Let me begin by saying that I did not pay full price for this hotel stay. It was part of a special offer on Wowcher. I suppose I would say that the discount price was fair but I would not pay full price for this hotel.
The hotel has an outdoor pool and very large outdoor hot tub. The hot tub can be used even during the winter months, but the outdoor pool was understandably not in use during our stay (January 2012). I didn't use the hot tub but was told by two of our party that it was wonderful.
The hotel lounge/quiet area offered complimentary tea (of different types) and coffee (including decaf) throughout the day, although the tea, coffee, milk, sugar and cups were not restocked often. Our party were constantly searching for the condiments we needed in the adjacent cupboards. Also, the hotel guide provided in the rooms stated that complimentary fruit and cookies were provided every day from 2pm. We did not see any fruit or cookies on any of the three days we were staying at the hotel!
I only saw one of the treatment rooms in the 'spa' but it was spacious. The treatments I had (neck, back and shoulder massage and leg and foot massage) were good, but I've had better. My therapist was friendly and didn't talk constantly through my treatments. However, my aunt, who was one of my party had a different experience. On meeting the therapist she was told that she was not able to have the reflexology that she had previously booked, due to a previous medical condition. This had not been made clear previously. My aunt then requested a back, neck and shoulder massage in its place. This was refused on medical grounds after the therapist had consulted her manager on two occasions. The only treatments the therapist offered were a hand and foot massage. My aunt agreed to this, in addition to the facial she had previously booked. My aunt was upset about the situation, given that she had booked the reflexology in advance and the therapist appeared to be inexperienced. The therapist then went on to neglect to ask my aunt if she had sensitive skin. My aunt had to tell her this fact. The therapist then went on to offer almond oil as a facial treatment. When my aunt woke the morning after we had arrived home, she found that she had reacted badly to the facial and contacted the hotel to inform them of this, and left a voicemail message. To date she has had no response.
We booked two twin rooms in advance and were told on booking that there would be one double room and one single room in each of the two rooms we had booked. We had no problem with this...until we saw the rooms. Bearing in mind that we were a group of four and had booked two rooms together, we found on arrival that we had been allocated rooms on two separate floors. On entering our rooms we found that they contained a double bed in the main bedroom area and a single bed in a completely separate room. We deliberately booked twin rooms because we wanted to share rooms but were disappointed to find that both beds were separated by rooms. To remedy this we moved the mattress from the single bed into the main bedroom with the double bed.
The rooms themselves, and the hotel in general was pretty out of date and tired. I was disappointed to find that the rooms did not have fridges in them. There were however, kettles and complimentary teas and coffees. The ensuite bathrooms were well below par. The decor was old fashioned. The shower however, was very good, despite being out of date. The hotel provided complimentary toiletries.
The indoor pool was very small and could accommodate four people at a push. There were two Dr Detox booths and a sauna, however there were only two unisex showers in lockable changing rooms, and one toilet, also unisex. I would not call this a 'spa' hotel. Much more a hotel with a few spa facilities!
On arrival we were provided with 'robe' and 'towel' cards, which you produced in return for a robe and towel from reception. Once you returned the robe and towel you were provided with the cards again, so that you could use them the following day etc. Slippers could be provided for £2.50 per pair, which I thought was extortionate. Most spa hotels I've been to have had slippers included for no extra charge.
The car park of the hotel is not the best. On one side you have to drive up or down a very steep hill to park. Also, the car park gets very busy and it becomes difficult to find a space if you return to the hotel after a day out.
In the main, the hotel staff are friendly, apart from the young gentleman we dealt with for the majority of our stay. He was efficient but could appear to be rude at times. He also did not make any effort to be helpful on the occasions we asked for assistance.
In conclusion, neither I, or any members of our party would return to this hotel again, whether at discounted rates or at full price. The location of the hotel was fair, but there was no night life, so if you're looking for a location for a girly weekend out, don't go to Sandown!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Melville Hall Hotel is located a few minutes stroll from the beautiful sandy beach of Sandown Bay, almost opposite Los Altos Park. With a wide range of facilities including Utopia SPA, you are guaranteed the relaxing break you deserve. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Melville Hall Sandown
- Hotel Melville Hall
- Melville Hall Hotel Sandown, Isle Of Wight