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“Amazing food and ambience but disappointingly small spa”

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Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in York
Certificate of Excellence
York, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Amazing food and ambience but disappointingly small spa”
Reviewed 9 March 2011

We were looking for a spa break and opted for a Sunday - Tuesday package at Middlethorpe. The main house is absolutely gorgeous, straight out of an Austen novel. There are two dining rooms - one oak panelled, plus a library and a huge drawing room to loll around on sofas for pre-dinner drinks. The French sommelier was an absolute star, incredibly passionate about his wine and did not always suggest the most expensive. The waiting staff were brilliant, personable but not pushy. And the food! I don't think I've ever tasted better. Every plate was a work of art and absolutely delicious. As most parties were couples, we tended to have the drawing room to ourselves after 9.30pm and had some brilliantly enjoyable evenings there.

We stayed in a Superior Courtyard room in what were the old stables. They were very cute, and room 24 had toile wallpaper everywhere giving the effect of staying in an extremely posh box of tissues! The bathroom was compact but clean. It was a little odd that you couldn't make your own tea or coffee in the room, but had to order it from room service. Another downside was road noise. It didn't bother us as we were there in winter and so didn't need to have the windows open. But the A64 runs at the foot of Middlethorpe's parkland and is the noise is quite obtrusive when you're outdoors.

The spa is just over the lane from the stables and proved to be the biggest disappointment. It is *tiny*: one changing cubicle in the women's changing rooms, 2 showers, 1 toilet. You could get 4 people in the sauna at a push, and the same went for the steam room, the jacuzzi and the gym - in a "garden room" i.e. shed outside. Unless you have a treatment, you aren't given a robe, so end up having to re-use the same towel. We were even asked to share a locker as they'd run out, which when at Middlethorpe's prices really isn't on. The pool is OK but more than 4 people in it make it feel overcrowded. On the Monday there were a group of 6 who took over the place but on the Tuesday I had the run of it to myself for at least half an hour.

The biggest let-down is not having a specific chill-out zone to lounge about in, read magazines and the like. There's only 6 rather cheap plastic loungers at the end of the pool which really isn't that good. I don't know where the day spa people go - probably the 2 sofas in the reception. But we opted to return to our rooms for a bit of luxury. It's such a shame as the spa reception and treatment staff are lovely and all of us had amazing treatments - I don't think I'd ever had my earlobes massaged before! Heaven.

So go for the food but don't get your hopes up about an amazing spa experience - unless you find out they've extended.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth_Darcy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middlethorpe, General Manager at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, responded to this review, 28 March 2011
We were delighted to read this glowing review written by 'Elizabeth Darcy' regarding her recent visit with a friend to The National Trust's Middlethorpe Hall & Spa for a Spa Break and that they found the accommodation, the food and the levels of service to be of the highest standards.

Middlethorpe Spa, created within a pair of traditional cottages opposite the historic Hall is compact in size and also situated in the 'green belt' that surrounds the historic City of York, with protected fields and woodlands. This also means that very strict planning restrictions apply and that it was not possible to make the Spa as large as we would have wished. However, it contains a steam room, a sauna, a spa bath, and indoor heated swimming pool (20 x 40 ft), a gymnasium and three treatment rooms. Our reputation also stands on the quality of service offered and the calm and restful atmosphere, as well as on these not ungenerous amenities.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (298)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
York, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 4 March 2011

Beautiful setting matched by beautiful service.

On arrival we were lucky enough to receive a complimentary upgrade to a four poster room in the main Hall and this was like staying in an antique-furnished National Trust room of our very own.

The food was excellent and immaculately served by unobtrusive yet attentive staff.

We particularly liked the photos of the renovation which were displayed in the corridor on the way down to the Cloakrooms.

The only thing we found (amusingly) on the negative side was the size of the lift which, for two rather large individuals, was a trifle snug!!

Would love a return visit in the near future.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank t_petrie131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 February 2011

From the moment I stepped across the threshold, the service I received was impeccable. Very professional but friendly staff took my bags to my beautiful room, in stunning grounds. This hotel is a former country house and is full of charm and character. I had a quick swim first in their spa and gym area (situated in converted cottages on the grounds,a few seconds' walk from the main house) then ate a lovely meal in their restaurant, again enjoying excellent service (I am wheat intolerant and they had wheat free bread and were able to adapt the menu to my requirements without any fuss). Enjoyed my complimentary early morning tea - delivered to the room - after having had a wonderful night's sleep on the comfiest bed I have slept in away from home. This place is a real treat.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank DrSegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wirral
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2011

Fabulous hotel in a fabulous location. Nice, if dated, room in courtyard overlooking garden. However there were two significant problems: no tea/coffee facilities in room meaning room service would have cost £13.50 for two teas! Secondly, breakfast finished at 0930hrs. Even business hotels don't finish that early!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Bellini3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middlethorpe, General Manager at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, responded to this review, 24 February 2011
We are delighted that these guests found the National Trust's Middlethorpe Hall & Spa to be fabulous both because of its location and as an hotel. We are also pleased that they would recommend a visit here.

However, we are a little puzzled by their comment about the absence of tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms. Indeed, complimentary 'welcome trays' are available on request and this is clearly indicated in our 'information for guests'. Furthermore, 'Tailor of Harrogate' leaf tea or 'ethically sourced' coffee are charged at £4.25 and accompanied with home-made shortbreads and biscuits - not the price mentioned above. Early morning tea is complimentary, included in the room rate, in all bedrooms.

As in most country house hotels, breakfast hours in the dining room are 7.30 to 9.30 weekdays, and 8.00 to 10.00 on weekends, bank holidays and York Race Days. A room service order can be placed after that time.
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north yorkshire, uk
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2011

I regard Middlethorpe Hall as a real haven of tranquility with genuine staff who make the total experience so special. . Every time I come to M.H. I feel as though I am totally AT HOME . My visits are always because I am visiting my sick husband in hospital in Leeds and I really appreciate not having the long journey home. Please don't change anything..........and a special thankyou.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank lartington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
east kilbride
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2011

Really can't fault Middlethorpe Hall. Stayed for only one night on business but have determined to return in the future. Staff were welcoming, efficient and friendly. Bedroom was comfortable and clean - what else could anyone ask? I'll be recommending this one to friends.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank joolswilltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hayfield, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 4 February 2011

I felt we had stepped back in time where people were treated with respect by staff who employed quiet professionalism. A lovely atmosphere in beautiful surroundings, the food was exceptional as was the service, we were totally relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the quiet polite society. We would definatley visit the Hall again and would recommend it to anyone who appreciates the finer sophisticated way of life.
Simon and Janet

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank janetcap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

Property: Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
Address: Bishopthorpe Road, York YO23 2GA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > York
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in York
#1 Romantic Hotel in York
#1 Spa Hotel in York
#3 Business Hotel in York
#4 Family Hotel in York
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Middlethorpe Hall & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Now part of the National Trust - all profits donated to the charity. Overlooking York Racecourse, Middlethorpe Hall is close to the city of York yet enjoys 20 acres of its own peaceful gardens and parkland. It has an award-winning restaurant, the Oak Dining Room, and a heavenly spa with swimming pool. Decorated in traditional country house style, Middlethorpe is furnished with antiques and fine paintings consistent with the period of the house. Beautifully appointed bedrooms are located in the main house and the 18th-century courtyard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Middlethorpe Hall Hotel York
Middlethorpe Hall And Spa
Middlethorpe Hall York

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