Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

Travel | March 1, 2018 | By

Wedding Anniversary Weekend Away at Craxton Wood Hotel

Facilities 4/5

Food 4/5

Service 2/5

Our wedding anniversary was a week last Sunday. My mother-in-law offered to babysit for the weekend. Yey! Of course, it was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. I looked for a deal to stay in a hotel with a nice spa. I found the MacDonald Craxton Wood Hotel on Groupon. I called the hotel up to see if there were any rooms available before I bought the voucher. They told me there was a room available, on our anniversary weekend too. Fantastic!

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

I wanted to book a treatment for both of us as well as dinner but there were two separate package deals on the Groupon site. One was a treatment with one night hotel stay and the other was dinner with one night hotel stay. So, I asked the hotel directly if they have a deal with both. They did! It included one treatment for 2 people and dinner for 2 people as well as one night stay in the hotel.

I asked if we could have a massage together as a couple massage. And the receptionist on the phone had to ask the leisure club, so, it took a while. The only available slot for a couple massage was at 1pm on the Saturday. So, she said to me, “You can have a massage first and then check in later.” I booked it straight away.


So, we sorted the kids’ lunch and their clothes bags to go to their nanny’s house before we left. We arrived in the leisure club 5 minutes early. The receptionist at the spa said, “I just called you to say that we can’t give you your massage at 1pm together as the therapist is off sick today.” (Effectively cancelling our appointment with 5 minutes notice)

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread


[Me] “When can we have it together?”

[Leisure Club] “You can have it separately tomorrow morning at 9:30 and 12:30.”

[Me] “Can we have it together at a different time?”

[Leisure Club] ‘The only time you can do together is 12 o’clock tomorrow.”

[Me] “Okay. I was looking forward to having a massage now….”

[Leisure Club] “We will give you each a complimentary glass of Prosecco for the inconvenience.”

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

I watched as the bartender poured the dregs of two bottles of Prosecco into our glasses and then topped up one of our drinks with a fresh bottle. I hoped the nearly empty bottles hadn’t been sitting around too long. We drank our drinks in the cafe before we changed into the robes and slippers and were shown around the leisure club. It was wonderful. There were 3 different saunas, 2 steam rooms, a foot jacuzzi, a pool, a garden room from where you could see a nice garden and help yourself to tea and water and a relaxation room which was very dimly lit and had reclining beds, with cushions and blankets. The only thing they were missing was a full size hot tub.


Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

Our dinner was booked at 6:30, so, we decided to leave the leisure club about 6pm. Just as I was leaving, I saw a missed call from the leisure club. I went to the desk and asked the lady on duty. It took her a while to find out why I had a missed call from them.

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread


[Leisure Club] “The therapist who is off sick today is not coming in tomorrow, either. So, we can’t give you a massage together. But, you can have a massage separately.”

That was terrible. I was on the phone for ages to book a couple massage when I was booking the hotel. And it has been cancelled twice! Also, another thing is I saw two women arriving at the desk for their treatment. Their treatment was cancelled, so, they were very upset. The lady on the desk offered a couple massage at 12pm on Sunday, which was the same time as us. I was wondering if they cancelled our treatment to book them instead?

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

My husband had gone to the car, so, I was by myself. There was a young woman who was dealing with me and there was an older women next to her. When the young one was checking with her workmates about my massage, I asked the older women if there was a way to the hotel inside instead of going around the outside. She told me she doesn’t know as it is her first day. I overheard her conversation with other workers and she was an agency worker not hotel staff.

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

[Me] “I am disappointed that our massage has been cancelled twice.”

[Leisure Club] “The only thing I can do is to apologize. What time would you like to get your massage tomorrow morning? You can have your treatment separately”

[Me] “Well… I am disappointed. Can we have it together?”

[Leisure Club] “Would you come for your massage on a different day if you want it together?”

What is this lady saying to me? To come here on a different day to get a massage? It is a bit cheeky, I thought considering this is a 4 star hotel!

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

[Me] “Well… No. It is not good service.”

As soon as I said this to the young one, the older woman next to her looked quite upset and said,

“It is not her fault someone’s been sick.”

Mmmm… It made me feel quite upset. I felt they treated me as if I was the problem.

[Me] “Can I speak to your manager?”

[Leisure Club] “The manager finished her shift, so, she is not on site. I can give you her email address if you want to write about it.”

[Me] “Can I speak to someone who is in charge of the manager’s role now? I’d prefer speaking instead of writing.”

As soon as I said this, the older woman scoffed at me. That was awful.


About 20 minutes later, the operations manager came out. She apologized, but, there wasn’t anything she could do for me. Wonderful. I went to the hotel check in counter and checked us in. My husband arrived before me as it took me a while in the leisure club. I told the deputy manager about the cancellation of the massage twice and the way the older woman had treated me like a problem. My husband said to me straight away, “Cancel the treatment.” So, I cancelled them off. The manager sincerely apologized and offered us a drink each with our meal. That was nice of him.

Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

The meal was tasty. We had a starter, a main meal and dessert. I ordered smoked salmon as a starter, a ribeye steak for my main and chocolate tart for dessert. The smoked salmon was amazing. My husband had liver parfait with toast for a starter, lamb shank for main and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. He enjoyed his meal thoroughly. We had draught Italian beer, and three more cocktails each later in the bar. I haven’t had that much to drink since I had children, so, I got quite drunk. We went back to our room and I promptly fell asleep. At 9:30pm.

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Craxton Wood Hotel Spa Review Gilded Gingerbread

The next day, we had breakfast. The breakfast was wonderful. There were continental foods as well as a full English breakfast buffet with coffee, tea and assorted juices. We decided to check out and go back to the spa. My husband finished packing while I went down to the reception. The receptionist gave me my bill which was £100 over what I was expecting.  I know I was drunk the night before but I didn’t remember eating and drinking so much! When I checked the bill they had charged us for four meals and extra drinks. When the receptionist checked they had put someone else’s dinner bill onto ours by mistake! The receptionist was apologetic and sorted our bill correctly but it took another 20 minutes.

We finally went back to the spa and enjoyed the sauna, pool and relaxation rooms. We left about 2pm. We could have stayed all day but we were missing our children so we decided to go.

Overall, the leisure club facilities, the meal and the breakfast were great. The service ranged from downright rude to incompetent but to be fair to the breakfast staff, they were great. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a massage but it was cancelled twice, so, I’d better not wait for it again and wonder if it is still on.

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