Swallow Royal Kings Arms Hotel

4.5  / 10
Average rating (16 reviews)
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1 / 10
Very Disappointing

"We booked here for one night with our dogs, en route back from Crufts. When phoning to make the booking I always ask various criterea and the hotel seemed able to meet it. A totally different story when you actually get there - not a sign of life except a girl behind a dour reception area and two other unsuspecting guests checking in. We were looking forward to our evening meal in the bar area not having eaten all day, however, the receptionist told me they had stopped serving meals a month ago (after I made the booking and had never e mailed me to inform me of this)but there was a bar. The minute dark bar was closed, no stock behind it and looked like it had not been used since 1947. The bedroom was cold, the beds univiting, the bathroom sported mould on the ceiling and walls, and the bright orange shiny paint on the wall behind the beds left one feeling nauseous. The beds themselves and the bedroom furniture must surely have come from a junk shop. Worse was to come next morning when, hoping for a cooked breakfast I was told in the lofty icy dining room that the chef had called in sick so there was no cooked breakfast, just help yourself to cereals, fruit and toast from the very slow toaster. This was accompanied by semi cold tea and coffee brought to our table by a very sleepy un disinterested waitress. The insult to all this is that upon arrival guests are told they have to pay up front, thus ensuring they have your money before you complain about the lack of basic facilities and expected level of service nowadays. I travel all over the country showing my dogs and use hotels regularly and this must surely rank bottom of them all, dirty, cold, disappointing, not worth the money, did not provide the most basic service and essential requirements and stuck in a time warp of 1945. I am only glad the peeling plaster from the ceiling in the dining room did not fall in my morning tea!! this "hotel" needs closing now and a total overhaul to bring it up to any acceptable modern standard. They have a cheek staying open and charging for this place - a word or warning - do NOT book in to this hotel if you expect to eat any decent hot food or want cleanliness. I am so disgusted I fully intend to write a letter of complaint to the manager."

  • Holiday details: Mar 2013, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Do not book in the beginning.

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1 / 10
Location great. FULL STOP

"my 25th wedding anniversary weekend started here. The room was a shoe box with the wardrobe blocking the window. I had booked aquiet room but the one we got was on the main road with drunks shouting until 3am.The decor is tired and the room smelled musty. The second floor landing looked like a bombsite with bedding strewn all over the floors. The car park is so small you have to double park and that lead to rows in the morning from people you have blocked in. The lift was victorian and didn't work if someone on another floor hadn't shut the door properly. The corridors, lounge and bar area were freezing. I waited half an hour to be served with breakfast ,only to be confronted with a rock solid fried egg. That sums it up really - if you can't cook an egg get another job. The dining room was hardly busy but I waited so long, Ihad chance to view the horrible stains on the ceiling and the smears of blue tack on the walls - attention to detail - don't think so. Where was the Manager? We had booked for two nights but left after one - even though i had payed for the second night. Decided my 25th wedding anniversary was safer spent at home. Oh and by the way , my Sunday breakfast was cooked by me and the egg was free range and had a dippy yoke - not much to ask for from a totally non qualified cook like me. Last time i do Lancaster, Kings arms or Best western. Three stars ? whose doing the rating - perhaps i missed my vocation."

  • Holiday details: Oct 2010, Breakfast Included, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Don't bother

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2 / 10
Cigarette ends in sink - not good...

"I only booked this hotel as I needed somewhere within walking distance of the railway station, but which would allow me to arrive after midnight, then leave first thing in the morning to catch another train.

The room was ok, but grubby, and the tea making equipment had been left on the floor between the bed and the window, which was so filthy dirty you couldn't see the castle opposite.

Having arrived at the room at nearly 1am, all I wanted to do was get some sleep, so when I went for a quick wash before retiring, I nearly gagged when some cigarette ends floated up in the sink as I was cleaning my teeth. Were it not for the late hour and the difficulty of finding alternative accommodation at such a late stage, I'd have checked out there and then! As it was, I just got my head down, thankful that it was only for a few hours.

On the plus side, the night porter was friendly and managed to sort the lift out for me when I checked in and the breakfast was very nice and in lovely surroundings. However, I didn't get much sleep as it was very noisy, despite the double glazing, and the shabbiness of the room really put me off the place. I think I'd go there for a meal, but there's no way you'd get me staying in one of their unclean bedrooms again.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2009, Bed & Breakfast, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Didn
  • Activities: N/A
  • Good For: , City Breaks

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8 / 10
Stayed at this hotel as I attended a...

