Fresh start for four star hotel

A 100-YEAR-OLD landmark sign is now hanging back in place over the oak beamed Swan Hotel in Lavenham.The 52-bedroom, four-star hotel's new general manager Amanda Mortimer's dedicated work and commitment has restored the Swan's reputation as the jewel in Lavenham's crown.

A 100-YEAR-OLD landmark sign is now hanging back in place over the oak beamed Swan Hotel in Lavenham.

The 52-bedroom, four-star hotel's new general manager Amanda Mortimer's dedicated work and commitment has restored the Swan's reputation as the jewel in Lavenham's crown.

Before Miss Mortimer's arrival the hotel had been criticised for letting its renowned high quality standards fall below par.

The historic sign was left dangling from the building for weeks after being hit by a lorry and the flowers in hanging baskets had drooped and died.


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Villagers also said its traditional warm welcome had vanished and that high bar prices were beyond them. Civic leaders also said the hotel had alienated itself by refusing to contribute or take part in village events.

But since Miss Mortimer's arrival two months ago the traditional high quality standards, which have enhanced the Swan's worldwide reputation and enticed guests like model Claudia Schiffer and designer Valentino, have returned.

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The hotel has spent £4,000 for a local blacksmith to put the landmark sign back on its perch and Miss Mortimer has ensured all the hanging baskets which line the entrance, are flourishing with a colourful array of flowers.

Little touches such as displaying fresh flowers around the hotel, putting all staff in uniform, introducing bone china tea sets and placing teddy bears in all the bedrooms has rekindled a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Improved lunchtime and evening and cocktail menus, which include produce from local traders, have been a success.

Miss Mortimer said: "I think the Swan is the Jewel in Lavenham's crown, if we are busy the whole village is busy. I don't think all the criticism is fair, but the hotel needed a female touch.

"I am pleased with what I have achieved so far and I am looking forward to taking the Swan on to the next level."

Although the establishment attracts guests from all over the world it is working hard to include the community in its progress. A tariff on bar prices will soon be introduced for local people from Monday to Thursday, and it

has pledged support to the village fete and joined the Lavenham Merchant Guild.

Parish chairman Lyn Gurling said: "The hotel has improved immensely which is great news for Lavenham. The welcoming atmosphere has returned and locals are proud of it once again."

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