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“Nice enough but expensive if you are paying full rate”
Review of Bedford Swan Hotel

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Bedford Swan Hotel
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Bedford
Bedford, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Nice enough but expensive if you are paying full rate”
Reviewed 31 July 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights due to work being done in our house that required access to a large area of our bedroom, we got a good advance booking rate that made staying here a more attractive proposition than elsewhere.

We had a nice room with a view of the river.
Comfortable bed, air conditioning, fridge, safe, a bath as well as a shower.
There was a heated towel rail in the bathroom but it only switches on when you have the bathroom light on, so if you go in for a quick shower it does not have enough time to heat the towels anyway.

Wifi in public areas is free but Internet access in your room, if you require it, is charged as an extra and not a cheap extra either, as is parking and when we checked out they tried to charge us for breakfast (x4) and neither of us had actually had breakfast there on any of the mornings, this was quickly put right but I feel that what is supposed to be a premier 4 star establishment should be able to get your bill right the first time.

Overall stay was pleasant enough and the staff are polite and friendly.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Simon_M-L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swan113, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 1 August 2012
Many thanks for taking the time to post your positive review. I do apologise for the error made on your invoice and am pleased this was quickly rectified. I am delighted that overall you enjoyed your stay and we hope to see you again in future.
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Rating summary
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (317)
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English first
Hitchin, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2012

Booked room at short notice by phone. Receptionist was most helpful in offering choice of available rooms and as a result I requested a river view room at a slight premium. The room was then fully described which turned out to be very fair. I was advised there was an option to include breakfast and dinner at an inclusine (beneficial) price and there was a £5 charge for car parking to be confirmed on arrival. The booking was confirmed by e-mail within minutes.

On arrival. I was asked if i had arrived by car and informed the system used was computer controlled. On arrival at 11 am the receptionist inserted my car registration into the computer so that I could use the parking all that day and the next up to the time I departed, all for the one day cost. And this worked out OK.

The room provided met the earlier description excellently and included instructions for operating the air conditioning controls and the TV too (which seemed a bit short on TV channels and of teletext but with ample internet options). The sole adverse comment on the room was the shower control which in my view required a book of instructions to allow one to get a reasonable water temerature and flow rate.

All the staff were most courteous.Drinks and snacks could be obtained iin each of several lounge areas apart from the bar.

Restaurant service for dinner was also excellent as was the quality of the food provided. Perhaps gluttons would require larger quantities than provided but for us we were quite content. The cost on the menu appears top end but if you chose to include dinner with the initial booking the result is par for the course.

Breakfast is buffet style but does not quite match the quality to be expected from a hotel of this standard. In addition there seems to be a need for a work study expert to rearrange the layout of the food items available as the location of not everything is clear and neither are appropriate plates etc. always to hand.

But, all in all, this is one of the best hotels in the area. And the location is ideal for a short visit to the Bedford itself.

Possibly some of the earlier critical reports published hinge on the duty receptionist. The two we encountered could not have been more helpful and efficient.

.

Room Tip: Pay a bob or two more for a river view room. We used room 221 which was ideal for the view of the ri...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gerald B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swan113, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 31 July 2012
Many thanks for posting your positive review. We very much look forward to welcoming you back to The Swan in future.
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Bedford, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2012

I booked a couple of rooms at this hotel about a month in advance (for business) - when it came to check in (admittedly it was about 10pm .. but that shouldn't make a difference) was told that only one room was available and they could book us into The Barns instead. We were too tired to argue and just went to the Barms.

After the fact, I called the hotel and spoke to Sarah asking why this had happened and why no one had called to let us know. I was told it was probably a maintenance issue and I asked her to look into it and call me back. No returned call. A week later I left her a message as she was 'in meetings' - no returned call. I called to speak to the General Manager to be told he's not in at the moment and when I asked when he was due in was told any time he likes as he's the General Manager. (nice work if you can get it!) I asked for his e-mail address and was told we don't give that out - it's policy. I therefore left him a message to call me ..... guess what!, yep - no returned call.

Basically you're lucky if you get the room you booked and after the fact no one can be bothered to call you back. Great communication. I certainly won't be booking rooms here ever again - all I wanted to do was find out what happened and no one could be bothered to get back to me, therefore why should I bother!

Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Nerfhurder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swan113, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 3 August 2012
Dear Guest, please accept my sincere apologies you have experienced such difficulty to contact me. I would be most grateful if you could contact me as soon as possible to discuss this matter at dominic.mills@bedfordswanhotel.co.uk Kindest regards, Dominic Mills, General Manager.
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Travellers are raving about these Bedford hotels

