The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel

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Nestling in the Suffolk countryside, between Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury, is The Swan Hotel & Spa in Lavenham, perhaps one of England's most iconic hotels. The Swan dates back to the 15th century when it played a key role in Lavenham's wool trade. Today it is a quintessential English country hotel and restaurant, proud of its achievement of AA 4 Red star, two AA Rosettes & Visit England Large Hotel of the Year 2013. Ancient oak beams and inglenook fireplaces blend beautifully with rich furnishings and fabrics to create the perfect ambiance for rest and relaxation. The historic old bar boasts a wonderful collection of memorabilia, including a wall signed by British and American airmen stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II. The Swan is a wonderful place in which to celebrate a variety of special occasions, including romantic weddings, christenings and family get-togethers. It is also a unique venue for seminars, meetings and conferences, where 15th century inspiration combines with 21st century innovation.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Fitness / spa changing rooms
Hot bath
Bar / lounge
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Taxi service
Conference facilities
Secured parking
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Special diet menus
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Body wrap
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Hand massage
Head massage
Massage chair
Neck massage
Steam room
Waxing services
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Sun terrace
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
Room features
Room service
Bottled water
Flatscreen TV
Complimentary toiletries
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Room types
Bridal suite
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
4.0 of 5 stars
Languages Spoken


High Street, Babergh District CO10 9QA England
Getting there
Good for walkers
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 82 out of 100
Norwich Airport
72.1 km
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Cambridge Airport
43.1 km
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4.5 of 5 bubbles1,987 reviews
Reviews summary
This summary was created by AI, based on recent reviews.
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The Swan Hotel offers an ambiance filled with charm and historical elements that many guests appreciate, though some have mentioned a lack of attention to detail. While the amenities, including diverse dining options and a spa, generally receive praise, the value for money has been a point of contention, with several travelers finding the services overpriced. Room experiences are notably inconsistent, ranging from spotless to neglected conditions. Cleanliness is typically upheld throughout the hotel, but service quality varies greatly. Noise can be an issue for some due to traffic and other disturbances.
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Detailed Reviews
IanW474 wrote a review Jan 2020
Budleigh Salterton, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We've just got back from a four night break between Christmas and New Year and I wish we could have stayed longer. What a fantastic place! The whole hotel oozes character and atmosphere; there are lots of comfortable places to sit and relax in front of log fires and woodburners; it was difficult to tear ourselves away to enjoy the beautiful town and countryside around.

We booked an excellent spa treatment and enjoyed the sunken hot tub in the evening; a great atmosphere with all the Christmas fairy lights. Our room again was full of character with a very comfortable bed and a sitting area. Dinner was included in the package served in the amazingly beautiful Gallery restaurant - excellent food served by attentive staff with excellent flexibility on the menu - for example being able to chose a smaller version of the fish course as a starter. Breakfast was served in the same restaurant, cooked to order - no horrible dried up buffets here!

We loved this hotel and can't wait to return. If you don't like character, beams, ambiance, low ceilings, excellent food, a very cosy bar and great staff then don't go!
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Date of stay: December 2019
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mike L wrote a review Aug 2020
Raunds, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My wife and I booked for just two nights on a half board basis. As my wife has some mobility problems , James, the general manager offered us room 47 on the ground floor near reception. We fully realised that staying in an old historic property was going to create some issues, but this did not spoil our stay. The hotel was spotlessly clean and all the time we were there staff were making sure that Covid rules were applied. Our room awas large and characterful, oak beams old wall paintings protected; the bed was very comfortable.
For me the high point was the food; it was excellent. For breakfast I had Greek youghurt with berries followed by scrabled eggs with a very geneous portion of smoked salmon. The dinner menu was a bit limited and would probably become an issue for a longer stay. That said, lamb and venison were great. The bread with the evening meal is the best I have ever tasted, ask for more if you need it and save some should you order the cheese platter! Drinks were reasonably priced but you needed to know what you wanted as you cannot stand by the bar. Craft gins were a treat. My wife ordered a cream sherry, but I swear she got a very nice madeira instead!

