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“Horrendous, Avoid!!”

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Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel
Ranked #9 of 9 Hotels in St Albans
Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England.
Level Contributor
63 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Horrendous, Avoid!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2013

I stayed here in January for one night whilst in the area on business. On arrival I asked the receptionist for a refurbished room or a complementary upgrade, she informed me that a nice room was available and completed the check in.
I opened the door to room 112 and was disappointed, two single beds, dated dark wood decor, dark carpets, poor bathroom and generally antiqued fittings were the order of the day, so much for the promise of a nice room!!
I ate out with work colleagues an returned quite late, I arrived back and eventually claimed into bed. The noise of a load fan was quickly evident, after a quick check I ruled out the bathroom an instead pulled back the bedroom curtains.....to my horror a bank of air conditioning units were situated just a few feet from my bedroom window!! I Returned to bed and tried to sleep but this proved impossible....I was tempted to ring reception but couldn't b bothered to change rooms part way through the night. I persevered but got no real sleep. I eventually gave in and got up. Upon leaving I complained to reception, I was asked why I didn't make reception aware....I responded and asked why reception didn't make me aware of the potential disruption!!?? I received a blank response. The duty manager did promise to respond to me via email but over 12 hours later I've received nothing.
I drove to work in Hemel Hempstead after exiting the hotel,all day i struggled with tiredness and after work I then had to drive home (3 hour drive), im still not sure how I managed to do this without falling asleep......very dangerous!?,
This hotel is dated and very poorly managed......AVOID......I will never stay here again!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Adrian48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonThatcher, General Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thanks for the feedback and sorry to hear that your request for a free upgrade was refused, we start a 32 bedroom refurbishment of our standard rooms next week and I am sure that these will offer a more modern feel than they do at present.

I understand that a member of the team has been on contact and that this matter is now resolved.

Kind Regards

Simon and Team
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751 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2013

I was treated to a night away with my then boyfriend and he booked us a room here.
Parking was easy and the hotel appeared to be nice.
Reception was efficient but both times we had the same receptionist who was more interested in talking to my then boyfriend about what we were doing and couldn't have given a flying hoot about me.
However you can't judge a place badly because of one rude receptionist.

Once checked in we went to the room which was clean and tidy as was the toilet.
Decided to head out for dinner and again when we went down to reception the same receptionist was more interested in my boyfriend instead of helping.

Once back my ex decided he wanted to go to the bar, which we never managed to find. The place is a bit random layout wise.
The room was comfy and warm so I cannot complain about that side of my experience.

Checking out was quick and efficient.
Whilst I didn't enjoy the entire experience the hotel is ok for a day away!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kayleigh07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonThatcher, General Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thanks for the feedback, and sorry to hear that your stay was marred by our friendly receptionist.

However very pleasing to read that everything else went well.


Kind Regards

Simon and Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgend, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights on 11th and 12th January 2013. I should first stay that we booked a deluxe double room for the total price of £99 for the two nights on a room only basis as there was a special offer on the Thistle website when we booked at the end of December. For a 4* hotel in this area, this is undoubtedly a good deal! Especially as the published rate at the hotel reception for this room was £180 a night!

That's the good stuff over with!...We arrived at the hotel around 7.30pm, I went to reception with our 3 year old daughter while my partner brought the luggage in. The receptionist found my reservation with no issue but then queried the number of adults in the room. When I confirmed there were two adults and a child, she informed me that this was a double room only and only had 1 double bed. I told her I was aware it was a double room but the Thistle website stated it would sleep 3 by means of sofa/put up bed. She repeated that there was no additional bed available and actually became quite abrupt and again queried which website we had used to make the reservation.

She said that she could give us a family room instead but these were standard not deluxe (which basically meant from the pictures i'd seen on the website that they were looking very tired and had not benefited from a recent facelift as the deluxe rooms had!). I (I guess quite cheekily) stated that I had paid extra to upgrade to the deluxe room as we wanted something more comfortable. This was true, despite the excellent rate we got for this room, we could have booked the standard room for £39 a night! So, we had in fact paid extra for a nicer room regardless of whether this was way below the usual rate!

She reluctantly went and spoke to the manager who agreed they would come within half an hour and put an extra bed in our room. Although I overheard them discussing the price we had paid (ie that we had had a very cheap deal) We said we were going out briefly as we were visiting some friends nearby, but were happy for them to enter the room while we were out.

We asked for a ground floor room as there did not appear to be a lift and as I see others have noted, the hotel is a bit of a rabbit warren. We were directed to our room, through the restaurant and found it to be near the car park exit, very close to the health club. The hotel was very quiet and being near the car park exit meant that getting in and out was much easier than the long way via reception.

I have to say the room was very clean and had obviously been fairly recently refurbished, but I would not say it was deluxe by any means! There was only one set of towels in the bathroom but i found another set in the wardrobe.

We returned to the hotel after 10 pm with a sleeping child only to find that there was no additional bed in our hotel room. My partner went down to reception, spoke to the same lady and again she discussed with the manager, who apologised and said they would bring a bed within 10 minutes. Which, to be fair, they did.

Apart from that, everything was fine. We did not eat at the hotel at all as the prices for breakfast were very expensive (and more than doubled our very cheap room rate!) and as we were visiting friends who just don't have the room to put us up, we were eating with them. it could have got quite costly if we had done so. There is a small shop at the petrol station across the roundabout if you did want a quick snack.