Bedford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2012

I visited the Lotus Spa as I was given vouchers for Christmas. This is where the story begins!!! It has taken me several months and numerous missed phone calls (by both parties) to finally secure a booking. I opted for a SPA day experience with extra treatments as suggested by the spa staff which comprised of use of facilities, lunch and 1 treatment. I opted to add a treatment also. Unfortunately, the day did not come up to my expectations. From the outset the staff did not know the procedures I was left standing at reception for some time, details were very sketchy, and I had to ask many questions to know what I was doing and where I was going. When I did get in the spa area it was extremely disappointing and tired!!! The changing room door did not shut, no robes were given, there is no sauna or steam room. I had to ask when my lunch was coming although I had booked it at 12 as my first treatment was at 1.30 (it eventually arrived at 1.10) but it was quite a struggle (so much for my relaxing SPA day!!!) Lunch was very nice. There were no cups in the water machine, there was an old apple core in the changing room. The treatments were very good and I had a Swedish massage and a intense facial - they were excellent. I would say that if you want a pamper experience this is not the place to go - they allow local people to use the pool facilities and 5 ladies turned up with babies of about 4 months old and sat in the whirlpool bath for approximately 1 hour - so not really my idea of a pamper day although personally I was not perturbed by the babies. Generally, the spa is very tired and dated and lacks the refinement you would expect from such an establishment. I would not return to this place as there are many much much better places to indulge one's self. A real let down Manager of the Swan.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Planet3484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swan113, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2012
Many thanks for taking the time to provide us with your feedback which is very useful. I sincerely apologise your spa day failed to live up to expectations. I am pleased your treatments were excellent and lunch was good. Your comments will be forwarded to my team to improve the overall experience going forwards. I do hope you will try us again in future.
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Bedford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 July 2012

Four of us ate here the night of the River Festival. The food was acceptable but the portions extremely small.
However by far the worst thing was how disgusting the toilets were. There was no toilet paper in the ladies and despite reporting this on 3 occasions, with assurance it would be dealt with, it was not. The men’s toilets were even worse. Urine all over the floors, again, reported 3 times in 3 hours and no attempt was made to clean the toilets.
Whilst waiting outside for a taxi, other dinners commented on the toilets and how they had reported them but nothing was done... They also noted the staff who used this toilet, later served their food. It beggars belief …
Both men in our party have thrown away their trousers because the bottoms were wet with urine......
After the third complaint the manager seemed to care very little about his inability to ensure the toilets were cleaned .... Surely basic Health and Safety alone should have ensured clean toilets
Definitely removed as a possible wedding venue...

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swan113, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 23 July 2012
Many thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback. I’m sure you can appreciate with the volume of people using our toilets during the river festival weekend this was very difficult to regulate. I can assure you our housekeeping is to a very high standard and this was a one off with people not using the hotel still using our toilets rather than the portaloos located outside.
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Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2012

I paid for parking during my stay, and returned to the United States to discover I was charged a huge fine for not paying!

The hotel admitted their mistake, but three times have continued to charge my credit card over the course of 3 months!

DO NOT STAY AT THIS HOTEL!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tammy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2012

We booked the Swan hotel for our wedding night we rang to find out if the bridal suite was free and was told yes so made a appointment for the next day to view back in March. When we arrived to view the room we were told that the room wasn't available that they had made a mistake but we could book a suite which we did and happily left the hotel.

I then decided to ring the hotel the night before our booking just to let them know we would be checking in at midnight and to find out what entrance to use at this time of night to be told I didn't have a booking!! It turns out the lady on the reception had booked our suite for 14th April not JULY. My now husband went in to find out what could be done and was told he could have a room for £30 there was no way we were going to pay this as it was the hotel's fault the receptionists lack of English led to the confusion even though we went over and over our booking with her! I then had to go into the hotel in tears as we now had nowhere to go on our wedding night as I just wanted to know how they could justify charging us they did give us the room (not suite) foc but I'm sure this was only to get me and my tears out of the receptions area.

When we came to stay all was fine apart from them asking to hold £40 on one of our cards we were told this would not be taken out just held, well surprise surprise it was taken out and 4 days later it still hasn't been returned I have just had to ring and they've said they we reverse it when I asked why it wasn't reversed on checkup the question was washed over. I wonder how long it'll be before that's returned??

All I can say is I have had better service at a travel lodge not that there is anything room with a travel lodge but you pay the extra as you think the service will be exceptional and it is anything but.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 19Sharon82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swan113, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2012
Firstly congratulations on your recent wedding. I sincerely apologise for the confusion with regards to your booking. The reservation was made in person on 25th March and printed confirmation was provided at the time which stated the arrival date as 14th April. I understand this was not noticed until 13th July. I am delighted we were able to accommodate you and do sincerely apologise that on this occasion we failed to live up to your expectations.
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Additional Information about Bedford Swan Hotel

Property: Bedford Swan Hotel
Address: The Embankment, Bedford MK40 1RW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Bedfordshire > Bedford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Bedford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Bedford Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bedford Swan Hotel is situated in a stunning town centre location overlooking the river and just 30 minutes from central London. Steeped in character and history yet fully refurbished to meet the needs of both our corporate and leisure guest The Swan provides outstanding hospitality expected from a 4 star Hotel. REST Enjoy a perfect night's sleep in one of our stunning bedrooms with thick soft duvets, contemporary fabrics, throws and cushions, signature wall papers and stylish furniture. Air conditioning is in all rooms as standard along with flat screen 32 inch LCD TV with in - room entertainment offering a wide range of up to date movies and high speed internet access. EAT We offer a fantastic range of dining options including the fabulous AA rosette awarded River Room Restaurant and relaxing lounges. 24 Hour room service is available daily and in the summer enjoy al fresco dining or drinks on our terrace overlooking the river. All our food is freshly prepared by our highly skilled team of Chefs. SPA: Our stunning Roman bath inspired pool and Jacuzzi provide the perfect way to unwind after a long, busy day. Our fully trained therapists also offer a wide choice of treatments including Swedish massage, Decleor facials and luxury OPI manicures. MEET: The Hotel is the ideal destination for conferences and meetings. Tailor made to suit the individual requirements of all our customers. CELEBRATE: With its superb location and stunning setting, the Hotel is a popular choice for weddings and functions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bedford Swan Hotel Bedfordshire

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