"Stayed at this hotel as I attended a conference there. The conference ran smoothly and the staff were efficient etc.

Lots of people complained about the car parking but I had read the reviews and decided to catch the train instead. I was pleasantly surprised that the station is only a 2 minute walk from the hotel so I found it to be great.

I stayed the night and although the rooms are nothing special, they were clean and very comfortable.

Overall I enjoyed my stay and am due to revisit in November so I will keep you posted.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2007, Bed & Breakfast, Booked Independently

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1 / 10
My stay is best described as an...

"My stay is best described as an absolute disaster. Where do I start? Firstly, the hotel is in dire need of investment, I entered to a large flowery lobby that was utterly bereft of anyone. I waited at reception, luggage in hand and waited and waited until finally, someone appeared to book me in. Not a good start. The hotel promised a lot upon arrival, classic Victorian hotel with high ceilings, beautiful painted stone exterior and a lovely location just opposite the castle.

However, inside things went downhill faster than Franz Klammer in a rush. The bedroom might have been nice in 1937, today it teeters on the edge of awful. My room had lovely high ceilings, more flowery wallpaper, a very wobbly wardrobe, bed sheets that my Grandmother would find old-fashioned and a horribly mediocre bathroom complete with cracked tiles and lime scale stained taps. However, the worst was yet to come - I was located close to the lift and the combination of the noise of the lift mechanism and the rattling radiators kept me awake all night. I tried calling down to reception but after the 20th or 400th ring (I lost count) I gave up.

I checked out in the morning determined to vent my spleen somewhere and I'm pleased that I've finally found a useful conduit for my grumbles. This hotel could be excellent, but it needs a lot of money spending, a total rethink of the interior design, more staff and a far more customer focused approach. Until then – avoid, avoid, avoid.

  • Holiday details: Nov 2006, Bed & Breakfast, Booked Independently

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7 / 10
Upon arriving at this hotel's car...

"Upon arriving at this hotel's car park I was greeted with a lots of cars double parks and squeezed into a small parking area. I went to check in at the reception and was given my room key and asked to leave my car keys at the reception. I was told that this was a problem at the weekends and there were always too many cars for the number of spaces.

I then went to my room which was extremely hot. The window was open but unfortunately this meant the traffic from the road was coming through to the room. There was no air conditioning. I was staying with my 9 month old daughter and had requested a cot but this request had not got through to the hotel - fortunately I had brought a travel cot with me. The bed was uncomfortable and sagged in the middle and was uncomfortable to sleep in. My first nights sleep was not good.

You may wonder why I gave the hotel an overall rating of 7 after my experiences. Well firstly I do not hold the hotel responsible for the extremely hot weather of July 2006, and also it is beyond their control what traffic uses the road just outside the hotel. I was however disappointed with the bed.

The following morning I went down to breakfast which was extremely good. There was a huge selection of hot and cold food available. The staff were extremely friendly and the service was great. I then went down to the reception and asked if it would be possible to change rooms to one at the back of the hotel. The staff were again extremely polite and gave superb customer service. Without hesitation I was transferred to another room and my belongings were moved for me. The new room was much cooler, quieter and had a much better bed.

As for the location of the hotel, the castle is just opposite the hotel and the town is just across the road. There is easy access to the motorways for exploring the lake district and surrounding area. Unfortunately Lancaster city centre has a one-way system and if you miss the turning for the hotel it is a 5 minute drive round the centre back to the hotel. The car park to the hotel is poorly sign-posted and is just before the road that the hotel is on, it took three drives around the centre to park.

So overall if you don't mind leaving your car keys at the reception, and provided you don't end up with one of the few rooms at the front of the hotel over looking a busy junction this hotel offers a superb location with extremely friendly and helpful staff. Provided I could make sure of the location of my room I would not hesitate in staying here again.

  • Holiday details: Jul 2006, Bed & Breakfast, Booked Independently

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6 / 10
Room needs decorating, more space, otherwise lovely

"Very convenient to the train staion, Castle, and shopping area. Lovely, comfy common areas. Excellent breakfast in elegant dining room. Perfect service.

Single room, however, was the major failing. Very long and narrow, with high ceilings, the single bed was placed along the long wall with the head right next to the door to the corridor. Felt odd, but with the size and shape of the room, I don't know where else it could've gone. Paint was also old with peeling near the ceiling. That said, the bed was comfy, with nice linens. The bathroom was huge, lots of thick, fluffy towels, and plenty of shelves for toiletries, and hooks.

