We've been guests to the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh several times and always thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the dining experience in the Galvin Brasserie. We've never visited the spa though . I decided to treat my boyfriend and I to a Guerlain spa deal for two (using the Wahanda voucher). We were really looking forward especially as my boyfriend had flown in from abroad to enjoy the experience together and our expectations were very high, given the Waldorf is considered a 5 star hotel and that our experience from the previous visits was very positive.
It is fair to say that from the moment we approached the spa (which can only be accessed from the back of the hotel unless you are a hotel guest, via the car park, passing by a skip) the perception was less than promising and off-putting. The lady at the reception was not particularly friendly and we both got the feeling we were treated as 'second class customers' because the booking was via Wahanda. The receptionist cared seemed focused on the voucher rather than us. No polite conversation, no welcome, no introductions on what our experience would involve and how we could maximise the facilities and 'Luxury' products. Nothing. We were escorted to the changing rooms with little or no detail of where the respective rooms were and simply told return 5 minutes before our treatment. She just handed us the robes on the hangers and off she went. It was our first time at this spa so we weren't sure where to go, where the lockers are etc. we had to figure it all out ourselves. We had 1.5 h to before the massages so decided to use the pool / steam rooms first. The pool was a big disappointment, quite small and very basic. Only 3 loungers to use as well. I must say that it looked like a regular pool, nothing 5 star about it at all. No character, no flowers, no pictures, nothing, quite bland and dated.There were a few cracks in the tiles, the tiles themselves were very slippery and dangerous to walk on. The water in the pool was also very cold. There were no pool staff around which meant nothing was cleaned. There were used towels on the floor...again - just not 5 star at all. We went downstairs to the steam room and it wasn't good either. First of all, the sitting area has a metal strip which was so hot that it burned our legs when we sat down, we had to sit on a towel in the room. It is very dangerous - never seen metal used in any steam rooms we've been to. The temperature in the steam room was also too high. It was so hot that we only lasted a minute. Not enjoyable at all. What's more, the water used to make the steam had chlorine in it so it really hurt our eyes. This was quite disturbing and unexpected. We left the steam room and the only water available was room temperature. No chilled water on offer.The only chilled water was located in a fridge within the gym, not great for those in wet bathing suits. Pretty poor. Then we went to the 'relaxation room' which can only be described as a 'waiting room' with some apples , dried banana, a few peanuts, it was certainly not relaxing. So already our expectations for a wonderful spa experience were dashed. Hoping the treatment would improve the disappointment we arrived at the reception area 5 minutes before the massages. Not the best place to wait, as there are people coming in and out all the time from the outside, having guests sitting waiting wearing robes is certainly not private and sensitively handled. We were greeted by a massage therapist who was abrupt and who appeared put off by the fact my partner had suggested the purpose of his visit was to 'have fun'. She couldn't appreciate how this could complement the spa experience. Needless to say my partner was offended by this lack of respect and was therefore not looking forward to the next hour. After being shown some perfumes we asked whether whether the dual massage experience was ok to take place. The response was far from positive. However, this was accommodated eventually. We waited a further 5 minutes and were then taken through to have a foot massage which was ok and then taken through to the massage room. We were then asked to relax and await our treatment. We asked for a medium strength massage although once again my partner considered the force used was over and above that of a relaxing treatment. Even to the point of asking the therapist to stop as the pressure was excessive. This occurred on two separate occasions. Once the treatments were finished, we then took some time back at the pool to reflect on a disappointing session. Looking forward to taking a shower and leaving the facilities as soon as possible. However once again the disappointment was further compounded with untidy changing facilities, a floor surface which what can be described only as dangerous, even the mail gym attendant agreed this was the case as he wiped the flow with a towel and using his foot to do this.
The products which were less than of quality expected with combined hair & body shower gel adds little value and is not what would be expected of this level of a hotel... Overall the experience was hugely disappointing, certainly not value for money. Less than the expected 5 star Waldorf experience...and to carry the name of Guerlain spa in order to promote this sub-standard health club is not just shocking but embarrassing... it does not do the name of Waldorf Astoria or Guerlain any credit whatsoever. We would not recommend this to any of our friends or colleagues as a recommendation would be unjustifiable and dishonest, given there are better options in Edinburgh, the Balmoral, Apex and even the McDonald at Holyrood which offer value for money and ,in our opinion, greater satisfaction. To want to leave a Spa having spent £260, is a massive disappointment and our feedback is honest constructive and aimed to help others decide how to spend their hard earned money.