CHAMPNEYS - FOREST MERE - 3/10

CHAMPNEYS - FOREST MERE - 3/10

I bought a voucher via 'Groupon' website which was £225 for a standard room, use of spa facilities and spa gift. (no treatments included) This was for my partners birthday so we were offered a room upgrade on arrival. Which was offered via email before our visit, when asking if i wanted to add treatments to my stay. 

I heard amazing things about Champneys and how it was known to be one of the spa providers in the UK. However i was sadly disappointed. 

"Located in Hampshire, Forest Mere is framed by 160 acres of enchanting woodland and sweeping greens. Positioned next to a tranquil lake, our nature-filled grounds are a picture-perfect calming oasis that will lift your spirits and soothe your senses." 

On the drive in, it was breathtaking. So much beautiful land surrounding the property. A relaxing feel as you drive in and pass the lake and come round to the free car park at the rear. 

The house seemed a little dated but it added to its country charm as we entered. There was a welcome drink as we waited at reception, the queue was excessive and it took 25 minutes to get us checked in. 

The site is huge, and it was very pretty inside with wooden detailing down the walls towards our room. When i got inside our room i was very disappointed as we didn't get the room upgrade we were promised before. The room was very small and very dated and the bathroom was very basic and again very small. It didn't live up to the Champneys hype that you hear of. I went back to reception who they stated it was not possible to do the upgrade now as there was only suites left and the upgrade for only for a superior room. I had to wait a further 20 minutes for a manager to talk to, leaving my partner in the room alone. 

The manager said an upgrade shouldn't have been offered as no rooms were available and refused to upgrade us further, even though the suites were empty and was a special Occassion. I wouldn't have been bothered, but the upgrade was offered so i felt let down on arrival. 

He offered us a free 30 minutes session in the hydrotherapy pool, which they charge extra for! So that pool is not included in the standard spa packages. I have never come across a hydro pool you have to pay to use before on a spa day. He also said some chocolates and a bottle of bubbly would be sent to our room as an apology so i accepted and went on with my day. 

The pool area was nice, but the pool needed a little clean and updating as lots of tiles had come off in certain places. The Jacuzzi was nice, but small for the size of the spa. The lighting in the jacuzzi / shower was really cool and the rainforest pod showers were interesting to use. 

The hydro pool was nice, but you have to book in within a group and are told to go around the pool to experience all the different jets. I wouldn't have paid for that experience. 

There was a nice outdoor pool we got to us, and a relaxation room that overlook sit outside, where we took time to chill and take a nap. It felt very cosy and was one of our favourite spots. 

We had lunch, which was very basic again for the standard of Champneys and the set menu was very small so wasn't much choice. No cocktails only wine. We weren't full up from lunch. 

After lunch we returned to use some of our favourite bits in the spa facilities, later on in the day it was much quieter and peaceful. Our dinner was again very limited from a set menu, but we enjoyed that more than our lunch. 

When we came back to our room to get ready for dinner however the free gift of bubbly and chocolates never arrived and when we asked at reception the manager had gone home. So this was again another anti climax. 

I enjoyed parts of this spa break but over all was extremely stressful and had to leave a formal complaint on departure which amounted to nothing anyway. At reception i also asked abut our free spa gift as we didn't receive anything, to find out it was the hydro pool. So the hydro pool was i fact not a free gift but a gift we already paid for as part of our package and wasn't informed about at check in. This was a massive over site. 

I got a follow up email with an apology, but no discount voucher or a chance to come back to experience the spa again. I wouldn't recommend based on my spa stay. The site has the potential for a good stay, but i would only recommend the higher value rooms and don't expect too much from customer a service point of view.  

Facilities: 6/10 

Accomodation: 5/10

Food: 3/10

Customer Service: 1/10 

Overall Experience: 3/10

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