Hello! Sorry for the silence – I’m away! Right now, I should be up to my neck in massage oil, having a nice Masseuse rubbing away my tensions.
I’m not though.
Don’t get me wrong – I love sitting in the Dragon Bar at Alton Towers supping a drink – but this wasn’t the plan! Let me explain..
We got here yesterday, and handed the baby over to the Mother in Law so we could have two child free days of R+R at Alton Towers Hotel. We got our room, and decided to head over to The Spa to book our treatments for tomorrow – a massage for two and an afternoon lolling about in the ‘Aqua Relaxation Rooms’. The door to The Spa was locked, which was a bit odd – there aren’t many staff in there so we assumed they’d just nipped away for a moment.
We decided to go and make use of our Waterpark tickets and go for a swim and book the Spa later. We got to the Waterpark to be told it was closing at 4pm (the time was 3.55pm). Grrrr – we weren’t told at Check In the Waterpark was closing so early (it’s normally open till 6pm!) We decided to come back to the Bar, and even asked the barman if The Spa was closed, he said it wasn’t, and would be open till 8pm.
We had a few drinks and went back to the Spa, to find the door locked again. I had a horrible sinking feeling it was closed.
We went to the reception to see what was happening, the news wasn’t good.
The Spa was closed, and would be fully open until Friday.
I was seething, Loz was mortified, the whole purpose of coming here was to have a rest and relax and indulge ourselves in some expensive Spa time. It’s a bit of a logistical pain to organise Child Free time as well as to be able to afford the stay! The Reception Supervisor was very nice and explained that it’d have to be referred to the Duty Manager and that he’d call me when he could. We enquired if we could maybe go to play some ‘Extraordinary Golf’ – it was raining, they don’t open it while it’s raining as ‘It tends to flood’ – BRILLIANT.
We went back to our room, both upset and angry at how we weren’t told that The Spa was closed when we booked, the telephone operator even offered to book our Spa treatments on the phone! To add insult to injury, The Spa brochures were even on the bed in the bedroom!
Eventually, the Duty Manager called – he wasn’t massively helpful, or reassuring – I was told they’d need to be an ‘investigation’ and that he’d ’email’ when he’d completed it. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want the fucking Leveson Inquiry, I just wanted some sort of resolution while we were still here. He admitted there wasn’t much he could do – they needed to listen back to the call when I booked to see if what I was saying was true, and that they hadn’t mentioned The Spa was closed. He said he’d pass my details on to today’s Duty Manager and I could follow up with them.
I felt a bit annoyed there was no resolution or solution presented, no ‘we’ll buy you dinner to say sorry’ or ‘we’ll send some wine to your table’ – we’d hit a brick wall until it was proved I wasn’t lying.
We had a lovely dinner here last night, the staff and food at The Secret Garden Restaurant are just superb, and it’s very fairly priced, the staff (that Duty Manager aside) are all delightful. After a relatively okay night’s sleep (the mattresses in the normal rooms are just as shit as those found in the ‘Moon Voyager Rooms’), we awoke to a fairly quiet day. The Splash Landings Hotel is a bit of a ghost town this week, the Bar and Restaurant are having a re-furb so there’s not much to see there, we wanted to play some ‘Extraordinary Golf’ and checked at reception if it was open – it wasn’t – but the staff member said they’d open it for us! How cool? We had the course to ourself and we BOTH got a hole in one!
I eventually spoke to today’s Duty Manager who was lovely, and very sympathetic – she told me they’d found the call recording on the system, and as I said, there was no mention of The Spa closure. As a small gesture they were going to send some wine and chocolates to our room and she discussed some ways of ‘compensating’ us. I need to chat with Loz what she’d like to do, as ultimately this is ‘her’ break, her 30th Birthday treat!
Ultimately, no matter what they offer, she’s only going to have this one Birthday treat, it’s very hard to get time off work, child free time and money all at the same time to facilitate a getaway like this. So even the promise of reduced rates, free treatments etc are nice, but ultimately this trip has been soured, and can’t really be repeated as it is, which is the biggest shame. We could just have stormed off somewhere else, but we do love it here – it’s like a second home, and I’ve had so many great memories at the Resort, it’s just a shame we can’t have some more good memories this time.
Oh well.. 🙁