Hotel Review: Swan Bed and Breakfast, London – Stylish Affordable Suburban Wonder
Where in London will you find a well appointed, private, stylish room for to two just shy of 100 Euro? Impossible?
It’s not impossible. Let me tell you. There is the Swan Bed and Breakfast. Since very few people are reading here and this blog remains a fine little read niche blog, it’s okay to tell, I guess. You have to make a little trek to the suburbs, but thanks to the Elizabeth Line (new purple express train) you will be in central London in 20 minutes, and that’s door-to-door, if you time it right.
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The Swan Bed and Breakfast is in a beautiful Georgian period detached house with a beautiful well-tended sizeable garden. While this might look like you are in the countryside, you are actually just 20minutes away from central London by train.
It is run and managed by its friendly owner and is a small operation, with just a handful of rooms in the beautiful Georgian house. A lot is original and lovingly restored – or sympathetically replaced, from the beautiful wooden sash windows to tasteful period furniture. There is a nice sitting room in the ground floor next to a kitchen and bathroom. It really does feel like someone’s home rather than a Bed and Breakfast.
And what’s more, despite all the lovely period detail, this accommodation manages to be modern and environmentally friendly as well. There is good double glazing – despite the high summer temperatures, the house including my bedroom stayed nice and cool. Bathroom appliances are modern and water saving.
Location of the Swan Bed and Breakfast
The Swan Bed and Breakfast is located in West Drayton. Never heard of it? Well, it is still part of London, but well out in the suburbs, the western borough of Hillingdon, just before the M25 Outer London Ring Road.
Yes, that’s far out, but wait! The new Crossrail train connection means it is just 30 minutes away from Central London – about 20 minutes from Paddington, and 25 minutes from Liverpool Street, all for a modest less-than-5 Euro London Transport Fare.
The Elizabeth Line is now operational all the way across London and while it’s a glorified underground train, carriages are actually quite nice and even have air condition. Trains run every 10-20 minutes. West Drayton is the last stop in the London Fare Zone A couple of stops further out, fares quickly add up as soon as you leave the London Transport Zone. Coming from and going to London Heathrow Airport, you don’t have it far either. London Heathrow Airport is about 3km to the South making this an excellent choice for those arriving at London-Heathrow.
Don’t expect Touristic London amenities in West Drayton, though. It is a pleasant enough suburb, with mostly older terraced houses and some new low-rise apartment blocks, all very green and quite pleasant. There are some food shops and food outlets in its High Street, but for restaurants you are probably better off in Central London, or in Southall (Northern Indian food) or in bustling Ealing.
It is super quiet, even so close to Heathrow Airport, and it isn’t in the Heathrow flight path.
I booked my room t the Swan Bed and Breakfast twelve hours before checking in, shortly before boarding my flight to London. Honestly, this is not the style I usually travel, normally booking quite well in advance. But the prices in mid-July holiday season were so crazy, I hadn’t found anything half decent and was a bit at a loss as to what to do.
Also, we were in the middle of a heat wave! I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised by my room. It was nice and cool, and decorated really nicely. In a way, it reminded me a little bit of the out-of-town suburban guesthouses I stayed when I first visited London, just with the right amount of whimsical style… Everything was super clean, the bed linen was nice, the mattress comfy. There were loads of magazines and a plate of fruit waiting for me.
There was a shared bathroom just across the corridor. It was modern and super clean.
Everything was thought through, from the matching soft furnishings to a really nice reading area.
Are there better rooms?
Probably, since I got the last one on that particular weekend, meaning I had to share the bathroom (super clean though). I had a single room. This single which had more than ample room, with armchairs and coffee table. The rooms on the first floor have all en suite facilities, while some of the rooms on the ground floor share a bathroom.
Facilities and Special Treats at the Swan Bed and Breakfast
I was travelling to attend a friends and family gathering, which involved drinks in an Ealing pub which led to an Indian Restaurant meal and chat until late, so I arrived rather late… begging the owner to hold the room. When I rolled in shortly before midnight, I was surprised to find him still awake, cheerfully checking me in and offering drinks!