The hotel is well situated for exploring the Suffolk countryside with Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds within easy reach. A visit to Helmingham Hall to see their extensive gardens is a good half day option. We enjoyed our stay, the staff were great, the food excellent, the bed comfortable, what's not to like!
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Date of stay: July 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Room 47 is near reception and good for those with mobility issues
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
A lot to digest? Read an AI-generated summary of recent traveller reviews.
Suzie wrote a review Feb 2020
Market Deeping, United Kingdom
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed for one night on a special offer for 3 course dinner, bed and breakfast. First impressions of the hotel are excellent. Stunning building, beautifully furnished, comfortable and welcoming. Quirky layout due to age of building with many original features.
I had booked a Cygnet room, the smallest of the rooms on offer. However, the room was considerably larger than I had expected and had everything that I could have wanted (and more), including luxury toiletries. On arrival the bathroom was freezing cold. There was a heated towel rail but seemingly no way if turning it on. A member of reception team showed me how to operate it by an unmarked switch in the bedroom. Slightly odd. Although room was spacious and very well equipped, there were several minor maintenance issues that let it down. There was an ugly long cable hanging from towel rail with broken fixings and a wall socket being held together with tape. Substantial chips and scratches to the bath panel, and other signs of wear and tear.
I had a pre-dinner drink in the bar which sadly, was almost empty and lacking atmosphere. Barman was efficient and polite and convinced me that I needed to upgrade to a 4 course dinner as the portions were extremely small.
The dining room was very impressive and comfortable. The menu, however, confusing at best. The food was ok but nothing special. The first 2 courses were minuscule and served on very unattractive dark chunky crockery. The third course was better. I opted for the cheese platter for dessert which, by contrast was enormous. However, the cheeses, although plentiful were all very cold from fridge and not at optimal temperature. The accompanying biscuits were wet due a pool of water on plate from a large heap of whst appeared to be frozen shavings of celery. I opted for the wine flight to accompany meal which was excellent.
Service in the restaurant was disappointing. Apart from the mature, none of the team of girls serving at table seemed to be properly trained.
At checkout there was an o recharging mistake with my bill. I noticed and it was quickly rectified.

Overall I enjoyed the whole experience at The Swan but would not want to return as I felt the beautiful setting was let down by a lack if atmosphere and attention to detail.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Richard M wrote a review Feb 2020
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Check in was easy and we were shown to our room which had all the extras you might need such as iron and toiletries . There is a restaurant available,and a bar with good choices and service ,also an enclosed outdoor 'square'. The hotel has a nice country house character. Breakfast is included and is buffet for light food and at seat order for cooked food. Staff were always well presented and attentive. Our price was £157 including breakfast.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
markdriscoll22 wrote a review Feb 2020
Southampton, United Kingdom
3.0 of 5 bubbles
The hotel is lovely, the rooms and public areas too. But it was very expensive and neither room was good enough to deserve the cost frankly. And when you're paying what we did for a twin room you expect the toilet flush to work. The breakfast was pretty pathetic, miniscule and luke warm. Staff very nice if a bit formal. And the fact there is no response from manager for any review on here suggests an uncaring attitude, even though as I said the hotel is really nice in general.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
PDCM wrote a review Oct 2020
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Two nights this past weekend at a cost of £376 this really was very disappointing. Paid extra for a Heritage Room expecting luxury bed and bathroom. Couldn't be further from luxury. Of course bedroom decor and styling was as we expected, in character with the property, but the bathroom was really shabby with thick mould and limescale on the shower head, black grouting and split rubber on bottom of screen. It really didn't feel as tho it had been deep cleaned in many years. The room and most common areas were very cold. The Bistro is soul-less and food mediocre. The Gallery Restaurant had better ambience and food but very limited menu especially if you are vegetarian/vegan. On the positive side the majority of staff were really friendly and courteous. Overall it was such a shame as I had wanted to stay here for a very long time. Shan't go back and tbh I couldn't recommend it either.
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Date of stay: October 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Chartersmead wrote a review Sep 2020
Ingleby Cross, United Kingdom
1.0 of 5 bubbles
After having to change our holiday plans at very short notice we booked two nights at The Swan at Lavenham, which we last visited some 8/9 years ago and had found to be superb.
We arrived about 2.15. We were told that the room would not be ready until 3pm.
Room 32 is a standard room (the only one available when we booked ) and without doubt is tired, very small and dated. While reasonably clean, there was a knob missing from one of the drawers and another knob fell off when used. There was a broken pane of glass in the only small window. The room is on the first floor, the carpet on the stairs and hall was grimy and threadbare in places. The whole hotel looked old, tired, and in need of attention.

When booking we were told that the Gallery Restaurant was fully booked for both days of our stay but a table had been reserved in the Brassiere for the first night, although there was no availability in either restaurant on the second evening.

