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“SPA CANCELLATION, WHAT CANCELLATION ???????!!!!!!!!!”

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Macdonald Houstoun House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uphall
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 6 April 2014

It is with great disappointment that I write this review. My sister-in-law (Fiona) and I were due to enjoy a relaxing spa day including treatments tomorrow. My sister-in -law has enjoyed several spa days at different MacDonald hotels and has always been very impressed with the facilities and friendliness of the staff.
Knowing that I expect very high standards Fiona had booked a spa day complete with three different treatments for us to indulgence in at this renowned hotel. We took the day off work especially for this. Following booking and payment with a third party we were asked to contact the hotel directly to confirm our treatment times. My sister-in- law, Fiona Lambie phoned the spa directly and was informed that the booking was confirmed and we would be contacted later by Emma with details of treatment times as she was the only member of staff to book treatments. Fiona did think this was bit strange that only one member of staff could confirm treatment times but had faith in the MacDonald chain and had no reason to believe there would be a problem. Fiona then awaited a phone call that did not come.
Having not heard from Emma or any other member of staff from the MacDonald spa to confirm our treatment times by the following morning, Fiona phoned yet again. Unbelievably, this time, she was informed that there was no booking in our names and the spa was indeed full and had no space to offer any treatments for the day we had booked for. Fiona was informed that Emma had contacted her on Saturday to cancel the booking. This phone call did not happen!!! So after confirming booking on Saturday lunchtime and receiving no contact at all either by phone call or email by Sunday lunchtime we were informed there was no booking now! If we hadn’t taken the initiative to phone again on Sunday to confirm our treatment times we would have turned up on Monday morning excited and looking forward to a full day of relaxation and pampering.
You can imagine our disappointment and complete dismay at how this could happen with no explanation?!
I then telephoned the spa directly and spoke to Mark and asked to speak to Emma personally and was told that she was absent today. I enquired when it would be possible to speak to her, perhaps Monday, to be told she would be in meetings all day?! I was not at all happy with this response. I wanted to speak to Emma directly as Fiona was informed on Saturday lunchtime that Emma was the only person who could confirm treatment times and it was indeed Emma who had supposedly contacted my sister-in-law to cancel the day before. Mark did apologise for this but informed me that Emma is not the only person who can confirm treatments so why couldn’t our treatment times have been confirmed by the original phone call???
In this MacDonald hotel it seems that not all staff are trained to confirm treatment times. It is very disappointing service from a top hotel??!!
When queried what would have happened if we had turned up on Monday morning Mark, the spa staff member replied that the question was a rhetorical one. Disgusted by this response I went on to ask why we were not contacted if our spa day was no longer confirmed and had indeed been cancelled. I was then told that because Fiona had phoned on Sunday morning she had been told of the cancellation. So we only found out that our day had been cancelled because Fiona had phoned on Sunday to confirm treatment times as we hadn’t heard from any member of staff.

So there was no phone call or email confirming cancellation.
In summary, your spa break can be confirmed and cancelled within 24 hours, not all staff are trained in confirming treatment times, staff do not take responsibility in informing you of any cancellation and you are not able to speak to the one member of staff who was dealing with your booking.
Needless to say we would not advise anyone to book a spa day at this particular MacDonald hotel.
We are extremely disappointed to have no spa day booked after taking the day off work especially!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Service
3  Thank Nell M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a reply. Unfortunately your reservation made through a third party came to the spa when all appointments were already full. We contacted you as soon as this was realised. We close our availability with third parties when the spa is full to avoid such incident, unfotunately your reservation came when completing this process. Of course, all money was refunded right away but again I apologise for the inconvenince this clearly has caused you.

Kind regards

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1,122 - 1,128 of 1,485 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2014

We held our wedding at Houstoun House on 21 March 2014 and could not be happier with our big day; I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to all the staff that made our day special and memorable.

Special mention to Catherine Coleman and Debbie Catchlove who provided a professional and friendly service, responding to our many queries throughout the planning stages and always very accommodating.

The Master of Ceremonies Gianni was excellent on the day ensuring it ran like clockwork. He also kept me well informed throughout the day which was much appreciated.

Prior to booking the Houstoun House we had visited numerous other venues but none had the same wow factor as Houstoun. The venue created a truly magical atmosphere which has been echoed by many of our guests. Our guests have not stopped raving about the excellent food which added to making the day perfect.

We have been so impressed with the venue that we felt the need to submit a Vows award(Voted Outstanding Wedding Supplier) as in my opinion special recognition is deserved.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2014

Mark,
Thank you very much for the very kind comments on your review and rest assured it has been well shared with my team. The hotel is a beautiful set up and wonderful back drop for a wedding but it is extremely pleasing to read you had such a great day made special by the hospitality of the team.
kindest regards

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Reviewed 31 March 2014

my nephew was getting married in this hotel so we booked an overnight stay so that we could enjoy the wedding and did not have to drive back to glasgow as my husband has atheritis and sometimes gets sore during the course of the night .we got booked in early as the wedding was starting at 1pm ,we got attended to right away and told which way to go to our room avoiding stairs as my hubby walks with a stick ,the room was very big and had ample seats telly ect the breakfast the next morning was great we had a great night at the wedding and the staff could not do enough for us food was good the only drawback was the price drink 3 vodca coke plus 1 coke £22 a bit overpriced otherwise we could not fault this hotel

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank travelbug170945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review. I am delighted you had a most enjoyable stay and a great time at your nephew's wedding. The hotel has an ideallic setting for a wedding and thank you for the great comments about the team.

