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“Spa in hell”

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Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel
Ranked #20 of 34 Hotels in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2007

It is only 2 months on, that I can bring myself to write about this hotel. I have never written a review of a place in my life before, but I feel obliged to warn others. It is unlike a hotel that I have ever experienced. Even if it had only cost a fraction of the price, I would still be appalled at the service levels - but at £300 it defies belief

The spa resembles a council leisure centre, while the hotels service would be quicker if I had gone to the vineyards in France myself.

Unlike other reviewers, we had booked spa treatments prior to arrival, but they cancelled some, rearranged others, and even booked new ones that we'd never ordered

We walked into the spa (with our luggage as they hadn't our rooms ready, nor anywhere to store our luggage ...) to be greeted with 3 different hen parties, and so many people that there weren't even a locker to share between us - hardly the relaxing start you'd expect.
To spend time between the now rearranged treatments (to times inconvenient to us, but presumably to fit these hen parties in), we tried to use the pool - but were greeted with screaming children running riot.
And so we resigned ourselves to some drinks in the garden bar area - never in my life have I waited so long to be served a £12 glass of wine (ludicrous given that after 25 minutes waiting we actually went up to the staff standing around, and asked could we be served) - and there were only 2 other couples in the area (both of which left due to serving times)

I can not describe the appalling service that we received, but when offered a complimentary upgrade on our next visit you can imagine my feelings. - I just couldn't believe that even for one minute that they'd consider us visiting again

Do not visit this hotel

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Londonluxury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,363 - 4,369 of 4,478 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2007

Had a one night stay here & also one night at the Royal crescent, and this hotel is so much better. The rooms are spacious and have everything you need-soap, iron & board, hospitality tray(had to ask for these at the crescent).The rooms are well furnished, very clean & decor up to date. The swimming pool,outdoor spa pool, changing rooms, showers are superb. Staff are helpful & can't do enough for you. Had afternoon tea with scones & a great cappucino.
Rang the hotel direct & got a cheaper price than advertised on the macdonald telephony centre. You can also get cheaper deals if you look on the macdonald website & at each individual hotels special offers.
Ten to 15 minute walk to the centre of Bath. Only one problem-the restaurant menu was ok but could be improved & you have to pay a supplement of £6 per person for english breakfast which at £175.00 per night should be included in the price of the accommodation.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank debgeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

My boyfriend booked this hotel as my birthday treat. He called the hotel and booked the room and enquired about the spa. When we arrived, very excited about our overnight stay and getting some pampering, we entered what looked like a very luxurious hotel. As another reviewer mentioned there was a strange atmosphere. Rather than walking in and instantly feeling relaxed, I felt mildly uncomfortable. We were slightly early for booking in and told to wait in reception or the bar, they said that they would come and get us when the room was ready. We enquired about the spa and they told us we would have to go there ourselves. Noone offered to help us with our luggage. So we thought we would go and check out the spa and maybe book some treatments. We lugged our bags to the spa only to be told that treatments get booked up 2 weeks in advance. No one mentioned this when we booked! So the whole point of our stay was over in one fell swoop. No apology.

We went back to reception to wait for our room but ended up going up to the desk to ask because they weren't going to come to us. When we asked, the room was ready and we went up.

The room was nice, it did look clean and luxurious. So we were hoping to make the most of it.

I totally agree that it felt like they were doing us a favour letting us stay there rather than us paying a lot of money for none of our expectations to be met.

We did have breakfast in bed which was very nice and good quality (for the extra money we paid it better had been).

The thing about this hotel is that it ticks boxes in terms of what services you would expect from a good hotel. The problem is that using these services is not made easy and they have they have no people skills. They don't think of you as a special guest, considering what you want from your stay. They see you as, basically, your credit card.

The spa is not relating with the main hotel even though they are presenting themselves as one. If I book a spa hotel and there is no opportunity for spa treatments, not pre-warning and no apology for this then i am bound to be a little (a lot) irritated.

It is close to town and a nice hotel but unless you want to pay just to sleep there i recommend you try somewhere more reasonable with better customer service.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank thetravellinggabster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2007

Have recently returned from a two night midweek break , and had a wonderful time. I booked an executive double , which was a good size , lovely bathroom and veryclean throughout. The only downside was the room mainly overlooked the drive, and my sleep was disturbed at 6am with cars entering the car park. I asked if we could be moved to a quieter room , and this was done immediately .We were moved to an Imperial suite , which is in an adjacent building . This was an upgrade as the rooms are much bigger , with a seperate lounge area, more luxurious bedroom and gorgeous bathroom. The staff were most attentive throughout our stay , and couldn't do enough for you. We found the spa to be excellent , and loved the aromatherapy steamroom , and outside hydropool.The spa wasn't overcrowded at anytime we used it , however this may not be the case during a weekend stay. The continental buffet breakfast was very good, with everything you could possibly want , and the freshly baked danish pastries and croissants were excellent.We only ate at the hotel one night , at the Alfresco resteraunt , and found the food very good , and reasonably priced. The drinks were expensive, but then they always are at 5* hotels. I would recommend this hotel , for a relaxing break ,it is expensive especially to stay in the Imperial suites, but if you book through the hotel, they very often have discounts available .

