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“Sunday night spa break. A few minor niggles but overall impressed. Objective of relaxation achieved.”
Review of Sopwell House

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Sopwell House
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 August 2014

Just back from a Sunday night spa break with the girls in one of the upgraded deluxe rooms at Sopwell house.

I found all the staff to be very friendly, helpful and polite. Although I did feel there was a bit of a language barrier on a couple of occasions in the restaurant.

I had a back, neck and shoulder massage and a facial, include in the spa break package, which were both lovely and a great way to start the spa experience.

The pool area, sauna, stream room and Jacuzzi were very nice and well kept. I particularly thought the reflective glass ceiling above the pool was a nice touch, adding to the spa experience.

The spa area appeared to be thoughtfully laid out with a relaxation area to make yourself a cup of tea next door; and us having been assigned a room directly above the spa meant we could head straight down to the spa without passing through the rest of the hotel, which was nice. However, the changing rooms were a bit tight, and I think could have been laid out a bit better with more changing cubicles.

The grounds were also very nice and certainly worth a mention, we did a couple of laps of the grounds and enjoyed taking in the views from our room and the restaurant. I also liked the decor around the hotel and in our room.

I particularly enjoyed the food, everything I had I thought was excellent and I felt spoilt for choice with the breakfast and lunch buffets.

They also managed to provide my friend with an emergency toothbrush, as she had forgotten hers, which I was impressed with.

There were a few minor niggles, there were no robes available for us upon arrival, meaning that we didn’t get robes until our treatments were about to start, it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to change into them beforehand.

Although we did always just manage to get sunbeds around the pool, on one occasion we did only manage to get beds where the mattresses had been removed , which meant they weren’t that comfortable, and I did see a few people wondering around disappointed not to be able to get beds. The whole place just seemed borderline a bit too busy at times. I would probably not like to be there on a Saturday or Sunday morning when I expect it would have been busier. Although, there were beds outside, which I expect people would have been making more use of if the weather had been better, spreading people out.

We had booked a twin room with a sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Upon arrival the room was presented as a double. Although the room was converted into a twin during the afternoon. It took a phone call to reception before extra towels were bought up and the bed set up for the third person later in the evening. There were also only two tea cups and one pack of biscuits :-o (We were paying as much for the third person as we were the other two).

They also had us down on their list at the restaurant for lunch at 1pm when, as per our request, on our booking confirmation it stated 2pm, which could have potentially caused issues, and the piano player in the foyer, although a nice touch, made it a bit difficult for us to hear the receptionist.

I didn’t make use of the gym but my friends did, and seemed happy with it. I think the exercise class programme could have been more extensive. Only ‘bums, tums and thighs’ and ‘spinning’ really fit in with our schedule, and neither particularly appealed. Also we were told that members had priority over spa guests when it came to booking classes, and although I can kind of see the reasoning behind this, the hotel clearly had its regular country club members it was keen to impress, it would make it bit difficult to plan your day.

However, overall I was very impressed with the experience particularly for the price paid, and I think we all agreed our objective of relaxation was achieved.

I would certainly consider going again and recommending it to friends. I just felt it fell a bit short of perfection, but I hope the hotel will read my review and try to take some of my points on board.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nicola K
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 14 August 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you very much for your review and your very constructive comments following your recent spa break with your friends.

I am delighted that on the whole you seem to love the hotel as much as we do and that you had such a relaxing and enjoyable stay with us.

There are certainly a few things we can improve on very easily and so I really appreciate you bringing these to my attention in order I can take the necessary corrective action.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience and we look forward to exceeding all your expectations on your next visit.

Warm regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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1,593 - 1,599 of 2,418 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2014

Stayed Saturday 9th August 2014.

