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“With some small changes this would be a 5 star review”

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St Michael's Manor Hotel
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in St Albans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 September 2013

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.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JGB1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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362 - 368 of 582 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2013

We stayed overnight as a family with children in the Magnolia room on a DB&B basis.

We chose this hotel as we needed to stay the night near to the Harry Potter Studio Tours before our visit the next day. The hotel was very easy to find from the M25 and easy to get to the Harry Potter location the next day, taking about 15 minutes. There was plenty of parking at the hotel.

The Magnolia room is a 'master suite' with a large sitting room that has a sofa bed, armchairs & TV and had plenty of room for the hotel to add an additional bed too. The bedroom was a good size with a wonderful, luxurious bathroom off it. There are folding doors between the bedroom & sitting room. The whole suite is beautifully decorated in an oriental style with lacquered cabinets & floral paintings. There was an air-conditioning unit in the sitting room that worked well & lovely big windows with views down over the gardens and the lake. The beds were comfortable and the shower excellent.

We ate a very good dinner in the restaurant overlooking the lake and gardens. Staff were generally attentive and friendly but did forget a couple of things so this is an area that could do with improvement in a hotel of this standard. The children's menu was good with plenty of choice.

Breakfast the next morning was fantastic, there was plenty of choice of pastries, yoghurts, cereals etc and the cooked breakfast was outstanding.

Unfortunately we had to get home the next day or I would very happily have stayed another night in this relaxing and comfortable hotel. We would very much like to come back again and have time to explore the attractive city of St Albans.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank jackson94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013

This is a nice hotel, with comfortable accommodation, but not luxurious as it may look at first glance. Stayed during weekend and it was a bit noisy because there was a wedding celebration - another party took place the very next day. I was later informed that the place is often used for weddings and parties, particularly during summer. Unfortunately, they don't allow you to sit or walk in the lovely garden at night. Despite the beautiful location, breakfast was poor and served in cracked crockery, which is not acceptable to the hotel's four stars standard. There was no choice of fresh fruits or juices and the croissant was the only good thing available for breakfast.

Room Tip: Avoid staying during weekends.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank MadameDoise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013

We enjoyed a family Birthday Party for 14 of us and i must say the service and cuisine in The Lake Restuarant was exceptional. The restaurant not only catered for the Adults in the party but the Grandchildren as well with a special menu. I specially enjoyed the Smoked Salmon followed by Trout which was superb and beautifully prepared on the plate. Desert of Lemon Cheesecake one of the best i have tasted. The staff were excellent and a most pleasant place to enjoy a special treat

Room Tip: Facing the Lake and the Garden
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Trenham Ian Weatherhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013

We went to this hotel for my brothers wedding and it couldn't have been more amazing. The setting is lovely, with a pretty lake and grounds. The rooms are very well equipped and sumptuous. The food was great.

Room Tip: all of the rooms seem lovely
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank lesleyashington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2013

If you want a charming hotel, in a picturesque location, within walking distance of the centre of St Albans, St Michael’s would be my recommendation. We stayed for two nights in a well-proportioned garden room with excellent facilities. Unfortunately (for us not the hotel) there were wedding receptions on both nights and the main access to our room was through the dining room. So short of making our way passed wedding guests enjoying their wedding breakfast, the only way to our room was via the garden and through a side entrance. No the most convenient but there was not a lot you can do about that. Service was excellent and all were pleasant and efficient. As a side note, why do most hotels offering walk in showers, bath and two basins only supply one bar of miniature soap?
We didn’t stay for evening meals primarily because of the wedding traffic, but the hotel is so near many excellent restaurants this was not an issue. Breakfasts were good, but, may be because of the number of guests specific orders were forgotten and standard cooked breakfasts were delivered. Nevertheless they were delicious. This hotel clearly relies on wedding receptions for revenue, and who can blame them, I am sure they do an excellent job. However if you happen not to be a wedding guest you may feel a little side-lined. But don’t let this put you off too much, my wife loved looking at all the wedding guests outfits!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2013

Stayed for one night for a special birthday, and we could not fault anything worth speaking about. The venue is outstanding in respect of location, restaurant, bar, grounds etc., the service was very attentive, friendly and helpful without being too fussy or overwhelming, nothing was too much trouble. We had bar snacks, dinner and breakfast and everything was exceptional and dinner in particular was very reasonably priced, as is the wine list.
The room was beautifully appointed, the linen and furnishings were all first class, and it was spotless. The bathroom, which was cunningly hidden away behind mirrored doors, was superb with an excellent walk in shower, and a good sized bath.
The grounds and lake are very well maintained and the seating on the 2 small piers is a real nice touch, and there is plenty to do in St Albans.
Three constructive criticisms, it would have been nice to have a small fridge in the room, especially at this time of year, but there is the argument about them being noisy and clicking on and off all night. The bed post obscured the TV for anyone laying on the left hand side of the bed, and I did miss not being able to open a window, especially at night, air con is great but it wasn't that warm that you needed it on, and the only other option would have been to open the double doors that opened onto the gardens, which would have compromised security somewhat, so next time I will go for a first floor room.
None of these issues would put me off going back, it is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but it was good value.

Room Tip: The Garden Rooms are a bit special, and the ground floor rooms open onto your own little garden whic...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Graham C
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

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: £149 - £262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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