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“A treat for the kids”

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Swinton Park Country Club and Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Ripon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Set in parkland, surrounded by deer and rabbits, this a stately-home hotel (think Downton Abbey) which has an excellent restaurant and fun activities for the kids. We visited with our ten, nine and six year olds who loved the horse riding and the birds of prey center. They had such fun on a lesson and trek in the morning at the pony center that they returned the same afternoon for a second lesson and ride (Thank you Fiona) . We were very impressed by the quality of the instructors and the care they took of our horse riding novices. Thank you Jane and Tim. Sophie at the bird of prey center soon had owls and hawks landing on our children's outstretched hands. Although the hotel is outstanding in its own right, the activities for children at the trekking and the bird centers turn it into an unforgettable experience. Having happy and delighted children made our stay much better too!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank mikechf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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715 - 721 of 1,305 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2014

I have just returned from 4 days at Swinton park and I just want to say it was AMAZING!! From the second that we arrived until the second we left nothing was too much trouble.If we were relaxing in our room we were asked when was the best time for the cleaning staff to come back. If we were walking round the hotel ,we were greeted warmly and asked if there was anything that we needed. When we went to the spa I felt that we were treated as if we were special, nothing was too much trouble, despite us changing some treatments to suit ourselves.
The restaurant and food were just perfect, the tables just far enough apart and the waiters just there to cater to every whim.My only complaint wasthat I found the whole hotel cold.The dining room was freezing and we had to wear a lot of layers down to breakfast and dinner. Our room was cold but that was rectified immeadiately by a portable heater. A swimming pool would be nice and I hear one is about to be built as is a bigger spa.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank nannygoatHatfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

This was a less than mediocre experience.
My Wife and I had booked this as a different sort of Dining experience for our wedding anniversary treat. The website made it sound very attractive. Arrive at the hotel, transportation to the deer house, extensive menu etc.
On arrival we were told that we had to drive up to the deer house. (OK thought this was due to appalling weather) Good job we had a 4x4! On reaching the deer house we saw that there were lit braziers outside and a chef barbecuing in an adjacent marquee. Inside the deer house we were greeted by a miserable gathering of fellow guests, clad in coats, scarves etc. no welcome from staff or explanation of meal format. We were offered a drink of pyms. And shown the other purchasable drinks on offer.
Food was then brought to the side tables and we were ushered into the dining area. The dining area and table was well decorated with flowers etc. we then got up to serve ourselves from the buffet. Chicken drumsticks, chicken breasts, spicy very mini lamb burgers, bread, butter, calamari, sausages and assorted salads. There was a woeful lack of serving spoons, no indication of the contents on the menu, to be honest I've cooked better barbecues at home! I had to guess at the lamb burgers because they were so heavily spiced you couldn't tell what taste it was!
Main course over, the sweet was served ........2 choices...a raspberry sort of Eton mess in a glass or a small raspberry tartlet, no accompanying cream? We finished off with coffee.......it took the waiter 20mins to find some decaf for my wife as initially he said he didn't have any. not even an after eight mint chocolate!
To sum up....the evening started at 7pm we left before 9pm as did several other couples (some had left before us) I know it wasn't good weather but no effort was made to create any sort of ambience. It was very much 'help yourself and get on with it. I felt very disappointed for the family birthday gathering who also had to suffer a leaking roof at their end of the table. For the price of this experience £35 per head and the price of accompanying drinks ie £5 for a bottled black sheep bitter! We were extremely disappointed (and it had nothing to do with the weather.) Good job we hadn't travelled far for this.

Room Tip: Not applicable
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Jacollin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We attended a BBQ Cook & Lunch event at Swinton Park on 25 May 2014. We were escorted to our venue from the main hotel in a minibus and were warmly welcomed by our chef and tutor, Steve. The weather could have been better, but the actual BBQ equipment was under cover so not an issue. The food we were to cook was already prepared and I was very impressed with the different foods we were to cook. Even bread!! There was a relaxed yet informative atmosphere on the course. The Deerhouse where we ate our lunch "that we cooked ourselves" was lovely and quaint. It was beautifully laid out with linen tablecloths and proper crockery etc. Not the usual plastic outdoor equipment you get at BBQ's!! There were blankets and heaters already alight due to the weather, and a waiter from the main hotel was in attendance. Another great feature was that Steve ate with us and continued giving out great cooking tips and stories from his career. To top off an already impressive event, we were served dessert too. What more could you ask for? Steve's email address with a promise of recipes and advice perhaps? Consider it done. We are now looking for other courses to attend. Thanks a lot Steve!!

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Trucker-Ox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2014

This is one of the worst nights dining I have ever known as said the whole table of 30 more or less, no coaches as were seemingly promised to bus us up the very muddy track, and arriving to a COLD DAMP part brick shed . Amazed to see bottles of the free Yorkshire water on the table ( tap water) given out in droughts. The food was dreadful and cold , and I was told one person went for food and was told only salad left lol at £35 per head. Desert was a small tart size of a teacup top without cream option, or small glass of Eton mess , the only warm thing was the cup of tea. As friends said even coffee was dreadful. So no we will not be doing that again and it reflects badly against the wonderful food we have had in Swinton Restuarant itself.oh yes and buckets were needed as the roof leaked on customers whilst eating to the amusement of the children in that party but not the adults , and as they complained on the night they were told, it is the same every year ,complaints and no one takes any notice. Come on is it not time SOMEONE did?

