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“Didn't really cut it for us”

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Bannatyne Hotel - Charlton House
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Shepton Mallet
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 June 2014

Stayed here for overnight in. May with friends booking a package including drinks, evening meal and spa treatments. The hotel itself is nice and the room was of a good standard and all individually decorated. The package we booked was just under £200 for the night including evening meal, breakfast and a spa. Additional spa treatments were pricey and not that great. I paid for an additional facial and I've had better. All extras were not cheap so take this into consideration. Drinks were expensive £7.50 for a gin and tonic and with the extras added up the bill was rather pricey for a night away.Upon arrival at the hotel we just wanted some drinks however had to repeatedly ask for someone to take our order and when we asked to sit outside as it was sunny, this was met with the attitude of it being a bit inconvenient. The hotel staff were ok however the spa staff were stale and grumpy when I accidentally pressed the alarm button thinking it was to start the steam, Rather than coming to tell me that what I'd done was accidentally pressed the button the staff member literally stormed in and told me off, leaving me feeling somewhat awkward and a little bit embarrassed. I guess it's not what you say but how you say it! Similarly the dinner waiting staff in the evening were unfriendly, unwilling to give an opinion on anything and gave the impression they generally didn't want to be there. Food in the restaurant for the evening meal was ok. Nothing great. Breakfast was actually fabulous, with a range of food available and very pleasant waiting staff so I'm sure this is down to individual personalities rather than a hotel approach! Probably won't stay there again as I'm sure there are other places with better experiences to offer within similar budgets. This spa was average and rather dated in the decor. A bit tacky. I think this hotel need a bit of investment. Overall the stay way hit and miss to be truthful, I think I've probably been a bit fairer in this review than I ought to have been!

Room Tip: Choose somewhere else as I'm sure thee are nicer places with better value deals.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank J S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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542 - 548 of 990 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2014

Just returned from a night's break at Charlton House. The hotel is gorgeous with lots of interesting, shabby-chic furniture and pictures. We were upgraded to East Wing, a huge double room (plus twin we didn't use) with indoor balcony area, lounge section and bathroom with a bath and powerful shower. Very luxurious room and we were extremely impressed.

All hotel and restaurant staff were very helpful and accommodating. We were shown where everything is and up to our bedroom on arrival. Evening meal and breakfast were both good, service was excellent. We bought the Exotic Spa break which was really good value.

The spa itself is tiny but lovely and everything you'd expect with pool, hot tub, steam and sauna etc. Luckily we stayed midweek and it was quiet, so we mostly had the facilities to ourselves. When busy I'd imagine you'd feel a bit cramped, especially using the small changing area. Our lava shell massages were fantastic and really relaxing, these are usually 30 mins long. Overall a brilliant stay and I'd definitely recommend!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sare473
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

Overall we enjoyed our 2 night stay. The hotel has lots of character, each of the rooms are different and have names as well as numbers. We stayed right at the top in the aptly named 'Crows Nest' room 12. This was a converted loft room with pitched ceiling and a nice view over the well kept gardens. I am tall and the ceilings get low towards the edges. I bumped my head a couple of times. There are no drawers, even in the bedsides, so we had to live out of our cases but this was not an issue for us. The fridge with complementary mineral water and mix of quality teas and cafetiere with ground coffee was a nice touch as were the Bannatyne branded toiletries in the bathroom. The bathroom had great water pressure, you could fill the bath in a minute! Unfortunately, the shower, which looked like an antique telephone had nowhere to hang the head. We took it it turns to hold the head so the other could take a shower. A strange omission in a hotel room.

The weather was lovely when we were there, so we spent a lot of time in the garden and not much in the lounge. Both are full of character. We particularly liked the collection of chaise longes on the lawn - much more grand than the usual sun loungers. The garden itself is well worth a stroll around, if the weather is good as it was for us.

We had afternoon tea included in our package and had this sitting on the patio area. This was nicely presented and quite a feast of fancy fresh cream cakes and trimmed sandwiches with Assam tea. We had dinner booked later and considered delaying it, we were so full. They served a generous portion of double cream, not clotted cream though. When we finished, we noticed a paper serviette had been dropped by someone, more on that later...

Dinner was well presented and nicely cooked. There was quite a variety of options, and all were well presented and of good quality. The portions were not large, but fairly typical of what you get for this quality of food, though I can see where some other reviewers are coming from when they have commented on 'small portions' This is more quality then quantity. The desserts were very rich and well presented. A fitting end to the meal. Staff were friendly and 'tried hard' though they weren't as efficient as you would have hoped. They left a table opposite ours with dirty plates until the end of the night. Also, not sure if it was because we were on a Red Letters days package and we had declined the offer of upgrading our room for an additional £80 but the head waiter passed us by while we waited to be seated on entry. In passing, he said one of the other staff would see to us. We did not wait long, but felt a bit snubbed by this. We noted that he saw everyone else to their table and seated them, we were simply 'shown the way'.

Breakfast on both mornings was a treat. They do a great eggs Benedict which is my wife's favourite. I had the full English with extra sausages (You only get one sausage unless you ask!) first morning and the Kedgeree for the second. I asked for a large portion and got plenty. In addition to this, it was delicious. They had pastries, cereals and yogurts. No cut meats or cheese though. Since their aim is to be top quality, they really should include these options for the full continental experience.

