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Sopwell House
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Reviews (2,514)
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All reviewsspa breakafternoon teacocktail loungefull body massagespa areabreakfast and lunchlovely spaexecutive roomhead butlerterrace barbrasserie restaurantsteam roomspa staffbirthday treatsandwichesrelaxing weekendmy mum
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Reviewed 18 August 2014

Was looking for a spa hotel with availablility to stay the night and have a treatment and really struggled to find anywhere even with 2 weeks notice until found Sopwell House.

Requested a nice view and if possible early check in as treatment was booked at 2 and ideally wanted to check in before it. Room was above side of car park but with view of trees so could have been better and could have been worse. Check in was available at half 2 instead of 3 but was having my treatment by this time, not really a problem and understandable as had a wedding that their guests seemed to be getting early check in as a priority. Booked an Executive room which was overall a nice looking room but really really small room for the cost so i assume standard, deluxe and superior rooms must be between small and tiny. Our room was just big enough for the King size bed and two chairs under window, i don't think it is worth the money unfortunately, the King size bed was two twin beds zipped together which i know makes it easy for the hotel to accommdate easily either a double or twin as needed but i dont think this is acceptable for the price paid. Window was dripping inside double glazing with condensation which didn't look very nice and as inside the two pains of glass could not be cleaned so couldn't see out of window. Bathroom was nice with good bath and seperate shower but barely any space around sink which meant whilst trying to get ready i smashed some make up that fell off the lack of space round the sink. No full length mirror, i don't think i have stayed anywhere that hasn't had a full lenght mirror, even travelodge have this. I didn't get a very good night sleep, not sure if the bed just wasn't comfortable to me but my partner said the same and he can sleep anywhere, i also was woken up by people screaming in the car park but that obviously isn't the hotels fault. Not sure if i just had back luck with this room but for an Executive room with the price paid i would expect more room, a proper bed and a full lenght mirror, maybe thats me being fussy but i like to see what i look like before i go out the door.

My treatment a 30 minute back neck and shoulder massage was the best massage i have ever had, Jessica who i hope has my compliments passed on was brilliant, the knots were got out of my shoulders but with it still feeling very relaxing, some massages can be relaxing but not really benefit from them and some can be a bit brutal to try and get knots out but this was just perfect.

The pool was a good size and loved the Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and heated mosaic seat, no problem getting a lounger, we went at about 5.30-7.30 so may be busier in her day time. One of the reasons i chose Sopwell house was because it stated no children after 6pm as when i am trying to realx i cannot stand being anywhere near children. However there was a child in the pool area from when we arrived until 7pm, staff did come through and no one said anything to the Mother. If the child had not been so well behaved i would have complained, as he was sitting quitely i didnt want to make a fuss but there isn't much point stating no children allowed to try and please all guests but then not inforcing the rule.

We booked for afternoon tea a few days in advance and i had specific requirements, these were met, not quite as offered with regards to the sandwiches but still met my needs and was all very nice, amazing scones and cakes and service all very good. Is a lot of money but have paid similar prices before and is worth it as a treat. Also booked for dinner in Brassarie a few days in advance and only table available at half 9, not a problem but assume is very busy early on and if you turn up may well not get a table. Food and service was all really good and fairly priced. Breakfast the next morning was all very nice apart from poached eggs were overdone and table had no spoons, butter etc which meant trying to ask someone or keep getting up which you don't really want to do, plates were cold as well which is a shame as i am a slow eater it got cold quickly. Drinks are quite expensive in all areas of the hotel but i think they can get away with it as all very nice surroundings.

The hotel is set in lovely grounds which are nice to have a wander around. Not sure about the wifi as just used my mobile data as wasn't explained or any info in the room about it.

I would stay here again and have rated as Very good as did have a really nice relaxing time and really liked the facilities and food and massage but couldn't rate as excellent as i personally just don't think the room is worth the money as i have stayed in other hotels with bigger and nicer rooms with everything you need for less than half the price but as i said i would stay here again because of all the positives and do hope to return and have better luck with a room.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Abbie1984
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 3 September 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your 4 star review of Sopwell House following your recent stay.

Naturally we strive for perfection every day and therefore I will certainly take on board all your comments and discuss them with my team in order we can take corrective action where necessary.

I will also ensure Jessica in particular receives your very rewarding feedback which is always well received.

I was pleased to see that you will visit us again and I hope on your next visit we will exceed all your expectations.

Thank you again for your very constructive and valuable feedback and I look forward to warmly welcoming you back to Sopwell House in the very near 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 12 August 2014

Stayed one night at SopwelL House for a wedding. This is a hotel that obviously caters for mass crowds for special events and whilst service and food was OK it was nothing special. Main complaint was the size of the room. We were given a "standard double" but it was so small that the wardrobe door could not be opened as there was a table and chair in the way. There was only room for one bedside table and there was no bedside lighting. On complaining to the manager her only reply was that this was a standard room.

Room Tip: Check when booking about room facilities and size.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank willowbeech82
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 for your recent review following the wedding you attended here at Sopwell House. I hope you enjoyed this very special occasion.

I am sorry you found your room too small. We have 129 bedrooms of differing sizes, styles and room categories which are all priced accordingly and so your tip to check prior to booking is absolutely correct. That said, we would certainly have endeavoured to move you if you had been unhappy and so I am sorry you left us disappointed.

I do hope you will give us the opportunity to restore your faith on your next visit.

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
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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