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“Couldn't fault it”

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Swinton Park Country Club and Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Ripon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 November 2011

Just fabulous from start to finish. Someone was there to meet the car on arrival as I pulled in, take the bags and park the car - seamless. Beautiful big room overlooking lake and deer park and bathroom – even though it was one of the lower priced ones. Spotlessly clean – lots of little extra touches including a good radio and lovely cosmetics. Even a decanter of complimentary gin and whisky with mixers as well as the usual drinks tray. Very comfy bed with assortment of pillows, good turndown service with lip salve left on pillow and drinks supplies refreshed, glasses washed etc – other hotels take note!!

We brought two dogs and beds, bowls and bed throws were provided – none of the usual dog hysteria found in some hotels who look at then as if one had just brought in a slavering wolf. They even put out two bones for them! How a proper country house hotel should be.

Food – I was on a Rosemary Shrager course at the Cookery School (again excellent – a really great experience, highly recommended) so only had breakfast in the hotel. But this was delicious and cooked to order.

Lovely grounds and walks from the hotel – even a lake for the dogs to swim in.

All the staff were super-efficient but friendly with it and seemed genuinely happy to be working there. Obviously well trained, there must be an excellent hotel manager. Can’t recommend highly enough. We will be back.

Room Tip: I didn't hear any complaints about any of the rooms.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BodgerDogSproxton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,144 - 1,150 of 1,342 reviews

Reviewed 31 October 2011

Stayed our 2nd time in Castle Howard room early september, was concerned when we found out the hotel was full with a private party staying too, thought the service would not be as good as first stay, but we were wrong, the service was just as amazing. Room was lovely, bed was the best we have ever slept in, incredibly comfortable. Food sensational AGAIN !!.
Cannot wait to return as soon as we have the chance. Keep us the excellent work.

Room Tip: Lovely room, very spacious, good views with dual aspect
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2011

We've just returned from the Gourmet weekend break and before I put anything negative about our stay I must say this was good value for money, entertaining, delicious and worth a go if you haven't before.
If you have done one before, maybe a 2nd visit won't live up to its previous but you'll still enjoy it.

4 years ago I paid for my wife to come here with her best friend as a 30th birthday treat and she came back in awe of the place. She was laden with goodies from the cookery school, fit to burst from great food and a little worse for wear from all the wine.
From that day on she has always said it rated higher than anywhere she'd ever been before, and we've been to a few fab places!

It's our 10th wedding anniversary and so I decided to push the boat out and pay for another weekend, upgraded and do it with her this time! I don't regret the decision at all but do feel there could have been a few improvements.

The approach into the grounds is wonderful, the interior is exactly as a place like this should be and the first impression was one of "Wow I've really done good this time!"

We were taken to our room and I was immediately impressed until I saw the look on my wife's face. Whilst our room was of a high standard, my wife pointed out that it was actually inferior to the room she stayed in! The view was minimal, the bathroom smaller and the reason for it being a more expensive room completely lost to her.

Regardless of this we shrugged it off and went down for afternoon tea...Good God those Scones are something else! After indulging in this little bit of heaven we were taken into a large room with the other guests and presented with a number of white and red wines from a local vintner. This was fun and highly enjoyable and really set us up for the rest of the evening.

On her previous Gourmet weekend my wife explained to me that her party all had their evening meal together in the private dining room where she enjoyed a spectacular array of food on both days.
Differently on our first night we didn't have this experience as the event had changed to being just us, in the beautiful restaurant enjoying a set menu together. Wonderful yes, but didn't leave me feeling like I was doing anything out of the ordinary!

Saturday morning was lovely, a fantastic breakfast (Not a massive plateful thank goodness, but magnificent quality) followed by a walk over to the cookery school for a presentation of fruit vinegars which were certainly impressive!

After coffee, the Chef Robert gave us a demonstration of foods which we enjoyed thoroughly but felt the size of our party reduced the intimacy somewhat due to people having to stand at the back and the courses prepared having to be shared across so many meant the portions weren't entirely adequate.

For lunch we went into Masham and ate at The Bay Horse, a proper pub with great ales and don't be put off by the homely look...the food was great!

