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“Great Wedding venue- some service issues at breakfast” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sopwell House

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Sopwell House
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in St Albans
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level Contributor
101 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Great Wedding venue- some service issues at breakfast”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2012

We stayed at Sopwell House whilst attending a family wedding here. The reception was well organised and the food offered was of excellent quality, the main course was hot and the meat was tender and tasty. The staff during the function were polite and unobtrusive, just as you would expect. The grounds are beautiful and we spent the early afternoon on the terrace with drinks and canapes, perfect. 5* for the wedding function.
We had also booked a family room for 4 and were positively surprised to be given one of their 2-storey cottages across from the main building offering ample space for 4. We had a quiet nights sleep even though the temporary beds for the kids were just suitable for a night or two. But can't complain as we were glad to be offered a family room rate,despite the kids being teens and we had ample space. The decor of the room was good, nothing special as mentioned on previous reviews, and could do with a new coat of paint. Everything was clean and the towels were of very good fluffy quality.
Breakfast was ok at most, at 9.40 it was extremely busy and no clean table available immediately. When we were finally seated we encountered some rather rude staff at the breakfast bar, which I would definitely not expect at a hotel that prides itself as "upmarket".
I am a great believer in the ethos that the customer is (almost) always right . Service was a bit slow and the food was nothing special, usual fare, although a nice selection of freshly cut fruit. We certainly enjoyed the wedding experience as guests at Sopwell House but due to some of the service issues around staff politeness we can just give a 4* review and I would probably not come to stay for a weekend break unrelated to a function as I would have higher service expectations for the price paid.

Room Tip: Try and stay in the cottages, more space and quieter.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Trolli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,018 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (376)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
London, UK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2012

I stayed here with my husband and our son for a friend's wedding in May. We booked a junior suite with a four poster bed and were quite disappointed. Not that it was "bad", there was just nothing "wow" about our room or the hotel whatsoever. We can, in fact, not believe that it's a four star hotel as we've stayed at several four star hotels before and they all wowed us in one way or another, especially in a junior suite. Yes, the grounds are really nice, but nothing breathtaking. Service during breakfast was not the kind of service we envisage when thinking of a four star place; no smile, no going the extra mile. Our room was plain and dull and the four poster was as unadorned as you can possibly imagine. Nothing extraordinary or beautiful at all, just functional and plain. This would be fine for a 2 or 3 star, but in a junior suite of a 4 star I expect some interesting features and amazing colour schemes. Also, being out and about with the pushchair, most staff could not tell us where we could find the lift on the 1st floor and we could certainly not find it either in the riddle of corridors. The corridors look rather shabby and are extremely narrow. Thank god my husband did not take me here for a romantic weekend, as apart from the gardens there is nothing romantic about Sopwell House. On the plus side, the bed was really comfortable and the reception area has a beautiful feel to it, but unfortunately, this cannot be said about the rest of this place. What a pity!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 123marei
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 review, 7 June 2012
Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay at Sopwell House, and I am sorry that you have left us without that "wow" feeling. I have recently taken over as General Manager of Sopwell House at the beginning of the year and I am delighted to let you know that we are in the process of making many changes, and I am sure that we will meet the expectations of all our guests, and everyone will leave feeling that hey have had a thoroughly good time and cannot wait to return!! Within the next 8 months we are looking to improve all areas of the hotel, and indeed our levels of training with our staff in the various departments.

As we are a listed building, we are blessed with our corridors being narrower than in the new builds, but I do understand that with a pushchair and small children the task becomes more difficult! I do hope that you may visit us again, and that you will see our progress, and that we may provide you with a place to stay that is truly all you could wish for.

Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2012

I have been coming to dine in the brasserie for many years.. The buffet food was always at it high standard service was excellent, the young manager always have a laugh with my wife. The only problem is all the staff are always seem unhappy.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah80r
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 review, 25 May 2012
Thank you for your recent comments on Trip Advisor in respect of the lunch you recently enjoyed at Sopwell House. It is encouraging indeed to hear that you were happy with th service and food on our lunchtime buffet, and I will pass this information on to the team at our next meeting. I must apologise on behalf of the staff that you found to be unhappy, this is definately an area I am currently looking to address. I hope to be able to welcome you back to Sopwell House soon, so that you can witness first hand our improvements.

Yours sincerely

Alessandro Convertino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suffolk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2012

Stayed here for two nights in May 2012. Sopwell House is very well presented and initially created a good impression on arrival but was let down a little by poor customer service from the eastern european lady on reception who failed to manage a smile or give us any basic information. I will say though that the other staff on reception throughout our stay were much better.

