Senator Inn & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Augusta
... on Route 1, with our mailbox coming into view and a left turn into the driveway. Everything seemed to be a blur as I tried to remember what it was like the morning we left on April 15th and how lush and green everything looked. As I pulled into "my" parking place, I looked down at the odometer and it read "10,755" miles. Our trip was officially over.
It will take a couple of days to completely get our "RV" cleaned out and everything ...
Day 13 (April 29) -- We have definitely been in the land of history of the USA .... many cities and towns inc. in the 1600s..... Today seemed very long and yet I believe the mileage was a little shorter. We started in Westhampton and are currently near Durham, Maine. Left Massachusetts and went into New Hampshire and then Maine-- the last of the United States until we make ...
... and put where its supposed to be, its close enough and we even have some room left - big shock to me.
During one of my trips to Rockland, I parked as close to the Atlantic Ocean as I could without getting the tires wet - and will do the same thing in northern California to show the Pacific. See photo.
Access to Wifi will be hit and miss, we'll check in as we can - for the next 3 months.
Time to wake the dog.
... com) and a link to the Roatan Institute for Marine Science (http://www.anthonyskey.com/rims/roatan -institute-for-marine-sciences.htm) which is where classes, etc. will be. The trip will be from December 28th to January 18th.
With the temp in the 20s all day we are READY to get going. Still getting things loaded in the RV and have scheduled eye doctor and dentist visits to be as sure as we can be that we are healthy and ready for several months 'out of Dodge'.
Our 2006 Navion H is ready to go, all systems are go and we have a place for everything we will be bringing.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
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Historical Traveler Reviews Senator Inn & Spa Augusta
My stay at the Senator was a very positive experience. The quality of the spa and spa suites is comparable to resorts I have visited in Phoenix and Las Vegas. The attention to detail and service left me feeling pampered and taken care of.
The restaurant is an amazing gourmet experience that I would not expect to find at a hotel in this area. Both the ambiance and the food are excellent.
I especially loved the spa boutique, there are some true artistic 'finds' here that are unique and affordable.
I stayed at the Best Western Senator in Augusta for one night and I will never stay there again. After check in I found that my room was very small, but that was just the beginning.
Despite their clever advertising portraying themselves as a luxury hotel, my mattress sagged and was uncomfortable. The pillows were worn out. The blanket was dirty. Their Internet connection didn't work. The reception on the first six channels of the television was bad. The lamp on the desk had a blown light bulb. The place was noisy because the parking lot is fifteen feet from your bed.
The bathroom was old and should have been renovated 15 years ago. It was smallest one I ever encountered and as you stood by the sink it actually was hard to turn around in unless you put your arms straight down and tiptoed in a circle like a ballerina. The tub was shorter than normal so it was not possible to stretch out while bathing.
Like the list of annoyances in my room, their gourmet restaurant added their own. At dinner, the service was confused and my entrée had to be sent back because it was not seasoned or properly cooked. Another guest had an unpleasant pasta. In the morning their "free" breakfast didn't include some items that you normally consume - like orange juice and toast. The couple of extra dollars I had to spend didn't break the bank; it just helped to reinforce my dislike of the way this establishment conducts business.
In their brochure they advertise that they were rated as one of the top 40 hotels in New England. I have stayed in many fine hotels in my 30 years of traveling and this isn't one of them. The only thing the Senator should be awarded is a citation for false advertising because the difference between this house of surprises and a fine hotel is of an order of magnitude so vast that it is unthinkable that it could possibly be rated anything above the bottom quarter of any known ratings scale. Underneath a thinly renovated veneer, the Best Western Senator I saw was nothing more than a modified 1950's roadside motel offering expensive but sub standard accommodations under the guise of a luxury spa.
Fine hotels have a distinctly different flavor. This one's rotten.
Ok, for one night
Stayed one night for an anniversary getaway.
Room was small and kind of dated.
I certainly don't think the bed was a Queen; more like a Full.
The bathtub faucet dripped all night.
The heat kept waking us up with a high pitched humming noise that sounded almost like the clock radio alarm!
The pool area was nice however.
Only complaint about that was the non-slip surface in the hot tub. Totally snagged up the seat of my bathing suit. They put something resembling soap into the hot tub so it was very foamy which was kind of gross.
We ate dinner at Cloud 9 on site. The food was very good & nicely presented. Also reasonably priced. We weren't exactly sure why we were seated way in the back corner of the restaurant all by ourselves; felt isolated.
So bottom line is, if your expectations are not too high for the room, you'll be fine.
We were happy with the restuarant & pool area.
Not a whole lot of other places to stay in Augusta!
Good hotel. Nothing Special
I think this hotel does benefit a good deal from being the only 3+ star hotel in Augusta. The hotel was clean, the service was good, and the wireless internet worked. However, I did have a couple of complaints - The "Free" breakfast. This is a continental breakfast that you get for free, such as a donut, muffin, fruit cup, or bowl of cereal. You do have to pay $2.50 for soda, coffee, or juice however, and including your tip, you just paid $4.00 for a free breakfast of a muffin and a cup of joe. I'd recommend going to the bagel shop down the road. To the Best Western Senator - Keep the free breakfast, it only upsets your guests when you gouge us for the beverage.
