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Reviewed 3 May 2014

The following are just the major issues we faced staying here recently.

The place is nice and some of the staff we experienced were outstanding, but what really spoilt it was the hotels lack of understanding that when people are vacationing they are in their relaxing down time and that every effort should be made to accommodate the wants of their guest (unless of course the are unrealistic wants)

I suspect this hotel has experienced past difficulties and now use the lowest common denominator for their guests expectations as their standard.
i.e. the minority spoiling it for the majority.

We stayed here for 10 days recently on a trip from Australia to visit family.

The hotel itself is very nice and the rooms in the main building have just been upgraded although we found it very unusual and disappointing that they have omitted a fridge or mini bar in the room.

What spoilt our stay were a host of unrelated events which when the hotel had to deal with them, they did so very poorly and made me work very hard to get what i wanted. A task that most people might have simply given up on.

On arrival after a 27 hour trip from Australia our room was not available early (not a problem and not really expected) but when offered an upgrade at GBP100 per night then discounted by 30% to get a room immediately, we accepted for the first 3 nights. We then checked out 3 days later, visited Paris and returned for another 7 nights only to find our regular room was better, bigger and way better value than the upgraded suite, i felt robbed and upset. The challenge to get the extra cost of the unneeded upgrade reimbursed, was to say the least and uphill battle which after dealing with a front of house supervisor, and a Manager named Gita and a Senior Manager named Vince i succeeded. Vince was professional but as a business owner myself i would never put Gita in front of an upset guest. She certainly added fuel to the fire with her poor resolution management skills.

In between stays i had asked and received agreement when reconfirmed that i could settle my bill in total at the end of the stay. Checking out at 5.45am after 3 days we found this not to be the case and the Manager on duty demanded i pay regardless of my pre-agreement not to and regardless that i was leaving my hire car there along with luggage and that i had already prepaid the next 7 nights. POOR SHOW! This made me so angry how petty and insulting
Another battle was to have a GBP55 charged waived for a friend of mine to use only the pool for 1 hour. I understand they are running a business but come on...we were staying at the hotel for 10 days!

During the week the breakfast room was quiet but at weekends the staff were not coping. Friends of ours stayed one night and 6 of us were to have breakfast together only to arrive and to be asked to sit at separate tables....Don't they get it? They are there for us not vice versa....again after another push they gave us what we wanted

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank AlexD63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2014

I have stayed at sopwell house on three occasions now (over a period of about three years) and after all these visits my opinion of the hotel has remained the same. It is a nice hotel with good facilities and helpful staff, however considering the cost, there is some room for improvement. It is fair to say that there is no one particular area where the hotel falls down significantly, rather that small improvements in each 'area' could be made to improve the overall experience.

For my latest visit, I took a short break (a 'minimoon') just after getting married. Whilst it would have been my preference not to mention this, my wife insisted we should mention this, which she did. Upon arrival at the hotel we were met by the friendly staff and given the keys to our room. They commented on our honeymoon and wished us well. When we got to our room, we were really disappointed. The room itself was nice and it was clear it was newly refurbished however, it was very small, next door to a cleaners cupboard and adjacent to a noisy stairwell leading to the foyer. After 10 minutes in the room and experiencing noise from the foyer piano, guests using the stairwell door and staff using the cupboard, we went back to reception to asked to be moved. The staff were helpful but it was to our surprise that on our previous visits we had been upgraded to better rooms without being told. This lead us to a higher expectation (and hence our disappointment) on this latest visit. The receptionist was very helpful and offered us alternative 'superior room' as a complimentary gesture, she also offered to show us an executive room, which would cost extra. On looking at these, it was clear that we had previously stayed in the executive rooms (without being told) and we opted for this at additional (albeit discounted) cost on this occasion. I must say that the staff were helpful and we had some assistance to move out things. My only criticism was that this experience took the shine of our stay a little and of all the times we had been upgraded (for which we are grateful) the hotel could not repeat this on our third stay and as newlyweds. Maybe we expected too much?

