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“Has So Much Promise.. Yet To Be Realised”
Review of Swan Hotel & Spa

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Swan Hotel & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Newby Bridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 April 2011

We stayed at the Swan Hotel and Spa during a glorious week of weather in the Lakes, so a brilliant setting to get us in the mood. Arrival was painless with check-in taking a matter of minutes, although they do not take American Express, which the duty Manager seemed quite proud of, when she told me 'once they drop the rate then we might use them'. Hint number 1 - it's not about your convenience but your guests.

The health spa is great, with free us of pool, steam room, jacuzzi and sauna. Tip; get there early or late to avoid the children.

The room was nice, perhaps a little small, but excellent decoration and nice touches such as the mesmerising toilet seat that you can't slam down. There was a bottle of water in the room but this had to be paid for - a little mean, and not the normal deal in most hotels we have visited around the world. We had an issue with the room where the door did not lock, so we were moved to another room and then back again a day later. This was made less painful by the brilliant Steve - a porter who couldn't do too much to help and an absolute asset to the hotel. Were it not for Steve then I would have been far less impressed by the hotel, having called reception 4 times to discuss the moving rooms and never getting a call back from a manager to discuss how they planned to put matters right. They eventually gave us £60 off a £600, not amazing, but I wasn't in the mood to argue.

One of the hotel's best potential assets is the restaurant, split between a pub grub style bar and a dining room, there's a third dining room which was reserved for breakfast during our stay. This is where I think The Swan is missing the mark.

The hotel boasts that the Head Chef was previously at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, although nothing we experienced gave us any idea of that fact. If this is true, then I'm amazed.

The menu on the pub side made sense, it was varied and covered all the usual pub grub. However, in the main restaurant the menu was confusing, the food was unimaginative and average, and even worse, some classics were shown such insensitively, I can't believe Raymond Blanc has ever shared a room with this chef. For example order Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs and you'll get smoked salmon mixed up with eggs and both cooked into a rubbery salmon omelette. It's was like taking a classic Aston Martin and putting a spoiler and go-faster strips on. Some of the food seemed to be more about the chef than the guests. My job gives me the unique privilege of eating out a lot in London, not always at flashy named restaurants, but often at average priced bistros; the Swan team could do with a weekend of dining out to see what can be done with less money, more imagination and a respect for ingredients and tradition.

The food was for us the biggest disappointment of our time at the Swan.

What saved it was that the staff at the coal-face are dedicated, polite and professional, perhaps its time for those in leadership to show the same kind of attitude to making guests feel happy.

The Swan is gorgeous and is a good hotel, it has so much potential and could be a great hotel, however that is yet to be realised.

Would we recommend it? Yes, but don't expect everything to be great - could do better!

Room Tip: Don't use Amex, it doesn't suit them.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank russhughes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,216 - 1,222 of 1,376 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2011

There are so many good things about the Swan. Very comfortable spacious room, adequate swimming pool and spa, excellent food and impeccable restaurant staff, reception could be better but......children are given priority here. Impossible to sit in the bar, restaurant or public rooms without the noise and intrusion of babies and small children. As an adult couple we felt like intruders in a creche. The owners have obviously adopted a very child-friendly policy, which is great for young families but beware, if you are a couple hoping for an adult, quiet and relaxing break or walking holiday you may well be disappointed.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Blandings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2011

A beautiful hotel in its own right - and definately the best family-friendly hotel Ive ever stayed at in the UK. The decor, the service, the location the facilities - all first rate. The Kids loved the pub lunches at teatime, the outdoor playground and nature trail, and the swimming pool. Me and my husband were really wowed by the food in the River Room - consistently brilliant food. Cant wait to go back!

Room Tip: The inter-connecting bedrooms - perfect for famile
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Kicki1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2011

This is a lovely hotel, with the added advantage (which seems to be unusual in the Lake District) that you can book a weekend stay for just one night. Very recently refurbished, it has been highly interior-designed in a style which is homely yet fashionable, kind of Granny Goes Boutique.

The inn part of the building is very cosy, with low ceilings, plenty of beams and a good bar menu. The restaurant is in a grander, high-beamed space and is more hotel-ish than inn-ish. Given that the Lake District is more about cosiness than sophistication, eating in the bar will always be my preference. Our room was homely, warm and very clean, with a fantastic big, comfy bed. The rooms all seem to be in a more modern part of the building and so don't have much character in terms of architecture, but are very nice nonetheless.

