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“Really not what was sold to us!”

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Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel
Ranked #19 of 34 Hotels in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
Hull
1 review
“Really not what was sold to us!”
Reviewed September 1, 2007

We booked to stay at the Macdonald hotel in Bath Aug bank holiday weekend. On arrival the hotel was everything we expected it to be given it was 5 star. We were politely met on arrival, whilst our car was parked for us and our luggage was taken to the main reception area for us to check in. After driving 4 hours and paying £600 for two nights accommodation we were a little disappointed to be told our room was not ready (2.30pm). After pointing this out, the receptionist suggested we wait in the bar area while housekeeping finished our room. After paying £13 for two drinks we were given the keys for our room.

It must be said, the hotel reception area, restaurant and bar can not be faulted, it really is what one would expect and reflects exactly what the website sells. However, given this I was very surprised to walk down the first floor corridor to see thread bare dirty carpets!!!!!! The first thing to hit us in our room (315) was the smell, a combination of cigarette smoke and fust. That put me off straight away, given the room had been "rush" cleaned reflected. The mini fridge was really filthy to any woman's standards, underneath the bed had.......................... Wait for it................................... An old slipper belonging to the last guest, two pens and worst of all ................... a used tissue. The carpet from the bathroom to the bedroom was coming up and I tripped on it twice. This was the final straw.... after calling reception and expressing our disappointment the young girl came straight to our room to investigate. To be fair, their customer service was excellent, she offered a £30 reduction on our room and a bottle of wine as an apology.

Despite this we enjoyed our stay at the Macdonald Hotel, the hotel staff simply could not do enough for their guests, whilst value for money can be disputed it can not be argued that putting our initial complaints aside the hotel really is first class.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
Thank GaryClair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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wiltshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2007

We stayed at the Bath Spa Hotel form 20th to 22nd August 2007 to relax after celebrating my 40th birthday. we booked a junior suite in the imperial suites at a cost of £300 per night booked from the special offers on the hotel website which included full english breakfast. I also booked at the time a spa day, i regularly indulge a relaxing trip away and have fallen foul of the fully booked spa on arrival at the hotel. we drove up the driveway to the hotel and despite the fact that there is a sign saying Valet Parking no one appeared leaving us to remove all our luggge and parking the car ourselves, maybe a bit picky but this is what valet service is all about and it is a 5 star hotel.
We made ourselves aware to reception where we were asked to take a seat whilst they contacted the butler. he arrived and we were taken to our suite, he asked if we would like a tour of the hotel which we accepted. we didn't use the butler only on checkout as this was very busy people lining up to checkout.
Our room was very nice, obviously very new and very clean apart from the complimentary water, one was empty left over from the previous guest. it was a lovely bright room large bed, dressing area, large flat screen tv although the volume was limited and was quite a distance from the bed. the bathroom had a separate shower which was fairly spacious and the toiletries were molton brown.
We made our way down to the spa where we used the pool. The pool area is fairly small and full of kids on this occasion although they aren't allowed into the outdoor pool. I found the pool area claustrophobic when busy due to its size. I don't mind kids as i have a 3 & 4 year old myself but the pools were too small to accommodate them. On the second day i had my spa day which was fantastic, susannah took care of me and was very informative and helpful regarding the treatments. one thing to note when i booked the treatments some weren't available on certain days due to the therapists availability like the indian head massage for example. the therma suite is ok but if your're looking for a good spa hotel try st davids in cardiff.
We had a champagne afternoon tea which was very nice not enough sanwiches but a good selection of cakes and scones. there was an iranian woman in the room also having afternoon tea with her young daughter and their DOG!!! rather inappropriate where food is being served.
We didn't dine at the hotel but chose to eat in Bath itself which is only a ten minute walk lots of lovely restaurants just look at the Bath website to find one to your taste. As we were in a suite canapes and champagne were served to your room each nigh at a time of your choice , the canapes were very nice.
Breakfast was a bit confusing as it says on the menu that there is a supplement of £6 if you choose the cooked breakfast there was no mention to us that we were entitled to it, as it happens we had it anyway i was expecting it to appear on the bill but it didn't. overall a very nice stay, nice rooms good location to bath.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — dog in the tea room
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sacWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — Luxurious comfort
  • Disliked — Nothing comes to mind
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank StillStanding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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!

  • Liked — Kept the Georgian feel of the building but with excellent modern amenities
  • Disliked — Nothing to dislike
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank calester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon, UK
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Search4Paradise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
1 review
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Should_I_Stay_Or_Go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — The service
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Londonluxury
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

Property: 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
#7 Family Hotel in Bath
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bath
#13 Luxury Hotel in Bath
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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