We had a pre-dinner drink in the lounge, which was lacking in atmosphere. It took some time before a member of staff came to take our order and when he did, he had little knowledge of the drinks menu. The dinner menu, though limited, seemed interesting. However the Brassiere is uncomfortable, with plastic chairs and poor decor. The food was terrible: the curried carrot soup was presented in a tiny bowl, was tasteless, and no bread or roll was offered. The cocktail sauce on the prawn and lobster cocktail tasted vinegary, unpleasant, and synthetic. My wife had ordered sea bass with Israeli couscous; the couscous was inedible, though the fish was nicely cooked. My beer battered haddock with minted peas, although quite good, was served with a tartar sauce which had a crust on it, tasted unpleasant and looked uninviting. We can’t comment on the desserts as we didn’t want further disappointment. No attempt had been made to offer good customer service or make the dining experience pleasant.

After a poor night’s sleep partly due to the strange vibration resonating from the floor ,we were unhappy about staying a second night. The Receptionist offered us another room but as the Gallery restaurant was fully booked we would have to eat in the Brassiere again (strangely now available) which we did not wish to do. We have never checked out of a hotel early before but our experience was such that we could not face staying another day. I was informed that we would in any case have to pay for the second night. I expressed surprise and disappointment but paid and cut our losses.

The Swan in visibly in need of serious investment : the public areas are shabby and un-cared for and the rooms need attention. What has happened to that lovely hotel with it’s ambiance warmth and attentive staff?

I have no pleasure in writing this review and am saddened to do so but management needs to get a grip before it’s too late if indeed that’s still possible.

