Visited May 2011
Posted 5 years ago
Good points - staff very attentive, nice environment, relaxing atmosphere, one very good therapist.
Bad points - only mixed leaves instead of salad with lunch and no crisps as stated on menu, double room booked for treatments, were put in seperate rooms. Something noisy kept being rolled past treatment room outside the window which made it difficult to relax. one therapist seemed to rush - I had approximately 1 hour of treatment time (should have been 1 hour 20 mins)
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My friend and I booked a pampering spa day here just before Christmas through this site, £99 for two people including refreshments with a choice of treatments. I had recently had my nails done so asked for a pedicure rather than the fixed manicure, which was agreed. On arrival, we were asked to sit in the reception area of the health centre to complete forms by a rather sullen grumpy receptionist/therapist. After completion, our forms were collected and we sat and waited for somone to explain to us what the procedure for the day was, nobody came to us to explain how the day would run. This was all initially very disappointing as we were there to relax and forget about everything, so a nice cheerful receptionist/therapist would have been a great greeting for us rather than being looked at as if we had just crawled from beneath a stone,and to then not have to think about sorting our own day out and to not have to ask questions to the staff to get some direction as this was our first spa day, we were waiting for someone to take charge of us for the day as the whole point of the day was to relax and be pampered. We were offered a coffee or refreshment in the first 30 minutes or so and we then took it upon ourselves to get changed into the robes provided for us in the changing rooms and had a key for our own lockers. The changing room was a communal room with one privacy room and other members were in the communal room. Feeling a little shy, I tried to go into the privacy room to get changed but it was locked when a club member asked me what I thought I was doing and to not bother with the privacy room as everyone 'just gets changed in here together', blush, I had been told!! Another lovely therapist, not the same as the first one, discussed with us before we went to change what treatments we would like and at what time, at last!!
We changed into robes but unfortunately we were not provided with any slippers to wear, which again was disappointing, my friend who had booked the treat had read this and brought his own slippers but forgot to tell me, however I think this should have been provided. So I had to walk barefoot for the day. We then had a swim in the large pool, which was lovely and quiet, the pool was just a touch chilly, we also used the jacuzzi which had no instructions or obvious switches to turn the jets on so we fumbled around, we used the steam room which was great, but the sauna and pool side shower were both out of order.... We were happy to say hello to the clubs members and be friendly, but we met one lady who wanted to interrogate us on where we were from, why we had chosen the hotel, didn't we have facilities where we lived, how much had we paid....... the list goes on, we tried to keep things brief as we were trying to RELAX but she followed us from the swimming pool, to the steam room then on to the Jacuzzi, it was hard to shake her off as she just wanted to talk and interrogate, not the hotels fault of course.
Manicure was apparently great for my friend, pedicure for me was good except I did not get my nails polished afterwards, just a small finishing touch. in between using the pool and having treatments we sat in the comfortable foyer area, but as we were the only ones in towels we did feel a little silly when other people also sat there fully clothed. We could have used the gym but I wasn't aware prior to the day so we didn't have our gym clothes with us, it looked quite good though.
Nobody took charge of the day and we just drifted through it. Then the massage time which I had been looking forward to, I was praying I would get the sweet therapist, but oh no I got the one who 'greeted' us on reception and my friend got the nice one :-( . She didn't seem so bad though once I tried to strike a conversation with her. I thought we could choose which products we wanted from a choice of two on the list which were for different requirements, but we did not get a choice. The Hot stones were fantastic, loved it, massage good, pressure was applied but not too much, overall I enjoyed this, the only thing I would ask is they get some decent tape or DVD music, they had the same single track playing over and over again, so it would come to an end clunk small delay and then start again repeating the whole exercise, this was not the best for trying to relax listening to calming music that soon became irritating and annoying and the clunks and silence before it started again did not help with even attempting to drift off., the therapy room was nice though and it was lovely and warm in there, my treatment seemed to finish 10 minutes before my friends so I didn't even get the full time allocated. I then asked to pay extra for a eyebrow tint ready for Xmas and for my eyebrows which were thin to be shaped, I signed a disclaimer as I had not had a patch test which I asked to do as they had refused to do the tint initially. Oh dear, not a good move as my eyebrows were not shaped at all really, in fact I do a better job at home and there was lots of small hairs left untouched and clearly visible which was not good, the dye made them look even worse as this was not applied to look flattering, different shapes and well just mess really, so that was a big waste of money.
Then back to reception for a coffee, again this was not the best place but there was nowhere else, there were by now quite a lot of people fully dressed and we were the only ones in dressing gowns and our face and hair was coated in oil from the massage, so we got quite a few funny looks and stares, oh well.
We paid for our own lunch as it wasn't included, although it was a spa day, we were naughty and had sandwiches with a cheeky side portion of chips, the food was really nice and we weren't waiting for long, sadly refreshments did not extend to champagne, though I did ask......
A mixed day for us, I got the impression they weren't used to having spa days and didn't really know how to go about organising us and briefing us on the day and how it would run, some great points but sadly quite a lot of not so great points, all in all for what we paid, we couldn't grumble too much, we were adamant we would enjoy it no matter what and it was great to have some kind of an indulgent day off from the pre Christmas madness.
Another real positive, the opposite to our surly welcome, towards the end of our day a dishy male PT arrived behind reception and we had several nice smiles from him and a lovely smile as we left, so it repaired quite a lot of not so great things about the day and made it all worthwhile :-) Might even go back now.
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