The fitness centre is very small and not the main push for the spa. Only a couple of machines. Downstairs, the Spa is fairly spacious. Like the touch of the pool spanning indoors and outdoors. We also liked the outside jacuzzi with roof. Although the steam room was out of action on the first day and the jacuzzi on the second.

Our package included an hours worth of treatments and we chose a couples Swedish massage. Although the masseurs could have had 'stronger fingers', the experience was very relaxing and no complaints on the quality of the treatment. There was also no hard sell of lotions, etc. this was a welcome omission. Unfortunately though, they started late and finished early, meaning we received 20 mins less time than purchased between us. We were not sure if we were only entitled to this since this break was a Christmas gift from our daughter. We checked out later in the evening and mentioned to the reception in the following morning. That evening we were presented with a package of Elemis product as compensation. We thought this was fair but we should not have had to mention this and would have preferred our full quota of treatment time.

Now to that serviette. We noticed this was still there after breakfast the following morning. The table was right by the garden door and totally visible. The staff should have been ashamed this was not spotted immediately and 'instinctively' picked up. The manager was away that weekend. However, it is my belief that such instinctiveness should be in the staff regardless. This should not take the manager to notice and enforce. We mentioned to reception at time of the spa issue and it was removed immediately with some 'tuts' from what appeared to be the maintenance man. He was disappointed at the staffs failure, not our reporting the issue.

This plus the table left at dinner are two areas which really brought down the quality of what is otherwise a lovely hotel that overall does deliver a quality experience. The hotel is located in a beautiful part of the country and makes a relaxing break and possibilities to explore locally. Hopefully, the manager get will read this and add some comments on his employees failures noted in this 'positive' review.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Qwassy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed here on Sunday 25th May and we had a fantastic time. The first impressions of the hotel were brilliant and the inside was even better. We were welcomed in reception and given a tour of the hotel which was very helpful. We were located in a room which was fantastic. The bed was the comfiest king size bed I'd ever slept in! The shower and bath was also located upstairs and had a balcony which overlooked the bedroom, very quirky! Our room was located right next to the spa and we had our own patio area with a gate which led out to the swimming pool and jaccuzzi.We made the booking through a groupon deal and organised spa treatments where we had a full body massage and facials. Unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the lady who did my treatment however she had long, brown, curly hair and was so friendly and gave me the best service possible. We would also like to mention that the waitress/ bar tender also with brown curly hair was fantastic. She was so friendly and even brought out a tray of chocolates for me after dinner as we were celebrating my birthday. thank you! The food in the hotel was also brilliant, especially the presentation. The morning we checked out we had breakfast and the selection was fantastic. Overall we really enjoyed our stay and couldn't praise the hotel and staff anymore. We will deffinately be staying again! Such a hidden treasure.

Room Tip: Get a room next to the spa :)
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Caroline D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2014

As a couple we were part of Wedding Party (our first time at this hotel)
Lucky to have the garden lodge, which is self contained and separate, but still within the calming and well managed gardens, this facility was first class. A truly peaceful and relaxing hotel.
All the staff seemed to enjoy their work, and were pleased to help. Drinks are overpriced, is my only criticism

  • Stayed: May 2014
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Thank mr10percent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2014 via mobile

This was the second time I've visited Charlton House. The heavenly bliss package was perfect for my sister and I (two busy mums) needing some R&R. It was a perfect break and we couldn't fault the hotel or service. We were far to busy relaxing and enjoying ourselves to notice water marks or torn curtains as mentioned in other reviews!! We shall definitely be back. Thanks for a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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Thank paulalee71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Just stopped for one night B&B and dined out so can't comment on the food but the menu looked good. I checked in quickly and then immediately left to go out to dinner.On returning I had a nightcap with other guests who had attended the same dinner...engrossed in conversation I didn;t really "take in " my surroundings. Once in my room I slept well in a very comfortable bed...crisp linen, soft towels etc etc. Only in the light of day did I notice how unloved the room and bathroom were....tired and tatty. Where window latches had been moved or replaced the old screw holes were left unfilled and unpainted...in the bathroom, the shower over the bath had no hook to hang the shower head on...the taps on the basin didn;t match the ones in the bath...on the positive side there was plenty of hot water at good pressure despite being in the eaves of the building.

Breakfast buffet was good. Excellent choice of cereals, good tea and delicious cooked breakfast served by a quiet and efficient waitress in the spacious restaurant.

Again, looking around the public areas, while checking out, one could help but notice the well worn furniture, slightly tatty paintwork and overall lack of maintenance.

One can imagine that the building was once a grand private residence that had been passed from generation to generation and that death duties had prevented the family from being able to properly maintain it. Now it is in corporate hands and the owners need to carefully examine the condition of their beautiful asset. They urgently need to find the funds or at the very least put in place a programme of renovation to bring the wonderful building up to the standard it deserves.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank zeebigcheese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bannatyne Hotel - Charlton House

Address: Charlton Road, Shepton Mallet BA4 4PR, England (Formerly Bannatyne's)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Shepton Mallet
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Shepton Mallet
Price Range: £77 - £838 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Bannatyne Hotel - Charlton House 4*
Number of rooms: 28
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Also Known As:
Bannatyne`s Charlton House Hotel Shepton Mallet
Charlton Hotel Shepton Mallet
Bannatyne Hotel - Charlton House Shepton Mallet, Somerset

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