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“Not a spa day as I know it!”

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Barnsdale Hall Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Barnsdale
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Booked a spa day via a discount site - wasn't expecting a 5* experience but did expect a more traditional spa experience. I have therefore decided to give my personal views which may sound negative but had I read this kind of review before I booked I would have had different expectations of the experience;

-Setting is great - views over Rutland Water beautiful.
-Meal in restaurant very good - 2 courses c.£12 included in the package, service great and food very good (see con).
-Staff very professional -hairdresser very personable and had good advice.

-The spa is not in the old house pictured - it is in a modern annexe at the other end of the complex.
-Pool is a "public" pool used by hotel/timeshare residents - and lots of children; not restful/relaxing - this is probably my fault for not realising the pool would not be a private area for spa guests only as in other spa settings.
-Spa guests have to ask for robes (£5 deposit) - no slippers. Again, I have always been offered this facility at other spa days as is the norm.
-Spa guests unable to keep robe on for lunch as "residents eating in the restaurant don't want to be faced with people in swimming costumes/robes" - I thought this was one of the main points of a spa day! It just was not convenient to swim, get dressed and then have to put on wet costume after lunch for another swim so the alternative was to wait for nearly 2 hours in a lounge area which basically was a small area at an end of a corridor with 2 chairs and 1 sofa until my hair appointment.
-20 minute massage treatment included in the package was nice but lasted 10 minutes.
-Very limited spa appointments on the day - in fact I believe there was only 1 appointment available.
-Lastly, felt a little surprised when my friend requested a bread roll to go with her starter - I automatically received one with my soup (bearing in mind most restaurants provide this as standard) and was charged 55p for it! Felt this was a little 'mean' but others may not agree.

If you are prepared for what you receive during this spa day you won't be disappointed especially at the low price but having experienced other spa days it was not what I personally wanted/expected - i.e. relaxation, dedicated lounge areas - soft lighting, music etc. As I was told, if I wanted this kind of experience I should have paid more and gone to nearby Ragdale Hall! However, my view is that it should have been made clear that the offer was for the "use of the facilities with one 10 minute treatment and lunch" rather than as a spa day.

I think I had different expectations and most people would have been satisfied with what they had but actually for £30 each (including a £12 lunch and 10 minute massage) it worked out to be an expensive swim!

That being said, the staff were lovely - the therapists, hair stylist and restaurant supervisor could not have been friendlier - definitely as asset to the venue.

I rated the venue as Very Good despite the rather negative comments made because I think it was my expectations that were to blame for my disappointment rather than the venue and it definitely wouldn't have been fair to mark the review as average or lower.

Room Tip: Had to put average because I did not stay in the hotel and the choice of response does not allow for...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Elaine853
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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509 - 515 of 891 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2014

Visited as part of a experience voucher and was really looking forward to visiting. The spa area which consisted of a small swimming pool and sauna and steam room were ok. Now for the afternoon tea which I have to say I was extremely disappointed in and would not recommend to anyone. We were the only ones in the restaurant which felt strange. The sandwiches were substandard and as for the cake. Rock hard scones which were hard work (scones should not be hard work). Then some other cake which seemed burnt and I actually enquired as to whether it was meant to be like that. All in all there are far better places to visit

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Jo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
barnsdalehallhotel, Manager at Barnsdale Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

Dear Reviewer,

I am sorry to read your comments regarding your recent visit to us for afternoon tea. I am surprised at the comments as our afternoon tea voucher from Acorn/Virgin experience is one of their best sellers and we do not receive any bad feedback for the thousands of guests that purchase the voucher.

The reason that there were no other people having the afternoon tea is because your voucher is not valid during the school holidays, but we must have made a special dispensation for you to use it during the holidays. I am sorry that you did not enjoy your experience of the tea.

Our swimming pool is a fully sized 22 metre swimming pool a lot larger than the pools at most hotels. I am glad to read that the sauna and spa pools were OK.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Beautiful location and you think you are gonna walk into luxury accommodation ( for the very high prices) instead you get Damp smelling and dated rooms.
If your on the ground floor expect a lot of noise at night. On complaining you get told there's nothing we can do and you leave feeling let down and disappointed!
A real Shame because the location is good the facilities are ok but such a let down.
Definitely worst place I ve ever stayed.