First and foremost - the Hotel itself is gorgeous, beautifully decorated with a calming atmosphere throughout. The Reception and front of house staff when checking in and out were wonderful. Everything was spotless and the gardens were beautiful and very well kept. The attention to detail when it came to the selection of furniture and creating an enjoyable ambiance was great, an especially nice touch was the Piano player in the centre of the Hotel. Just, lovely.

We thoroughly enjoyed using the spa facilities and were the only ones in the pool at around 6pm in the evening!

We ate dinner in The Brasserie that night and the food was excellent and the service was exceptional. It was reasonably priced and we didn't wait long for our food at all!

However, a few things really let this place down, which was unfortunate!

We found that being what one may call a ‘middle classed’ couple in our mid twenty's, we were automatically classed as 'not as much of a priority' by staff members when it came to being served drinks promptly. We waited a while to even be seen at the cocktail bar purely because there were others addressed before us (despite us being there first of course!), others of a more senior age dressed noticeably wealthier than we were. Was slightly insulting, especially as the Hotel wasn’t particularly busy.

We paid extra for a Superior Double room. The bed was comfortable and the HD tv was a nice touch too, however I do not see how this room could be classed as 'Superior'. It was quite....blah. There was no fridge, there was no bath and there wasn't even a mini bar. It was quite basic and not what we expected for the money we paid.

Then there was breakfast, which was a complete nightmare! Our room rate included breakfast, meaning that all we had to pay to have it brought up to our room as room service was an additional £6, which was great, in theory. However, the staff got our order completely wrong (despite our breakfast request being very clear, our selected items marked within tick boxes of what it was you exactly wanted!) meaning they sent up a completely wrong order. Because the plates were covered with plastic tops, we didn't notice this until they were removed once the member of staff had left. I called the restaurant to explain that they had made a mistake and spoke to a rather difficult member of staff, who then put me on hold for five minutes to 'check my order'....the order that I knew I had filled out in writing to my choice! They apologised and explained someone will be up to bring us what we had actually ordered - great.

We assumed, that by them explaining that they will now be bringing us up what we ordered, that we would receive new plates of food, the breakfast we ordered, therefore we left the wrong breakfasts for the staff member to collect and take away. However what actually happened was a staff member brought to our door a plate of the missing items only on 1 plate. Because they had not been clear on what they were going to do, the original breakfast was left to go cold. Had I of paid a whopping £22.95 for the ‘full english breakfast’ (of minuscule proportion) I would have been rather disappointed!

All in all, for the price that we paid and for the service we received, I don’t think we will be going back. There are better Hotel’s around the area of St Albans / Watford that would not settle for this level of overall service.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank KeeleyHerd
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 12 August 2014

Dear Guest

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

Your description of the hotel and the majority of your stay was very rewarding indeed and I was delighted with your very positive feedback in most areas.

I am therefore very sorry and disappointed that the service in our bar and room service let down what would otherwise have been a wonderful stay.

I do hope that your excellent experience at reception on arrival, in the Spa and Brasserie will encourage you to recognise this was a very isolated lapse in service and you will allow us to restore your faith in the hotel on your next visit.

Thank you again for providing your constructive feedback which enables us to ensure we continually improve and provide corrective training.

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 10 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed at sopwell for a work meeting. Stayed in the Mews rooms which were meant to be an 'upgrade' but I wouldn't call it that. I thought that the rooms were very dated. The room was large and the bed was comfy but felt a little basic.
We did have a BBQ and the food was great, a really good selection and was delicious.
Breakfast was also good too with a variety to chose from.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
1  Thank Louise F
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 11 August 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your review following your stay at Sopwell House and I am sorry you were not a fan of our spacious and popular mews apartments.

In contrast I am delighted you enjoyed your corporate event and I will certainly pass on your lovely and rewarding feedback to our new Executive Chef and his team.

I hope we can warmly welcome you back to Sopwell House in the very near future and in the meantime, thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

Kind regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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Reviewed 5 August 2014

This a very nice hotel with good grounds.

we held a corporate dinner and it was OK but nothing exceptional. Organisation was abit too relaxed for my liking. Nothing particular went wrong but it felt we had to keep chasing.

