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“Lovely grounds but not so good elsewhere”

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St Michael's Manor Hotel
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
65 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Lovely grounds but not so good elsewhere”
Reviewed 5 November 2012

There is no doubt that the hotel and the grounds are beautiful. We went in October just as autumn was taking possession of the gardens and the whole place was beautifully autumnal. However there are just niggles which mean that it felt a very overpriced overnight stay. We booked one of the Garden Wing rooms. The room itself was beautiful and had a little outside seating area. The problem was we were staying on a Saturday night with a wedding taking place and we felt very much like second class citizens. The wedding occupied the main dining room and this was the only way from reception to our room without going outside and trudging through the cold and wet gardens. In the morning when leaving we had to make our way through staff setting up for a birthday party and were admonished to "watch out for the projector screen" cunningly set up behind the door. Also it was clear that the wedding party had the kitchen's full attention in the morning - my full English breakfast was only scrambled eggs, black pudding and a hash brown and a small spoonful of beans - all the rest bacon, sausage etc. were missing. Didn't bother reception as it was quite cold when it arrived so waiting for the missing items to arrive wasn't really an option. Do go but ask first if there is a wedding on!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Collegeprof101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (120)
Date | Rating
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English first
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2012

Very good trip to St Michael's Manor recently. We stayed in the same room complained about from a previous reviewer (with the two single mattresses?) but to be honest we didn't fall down the middle and you couldn't tell really.
The wedding went without a hitch and the staff were very professional.
The grounds were well cared for and there was plenty of parking.
The bar is horrendously expensive even for a hotel in St Albans.
We did ask for a daiquiri but were told they couldn't make one as they didn't have a blender......!
Not one? in the whole hotel? not even the kitchen? why put it on the cocktail menu then?
And the older blond haired bar manager needs to get a more professional attitude.
Apart from that it was a nice trip and a pleasant stay was had by all.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cocobongoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malvern
Level Contributor
96 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2012

Unfortunately only had one night here - would have loved to stay longer! The building itself is facinating with some lovely period charm. Ok, some of the corridors and the bedroom had low ceilings but this is a small trade-off for staying in this charming hotel.
The bedroom was well kitted out and also had a well disguised air conditioning unit in it - a pleasant surprise in a building of this age. Another surprise that will appeal to any business visitors is the high speed (36 mbps) wireless broadband - must be on a fibre optic connection.
The staff are extremely friendly and helpful and made us feel at home.
Unusually for us we decided to have room service for our evening meal - it arrived promptly, was nicely presented and still hot.
The grounds to the rear of the hotel are beautiful and I guess would look even better had it been spring or summer.
The hotels is located in a quiet side street about 10 minutes walk from the city centre and the Abbey is just few hundred yards up the road - will have a look round on our next visit.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dmg31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Billericay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
159 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2012

Lovely hotel grounds as a back drop for a wedding reception and even on a cold October day, this hotel hosted a great afternoon indoors. Plenty of room to meet and great the guests and for the guests to have a welcome drink. Food and service were both excellent. Restaurant seating area comfortably sat about 120 guests on round tables. We didn't stay the night, so I can't comment on the rooms or breakfast - Sorry.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David_B-Billericay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
134 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2012 via mobile

Here one night with work, the building and grounds of the hotel are lovely. Service was mixed, check in efficient and people working in the bar in the evening were all great. However the problems did occur in the morning, they had a large function booked in for breakfast at 8am, all other guests had to wait for their breakfast to be served for half an hour, when this place has a high business use you would think they would inform guests of this function the night before so they could come down for breakfast a bit earlier as with meetings etc you cannot wait half an hour for breakfast to be served. My room was fine, good drink selection, bathroom does look dated and I think should be refurbished, also be aware if you are tall you need to duck at all door frames on the top floor, hit my head once unfortunately. One of my colleagues had no hot water which he found out in the morning so could not shower, they were not going to offer any reduction in room rate until manager complained heavily then discount was given, without hot water in the room a reduction should be granted instantly. I hope this issues could be sorted as the setting does make the hotel worth visiting.

Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank 27steve118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Begues, Spain
Level Contributor
182 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2012

When you stay in a premium room in St Michael's Manor. Quite honestly I am tired of visiting hotels that can't get the basics right and live on the laurels of their past (better) years. This hotel is now showing its age, particularly in the rooms. This trip my room has 2 single beds with 2 single mattresses pressed together. Well, the mattress are together now that I have pushed them together at least. If you are here on business, give this place a miss, the Wifi is unusable, it's slow and keeps dropping, I've had this problem here before and not even a USB modem will work as the phone signal here is so weak (not their problem obviously!) Breakfast is fine, always freshly cooked, I haven't risked dinner here due to the reviews. The grounds are fantastic and on an evening it's the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Room Tip: If you are planning to come here for business and need Wifi, think carefully. If you want a king siz...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank anduain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2012

I visited this hotel last year with my family, loved it and wanted to go again - but this time with my girlfriends. Finding a date when all 6 of us could escape work, children and family duties was not easy, in fact it took 8 months so it's fair to say that we all had high expectations as this was a very rare treat indeed. We were not disappointed!
From the moment we arrived we relaxed. The sun was shining (in Oct!), we sat and had a drink by the lake, admiring the beautiful grounds and watching from afar as guests arrived for a wedding. Then an afternoon of retail therapy before popping back to the hotel to relax, watch Strictly and get ready for a night out in St Albans. We were sharing 3 double rooms - each one as nice as the next and I was lucky enough to get the room with a four poster bed. The room (larch) was beautifully decorated and large enough for all 6 of us to lounge around and chat whilst we got ready.
We had been a bit nervous that we wouldn't get much sleep - we'd been warned there was live music for the wedding which might disturb us. However the bed was so comfy and we didn't hear a thing - the best nights sleep in ages. Even better to know that a lovely cooked breakfast and the papers awaited us in the morning.
24 hours after we had arrived, we set off home: happy, relaxed, refreshed and already planning the next trip.
Thank you St Michael's Manor.

Room Tip: Larch has a four poster bed, fabulous shower and little terrace to sit out on.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RJOBFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about St Michael's Manor Hotel

Property: St Michael's Manor Hotel
Address: Fishpool Street | Hertfordshire, St Albans AL3 4RY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > St Albans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — St Michael's Manor Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This magnificent town-house hotel, set in five acres of beautiful English country gardens with lake, is remarkably close to the city centre. The Newling Ward family converted the 500 year-old building in 1965 and continue to own and run the hotel. The 30 bedrooms are individually styled, with many overlooking the lake and gardens, and the award-winning orangery style restaurant shares the same views. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, bar snacks, cream teas and dinner served in a choice of dining areas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel St Michaels Manor
St Michaels Manor Saint Albans

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