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“Meeting up with family”
Review of Swan Hotel

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Swan Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Alton
uk
Level Contributor
137 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Meeting up with family”
Reviewed 13 April 2014 via mobile

Basic bit staff very friendly, bedroom clean and value for money. We really had a lovely stay. In the town so had a walk around

Bar a bit too busy but nice people and for £55 what can you expect. Breakfast good. All in all good value for money. Near Jane Austen house which is a bonus.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank sgreen3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OEIGK, Guest Relations Manager at Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
It's lovely to hear that the team looked after you during your time at the Swan.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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450 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
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English first
Chesterfield
Level Contributor
48 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

I stayed for 1 night on business. The staff were friendly and helpful. Service was good. The room was quiet, spacious and clean. Comfy and well equipped. However I didn't find the rest of the hotel very clean. The ladies toilets near the bar were in a poor state and at breakfast I could see that the carpet hadn't been vacummed after last night's dinner service. Breakfast was cooked fresh and very good. I should have said about the cleaning during my stay but didn't have time.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DrJElla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014 via mobile

I work away and stay in a lot of hotels up and down the UK, as it's book through work I always check out trip advisor to see where I'm honing to be staying I was not looking forward to it how WRONG was I, the room was lovely with and great location on the little high street, the breakfast was amazing and the staff were vey nice would stay again for business or pleasure

Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Siangrieve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014

We had our civil partnership here. The staff were brilliant, really friendly and helpful and couldn't have done more to make the day special. Value for money was excellent too.
Some of our plans simply didn't work in practice due to the number of people there, but the staff just got on with 'executive decisions' and really did save a few situations. Excellent! We had 120 guests in the evening, and we've not heard any negativity from any of them. They really went the extra mile on the night. Thanks.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank charlie o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2014

We had booked this hotel a while ago as part of a group attending my son's wedding in Selborne. After reading some of the recent disappointing comments we began to wonder what we had let ourselves in for but our experience was nothing like the previous reviews.
Check-in was quick and efficient and our room was comfortable with small touches, like a full-sized kettle and proper hair-drier, which made the room much more usable, and the bed was one of the most comfortable we have slept in.
We all had a meal on Friday evening and although there were 22 people the meal was served without a long delay and the staff were attentive, accurate and efficient - well trained I would say!
This was confirmed on the Sunday morning when 40 people had breakfast in a function room and again the food appeared quickly and with little fuss or bother.
To be honest I could not say that we had any grounds for complaint, the room was comfortable, the food was good and the staff were excellent, and the price? We have paid a lot more for other hotels which were nowhere near as good as The Swan.
Our thanks to all the staff that made our son's wedding weekend so comfortable.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richard_c_chatterton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

To say I am hugely disappointed with this hotel is an understatement. There are so many parallels that can be drawn with Fawlty Towers and the Swan Hotel in Alton.

I had booked a suite as a Birthday treat for my other half. This was one of many Old English Inns that he wanted to visit, having been to quite a few in the past and absolutely loving them. Reading from some of the reviews post visit, this hotel needs some urgent attention from Greene King and feedback to customers (which is sadly lacking or non-existent), or else I for one will not be wasting anymore hard earned cash or promoting the brand to family or friends.

The check-in was friendly and efficient enough, although the lack of available parking even before setting foot in the hotel is a let down. When we mentioned to the member of staff that we parked in front of the bins, he simply shrugged his shoulders and was not sure if the land belonged to them or not.

The entry from the car park at the rear of the building means you either traipse through a lounge area with all and sundry gawping at you like they had never seen someone arrive in a hotel before or braving Dog End Alley, where the same rubbish can be seen from arrival on Friday to departure on Sunday. That aside, as the main entrance to the hotel is far more pleasant a welcoming point I am surprised the manager (whenever he decides to be on the premises) does not make more of it.

We climbed the stairs to the Jane Austen suite. The room was large, quirky and comfortable, just as we have come to expect and love from Old English Inns. Considering this is a suite and not a standard room, the television was comparatively small and very standard.
There is plenty of hanging space for clothes along with an iron and board, which saves having to go back to reception. The four-poster bed was amazing, no doubting that. But the lack of sockets by the bedside tables was a niggle.

Then we have the bathroom. I can only describe it as dull and dingy. Nowhere near suite standard and looking like a throwback to the 1980s, while the hotel claim it has been recently refurbished. While everything was clean, the drab tiles, outdated vinyl flooring, lack of space for toiletries and a flimsy towel rail were a major let down.

So, to dinner in the evening. We were seated with relative efficiency at a table almost adjacent to the staff station. This must have been one of THE MOST uncomfortable dining experiences I have ever encountered. Whoever trained the staff (if they have been trained) needs to consider his/her own understanding of customer service. My every move was being monitored. I barely finished my first course when one of the watching waiting staff pounced at the table to whisk away my plate. I politely advised him that I had not finished, hoping that this would serve as a friendly warning that I do not enjoy being rushed, especially when the dining room is relatively empty.

In the end I wanted to finish my meal and get away from the watching eyes as it was just far too full on. Your staff need some serious training on how to work in a restaurant.

In addition and quite worryingly, some personal hygiene habits of several staff left a lot to be desired (hand to mouth contact) in front of customers.

