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“Not great!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Harpenden House Hotel

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Harpenden House Hotel
18 Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PE, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Harpenden
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Not great!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

I booked the Harpenden House hotel for one night for a short break away, it was through secret escapes so managed to get a reasonable late deal.
Upon arrival at the hotel we realised that there was a wedding reception being held there with the majority of the guests being gathered at reception! We had to walk through the wedding party to check in which wasn't ideal. We were given our room number and soon found out that it was in the separate part of the hotel. I feel the building and the interiors were very dated, our room was basic and we were very unimpressed. A Premier Inn room is presented better!
The bed was not very comfortable at all and when the morning came we went straight for breakfast so that we could go home.
Breakfast was a disaster. There were not enough staff for the number of tables and quite a few people were waiting for things such as cutlery, milk, toast etc. When we finally received our tea I asked for soya milk and was brought something that resembled cream and had bits floating in it.
All in all not a great experience.

One positive is the location of the hotel, it is right on the towns doorstep, however if you are planning to go out for a meal make sure you book in advance.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHarpenden2011, General Manager at Harpenden House Hotel, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review following your recent stay with us.

I am so sorry to hear that certain aspects of your stay were far from satisfactory, I would like to assure you that we have looked into all the points you have raised.

As you mentioned we did have an extremly large wedding at the hotel, but that should in no way have affected your stay and I am extremly sorry that this impacted and your overnight stay and indeed your breakfast was indeed far from satisafactory.

I am extremly sorry and would like to assure that measures are in place to ensure future guests do not experience the same.

I hope this incident has not detered you from visiting the hotel if you are in the area.
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266 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Staying here is becoming a bit of a habit for myself and my partner. We don't mind though!

Each time we have a great stay!

We ordered room service for dinner, ordering was smooth, the lady on reception was very informative. The food came up quick and was also hot, which was great!

Wasn't able to enjoy the room for too long though as we arrived late but we will be back in May!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHarpenden2011, General Manager at Harpenden House Hotel, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
I am so glad to hear that you had yet another enjoyable evening here at Harpenden House Hotel.

We look forward to seeing you again in May, and we have introduced our New Spring Menu so hopefully you can experience a nice dinner in the Winepress Restaurant on this visit.

See you soon
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London
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Room was a rear of hotel not main building, was clean and warm. Quiet , walk down to main hotel for breakfast. We stayed for 1 night to go to a wedding party. OK value for money. car parking lu the back was fine.

Room Tip: Quite a few steps, check out room first to see where you will be as some rooms are quite a walk to r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHarpenden2011, General Manager at Harpenden House Hotel, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Thank you for writing your recent review.

I am pleased to hear you had a pleasnat evening with us and I hope that we will see you again if you are in the area.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

The hotel is split into two parts - the main areas, reception, dining & bars are the original building & definitely look the part.
The bedrooms are all on the opposite side and recently furnished with a modern feel.
The service was always welcoming and pleasant.

Would definitely book this hotel again should I need to be in the area.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHarpenden2011, General Manager at Harpenden House Hotel, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your stay at Harpenden House Hotel.

I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit with us and hope we will see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Went to this hotel as part of a deal, booked by my fiancé as a romantic break away. Firstly was baffled as to why we’d been allocated a room so far away, we were in the not so attractive annex, that looks like a block of council flats. The menu had been displayed on the bed in (an A3 paper menu) it was all crumpled as if it’d been screwed up and then re-ironed out. That didn’t give me a good impression. We realised our table in the room was broken, when we nearly spilt the drink we had resting on it. The bathroom floor was filthy with dust and someone else’s hair, the bath tub itself was in a similar state, did not make ‘taking a relaxing bubble bath’ a very attractive option. Later found out that the bedside lights did not work, due to them not having any light bulbs. In morning after a shower the bathroom became flooded as no seal was fitted on the glass door, therefore I decided to leave my bathroom visit before leaving the following day to the ladies toilet in reception, as I did not want to get my feet/shoes wet. We were woken extremely early as the walls were thin and we’d been given a room close to a fire-exit. Woken by a child running up and down the fire exit to entertain themselves and by people leaving the hotel, from as early as 7am. I left our mini break feeling more stressed and tired than when I arrived, so defeated the point of our get away.

Having said all of this the food we had in the restaurant as part of the deal was very good quality and nice staff. However were slightly disappointed by our table, we were in the way of a draft from the window, which didn’t appear to be completely shut, the result was the staff pulled the blind down further. Also the fire-exit door of which a waiter later found out was left open. We weren’t given an option to move, due to the restaurant being rather full. The table was also rather dark, everybody else had an attractive candle but our table.

