For my birthday this year, my friend Gillis and I decided to go for a wellness weekend in the Belgian spa town of Spa (where the name spa town originates from). The town itself is located down in the valley while the new wellness centre itself is located on the top of the hill and connected to the town centre using a cable lift.
As the Radisson Blu Palace had a private lift up from the hotel to the wellness centre, and my previous experiences in Radisson properties have always been good, we booked out stay there.
We arrived quite early by train in Spa, to make the most of our day, at around 11:15. When we entered the hotel to enquire whether the room might already be available there was no one present at the reception desk. After a bit of a wait someone showed up from the office, telling us that the rooms wouldn’t be available for check-in until 15:00 and that baggage could not be stored because of COVID-19.
So we went back out, strolled a bit around the town and had some boulettes liégeoises (meatballs made in the local traditional style) for lunch.
After lunch we returned back to the hotel at around 13:30 to enquire about using the hotel elevator to the wellness centre as we had a time slot at 14:00 for the spa. Magically all of a sudden there was a room available and we could check-in right away, even though it was not 15:00.
As we still had some time, we first went up to the room to drop our bags. As it was my birthday I splashed out and treated myself and my friend on a nice junior suite. The suite was in a nice modern style, with nice furniture. You entered into a hallway where you could find the entrance to the bathroom, as well as some storage space, a minibar and a coffee maker.
In between the bathroom and the outside wall there was a corridor leading to the main bedroom area, with two comfortable relaxing chairs.
The bed was comfortable and spacious and a big closet was put against the wall to the corridor, providing ample storage space.
The large window was able to be fully opened and provided access to a nice outside balcony, providing a view over the town. The furniture on the balcony was also comfortable and good looking.
The bathroom was rather small, but provided everything you needed. The most positive point was the instant hot water, as soon as you opened the tap the water flowed out at the perfect temperature, something I haven’t yet experienced a lot in hotels.
The toiletries provided where the standard Radisson brand ones. The hotel also provided extra towels and bathrobes to be used when you go up to the spa, which was very welcome.
Our time in the spa area was very nice, we enjoyed some time in the baths as well as a very good massage. The entire institute was spick and span clean, and the staff also tried their best to assist you in Dutch when they overheard you where Dutch speakers. All in all I was really impressed by the Thermes de Spa, and they sure are worth a visit.
After our visit to the spa we had a nice dinner down in the town centre at the Art de vivre restaurant. We enjoyed a delicious five-course dinner with matching wines and this all served in a family run restaurant where you felt very welcome. In my opinion they are a better pick for dinner than the hotel restaurant (judging by the menu).
The breakfast served in the morning by the hotel was slightly chaotic. They tried to implement some social distancing measures, like asking everyone to reserve a breakfast time.
In the morning we were assigned a table in one of the conference rooms, which were turned into auxiliary dining rooms to provide ample spacing between guests, which was a very good thing. They also made the hot food and pastries station with someone serving you to avoid contaminating the food.
However the rest of the buffet remained much as it would be in non-corona times. While most things where pre-packaged, you still had to grab it yourself from the buffet. And while they tried to install some system of guising people around using banners and arrows on the ground, this miserably failed.
Also the queues to use the coffee machines and water and juices stand where worrying. There is still some room for improvement over there. The quality and taste of the items on offer where good, but nothing out of the ordinary. Compared to my other Radisson experiences I might even say it was of a lower standard than I expected.
While the Radisson Blu Palace in Spa was a good standard hotel, it never stood out in anything. It’s a safe pick if the price is right when you stay in Spa, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. Considering my other experiences at Radisson Blu hotels this was the worst I had at the chain. While the hard product and design of the hotel was good, the service and organisation left a bit to be desired and came over as a bit chaotic at times.
Have you ever had a spa weekend? And how was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!