Just before Christmas, Joy and I, went to enjoy a girly night at The Hallmark Hotel and Spa in Gloucester, which is a three star hotel and spa, situated four miles from junction 11A of the M5 motorway or three miles from Gloucester railway station. There is also an 18 hole golf course and a ski centre very close by. Our stay came as a package deal from BuyAGift.co.uk and included a one night stay for two, with breakfast and a 25 minute spa treatment. The Hallmark kindly offered us a three course dinner package too, as this often comes with their own bed, breakfast and dinner packages.
The hotel boasts 95 bedrooms, including 6 family rooms and is reported to be a 3 star hotel. I think this rating is accurately reflected in the bedrooms, but some of the public areas appear to be closer to a 4 star. The spa, health club, gym, restaurant and bar in particular.
The rooms were a little on the basic side and could possibly do with a few upgrades, but they were reasonably spacious, beds were very comfortable and I slept like a baby! We booked a twin room, but the beds were pushed so close together, that they were touching, so it’s a good job that Joy and I are comfortable with each other! The tea and coffee facilities were again on the basic side and sadly the hotels free WiFi did not work in the room. The Wifi did work very well in the bar and restaurant though. Room service was available 24 hours a day and the prices were very reasonable.
I would have expected slightly more luxurious toiletries in the bathroom of a hotel with a spa, but the towels were soft and fluffy, the water was hot and there was a heated towel rail, which we used to dry our swimwear. I’m afraid it wasn’t the cleanest of hotel bathrooms and this is reflected in my scorings for the hotel at the end of this review.
The Hallmark Hotel’s brasserie restaurant was very clean, well laid out with nice décor and lighting and a lovely ambience. A nice varied selection of seasonal food options were listed on the menu and we opted for three courses. The restaurant was extremely busy, but we didn’t wait long for our food and our super smiley waiter was extremely attentive. The food was very attractively presented and of good quality. The restaurant is definitely one of the hotels highlights and the prices demonstrated excellent value for money. The hotel bar was equally as classy as the brasserie. It serves high tea daily and has cocktail menus on the tables to tempt those relaxing in the lounge.
We returned to the restaurant for breakfast the following morning, which consisted of a hot buffet and small selection of cold buffet items. I’m generally used to a larger choice at breakfast in a hotel, but again the food was good quality, it was hot, well presented and we enjoyed it.
The highlight of my stay at the Hallmark Hotel, was the back, neck and shoulder massage I received in the spa, from a lovely lady called Harriet. She left the room to give me my privacy whilst I got changed and under the towel and when she came in, she was so friendly, that we ended up chatting all the way through my massage. As I was pregnant, she was cautious not to use essential oils (these can induce labour), made sure the pressures were a little lighter than usual and allowed me to choose the most comfortable position. The massage was extremely relaxing and quite frankly… wonderful, but to have it performed by someone I could have a long conversation with too, made it all the better. Even if I don’t have cause to stay in the hotel again (because I live nearby), I shall definitely be returning to the hotel for spa treatments and I will be specifically requesting Harriet.
The spa consisted of an unusually shaped swimming pool, with a bridge over it and many sun loungers to relax on and dry off, as well as three Jacuzzi’s, a sauna and a steam room. The pool temperature was so warm it was like getting in the bath… utter bliss! Due to being pregnant, I wasn’t able to make use of all the facilities, but I believe Joy very much enjoyed the gym and the steam room for the both of us. There are also squash courts and a variety of treatments on offer. The health club is open to day guests and memberships, in addition to hotel guests.
Just like the gym and spa, the restaurant and bar seem to attract a lot of locals too, not just hotel guests, which I believe shows the quality and reputation of the hotels facilities. Function rooms also accommodate from 2 to 200 people for conferences, meetings, weddings, parties and events. I think with a little modernisation and attention to detail in the rooms, this hotel would have the potential to earn an extra star.
Whilst staying at the Hallmark Hotel, Joy and I decided to go tubing at Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre, which is directly opposite the hotel. Be sure to pop over and check out my review of that too!
Joy’s review of the Hallmark Hotel can be found on her blog Pinkoddy.