Hotel Reviews - UK

The Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley: Location, location, location

The Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley prides itself on many things: its award-winning food, comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and family-friendly approach. It’s true that it ticks all of these boxes, but the biggest and most obvious box that gets a huge, bold tick is location. Put simply, the hotel overlooks the main market square in Helmsley.


From our bedroom window, we could watch the hustle and bustle of a Friday afternoon and early evening, and the early morning comings and goings of a typical Saturday. It goes without saying that you hardly have to break stride before you’re on the doorstep of the gorgeous Helmsley delis and cute little shops dotted around, and you’re a mere hop from attractions such as the National Centre for Birds of Prey and the Walled Garden.

So, location sorted, let’s look at the other boxes ticked by The Black Swan. We’ll cover the food offered in the evenings in the Gallery restaurant in a separate post. Needless to say it’s impressive, and the quality carries through to breakfast. Highlights include the smoked salmon with scrambled egg, and the freshly baked croissants from the continental buffet table. All served with fresh, steaming hot coffee, breakfast at The Black Swan is a mixture of hearty and good quality.

As for comfortable rooms, our room was huge and very, very comfortable. The bed was one of those lovely big hotel room beds with crisp, fresh white sheets that you can just sink into and shut your eyes. Our little girl slept very well in the room. There was a separate part of the room between the bedroom and bathroom where we set up her travel cot and she slept very soundly there.

Little touches were dotted around the room, most notably the addition of a snuggly teddy bear, on loan for the night for our little girl. He was on sale (or, as The Black Swan cleverly put it, looking for his permanent home) but we were content with our little girl making just a temporary friend!

The bathroom wasn’t the shiniest or most modern but it did what it needed to do, and the complimentary Molton Brown toiletries went down a treat. Our little girl road-tested the bath and had no complaints! A thumbs-up as well for the bath robes; they were soft, oversized as good bath robes are, and perfect for lounging around in the morning.

Moving on to the friendly nature of the staff. For us, this was clearest in the restaurant. The waiting staff were so lovely to our little girl, even when she decided to redecorate the white tablecloth with marie rose sauce. The staff on hand at dinner and at breakfast were equally approachable and helpful and we can’t praise them enough.

Finally, family-friendly. The tick in the box for The Black Swan here is partly to do with the little touches mentioned earlier such as the teddy bear waiting on the bed for our little girl to find. Those little touches carry through for older children as well, with the provision of kid-friendly DVDs and a DVD player in the room, and a fantastic children’s menu in the Gallery restaurant.

The Black Swan is not the cheapest option in Helmsley or this part of North Yorkshire, but it has a whole lot going for it. And if it’s location you’re after, you can’t beat it.

For more insight into our stay and loads more pics, check out our vlog review!

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