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“Poor attitude, zero hospitality- end of season blues?”

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Macdonald Swan Hotel
Ranked #10 of 14 Hotels in Grasmere
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 5 September 2017 via mobile

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.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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35 - 39 of 1,224 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2017

With Grasmere heaving with people we were looking for a place to park and a quick bite of lunch. Having travelled through the town centre without a chance of parking we came up to the junction with the A591 and the Swan was directly opposite. The banners stated food served all day and free parking was available in the large car park alongside - a win win!

The lunch menu was varied and my wife chose the Chicken Caesar while I had the Chicken Club. Both were good quality with plenty of chicken.

Service was prompt and although busy we located a table quickly. The only gripe was the price of £36 (with a pint of bitter and a Bacardi and Coke).

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Service
1  Thank Lederz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2017

I would have liked to make a review about the restaurant... but It was impossible. Me and my friend arrived about 7 pm to have a dinner. Outside the sign said "food from 12 pm to 9 pm". When we entered two waiters saw us but just ignored us. Then I walk into the room to ask about dinner. One of them told us to go to the bar (why? The room was almost empty) and told us we could eat until 8 pm (Strange, the sign outside said till 9 pm) When we arrived at the bar he gave us the menu and repeated we could order food until 8 pm only. But the Bar waitress said that we couldn't order food before 8 pm. So he said we had to wait almost an hour (but I saw people already eating in the restaurant) So they said different things and I have to admit I just wanted to go as I didn't feel welcomed. In my opinion, they were all different versions only to throw us out. Never again!

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Daria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2017 via mobile

We stayed 4 nights and feel this was outstanding for a 3 star hotel.

Our one criticism was the bar where the prices were unjustified - we paid £14.50 for a double gin and tonic and a pint of draught bitter and heard that a glass of wine was £11. So, if you would like a drink, either go elsewhere or be prepared to pay over the top. The bar itself was no more than average, bare boards to the floor and unwiped tables to sit at.

Otherwise, nothing but praise for this establishment. Our room had a really comfortable large bed and was serviced daily to a high standard. It was quiet with windows out to the well-kept garden. The breakfasts were just how they should be, cooked to order, promptly served and a delicious start to the day.

But the outstanding feature was the staff. Every individual seemed so helpful and friendly, not just to us as guests but between themselves also. It was good teamwork, they seemed to cover for one another so the service was seamless. Many a deluxe hotel could learn from this performance which is all the more commendable as we learned their manager was off sick after a heart attack but clearly he had put routines in place that ensured everything worked well when he was absent.

When next we return to the Lakes we won't be looking for anywhere else to stay.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2017 via mobile

Just stayed here for one night on 27th Aug. We brought our yorkie Harry too and he was made so welcome, the Swan has to be one of the most dog friendly hotels I've ever stayed at. I can't speak more highly of the friendly and attentive staff.
In terms of location it couldn't have been better, we attended the Grassmere sports show which was a short walk and the village centre was similarly as close. On our return late afternoon we relaxed in the beautiful garden with a well earned beverage the perfect end to the day.
We stayed at the hotel for our evening meal which we thoroughly enjoyed.
The room was spacious and very clean so no complaints here either.
Overall we (including Harry) had a great time, we loved the Swan, we loved Grassmere and we would love to return.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank LeighandPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Swan Hotel

Address: The Swan Hotel Keswick Road, Grasmere LA22 9RF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Grasmere
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Grasmere
#9 Romantic Hotel in Grasmere
Price Range: €94 - €234 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Macdonald Swan Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1650 as a coaching inn, and mentioned in a Wordsworth poem "The Waggoner", Macdonald Swan Hotel, Grasmere is one of the oldest hotels in the Lake District. Nestled in the Cumbrian countryside, with views across the Fells, our cosy and inviting hotel is ideal for walkers and cyclists. With open sunny vistas in summer and blazing log fires in winter, it's the ideal base for exploring the wonders of the Lake District National Park. Afterwards, relax with a delicious meal in our restaurant or enjoy the convivial atmosphere of the Walkers' Bar before retiring to a traditionally - furnished, comfortable room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Swan
Macdonald Swan Grasmere
Macdonald Swan Hotel Grasmere, Lake District

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