Room & breakfast were very ordinary.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank MWC2409
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 6 August 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of Sopwell House and I am pleased you liked the hotel and grounds.

Customer feedback is extremely valuable to us and so I do hope you will take the time to provide some more specific details regarding your stay on our personal guest survey in order to enable us to continually review and improve our service.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope we can warmly welcome you back in the not too distant future.

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 5 August 2014

I stayed at Sopwell House recently - the night before our 40th anniversary - and on arrival I had a slight issue with a restaurant booking but the rooms manager not only sorted the problem but personally escorted us to what was a first-class room but immediately had a bottle of bubbly delivered. The brasserie offered very good food & the spa was excellent with a great pool with outside relaxation areas with sunbeds, along with a selection of treatments which did not cost the earth. This is a very nice hotel with extensive grounds & a selection of bars & restaurants including what is admittedly an expensive cocktail lounge but this is a top end property after all. Great service in general & thanks to Vince Castronovo in particular for service over & above the norm. We would have liked a fridge in the room but we would definitely stay again.

Room Tip: Upgrade to an exec room if you can
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Mayesey
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 6 August 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you very much for your fabulous review and may I offer my warmest congratulations on your Ruby Wedding Anniversary. I am honoured you chose to spend it with us here at Sopwell House.

It is always highly rewarding when a member of staff is singled out for exceptional service and so thank you for taking the time to acknowledge Vince in particular.

I hope we can warmly welcome you back to the hotel in the very near future.

Thank you once again for choosing Sopwell House.

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 5 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed there to get some r'n'r before our wedding and the hotel was perfect for this. The grounds and interior are stunning and our room was fabulous. We ate in the brasserie for lunch and dinner; both meals delicious but next time I would try the restaurant for dinner as it is probably more high end and romantic as the brasserie was busy with hen parties and families. We enjoyed two luxurious treatments: a facial and massage - I would highly recommend. Yes the pool area was full of children as it was a Saturday afternoon but the spa was tranquil. I would really recommend this hotel and we will certainly be back.

Stayed: March 2014
Thank Jenny B
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 5 August 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of Sopwell House following your recent stay before your wedding and may I take this opportunity to congratulate you both on your very special celebration.

I am delighted you love Sopwell as much as we do and that you had such an enjoyable time.

Thank you again for your fabulous feedback and we look forward to warmly welcoming you back when you 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
Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

Short notice business stay here so didn't quite know what to expect. Quite a surprise. Set in lovely grounds, clearly a wedding/event/conference hotel but lots of good things going for it despite that. Staff in particular were very good from reception through to bar and restaurant. There is a pool and sports / spa facilities. Untried on this trip. Bar and Brasserie very good for a Home Counties hotel. Stayed in standard double room. It had usual detractions of a modern hotel. Noisy air conditioning inside and outside the room. Also bedside furniture looking a little bit bashed around. Bathroom good though and very clean and spacious room.
Would I stay there again? Yes, I think I would. Although I'd try to find a room overlooking the gardens and not the flat roof over one of the convention rooms but that's hotel life...lots of rooms to go at and judging by other Trip Advisor comments may be worth paying the bit extra.

Stayed: August 2014
Thank TCdop
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 5 August 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of Sopwell House following your recent business stay.

It is always nice to exceed expectations which we strive to do each and every day.

I do hope you will come and see us again and make some time to enjoy all our fabulous spa facilities on your next trip. I would also certainly recommend trying one of our newly refurbished Executive Rooms which I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy.

Thank you again for your valuable feedback and I hope to be able to welcome you back soon.

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
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Additional Information about Sopwell House

Address: Cottonmill Lane, 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 #4 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Price Range: £100 - £264 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 And Spa
Sopwell House Country Club Hotel St. Albans
Sopwell Hotel Country

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