I don't know how other reviewers can say this hotel offers "outstanding service". Maybe they all came at a dead time of the year. Or, simply, it may as well be that we were unlucky, but the fact is: whatever interaction we had with staff, we had to wait absolute ages for service.
Example no.1. Our arrival. 1:45pm. No-one manning the desk, the poor receptionist can be seen running up and down with towels while radioing people every two seconds. Phones ringing like church bells at reception. People waiting and waiting ahead of us.
After waiting (at least) 15 mins for my turn, I am finally told that our room is not ready and that we have to wait at reception for another 20 mins. Very matter of fact. No apology, nothing. Bear in mind we'd been travelling and we were knackered. Remember this is a *Four Star* hotel.
After 20 mins, I walk up to the desk to remind the overworked receptionist that we're waiting. "Oh yes", he replies. He radios the cleaners. He tells us we can go upstairs.
Definitely off to a bad start.
Example no.2. The downstairs restaurant ("El cenador"). Packed. One poor waitress, rushed off her feet, looking flustered, trying her best to attend everyone. It almost makes you want to go "don't worry, love, take a breather, we'll go elsewhere". Why on earth management doesn't hire more staff (it's mid-August!!!) is beyond me. They certainly look like they can afford it.
Oh, and by the way, the food is also super basic - forget a leaf of lettuce or a potato on the side, you get what you order (four star hotel, remember).
Yes, the rooms are amazing. They look absolutely new, trendy-looking, spacious and immaculately clean. The bathrooms have two sinks. The location is central, opposite Gaudi's "Palacio episcopal", awesome. The facilities are great, the spa is most certainly enjoyable (though, for the record, it's not included in the room price - it's 12 Euros a piece - and beware that shower caps are mandatory in the spa and if you don't have any they charge you €3 for one).
Unfortunately, though, a lot of it is gimmickry. Example: you get those grand Buck Rogers showers which look like they're from outer space, but you also need a degree in astrophysics to understand how to work them, which is quite frustrating when you simply want to have a nice warm shower. When I tried, a metal boulder came off the tap and landed on my toe. Nice.
Management are obviously aware that the showers are weird to work as they put (inadequate) instructions in every room.
The back garden is lovely, a picture basically, but you can wait ages and ages to get served a simple beer. Again, recruit more staff!
You ask for information and you're curtly told "it's written here", pointing at a maze of signs and notices at reception.
In short, Hotel Spa Ciudad Astorga certainly looks the part, but it's not worth the money as it's unnecessarily expensive and the service not up to it. Overambitious, perhaps. Frustrating, certainly.
Would NOT recommend.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- En el corazon de Astorga, ciudad cargada de patrimonio y capital de la mitica Maragateria, se encuentra el Hotel Spa Ciudad de Astorga. A la puerta de sus mas importantes monumentos , el Palacio de Gaudi y la catedral, y con acceso a pie al resto de sus principales atractivos monumentales - restos romanos, ayuntamiento barroco, museo del chocolate, museo romano, etc. - El hotel es un enclave privilegiado para una estancia inolvidable. ... more less
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