Of the rest of our visit, everything was nice. The spa is a great facility and is clean and well kept. The brasserie service and food is also nice. My last and final gripe concerned the food that was served as a starter to my wife. On the first evening she ordered a salad with anchovies and trout. She had no complaints, although we both wondered where the trout was. We agreed it must have been 'in there' somewhere and nothing else was said. On the next evening, I decided to have the same starter. On this occasion the dish was almost completely different, as the trout was evident and so were generous pieces of Parmesan cheese. We obviously did not complain, or comment as the moment had passed (we are not serial complainants!) but it did leave us wondering if they had run out of ingredients the night before and did not have the courtesy to tell us.

Of our stay, these were the main things that took the shine off of our experience. They are not big things and would certainly not put us off going back. However, it would be fair to say that they would not necessarily prevent us from considering somewhere else.

The breakfast waiters (brasserie) are extremely efficient (perhaps too eager to take your plates) but they and other staff are a credit to the hotel. They are polite and helpful and are willing to offer help without being asked.

All in all I would say sopwell gets four out of five. It does not fail significantly in any particular area but a number of minor things add up to reduce the overall experience. The newly refurbished rooms are nice but a standard room can be small.

Room Tip: Standard double rooms can be small. Those near the foyer stairwell maybe not as quiet as those to the rear of the newer wing.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank JJJJEssex
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 reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your constructive feedback following your recent visit, particularly as regular visitors to Sopwell House.

May I also take this opportunity to congratulate you and your partner on your recent wedding celebrations.

Whilst your overall rating of your stay was positive, I was obviously disappointed with some of your comments, particularly as it was such a special occasion and as you had such high expectations (quite rightly) having been looked after so well in the past.

We will certainly take on board your comments and hope on your next visit we will exceed your expectations once again.

Thank you again for sharing your comments and we look forward to seeing you again very soon.

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
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Loved everything about our stay at Sopwell House. Beautiful hotel in lovely setting. Fantastic food, stunning and very comfortable rooms, staff who went out of their way to help, sumptuous spa with gorgeous treatments. A most amazing relaxing break away and would go back without hesitation. Thank you Sopwell House.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank JLR1979
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 reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you so much for your fabulous 5 star review of Sopwell House and I am glad you love the hotel as much as we do.

Our team works incredibly hard to exceed our guest expectations and so it is always rewarding to receive such great feedback.

Thank you again for sharing your comments and we look forward to seeing you again very soon.

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
Reviewed 30 April 2014

We had a really nice time away at Sopwell House, the only downside was that we were only there for one night. The staff were friendly and helpful, the room was great, the food was lovely and the spa was really nice too. We're already planning our next trip there.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gareth_W123456
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 reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you so much for your fantastic review of Sopwell House which was a delight to read.

I am so pleased you are already planning on returning and we look forward to warmly welcoming you back for your next visit. I hope we can make it even better!

Thank you again for sharing your experience – see you 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
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We were really disappointed with the service at Sopwell house. We felt forgotton as it took half an hour for our tea to arrive, and our sandwich / cakes etc didn't arrive for another 20minutes after that.

The sandwiches were a bit poor but the scones most definitely made up for it - the best i've had yet. The cakes and pastries on top weren't very nice either. My sister had asked for just some chocolate cakes however we were told this wasn't an option and they could bring out some chocolcates instead, which we declined. Later on, they bought out chocolate cupcakes and ginger bread men for another table which was exactly the type of thing my sister wanted.

I would go back, but i'd only have a drink and scones. The rest isn't worth it.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Zoe1303
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 reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your feedback following your recent visit for Afternoon Tea although I was obviously extremely disappointed that your experience was not of the very high standards we so pride ourselves on delivering on this occasion.

I was delighted you enjoyed your scones and I have passed all your feedback on to the Food and Beverage team who are very passionate about our customer feedback.

Afternoon Tea is a speciality at Sopwell House and we usually receive excellent comments and so I do hope you will allow us to restore your faith some time in the future.

Thank you 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
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