Back to the Hotel for a truly amazing demonstration of Chocolate by the Chef Mark. This guy is worth his weight in gold and I would come here again just for another one of his demo's. Great fun, brilliantly informative and he really made us feel like part of the whole event.
Afternoon tea followed by a presentation of Sherry, Port and Madeira..not to my taste at all, and much of the guests too but hey you can't please everyone.

We had an hour to get prepared for the main event of a 7 course meal where we all filed into the spacious Library.
Once again the enormity of the party and the cold feeling room left me feeling like this was more of a corporate affair than an aspiring group of wannabe gourmets enjoying special food together. The food and drinks manager knew his wines, but to stand there reading the dish out to us from the same menu we had in front of us was a bit ridiculous.
Lower lights, background music and less people would have enhanced the atmosphere 100%.

Off to bed and for the final part of our stay in the morning we enjoyed an hour in the beautifully crafted spa room before heading off home.

So there it is, £720 for what was a fantastic weekend away, so long as you don't compare it to previous events under the same banner. The Hotel is beautiful, the food great and the rooms lovely and this review is based entirely on my own experience which may differ from yours.
Times are hard and everyone is making cuts, but when people come with expectations based on previous encounters, you can't afford to cut corners for fear of losing the repeat business.
there were a few couples who had been before and all said things weren't as good as before, but everyone still really had a good time.
My only advice to the hotel would be to reduce the maximum number of guests and increase the number of events, rather than visa versa to keep that air of being in something select.

Do go to Swinton Park whenever possible, it's a great place!

Room Tip: If you are going to upgrade, don't do it to Newby Hall!
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank yorkypuddn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2011

We first came to Swinton Park in 2003 after we were married as a mini honeymoon. The staff were fabulous and although we asked repeatedly for champagne and flowers in the room, these never materialised! It is a gorgeous hotel and we have come back most years since to celebrate our anniversary. The service has got better and better over the years and is now second to none.

If you stay here it would be a travesty if you didn't have dinner one night. It is the most magnificent food that I have ever tasted.

We have stayed with our son in a travel cot and the facilities for small children are brilliant. There are so many activities that you can do here and the location is fabulous. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank HelpfulMum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2011

Thought that we would splurge and be pampered. Weren't we just!

Cant wait to go back
Excellent food, excellent staff. Avoid weddings if you can

Room Tip: We stayed in Harrogate, excellent
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cracklehillhogg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2011

We loved everything about this place.
Firstly it is an imposing castle-like building in very extensive grounds - but it is not stuffy, and is very well-kept and in good order. It is elegant and stately.
The service is exemplary throughout. We loved the deer park and the lake.
The public rooms and corridors are very impressive. We spent a very pleasant hour in the private spa, which you book to have all to yourselves.
The dining room and food are terrific - we enjoyed a great dinner, and the breakfast was top class.
Our room - Masham - was large, beautifully furnished, very comfortable, light and airy, and had lovely views of the deer park and lake. We had a good night's rest.
If this kind of style and standards redolent of an earlier time suit you, you would find them here.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank cityh0pper7_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2011

Our 3rd trip to Swinton Park and still can't find a single fault. This is simply the best hotel I have ever stayed in.

Everything from the welcome on arrival to the fantastic accommodation and food is perfect. Nothing is ever too much trouble and they try so hard to please.

If you want to spend a couple of nights away and come home completely relaxed and refreshed I can't recommend anywhere better in the world.

Room Tip: We have tried 3 and they are were all fantastic.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank andy1881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swinton Park Country Club and Spa

Address: Masham, Ripon HG4 4JH, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Ripon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Ripon
Price Range: £164 - £300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Swinton Park Country Club and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A luxury castle hotel set in 200 acres of landscaped parkland in the Yorkshire Dales that is the home of the Cunliffe-Lister family and the ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton. Traditional warmth and hospitality, contemporary comforts and award winning cuisine, with a menu inspired by the produce sourced from the surrounding estate and 4 acre walled garden. Cookery School with day and residential courses running throughout the year. Exclusive use Spa (with Jacuzzi and sauna) and treatment rooms. Conference facilities and licensed for civil ceremonies. Families welcome. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swinton Park Hotel Masham
Swinton Park Masham
Hotel Swinton Park

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