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“Seriously disappointed - this is not a spa!”
Review of Sopwell House

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Sopwell House
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in St. Albans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We thought we deserved a treat and booked to stay for one night. Our room was absolutely stunning - I think we'd been upgraded somehow as it was huge and with a fantastic, luxurious bathroom. However, the compliments unfortunately end there... This place offers a strange, weird mix of people popping in for a meal or tea fully dressed, whilst others there for a spa break are left feeling uncomfortable walking around in robes and slippers. My hours massage lasted 45 minutes including the time it took for me to get changed before and after, and to make matters worse, following that we thought we'd sit outside and have a coffee, still in our robes only to find ourselves sitting amongst wedding guests in their black-tie and ball-gowns!

Dinner was also a disaster, we had to wait a good 20 minutes before our order was taken and another 30 before the first course arrived - a bottle of wine was given by way of an apology, but really, we felt that was too little too late.

Having had an extortionate lunch in the larger restaurant the day before, we decided to have a lighter snack the next day in the conservatory room, only to find that had been booked for a birthday party and we couldn't go in - we were therefore left with very little option than to have a cream tea in the bar area instead, which again we had to wait what felt like forever to be seated and served. Last but not least there was a mistake on our bill, which was finally rectified by snobby and uninterested reception staff.

It's such a shame, this place has a lot of potential to be a lovely hotel, but advertising themselves as a spa is always going to disappoint anyone booking it for that reason. You just can't have weddings in the same place as people having massages and treatments!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank CarolineDBC
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 reviewResponded January 18, 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for your review of Sopwell House.

As your visit was almost a year ago, I am afraid I cannot comment on your experience at that time, however, if you choose return, I am confident you will absolutely love the hotel.

There have been many changes and improvements since you last stayed and so I do hope you will give us another chance in 2013.

Kind regards,

Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,938 - 1,944 of 2,336 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2013

I have been a regular visitor at Sopwell House for many years now as my family live in St.Albans and i stay at the hotel twice a year when i visit them.What on earth has happened? The hotel used to have a relaxed ambience about it and you often felt that you were staying in a country house,the food was fantastic and so was the service and around three years ago the grounds were unbelieveable,really i would have paid just to see the gardens but now im afraid all has deteriorated.The hotel was noisy at night,the food is actually as good as ever but the gardens are now remenicent of a council park........such a shame.

Room Tip: try the mews...if you can afford it!!!!!!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank sally s
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 reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for your comments following your recent visit to Sopwell House and for your regular and valued custom over the years.

I am sorry you found the hotel to be noisy on your last visit but as a regular visitor hope you will accept this as an exception rather than the norm.

I am of course delighted the food exceeded your expectations yet again as we are extremely proud of the excellent comments and compliments we receive time and time again about the quality of our Chefs so I will ensure your feedback is passed on to the team.

In relation to our beautiful gardens, I was very surprised to read your comments taking into account the current winter season but sincerely hope you will return again in the Spring or Summer when they will be back in full colourful bloom when the weather improves.

In the meantime, thank you again for your loyal custom and I trust we can warmly welcome you back the next time you are in St Albans visiting your family.

Best wishes


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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Reviewed January 6, 2013

My husband and I had hoped to spend Boxing day here for a 'relaxing spa day' ...Unfortunately the "oasis of calm" that was promised on the website was far from the reality. To the extent that after trying to sit in the sauna with a towel over my ears in an attempt to drown out the shrieking children (that by that point had given me a piercing headache!) my husband and I sat for an hour in the reception area where it was quieter so we could read and hear ourselves think. The 'twos company' package was something that my husband and I desperately needed, and despite the extra cost of it being a bank holiday we thought that we would treat ourselves to some " me time". We had really looked forward to it and told our friends, but at least they now know not to waste their money! The lunch was great, but the treatment wasn't as hoped. More than anything we left feeling very disappointed, wound up we hadn't gone to Champneys as originally thought. We chose Sopwell because its close to home, but we definitely won't be returning again. It's impossible to market the same thing to everyone, the families staying for Christmas had every right to use the hotel facilities, but the management shouldn't market it as a spa when it's more like a noisy children's play area!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JkMowe
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 reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to post your review following your recent visit to Sopwell House on Boxing Day.