Oh and finally would’ve it be sensible to to remove the ‘A Hotel of Excellence 2013’ certificate hanging in Reception. The world was a different place 7 years ago as it seems is The Swan.
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ashsgirl wrote a review Oct 2021
2.0 of 5 bubbles
No excuse, they had a perfect opportunity to update all through lockdowns as many establishments did, but instead they charge a huge whack and the rooms are not fit for purpose.. We booked a £270 per night room here well in advance for our wedding night, the first email I sent - regards not wanting a 4 poster bed because we just prefer a king-size bed and it's our wedding night - was ignored so I called up closer to the day and was told that we were in a 4poster room but it was such an upgrade that we wouldn't wish for anything better, so we let it go and started to get excited about this fabulous room! Unfortunately there was a drug packet behind a side table, tissues left out on the side, a strange smell (which we just accepted because it's an old property) but after more thought an air fresher would've made it more comfortable, and mould/grime. The ensuite was the worst by far we have experienced during our 15 years together staying out in places. It was dark, cold and dirty. The hot water just never came through despite running for several minutes at a time, fortunately we had a session booked in the weavers spa immediately so we headed over, it was by contrast absolutely wonderful. We couldn't fault the staff or facilities at the Spa, very attentive and high spec. Back at The Swan we sat down for a 3 course meal which lacked flare and flavours, the bun was the cheapest type, the salad had no dressing, the presentation and extras needed just weren't there for the price tag, shame as it sounded lovely on the menu but the actual food and extremely poor customer service made it well overpriced. We spoke to others during our stay who were not satisfied but too embarrassed to complain. One lady described her morning melon as 'Barbie Sized' and nothing to eat as it was just melon ends! I haven't enough time to go into our dissapointing dining but let's just say we spotted alot of skimping going on. So bearing in mind the room and dining experience we did complain face to face the following morning and was told an email would be sent for some money off another stay. However we both agreed this was not appropriate for us as we can think of many other establishments we would rather spend our time and money in and we will never be able to have our wedding night, or head out that way again. The receptionist just ignored our comments basically so for transparency and to get our feedback back to management I have emailled with pictures because I feel that most people will not like to complain, as I don't because it further ruins the experience but they really should care about guest satisfaction... guess what no reply three times! They just wash thier hands of you and we are now £360 worse off for one night, the place needs to respect the views of those who stay, I gave them a couple of weeks to come to an agreeable outcome but the manager hasn't bothered so the least I can do now is inform others who might be researching where to stay.
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Paul C wrote a review Jul 2020
Reading, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
With lifting of Covid Lockdown restrictions, took the opportunity to use The Swan as a base for four days of walking in Suffolk. What a good choice this hotel was - super friendly helpful and efficient staff back to work after such a long break. ' Covid-secure' conditions throughout with serving staff all in masks and plenty of hand-sanitiser stations throughout. Double towels in room to minimise contact but would still suggest room cleaning every other day rather than none.
Food in both The Gallery and Brasserie was simply excellent.
Will return for a short stay around Christmas time to enjoy some roaring fires and seasonal menus!
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Date of stay: July 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WebMonkey wrote a review Oct 2020
Croydon, United Kingdom
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed for one night at the end of October. Booked a heritage room which was described as having 'unique features'. Having stayed in the room i'm struggling to think what unique features it had, looked exactly like a normal hotel room. When you used the taps in the bathroom the pipes made a high pitched sound, not a problem but the other rooms also seemed to have the same problem as in the middle of the night you would hear the same sound when they turned their taps on. No wifi coverage whilst there, apparently was not working. A minor issue was no plug sockets near the beds, had to plug the phone at the other end of the room. Paid extra for breakfast delivered to the room, seemed lacking and they forgot the toast. Part of the room rate included dinner and i have to say the dinner is well recommended, also the staff were very helpful and couldn't be more accommodating, asking if you need anything. Think overall you are paying well over the odds for staying in one of the few hotels in the centre of Lavenham.
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Date of stay: October 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
xxperdita asked a question Apr 2023
London, United Kingdom171 contributions2 helpful votes
Are children allowed in the spa pool?
Answer from marketinghf
Ipswich, United Kingdom48 contributions
Good afternoon, thank you for your question, Weavers' House Spa has a minimum age requirement of 16.
Holly asked a question Aug 2022
Lowestoft, United Kingdom
is the spa included or do you have to pay separately?
Answer from Harby225
London, United Kingdom280 contributions76 helpful votes
Spa is included BUT NOT treatments
Answer from Maria Tolhurst
Lavenham, United Kingdom
Hello Thank you for your question, I can confirm we do have room which pets do not stay in. However, we do also have the rooms professionally cleaned after having pets stay with us. If you have an allergy please let us know at the time of booking so we can allocate yourselves accordingly. Kind Regards Maria Tolhurst
Tleliz asked a question Jan 2019
London9 contributions3 helpful votes
Has anyone stayed in the Gainsborough rooms? If so what was the number?
Answer from john h
Holt, United Kingdom2 contributions
No31 try not to get this one its above kitchen and near to A big extractor which comes on around 6am ..bathroom needs A bit of tlc in a few places and as for the two middle curtins they should be binned other than that room is big and very clean ..bed very nice hope that helps
Sidney J asked a question Mar 2018
58 contributions11 helpful votes
If I tip a member of staff in the spa do they get to keep the tip? Thanks
Answer from Norfolk Dweller
Sutton, United Kingdom123 contributions27 helpful votes
I am happy to answer this question. We operate a system whereby all (100%) of tips, whether via cash or card payments, are split equally amongst all team members of the hotel and spa. If I can assist you further, please do contact me. Kind regards Jane Jane Larcombe The Swan at Lavenham Tel: 01787 247477
judytrygg wrote a tip Jun 2024
Norwich, United Kingdom3 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Despite being in the middle of Lavenham, The Swan has its own nearby parking arrangements, so not a worry if you have lots of guests coming"
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Rowan H wrote a tip May 2024
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"There’s a fan in the room if you’re too warm Exploring beautiful Lavenham is so easy as the hotel is right in the middle"
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Windy M wrote a tip May 2024
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"Don’t eat the food"
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john e wrote a tip May 2024
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Some of the local tea rooms get busy so book in advance! "
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N D wrote a tip Apr 2024
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom1,416 contribution916 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for an older room on the first floor with a view."
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C$227 - C$349 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
lavenham swan hotel
United KingdomEnglandEast AngliaSuffolkBabergh DistrictLavenham
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The Swan Hotel - UPDATED 2024 Prices, Reviews & Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about The Swan Hotel
Which popular attractions are close to The Swan Hotel?
Nearby attractions include Lavenham Guildhall (0.2 km), The Church of St Peter & St Paul (0.3 km), and Little Hall Lavenham (0.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at The Swan Hotel?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at The Swan Hotel?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and free instant coffee during their stay.
Is parking available at The Swan Hotel?
Yes, free parking, secured parking, and street parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to The Swan Hotel?
Conveniently located restaurants include Lavenham Blue Vintage Tea Rooms, The Parlour Lavenham, and Lavenham Greyhound.
Are there opportunities to exercise at The Swan Hotel?
Yes, guests have access to a sauna and locker rooms available in the fitness centre during their stay.
Is The Swan Hotel located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.08 km away from the centre of Lavenham.
Are any cleaning services offered at The Swan Hotel?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Are pets allowed at The Swan Hotel?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Does The Swan Hotel offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers meeting rooms, a banquet room, and conference facilities.
Are there any historical sites close to The Swan Hotel?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Lavenham Guildhall (0.2 km), Melford Hall (6.3 km), and Kentwell Hall (5.3 km).
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