The Bannatyne Spa Chafford Hundred

Howard Road, Chafford Hundred, Essex, RM16 6YJ - Part of Bannatyne Spa

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My daughters and I treat ourselves to spa days regularly and this venue is the worst we have ever attended. The spa manager and reception staff must be the most disorganised staff ever and had little regard for their clients. As our original visit was an unmitigated disaster through their inefficiency and errors, after complaining we were allowed to revisit and use the facilities again. While we did not receive the treatments originally booked we were given a mini back, shoulder and neck massage. The second visit was much better than the first and we were able to do spin/pilates classes and use the gym, pool, steam room etc. The instructors were great. We didn't make the mistake of using the cafe the second time as on the first occasion when we ordered the cream tea for four we said we didn't like tuna but they gave us double the quantity of tuna sandwiches! The second time we had a very nice lunch in a pub opposite. My therapist was very good. I personally wouldn't recommend this venue as the reception experience is so poor that it ruins the entire day. I felt so angry. Even on the second occasion when we said we had been offered spa bags it took them 10 minutes to check! Do they think we are all liars trying to fiddle the use of a robe? There aren't even any towels in them. Incidentally the cleaner didn't stop working while we were there, so hats off to her!
My sister and I came here for a spa day last week and I can honestly say it was THE WORST spa experience I have ever had! We have been to this venue several times before and have never had any real major issues. We had both booked a day off from work and had intended to spend a much needed relaxing day together, using the facilities and having a few treatments each. We booked in for a spa experience via Red Letter Day and both also made bookings for additional treatments, which we paid for in advance online through Treatwell. The total cost of this was almost £150, including the price of 2 spa bags. We arrived early at the venue so that we could make use of the facilities beforehand however, due to an error with their computer booking system, although they could see our bookings on the screen, they would not allow us in to the venue, as they said we had not paid. We had proof of payment on our Apps on our phones, which we showed them, along with text messages we'd both received and we were also able to supply the venue with our confirmation emails from Treatwell. Unfortunately, this was not enough for Bannatynes, who kept insisting that we had not paid and refused to let us in to the venue. One member of staff even suggested we were lying, as they had never heard of a company called Treatwell, as she'd apparently only processed a Wahanda booking the previous day! We informed Bannatynes that Treatwell is the new name for Wahanda & even showed them an email we'd received from Treatwell over a month ago, that explained the change of name. The whole payment saga went on for several hours, whilst we were left in the seating area, wondering what was happening. Eventually we met with the spa manager, who informed us she was still having trouble getting the funds from Treatwell, but said that we could have the treatments we'd booked in for via the Red Letter Day spa experience as she had the voucher code for that, but was still undecided on the other bookings; still maintaining that we hadn't paid. We even offered proof of payment as per our online banking and finally, the spa manager, albeit very reluctantly, agreed that we could have all of the treatments we'd paid for. Sadly our bad experience was not only down to the booking system/ payment saga as I was seen by a therapist who clearly had issues with the fact that I have epilepsy. I had completed the medical questionnaire on arrival and have been to this venue several times before and had never experienced any issues with regards to my medical condition, which I have always noted on their form. I had also even been bothered to read Bannatynes policy on epilepsy, prior to my visit, so knew that I was ok to have my treatments. The therapist made a huge issue over my epilepsy, and asked whether I had brought a doctors note. I explained that was not necessary, as my epilepsy has been well controlled with medication for several years. I also said that I had been here several times before and it had never caused any issues. The therapist went on for several minutes about how this was a new policy and that, without a doctors note, she was not happy to proceed with the massage, unless I was willing to sign some of her own handwritten notes on my medical questionnaire form. I said that wouldn't be necessary, as I had already noted my condition and medication on there & also signed it. She then left the room to speak to someone else about it, but by this time, I was in tears, as my "relaxing day" had turned into a complete disaster, before I'd even had any treatments and, given that I was laying on a bed half naked under a blanket, I was left feeling very vulnerable, stressed and humiliated. She returned a few minutes later and said that she was not happy to complete the massage and that I would be reimbursed! I was then kead out to the waiting area again and approached by a different therapist who said I shouldn't have been in for the massage as I hadn't paid. I tried again to explain things to this therapist, whose response was that I couldn't have my facial now, as I was out of time!!!! This was explained to the manager, who did apologise and made arrangements for an alternative therapist to carry out the treatments. I had also booked in for a gel polish on my toes, but sadly the product they used was very poor quality and started to chip after 2 days! Very disappointing, especially as polish usually lasts a lot better on toes than hands, as we do not use our feet as much as we do our hands and nor are they exposed at this time of year, to suffer knocks in the same way our hands are. Our overall experience on this day, was DREADFUL, which is why I have only scored 1star. For a venue that boasts a "haven of tranquility, in which to relax and unwind...", it is quite clear that this spa is very busy and the staff here operate like robots; processing one treatment after another after another. The staff could do with a lot more training in customer service and, in my opinion, should not be working in a customer care orientated role, if they do not appreciate that they need to maintain customer satisfaction, whilst they address the issues of their poor booking system separately. The seating area within the spa is very tired looking and they could do also do with replacing the couches. Elsewhere in the venue, I found the same with the seating in the café; tired and desperately in need of replacing. I don't rate this as good value for money because we spent almost £150 on our "not so relaxing" spa treatments and left there feeing more stressed than when we had arrived! As mentioned previously, I don't think the gel nail polish used was of the same high quality I'm used to, and I normally pay less than this for a better quality, longer lasting product. I can't comment on the facilities, as we did not get the opportunity to use them, because we were instead made to wait around for several hours, doing nothing but getting cold in a spa robe, whilst they all took it in turns to apparently try and sort out the issues with their booking system. As a result of this AWFUL experience, we will NOT be returning to this venue again and will definitely be looking in to alternative venues for our future relaxing spa days.
The whole experience from start to finish was absolutely AWFUL. Without a doubt it was the WORST spa experience in my whole life. Rude, inconsiderate, unwelcoming staff. I do not recommend this place to anyone. AVOID AT ALL COST!
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The Bannatyne Spa Chafford Hundred
Howard Road
Chafford Hundred
RM16 6YJ

Come and meet your Spa team who are ready and waiting to discuss your treatment and product requirements!

We invite you to melt into a haven of tranquillity, a retreat in which to relax, unwind and begin the journey towards total wellbeing. The Bannatyne Spa Chafford Hundred in partnership with Elemis offers both men and women beauty therapies and spa rituals with uplifting outcomes.

Relax the mind, soothe the soul and lift the spirit.

Our team will help you escape, rejuvenate and harmonise body and soul, to cleanse you of everyday stresses and strains.

On entering our therapy rooms you will experience elements of warmth, candlelight, soothing music and delicate fragrances that conspire to create a sensual tranquillity. Our spa and beauty treatments will relax you and refresh your whole inner being. We offer spa day guests robes and slippers to enhance your spa experience and you can enjoy use of our great relaxation room both before and after your spa and beauty treatments.

We are a great location for a spa and pamper day as we are located close to the Lakeside Shopping Centre so that you can you experience some retail therapy as well as beauty therapy!

We look forward to seeing you soon!