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Reviewed 11 January 2010

Had a fantastic time - the steak in the brasserie was out of this world - the best steak we've ever had (and we eat out a lot!!). Very flavoursome meals and all very tasty. The breakfast the next morning was also brilliant. We stayed in a 4 poster room which was much larger than we expected which a phone in the bathroom! The poles on the 4 poster were a little richoty which worried us slightly, and we had an awful night sleep on it. We went in the pool (which was freezing!) though the jacuzzi was lovely and hot and we were given complimentary robes to borrow. I had a facial (the Rehydrating facial with scalp massage). It was fantastic, done by Natalie - who was very sweet and made sure I was well looked after. There was a live pianist playing in the reception all suited and booted. I'm now looking for an excuse to be taken again!!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrsBettyLuton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2009

This was my letter to Sopwell House after our awful experience -

As a treat for my friend Amy’s birthday, we decided to book a day at Sopwell House Spa, based on the recommendation of many friends who had been / go there.

We booked it for the 22nd November, including a facial each priced at £54.50 and a full body massage at £57 each plus an extra £25 for the day, so you can imagine the upset when I arrived with my friend and came over very ill and nauseous and began to vomit in the car park. I later found out I had swine flu.

In the meantime, Amy ran into the spa to notify the receptionist, who actually asked if I wanted to come in anyway! Obviously Amy declined, and the receptionist went on to say that we would not be charged for the entry to the spa and the manager would call to discuss the treatment fees, which in the mean time they would try their best to sell (why would they bother when they could sell 2 other spaces and keep our money for nothing). We left expecting a call in the evening, and I was prescribed Tamiflu on the Monday morning.

I must say I was disgusted that not one member of staff came out to even offer me a glass of water or to see if I was ok, seeing as this took place within the car park and in full view of other paying customers.

We were initially concerned when Amy didn’t receive a call that evening and when she called them herself a lame apology was made passing the buck to another team member who supposedly should have called her. Amy was informed that the treatments would remain at full charge and the following day Sopwell House had debited the full amount of £22 3 from her account.

After ringing the spa and explaining this situation to various different members of staff, Amy was then given the number of the general manager, Philip Cox, after many calls just going straight to answer phone, his assistant rang her back, expressing her own disgust at the treatment we had received and offered a £12.50 discount next time we visited, which quite frankly is an insult and we made our feelings known. She said she would discuss it with Phillip Cox and get back to Amy .Phillip Cox himself never even bothered to contact her regarding the situation.

Amy tried another attempt and wrote a letter, this was roughly a week later with still no- one being able to give any valuable excuse or reason for the way we had been treated except that the girls are brought in for the specific treatments and therefore need paying.

I don't doubt this but from being informed at 10 o'clock that we would not be attending was there no way the girl who was only coming in to carry out our treatments could have been informed that we were unable to keep our 5 o'clock appointment, meaning she wouldn't have had to come in and in turn payment would not be required.

We explained if necessary we would be happy to pay for the remaining morning treatment which was at 11 o'clock due to the short notice.

Eventually I decided to ring myself, and after speaking with an employee at the spa I was told someone would ring me back and yes, as you may have guessed, they didn’t.

I rang back again the following day and I too was given Phillip Cox’s number and I too received a phone call from his assistant who basically said the same thing and said she was in the process of responding to Amy’s letter and would send me a copy to.

I never received a letter but Amy did; it simply outlined that they were sorry but this was their cancellation policy. It didn’t even mention the £12.50 discount the assistant had offered at the very least.

This is not the first time I have visited a spa, and I am aware of the various cancellation policies in place. What I do not understand, however, is how your own employees cannot be aware of this policy, and completely mislead a paying customer?

If we had been told that this was the case, of course Amy would have stayed and we may have been able to arrange for someone else to join her. It’s completely illogical to think that we’d choose to lose our full payment if we had been made aware of this.

How can we be held responsible, both in principle and financially, for being given the wrong information by a staff member in unforeseen circumstances?

And surely there is such thing as unforeseen circumstances, how could I of possibly had enough notice to cancel our treatments outside of the cancellation policy guidelines? I would expect with a company of your stature that common sense might prevail somewhere along the line.

Aside from the fact you managed to completely ruin my friend’s Birthday, I am utterly disgusted at treatment we have received from Sopwell House and their staff. In all, our experience has been that they are unprofessional, rude and very apathetic, not to mention unreliable when it comes to returning phone calls or following up.

There are so many causes for complaint in this situation that it’s difficult to find a place to begin, but I hope that you get the idea.

