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Macdonald Swan Hotel

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

I found the staff here generally very nice and welcoming. On arrival I spoke at length to I think a French gentleman on the reception. The hotel itself is surprisingly large and I was at the back which was (generally) quiet. The room was decorated in what I suppose could be called a traditional style. It was clean and well appointed. The fittings aren't new but nor were they tired. Breakfast was very nice indeed, with a good spread and lots of choice. I did eat in the restaurant and am afraid I was somewhat disappointed. The food wasn't poor but neither was it as good as I had expected. For example, I had goats cheese tarts to start and short rib of beef for mains. The tarts were ok but nothing special and the short rib was certainly tender but a bit dry. However, I may have missordered and don't want to condemn the restaurant for one meal. However, I can't really push to four stars. The hotel is about an eight minute walk to Grasmere. Do NOT walk along the road and turn down the road to the villiage as that takes ages. Instead, walk down the road immediately opposite the hotel which is quicker.

We stayed here for 3nights and have mixed feelings. Our check-in was excellent, the general manager was a lovely and helpful gentleman. We took our dog with us and he was great with him. Our room wasn't ready, which was fine as we were early, but he came and told us within 20 minutes that we could go to our room. It's a bit confusing where the rooms were, but advised us to park in the smaller car park to gain better entry to our room. Room was a decent size and big enough to fit our dogs bed in, however the bathroom was tiny. Lovely views out of the window which was nice. We went for a walk and on returning decided to eat in the restaurant. I chose lamb shank and my partner chose the fish pie. The lamb was lovely, but for some reason the bone was sat bare on top of my meal which was slightly odd and off putting. My partners meal looked lovely, however when putting his fork in and looking at the fish, it became very apparent that the fish was cold and raw. This was returned, when it came back I had finished my meal, but again when going to eat it, it was cold and raw again. We decided that we wouldn't want anything else and left the restaurant. The deputy manageress was lovely and apologised, it wasn't her fault. Really disappointing on our first night. We did speak to the general manager about this and he said he would sort it and tell the chef to check the heat before sending the meals out. Breakfast was ok, but you need to fill up on the cereals. Only one tiny slice of butter, and we had to ask for more and only one slice of toast each... We then went out for a walk returning on both days well after 1.00 and on both days our room hadn't been cleaned, so 3 nights of staying and our room was never cleaned. At check out, we were only charged for the wine on the night sitting in the restaurant, which was very kind. We only ever stay in a hotel as a treat and were disappointed that we had these problems. Not sure we would return, which is such a shame.

We hadn't booked and just turned up. Fortunately they had a room and the lady on Reception was brilliant. Very Friendly and accommodating. I couldn't catch her name but she was from Argentina! We had our meal there which was the rib-eye steak and it was delicious and tender. Our room was clean and plenty big enough with beautiful views. The breakfast in the morning again wonderful. Highly recommend the black pudding to which we asked who the supplier was. We would most definitely stay there again. regards Claire and Andrew baitson

Lovely Quaint hotel, with open fires in bar and lounge areas, food was great both dinner and breakfast, strongly recommend the lamb shank and the blade of beef both superb , well cooked and lovely accompaniments. Super staff all very friendly , great service and they are super dog friendly especially as our 13 week old puppy was her first time in a hotel, made herself quite at home in front of the fire while we had dinner.

Family wedding - lovely service, quaint function room and tasty meal so really couldn’t fault the wedding aspect. However the hotel overall I don’t massively rate. Rooms okay but in need of an update, bar very expensive, breakfast small and service non-existent. Also accidentally left my filter water bottle in my Grandma’s room and informed staff but they never got back to me. I appreciate it wasn’t expensive but it’s the principle really, it would have been nice if it was returned. Probably wouldn’t stay again but that’s maybe just down to personal taste.

This hotel oozes charm and character but the young staff is strapped for resources for providing good service. The shower was very hard to figure out, really should have had instructions to do so. We were a group of forty, but dinner took a very long time to get served. The water from the tub leaked onto the bathroom floor unbeknownst to me. I walked into the bathroom in my socks and they got wet.... The porridge served for breakfast was almost cool. So the lumps of sugar would not melt in it. I had to ask for granulated sugar and got it but with attitude. The beds were comfortable.

Stayed here in August and will not return. I left something valuable in hotel room on departure and in spite of phone calls and emails to the hotel and customer services the matter was never resolved. I had one phone call from hotel manager who said he would investigate and get back to me but he didn’t.

Booked a night at the hotel with vouchers bought for our wedding and as an escape for us during a stressful time Prior to arriving I was somewhat anxious due to negative reviews on the site I could not disagree with them more! The staff were all pleasant and professional and worked hard despite the demand and long hours. Food was to a high standard and of timely service Overall a very pleasant stay

Good looking hotel - a rabbit warren of corridors suggests centuries of history. Clean room, comfortable and warm but NO details in room of breakfast times or restaurant menu etc. Simple things but really important. Why provide an ironing board and iron and trouser press - does anyone use them? So out of date. Even worse, the cooked breakfast was really meagre! A tiny sausage, the smallest pot of beans possible etc etc - and don't get me going on the miniscule triangle of butter and a single slice of toast each. Other "disasters" - no irish coffees "we have run out of cream" - the fish pie with a crusty mash top was more like a sloppy, thick soup. The Dining room was dead - with many staff complaining about the lack of fruit, lack of butter, "no brown toast available". Overall, some great helpful staff - mainly Polish - and a clean, warm room - but we ate out every evening at The White Lion in Ambleside. Great food, great staff, great prices and atmosphere.

The Good Outstanding staff especially the receptionist, Cintia, who went out of her way to ensure we enjoyed our short visit. Location which is ideal if visiting Grasmere which is a short walk away. Situated on the main road to Keswick which does get busy Large bedroom which appears to have been refurbished quite recently Not so good A number of items not available on the evening menu including both the fish of the day and steak significantly reducing the choice as the menu is quite limited The shower would only work for a short period before there was only a small trickle of cold water No body lotion with the toiletries which were of a good quality

Room options

Classic Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Double Room (King)

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Room (Family)

Full 1 | Sleeps 4

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

77% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1218 reviews