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“Sunday lunch: ok but could have been better”
Review of Bedford Swan Hotel

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Bedford Swan Hotel
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Bedford
Cambridge, England
Level 6 Contributor
256 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Sunday lunch: ok but could have been better”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

A few years ago I swore never to go back to the Swan. Tried again for Sunday lunch. Sensible menu, sensible but expensive wine list. The building looks the part but the interior is mixed: a lot of the parts are dark and gloomy and our part of the Riverside restaurant didn't actually have a view of the river (although it is across the road). Bare wood tables. At first plenty of waiting staff but food slow to come: a bottleneck in the kitchen I presume. Food quality ok, but the vegetable accompaniment included ratatouille and red cabbage, which seems to me to be a lazy option. Towards the end of the meal most of the waiters had gone and the two remaining ones were concentrating on doing the lay up for the next meal. It took ages to actually get a bill and then to pay. £83 for three people wasn't too bad; they charge you to park there though.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Afterbrunel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DominicMills, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Many thanks for sharing your feedback further to your recent visit for Sunday lunch. It is surprising to read you were not entirely satisfied as we feel Sunday lunch is of a very high standard and good value at £17.95 for three courses. I am sorry you felt the vegetable offering was "lazy". We serve a generous selection of four vegetable accompaniments as standard. Regarding our wine list prices, start from £21.50 for both Pinot Grigio and Merlot which is fairly standard for a four star Hotel. We hope you will try us again in future and have a more satisfactory experience.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (317)
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English first
Haverhill, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Arrived at the hotel after paying £149 for double room and breakfast to be given a room that had a horrible smell of smoke. The hotel moved us straight away to another room which was better but the windows were so dirty you couldn't see out of them. No water is given in the room or bathrobes unless you upgraded! They wanted £5 loan for each bathrobe. We booked dinner in the river room and was told that we could have a Certain table at 8.15 pm. When we arrived the table was taken and was squashed in between 2 other couples so we refused to have dinner there. Breakfast the next morning was well set out with plenty of choice but you had to order some items to be cooked to order of which I asked for 2 vegetarian sausages but they never came so gave up after half an hour. You also have to pay to park even though you are a resident at the hotel. We have stayed in many hotels in London and other places and this is the worst we have stayed in especially as it is classed as a 4.star.

Room Tip: If you don't smoke then make sure you ask for a non smoking room as our room
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bronwen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DominicMills, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Many thanks for sharing your review albeit of a negative nature. We are sincerely sorry you were so dissatisfied with a number of things during your visit. Regarding the room rate we work on a best available rate system like the majority of Hotels and do ask for smoking preference at time of booking. Indeed this should also have been discussed at check in so we will pick this up with the front desk team. I apologise for the issues experienced at dinner and we will liaise with our Restaurant team to avoid such issues in future, I can only presume it was a busy night. Upgraded rooms are available at a supplement and with this comes additional items such as bottled water, robes and slippers. Should a standard room be reserved we will charge for the hire of robes. Indeed the Restaurant offers a wide selection of breakfast items and unfortunately simply doesn’t have space to add everything to the buffet so options such as vegetarian sausages, poached eggs and kippers are made to order. Apologies your order took so long to arrive. Being a town centre Hotel offering secure parking we do charge a nominal fee of £5 for overnight parking with CCTV for our guests security. It is surprising to read you feel we do not deserve the 4 star rating we have been awarded by the AA as we pride ourselves on high standards of accommodation, location, food and service. Should you choose to return in future I hope your next stay will be more satisfactory.
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Travellers are raving about these Bedford hotels

Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 2 August 2014

Great hotel right on river,Beautiful and spacious rooms with easy to use A/C. Tea and coffee in room, Good Wi-Fi availability throughout the hotel. Great service by all staff. Food quality near Michelin star level.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DominicMills, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Thank you for your lovely five star feedback and comments regarding rooms and food. We hope to see you again in the near future.
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Colchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
366 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed here for two nights on a business trip to Bedford. The hotel is a bit old and creaky but it still beats the faceless chain hotels I normally stay in. On my previous trips to Bedford I only travelled between the office and the station and thought Bedford was pretty dire but the location of this hotel near the river made me see that there might be more to the city. I recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Bedford and recommend taking a walk along the river in the evening if the weather is nice.

Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Barry A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DominicMills, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Thank you for sharing your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you to the Hotel again on your next visit to Bedford.
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Cambs
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed for a wedding in one of the regular guest rooms. Room was clean and tastefully decorated, but fairly small and no water was provided. At £140 for the night, would expect breakfast and car parking to be included! We didn't have breakfast, so can't comment if it is worth the additional fee (£14 I think). Great location on the river and near to the town centre.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
Thank walterrCambs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DominicMills, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Many thanks for sharing your feedback further to your recent stay with us. Rates vary depending on demand and we offer rates at time of booking both including and excluding breakfast. Should guests choose the inclusive package at time of booking the additional charge is just £10 per person. On room only rates should guests choose to take breakfast in the morning we offer this at the standalone price of £14.95 each. It is therefore customer preferance as to which rate is booked. Parking is charged to all residents at £5 per car and offers secure parking with CCTV which we feel is very reasonable for a town centre location. Once again thanks for sharing your feedback and, should you stay with us in future, we hope your next experience is a more positive one.
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Rushden, England, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

I booked a Spa Day for myself and my daughter at the Lotus Spa within The Bedford Swan Hotel and we attended today. What an amazing day! Our first treatment was a facial that lasted an hour. My specialist was Rachel and my daughter's was Maddie. It was an hour of pure bliss! Relaxed, calm, attentive, atmospheric music and complete indulgence! Both girls were completely professional and certainly knew their job! We then had lunch at the River Terrace Bar which is located along the embankment within the hotel and the weather was beautiful and the food was fabulous. A further hour of watching the world go by. We then went to the pool and jacuzzi area which again was amzing! Fabulous surrounding - much like a Roman Bath. We then had manicures, afternoon tea and then my daughter had a pedicure whilst I went back to people watching! Finished the day off with a superb steak dinner in the restaurant.

I cannot recommend the Lotus Spa and Hotel enough. Angela, the Manager was welcoming and truly accomodating; Rachel and Maddie were magnificent! Even though Angela said they were incredibly busy, you would never have known as the whole experience was soooo relaxing!

If you have ever considered booking a Spa Day, stop thinking about it and just do it, but make sure you go to Lotus Spa!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Annie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DominicMills, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Many thanks for your delightful five star review. Between now and September we are offering 20% off all treatments Monday - Wednesday inclusive. We hope to see you again soon.
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East Anglia
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Not visited the Swan for a good many years after being put off by the seriously appalling food and service I wanted to give them another go . Well have just returned from having a light lunch at the Swan , using their outside facilities . We were greeted and settled very quickly, looking good so was very optimistic for the forth coming meal . Sadly the service was slow.......very slow and when we did eventually get our meal the quality for a Panini and a Sandwich was just about acceptable to eat in a quick serve railway station but not for the supposedly best hotel in Bedford.
. My sandwich was and odd mix of stale triple slice bread with the barest of a suggestion of spread, a brief hint of sad lettuce and onion pickle and a very thin cobbling together of bits of ham which to be honest the quality was no better than the average supermarket. The Panini was a tiny suggestion of spread, a thin layer of cheese and again a bits of ham, the accompanying salad was also limp and stale. My grandchildren could make better for cheaper. The milk accompanying my tea was warm and the jug hot !! Why no hot water to top up the tea pot?
Did try to attract the attention of the waitress but once we had payed ( before being served our meals assume this was because people have absconded before settling the bill) she had soon lost interest , gave up after three attempts.
My last two experiences Fortieth Birthday and a Wedding Anniversary at the Swan and its catering have both resulted in my amazement at how the most prestigious hotel can still get away with serving such second rate food. They are trading on their reputation and the splendid view . I'll not be back again for a very long time. I'll do without the view and get better service and food from a well known coffee house in town......... and much cheaper.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stephanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DominicMills, General Manager at Bedford Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 8 August 2014
Many thanks for sharing your feedback. It is very disappointing to hear of your lunch experience on the Terrace. Without making excuses this is a relatively new venture for us and there have been some teething problems from which we have learnt and subsequently rectified. I can ensure you that, in the hope you give us another chance, your next visit will be much improved. We hope to see you again soon.
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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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