We used the swimming pool on the Sunday morning, it's not huge but is more than adequate and has a jacuzzi, steam room & sauna. Typical hotel size here. The water was a little cold but didn't seem to bother our daughter.

To summarise, despite the hiccups the hotel was fine. Especially for the price of £49 a night for the room that we managed to get. I would have been very unhappy had I paid anything near the usual published rate! Hence why I have rated value as poor, based on the usual price.

Room Tip: Ask for ground floor room near car park entrance, this is away from the reception and speeds up entr...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HLew75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonThatcher, General Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Clearly not the lasting experience that we intend for our guests to leave with, I will personally speak with the Reception Manager as this should have been dealt with very easily.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Kind Regards

Simon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2013

Stayed here this weekend for a girl's night out (post) Christmas party as our original venue cancelled due to low numbers. Rooms were basic and lacked TLC. Safe didn't work. Wifi wouldn't connect. Walls paper thin. Noise from road was minimal surprisingly. Real rabbit warren of a place. Front desk staff on check in (namely Michaela) not particularly welcoming or helpful with advising how to find room, where spa was, where breakfast would be. Disappointing.
The party itself was pretty average in a marquee; drinks were a bit pricey; food was okay, nothing special but it was only £20.

Room Tip: I couldn't help suggest where best rooms are ... sorry!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LindaWE20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonThatcher, General Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thanks for the feedback, clearly a catalogue of errors on our part so I quite understand your frustrations, We have recently upgraded our BT Openzone Wifi equipment so this should not have been a issue, very disappointed to read that our customer service on check in was lacking, and thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Kind Regards

Simon and Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cocosm
Level Contributor
120 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2013

Stayed just after Christmas for the weekend as a base for a trip to Warner studios Harry Potter tour. On checking in the receptionist was very pleasant and friendly, there was a query over the reservation, she said dont worry we will sort it out on check out. The staff over all were really nice and friendly, the room was nice and the pool area was nice, we ate in the hotel on the sunday night there was a limited menu due to the time of year so we were discounted on our meal, this was appreciated. On check out there was a different receptionist and without going in to details I was not offered my bill to scrutinise before paying, my fault I should ghave asked for it, on inspection when I got home I had been overcharged for my first night, this put a real damper on our trip, and I felt like I could not book this Hotel again. To be fair to the hotel, I left feedback and they contacted me and refunded my money, which would encourage me now to book again, because overall we were happy with everything else, and it is a great base to explore London, Warner studios etc..

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cocosm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonThatcher, General Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Great to read your positive comments and delighted that you have chosen to share them with the Trip Advisor community.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the not to distant future.

Kind Regards

Simon and Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2013

We stayed here for our wedding weekend but held the actual wedding elsewhere. I really can't fault this hotel, our experience was perfect. Excellent facilities, comfortable well-equipped room and helpful, friendly staff. The food available from the bar was delicious. Great pool for a hotel too. We didn't have breakfast or use the main restaurant so I can't comment on those. The location is a bit far out of St Albans to walk in comfortably but on the plus side the hotel is very easy to find just off the M25. We'd stay again.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sally N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonThatcher, General Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Very pleasing to read that your chose to stay with us on your recent trip to experience the ever popular Harry Potter Tour, also encouraging to read that the team were helpful and that on flagging the error with your bill this was resolved without delay.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind Regards

Simon and Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2013

I can not understand how this hotel has four stars two maybe three at best. Check in is not that well organised narrow steps to first floor long passages to the room no help offered with baggage. When you book you take the breakfast included only to be told by reception that it is not. Is it a game to see if they can squeeze a few more pounds from an unprepared guest. Luckily we had printed off the booking form that stated we had breakfast included. Bedroom and Bed comfortable to hot. Breakfast self service cold rubber eggs under seasoned with all the bumf about sourced locally not!!! OK value but overrated I think...

Room Tip: No Comment
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark_Dicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonThatcher, General Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this review, 18 January 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thanks for sharing your comments following your recent stay with us at The Noke, very disappointing to hear that you questions the star rating of the hotel, the narrow steps leading to some of our rooms form part of the original Victorian built house and these are therefore listed, the offer of luggage being taken to your room should have been made and I have personally spoken to the Reception team regarding the lack of basic standards not being followed, I can say that we certainly do not have a system in place for squeezing a few more pounds out of our guests. All bedrooms have thermostatic controls for the heating, in regards to eggs being under seasoned and rubbery is also disappointing and thanks for bringing this to my attention so that we can monitor this in more detail.

Thanks again for sharing, we really do take on board guests thoughts and will look to improve our overall guest experience.

Kind Regards


Simon and Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel

Property: Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel
Address: Watford Road, St Albans AL2 3DS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > St Albans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 9 Hotels in St Albans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Noke by Thistle St Albans is a traditional Victorian hotel, located in Hertfordshire; it is accessible via the Thameslink train from London. Just off the M25, the M1 and close to the A1, it’s a popular venue for business meetings & weekend breaks. There are 110 bedrooms, including 44 deluxe bedrooms and suites and six meeting rooms, the largest seating 250 people theatre-style. With our landscaped grounds, easy accessibility and ample free parking on-site, Thistle St Albans is also a popular wedding venue and convenient for business meetings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thistle St Albans Hotel St. Albans
Noke Hotel St Albans
Thistle St Albans Saint

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