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“A lovely break”

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Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel
Ranked #20 of 34 Hotels in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 22, 2007

I can understand some of the previous comments made, but what we found was an excellent well-run hotel with excellent service. Of course it is not cheap - if you pay £150+ for a room then don't expect cheap wine in the restaurant.

The hotel was facelifted in February 2007 and everywhere we went was in excellent condition. We had a large room with king size bed on the ground floor facing the front with a partial view over Bath. The gardens at the front are well established, and lead down to the road. At the back and immediately surrounding the hotel they have been recently but thoughtfully planted.

The spa we found delightful - not large but of high quality and certainly not a council leisure centre. We realised that staying at the weekend might be a mistake at this time of year, and so went Sunday to Wednesday. It was never really busy; by Wednesday we almost had the place to ourselves.

My wife and I had pre-booked treatments and these were excellent. Maybe not the cheapest you can get, but less than you can pay in London hotels. Be warned that the reception said that treatments are fully booked for the next 4 weekends so check this before you book a room! We had no problems getting Tuesday times of our choice less than a week ahead.

We dined one night in the Vellore restaurant, incidentally without being asked or pressurised by staff. The table d'hote menu at £37.50 for 3 courses had 3 options for each course, and we were told we could substitute any from the a la carte menu with credit given. The quality of the food was excellent, although my wife said that her twice-baked souffle main course was a little bland, but then she did have to choose a vegetarian dish! There are several wines at around £20 a bottle.

Our only grouse was the over-efficient housekeeping - our barely read Sunday newspaper was cleared from our room on Monday. We hid them the other days!

We parked the car during our stay and just walked the 10-15 minutes into town, although the final haul up through the gardens to the hotel entrance was a little effort after a late night feed and watering!

Overall we wouldn't hesitate to recommend a stay there for a few nights of luxury in a delightful town.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank StillStanding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,500 - 4,506 of 4,621 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2007

Stayed at the Bath Spa as a 'birthday treat' and it really was everything we had hoped for. The house and gardens were beautiful, the staff attentive and the spa invigorating. Location was ideal - could imagine oneself in the heart of the country but only 15 minutes walk from the centre of Bath, mostly through parks.
The only tiny complaint I would have is that the waiters were a little over attentive. Coffee cups and pot were removed from our table whilst we were selecting food from the buffet on two occasions!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank calester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2007

I think every stay is only as good as what you want to get out of it and admittedly having read some of the poor reviews on this site I was hesitant to book. I did realise, however, that most of the positive reviews were from those guests who upgraded to the Imperial Suites - which is what we did and I beleive it is worth it.

This was a one night stay to re-charge the batteries and we wanted peace and quiet, a Spa, access to good food and not too many crowds. Well as it was August we assumed it would be busy, but the hotel was remarkably quiet (despite being fully booked) - although there was a wedding party enjoying the grounds and bar, there seemed to be plenty of space, always a table available, no queues at reception and a general pleasant atmosphere of calm.

The building is a large Victorian Bath stone country house - it does seem to have lost some charachter compared with other country retreats but a quick read of the history (encorporated on the lunch menu) shows that the residence has had an ever changing past with many different uses so these changes have in some way stripped some of the history away. However, it does have every thing you could ever need in a modern amenities meets tradtional surroundings way.

As it was August and 25 degrees I did not want to be stifled in a competitors 'cosy' room - it is not surprising that Bath Priory and other country houses do not have air conditioning, they are charchter led country estates - this hotel does have a/c and it maes a difference if you have been sweltering in the uncommon British sunshine.

So we made our mind up to come here and all in all it worked out well.

We liked:
- Very warm welcome from a very well recruited head conceirge.
- Easy check-in and tour of the hotel with our butler.
- Nice rooms with very high ceilings, wonderful bathrooms and furniture.
-Grounds are stunning and the sweeping drive gives you the feel you are away from the hectic life you left behind (but are still close to the sites of Bath).
-Terrace(s) one at the front for lunch, pre-dinner drinks and dinner; the second at the back for breakfast.
- Outdoor pool, heated and with jacuzzi areas built in, includes a wonderful 'waterfall' which means you can't hear anyone chatting.

We disliked:
- Getting a masive splinter in my foot from the spa's outdoor decking minutes after arriving!
-More clarity should have been given around what the butler does and does not do, I appreciate that some people will just pile in and ask for whatever they need but the Hotel directory explains something quite different to what we got - for example it says your butler will meet you at the end of the day and you can order whatever you want for breakfast. Well this did not happen and despite seeing our butler in the moring and enquiring we were led to take the same continental breakfast as everyone else - i really fancied eggs benedict (no idea why!).
- Lack of people in the main restaurant led to zero atmosphere which meant we went elsewhere - Beaujolais, where we had a wonderful time, drinks in the garden and a full restaurant with a lovely atmosphere and nice uncomplicated food. The hotel staff were really plugging their restaurants, we were asked several times if we had plans for the evening - it is probably worth a try but not for us. I would rather go to the Moody Goose or Bath Priory's restaurant for about the same money and both seem highly regarded.

As this was a recharge break we did little, spending a fair amount of time at the spa and around the hotel drinking the odd cocktail and soaking up the sun.

At some points it felt like we were in Italy (most of the staff seem to have Italian or similar accents) with the sun blazing and the columns around the terrace.

Despite being a 5 star Spa hotel this is the place you can bring your young children as there is enough space to lose yourself and, for example, plenty of space between tables on the terrace to enjoy yourselves and not feel like everyone is looking at you - we will come back with our 10 month old daughter one day.

There are improvements to be made - check in/out should be 12-12, not 2.30pm-11am, butler arrangements should be clearer, drinks could be cheaper (our cab driver said it was the highest price for drinks in Bath); and the Spa decking needs sanding!

However, we had a good time, a relaxing break with a nice massage, nice rooms and nice surroundings. This is a great summer country estate spa break, I think we will find something different in the winter for log fires and cosy traditional roms at, for example, the Bath Priory, but I am sure we will return to the Macdonald Bath Spa, especially in the summer and with our daughter,

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Search4Paradise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2007

I stayed in the Bath Spa for business, so was there during the week. The hotel is conveniently located about 10 minutes walk from the center of Bath. It is set in some beautifully maintained gardens with a sweeping driveway up the hill to the hotel.

The rooms are a descent size and the beds are comfortable. There is a reasonable range of TV channels, and the room contains 3/4 magazines and a local newspaper.. The rooms are well equipped with a mini bar, sparkling & still water, iron, and nice toiletries. Other nice touches include dressing gowns and slippers in the room (for use at the spa), and a turndown service.

The spa is fairly well equipped with a few different saunas and steam rooms, as well as indoor & outdoor pools and jacuzzi. The only complaint is that a couple of the saunas were not working when I tried to use them. The gym is good by hotel standards.

The hotel breakfast is pretty good, it consists of a reasonably large continental buffet, and hot food cooked fresh to order. I didn't eat in the restaurants in the evening, but I did order room service. The room service menu was overpriced, e.g.Ice Cream was around £8 plus there is a £5 tray charge per order. I ordered some kind of tomato pasta which was average.

Overall I would definitely recommend the Bath Spa Hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled on business
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Thank Should_I_Stay_Or_Go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel

Address: Sydney Road, Bath BA2 6JF, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Bath
Amenities:
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
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bath
#14 Luxury Hotel in Bath
Price Range: $136 - $437 (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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