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Macdonald Swan Hotel

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Staying in the Lake District you expect to pay over the top for everything BUT £9.10 for a pot of tea for two is taking it to another level! Out for a walk with my husband and stopped off for a refreshment and charged a fortune for hot water and 2 tea bags, (neither of us take milk) I'm still in shock, won't be going back!

This hotel is grossly overpriced. I suggest that you do not consider this hotel unless you are desperate. I would never stay there again. The discount given because of the poor meal service did not make up for the dismal experience. Though we had a very nice room overlooking the A591, Grasmere and hills, the hotel was badly let down by the meals. Many items on the dinner menu were not actually available and this got worse as the week wore on. The portions were tiny (this appeared to be the ultimate in portion control) and what you received could be pretty random. As an example: I asked for the Macdonald breakfast without black pudding but with beans as identified on the menu, first time round I got a sausage, fried egg and mushrooms, I pointed out what I was supposed to get, and sent it back to the kitchen, next try I got something close but they'd given me black pudding, last try, nearly successful but I never did get the beans. I gave up at this point as I was losing the will to live.Though the waiter service was very good as mentioned by other reviewers this was compromised by appalling service from the kitchen. It invariably took a long time for food to be delivered to the table in addition to the problems described above. The waiter service staff were obviously very embarrassed by the product they were expected to deliver.

Stayed for two nights as part of a Lake district road trip, the room was very good clean and spacious, We had booked on an advanced purchase DBB deal which was great value for money the evening meal choice was good and the food was excellent Breakfast choice was really good the selection of local ales was right up my street and the wine was not over priced will definitely return

Firstly I must say that the Hotel provided a discount for the problems we encountered so full credit to them for that. We did book late so we did not expect one of the better rooms but we're allocated room 15 - which has a charming, panoramic view of...a courtyard full of beer barrels, extraction/ventilation pipes, and just beyond, a car park. The constant whirring of the extraction system may be comforting new born babes and perhaps retired naval stokers, but we did not find it conducive to a sound nights kip. The location is superb (Must be even better for those who can actually see it from their rooms) and the staff are brilliant, but one gets the feeling that they are perhaps really up against it from the parent company or that, as previously stated, there are problems at management level. For example, the food, although perfectly acceptable, has 'austerity' written all over it. (I took the advice of a previous reviewer and seconded some extra butter from another table at breakfast...the allocated portions were comically Dickensian!) At dinner my wife's 'Garlic Mash' had no garlic and the great cabbage drought of '17 must be biting hard because the 'buttered savoy cabbage' did not materialise (fellow diners will confirm this). To be fair the staff had a wedding to contend with during our visit and we would be prepared to give The Swan another chance but it needs to seriously up its game if it is to survive. Once again I must emphasise the quality of the staff, it is for this sole reason I gave that extra star.

Had a great 2 night stay at the MacDonald Swan Hotel, booked an Executive Double room, which was well furnished, appointed to a high standard and with a spacious bathroom. There is an extensive variety of choices for breakfast, all excellent quality, fresh and prepared to order. The dining room (we preferred to sit by the windows with views of the garden and surrounding hills}, lounge and bar areas are very relaxing. The Hotel it's ideally located for local walks or exploring the lakes and getting into Grasmere, which is only a 10 minute walk, where there is a good selection of tearooms, cafes and restaurants. Finally our stay was made all the better by the friendliness and helpfulness of all the staff.

Our wedding day was very special, the staff were fantastic and could not do enough for us. Sabin and Liz made the day perfect, they were very organised which put us at ease. The room for the civil ceremony and then the reception looked amazing, the food was beautiful (the have an excellent chef) the reception desk were extremely helpful and the bar staff very efficient. Our family and friends said the day was memorable. Helen and I would highly recommend celebrating your wedding with The Swan. Thanks again to everyone!

