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“Slightly disappointing” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Black Swan Hotel

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The Black Swan Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Certificate of Excellence
Durham
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Slightly disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2012

Had a weekend at the Black Swan and came away disappointed. The room was quite nice but there were a few small issues with the bathroom that showed lack of attention to detail. We go to hotels primarily for the food and with 2 AA rosettes we were hopeful it would be good. Breakfasts were fine although there was no porridge which my wife likes to have. The dinners proved to be a little disappointing. The dishes looked good but lacked a bit of real quality and the wine list was ridiculously expensive. The staff were nice although the young head waiter appeared totally insincere as he parroted his lines. There was a lack of organisation which meant people did not necessarily get attended to in turn which was irritating. We rated the experience 7 out of 10. We go back to places where we score 8 or more so we won't be returning to the Black Swan.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ArtBohemian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,417 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (304)
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English first
Alnwick
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2012

First visit for a while and very impressed. Comfortable, quiet, attractive bedroom and characterful public rooms topped off by an excellent restaurant.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pete B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2012

We called in for a coffee and light meal. On our previous visit we had been slightly disappointed but certainly had no issues this time. Very attentive and helpful staff, and good food, made the round trip worthwhile. I have no hesitation in recommending the Black Swan.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank winchman30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2012

We had stayed here a couple of years ago and enjoyed the experience - especially the food - so we thought we'd try it again. I gave it 4/5 but not 5/5 because I am rather picky and staying here isn't cheap so i expect attention to detail and what I got was a little rough round the edges.

We had a feature room overlooking the Market Place. The room was nice but too hot and it was impossible to turn the radiator down without calling reception and getting maintenance to come up with a pair of pliers. A £10 thermostatic valve would solve this. The bathroom was ok but again a bit of dirty grouting, a missing "hot" indicator on the bath taps and lack of decent towel rails for two people just let the place down. It is an old building and the bathroom could do with updating.

The young staff were friendly and very good and the public rooms are very "English country inn" - cosy and full of atmosphere.

Dinner was good but not as good as we remember. Chicken confit was bland and under seasoned, Lamb under seasoned and pheasant was a little overcooked and dry. The cake part of my dessert was also too dry. Was it the Head Chef's night off? Breakfast was very good even if the bacon wasn't smoked. But again, little things upset me - a hole in my chair back apholstery, staff clearing adjacent tables and setting them for lunch whilst we were still eating, a patio door with foot marks all over where staff had used their feet to open it - again a bit of attention to detail and 5 minutes cleaning would solve this.

The General Manager's over-flowery welcome letter in the room promised the earth but didn't really deliver it. I would have mentioned all these little niggles at checkout but I was not asked anything about the quality of my stay so I thought I'd share it here instead.

Helmsley is a lovely place and a great base for exploring this part if the country but I think next time I will try one of the other hotels of the area.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ludensian64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballymena, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2012

The Black Swan Hotel is a great place to stay. We stayed there a number of times over 2011 for both family weekends and short breaks with friends. The rooms are very good and clean with good service. The food in both restaurants is really good. The fine dinning restaurant is extremely good. During the day the tea room is good with a great selection of tea.
Plenty of nice relaxing public areas with open fires to sit and relax.
The staff are very pleasant and helpful and couldn't do enough for us to ensure we enjoyed our stay. I would recommend anyone to try this hotel for a weekend break with good food and wine. We will be back.

Thanks to all the staff for making our weekend great.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York
Level Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2012

A lovely overnight stay with afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast. Everything top class but importantly also very welcoming and relaxed. Returning next week!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank newtravellerYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Mids
Level Contributor
32 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank fickleWestMids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Black Swan Hotel

Property: The Black Swan Hotel
Address: Market Place, Helmsley YO62 5BJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Helmsley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Black Swan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in one of Yorkshire's prettiest market towns, The Black Swan in Helmsley is a superb historic inn, turned boutique hotel. Dating back to the C15th the hotel, rich in history and charm, blends antiques with classic contemporary design creating the perfect place for a relaxing break. With its own 3 AA rosette restaurant and award winning tearoom, The Black Swan Hotel provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway and a chance to escape the everyday stresses and strains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Black Swan Helmsley
Black Swan Hotel
The Black Swan Hotel Helmsley, Yorkshire

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