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“good value but terrible PR” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Day Spa at Whittlebury Hall

The Day Spa at Whittlebury Hall
Whittlebury, Towcester NN12 8QH, England
44 (0) 1327 857857
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Ranked #8 of 12 Attractions in Towcester
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England
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“good value but terrible PR”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

I'm sure I've reviewed this before, but I've been so annoyed at the unhelpful way I was treated subsequently by Whittlebury that it's been eating away at me and I thought I'd have a look at other reviews.

Lo and behold, I'm not the only one!

As they were in financial difficulties a couple of years ago they had good offers, and I paid for my wife and daughter to have a day there with the Fire and Ice experience. They really enjoyed it, so much that I thought I'd take my wife back for her birthday. Again, a great day. I remember writing to the local paper - we live 10 minutes away - and praising the place, and as they were at the time in administration suggested that readers would get a good deal while helping secure the staff's future. I even looked at doing an overnight stay which was very reasonable compared with higher profile spas.

Anyway, seeing a competition to win a spa day my wife entered, and to our delight she won it. we read the email, and seeing no closing date, left it for a while. When we tried to book, the booking person bluntly told us the prize had expired and that was that. I looked at the email and there was everything set out nicely - congratulations etc, ending at the bottom with the digitised signature of the writer. Only when I looked at the right side of the email did I see that the signature was not the end of the message and that I could scroll down. Scrolling down of course showed me a closing date which - yes - had passed, though not by much. I'd have thought they might have shown a degree of sympathy. Not a bit of it. Not interested.

Of course I had no appeal, but I still think what awful PR and marketing. From praising the place to my friends I now down it; I would have paid to return myself, but won't now.

I had decided to publish this just to warn potential users that while we had two good experiences, people should be very careful to check the small print in anything they book with Whittlebury as you shouldn't expect any leeway whatsoever.

Visited March 2012
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English first
East Sussex
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Not relaxing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

My sister and I had booked into Whittlebury Hall Day Spa for a relaxing day, unfortunately the day started off badly. We had too wait for over 10 minutes to be received in the cafe, on our previous visit we had gone to the Day Spa reception. It was disorganised and we were treated like cattle. We were sent to changing rooms by the cafe, which meant we had to walk through the cafe into a cold corridor then via the Spa reception to get to the spa facilities. The spa was far too busy with over 30 people in the hydro pool alone, and the other areas such as the sauna and ice rooms packed. In the end we spent just 20 minutes in the spa as it was so crowded and not relaxing at all. The timing of the treatments weren't great with my sister and I having them at different times so we didn't spend much time together. The queue at lunch was horrendous, we queued in the hallway which led to the exit, it was freezing with just our dressing gowns and flip flops on. On the note of flip flops, Whittlebury no longer provide customers with footwear for the day, unless you want to pay £5 for the privilege. On the plus side the treatments upstairs were excellent and the service was good, but again not many places to sit quietly as there were far too many people booked in. I have been to Whittlebury a couple of years previously and enjoyed it far better then, when I felt it was special. I will not be coming back as I have been to other spas where the service is so much better, it seems that the new Whittlebury management is far more interested in getting numbers through the door than providing an overall good experience.

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Hertfordshire
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12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Over booked, crowded and poor customer service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We had a girls day out at the Spa at Whittlebury Hall and really didn't enjoy the day.

They had clearly massively overbooked the Spa....

1) we were directed to the mens locker rooms (coverted to Womens for the day). Not a major problem but all spa access is via the locker rooms and as we had Mens gym "keys", we had to get other people to unlock the womens door to get to the spa /toilets. Every time until they eventually left them unlocked by the afternoon.
2) Once we got into the water area - jacuzzi, saunas etc it sounded like the public baths on a weekend. The noise was horrific. We discovered that this was because people were basically queuing and waiting to get into each room. It was like sardines. Relaxing it was not. Each room was rammed and because it was so busy the areas outside were busy as well. We gave up..
3) we had to queue for the ladies toilets!
4) Lunch was carnage. We had to queue to get in. The waiters looked on in horror as they tried to seat us all, dragging tables together and attempting to lay up. The quality of the food also left a fair amount to be desired. It was rather "school dinners" in the cooked section although the salads were OK.
5) At various points during the day we were told they had run out of towelling robes, jugs and smoothies. We had to beg for new robes when ours got wet/

When we complained to a manager (Jody) she was entirely unsympathetic, saying that the pool area would be less busy in the afternoon (no help to us as we had treatments all PM) and they they didn't book any more than "health and safety allowed". Then, rather failing to grasp the point, she said "and people are still arriving". Yeah, yeah they are, it's like Piccadilly circus.

Who the hell bases customer experience on health and safety guidelines? It's not a cinema! They clearly didn't care what the experience was as long as they got the money.

Unless you are going through the week, I would skip it.

On the plus side, despite being under a lot of time pressure, the therapists were brilliant as were the treatments.

Would I go back? based on their customer service? No, not a chance. I'll go to Champneys where they understand that a Spa day is about relaxation, calm and quiet not playing sardines in a sauna......

Utterly dreadful customer service.

Visited February 2013
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Gift vouchers”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

I was given a Whittlebury Hall gift voucher 18 months ago and today tried to make a booking for a day spa package. I wanted to arrange a slow relaxing day of pampering and was told I could not use my voucher as it had expired. The staff member could tell it had not been used and even though I was prepared to add whatever amount was necessary to cover my costs, Whittlebury could only keep reiterating that the voucher was no longer valid as in "the computer says no". I will take this further in the New Year but am disgusted by a very arrogant attitude to customer service.

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Ilford, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Weekend at Whittlebury Spa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

We have been going very regularly at Whittlebury for Spa and stay over night. The treatment facilities are excellent. Dinner is also very good and also breakfast. There are a lot of varities one can select from. The staff is very good and also very helpful.

Room Tip: All rooms are very nice due to the location of this hotel.
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