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“Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House”
Review of Sopwell House

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Sopwell House
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Certificate of Excellence
Dunstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House”
Reviewed 5 April 2014

Afternoon tea was served in a comfortable, tastefully decorated and comfortable room. We had a nice quiet spot in the corner overlooking the gardens. The staff were friendly and prompt, and we weren't kept waiting. The afternoon tea was very nice, sandwiches were cucumber, smoked salmon, tuna, egg and cream cheese, all very good. The scones were warm and you got a decent amount of clotted cream and spreads. I think what made this a better afternoon tea that some others was the variety of cakes you got, there was something to suit everyone from chocolate eclairs, fruit tarts, mini battenberg, chocolate cake etc. The champagne was very nice, and the tea was Twinings so I was happy.

My only comment is towards the end of our afternoon tea somebody switched the music on and it was like listening to demos playing on a keyboard. It wasn't relaxing and it was a bit naff. If they need to play music maybe some soft piano tunes would suffice.

I would definitely recommend this place and I would take family here as I think it is reasonable value and very tasty.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tel77C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alessandro C, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you very much for your lovely review of Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House.

Afternoon Tea is one of our specialities and we are very lucky to have superb pastry chefs who take so much pride in delivering a wonderful experience.

I am delighted you had a lovely time and I hope you have the chance to try our chocolate inspired version of Afternoon Tea being introduced over the Easter break (see website for details).

In relation to the music you refer to, I take on board your comments fully and we already have plans to introduce our resident pianist for extended hours.

Thank you once again for your fabulous feedback and we hope to see you again very soon.

Warm regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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essex
Level Contributor
96 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2014

This was out second visit as a group of four friends to Sopwell House.
Unfortunately this time we were only able to stay for 24 hours but it was still a very enjoyable break.
All the staff are friendly, efficient and eager to please
Rooms - nicely decorated and equipped ( although ours felt a little on the small side it was fine for a one night stay)
Food - Good choice
Spa - The treatments rooms have just been given a make-over and they look great. They're well equipped and staff are excellent - one of the best massages I've had in a long time.
Bar - good atmosphere and some well made cocktails
Setting - We were lucky enough to have sunny weather and this is where the hotel really comes into its own - pretty gardens and a lovely terrace to have drinks on.
Great value for money
We hope to be back - for longer next time

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank luctons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alessandro C, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your very rewarding review of Sopwell House following your recent stay, particularly as a returning guest.

I am so pleased you and your friends had another enjoyable stay and that the team looked after you so well.

We are certainly very lucky to be able to show off our beautiful grounds which are looking just gorgeous at the moment and so I am pleased the sun was shining for you on this occasion.

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience and I hope we can warmly welcome you back for an even longer stay on your next visit.

Kind regards

Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2014

Didn't stay overnight and did the signature spa day package with some friends. Having been to quite a few spas I though this was overpriced for what you get. For £125 I got 3 treatments and a buffet lunch and use of the spac facilities such as gym, swimming poll, sauna etc which at the time seemed good value for money but quickly discovered wasn't really. The treatments included a body salt scrub, a shoulder, neck and back massage and a facial. Each 25 min long & done one after the other. Bud after looking at my watch if you include the shower and all the waiting around you only really get a 15 min treatment for each one so thought this was cheeky. Also the spa bag they give you after is a rubbish quuality mini shampoo and conditioner which didn't even foam in my hair. Food was average. Good mushroom soup but the rest was pretty mediocre. Stale bread, salad and a chicken dish which tasted like wine and cream and not much else. I was relaxed and lived the setting of sopwell house but wouldn't say you get value for money.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shiv2012123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alessandro C, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review of Sopwell House although I was disappointed that your experience did not exceed your expectations on this occasion.

We believe our fantastically popular Spa Days are excellent value for money however it is important all our clients understand treatment times will include an element of consultation which is usually approximately 5 minutes depending on the client. This is standard practice in all good Spas and ensures your therapist can meet your individual requirements.

Our travel bags offered as part of our packages include well known ESPA products which is a luxury brand supplying the world’s leading Spas so again, I am sorry you did not personally enjoy these as they are usually well received.

However, I am pleased you still left the hotel relaxed and seemed to love the hotel and grounds and so I do hope you will return again with your friends sometime in the future.

Thank you once again for your feedback.

Kind regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Watford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Afternoon tea at Sopwell is a treat for all. Tea this time was served in the sumptuous library ( I have been before for tea in the conservatory ) non intrusive excellent service & delicious food.
I have been going to Sopwell for quite a few years either as a day Spa guest, staying overnight on a Spa break or just eating in either of the 2 restaurants & of course having afternoon tea. The service from all staff has always been excellent and the rooms comfy, clean & quiet. Prices for this quality hotel are reasonable compared to others in the area.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Princesmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alessandro C, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Sopwell House, particularly as such a regular and loyal visitor.

Our Afternoon Tea is certainly very popular and I hope you have the opportunity to come and try the chocolate inspired version we have introduced for the Easter period – it is delicious!

In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you back for many more years to come.

Thank you once again for sharing your experiences.

Warm regards

Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

Having little faith in the quality of UK country house hotels - typically over-priced and under-delivering - I wasn't expecting to be wow-ed by Sopwell House. However, from the incredibly friendly and courteous check-in through to cosy bedrooms (complete with Sky HD) and excellent food offering, this property really is a cut above the competition.

