Oh dear, where do I start?
First things first I wouldn’t bother with this place. Barnsdale Hall used to be the place to go in the East Midlands/Rutland area. Unfortunately, it has lost its way. It is very dated (throwback 1990’s) and the staff are not customer focussed, certainly not in the Health suite area. The exception to this is the hair and beauty salon, where the ladies were lovely, attentive and I had a very good back massage.
I had booked a spa day for myself and my sister. We arrived and were not greeted well. Basic “good morning” or “did you travel far today?” non-existent. Instead, after we said what we were there for the guy on the desk dressed in casual wear said “you need to go over there” pointing to the beauty area. Over to the beauty area, we went.
The ladies in the beauty area were lovely but first things first “that’ll be £5 each for your bathrobes”????? So before we even started, £10 gone. We were then directed back to the health/fitness reception area where we had come from.
Back at this desk, the young lady now over there I can only describe as completely out of her depth customer service wise!! Practically shouting at us “here’s a towel” (apparently we should bring our own!? On a spa day???!!!) “That’ll be £5 each deposit on them”. The towels weren’t even fit to be used as dog towels!! I informed the enough young lady we would not be putting a £5 deposit on them.
Then she told us where to go (still practically shouting) “down those stairs, follow it around, take this token with you to get in, you’ll find your way around. You will need an old £1 coin or a shopping trolley token for the lockers”. To be honest it was hilarious it was so bad. A lady who looked like a local waiting for her friends shrugged her shoulders at us!!
We took a look around………(not impressed). To get into the swimming pool/spa area there is a massive turnstile thing (hence the need for the token) which is floor to ceiling!! We didn’t bother going in, instead of thinking this place wasn’t really for us. It was cold too, very cold.
As such we went back to the Hair and beauty bit and said that we were going to leave it for today. They persuaded us to stay for our treatments, which we did. I have to say the back massage was very good, thank you, Suzanne.
We decided to stay for lunch as it was included. A choice of 4 main courses. No starter, no puddings included. The “new” menu didn’t inspire. We both opted for pork loin, three times cooked chips and tomato. It arrived with no garnish and looked decidedly average. The chips were not 3 times cooked! I asked the waitress ( we were the only people in the entire restaurant) for mayo and ketchup. After a 5 minute wait, this arrived. Both had been hastily poured into massive cereal bowels to serve!!!!!! One bowl had brown sauce down the side of it.
The restaurant area is dated. Plastic flowers, old cutlery and an air of catering for older clients to it.
We decided against trying the swimming pool and spa as so far the day had been disappointing and so we opted to leave and go shopping instead!
I would not recommend this place for a spa day. I can’t comment on the hotel rooms but given the state of the dirty net curtains hanging in the lodge rooms that we saw I don’t think it would be any better.
Having been a manager for a long time in a people industry, it is sad to see the basics, not in operation. This place would be a dream for a motivated manager and team to turn around, even if money could not be particularly spent on the decor.
I would suggest the manager take a long hard look at what Barnsdale currently is, who it is catering for and then where it wants to be. For example, the deposit scheme of £5 for robes/towels is outdated and gives the impression that customers are not trusted. The same for the massive turnstile into the swimming pool area. Completely unnecessary and looks awful as well.
Barnsdale was right up there……it’s not anymore.