The Macdonald Hotel &Spa is a good hotel, but it has a bit of an identity crisis. If it were totally honest, it'd be called the "MacDonald Hotel, Spa, conference venue & family pool". (But that doesn't have quite the same ring to it).
Don't get me wrong. If you're looking for a hotel with high standards, this is it. The room was spotless, well equipped (apart from lack of hairdryer) and quiet. Reception are efficient, and room service is speedy - calls for ice or towels turned up in sub-5 minutes; breakfast was delivered bang on time and was very good. Many 4* hotels can't manage these basics (yes, I'm looking at you, the Royal Berkshire).
The spa is also very nice. Big pool, a really impressive range of steam rooms & saunas, and a great little outdoor hot pool which is fab for lounging about. And the lobby decor is very pleasant - olde worlde with lots of horsey decor - just what you'd expect for this bit of Berkshire.
But here comes the identity bit. While I couldn't fault the hotel's service, nor the rooms, the layout & feel of the hotel was more 'Holiday Inn with a nice traditional reception & spa tacked on'. The 'classy country retreat' experience just felt a little out of the hotel's comfort zone.
At Dinner, for example, our starters arrived before our champagne aperitif (which we had to chase twice before they finally arrived); you had to walk past a Honda conference to get to the Spa, and although the Spa itself is brilliantly equipped, it's also popular with local families, meaning that yelling/splashing children will occasionally make it feel more like a municipal pool.
Overall, you can never quite escape the feeling that this is actually a (perfectly good) business /conference hotel that's also trying a bit of the old 'luxury hotel/spa' gambit on the side. And the problem is that it's very hard to do them all well - the former inevitably encroaches on the latter. So it just lacks a little...character.
It's a great Hotel, it's just not for all occasions. For business it's 4 stars. For a special weekend break, I'm afraid it's 3.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa in Ascot is a beautiful, accessible, four-star hotel near Windsor which is surrounded by amazing landscaped gardens. Ideal for accommodation during Royal Ascot, the hotel is the closest four-star hotel to Ascot Racecourse. Access to Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa is easy from nearby London Heathrow Airport and the facilities are designed to appeal to both business and leisure guests alike. Short break visitors to the area will find the hotel a short distance from popular attractions such as Legoland, Thorpe Park, Windsor Castle and Wentworth Golf Course. And following a day of adventure, back at the hotel, there is a state-of-the-art thermal spa with six spa treatment rooms, an 18-metre swimming pool, rock and infra red saunas and an outdoor hydropool. Perfect for resting weary legs. Our AA-rosette award-winning Hyperion Restaurant serves a range of contemporary English and European cuisine, carefully crafted dishes using the finest quality, wholesome ingredients. Sit back, relax and let us cook up a delight for you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald Berystede Hotel Sunninghill
- Macdonald Berystede Hotel And Spa
- Macdonald Berystede Ascot