The only minor niggles were a lack of seating in the public areas (every table being reserved for afternoon tea) so perhaps a residents lounge may be in order, and the spa/pool area was very busy on Saturday (with day guests and members of the hotel leisure club). This would be less of an issue in the summer as there are outdoor seating areas overlooking the grounds.

I thoroughly enjoyed the food offering in both the brasserie and restaurant, and it is well priced for the quality. The wine list was small but well considered so sufficient choice for a short stay (and reasonably priced), and cocktails were pretty good. Breakfast was excellent.

Leisure facilities - gym, pool, sauna/steam - are high quality but busy at times.

I think the staff really make this place, and the management should be congratulated for creating an environment where staff are polite, approachable and eager to please. Even on a very busy Saturday afternoon no request was too much trouble.

Sopwell is obviously undergoing some subtly managed refurbishment with brand new spa treatment rooms, and I understand from an overheard conversation at the front desk that bedrooms are being refreshed (the carpet in my room was measured up for replacement during my stay).

All in all, an excellent choice for a relaxing break. I'll definitely be back again later this year.

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Bright0nNick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alessandro C, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you very much for your excellent review of Sopwell House following your recent visit.

Your feedback about the food and our staff in particular was a delight to read and I am thrilled that we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to warmly welcoming you back for your next relaxing break and in the meantime, thank you once again for taking the time to share your very constructive and valuable feedback.

Best wishes



Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
luton
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014 via mobile

Had been bought a Friday spa break as a wedding anniversary present. Checking in painless and eventually found our room. Rather on the small size we thought and bathroom crazy small with no bath only a shower. Literally turning around in bathroom meant I kept touching the hot towel rail - not ideal.
Spa treatments nice and renovated rooms v good. However, pool area rammed and extraordinarily hot. Unbearable. Eventually got a lounger but didn't last long due to heat. Changing rooms fine.
Dinner in the Brasserie was an odd experience. Seated and asked what water we wanted. No time given to look at menu so had to ask for the waiter to give us a couple of minutes. No one took wine order and we had to ask for this. Then when our order was taken, literally within 90 seconds our starter was there! I asked for a break before our main course, just to try and slow the staff down a tad! But we had the main course within 5 minutes!! Then, after finishing our wine a waiter came over and whisked our ice bucket away without asking if we wanted anything else and gave it to another table - how rude! We had a quiet word with the manager who advised that if we were staying another night we should visit the fine dining restaurant!? The food was lovely but I have never felt so rushed to vacate a table before!
Drinks prices obviously inflated hotel prices but be aware that if like I did you order a gin and tonic they automatically serve doubles which meant the two I had came to over £21!!!
All in all an average experience. As said food lovely, but let down due to service issues, spa treatments nice, hotel room far too small (and on SH website it states all rooms have a bath??) pool way too crowded and hot and therefore not the most relaxing of experiences. Would we return? Probably not.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank chrismcg123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alessandro C, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of Sopwell House although I was very disappointed to read that your experience was only average on this occasion.

I am pleased you liked our new Spa treatment rooms which have just been refurbished.

As a result of your feedback I have asked my maintenance team to investigate why the pool area was so warm in order it can be rectified so thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Thank you also for your comments on your room and hopefully you will be aware we are in the process of a phased refurbishment of all our bedrooms. Whilst this is not yet quite complete, the vast majority have been done. As an aside and also for the benefit of other readers, we have recently re-catergorised our room types on the website and can confirm that certain room types (single, standard and superior rooms) do only have showers therefore please ensure you particularly request a room with a bath if this is required.

In terms of your dining experience, this does indeed sound bizarre and not at all typical of the service we so pride ourselves on giving. I have therefore asked my Food & Beverage Director to investigate and take immediate corrective action and I can only apologise for the seemingly poor service on this occasion.

I do hope you will return and allow us the opportunity to restore your faith in our fabulous hotel.


Kind regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
188 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014 via mobile

I had heard great reviews of this hotel for several years but this was my first visit. I stayed for one night following a function. The staff at reception were extremely helpful and I was allocated a newly refurbished room. All of the staff throughout my stay were obliging, nothing was too much trouble.
The breakfast was superb with proper fresh orange juice and as much coffee and toast as you wished.
The spa had many staff and they all seemed very friendly.

Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank RMM123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alessandro C, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of Sopwell House and I am so pleased you managed to visit us after all the years of recommendations.

I couldn’t be happier than to be described as a perfect hotel and I am delighted we exceeded your expectations.

I hope you will come back and see us again very soon and in the meantime, thank you once again for sharing your valuable and rewarding feedback.

Warm regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sopwell House

Property: Sopwell House
Address: Cottonmill Lane | Sopwell, St Albans AL1 2HQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > St Albans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sopwell House 4*
Number of rooms: 129
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in 12 acres of tranquil gardens Sopwell House is a 4 star hotel in Hertfordshire and the former Georgian country residence of Lord Mountbatten. Once you enter this 'home away from home' our attentive staff, family friendly service and luxurious spa facilities will provide the perfect setting to your stay or event. Our Country House hotel enables you to escape from it all and is within easy reach of London, St Pancras National & International Train Station and Luton Airport. With 128 stylish bedrooms and suites including 16 soon to be completed Mews Apartments to choose from, exceptional service, delicious food and our opulent spa you'll find it hard to leave. As well as boasting 19 flexible function suites, Sopwell House has recently been awarded winner of the 2015 Conde Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence in the category 'Best for Meetings' recognising their outstanding contribution to the corporate and social world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sopwell House Country Club Hotel St. Albans
Sopwell House Country Club And Spa
Sopwell Hotel Country

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