The other complaint? The key stopped working twice. It's awesome having to walk all the way from your room to the front desk.
As we walked into the lobby to check in, there was a vitriolic man who was arguing with the desk clerk and someone on the hotel phone about the quality of his room. He was all worked up into a nasty frenzy and finally hurled the phone across the counter in a display reminiscent of Russell Crow's famous tantrum. As he departed, kicking furniture and yelling at the top of his lungs, we all were appalled at his tactless actions.
Civilized people don't condone that behavior but after staying one night at the Best Western Senator I think I understand his perspective.
I was initially curious about it's name, which wasn't just Best Western Senator Inn, it was Best Western Senator Inn and Spa. I have stayed in many Best Western Inns in my lifetime and they generally provide clean decent lodging for those choosing a minimal level of service. This franchisee added spa services to the chain's normal repertoire of free television and an outdoor pool for the kids.
The spa actually is very nice with a wide range of facials, peels, treatments, and hair, nail, massage and specialty services. There is a very good exercise room with a wide range of well maintained weight training equipment and a second room for treadmills, stair climbers and ab related gear. A personal trainer is available for customized workouts.
While the lobby and halls of the hotel are very attractive, the main problem I found with Best Western Senator is the rooms. All three of ours were very small and the bathrooms were cramped and fitted with 1950's décor.
Unfortunately, the worst part of my stay was my terrible nights sleep. It was so bad that it makes any other supposed feature of this establishment completely irrelevant. Because of the buildings poor soundproofing and cheap light construction, I could hear every door opening and closing all the way down the hall. I would wake up hearing the people upstairs moving around and creaking in their bed and I could listen to the television in the next room, which the room designer thoughtfully placed on the other side of the wall next to my bed. No one was being noisy either; these were normal people conducting themselves in a normal way.
My tiny bathroom had a rapidly dripping bath spigot that gurgled all night and a toilet that didn't always shut off on it's own without opening the top of the tank and playing with it's internal mechanics. Somewhere in the room there was a device that emitted an electronic beep every couple of minutes.
In the morning they feature a complementary breakfast, but when we arrived at 9:00, we were told the choice was limited to four selections available at the buffet. When I went up, only two choices were actually present. There were no serving utensils provided for the bacon so patrons were grabbing the strips from the tray with their fingers. Toast and juice are cleverly not included in the buffet and are only available at extra cost. Later, after I was done eating, they brought out a tray of scrambled eggs, some sausage and muffins.
When I checked out, the desk clerk did not ask the traditional question "how was your stay?" Perhaps he could see the dark circles under my eyes or maybe this particular hotel doesn't want to know the answer.
If you are looking for a good nights sleep, this is definitely not the place for you. If you are looking for spa services, stay someplace else and drive here to get what you need. Do I recommend it - no. Will I ever come back - not a chance.
A pretty pool does not make for a good hotel; buyer beware; multiple problems
As a business traveler who stays in 60 to 70 hotels a year (and reviews nearly all of them on TripAdvisor), I've seen the some of the best and some of the worst. One of the most disturbing experiences is to stay in a hotel that gets good reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere, but turns out to be a very disappointing.
In the case of the Best Western Senator Inn and Spa in Augusta, I think there are three factors that contribute to the problem of a highly recommended hotel not being all it's cracked up to be:
1. A lack of good hotels in Augusta overall, so even a so-so hotel can rise to the top.
2. A pretty pool and spa, which is memorable and appealing, and gives traveler writers and reviewers something to focus on.
3. A history of winning awards ("Best 50 hotels in New England," blah blah). Hotels which win awards like that can sometimes adopt the attitude "lots of people like us, so who cares about the occasional customer who doesn't" and have see no motivation to improve the quality of their guests' experience. This was definitely the case when I shared some of my concerns with the manager. (More on that below).
Problems with this hotel:
- Room was tiny! I was stunned at how small it was -- so small they had to put the chest of drawers in the closet because there was no other place to put it. So small the bathtub was specially fitted to squeeze in a smaller-than-normal bathroom. So small it made me even question whether or not the "queen size" bed was actually a queen. If I had a measuring tape I would have been curious to check.
- Internet access. The hotel even advertises "property wide high speed internet access," but no wired or wireless high speed internet access was available in my room. I travel on business, and high speed internet access is a required feature. I wouldn't book a hotel that didn't have it in the room.
- Noisy housekeepers. Banging on doors at 8:00 a.m. and yelling, "Housekeeping." Doing the same thing again at 8:20, then at 8:40. Every hotel has housekeepers, but I've never been woken up before.
- Breakfast games:
Front desk staff says the complimentary breakfast ends at 10:00, but as it turns out breakfast is actually open to 11:00 a.m. When I talk to the manager, he describes how this is intentionally misleading -- they want to try to get people there by 10:00 because they are afraid of a big rush at 10:45. I've eaten in many hotels fifteen minutes before breakfast ends and I've never seen a big rush. It's a frustrating game they play, and I lost an hour of sleep I could have had because of it.