We paid over £480 for 3 nights' "treat" and we were disappointed. The shower head in our executive room (3, at the front, with a view and complementary bath robes and slippers) was absolutely filthy (black and slimy), even though the room smelled of disinfectant. When we complained we were moved but to a much smaller (and very hot) room at the back of the hotel, room 22, which had a clean shower but cobwebs on the walls and peeling wallpaper behind the radiator. The mattress was soft and sagged in the middle. There was no view, no bathrobes and no slippers and yet the hotel insisted this was also an executive room...!!! When we complained we were given a £40 discount. The restaurant menu is the same as the bar menu, and not in my opinion a fitting menu for a restaurant in a hotel such as this. The food was very average and overpriced. The staff were courteous and helpful, but this hotel looks uncared for and scruffy. We won't be going back.

I was amazed at this hotel --- it has no elevator, but you can get around the floors, bar, lobby area and rooms on either the first or second floor with no problem. Loved this place for a one-night stay. Staff was friendly and accommodating.

I know it was a Saturday, and this is Grasmere, but £140 for a single room to me seems excessive. Paying this kind of money ought to guarantee a good night's sleep. It certainly would at a Premier Inn, and for a lot less! However, I was woken several times by banging fire doors, and nearby room doors that seemed to need to be slammed to close properly. Maybe a manager should try sleeping in a few rooms to discover these problems and act upon them. We did not stay for dinner here. The bar area looked dark and uninviting. The food I saw being served looked dull and uninspiring, and again, overpriced. Breakfast was very good, particularly the pain aux chocolate. It was disappointing to find that some dishes - smoked haddock, for example, were only available for a £5 supplement. Surely at their prices they are having a laugh. So overall, I was left with the feeling that this hotel was overpriced, hence the three stars.

I usually try to measure my expectation of service and hospitality based upon location, numbers / covers and staff levels. My wife and I called in to the Swan after a lovely day in Grasmere. The Hotel is well presented and looks inviting, the signs outside entice non guests to call in and eat. Almost no customers should have been my warning. We entered the bar and picked up menus and ventured to the garden. We both agreed to opt for the fish Friday offer so I went to the bar to order whereupon the barman told me we are not doing that offer any more, he than told me he had told a colleague yesterday to cover over the offer on all menus the day before (he obviously has ownership issues). I then asked what the difference was between fish Friday and fish and chips. He replied " the price ' i.e. Double the price. Now I'm no skinflint so the price didn't bother me but the tone of his response was just rude and lacking respect. I then ventured back to the garden to offer my wife another stab at ordering something that was available. We chose the steak and ale pie. I entered the bar again, the barman was chatting to an off duty colleague eventually I got acknowledged so without a prompt I clearly requested two steak an ale pies, one with chips and one with mash. "Where are you sitting?" I replied, "in the garden as before' ! he said " two steak and ale pies, with mash or chips"? I then repeat myself and he then proceeds to tell me the total of my bill. I ask "can I order drinks"? He even got the drink order wrong asking if I want a pint of coke which I told hi no a half, he poured a pint anyway. Eventually I get what I want and leave. Absolutely no open warmth from this experience, merely a difficult awkward exchange of words and money. Retiring to the garden, I meet the wife and recount my experience. We then wait for almost an hour for food to arrive. Meanwhile, Other customers enter then garden receive food and leave. Our meals arrive with a swift delivery and a statement (not an apology) "thank you for being so patient" we both had plates placed in front of us and the waiter left saying "enjoy your meals". No question regarding condiments and at this point I thought it best to eat and go, my inward anger was clearly not conducive to constructive criticism.... No food check back either. The pie had no pastry base, the top was cremated and a piece of fatty gristle the size of my thumb inside. I work in Hotels and I have to provide exemplary service levels, it's easier to get it right than wrong if you have competent trained staff. This experience would make a great training video on how not to interact with guests. By the way, three air fresheners on a shelf in the gents to mask the smell of urea demonstrates a lack of attention to detail, cleaning around urinals with the right chemicals will sort this. Overall, a shocking display of attitude and service levels.

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 1200 reviews