I read so many amazing reviews abut the hotel & the Spa so it was fitting that i got my friend a baby shower voucher a couple of months ago and decided to join her this past weekend and also stay overnight. From the moment we arrived, it was all a big disappointment. With high hopes we pulled up the lovely circular courtyard and were told my the bellboy who was loading someones car that he will "be right back"- after watching him pack the car and then drive it off, we waited a good 5-10 mins before we hauled our own luggage and just left to the car to go check in- we never saw the bellboy again. I had roughly 30 mins before I was due at the Spa so thought i would have a tea on the terrace. It took 20mins for the tea and my husbands drink to come by which time it was too late for me to have it and had to dash off to the Spa - this was the first of many service let downs throughout our stay. I was left wondering how could it take 20mins to bring 2 drinks at 1130am where the terrace was not busy at all? My next stop was the Spa where I thought i was going to be basking in luxurious high-end treatments. Upon arrival, I was guided to a waiting room where i was told to fill out a card and just wait but i could help myself to some lemon water in plastic cups. There was no explanation of what was to come. When i did meet with the therapist she was not impressed that i changed my massage treatment to something longer and had to check at the front desk that it was right while I just stood to the side- she could have said something along the lines of "I'm sorry I don't have your amended treatment on my card but if you wait right here (or could have taken me to treatment room) I will just double check some information". The blissful treatment that I was waiting for then turned out to be what I like to call "basting" - where literally someone just rubs oil all over you like you're a piece of chicken about to be roasted. Moving on to the Essential Manicure, it was basically a file & polish with cream rubbed on the cuticles which were then slightly pushed with a vibrating plastic machine. I asked the therapist if she was going to cut away the cuticles and she said no but she could do I wanted to - I'm sorry but if a nail technician does not know the basics of a manicure then there is no point of continuing with any of my requests. Four days later, the manicure is basically cracking and chipping off- I've had better mini-manicures in London at the most basic day spas where taking off cuticles and shaping the nail beds is essential to any over 30minute manicure. The technician looked like she barely knew anything about nails except to change the polish so here I am back in London, and needing to go and get a proper manicure. After the spa we decided to have cream tea by the pool where again service was an issue- warm tea, no plates, etc. You can imagine any kind of eating experience is ruined when it does not come together properly or where key elements are missing. Aside from the outstanding sommelier, the heavenly beds, and the tasting menu at Vetiver, everything else was definitely not reminiscent of a 5 star hotel or an award-winning spa retreat. We were reminded of that on Sunday morning when during breakfast it took 10 minutes for the coffee to come, the toast came 5 minutes after the eggs arrived leaving them cold, there were no napkins, and no butter- a complete disaster when you see service staff just standing around or walking by casually. The last straw was again when we went to check out and there were items on the bill in error but we had to wait to explain that to the woman who upon checking us out as she decided to take a telephone call and sort out someone else's issue- of course there were 3 other staff members sitting at the desks doing their own thing. I know I've mentioned alot of detail but when you're trying to have a lovely spa weekend you want it to be outstanding- especially when the total cost for for one night with treatements and dinner etc was close to £1000. - This spa has nothing on The Grove or Cowley Manor.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.