Of course, the people who recommended the spa will not be returning, and needless to say, we will be making sure that other unsuspecting customers be made aware of the treatment they will be afforded in the event of something like this happening. I am sure that your treatments are very good, given that you still have people walking through the door, but your customer service is appalling and that’s what people always remember.

We have advised our friends and family to avoid Sopwell House at all costs, and have also written to local newspapers and radio shows enclosing a copy of this letter.

Hopefully they will see the error of their ways as we have done.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Paddylola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhilipCox, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this reviewResponded 8 February 2010

It is unfortunate that it has been deemed necessary to post your letter of complaint on trip advisor, and I am indeed sorry that you have left Sopwell House less than satisfied.

Part of the terms and conditions of booking treatments in our spa are the cancellation terms, and as we have a very busy spa with lots of treatment requests, when treatments are released at the last minute we have to invoke the cancellation terms to cover our costs and the loss of business.

I had hoped that our previous letters of response had clarified our situation, and I do hope that you have fully recovered from your symptoms.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2009

I live about 30mins far away from this place. Been to this place quite a few time. Amazing place to stay. the rooms and the interior is maintained well. The potraits all around the floor are gud. The hotel has well maintained suites for weddings and personal events. Its so popular u might even walk past an international football team. The food is excellent, staff are proffessional and the rooms are huge. The hotel has been rennovated and the interiors are brought upto modern standards.

Spa is a plus. you can crash by the pool side in the afternoons, theres also jacuzzi, steam room and sauna which u can avail. I don't even remember paying for that. Well enjoyed most of my day with my mates. Lovely place. Would definitely recommend to anyone wishing to stay in around that location.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank suneelsonti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2009

I stayed with my best friend on the freetime Friday deal, which was dinner bed and breakfast for £125. We also received £20 towards a spa treatment of our choice. Overall we had a good time but that is because we enjoy one another's company, would I go again, unlikely, I have been here a few times before and for the money you pay, it is starting to get a bit tired and there is better out there for a spa break. I have summariesd my points below that may be of interest:-

Spa
We booked well in advance for the treatments. I paid £58 for a facial and was very disappointed to find that they had more therapists than rooms and so my facial was in an unused bedroom! It was very cold and lacked the cosy atmosphere of the treatment rooms. I did complain and recieved an extra few minutes on my hot stone masage which I really enjoyed and was very luxurious. My tip - when booking your treatments make sure you ask for them to be carried out in a therapy room and watch the time also, they can tend to short change you on occasion.
Restauarnt
We upgrated to the restaurant (from the Brasserie) and were given a £22 per person supplement towards the meal. All I can say is, this just about covered the starters and water. The beef, with the smallest amount of mashed potato was £25 without veg. Yes it was lovely but a bit overpriced (as was the wine, £29 for a Spanish Rioja).
Bar
We had a bottle of Pinot (£17) with our lunch and did not receive good service, perhaps as we were two females together? The female waitress just poured the wine, withough asking us to taste and was very grumpy - I was not impressed.
Pool Area
This is looking a bit tired, the floor is constantly soaking wet, the jacuzzi just luke warm and the tiles are starting to rust. It needs some money spent on it for sure.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank Evitaesther123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhilipCox, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2009

The Restaurant at Sopwell is an AA rosetted fine dining restaurant and is priced to compete with other similar restaurants in the local area. All of our produce is of an extremely high quality, the majority of which is sourced from local suppliers in order to guarantee freshness and provenance. In addition to The Restaurant we offer a number of dining options for our guests to enjoy that meet most price points. Our wine range varies in price from £16 to in excess of £200 per bottle to meet our guest's requirements which is competitive when compared to other hotels and restaurants in the area.

At Sopwell we undergo regular ongoing maintenance activities to all areas of the property in order to maintain the 16th century house and mews buildings to a high standard for all our guests to enjoy.

We do appreciate any feedback as it is of course only by receiving these personal comments that we can continue to strive to exceed our guests expectations at all times. I therefore thank you for taking the time to do so.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2009

Attended a friend's wedding and stayed two nights. It's a lovely hotel, but we received an unwanted wake-up call at 6am on the morning after the wedding! Brought it to the attention of the staff and they promised someone would get back to me. General manager phoned to say that it was nothing to do with them as 'we all live in a computerised world' and offered to post me £5!!! Such a shame the GM has a cheap, argumentative attitude as the rest of the staff were excellent, the facilities are lovely and the restaurant was very good. Breakfast is really great.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Hospitalitywriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhilipCox, General Manager at Sopwell House, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2009

Thank you for your positive comments about your recent stay at Sopwell and I apologise that you had a poor experience when dealing with the previous general manager.

I took over the reins as General Manager towards the end of October and I hope that you have the opportunity to return to Sopwell in the near future.

Philip Cox

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