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Bannatyne Hotel - Charlton House
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Reviews (1,161)
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Reviewed November 4, 2011

We stayed here for 2 night recently and had a mixed experience overall. Some really good positives, which many others have picked up on, but also some real basic problems with the place that could (and for the price, should) easily be sorted out to bring this hotel/spa up to the 5* level at which it pitches itself.

Firstly the positives:
- Lovely friendly staff, all of whom were very welcoming and helpful, not at all intrusive and helped make our stay enjoyable. Of particular note are some of the efficient and ever so helpful restaurant & bar staff - Kat and Tomasz particularly impressed us.
- Beautiful countryside setting in a stunning location. The grounds of the house are gorgeous and worth a look around, as is the old house itself. Sympathetically decorated throughout it feels like a stately home from home!
- Really impressive food at every sitting. Very generous and delicious breakfast, and lunch & dinner were superb both nights. Very creative and tasty British food.
- Large room (the bed was enormous), very comfortable, with a sofa area and table. We did have the unpleasant experience of hearing every creak and footstep of the room above though!

And the not so good features:
- We arrived on a very chilly afternoon and were shown to the room, which was freezing. The heating had been turned off, so it wasn't really the cosy welcome we'd expected.
- Broken light fitting in room - the thing was totally crooked and looked like it was about to fall off. Also one of the castors on the sofa had very obviously broken off and was lying to the side of the sofa. Hard to believe a cleaner could miss these things, and after our room was cleaned the next morning the castor had been moved under the sofa and out of sight! No attempt to actually fix it then!! All in all the first impression of the place was pretty average.
- Yes there's a fridge in the room, but they are totally empty save for two bottles of water. Of course you can order drinks (and food) to the room, but there's a tray cost of £5 per tray. So your coke will cost £7. I don't understand the point of an empty fridge. Either put in a proper mini bar with snacks and drinks, or take the fridge out!
- We had some trouble getting a clear line from the spa staff as to what was actually included in our package. The story changed with each staff member we spoke to, and the 'confirmation emails' were confusing and contradictory, so it was difficult to know what we had really booked, and hence whether or not we were being given the treatments we'd paid for. Also be prepared to have the staff try and flog you their Elemis products.
- I had asked in advance if anything could be done for the 'special occasion' we were celebrating during our break. The call centre staff responded 'no'. I asked if a cake could be arranged, to which the response was "perhaps if you pass by a cake shop on the way you could give it the restaurant." (!). When we actually arrived at Charlton House the staff member who showed us to our room asked "is it a special occasion you're celebrating", to which we responded yes and explained it was a special birthday. Not even a "happy birthday!". Some coordination with the call centre, or perhaps a bit more training could have made a lot of difference here. We wanted the break to feel special, but the basics seemed to be lacking. This is why, despite the staff being very friendly and helpful, we have given Service only 3 stars in the review.
- We arranged a taxi back to the train station from the hotel. The driver charged us £36, which was a nasty surprise as we had paid £16 for the exact same journey to the hotel two days earlier. According to the driver this was the "agreed price" and we should have been notified by the hotel before leaving. Sadly no such notification was provided. I called the hotel after to confirm and we were told that yes, this was the price the driver had quoted.

Some of the above are fairly trivial points that you could probably live with at a less upmarket (and cheaper) sort of place, but I think for the amount it costs to stay at Charlton House on a weekend package (also bear in mind that, even on a package deal there will be oodles of extras - half the menu items have a supplement, and a coffee will set you back £4) the service and standard, and overall experience really ought to be of the highest degree. Unfortunately it is not yet the case at CH, which is a shame as this place really does have an awful lot of potential to be brilliant.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank andyrout1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2011

Well done Charlton House, I have not been for several years and despite reassurance that the spa was accessible past experience in other properties has made me sceptical. I thought this would be useful for other wheelchair users.The drive has shingle but is smooth.On arrival a friendly concierge put a ramp down, entrance to reception is fine and the Spa is accessed down a sloping corridor. The disabled changing room is spacious and opens on to the Spa, with hydrotherapy pool-great to have jets at different heights, steam and sauna all wheelchair accessible to the doors and transferrable. We had a lovely afternoon, the staff were friendly and helpful and the facilities good. Ladies changing room upstairs a little cramped when several people in there. We both hand back neck and shoulders massage which was good. A very enjoyable experience, we will return

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank yogini2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

We bookesd the tiny double as we were on a budget but wanted to treat ourselves. Having been to the spa and eaten in the restaurant a year before, I was really excited to be staying at the hotel. The tiny double room was lovely and didn't feel tiny at all, but I would warn anyone that if they are taller than 5ft 8" they will not be able to stand up in the sloped roof shower. Being hobbit-sized, my partner and I had no problem!
The spa was lovely and the staff were all friendly. It was bliss being there mid week and we had the spa to ourselves on both days.
The breakfast was ample and really tasty. The building is delightful and I want to go back!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank moledge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2011

We stayed here on the 2 night spa package. The hotel was pretty quiet.

We booked a standard room and the room far exceeded our expectations - clean, luxurious and value for money with a fridge! The staff were helpful and friendly on arrival, and throughout our stay they were polite, professional and down to earth.

The spa treatments were good and the spa itself is small but clean and steam / sauna etc are all high quality. There is also a tennis court which we were not told about on booking so we didn't bring rackets, but the spa have some to borrow - free of charge.

The food in the restaurant, which was included in our package, was great and there were no restrictions on choice although some dishes require a small but worthy supplement. The breakfast was also hearty and well cooked and is served until 10.30, I think, so there was no rush in getting up.

A relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable stay. We would definitely go again and would highly recommend the hotel for a romantic weekend.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JRyanUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagementResponse02, General Manager at Bannatyne Hotel - Charlton House, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2011

Dear JRyanUk

We are delighted to read you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you very much for your compliments regarding the food and spa.

You may be interested to know that breakfast is always served until 11am giving our guests every opportunity for a well deserved lie in!

Looking forward to your next visit.

With kind regards.

Sakis Dinas
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2011

As a last minute treat we booked into the hotel for a one night Romantic spa break for two.
The price was very good on booking, but after the stay we were even happier as it was an absolute bargain for the service and accomodation and relaxing break that we received.
The staff were extremely helpful and defintely went the extra mile to make our stay so perfect,
the hotel manager especially.
We stayed in the Suite which was gorgeous, but all of the rooms were outstanding and had something special to offer.
Would recommend this to everyone.
PS, the Mulberry Factory shop is just around the corner too...

Room Tip: The suite was great, especially if you are a family or a group of good friends. The rooms which open onto the Hot Tub are a good idea, although we didn't see into the rooms.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dawn E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagementResponse02, General Manager at Bannatyne Hotel - Charlton House, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2011

Dear Dawn E

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such an excellent review. It was our pleasure to have you with us and we would be delighted to welcome you back.

With best wishes.

Sakis Dinas
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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