Not sure if the ancient elevator, with two, balky manual doors was a detraction or feature.

All said, good value for the money, which was modest.

  • Holiday details: Dec 2005

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6 / 10
Standard hotel

"Stayed at this hotel for one night only, and had very few problems.

Had to knock on the door to get in after 12, and the parking out the back was a horrendous jigsaw puzzle of cars (although we did get a space)!

Paid an extra 2.50 to have breakfast in the room - not to be recommended. It tasted of grease and not much else.

The hotel was very central though, and the price was reasonable. The decor is a bit tired, but the staff were very friendly.

  • Holiday details: Oct 2005

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6 / 10
Extensively Reburbished NOT!!

"We managed to get booked for bank holiday weekend at the Royal Kings Arms, strange when every where else was fully booked.

We arrived having had to ask directions to the car park which must be the worst car park in the world there are half a dozen spaces and you could get blocked in at any time as there is no space to move to get out of it.

We were firstly given room 213 which from walking up the stairs was directly above the function room we had just passed all decorated for a wedding, massive relief when we realised it was a non smoking room and we had asked for smoking Someone was soon up with another key for room 402. I wouldn't have thought there would be any spare rooms available. This was a much bigger room on the fourth floor and well away from the function room. The room it self was clean but I found the whole hotel a bit tatty and certainly not extensively refurbished the towel rail in our bathroom was hanging on to the wall barely.

We ordered breakfast in bed at an additional cost of £2.50 it came on time and the food was nice but items we asked for were not there and items we hadn't asked for were there.

We went out for a few drinks in Lancaster then headed back to the hotel where we found the Crypt open, out of curiosity we went in to see what all the fuss was about. LOUD MUSIC firstly, then when we opened the door we saw young lads without their tops on jumping up and down and bumping into each other. We walked back through reception to our room glad we were on the 4th floor. Apart from the wedding party and the lads in the crypt we hardly saw a sole in the time we stayed at the hotel considering it was bank holiday, I wonder why!!!

  • Holiday details: Sep 2005

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6 / 10
Standard city centre hotel

"A typical city-centre chain hotel. The building it-self is old and has been maintained to just keep it out the 'shabby' catagory. It won't win any interior design awards! However, the room was clean with fluffy towels, a decent shower and a comfy bed. The staff were coureous and helpful and the buffet breakfast provided of a quality you'd expect from a chain.

Be warned however, the basement of the hotel has been converted into the 'crypt bar/club' which on Friday and Saturday nights is a heavy metal / rock venue. Having checked in on Friday at 11pm the sounds from the club made conversation in the reception difficult. My room was on the 4th (top) floor and from there I couldn't hear the club at all. I'm not sure I'd have liked to have been on the 1st floor however!

Overall - a good value for money hotel in a great location for central Lancaster. I'd stay there again.

  • Holiday details: Aug 2005

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6 / 10
No problems

"This is perfectly adequate town centre hotel. Friendly helpful staff. The bedroom could do with some redecoration and refurbishment but was OK for our needs.

The buffet breakfast had a good choice of pastries and cooked items, although the serving staff need to WAKE UP!!!!

Only problem is the small car park. Returning late evening, it was full and we had to use a "pay and display" overnight.

I cannot comment on whether it was good value as we had free accommodation, due to a marketing promotion (thank you AOL) and only had to pay for breakfast

  • Holiday details: Jun 2005

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6 / 10

"We arrived late in the evening and were greeted with a smile and a room change due to confusion about two room numbers being on the check in card.

The room was cramped and the decor lacked something but adequate for our needs.

Unfortunately the weather was wild and blowing a gale, the room we were in was overlooking the car park and the wind howled around it all night disturbing our sleep.

In the morning the waitress was friendly and polite, the buffet could be presented with a little more care and the selection was not very wide. We did not try the cooked breakfast just the continental style. The tables were pleasantly laid out but i felt the cloths were unneccesary on such nice tables for 'breakfast'.

Our checkout was quick and efficient as my car keys were returned back to me. The car park was quiet during our stay but i am sure the car park can be a nightmare during busy periods.

Generally a pleasant stay even though we did not try the restaurant for a meal.

  • Holiday details: Jan 2005

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Swallow Royal Kings Arms Hotel is also called:

  • best western lancaster

Address: 75 Market Street, Lancaster LA1 1HP, United Kingdom