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“Alarms and tray charges”

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Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel
Ranked #9 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Reviewed 19 August 2013

Unless it's a holiday It is unusual for me to spend more than a night or 2 in a hotel, but a recent period of 5 weeks filming just outside St Albans meant that I spent 14 nights in the Thistle over the last couple of weeks.

The weather was incredibly hot, but the deluxe rooms have great air conditioning which was much appreciated. Fellow cast members who stayed in other rooms without air conditioning had to asked to change rooms, and remarked that the standard rooms weren't really up to much. The deluxe rooms are nice, and although they have a wardrobe and hanging space, they have no drawers and that most irritating thing is that all the plugs are next to the desk across the room away from the bed. When will hotels learn that most of us use our phones as alarms and need to plug them in by the bed - especially when you have to be up at 6:30 AM each morning for filming. An added note is that the hotel zone alarm system is exceptionally unreliable. Myself and another actor both experienced automatic alarm calls at 320 and 3:30 AM in the morning. Very little apology in my case from reception other than the reception is concerned printing out my correct alarm call for 6:40 AM - an alarm call that never came. We also had several nights when the fire alarm went off. Again we were just told it was a system fault. Not brilliant when you're trying to sleep.

There are some great members of staff in the hotel. The lady who ran the breakfast room was brilliant, even on the morning when the breakfast room was overrun with 140 Japanese tourists all getting breakfast at 7 AM. The receptionist who dealt with my own error (I left a bag in reception on the day I checked out and had to ring up and have it couriered back to London) was also great. Slightly less pleasant were the receptionist and his colleague at the health centre. Weekday nights the health centre is open until 10 PM with last admission at 9 PM. On Fridays this changes to a ridiculously early time of 8 PM, so getting into the hotel after work means you're denied a swim.

The reception area is rather cramped, and belies the spaciousness of the hotel, and once you got over the carpet-designed to give you headaches or induce sickness, the rest of the hotel is reasonably well fitted out, if a bit dated.. Some great meals on offer in the bar and restaurant, there were very very irritating charge of £5 for a tray delivery for any room service order. Surely service is part of why we are in a hotel and what we are paying for. It bumps up the price of food which is otherwise very reasonable.

Location on a roundabout half a mile from the M25 is not the most scenic, but it is incredibly convenient if you're just stopping off. All in all not a bad hotel. Given that our accommodation was paid for by the film company, I'm not sure how expensive it is to stay here, but you can get a rate on a par with a premiere inn then it's certainly worth it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank claytoncast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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485 - 491 of 795 reviews

Reviewed 15 August 2013

I stayed at this hotel for business. I had a meal in the bar area, which was nice. I also took advantage of the pool and sauna.

The room was nice and clean and modern, with no road noise which was a nice surprise.

I asked for a wake up call for 6:50am. In fact, the call came at 2:05am. I was not impressed. The idea of a hotel is to allow a good nights sleep, which I didn't get. When I mentioned this to the girl on reception the next day all I got was "yes, we are having some issues". No apology.

This was my first of many trips I will need to make to the area. It is a shame my stay was tainted - the hotel is in a perfect position.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank RPettifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

Stayed 2 nights - 3rd & 4th August as was attending an event nearby. The hotel was booked by our organisation and it was a really good choice.
Rooms: It wasn't clear if we were in a standard or delux room but we had air conditioning so I guess it was a delux. The room was lovely, very well presented, a good size, very comfortable & clean. 2 single beds & another bed set up for the younger child.
Breakfast: Lovely choice, buffet style which was included in our price. A made to order breakfast choice was also available at a cost.
Bar: Lovely bar/food area, ordered food on the Sat night and it was very nice.
Staff: Very friendly and willing to help out with places to visit etc.

There isn't much within walkign distance but a taxi into St Albans only took 10 or 15 minutes. St Albans is worth a visit - a lovely town

Overall I would stay here again if in the area

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank Kerri M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2013

I stayed here for two nights on business. Nice hotel with very friendly staff. Breakfast was lovely, with a good selection. I did eat in the bar on my first night but I didn't enjoy the meal.
I stayed during a very hot spell and the lack of air con in the room made it very uncomfortable. A desk fan was provided but it was of little help in such heat.
A taxi ride is needed to get into St. Albans itself but parking is provided on site.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank Orla D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fawadsaleem, Operations Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2013

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you very much for your review.

Really delighted to hear that you liked the hotel and the comments about the staff friendliness are much appreciated.

As you rightfully mentioned you stayed with us during a very hot spell which is very rare within United Kingdom and because you booked a standard room I would like to advise you that we don’t have air cons in standard rooms but we as a business have taken decision to provide fans in all standard rooms to help the situation for our valued guests in this rare spell of heat.

You briefly mentioned about your dinner experience but didn’t exactly mentioned what was it that you didn’t enjoy in terms of the specifics and at this point I would like to hear more from you so that we can avoid future disappointments.

Please if you wish to contact me please call the hotel and ask for myself I would love to hear from you.

Once again many thanks for your review and hope to welcome you back at the hotel soon.

Best Regards,

Fawad and Team

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Reviewed 27 July 2013

The hotel is picturesque, has bags of character and the staff are helpful.. nice gym and pool... However my ground floor room was basic and in need of a refit.. no air conditioning but a desk fan provided! window wouldn't lock and no blind on the toilet window (albeit a frosted window). I expected better.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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4  Thank gapgu1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2013

I recently stayed here for two nights. Staff were very friendly and the room was spotless. Used the gym and pool which are a great bonus. Large breakfast selection, free Wi-Fi and a nice bar with outside area. Easy access to St Albans makes it a good base to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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4  Thank bobanmay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2013

We only stayed for one night but it was a very enjoyable visit. The hotel is lovely, mainly very clean and the staff are excellent - very friendly and always helpful. There is no air conditioning, which isn't normally much of a problem but while we were there it was the weekend of a heat-wave in the UK! We did experience one problem during our stay but the duty manageress sorted it very efficiently. The test of good customer service isn't in how many mistakes are made but in how well the company address the issue and the problem we raised was dealt with very well. I would certainly use Thistle Hotels again.

Room Tip: Not sure if all rooms are without air conditioning so, if it's important to you, ask before book...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank San_B133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fawadsaleem, Operations Manager at Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2013

Dear Reviewer,

Firstly thanks for choosing to stay with us at The Noke by Thistle and secondly thank you for taking the time to share your favourable experience with the Trip Advisor community, very pleasing to read that you had such a great time and enjoyed all our offerings.

Specially its great to hear from our valued guests about our teams performance and i was so delighted to hear that you found our staff very polite and friendly i will pass your comments to all our team which they will be very proud off.

At the same time I really appreciate your acknowledgement of the help provided by the duty manager I am sure it will be a great source of motivation for our team to go extra mile for our valued guests.

Once again many thanks for your review and hope to welcome you back at the hotel soon.

Kind Regards

Fawad 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

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 10 Hotels in St Albans
Price Range: £50 - £110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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