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Formby Hall Gold Resort & Spa Review – Not What You Expect!

Not all that Glitters is Gold – Formby Golf Resort and Spa Review

Well it’s that time of year when we sit down and project, take a family audit of our goals and cast a vision for the coming year. It also happened to be the celebration of a close family friend’s birthday week. And he and his lovely wife kindly invited us to the celebration, which happened to be at the Formby Golf Resort and Spa. Instead of saying No, we decided to hit 2 birds with one stone…

So, did we cast that vision? The answer is YES…but not on the date we had planned. A story for another day…

Today we bring you the Formby Golf Resort and Spa Review

Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa review by a Customer!

Since we had an amazing time on valentines at a Doubletree by Hilton hotel, we thought we would have an even better time at a different establishment…

The idea was to have a fun, celebrate a friend’s birthday, while unplugging and releasing the toxins we have accumulated in the celebrated Spa! Big ask for two days? Maybe…read on

We also hoped we would have as much fun as we had at the Eforea Spa, whose review you can read about here! Or at the Arizona Conquistador Resort experience which we cannot recommend enough. 

So, did we love the experience? Might we make it a tradition? Well…No spoilers yet…

In this episode, we share our Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa review and experience. But more so, we would love to share our 2 days with you in arrears 

As always, when we visit a hotel, resort, spa etc. We look at various criteria for review which you will notice as we go.   

This getaway followed a hectic summer since our Nordic Cruise! So, a relaxed, de-stressing, spa was right up our street!

We are true believers that life is meant to be enjoyed and lived as a gift, thus it’s called the present. And who better deserves to enjoy the fruits of your labour than you?

On this occasion we were venturing closer to home in Merseyside.

Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa review and experience. Click to Tweet


Formby Golf Resort and Spa Review – Lets Talk Cost

At a price point of £209.99 per room per night we expected amazing things for an “Executive Double Golf course view”! Including dinner and Breakfast! The equivalent of $270/room/night.

We did not book via our go to for spa deals SpaSeekers! Rather we booked directly on the hotel website on the advice of our friends!  

We are sure you are chomping on the bit as to what amazingness we got at that price. So, lets take a walk on what we got and experienced! 

As always, we share our @pkjulesworld rating based on the following criteria:

  • Location
  • Facilities and services
  • Character and style
  • Bung for your Buck and
  • The Good and Overall Room for Improvement
  • Overall Rating… and, here goes….

Our Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa Review

Our Pkjulesworld Overall Rating 7/10

Below are the details why!

Location – 9 / 10

Set out of the way on a Farm type road, in the affluent part of Formby on Southport Old Road, is the Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa. This destination is about 35 minutes from our home.

It is a little out of the way for busing it or train travel…As you still have to lug your luggage from the station to the secluded resort, down a very quiet road with vegetation and woodland either side! So either drive or book a cab from your train/bus station! 

If you drive, which we did, there is plenty of free parking for guests at this hotel! A much welcome benefit as it was raining and freezing cold when we arrived! Top kudos for the Resort, the car park was super busy, one can say packed!

Address: Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa

Southport Old Road
L37 0AB


Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa review
PC: IMG from Hotel Site


Facilities and Service – 7.5 / 10

At first glance you would be right in thinking you just arrived at the Manor house for a Lord! The Reception lobby looks cool, chilled out, contemporary! 

Formby Hall is predominantly a building that apparently dates back to the 1500’s. Modernized by Colonel John Formby in 1896… And today a Golf resort and spa.  It is on 3-Floors, surrounded by acres of a fabulous World Class Golf Course.

It is on 3-Floors, surrounded by acres of a fabulous World Class Golf Course. Click to Tweet

This hotel comprises of 76 Rooms, including Deluxe rooms.

Once you step inside, you are met with a contemporary modern foyer with a 24-hour reception desk. There are plenty of comfy plush seats in this space. (See image above) With a Centre piece of a “Tree with white flowers.” The warmth that embraced us from the freezing autumn wind was so welcome!

We can tell you that it did not feel too modern in such an old building. In fact, it complemented the beautiful manor style architecture around it!

