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“Plush, relaxing and impressive but more than a touch of Basil Fawlty”

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Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel
Ranked #20 of 35 Hotels in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
137 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Plush, relaxing and impressive but more than a touch of Basil Fawlty”
Reviewed 12 June 2012

We had a very enjoyable stay here for one night over the Jubilee weekend although it set us back quite a bit.

The hotel is beautifully-situated, impressively decadent and the spa was just amazing. Having only been able to afford a one night stay, we felt that the only way to get your money's worth is to enjoy the spa after checkout and fortunately we were allowed to do so. Otherwise the stay would not have felt like good value.

There was excellent choice of spa facilities and we both enjoyed a massage therapy each. The sauna and ice room experiences were by far the best attraction. We were really impressed also with the thermal pool and the salt room - lovely touches. Unfortunately the steam room was not working properly.

The room was immaculate, attractive, comfortable and quiet (apart from quite a lot of banging in the morning - possibly from the service lift/dumbwaiter across the hall). The bathroom was plush and well stocked with luxury Molton Brown toiletries. A nice feature was the linked TV/ audio in the bathroom. Reception was very responsive to requests and this was a nice touch.

We were really impressed with dinner and had a lovely time. Our waiting staff were friendly, entertaining and relaxed which made us feel at home. We had an excellent, value for money meal and a lovely bottle of wine. Unfortunately the lunch and tea menus did not live up to the experience dinner and were extortionately priced and lacking in choice. We were amazed to be charged £10 for a cup of tea each and a piece of shortbread.

The concierge service was effusive, polite and welcoming but at times obsequious. It was very nice to be told "your bag will be taken to the room" and "your bag will be ready for you at 5.15pm". Unfortunately neither of these things happened without us having to ask two or three times. On check out, we were told our bag would be waiting for us when the taxi arrived but the reception staff had to go looking for the concierge to retrieve it. We had to wait nearly ten minutes, keeping our taxi late and nearly missing our train. Also it seemed terribly unfair that restaurant and bar staff were clearly overworked and struggling to cope with requests while the concierges stood around doing the theatrical bit. The two-tier staff system smacked of Fawlty Towers and made us feel quite uncomfortable. It seemed as though the people promising the service were not those who were tasked with delivery, leading to a lot of Basil Fawlty-esque men in tails ordering around Manuels.

All in all, an absolutely lovely stay but at times a little too much of the old British class system without the delivery on service.

Room Tip: It was a nice customer service touch to have the booking followed up by a friendly telephone call fr...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank mermaid109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 June 2012

Loved it, loved it, loved it! Best wedding night ever - the hotel and staff here are fantastic! :-D

Room Tip: We stayed in a 4 poster suite as were very lucky to be upgraded and that was amazing.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank katecater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
1 review
Reviewed 11 June 2012

Stayed two nights. Following long road trip from Fishguard first thing we were told at reception was that main restaurant was booked out and that Alfresco Restaurant would close at 7pm( brochure says 10 pm ) but that Bath has many fine restaurants. As weather was appalling we dined in our room which was as appalling as the weather- room temperature bottle of white and no ice bucket. Next evening we LUCKILY managed to get a table in the main restaurant the Vellore ,as they were very busy at " 50% covers" and had even been busier the previous night with "at least 55% covers" . One has to think that the kitchen decides how many people will dine in house tonight.The whole attitude set the tone for not a pleasant experience despite most of the staff being gracious and helpful.

Great shame as this could be a great Hotel.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tony M M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 June 2012

My husband and I recently spent our 21st anniversary there. We are in our early 40's. The room was really lovely..we had a suite in the Imperial suites block. We had a butler and mini bar was included. Champagne and canapés in the eve. Fully included hot breakfast. All good.

Complaints....we had dinner in the main restaurant and whilst the food was good as was the service, the atmosphere was very, very dry so I couldn't really recommend it.

As for the spa!!! Truly, it was dirty, there was a worm in the hot-tub and it was really shoddy. No way could this be described as a "spa" hotel. Nothing compared to The Grove for example.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Sam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2012

A bit of a problem on arrival, but the manager 'Ian', dealt with the matter very well, he listened and certainly made good. Staff excellent, we felt looked after and they always had time for us. Very comfortable room and spacious bathroom. The evening meal was superb (included in the spring offer). Breakfast, the best we have had at any of the top class hotels we have stayed in. I loved the outdoor pool! Not too far to the centre, a nice walk.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Elinor D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level Contributor
76 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2012

Went for two nights midweek over the half term , the staff couldn't have been more helpful , when we arrived we were given a tour of the facilities which was the first time that had ever happened to me , an excellent idea . The room on the ground floor was spacious ,gorgeous and very quite with it's own balcony.

We went to use the leisure facilities , a very nice pool and a lovely hot spa and then a choice of saunas and steam rooms , very relaxing .

We had a full english breakfast included in our rate , which was excellent , the service on the second day was slow but everyone seemed to arrive at the same time and if you are on holiday does it matter , go early say 8.00 am if you wan t a quick breakfast.

In my view slightly too far to easily walk from town , especially as the last bit is uphill with cases , we used the local taxis and generally it was only 5 to 6 pounds. Do try the art museum nearby it's excellent any only five minutes walk.

I imagine the food and drinks could be very expensive , but we just went into town and found loads of cheap pubs and cafes.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank rovingranger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2012

We stayed at The Macdonald in dec 2010, (a little late to review i know). The entrance to the hotel grounds is very impressive and i did help that we had had a lot of snow so it looked even more magical. The staff on entering were polite but stuffy, i guess to be expected. W e were shown to our room which had a welcome card for someone else - nice touch.
We investigated our room which had a garden view and was actually massive. Very comfortable with clean linen and a great view, The bathroom was marble but was very dated and shabby there were cracks in the tiles and the seal around the bath was worse than mine at home! We ate dinner in Bath town centre which is a good 15-20 minute walk away. It is down hill but the walk uphill home is only helped by being slightly tipsy! We stayed two nights and didnt eat in the hotel once so cannot advise you on the facitilies but there are some great places in bath to eat. We found the most amazing comdey club in the basement of the vegetarian bar called The Porter Bar. Great food and hilarious comedy!
The spa facilities were ok when we went the swimming pool indoor was a good size but maybe that was because we were the only ones there and the outdoor pool was amazing because it was covered in snow. the changing rooms were small but i loved the costume driers. The rest of the facilities were a sauna a steam room a thermal infared heat room and i twinkley ice spray room, all of which were lovely. I would recommend the hotel but only if you get it for a bargain.

Room Tip: i know my review is old news but the photos may help! Garden view room.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank AngelaJeanDawe
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
Region: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Bath
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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
#6 Business Hotel in Bath
#8 Family Hotel in Bath
#9 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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