The hotel did refund us £20 the following morning when we complained, but we hadn’t spoken to a manager, only a receptionist. We made sure our complaints were document in a feedback form and we stated that despite the hotel’s 4 star rating we considered it far less than this.
If I were to recommend someone to stay at this hotel, I would suggest asking to be in the main house, which might mean an upgrade. Otherwise, I’d advise to think twice.

Room Tip: Try and get a room in the main hotel to avoid disappointment and long walks to the main reception...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHarpenden2011, General Manager at Harpenden House Hotel, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Anita

I am so disappointed to read your comments that your break away with us here at Harpenden House was far from relaxing.
I would like to assure you that I have looked at all your comments and looked at processes and procedures with my team to ensure that future guests do not experience the same situation as you did in respect to the issues you encountered with your accommodation, there really can be no excuse for this, and on behalf of myself and my team I would like to convey my sincere apologies. I am just sorry that you did not speak to a manager whilst you were at the hotel, as I am sure that if you did we could of done something to make your stay more pleasurable.

Once again I am so sorry
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Travelers are raving about these Harpenden hotels

dorset
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Stayed here for one night on a voucher deal. Slight confusion with the deal but it was quickly dealt with. Our room was spotless and comfortable, we had a good nights sleep and the bathroom was big enough with decent power from the shower.
The hotel has a nice feel and we found the bar and restaurant areas clean and welcoming. Food at both dinner and breakfast was enjoyable and overall we had a pleasant stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHarpenden2011, General Manager at Harpenden House Hotel, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us.
I am so pleased to hear that you had a pleasant stay, and I hope we can welcome you back to the hotel in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Yorkshire
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We were visiting the area to attend a party and needed a hotel for one night's stay, reviews seemed quite good and it was close to Harpenden. We were given a room in the main house, a decent size with four poster bed, despite being on the front it was fairly quiet. However there was a terrible noise coming from the radiator which only stopped when we turned it down (I reported it to reception). The windows are I presume the original metal leaded windows. I don't expect them to be draught free, but I do expect them to close. One window was covered by a blind which didn't work, it was obvious why when we lifted it, the window catch was broken so it was permanently open, it was covered in cobwebs and the paintwork black with dirt, it couldn't have been cleaned for ages. Another part of the bay window had cracked and a square of plain glass had been glued over it. Something had been spilt down the inside of the door and hadn't been cleaned. The bathroom was only spoilt by a huge crack in the basin. The bedding and curtains were all good quality and it seems a pity that not maintaining these things spoilt what could have been a really nice room.
Breakfast was buffet, if we wanted a fried or poached egg we had to order it, which we did. We helped ourselves to fruit and cereals and waited for the egg to arrive. Twenty minutes later we gave up, it had obviously been forgotten or not ordered.
It is in a good location for walking into Harpenden but the particular room we stayed in definitely needs some maintenance and we were disappointed with the overall quality.
'Character' can only cover up so much.

Room Tip: May be worth asking for a room in the newer extension
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHarpenden2011, General Manager at Harpenden House Hotel, responded to this review, March 1, 2013
I am so sorry to hear that your recent stay with us was disappointing.
Whilst we can expect a certain amount of character due to us being a listed Georgian House, you are so are so right it is not acceptable to have the issues you encountered, and I would like to assure you that we will addressing the points you raised in relation to both the maintenance issues, and the service you received at breakfast.

I do hope this has not discouraged you from visiting us when you are next in the area, and on behalf of myself and my team I would like to offer you our sincere apoologies
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 Harpenden House Hotel

Address: 18 Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Harpenden
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Harpenden
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Harpenden House Hotel is a beautiful Grade II listed Georgian town house hotel with a rich history, set in the country Market Town of Harpenden which is centrally located for access to Luton, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead. At the beginning of the 19th Century it was used as a school for young ladies and subsequently it has been a private house and a convent for the Dominican Sisters. Harpenden House Hotel has been operating as a hotel since 1970 and many of the original period features remain, including a large 18th Century fireplace in the Welcombe lounge. The majority of bedrooms and meeting rooms are adjacent to the main house in the Garden and Hertfordshire Wing. Harpenden House Hotel has undergone a transformation with an investment in 2007/08 of over £2 million. The Hotel now offers the most luxurious rooms, from standard to feature all have high specification and are extremely comfortable. Our Winepress Restaurant, Welcombe Lounge and bar areas have all been transformed, which has enhanced their original charm and character, while offering a more modern setting. ... more   less 
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