Check in was fast, and simple. Our “Executive Double Room” was on the ground floor and we couldn’t wait to see it… Well suffice to say we were NOT wowed.

Fair do’s it is spacious and functional…definitely Not executive, not  when compared to other establishments we have been to like:

  • The Arizona Conquistador Hilton Golf resort,
  • The Budapest Corinthia,
  • Doubletree by Hilton Chester,
  • The Beverly Hills Hilton etc.

We believe the hotel ownership and management need to visit other similar establishments to understand what “Executive Room” can truly deliver.

You can learn more about why we felt this way in the “Room for Improvement” section below.

Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa review - The "Executive Room!
Executive Golf View Room – Chill out on the Executive bit!

Mind you, we always have the mentality that fun is what you make it, so we set the intention to have fun no matter what!

The staff at the front desk were professional and friendly. We were checked in in record time and headed straight for our Spa treatments booked at 3:50pm.


Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa Review – Let’s talk about the Spa

The spa was ultra-busy this Thursday, a week day wow! We filled in a quite detailed form, got our robes and slippers handed to us, wrapped in film and taken to our separate treatment rooms. I got Laura as my therapist.

A soft-spoken girl I thought, could be wrong. She was also soft in her approach to the full body scrub. I expected a firmer approach to brushing my skin and the exfoliating salt scrub too…Before I knew it, we were done with the back…And front! 

I also wasn’t given any choices as to what type of salt scrub I may prefer. Invigorating, Rejuvenating, relaxing..? I was just scrubbed. Granted I dont have any allergies, thank goodness!

Paul was given options and explained what each did, so he chose the rejuvenating scrub! 

That said, it felt great during the super quick time it was done for sure. We then went back to the general sitting area and were offered a comp drink. I had cranberry and Paul has Orange. Very refreshing.

Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa review - The Spa saved the day!

The changing rooms are separate of course with separate ladies and gents’ areas! Paul conformed that the gent’s side also had

  • Lockers for your valuable’s security. But the hanger pole in at least 6 of the units I checked were rusty. I checked six units because they wouldn’t lock…!
  • 2 Wide golden upholstered Benches to sit and get changed or simply relax after your spa experience, showers well stocked with soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. I didn’t quite get why the flushing mechanism was placed right behind the toilet cover, all over the establishment. One has to physically move the lid and cover toilet to flush…. Euurgg on a public loo!
  • There are 2 hair driers which work pretty well. I must say they are not enough on a busy day. Imagine lots of women waiting with dripping hair lol!
  • The room is well lit with large mirrors so we ladies can apply our makeup and take those insta-selfies lol!

The Pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are located on the ground floor – Lots of glass surrounded by blue and gray mosaic tiles. There is also a Hammam Steam room. It was very clean we must say! 

There is a relaxation space with deep soft beds and seats with lots of refreshing water. But we were having too much fun to use those beds and I bet they wouldn’t be enough on a busy day! 

In fact, we can say this Spa is way bigger than the Eforea Spa in the Liverpool City Doubletree and the Doubletree by Hilton in Chester!

Like we said before, the pool area was not that busy. This did not take away the fun time we had on Friday afternoon, in that space, in fact you can say it saved our Stay!

[RELATED – Checking in: The Beverly Hilton Los Angeles?] 

Unfortunately, a couple of our party could not have their pre-booked Spa treatments… We were stuck in a ton of traffic and they called the resort to let them know and ask if there would be an option or they could re-book. They spoke to a woman called “Grace.” 

Grace informed our friends that it was okay to just show up at the Spa as soon as they got there. We got to Formby Hall Spa at least 15 minutes later than we had planned.

They literally checked in and sprinted to the Spa. It seemed the Spa was fully booked; and unfortunately for them, it wasn’t possible to have their treatments. They were promised a call the next day to make use of heir appointment.

That didn’t happen either. But Kez, the staff on duty on Friday 26th Oct did a great job and re-booked them for another day. We hope they will enjoy it.

Kez also pulled all stops to ensure we had a fantastic time as we waited for our Tea that day.

