and overpriced bar ... £4 a bottle of water.

The breakfast was very good, but we would not return in the future.


Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Dr Martyn c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim_Hughes_GM, General Manager at The White Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 19 October 2014
Dear Dr Martyn C

Thank you for taking the time to review The White Swan Hotel.

I am disappointed to hear that you do not wish to return to stay with us based on your personal experience. However, we would be happy to welcome you back to The White Swan Hotel in the future.

Thank you once again for your feedback

Best Regards

Jim Hughes
General Manager
01789 297022 / whiteswanhotelmanager@fullers.co.uk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

Stayed here for a couple of days in the summer, beautifully refurbished rooms which look of high quality. The corridors give the impression of an outdated hotel but the rooms are lovely and modern. The bathroom was slightly small and had no window but was good for a few days. Beautiful location, two minute walk to the canal and theatre with great views across the canal as well. Breakfast was slightly confusing as we got there quite late and weren't sure what we could order but the overall quality was fine. I prefer a buffet style breakfast but this was ok. The setting was a little different as you are sat in the restaurant within the hotel but the views and outside seating is lovely. The staff were great and courteous so it was a great stay overall. The access to the other hotel which has spa and gym facilities is a great option even though we didn't have time to use it.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bethsmartie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
134 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

Not the cheapest show in town but in an excellent location. Nice sized room for a classic double with good hairdryer and ironing board supplied. The breakfast was excellent particularly the cooked elements - you really should try the Eggs Benedict Royal and Arnold Bennett Omelette. We also ate dinner in the hotel one evening and both of us had the fixed pre-theatre menu which is £15.00 for 2 courses or £19.00 for 3 courses; beautifully cooked and presented. The dining room for both breakfast and dinner is very authentic tudor and feels really special. Parking at the hotel is actually round the corner and is £11.00 per day - again a bit expensive but good compared to elsewhere in the town and you can come and go as you please. All the main sights (except for Mary Arden's Farm and Anne Hathaway's cottage) are all within walking distance of the hotel. So are the theatres, quaint shops and a good choice of bars and restaurants. Please try Il Morro which is a really superb Italian - see separate review for this. The only one minor point I would make about the hotel is that one day our bed was not made up whilst being serviced. I had tidyed it over so maybe they thought it did not need doing, but attention to detail is always important when choosing a hotel in my book.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CaptainsWife1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim_Hughes_GM, General Manager at The White Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 19 October 2014
Dear CaptainsWife1

Thank you for your feedback and taking the time to review The White Swan Hotel.

I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed your time staying with us in Stratford-upon-Avon. We hope to see you back again very soon.

Thank you once again for the wonderful feedback.

Kindest Regards

Jim Hughes
General Manager
01789 297022 / whiteswanhotelmanager@fullers.co.uk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

We visited the hotel in 2011 prior to its refurbishment and were so delighted with it that we booked it this year to celebrate our Golden wedding anniversary. Unfortunately this was a thoroughly disappointing experience which somewhat soured the event.

The accommodation –
We booked a "Classic" room for two people from Monday to Friday. The room offered had only a single hanging wardrobe which had been modified to fit round a beam such that there was a space only 9 inches wide in which to hang all our clothes for a week and there was no drawer space at all. When I asked at reception for an alternative room I was told the hotel was completely full. We were offered a "chest of drawers" instead, which turned out to be an antique filing cabinet with two very deep drawers.
On a positive note, the shower room was excellent.

The Food –
Our booking included a £30 per day charge for the Prix Fixé menu. For the meat eater (or fish eater or vegetarian), this meant a “choice” of only one meal. That meal, on our first day, was described as ..”Duo of pork with mash potato and green beans”. What we were actually served were two nuggets of pork and a square of pork-belly fat. There were in fact no green beans or mash potato – only one half of a single broccoli floret, one half of a single cauliflower floret plus three julienne batons of carrot. The hotel’s “extensive wine list” was vastly overpriced, with even the cheapest wines being in the range of £20 - £30 per bottle.
The meal in itself was thoroughly disappointing but, given the choice of only one dish, it was made even worse when we found that the menu remained unchanged from day to day for the whole week. Faced with the prospect of eating the same meal every evening ( and with the hotel’s bar meals costing £15 for a beefburger or fish and chips) we gave up on our remaining £90 meal charges and ate out for the rest of our stay.
On a positive note, the breakfasts were excellent.

The Service –
With the exception of the bar staff who were, at best, disinterested, the service was excellent. The waiting-on staff at breakfast were extremely attentive and the chambermaid service was good.
The reception staff were efficient but could have been more helpful. For example we were charged £44 to park for four days in a car park two streets away from the hotel. We were not advised that we could actually have parked right outside reception at a charge of £35 for a whole five days.

Overall –
By contrast to our earlier stay this was a mostly disappointing experience. Certainly the aesthetic standard of the rooms has improved but in our opinion the results are a case of style over substance.
The hotel’s catering services are, we think, vastly overpriced and represented poor value for money.
We shall certainly not revisit and, although we have been happy to do so in the past, we would not recommend the hotel to others.

Room Tip: Rooms on the reception side of the hotel are regularly disturbed around 11pm and 6am every day for a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vintage_Yorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim_Hughes_GM, General Manager at The White Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 19 October 2014
Dear Vintage_Yorkshire

Thank you for your feedback and taking the time to review our hotel.

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your time when staying with us at The White Swan Hotel. I’m also disappointed to hear that you found the service under par to our usual high standards.

Please feel free to contact myself directly if you wish to discuss these concerns further.

Thank you again for taking the time to leave your valued feedback.

Kindest Regards

Jim Hughes
General Manager
01789 297022 / whiteswanhotelmanager@fullers.co.uk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bramhall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2014

Stayed here for a night recently. Was a nice situation and local for amenities. The room was nice, but probably not worth the £139. The pillows and quilt had seen better days and were very lumpy, like pillows get after they have gone past their best.
Breakfast was very disappointing. We had full English. The fried eggs were hard and rubbery. My husband just left his but I asked for replacement. The replacement eggs were not much better. On asking for some brown sauce, we were informed that they had run out!!! This is a pub/hotel - running out of basic things like sauce is pretty bad.
The outside was nice for having an early evening drink as catches the late sunshine.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim_Hughes_GM, General Manager at The White Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 19 October 2014
Dear Catherine B

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your valued feedback.

I am sorry to hear that you had experienced some issues whilst staying with us and I am very disappointed that the service was below the high standard of service we expect for all of our guests.

Please accept my deepest apologies and, given the opportunity, we would be very happy to welcome you back to The White Swan Hotel in the future.

Thank you once again for the taking the time to review our hotel.

Best Regards

Jim Hughes
General Manager
01789 297022 / whiteswanhotelmanager@fullers.co.uk
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 The White Swan Hotel

Property: The White Swan Hotel
Address: Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6NH, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Stratford-upon-Avon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The White Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our hotel offers luxury accommodation in Stratford-upon-Avon, while crucially maintaining the charm, character and period features of the original building.The White Swan dates back to 1450, making it one of the oldest pubs in Stratford – and the front of the hotel is a cosy, traditional pub, continuing to serve outstanding cask ales and the best pub food in town.Our 41 four star guestrooms, marry traditional, original features with modern conveniences like iPod docks, flatscreen TVs and ensuite bathrooms.One thing not to miss on your visit to this historic Straford-upon-Avon pub is the antique wall painting in one of our front rooms. Commissioned by William Perrott, who owned the building in 1560, the special painting depicts the story of Tobias and the Angel - a subject doubly appropriate for a tavern of that time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The White Swan Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon
White Swan Stratford Upon Avon

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