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The Black Swan Hotel
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Reviews (1,767)
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1,545 - 1,550 of 1,767 reviews
Reviewed 3 January 2012

We had a very enjoyable New Year's break here. Seven course dinner on NYE, then an additional night with dinner on NYD. The hotel is very charming with well turned out public areas and nice big rooms (although the bathrooms are probably due a refit). The NYE event was very enjoyable with great food and good atmosphere. The band were pretty poor but that didn't spoil the event.
There are lots and lots of staff and all of them were friendly and helpful, particularly in the restaurant. There was a slight problem with this however, in that there didn't seem to be an identifiable Maitre D' (there were several likely candidates but they seemed to come and go and cover all sorts of different areas). This meant the service wasn't consistent, which let them down slightly. Several times our party had special requests/extras, etc. Some senior-looking person would say they would 'personally see to it'. Then another waiter would bring our order, with no apparent knowledge of the special requests or extras. Also, while they are all keen, courteous and helpful, not all the waiters seemed that experienced, so a Maitre D' who was clearly in charge would help get the waiters all working to the same standard.
The food was very good- they clearly have a good Chef and strong kitchen team.
All told, we had a very enjoyable break here and I would certainly stay at the Black Swan again.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank fickleWestMids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2012

We enjoyed a nights stay at the Black Swan on New Years Eve 2011, this included on arrival champagne and scones which was very nice. Being an old hotel the rooms are tucked away via stairs and corridors and for those not to so steady on their feet it may be a struggle but we loved our room , its was spotless and very cosy. My one and only complaint about the room was it was too hot !
We took along our dog and she was made very welcome, the hotel even left some treats and a toy for her. Dogs are allowed in the public areas so generally a very pet friendly hotel.
The food was great and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I was pleased to see that the hotel had sufficient staff for the event. Overall I would recommend the hotel and am keen to go back especially to enjoy an afternoon tea !

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank KT73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2011

Just returned from a one night DB&B stay at the Black Swan and must say it was a magnificent experience. The deal we went on was arranged via Travelzoo and comprised of one night's accommodation in a superior double room, bottle of (chilled) champagne in the room, afternoon tea, 6 course tasting dinner, and breakfast.
The hotel itself dates from the 30's but it comprises of what were originally 3 different properties, the oldest one of which was a Tudor house. The decor and ambience of the present hotel is tasteful and modern, but with a very definitive "country" feel. You are left in no doubt that this hotel reflects the locality and it's way of life: there are several ruined abbeys nearby and a castle. Local activities include farming, hunting, shooting & fishing.
Afternoon tea can be taken in any of the lounge areas or in the award-winning tea room (on a par with Claridges & The Savoy in London, no less).
The evening meal was exquisite, beautiful food, mostly locally sourced, outstanding presentation & service provided by the ever attentive staff.
The bedroom was warm & welcoming and contained all the expected conveniences of modern living with the possible exception of Wi-fi. It may have been available but I wasn't aware of it and it didn't matter on this occasion.
If there is ever a repeat of this deal, I would certainly consider it and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who would enjoy a little bit of luxury living.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank citizencvw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2011

The Hotel,

The hotel is surprisingly large, with a relatively small frontage with tea room and lounge the hotel and garden spread back to a car park. The superior room we stayed in was spacious very clean and comfortable.

The Hospitality and Service,

Some staff were excellent, couldn't do enough for you and were pleasant. However I feel that I must say that our stay, which was for our anniversary, was marred by rude staff on reception (appeared to be contempuous of the fact that we had booked on a Travelzoo deal even though it had still cost us almost £300), rude staff in the tea room.

Specifically, the 3 people ahead of us were offered help with baggage, but when we came along it wasn't. Normally this woudl not bother me personally but my wife was pregnant so I was clearly going to struggle especially as the room was the furthest distance from the reception.

Our private mail that was clearly marked with our names as residents and private was opened by the staff. This undermined my trust in the hotel and therefore have reconsidered my original plan of returning at a later date. I think this issue is very serious, all hotels I have ever used would pass on mail and treat it with respect, why are the staff here not trained, as if training for this woudl be necessary. We have written to the hotel twice to inform the manager of this problem but have not had a reply.

However the bar staff and the restaurant staff, maids etc were all excellent:

Restaurant:
Likely you will know that the food at the Black Swan is renound, and with good reason. The food here was excellent. We had a matched wine gourmet taster menu constituted of about 8 courses. It was excellent and of the highest quality. The waiters were all extremely wlecoming and attentive, I would like to visit it again... were it not for the afore mentioned issues.

Location:

Excellent loaction in the centre of Helmsley, well worth visiting the castle very interesting and informative tour.

Overall:

Technically brilliant but let down by poor managment hospitality.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a superior room, the standard rooms are a little pokey but still of good quality. If you are parking at the rear of the hotel and have luggage
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JamesSherwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2011

Hotel was situated overlooking the picturesque Market square of Helmsley, delightful location. Check in staff helpful and accommodating. Room was comfortable and inviting, amenities in the bathroom terrific. Breakfast, included in the hotel price, was of the standard one would expect of a hotel of this type, all the usual fare was on offer and cooked to perfection.

Only thing of a negative nature to this hotel was the location of our room, it felt like we had to walk half way back to York to find it, up stairs and along passages and up even more stairs. Not good if elderley and have more than one piece of luggage.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank copperiw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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