We applaud her professionalism and quickly handling the matter!

Formby Golf Resort & Spa Review – Character and Style – 8 / 10

It’s the attention to detail at any hotel that we look for.  Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa décor is contemporary, not overbearing! The golf view side where we had our room was a great view. Overlooking the man made lake and bridge.

Stylized sitting space in the reception area, brings the Manor house bang into the 21st Century!

Our room 117 on the ground floor, though not “executive” in our opinion, had a massive king size bed with melt on pillows. We also could sit on the patio if it was dry and warm… We honestly had a good night sleep and so we are thankful for that.  

The bathroom was a good size with a separate shower and a bathtub. There was a hot towel rail as well.  Lots of towels and soaps. Not forgetting the large mirror and lighting good for shaving for men!




Bung for your buck i.e. Value for money – 6/ 10

Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa review - broken Executive Room Furniture!
Broken Executive Room Furniture – metal roods disconnected from he MDF base!

Well we felt kinda short changed when we saw the “Executive Room.” We had expected more in the room, than just a view! 

  • Broken metal rails on the suitcase seat space (See image above).
  • MDF Peeling off the wardrobe doors.
  • Loose handle on the wardrobe door.
  • No flat iron although an iron board was available. We got one delivered on request at reception.

As earlier stated we paid £209 for 1-night stay…Value for money? NO

What if one arrived on a late winter evening, what good would the view be to them? So its all down to whats inside the room that should matter, and the golf course view an extra bonus making those rooms more value!

The Executive Doubles are exactly the same as the Classic Doubles…as we noted from our friend’s room. And confirmed by the Duty manager! 

So, compared to other establishments we have been to, it wasn’t value for money!

For instance, we paid £267 for 3 nights at the Doubletree by Hilton. This included full cooked breakfast, Deluxe Room, use of the Spa, Gym and the grounds and a Fantastic Exclusive Dinner! Plus of course free parking!

It also was family-friendly as we noticed several families with children enjoying a mid-week break too!

For the FOOD See details in: “Good and Room for Improvement” below!

Just know that Executive room, is just about the VIEW of the grounds. Not about amenities or executive service or extras you may expect!

Just know that Executive room, is just about the VIEW of the grounds. Click to Tweet


Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa Review – The Good-ish: 

#1. We after a fashion liked the spaciousness of the bathroom in general. Even though the room was not on the Executive level we are used to

 #2. We loved the Spa treatments, the Pool area, Gym and amenities. The Spa front desk lady “Kez” was especially helpful, informative and went the extra mile  as stated above. We appreciate her help! 

And, that’s it for now… So, if you are ever in Formby, Southport you might think before you book or consider the Formby Hall Golf Resort and spa for your stay, based on our experience.



#3. Our friends especially enjoyed the afternoon High Tea as truly a lovely experience. We have had high tea before at the Richmond Liverpool and at Panoramic 34 in Liverpool again. Still it was well presented and was a lovely touch. esp. as it felt exclusive. 

And, that’s it for now… So, if you are ever in Formby, Southport you might think before you book or consider the Formby Hall Golf Resort and spa for your stay, based on our experience.

#4. Very clean and spacious bathroom…as it should be for an “Executive Room”!

#5. We are thankful for the 3 bottles of House wine we received with our diner. These were a result of a chat with the Duty Manager, regrading what we consider is a misleading description of the rooms we paid for. Vis-a-vis the reality! 

We felt we had to settle for the explanation he gave as clearly he couldn’t change a thing. Apparently the hotel was fully occupied! So it was a hospitable gesture! Although we didn’t get to see the “Deluxe Loft Rooms” the next day as he had promised. Even though we stayed around the resort until 4pm on Friday 26th Oct 2018.  

#6. The breakfast was plentiful hot, tasty and a great variety. Really good. We enjoyed this for sure. 

#7. The golf course view is beautiful, and the resort location is tranquil, serene and great for unplugging. And the Golf course maintenance is spot on. 

#8. Free Parking for guests is always a plus. 