Stayed: June 2007
1  Thank Yorkshiretaffanproud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2007

excellent hotel

cant comment on food cos didnt have breakfast or eat there

indoor pool (and very hot outdoor pool) and spa excellent

service excellent, very helpful sorting out restaurant reservations and giving us maps/advice re where to go for a day out

room very nice, with excellent bathroom

no complaints at all

lovely setting, just a 10 minute stroll to bath centre

couldnt have asked for any more

Stayed: June 2007
1  Thank PaulDc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2007

This hotel was great!!!
First of all let me tell you that I completely disagree with the last review. This hotel IS A 5 STAR HOTEL and I really can give this opinion because I travel to hotels like Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, etc.
Since the great gardens at the entrance you could feel the peace and serenity.
We arrived tvery tired, we live in Mexico so we just had a 10 hour flight and almost 2 hours in the train.
We went down to the swiming pool and spa which was abolutely great and realxing, thanks to that we were able to sleep well.
The rooms were small but great and comfortable, the bathrooms were elegant and huge.
Don't hesitate about staying here, you won't regret.
Just dont it there, the restaurant was awful and expensive, the room service was also bad but not as much as the restaurant.
I will again contradict the last review because we wrote in the comment book about the awful experience and the next day we had a letter of the manager in our room apologizing.
Overal great experience!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank LxTrvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2007

I agree with the negative comments on this site and look on with incredulity that anyone could think that this is a good hotel for the 5* prices it charges. I’ve stayed in 3* hotels which for service knock spots off this place.

We stayed there for the Easter break and left with a bitter taste in our mouth that we had paid over £300.00 a night to stay in a place to make you feel a bit special yet did anything but because it failed on the detail at so many levels.

We were extremely disappointed with our stay so when we checked out we amply filled in the comments card, (leaving a name, tel number and email) to give the management a chance to respond. Two months later and we haven’t heard anything, hence I’m warning you here: go elsewhere.

There was something weird about the hotel’s atmosphere: at first glance the place has all the trimmings of a quality 5 star hotel but very quickly you get a whiff that it’s almost your privilege that you’re staying there. Then you take a second look and experience atmosphere which is as flat as it is pretentious.

This is combined with staff who just can’t be bothered, or give you the feeling that you’re bothering them by asking for service. We almost always had to ask for service, for what was available, for where things were.

Some actual details: the lock on our room door didn’t close properly and we had to get a maintenance man straight after arrival. He did his best but could only make it a bit better so we had to slam the door shut every time. A bloke with a tool box in your room rather takes the edge off the start of your visit.

We were actually COLD in our room because instead of a duvet, the beds have a strange arrangement of blankets which got tangled like rope as you turned in the night. We had to ask for extra blankets.

In the smaller restaurant, which is like a corridor with people walking through it (because IT IS a coridoor with people walking through it) I was served a most strangely tasteless, undercooked yet disgusting butternut squash risotto, which were I not so tired that evening, would have certainly sent back.

Next day I ordered a club sandwich and got a bacon and lettuce sandwich. Having marked the risotto, I sent it back. Eventually, the same sandwich came back 20 minutes later—with turkey inserted into it.

The indoor pool was gungey around the edges and the steam rooms/ sauna were uninspiring. Went for a massage and the treatment room temperature was tepid. Same for the after treatment chill out room, which had loads of uncollected coffee cups, glasses and bottles of water which spoiled a place where the whole focus is supposed to be on the ambience: again just shoddy.

Carpets on the stairs were frayed at the edges in places and in other places the carpets looked old, worn and had stains on them.

And I agree with the comment about checking your bill: on check out we noticed that we had been charged for the little pots of ketchup and mayo we had been offered with our snacks—again this just shows how the place lacks the class a 5* hotel should have—it wants to ponce you for a blob of sauce. The place makes you feel like a mug for having handed over a wodge and taken for a punter. I’ll be going back to Bath, but I won’t be going here.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank hegelianist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel

Address: Sydney Road, Bath BA2 6JF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Bath
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Bath
#5 Business Hotel in Bath
#7 Family Hotel in Bath
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bath
#14 Luxury Hotel in Bath
Price Range: $190 - $478 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly situated in the heart of historic Bath and within walking distance of the major attractions and city centre, Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is one of the leading five-star hotels is this popular destination. With years and years of history behind its wall and rich in character, the history is subtly complimented by modern facilities and amenities such as a relaxing spa and outdoor hydrotherapy pool. The food at Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is simply outstanding and awarded two AA rosettes for quality and service in the popular Vellore Restaurant. Unwind overlooking the fabulous grounds with stunning views over the city. For that extra special treat, consider booking an Imperial Suite with its very own butler service, one of the best ways to stay in historic Bath. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Bath Hotel Bath
Macdonald Hotel Bath
Bath Hotel Spa
Macdonald Bath Spa

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