Stayed: August 2014
5  Thank 20laura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We went to Barnsdale Hall on a Spa Day to celebrate my daughter's birthday. The treatments included (massages) and the 2 course lunch - which we upgraded to a 3 course meal for an extra £3per person - were very good and great value as we had purchased a voucher deal. However, the "spa" facilities were very disappointing. We visited during the school holidays and it was overrun with children whilst we were visiting in an effort to chill away from hectic working lives! The changing rooms were inadequate and we had to wait for showers as there were only 4 in the ladies changing rooms and there was a dirty nappy left in one and empty toiletry bottles in other areas (with no bins nearby) - it was more like an experience I once had at Butlins! The hotel has increased its capacity with loads of lodges but its leisure facilities are inadequate to support this.

Room Tip: we did not stay at this hotel.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Thank JawLeicester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

had a one night visit to the hotel whilst attending a wedding. The accommodation was in blocks and whilst one member of the family had a small room which they said was disappointing the superior room we had was excellent albeit at £145 for the night wouldn't expect any less. The wedding reception was held in one of the function rooms and the service and food were good cannot really find a fault. We had a band in the evening and the bar stayed open late so ticked all the boxes. Breakfast on the Saturday morning was a bit hit and miss but the full English was fine and included in the price. We were told by members of the family that they had booked in on the Thursday night and the service in the restaurant was very slow. However, for us we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 415Peter1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

The hotel grounds and reception building itself are beautiful. We were part of a group booking and stayed in one their 'small doubles'. A group discount was applied which only £10 off the full price. What we got was very disappointing to say the least, the view was the yellow wall outside and we were met immediately with a smell of stale water. It was extremely noises at night so we didn't sleep the whole weekend. I complained the very first and was told we would receive a discount and a complimentary upgrade for the second night so was happy to 'rough it' for the first night. In the morning I went to see the manager as asked and was then told that as we had already received the generous 'discount' as part of a group booking that we wouldn't be getting one after all, also the room we to be upgraded to was apparently unavailable as the 'gentleman decided to stay another night. So we received no discount, no upgrade and not to mention the service in the Resturant was terrible, we had to wait nearly 40 minutes for toast on the first morning. The only thing I would recommend this hotel for is a nice walk around the grounds as value for money and comfort is definitely not what you get when you stay there. It really is a shame though as the setting is lovely.

Room Tip: Don't stay here.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Picto74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed in a lodge of the grounds and had a great week. The lodge appeared to be newly refurbished so a lovely surprise and much more than I expected. Great location for visiting Stamford, Barnsdale Gardens, took a jam making course at Rosie Makes Jam which was a fabulous 3 hours of pure indulgence. Would definitely visit again as there were so many lovely walks that we didn't fit in.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Diane1311_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barnsdale Hall Hotel

Address: Stamford Road | Nr Oakham, Barnsdale, Oakham LE15 8AB, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Rutland > Oakham > Barnsdale
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Barnsdale
Price Range: £71 - £147 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Barnsdale Hall Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With this unique setting, personal charm, character, and friendly but attentive personnel, Barnsdale Hall Hotel is the perfect venue whatever your occasion may be. Extensive spa and leisure facilities makes it a haven in which to retreat, relax and unwind. With its breathtaking views of the natural splendours of Rutland Water where better to hold your wedding reception, corporate event, or a romantic getaway for two?Set in conservation parkland on the slopes overlooking Rutland Water, Barnsdale Hall Hotel is one of the most unusual and comprehensive hotel complexes in the United Kingdom. This makes it an ideal location for corporate business, conference and leisure pastimes. With a rich and varied range of things to do on and off site there is, we believe, no better position in which to be located in this country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barnsdale Hall Oakham
Hotel Barnsdale Hall
Barnsdale Hall Hotel Rutland

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