A bittersweet spa day

First things first I would like to apologise for lack of pictures in this post as I didn’t have my phone with me for the first half of the spa day however the pictures on the Kallima spa website are exactly what it looks like!

Here it goes…

My best friend and I live over an hour away and with our busy lives it’s often difficult to get together and sometimes catching up over dinner just doesn’t cut it. So as she is a teacher and had a few weeks away from work we decided we needed a spa day before she gets back to teaching a new year. After a quick search on Google we thought it would be best to meet half way and we booked the Afternoon Tea spa day at the Hilton in Syon Park (full details about the spa package below)

On Thursday at 5pm my out of office was officially on and I was prepared for a long bank holiday weekend and how best to start a long weekend, by being pampered.

The Friday arrived and I was excited for my 4 favourite things – my best friend, gossip, spa treatments and afternoon tea. I had never ever been to Syon Park but wow the view as soon as you turn into the road is breath-taking – especially when the sun is beating down! Driving along the road up to Syon Park and the Hilton hotel on each side of the road were fields and one thing is for sure you wouldn’t feel as if you are in London – for anyone who watches Bollywood films it looked like a scene from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge!

My friend and I arrived at 11.30 at the spa and were warmly greeted by a lovely lady who took down our details and asked us what treatments we would like (we could pick 2 from a facial, back massage, a wrap or a scrub) I had hurt my shoulder a few days before so I knew a back massage was definitely needed however was unsure of my next treatment.

My top tip is if you don’t know what treatment to pick it’s always best to ask someone who works there. Ask them what they would pick and why as they are in that environment on a daily basis and know what’s best. It also puts them on the spot so you get an honest answer!

Based upon the receptionist’s choice my friend and I opted for the scrub. We were then were given a quick tour of the facilities which included:

  • Gym
  • Swimming pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Steam room
  • Sauna
  • Snug room which is a relaxation room

Once we got changed into our bikinis it was straight in to the Jacuzzi with lots of gossip to share!

As the afternoon went on we both used all the facilities except for the gym and were really impressed but how great they were. We eventually ended up at the snug room to wait for our therapists to come and collect us for our treatments and at the time given both therapists promptly arrived to escort us to our rooms.

The first treatment I had was the scrub where the therapist Domineek (I hope I spelt that right) gave me a quick explanation of how the treatments will go and if I had any injury’s and she should be careful of.

The first 30 mixture treatment was the scrub where the mixture was applied to my whole body (except my feet as I am so ticklish – I should have probably told Domineek that before she started as I nearly kicked her in the face, I tried to laugh it off by telling her I was playing buckeroo – oops!) once the scrub was on I waited 10 minutes then was told to go and shower to take off the scrub

After my quick shower I was back in the treatment room for a hot oil back massage. I don’t usually like people giving me massages but Domineek was brilliant without me telling her she pointed my exact pain point and managed to get rid of all the knots in my shoulders even though I was complaining about how much it hurts. She said it will be short term pain and long term pain, jokes aside she did say she would stop if it hurt too much but I know I don’t have a high pain threshold so I told her to do what she needed to as I was determined to leave that room destressed and knotted out! After my back massage I had the most amazing scalp massage and within 2 minutes I fell asleep! Much to my dismay that was the end of my treatments.

I headed back to the snug room (which by the way has the best decor I have seen – purple, grey and silver it was like a boudoir but sexier!) where my friend and I decided it was time to get ready and head out to the terrace for our much awaited afternoon tea.

This is where the bittersweet part comes in… I didn’t want to blog about this part however I knew I had to be honest.Hilton Syon Park - 1

When we arrived in the morning we were asked if we would like afternoon tea in the spa or in the terrace outside as it was a hot day we opted to top up our tans and eat in the sun.

We went outside to the terrace and let the team know that we had come from the spa for afternoon tea. We waited 10 minutes and ended up chasing the team twice so where our afternoon tea was, we then had a member of staff come back and ask our dietary requirements. A few minutes later my friend had her afternoon tea complete with sandwiches for 3-4 fillings, a gorgeous selection of cakes and pastries and some scones. Whilst I had sandwiches with 2 fillings and that was it! I asked the waitress if I
Hilton Syon Park - 3should be expecting my sweet treats and she said she would check. The waitress then came back with 2 types of biscuits and some mascarpone in a bowl with jam – and what was it! She knew I wasn’t expecting that however she did apologise but the situation was definitely out of her hand!

We then asked for some tea – which was probably the first thing that should have been given to us , definitely a school boy error! I was so disappointed with the whole afternoon tea experience as it felt we had to ask for everything that they should have known about. When I booked the spa day I made sure that I had stressed my dietary requirements and double checked they were able to cater to it however it seems as if they had forgotten. My friend who had a lovely afternoon tea felt so bad for me didn’t even finish hers as she didn’t want to eat on her own.

Well what can I say I was having a lovely day up until we got changed for afternoon tea, I was so frustrated as it’s not often I do treat myself and that my pamper day with my friend was now a terrible experience.  I have written complaint email to the team at the Hilton and I am waiting to hear back. I do understand that mistakes do happen however in this case the situation wasn’t handled well.

However on a more positive note if you are going to the Hilton for a spa day I would definitely recommend it, its value for money with great facilities in a beautiful location.

Update – After I sent an email and complained to the team at the Hilton they were very apologetic and assured me this was very unusual for them. I was offered a part refund which I happily accepted and which I think was fair as I did enjoy part of the day. The General Manager had been in touch with me once he had the complaint in his hands and kept me informed throughout the process which I do appreciate. As mentioned, I will be returning as it is a fantastic place, just had a bit of a blip this time – hopefully next time I can have a 100% positive experience,

For more information:

Afternoon Tea Spa
£90 per person – Monday – Thursday and £110 per person at weekends and bank holiday
Includes 2 x 30 minute treatment per person, choose TWO from the following; back massage, express facial or scrub or wrap and use of the spa facilities, a glass of bubbly & afternoon tea.

Website – http://www.londonsyonpark.com/Kallima-Spa
Address – London Syon Park, Middlesex, TW8 8JF

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