Just occasionally you need a break .. a rest to recharge, de-stress and spend time with the person you love.
Choosing such a place needs to be special, not to far to travel, a good reputation and a boutique feel.
So when I heard about the Spa by Kasia and the Grosvenor Pulford I booked one night with spa and dinner.
As we approached our chosen weekend venue we were greeted by an intriguing building. From the outside it looked like an old pub, dated and frankly out of character to what we were expecting.
But what a lovely warm welcome awaited as we stepped inside this most deceiving of hotels. It is warm, friendly and tastefully appointed with organic colours, charm and character.
As we arrived early we were able to leave our bags with reception and make our way into the Palm Court lounger’s for a coffee.
This was really welcome, with great coffee, attentive service and a nice biscuit.
Refreshed, we made our way to the spa.
The spa corridors are connected to the hotel and has a relaxing feel about it.
A not so great impression was given by a member of staff that implied if we wanted a look round, we would have to go there and then as they were going on their break! We simply declined as we had only just arrived and wanted a stroll round the garden.
Outside there is a Japanese garden, it looks a little forlorn and in need of much maintenance, care and attention. Whilst highlighted by the receptionist and on their website, it most likely gives a better impression in the warmer months.
On our return inside we were greeted by Kasia (I was reliably informed not THE Kasia), who asked us to complete a questionnaire followed by a request that we replace our shoes with provided slippers. Then she gave us a guided tour of the facilities.
The decor and layout offers relaxing areas to have treatments and rest.
We were told however that as our treatments were not until later in the day, we should vacate the spa changing rooms and move our belongings to the lockers off the main pool area. To be honest I felt this was a little off and unnecessary. The male changing room whilst small and clean had a single toilet cubicle with sink. The tap did not work!
We spent our first our in the gym with really helpful support and guidance from the resident coach.
After this we received the welcome drink followed by lunch.
We had a nice lunch in the lounge area off the spa. Strangely the seating was too high for the low tables and the low seating was too low for the high tables.
Lunch however was very nice.
After lunch and a rest we went swimming in the hotel pool. The changing room floor in the gents was full of water and clearly not cared for regularly, if at all. The toilet had no mat on the floor and was covered in water … definitely not pleasant when you’ve come out of the pool dripping wet and need the loo.
Next, we headed to the spa ready for our treatments only to be asked if we would settle the bill there and then. Such a strange thing to ask now since we had no clothes on having come from the pool and had no money as this was in the locker. Why it could not be placed on the room bill or a credit card taken on arrival is beyond me.
Eventually we came to have our joint spa treatments. The care and attention from the therapists was faultless, very professional and very relaxing. It was spoilt only at the very end by having to return to the public changing room, for no other reason than they couldn’t wait for his to get our things from the spa changing rooms.
Anyway we gathered everything and headed to reception to check in… bear in mind that we had our coats, outdoor clothing, wet swimwear and bathrobes.
The reception staff directed us to our room which had been upgraded to room 72.
The room was stunning .. a four poster bed set amongst warm organic and relaxing colours and textures. Everything was perfect.
The safe in the room is installed in the wardrobe. It was most likely installed before the sliding doors!
The shower head was in need of a deep clean.
After a short rest and showers we made our way to the The Palm Court restaurant for dinner. The setting here is delightful, set under an array of lights and glass ceiling.
For the life of me I could not understand though why we would be placed on a table where the seat could not be pulled out because it was in front of a pillar. Moving the seat slightly to one side allowed me to sit, only to find that the table behind us were blocked in and so consequently asked us to move when they needed to get up and leave.
The food, atmosphere and service were just fine and the pianist that we never actually saw entertained everyone all night.
So the evening came to an end feeling nicely full and a little tipsier than we might normally be .. but this was a romantic, relaxing weekend break.
So we retired to our room … only to discover that there was a loud disco playing with thumping music. We rang the reception to ask when the music would stop, only to be told that the wedding below us was due to finish at midnight.
We called numerous times well after this as it was impossible to sleep.. it eventually stopped around 01:00.
What a shame that the perfect weekend was spoilt by so many really silly mistakes.
Its the little things that matter, the attention to detail, the personal service and above all empathy with your clients.
I really liked the Grosvenor Pulford and Spa by Kasia, and hope that my experiences were one off. I’m sure that improvements will be made and lessons learnt.
For more information do visit their website.