Rated 5 out of 5 by Jerrie727 Great Fall Get-Away
I stayed overnight at the Ballantyne Hotel Charlotte this past weekend and had a very pleasant time. The special appointments of the room were what I expected, but I particularly enjoyed the view of the golf course.
From the veranda, I could see for miles, and I was greatly refreshed at the end of my stay.
As this was my first visit, I wanted to be wowed, so when I wasn't satisfied with my first room assignment, I asked for another and got it - with no hassles. That really made my trip.
October 27, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by LKNGal Nice Hotel, Disappointing Experience
The hotel itself is very nice. The rooms were nice and the bathrooms were large and well appointed. This overall review is all-inclusive of our two day experience at the Ballantyne Resort – which includes the Golf Amenities, the Spa Facilities, the Four-Star Gallery Restaurant, and the Ballantyne Hotel & Resort (part of SPG).
As an SPG Gold Member who planned an extensive (AND EXPENSIVE) weekend for my husband's special birthday (to include private golf lessons, a round of golf, a full spa day, and several meals), I am disappointed in my experience.
The golf lessons (via Dana Radar) are outside the scope of the hotel review - I'll just say they were great! The course is quite nice - though, there is no beverage cart. As a side note, the email link to contact the golf course is an invalid email – you have to call for any tee times or other needs. The golf course did mix up our tee time, but were able to eventually get us off to a quick start. Though, there was nobody to help carry our bags from the golf shop / cart area up to our car – so we did that ourselves.
Lunch at the Gallery (a Forbes Four-Star Rated Restaurant) was mediocre - the view on the balcony was nice, but our burgers which we requested Medium (him) and Mid-Well (me) came out very WELL and dry! Plus, my onions had a short dark hair in them (I have shoulder-length blonde, so it wasn’t mine!). I told the waitress not to worry about it because we had a tee time in 30 mins and couldn't wait. As a plus, I liked the homemade jams the preceded our burgers, and the fries were good. So, our bill came, we paid with a CC and left. We were planning on doing the chef's 8-course tasting menu for dinner, but after that, I cancelled and we went offsite for dinner!
For a special Birthday (surprise!) weekend - which I called to confirm these details - I was told we were going to be upgraded (as an SPG Gold Member) to a Balcony Room with a King Bed facing the Golf Course. We get to our room and it's a golf-view (with massive spider webs outside and a large spider living on the window – windows need washed outside, I also noticed this in the spa) but the room was subpar without the anticipated balcony.
I immediately called the front desk who politely said they couldn't upgrade me (due to availability) to a suite nor could they get me a King balcony room unless we wanted to view the parking lot. Frustrated, I said no thanks – for his birthday, and after a golf-centered day on site, we wanted to see the golf course. Frustrated, I decided to called back and said fine if that was ALL THEY COULD DO, because the idea of breakfast on the balcony was part of the vision for the day. So, we waited until the bellman (Jay, who was very nice & helpful) came again to get our luggage and brought our new room key moving us to a balcony room with a lovely parking lot view. Hmmm... Loyalty appreciation, I think not! (Here's what happened… in my SPG account, my general preferences state high floor, king bed and preferably not adjoining rooms). So... for my VERY SPECIFIC reservation requests, they "assumed" my preference for a non-adjoining room was to be above my request for a Loyalty upgrade or the Balcony room. TSK TSK! (Now, they did have one balcony room facing the course, BUT, ONLY IF my husband and I wanted to sleep in SEPERATE beds!!!!)
The spa - ahhhh! So you would think. It's a decent spa, and I like that they have working steam and saunas, but it's a VERY FAR cry from Grove Park Inn - which is my personal standard for best in class spas. The massages were very good quality (couples massage), and our pedicures were good (though my service provider arrived chewing food, said hello and really didn't speak or make eye contact throughout the experience). My husband's provider was warmer and reasonably engaging.
We had pre-booked lunch to be delivered at the outdoor pool. Well, after waiting 20 minutes the food arrived after we (personally) hunted down the waiter who was delivering it to the balcony. Hmmm... The salad was enough for a total of 6 bites. Tasty though, just small. Though, not that unexpected for a 'spa' menu-salad - on the other hand, the Gallery made it. Not impressed.
Our waiter asked if we needed anything else, we said - Yes, we each ordered alcoholic drinks (me the Ballantyne, my husband the Blueberry Basil drink.) He said someone else would be bringing that to us.
We waited, 30 minutes after finishing our salad, still no drinks. We're at a spa, poolside, and ordered our drinks at 11AM and it's now after lunchtime and still no drinks. I guess it was lost in the mix because we had vouchers for free SPG Gold member drinks - but way to drop the ball Ballantyne!
I went in and they tried to figure it out for us, they were very polite at the front desk. I go downstairs to change, and couldn't find an attendant in the oddly appointed greeting area downstairs to follow up on this... maybe THEY could help find our drinks that were MIA! So, at this point, (which is actually on my husband's Birth-DAY), he just wanted to leave. We changed, went back upstairs, and asked to check out. I asked the gentleman to just please see if he could get us our drinks and we'll take them to our room - at this point, our room would be more relaxing than all this frustration. He politely agreed and we proceeded to checkout.