Room Tip: Don't go then they may make a difference.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank t r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SwintonPark, General Manager at Swinton Park Country Club and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2014

Dear Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on the Deerhouse barbecue event you attended on Saturday night. I'm so sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your evening, as these events have been running for several years and attract a great deal of repeat bookings. I have reviewed the evening thoroughly with my team and drawn the following conclusions:

Weather:
The weather on Saturday night was more severe than we have ever experienced for such an event and in hindsight, we perhaps should have reviewed whether it would have been preferable to cancel it. As a consequence of this evening, we will, in future, consider more fully that our guests may not wish to demonstrate the “Dunkirk Spirit” which many do for other outdoor events which suffer the vagaries of the changeable British Climate. While we made every effort to make our Deerhouse Barbecue events comfortable against a chilly breeze or light summer shower by installing canvas 'sides' and heaters; using an outdoor structure has limitations and I accept there is a point beyond which it is not possible to make it suitably comfortable. We will in future cancel the event if the weather forecast suggests this might be necessary.

The Deerhouse:
As stated in our promotional material, an evening at the Deerhouse is a rustic experience and the use of an authentic, period building with original wooden mangers and antler decorations is viewed by many as part of the charm of the event.

Transport:
Transport from Swinton Park to the Deerhouse is not included in the arrangements advertised for the event, although it is occasionally offered when available. When guests arrive at reception our standard procedure is to provide directions for guests to drive up themselves, or we show those wanting to walk the footpath to follow. We advise guests that the ground is rough and uneven in the details on our website. However, I take on board your comments about the state of the ground, particularly in the severe weather last weekend and I have decided that we will henceforth offer transport from Swinton Park to all Deerhouse events.

Clothing:
We also advise guests to wear warm clothing and footwear in our literature.

Menu:
I'm afraid I have to take issue with your comments regarding what was served. I’m sorry to hear you did not like the menu. The dishes served were in line with those advertised on our website, with a wide choice of items offered, specifically:

Lamb Kofte with Home-Made Flatbread
Rolled Pork with Nettle Pesto stuffing
Burmese Spiced & Caramelised Chicken Legs
Plain grilled chicken to go with Caesar's Salad (and for kids)
Grilled Sausages
Grilled Squid with Parsley & Garlic Dressing

Potato Salad
Couscous salad
Mixed Green Salad
Caesar's Salad
Tomato and Fennel Salad

Lemon & Raspberry Tart
Eton Mess

The event is advertised as an informal, two course alfresco barbecue and charged accordingly, at £35 including Pimms on arrival and coffee. Our three course restaurant menu is in comparison priced at £55 excluding any drinks or coffee. To avoid any such misunderstandings reoccurring, we have reviewed our website copy e.g. changing the description from 'dinner' to 'supper'.

The chef was at pains to ensure the food was hot when served, but this must have become difficult to maintain in such severe weather, contributing to our decision to cancel events in such circumstances henceforth.

Water:
We did not charge for water at this event. Sealed, plastic bottles are a more convenient and safer option at an outdoor event, hence why we used what we believed to be a perfectly acceptable solution.

I do hope the above helps to explain what we are trying to achieve with these events and that you will feel that the changes proposed will both manage the expectations of our guests better and improve their experience in the future.

With kind regards,

Tom Lewis

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

Sorry this is 6 months late..but I have to write and say how much I love this place.
We stayed over Xmas 2013 with my parents and brother and were made to feel like one of the family.

The rooms are all different (don't expect chi chi boutique rooms as this is a grand old house). Huge bathrooms and lovely molton brown goodies. The staff are all local and engaging and are clearly very loyal. It was a genuinely lovely atmosphere. Food and drink were wonderful, we had three set dinners and a buffet on Christmas Night which was stupendous. They catered very well for my pescetarian sister in law.

Activities laid on were really welcomed. Falconry was particularly good as was the carol singing. Lovely walks in this beautiful part of the world. We had a visit from Father Christmas, too.

My parents have booked again. I would but am working this year (pulls sad face)

Many thanks to the lovely staff.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank MrsFussbags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

My daughter had her wedding at Swinton Park. The venue was wonderful , the rooms/suits were stylish and the grounds extensive, interesting, falconry area, beautiful views and well kept. Above all the staff were absolutely wonderful. The wedding organisers were efficient, friendly and definitely knew not only their job but also how to take the stress away from all concerned. The food was excellent and tasty. I could name every single member of staff but this would take a few pages - they were all very helpful and nothing was too much for them. Her wedding went like a dream because of the staff and venue who made us all enjoy the occasion to its full extent. Thank you all.

Room Tip: All rooms/suits are wonderful.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank VicJaz
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: £157 - £322 (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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