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“Once famous - now missing out!”
Review of The Castle Spa

The Castle Spa
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Oslo, Norway
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Once famous - now missing out!”
Reviewed 12 October 2013

We stayed for one week at a rented apertement in town (where car can be used). We where looking for a pool with mineral water - but that was difficult to come by in this place. Only Hotel Thermal has a outside pool with 1/3 mineral water - and this place (Zamecke Lazne) has a indoor smaller pool with mineral water.

Mina reception had english speaking person, but in the spa area it was only Czech or Russian. We get by on Russian so that was fine - but the attendants there were rude and not service minded at all. Some where better when we spoke in Russian. I feel that they are tired of not being able to assist English speaking guests.

Karlovy Vary (Carldsbad) is very well known by people who grew up in "behind the curtain" in East Europe and Russia - as this place was for the well off and famous in that time. Unfortunately it has lost its value for a visitor now (especially if you do not speak Russian) even though there are nice buildings here - some of which have been renovated to nice hotels.

Visited October 2013
5 Thank Steinar B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tampa FL
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Lots of Flash...Disappointing Delivery!”
Reviewed 18 September 2013

The spa facilities are gorgeous... one of the most beautiful spas I have ever been in. The pool is amazing and they do a Vegas style light and sound show that is spectacular.
But the treatments, staff, and strict guidelines did not meet our expectations.
A previous reviewer mentioned “East meets West.” His review is spot on. Westerners who are accustomed to being pampered in a spa setting will have a bit of culture shock.
It is also important to note that the majority of the tourists visiting Karlovy Vary are Russians. Therefore signs, restaurant menus and practically everything else in this town are written in Russian and Czech.
In order to even spend a day visiting the spa, you are required to book one of their packages which include some ridiculous treatments you may not even want. I agree with some of the other reviewers about some of the treatments being “torture.” I expected the gum irrigation to be like a water pic treatment and it consisted of inserting a mouthpiece which squirted mineral water into your mouth for 15 minutes! After one minute it was enough for me! I shudder to think of the nasal inhalation treatments! The problem is that you don’t have much choice. They don’t offer facials or body wraps or any of the regular spa procedures that are normally offered by spas worldwide.
Everything is strictly regimented so the programs only allow you to spend a pre-established time within the spa facilities. It seems like they want to get you in and out on a schedule and you are not allowed to lounge around too much. So if you book a program lasting 3 hours, you are expected to leave the facility after that time and the fine print on your printed “spa schedule” states that they will charge you extra in 15 min increments if you stay longer. A huge difference from any other spa I have ever visited where you can lounge around the entire day if you wish after booking a treatment or two.
The spa staff is accustomed to ordering their guests around. I don’t believe that they are intending to be rude; it’s just a cultural difference. For example, I protested when one of the staff members insisted that I had to “report” for an Oxygen treatment about 30 minutes earlier than it was scheduled on my print out sheet. I wanted to enjoy lounging by the beautiful pool for those 30 minutes. My assertiveness paid off and she backed down. But most guests sheepishly follow orders. A spa guest shouldn’t have to go through that nonsense when you pay for a relaxation experience. Btw, I even got a couple of the very serious spa attendants to crack a smile and chill out a bit. I will give credit to the very nice booking clerk who was patent answering my questions and the receptionists at the front desk who greeted us with a friendly and professional demeanor.
One of the biggest disappointments was the fact that I was expecting some really hot water. The springs of Karlovy Vary are renowned for their hot temperatures. They did not have a Jacuzzi or whirlpool. For the Hydrotherapy mineral bath treatment, they set the water to a lukewarm temperature. They claim that it is 38C (around 100F) but it didn’t feel that warm. When the spa attendant left the room and I turned on the hot water tap to heat the water up they freaked out and ran into my treatment room to turn it off.
My massage was also a bit disappointing. They never asked me if I preferred a male or female therapist. I’m an experienced spa goer and too old to blush so I was okay with a male therapist. However a female customer should be given a choice so as not to feel uncomfortable. A language barrier existed with the massage therapist so I couldn’t communicate to him the areas I needed him to focus on. He seemed to have his own technique and wasn’t receptive to my attempts to communicate about the pressure and modality. Overall, the massage experience was mediocre.
As far as the cost, I paid about $120.00 for the 4 hr. treatment package which is less than many Western resort spas so I didn’t feel totally ripped off and am chalking it up to a cultural difference and expectations.

Visited September 2013
11 Thank Wandalust4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A real rip-off!”
Reviewed 4 January 2013

We took a 2-hour access to the SPA with 2 treatments (Kneipp hydrotherapy & Partial massage) for 56€ per pers. Partial massage only last for 12 min and the Kneipp hydrotherapy is some kind of a torture where you have to keep your feet for 1 min in cold water 15C and then for 1 min in hot water 60C.. we found it impossible even for a couple of sec.. The only sauna available was a infra red cabine - a box for 2 pers, constantly occupied by other people.. So the only thing we could do was swim in the pool. An expensive swim was that..

Visited January 2013
10 Thank Katerina_Z2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Worst spa experience ever”
Reviewed 22 September 2012

If you get fascinated by the repressed Communist-like service, (where the client means nothing) Zamecke Lazne is the right place for you! 
The 'great' treatment starts at the entrance, with bored receptionists who treat visitors like they are not welcome.
After getting changed you enter the pool area with a second reception, where you are supposed to show the treatments you will be doing to another even more bored member of the staff who the only thing is thinking is "when will I manage to get home?"

Let's not even talk about treatments, or better 'tortures'. As we only had 2 hours time we could choose only 2 treatments: a 15' massage (??) and a oxygen treatment, a sort of inhalation. I got a on-the-way-to-retirement woman who could barely stand on her feet but at least my boyfriend got a man, who could use pressure while massaging. My 'therapist' did not even feel where she was going with the hands, her gestures where so automatic that I felt she was baking bread on me.
After the 2 treatments - oh did I mention that the oxygen inhalation included some intaking of vitamins that they dont even tell you about? they just give you 3 pills and a glass of water, without informing you what you are swallowing. So after these two great experiences we had more than 1h left that we HAD TO spend in the one and only swimming pool as the staff already switched off all the other amenities such ad the sort of 'sauna' room and all the rest. So after 30' the staff was standing in front of us, staring at us and shutting down even the whirpool AND the lights in the swimming pool.  Let's say that it must have been a very special evening for all of them in order to kick out clients half an hour before the closing time.

We travel a lot and we love going to spas. This was by so far, the worst experience I have ever had. I never felt so unwelcome before. 

Don't go to the Zamecke Lasne spa, it will make you feel bad about yourself.

Visited September 2012
12 Thank magicgea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Not delivered all it promissed”
Reviewed 10 September 2012

We booked a classic program and it was all confirmed via email and should have included:
"* 1 major and 2 minor procedures
* bathrobe and bath towel
* free using of thermomineral swimming pool
* free using of Japan acupressure pool, circulation massage shower and infrabox
* free using of relax zones and refreshing (mineral water, tee)
* surprise"
Well there was no promised surprise or Japan acupressure pool or infrabox or circulation massage shower or the drinking water. The program was regimented and there was no freedom, which is ok but perhaps it should have been made clear in advance. Also, staff did not speak English well enough. In fact I was asked to explain the procedure in English (I speak the local language as well as English) by the member of staff to two lovely American ladies who were taking Kneip hydrotherapy with me. Perhaps that was my surprise :-).
Reception is staffed by not the most pleasant ladies.
On the other hand, the facilities were beautiful and treatments were also nice. Would however go somewhere else next time.

Visited September 2012
6 Thank GinaA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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