My luxury Champneys health club stay was ruined

13 August 2019

Moneywise helps a reader who was disappointed with the service they received on a spa break

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I stayed with my husband at Champneys Tring and we were very disappointed with the service we received. We couldn’t sit out on the terrace in the afternoon because of the intolerable noise of three gardeners – one with a tractor-style mower – cutting the lawn right outside the garden terrace.

While I understand that the grass has to be cut, doing this job so near the cafe terrace, just at the time when guests are arriving for a bank holiday weekend, was at the very least thoughtless.

My second complaint is about the poor service in the restaurant that evening. Service was very slow and the member of staff was unhelpful and seemed irritated by my questions. The food itself was then not of the standard we would expect from Champneys.

Service was even worse at breakfast – even though it was 8am and the restaurant was almost empty. Two waitresses were standing chatting by the dresser at the opposite end of the room and we had to wait at least 10 minutes to get their attention for my husband to order a mushroom omelette.

I had a 9am appointment in the wellbeing treatment area and after these irritations by the time I was lying on the bed I was totally unrelaxed from a stressful breakfast. The whole point of booking a stay at Champneys is to unwind.

All in all, a stay that cost us almost £600 for a night and day including treatments was very disappointing. The poor service and other issues spoilt a much-needed break after a period of ill health. I would like some compensation for our experience but Champneys has only offered an upgrade to a suite and to check in earlier if I come again. Can you help?

HN, Hampshire

I’m sorry to hear about your spoilt stay, and so was Champneys when I contacted them with your woes.

They responded quickly: “We are sorry to hear of the issues HN experienced during her spa break at Champneys Tring. We are happy to offer her a complimentary one-night stay in a suite at a resort of her choice to apologise.”

The stay includes all meals for you and your husband, which I thought was a fair offer.

You agreed and told me: “It’s great that Champneys finally recognised that my relaxing break was far from stress-free and have put things right by offering me a return visit. It wouldn’t have happened without your help.”

And there’s the rub. The health club chain should have responded more positively in the first place when you raised your complaint. It really shouldn’t have taken my intervention to make them play fair.

OUTCOME: Champneys offered the reader a free one-night stay

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