The golf course view is beautiful, and the resort location is tranquil Click to Tweet


Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa Review – Room for Improvement: The Not So Good: 

#1. The room air-con service or blower wasn’t working right, quite noisy as well. And after 1.5 hours the room temperature was no different. 

#2. We didn’t see much Executive inside the executive room. And when we went to check on our friends who had booked a “Classic Room” There was no difference WHATSOEVER.”  The website misrepresented the room spec.

Ladies hair was not considered, there was no shower cap at all.  And the space where one places their suitcase had loose metal rods…The Staff at reception were shown the picture of the disconnected metal rods!

There was little executive about it…And we came to learn from the Duty Manager himself, that all Rooms have the same exact spec and amenities…Begging the question:

“why are people expected to pay £40+ More for an Executive room that is exactly the same as a “Classic room”?

There was No: welcome message or even welcome offer like fruit, some complimentary cocktails or bottle of wine, some kind of decor on the bed with towels, etc. that other resorts offer “Executive type clientele.” Not even a TV welcome with the Guest names.

Nothing that would warrant a room to cost £209.99/night irrespective of being a golf resort!

Yet the above examples, if applied would raise the standard of the “Executive Room” and customers would feel like they are in an executive environment!

We didn't see much Executive inside the executive room. Click to Tweet


#3. Lets Talk about the Food – 4/10

By @Pkjulesworld Standards this is a 2 chillies rating and we are being kind! 


The score above is purely because we got to eat…thats about it. Oh and the complimentary wine the duty manager offered when we expressed our amazement at “Executive” And “standard” rooms being exactly the same…

Maybe one day we may actually enjoy the kind of Service we expected from this 4 Star Hotel Restaurant! Here is to Hoping….

And, that’s it for now… So, if you are ever in Formby, Southport you might think before you book or consider the Formby Hall Golf Resort and spa for your stay, based on our experience.
The Chips were dry and seemed reheated after hours of exposure!

The service we received at dinner on 25th Oct, a week day was below par. 

We were served at 11:10pm. Over 3 hours after the first member of our party showed up in the restaurant at 8pm!

For what was supposed to be a Birthday Celebratory dinner, which the Restaurant staff were aware of since they had the Birthday cake. 

This dinner was meant to be started at 8pm and most of us were seated by 8:30. We had a couple of couples show up after that, yet we all were made to wait including a 1 yr old baby for everyone to be seated and order as one…!

Our orders were taken about 9pm. Then we waited for our starters for another hour!!!! None of which were complicated starters. 

We then waited for another hour for our mains, 3/4 of which arrived COLD!  and 4 dishes were sent back to be re-heated…after 3.5 hours wait! Seriously! 

The Carpaccio of Beef starter, the meat tasted off… 

The babies Chips were Hard and rubbery, clearly re-heated in the microwave. She couldn’t eat them.  

2 people ordered onion rings…Oh My God…They were like hoola hoops in size dripping with oil, and burnt! 

Julie ordered Beer Butter Sustainable Caught Haddock with Sweet potato Chips and a side sauce. It turned out to be just good ole Fish n Chips… Without the “Good.” That haddock was worse than chippie standard, unsalted and Dripping in Oil! 

All this, despite approaching staff and expressing that we were truly not being served esp. the baby! Half of us had paid for our dinner as part of our room option! Yet the Staff informed us they could NOT Serve us what wasn’t paid for…That didn’t make sense! We hadn’t been served at all YET!

Anyway, we kept calm, ate our food as we were famished. Had our Birthday cake Cut with as much fan fare as we could make and called it a night!

By then the restaurant that had been full of revelers was empty! …It was a long night and wait for a 1 year old! 

Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa Review -That’s it

There is nothing much more we can say about this great Old Manor House. The Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa. Shall we be back? We never say never…after all everyone deserves a second chance, yet it wold have to be major to pull any of our party back to this hotel for a stay!

None of the matters raised above are deal breakers though… They can be improved if the owners are the kind that pay attention to customer feedback!   

So, we hope this feedback will trigger some staff training. Improvement of service where needed and upgrading to Proper EXECUTIVE their “Executive double rooms.”  Plus, better treatment of guests on their special days by the restaurant staff! 