Now, as a plus, I had very meticulously planned every detail of the day for over a month. I spoke with a front desk (hotel) manager, and Lydia in the spa many times over email. Both were extremely helpful and accommodating. I would give the spa 1 star if it weren't for my prior/pre-experience with Lydia. Also, my masseuse (a gentleman) was great as well - great pressure and technique! Lydia had confirmed I could use my SpaWish gift certificates for our visit (the hotel participates in this program) - which I was grateful for!
At spa checkout, I gave the gal my gift certs and paid the balance to the room bill. I got a call from her a few minutes after we returned to our room (after waiting for the bar to make our drinks - the Ballantyne was great, the basil one was disgusting and we dumped it). There had been a mix-up with SpaWish noting two of my vouchers had been previously redeemed - I took care of this with SpaWish separately and in the meantime the spa was very patient as I gave them different vouchers/gift cards to redeem so we were able to close out without incident. I appreciated their patience with this after the fact.
Appreciatively, as SPG Gold, we were allotted a late 4PM checkout. We intended to shower and nap before heading to a different uptown hotel for that evening. We had a 6-course wine-dinner booked at Ruth's Chris which we were looking forward to, but simply wanted to stay closer to the restaurant Sunday evening. On the heels of all these aforementioned adventures at Ballantyne, we decided to just pack up and leave for our uptown hotel.
Net, I've heard great things about this hotel and greater things about the spa & restaurant. I will say the golf (Ballantyne course & the Dana Radar School were exceptional!) But the GPI I benchmark it against puts it to shame. Overall, pretty hotel and the rooms are nice. The communication with the staff in planning this special weekend was rather exceptional, so I appreciate that! The Gallery Restaurant wasn't impressive (though, brunch Sunday morning - crab cake benedict - was very good!). Skip the Gallery for lunch though – I wouldn’t go back for dinner. Leading up to our hotel stay, I called on three occasions only to have nobody answer at the Gallery restaurant – and yes, it was during business hours. Hence, we didn’t do our Saturday dinner with wine and the Chef’s coursed meal…
The staff/admin at the Spa were fantastic. Though, the spa as a whole doesn't have their act together. It is a very pretty spa with nice amenities, but when you stay at a Spa resort you expect seamless transitions. Our 'service' providers were late in picking us up for our treatments. One failed to tell my husband to return to the men's lounge where he'd be picked up for his next treatment. So... the Birthday Boy stood awkwardly in the hallway until someone kindly alerted me that he wasn't sure where he was supposed to be. So I went out to the hall (in the “quiet treatment area”) and let him know where to go. The transitions were poor between treatments!
In fairness, I would like to point out there were a few people who were exceptional leading up to our visit – they were all thoughtful and timely with their follow-ups to my inquiries as I meticulously planned every detail. These individuals were prompt, professional and accommodating – so I thank them (omitting last names for public Yelp review cut & paste): Lydia (spa – she was especially helpful with my planning needs and questions), Carolina K. (hotel), Alan G. (hotel), Cameron B. (hotel) & Audrey B. (hotel).
Nice facilities, nice people, but not an A-Class experience overall – you PAY FOR THE EPXERIENCE PLUS THE VENUE – great venue, underwhelming experience. VERY disappointed in the room problem (This was a BIG deal), plus I'd called and emailed three times to confirm this. Thankfully, we slept ok in our parking-lot view room, but missed our drinks with lunch and just had a mediocre experience overall.
All in, after the total cost, I would rather drive a few hours for an experience that is far superior at the same price. It was worth a try since we're local... now we know.
October 21, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Phoebe3 Sometimes a Cup of Tea in the Lounge Is Just a Cup of Tea and a Cookie
Or it should be. A fancy expensive tea is not what is wanted. I am English and should know! Too fancy and too expensive, clearly why there is nobody there at tea time. Why not offer the Almond Macaroon Cookies as an alternative? Your restaurant does and they are spectacular.
October 13, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Erin16 Comfortable, friendly staff, upscale
Both the rooms and the general area of the hotel felt very comfortable. The staff was exceedingly friendly and helpful. The location is great, close to lots of shopping and dining options and the golf course right out back. This was my second trip here and I will be back.
October 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Margaret09 Beautiful hotel
Too far from heart of Charlotte because of traffic, so we felt like too much time was wasted on the highway, even though we were in a tour van. The food and service were excellent, though the restaurant was quite a long walk from our room. The spa was outstanding, our room was spotless and the view of the golf course was awesome.
October 11, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by roundabout overall fair
The hotel has great amenities pool, spa etc, however the room for the price paid was average, reservations attitude change noticeable due to the fact the hotel was booked via third party, menus at rest. not being changed timely day to night, made ordering correctly unnecessarily confusing for guests and staff, the courtesy van broken down, the error made at golf pro shop ref. tee time and no courtesy discount for hotel guests to play, very limited concierge counter service,made the overall experience a 6 out of 10.
September 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Brenda14 Amazing Hotel
I have stayed in hotels around the world for business purposes and this hotel is in the top group - well appointed, well staffed, well done!
September 26, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Cher19 The best restaurant on earth
The Gallery at the hotel was so good we didn't even go into town.
However, I was not given the room I requested which was a balcony golf course view with king bed. Instead they tried to give me a first floor balcony looking at a parking lot. They did move us but only had a balcony with double beds.
Then I was charged for a newspaper that I was unaware of - twice for the same paper.
September 15, 2014