Breakfast is served sit-down and you get to pick from four options listed on a coupon. When I first arrived, the server asked what I wanted to drink. I said, "Juice." Woops-- juice isn't included in the breakfast option I choose. (If I wanted juice, I would have also had to get the "fruit cup," but I wanted the oatmeal instead.) Congratulations, I get to pay $2.09 for my juice. I can certainly afford to pay for my juice, but I hate the feeling of being nickled and dimed (without warning) when I order something that other hotels easily provide for free. The water glasses were dirty with spots.
Things that aren't as big a deal, but that other comparable hotels (in price) don't seem to have a problem with:
I called to ask for a later checkout, and they transferred me to housekeeping. Housekeeping answers the phone and suggests that I talk to the front desk. I said the front desk told me to talk to you. I ask for a later checkout and the person on the line says she needs to talk to the housekeeping manager. I ask for one hour later, housekeeping manager says a half hour. I've never had to jump through so many hoops to get a late checkout.
Cookies are available at the front desk upon check in, but you have to pay for them (again, not a big deal, but at a Comfort Inn or Holiday Inn Express they would be free)
Front desk staff often has to disappear to a back room to answer the phone, leaving the front desk unattended.
Hot water in the shower takes forever to warm up.
Room banged up in areas from lots of use (scrapes on the wall; missing paint.) Again, not a big deal, but not fitting of their reputation.
No luggage carts available in their second building for use.
With the exception of the small rooms, most of these problems are fixable. The problem is, when I approached the manager about them, his reaction surprised me. On the Internet access, he said, "There was nothing in your record indicating that you requested internet access." But why would I need to request that if there's standard information in our room, boasting about property-wide internet access? A more appropriate response would be, "You're right, we need to get a wireless router up on that floor ASAP."
As for the breakfast, his attitude was that I was lucky to have breakfast at all. Maybe he needs a little competition from a Fairfield Inn, with plenty of buffet options, plenty of OJ, and unlimited seconds. And they don't play games around the exact ending time. Or, if the Best Western is going to use a coupon system, make it worth a certain dollar amount -- we'd probably spend more money that way and both the hotel and the customer would benefit.
Marriott, Sheraton, and many other hotel chains have adopted a "100% customer satisfaction" guarantee that makes a big difference. Best Western clearly doesn't have it, and if you don't have that attitude, it's harder to improve. After a long conversation, the manager reluctantly took $10 off my total bill for my troubles. At a Sheraton, the front desk staff could have removed even more at the mention of just one concern. Again, it's not like I need the money, but they don't need the money either, so it becomes a symbolic gesture. It's a matter of "I'm sorry you had an unpleasant experience, here's what we can do." It's a good litmus test for how seriously a hotel takes concerns.
This hotel clearly does have lot to offer -- their pool is something to admire -- but too many little details are missed or ignored, and an unpleasant experience results. Whether or not they are able or willing to improve remains to be seen.
In the meantime, memo to Marriott: There's money to be made in Augusta. Business travelers need you!
Very enjoyable experience!!!
We've traveled quite a bit lately and our most pleasant experience has been at the Senator Inn & Spa. All around great time -- employees were friendly and helpful, lobby was nice, room was clean and comfortable, pool/whirlpool/steam room/fitness facilities were excellent. Very relaxing. Restaurant was great. Actually can't wait to have to be in the Augusta area again!
Just Great !!!
Excellent property, food in restaurant was wonderful, beautiful rooms, jacuzzi in room, fireplace in room. One of the best places I have stayed.
An Oasis in Augusta
Wow what a great place... where else can you get a comfortable room with above average attention to detail. The Front Desk clerk was very helpful to our needs and made sure the room was to our liking. The indoor salt water pool was refreshing and relaxing. The Spa is a Jewel to the augusta area and from the looks of the expansion that is going on, it will only bet better. We were treated to the complimentary breakfast in the main restaurant. Eggs, fruit and other delectables were in the offering. We will be back in the future.
Disappointed with the Senator Inn & Spa
Very bad experience at the Senator Inn & Spa. We had reserved a non-smoking deluxe room close to the front of the hotel. The deluxe room was to have a microwave, 2 fridges and 2 tvs. We endedup in a smoking room (disgusting) very far away from the front desk, with one TV and a 4 inch portable in the bathroom and only one fridge and no microwave.The card-key door locks did not work. After 3 times to the front desk, finally the maintenance person told us "oh yeah, this lock does not work. The manager was trying to fix this and I guess he didn't. They probably shouldn't have rented this room out". Nice. The lack of interest by the front desk staff made it all the more bothersome.Finally the hot breakfast is nothing to rave about. The eggs benedict were absolutlely soaked in butter and we were unable to eat them. We went out for breakfast.My advice: stay elsewhere. This place is not all that its cracked-up to be. Very disappointing.