And, that’s it for now…

If you are ever in Formby, Southport you might think before you book or consider the Formby Hall Golf Resort and spa for your stay, based on our experience.

Afro-Brit Travelpreneur Confessions by Julie Sylvia Kalungi

We now know beyond any doubt that not all that glitters is Gold and Never to judge a book by its digital cover, how about you?   

See, Do Be More

Dr Pauli and Julie Sylvia

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40 thoughts on “Not all that Glitters is Gold – Formby Golf Resort and Spa Review”

  1. Reading your story made me sad and mad. Why present yourself as an upscale establishment then treat the guests like crap? I have other ideas but will leave it be.

  2. This sounds like a lovely place to visit, but it’s too bad about the service. The resort looks beautiful and relaxing, and of course the spa would be an awesome way to unwind on a trip.

  3. Annemarie LeBlanc

    The place looks awesome, so nice, clean and cozy. I am sad to know though that sometimes, not every place that looks good equates to good service too.

  4. Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa looks like a beautiful place but I am sad to know that the service of average. The masseuse should have definitely asked you allergy details before the massage.

  5. Love this place looks perfect to spend for relax and chill. but sounds like you’re not satisfy to their service Aw.

  6. It feels awful when we do not get what we pay for the luxury hotels. Thanks for sharing your detailed honest review! And couldn’t agree more with the saying that all that glitters is not a gold!

  7. Ellie Plummer

    The location definitely looks beautiful, it’s such a shame that it wasn’t up to your expectations and wasn’t good value for money.

  8. wow! I really appreciate this post. I’ve never been to this hotel but after seeing your photos, they made me want to go there and stay.

  9. Wow, such a detailed post that would be so helpful to plan a great stay to Formby Golf Resort and Spa Toronto. Loving the pictures so much.

  10. I think I love the setup at the lounge since it looks so welcoming but it’s unfortunate that you didn’t get what you expected from the golf resort. Good enough, you’e willing to give them a second chance. Hope it’ll be better then.

  11. Super in depth review, thank you for all the information. Its a shame that the room didn’t meet expectations, and bizarre that they are not able to explain the price difference for the rooms! It’d be interesting to find out how they justify it!

    1. Hey Rachel,

      Thank you for reading, it really was sad about those rooms but in the end I will probably never go back there so it doesn’t interest me why the prices where different. I’m sure i would find the same problems πŸ™

  12. Most bloggers only review things that were good experiences so it is good to see a bad experience every once in a while, there’s more transparency that way. Good article!

    1. Hey Kevin,

      I think that it’s better that way, being honest is always better than lying about bad experiences… Who could that even benefit? You know πŸ˜‰ ?

  13. Fatima Torres

    Thanks for the great review of this place. We’re not from the area, but if we’re ever around, we’d love to check it out as a family

  14. Oh no! The food wasn’t good?! That’s the biggest deal breaker for me – however, it’s not like I would need to eat at the hotel itself, however my husband and I live for room service when we travel!

  15. Catherine Santiago Jose

    I have never been there but seeing this photos it looks like a nice place to visit. It is too bad that you are not having a great experience in that place.

  16. aww! too bad you had a not-so-good experience. the place looks promising based on the pictures though. that is why when planning for a vacation, i really do my research and even ask friends who have been to the place we’re planning to go to. also, food is the number one deal breaker for me. if you got pffft food, i’m never coming back, but that’s just me. hehehe.

  17. Oh it’s always a bummer when an experience is less than what you’d hoped for but I really appreciate your honest review of the place! I believe there’s not enough of that in the blog world – too many people are worried about upsetting a brand so they don’t really tell the truth of an experience!

    1. hey Sara,

      It really was a bummer and i am always here to tell my truth for anyone who wants to read and hopefully benefit and come away informed by my good or not so good experiences πŸ™‚

  18. This looks like a great place to go, but I am glad to know of your experience with the service. I hate bad service at a restaurant especially with children.

  19. This looks like an interesting place, but sounds like your experience wasn’t so great. That’s a total bummer. I cannot imagine.

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