Kind regards

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Reviewed 30 March 2014

My husband and I were married at The Houstoun House last March and wanted to stay again for our anniversary. We have very happy memories of the hotel and staying a year later, the hotel didn't disappoint.
The staff are fantastic, so friendly and helpful. They were kind enough to make our stay personal with a card and chocolates in our room on arrival and a personalised menu for us to have as a keepsake. The meal in the restaurant was delicious, the lamb cooked to perfection! Breakfast the following morning was also great, with lots of choice.
I absolutely love this hotel and hope to visit it again on future anniversaries!

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Suzie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2014

Suzie,

It was so nice to welcome you back for your Anniversay, a year already!! Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review and rest assured I have shared the team. They are very passionate and it is always rewarding to hear when it is so well aprreciated.

We all look forward to welcoming you back soon.

kindest regards

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Reviewed 13 March 2014

Stayed here for three nights. All I can say is that my stay wasn't more than average, enormously overpriced food which wasn't all that good to begin with. Then returning to a room without WIFI -- the hotel is set in an old building, but I wasn't aware that they would actually take that 'dark ages theme' this far....

Room Tip: Take a room close to the reception if possible, then you might get free WIFI
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank Koen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review and I am sorry you found the food overpriced.
We recenlty adopted The cloud as our free internet provider with free acces in all areas of the hotel. While we had some great feedback about speed of the service I am sorry that you had difficulty connecting on this isolated occasion.
We have different room decor and style to suit various taste and my team would have been delighted to show you other rooms.
Kind regards

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Reviewed 12 March 2014

I hosted a party of 18 here last weekend for the Scotland v France rugby match at Murrayfield, we had a superb lunch upstairs in a private dining room and the food was great ( roast beef and Yorkshire pud especially ).

All the rooms are very nice and we had a private breakfast on the Sunday morning before leaving.

Great stay with super service, many thanks to Catherine, Herve and all the staff at Houston House.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
1  Thank Andrew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Andrew,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.
it was a pleasure to welcome you back with your group and I am delighted you all had a great time at the rugby and enjoyed your lunch in the Jeremy Wares Restaurant.
I, with the team look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Kindest regards

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Reviewed 11 March 2014

Set in beautiful grounds this 1548 hotel provides the atmosphere you would expect in Scotland. We stayed in the rooms outside the main hotel which were large,clean and adequate. Room facilities included flat screen tv, tea/coffee facilities iron/board. Large comfy bed. A little inconvenience going to and from restaurant from these rooms but it's just a stones throw away from the restaurant and an umbrella will suffice. The food in the bar was excellent. However the meal we had in the main restaurant was very disappointing. Which was surprising. The breakfast however didn't and was a credit to the hotel. Tips. The train station was a mere 5mins away. Cost approx £4 return to Edinburgh (about 17mins journey) they run every 15 so as parking in the city is s nightmare leave the car and enjoy the sights of the city. The dungeons are a must see as is the castle and the queens residence. All the museums are free and are well worth the visit. Do visit the old town as well as the new as their are little shops to explore. Note. This hotel is refurbishing the spa. The swimming pool was in use. It caused little inconvenience although the men's changing rooms were out of action. It would of be nice if the hotel had forward us.

Room Tip: Catch the train into Edinburgh as parking is expensive and limited.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Blondeblueyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. I am pleased you enjoyed the hotel and found it a great base to explore Edinburgh.

We are a week away from completing the £120,000 refurbishment of the ladies and gents changing rooms. I apologise for the inconvinence of the work caused and we tried hard to minimise disrutptions. I sure the new changing rooms will be greatly enjoyed.

I look forward in the opportunity to welcoming you back and do not hesitate to contact me personally on gm.houstounhouse@macdonald-hotels.co.uk when I will be happy to organise your reservation.

kindest regards

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Additional Information about Macdonald Houstoun House

Address: West Lothian, Uphall EH52 6JS, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > West Lothian > Uphall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uphall
Price Range: £71 - £145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Houstoun House 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in a secluded spot near Livingston just west of Edinburgh, and set in 22 acres of beautiful woodlands, Macdonald Houstoun House is the perfect country hotel and retreat. Once visited by Mary Queen of Scots, the historic building has the classic grace of a 16th century Tower House. Inside, 70 rooms blend luxury and character, with a unique feature bedroom in the Tower For food-lovers, the Jeremy Wares at Houstoun House restaurant has two AA Rosettes for excellent local ingredients, expertly cooked in season. In the cellar, the cosy Vaulted Bar is the perfect spot for a drink or afternoon tea. Our Leisure Club and Spa have ample scope for working off the calories and a host of rejuvenating treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel Livingston
Macdonald Houstoun Hotel
Macdonald Houstoun Livingston
Houston House Hotel
Macdonald Houstoun House Uphall, West Lothian

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