It is a great place to stay if you have small children, with a playroom, swimming pool and plenty of other families around. However, despite the fact that all the kids were well-behaved during our stay, it makes the place feel more family-orientated than romantic or grown-up. And we were woken far too early on Sunday morning by kids next door and in the corridor. So it wouldn't be my first choice for a break with just a spouse or partner. Overall, though, it's well worth a visit.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Amy5329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2011

Overall, the Swan is a good hotel. The location is good - both in its setting by the river and its position for walking. During our weekend stay, most of the staff were excellent (even if the reception girls were baffled by the idea of walkers requesting a packed lunch and unable to help). The spa, pool etc. was fine. The food in both the bar and the restaurant were good, although overpriced. However, as is fate of many a weekend hotel guest, we were subject to someone else's wedding. Normally pleased to smile indulgently at these things (and hope you're room isn't above the dance floor), we were more than a little dismayed when fighting broke out at the wedding by 9:30 pm resulting in exodus of the impeccable restaurant staff where we were eating to the room above to sort out the problem. This was followed by the arrival of the police. We went to bed, but by 11.30pm were wide awake with the end of the wedding party, and what followed, which was rather like a bad farce. Screaming, arguing, swearing guests returning to rooms, breakdown of a hysterical bride in the corridor etc, which continued in to the early hours. I understand the police were called another 2 times and some guests had to be moved away.

This is probably not a typical weekend at the Swan. However, it was our special weekend for my 40th birthday, saved up for for a year. An e-mail apology following our both verbal and written comments would not have gone amiss. My advice: good hotel, but don't think of staying on a Saturday night unless you enjoy mixing with a lot of drunken yobs and watching a good scrap.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jcowan009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2011

We arrived at The Swan Hotel and Spa last Saturday at lunchtime and enjoyed a bottle of fizz and lunch by the river with beautiful views, great service and very tasty food. The hotel was extremely clean, the staff really helpful and the whole place had a relaxed feel. Furnishings were fabulous with lots of different rooms to sit and chill out in. Dinner on the Sunday night was yummy - great lasagne!
Sleep quality is rated 3 only due to a wedding on the Saturday night. It was fine on Sunday and I'm sure it would be every other night.
Would definitely recommend this hotel and we are already planning our return visit.
Hannah Squirrell

Room Tip: Book spa before you go. It was full :-(
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Squirrellina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2011

We stayed at The Swan Inn for our wedding anniversary and had a great stay. It's a beautiful 13th century coaching inn situated by a river and the decor is beautiful - every room is different. The breakfasts were fantastic and the spa was fantastic. Our room was comfortable, roomy and quiet. We didn't try the restaurant or brasserie but I imagine the food was good if the breakfasts were anything to go by. Whilst there isn't much to do in Newby Bridge, it was a good location from where to discover the lakes. I'd thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone who was looking for a stylish break in the Lake District.

Room Tip: Treat yourself to a spa treatment!
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Zlani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swan Hotel & Spa

Address: Newby Bridge, Newby Bridge LA12 8NB, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Newby Bridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Newby Bridge
Price Range: £175 - £226 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Swan Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the picturesque River Leven at the southern tip of Lake Windermere, this 17th-century coaching inn is full of character and charm, but also offers well-equipped rooms, first-class leisure facilities and a fabulous ESPA spa. Enjoy the cosy, traditional lounges with roaring log fires, sample a unique local ale and enjoy a first-class dinner from the extensive hotel menu. The chef makes a point of finding the very best natural ingredients from local sources. If you're planning on a family trip, you'll find that The Swan has excellent facilities for children. Whether it's books and toys available in the library, a special restaurant menu or the complimentary milk and cookies served up at bedtime, younger guests are well looked after. Of course, there are many opportunities for them to play too - both in the hotel's 14 acres and the beautiful surrounding countryside. Whatever the reason for your trip, business or pleasure, you can be sure of the warmest of welcomes and will have the perfect base for exploring the wonderful beauty of the Lake District. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan Newby Bridge
Swan Hotel Newby Bridge
Swan Hotel & Spa Newby Bridge, Lake District

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