We stayed six days at the Swan, the first two in one of the rooms facing the street which was very noisy. Although no particular events were going on in Alton, there were loud voices on and off till around 2:00 AM both nights. Since there was no A/C, we had no choice but to leave the windows open, and it made for poor sleep. After that we asked to be transferred to a room not facing the street which was much better - very quiet and also more spacious and comfortable.
It's a historic hotel and the appearance is a little tired, especially the carpeting. I didn't care much about that, but it would likely bother some people. The restaurant was okay - nothing spectacular or memorable, but nothing wrong with the food either. There was a good selection of fruit, bread, croissants, pain au chocolate, and cereal at breakfast in addition to the regular full English and some egg dishes. Service was good.
The staff deserve particular praise, including the very organized young woman at the front desk who managed to get a package to me despite it having the wrong last name and the wrong room number on it, and was always happy to help in any way. The maids did an excellent job and were quick to offer help if they saw us struggling with luggage or the door.
- 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