The room itself was of a standard to be expected from this type of Hotel and was very clean, however this was somewhat let down by the miserly two sachets of cheap Nescafe coffee provided, especially since the mugs in the room are fairly large. We did leave a note for the maid to leave extra, but this was ignored.

Breakfast on our first morning was very unorganised with lots of uncleared tables. The Hot Buffet had also run out of most items and took longer than expected to be replenished. In addition to this we had to ask for some glasses as these had also not been kept replenished. The food however was very good, especially the lovely sausages. Breakfast on the second morning was much better with none of the issues of the first morning repeated.

We ate in the Brasserie on the first evening. The service was acceptable but unfortunately the food was at best average. I do have to say though that view into the Pool/Spa area was not really appreciated. The Food and service in the Terrace Bar was surprisingly much better than the Brasserie. The main restaurant was also very good but a little overpriced for what was on offer.

The Hotel lounge bar was a nice quite place to have a drink but was lacking in atmosphere later on in the evening. The Piano player is a nice touch, but after a while it can become a bit repetitive.

The Spa Facilities at Sopwell are of a high standard but can get a little over-crowded at times. Much quieter towards the later part of the evening though. The grounds are also lovely and very well presented but could do with some more more colour.

Overall though, a nice stay let down a little by small details and a few members of staff not up to the standards set by the majority. I would however return and recommend Sopwell to others.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrSnake
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 review, 25 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor, and as always we welcome the opportunity to be able to respond and thank you accordingly. I am pleased that you were happy overall with your stay, and will address the points you have raised with my Housekeeping team, Head Chef, and Purchasing Manager, and can assure you that each matter will be dealt with accordingly.

We have just commenced the planting of our summer bedding, and I do hope that this beautiful weather will encourage them to gro beautifully and add some colour to the flower beds we are lucky enough to have.

Thank you again for your comments, and I do hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Sopwell House in the not too distant future.
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Glasgow
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2012

My wife and I spent 3 nights at Sopwell House prior to and after my brothers wedding last October, and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

We arrived on the Wednesday evening and enjoyed a beautiful dinner in the Brasserie restaurant, overlooking the floodlit gardens to the rear of the hotel, where we later enjoyed a beautiful relaxing stroll.

Breakfast each day was a buffet, with a huge choice of traditional cooked English, and continental offerings.

Our family kind of took over most of the place on the Thursday afternoon, and despite numerous excited children running around their feet, the staff in the hotel (and Mr Les Ferdinand, who dropped in for an afternoon tea) remained very professional and the service throughout was excellent.

Our bedroom was on the 3rd floor, with a beautiful view to the north over the front of the hotel grounds, and we enjoyed 3 very good quality nights in the large comfortable bed.

As Best Man, I had a number of duties to perform on the day of the wedding, and I found the hotel staff extremely helpful, attending to all our needs.

All in all a very enjoyable stay, and a lovely hotel, in a stunning part of the English countryside.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DonC78
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 review, 25 May 2012
Thank you for the comments you have recently posted on Trip Advisor, and I was delighted to read that you have had enjoyable stays with us both at the time of your brother's wedding and afterwards. It is always nice to receive such lovely comments, and I do hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Sopwell House in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely

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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Additional Information about Sopwell House

Property: Sopwell House
Address: Cottonmill Lane | Sopwell, St Albans AL1 2HQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > St Albans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in St Albans
Price range (per night): $213 - $394
Hotel Class:4 star — Sopwell House 4*
Number of rooms: 129
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in 12 acres of tranquil gardens Sopwell House is a 4 star hotel in Hertfordshire and the former Georgian country residence of Lord Mountbatten. Once you enter this 'home away from home' our attentive staff, family friendly service and luxurious spa facilities will provide the perfect setting to your stay or event. Our Country House hotel enables you to escape from it all and is within easy reach of London, St Pancras National & International Train Station and Luton Airport. With 128 stylish bedrooms and suites including 16 soon to be completed Mews Apartments to choose from, exceptional service, delicious food and our opulent spa you'll find it hard to leave. As well as boasting 19 flexible function suites, Sopwell House has recently been awarded winner of the 2015 Conde Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence in the category 'Best for Meetings' recognising their outstanding contribution to the corporate and social world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sopwell House Country Club And Spa
Sopwell House Country Club Hotel St. Albans
Sopwell Hotel Country

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