We stayed for one night on a Saturday and really enjoyed our stay here although there were a few things that need to be reviewed\changed.
The hotel is located down a fairly narrow but pretty street just off of the main shopping area in St. Albans. It has it's own mini lake and has views out to the main park in the town. The grounds are pretty large considering it's location and very well maintained. There is ample parking and if the gravelled area is full then you can park further back on the grass behind the lake.
Prior to arriving the hotel contacted us and informed us that there was a wedding on during our stay and there may be some noise in the evening. This was a very nice touch and shows some consideration for their guests. We were located off from the main building and were not disturbed by the music or revellers.
Check in was swift although the girl on reception failed to give all of the usual information e.g. breakfast times, wireless code etc. We were also given very vague directions on how to get to our rooms by the same girl so I would assume that she was still a trainee. When we got to the room we found a complete set of hotel keys in the door. There were no hotel staff around and it appeared they had been accidentally left there. This is a serious breach of security and one that the hotel should investigate. Someone of a more dubious nature could easily have cleared out all of the rooms of valuables, especially as there was a wedding on when people would have presents, cameras and other high value goods in their rooms.
We had a garden room which had it's own patio area and allowed us to sit outside enjoying the champagne my wife had pre-booked. The bathroom was spacious and had a bath and shower, unfortunately there were also a couple of black hairs on the sink. The bed was really comfortable and the curtains blocked sufficient light.
The restaurant was shut to other hotel guests due to the wedding. However we did have breakfast there the following morning. They have a buffet selection for juices, pastries and yoghurt's with the main items being cooked to order. There is a good selection on the menu and the even have veggie sausages, although the waitress was unable to tell me what brand. Unfortunately the breakfast was terrible for the following reasons:
The toast was pre cooked and had been sitting round for a while, it was stone cold.
The poached eggs tasted of vinegar.
The beans, which were served in a separate ramekin had not been heated at all.
The waiting staff were all gathered in a group chatting and laughing and there didn't appear to be anyone in authority present.
Having endured the breakfast all I can say is that I am glad the restaurant was closed to us the previous evening. Maybe the hotel should consider recruiting a new breakfast chef?
The other issue with breakfast is the timing, normally you find breakfast is served later on a Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately St. Michaels only serves until 9:30!
The hotel seems a bit Jekylll and Hyde, some things are perfect whilst others are less so. I can only put this down to the staff as the majority of those that we saw were all rather young with a lack of more mature influences.
- 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