Breakfast the following morning was a catalogue of calamitous service errors. I think only one of the front of house staff had a clue of efficient working practices, the others where walking around aimlessly, clearing away SINGLE items of crockery from tables and disappearing to the kitchen for ages. Other guests were turning up and clearing spaces on un-laid tables for themselves. While the food was good, the dis-organised delivery and headless chicken mentality of the staff became evident when I asked for a refill of my coffee. 30 minutes later, a member of staff sporting tattooed arms with his shirt sleeves rolled up (it's February) milled around aimlessly with a jug of lukewarm coffee looking clueless. In the end I gave up. I mentioned it to a member of staff and I received of blank look.

Dinner that evening was another fiasco. This time the total opposite happened as we took a seat in the bar area away from the watchful hawk-like eyes of the over eager waiting staff. It took ONE HOUR for our main meal to be served. I wouldn't even say the food is all that sophisticated. Upon expressing our dissatisfaction we were told "Oh well we are a bit busy...." There were empty tables, so if that is what they count as busy........adding to insult to injury, we were offered a free drink. Oh and don't even attempt to order a bottle of wine at the bar as the staff are clueless as to what they have on their wine list. Hopeless, just pure hopeless! I was too frustrated I had to retreat to my room.

The following morning, I was already dreading breakfast. Although, my other half persuaded me to view the experience as an hilarious calamity of errors that the writers of Fawlty Towers would be proud of. More directionless staff and luke-warm coffee. In one incident, guests were led to a table that was already being occupied by somebody else who had nipped up to the buffet to get some fruit. In addition, two elderly ladies entered from the High Street only to be seated at a used table and the mature waitress who seated them did not make any attempt to re-lay the table or take their order. One of the elderly ladies had to get up and approach one of the younger staff to re-lay the table.

Upon checking out, the lady at Reception was very understanding and had arranged for a refund of our meal from the night before. Having spend upwards of £200 in the hotel over two nights on accommodation, food and drink I would be expecting more than just a token gesture, which as were told the hotel had exceeded it’s budget target for the week is very disappointing customer service on behalf of the hotel management.

This is a massive let down for a hotel brand I have placed my trust in for some time. There was the added disappointment that the stay was for a special occasion and I felt I had let my other half down by taking him to such a dreadful hotel.

Quite how it has achieved an AA Three Star Award is beyond me. It is such a shame as the hotel itself is full of history and charm. Just a shame the lack of apparent management direction and training of staff leaves this beautiful Swan sinking.

From this experience I would suggest choosing which Old English Inn hotel you part with cash to stay at. In this case it honestly just isn't worth the money, the stress and disappointment.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 2000TC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Alton hotels

Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014 via mobile

We were sent an email with a good deal, £51.80 for 2 nights b & b so we booked. On arrival we were greeted by Toby who was very helpful. When we told him that our bathroom light wasn't working he arrived minutes later to replace the bulb. When I asked for more decaf coffee he produced some within minutes. He also helped to set up wifi on my iPad but it only worked downstairs and not in our room no. 27 which was a long 41 steps up. The room and bathroom were clean. The meal on the first evening was attended by young and efficient staff and we were impressed by this, however, breakfast is something else. The first morning we noticed that tables were not being cleared and the dirty crocks piled up around us. The food and variety were excellent. The second morning was worse. The waiter said they were short staffed but there were at least 4 staff on duty and they should have coped with the number of guests. Lack of training is the problem, staff obviously not being told to look around and see if guests needed anything, nor to take dirty plates out with them when they brought something into the restaurant. They excelled themselves when I asked for a second cup of decaf coffee. I asked various members of staff 5 times and had to wait 25 minutes for it. I was continually assured that it was on its way and I asked if it was coming from Brazil. Another couple leaving the restaurant commented that we would still be sitting waiting when they came back at Christmas! Please train your staff and get rid of those lazy people who amble around doing as little as possible. Despite the good food and helpfulness of Toby we will not be back.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank moggy848
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OEIGK, Guest Relations Manager at Swan Hotel, responded to this review, 5 March 2014
Thanks very much for your comments regarding your recent stay. The team will be pleased to hear your positive thoughts and will certainly look to improve in those areas where they did not do so well
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swan Hotel

Property: Swan Hotel
Address: High Street, Alton GU34 1AT, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Alton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Alton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Swan Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Swan Hotel Alton near Farnham and Basingstoke, is located in the Hampshire town of Alton with easy access via the A31 making it an ideal base if visiting Farnham, Aldershot, Winchester, Basingstoke. The Swan Hotel dates back to the 16th century and was a main stage on the old London-Southampton coaching route, and the Swan Hotel has been catering handsomely to passing traffic since the 16th century. Tradition has it that the poet Edmund Spenser, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex all broke their journeys here. Another famous guest was Lord Nelson. Our guests include many people of sense and sensibility - that is to say, devotees of Jane Austen, who make their pilgrimage to her cottage in the Chawton, where Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, were both written, during their stay with us. The cottage now is a popular tourist attraction and museum dedicated to Jane's life and work. Today the Swan Hotel is popular with locals and travellers alike and along with the new refurbishment is an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan Hotel Alton, Hampshire

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