Same in the morning – the rate was without breakfast, but the owner, apparently having time on his hands, gave me coffee and bisquits and we ended up sitting in the garden and chatting for an hour. He is full of local and travelling knowledge, and it was a great pleasure to meet him.
The garden is a really wonderful place to rest in as well, and guests are free to use it.
When I stayed, the rate didn’t include breakfast – and breakfast was not on offer at the time, despite the place being called “Swan Bed and Breakfast”. I was served plenty of hot drinks and bisquits, though! I am unsure whether breakfast is available on request, But worry not, round the corner on the High Street is a breakfast cafe called “The Griddle Diner” that is open daily and will serve the finest hot English breakfast.
Alternative Accommodation nearby
West Drayton isn’t a place that comes to mind when you look for London accommodation, despite being so handy for Heathrow. Now with the Elizabeth Line being operational, several flats appear on booking sites. But honestly? None looked appealing. So, that to do if Swan Bed and Breakfast is fully booked?
So… moving further towards Central London on the Elizabeth Line, I really recommend Ealing and West Ealing. Well, I lived there many years ago. It’s the best of Suburbia! Consider the Drayton Court Hotel, a four-star small hotel opposite West Ealing Station. Ealing Broadway has its fair share of chain hotels and restaurants. Hotel Xanadu is an independent modern hotel overlooking a park and about 5-7 minutes walk from Ealing Broadway Station. Expect to pay about 150 Euro per room per night in these stylish hotels.
My favourite in the area is Hotel 55. It is practically next to the London Underground Station on one and the North Circular Ring Road on the other side, and a 10-minute walk to Ealing Broadway. Rooms are small but beautiful, and it also has one of the best Japanese restaurants – this is an area where many Japanese live. If you book early enough, you pay just 100-120 Euro per double room per night which for London, is really good. And with all these options, you are in a nice and safe area with plenty of dining options and easy access to central London.
Getting to and from West Drayton
This couldn’t be easier.
Most will take public transport – it’s a swift ride on the Elizabeth Line to West Drayton, then 5 minutes on foot down the High Street.
Coming by car, take Exit 4 on the M4 motorway; it’s about 2kilometres from the M4 towards West Drayton. It’s the same exit as for Heathrow Airport but go North instead of South once off motorway.
Hotel Details in a nutshell
I used Booking.com to reserve and pay for this stay. In fact, I use them for all my hotel stays if using a booking site. Its fast and easy. I can pay in my home currency and make changes to my booking easily.
How much? Expect to pay between 80 and 130 Euro for a double room.
Full Details: 1 Swan Road, West Drayton, London UB7 7JY, Telephone +44 (0)1895 347 310. The location is sometimes given as Heathrow, although the location is definitely a lot closer to West Drayton Station.
Nearest Airport: London Heathrow is the nearest airport. Bus 350 takes you from the guesthouse to Terminal 5 in 15 minutes, or you can use the Elizabeth Line (change once). Bus U2 and U3 will take you to Terminal 2 and 3
Nearest Local Transport: Bus stop is about 100 metres from the Bed and Breakfast, the train station is 5min walk away and has regular connections on the new Elizabeth Line every 10-20 minutes into Central London. It only takes about 20 minutes to Paddington.
Features: Period property, large garden, outside space, super friendly owner/manager, comfortable cosy rooms
Doesn’t have: elevator, pool, culinary excitement
The Small Print
I stayed at The Swan Bed and Breakfast in July 2022 and paid 100GBP for a single room. This was a rather spontaneous trip at the height of the summer travel season – when a Travelodge or Premier Inn in Ealing at the same time charged 200GBP per night. You can find what I did with the rest of the short London weekend here. I wasn’t asked for review, and this post reflects my unbiased opinion. This post contains affiliate links to Booking.com. This means I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you book any hotel through them.