Naturally I am very sorry that you did not enjoy your experience in the Spa on this occasion and I hope that as a more local customer you will choose to return to see that the Spa is indeed usually a very relaxing, peaceful and tranquil location.

Sopwell House is a wonderfully festive hotel over the Christmas period and more families than is usual chose to spend their celebrations with us and therefore as you say, were very welcome to utilise and enjoy the facilities on Boxing Day. I would add however that we do have specific times that children can use the pool in order to ensure we maintain a good balance for hotel residents as well as our Spa guests who of course crave some much needed peace and quiet.

I hope you will give us the opportunity to restore your faith in the hotel and look forward to ensuring your next visit is in line with the more typical experience.

In the meantime, thank you for sharing your feedback.

Kind regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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Reviewed January 5, 2013

Stayed at sopwell house where my Niece held her wedding reception on New Years Eve.2012
I just want to pass on this wee tip,Don't let them book you into room 141,I can only describe it as trying to sleep in a ship's engine room!!!!
Room itself was OK,but the noise from the aircon/heating unit just outside the room was SHOCKING!!!!
They moved me OK,so all wasn't lost,but IMHO no one should be put in the room at all!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ger S
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 reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for you recent review and I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your niece’s wedding reception here at the hotel which I know was a wonderful occasion.

I am very sorry that the air conditioning /heating unit disturbed you but equally pleased that my team were able to move you. I will of course follow up on your feed back with my maintenance team.

Thank you for taking the time to bring this to my attention and I hope we can welcome you back to Sopwell House again in 2013.

Best wishes


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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Reviewed January 5, 2013

We needed to stay overnight in Watford and did not really like any of the options in the city. We stayed here instead and for the same price as a fairly standard city centre hotel we had a lovely, relaxing and comfortable stay here

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank serengetisnow
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 reviewResponded January 10, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you very much for your comments following your recent visit to Sopwell House and I am delighted we lived up to your expectations with a lovely, relaxing and comfortable stay.

I do hope you will give us the pleasure of welcoming you back again very soon when you have a bit more time to enjoy the hotel facilities and peaceful surroundings even more.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts which are always very much appreciated.

Warm regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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Reviewed January 4, 2013

As a regular users of spa's throughout the country I was looking forward to this highly recommended Spa Day. What a disappointment for the following reasons....one, only one complimentary tea the whole day, no way near enough beds for the users of the Spa, a steam room that didn't work, a sauna that was too small and nowhere near hot enough, nowhere to relax when not by the pool. There is a conservatory yes, but having tea sitting amongst suited businessmen and woman on laptops having meetings is a little disconcerting. The fabric on the ceiling in the conservatory was full of dead insects, I don't mind a few, but there were hundreds. There were children in the Spa. I love kids, but don't expect to see them or hear them Spa Day. I won't be going back. Ok if you don't Spa very often, but if you've been to others, I'd avoid this one. All that said, the treatments were lovely so full credit due there.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank 51Alexandra
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 reviewResponded January 10, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to post your review following your recent visit to Sopwell House and I am hugely disappointed you did not enjoy your stay, particularly as the hotel was highly recommended to you.

Your experience does not sound like a typical day at Sopwell House although I was pleased to read you thoroughly enjoyed your treatments.

The hotel has been particularly busy with families over the festive holiday season and therefore I hope this will not deter you from visiting us again in the future, especially as we have very recently reviewed the times that children are allowed into the pool area.

I hope you will give us the opportunity to restore your faith in the hotel and look forward to ensuring your next visit is a more relaxing and tranquil experience.

In the meantime, thank you again for sharing your experience.

Kind regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This was our third attendance at a new year ball at this fab hotel. Again this has not disappointed. We were in a party of 8 and had a wonderful time, we were greater like old friends and asked if we needed help to our room. Having only a suited and overnight bag we refused as we were parked so close to our room. We did order some room service at reception and it was in our room within 15 mins. Our suit was large clean and smelt wonderful. We change and went to the Venetian themed evening. We were treated by polite and helpful staff, provided with a glass of nicely chilled prosecco. Staff constantly moved through the guests with canapés which were very tasty. The live band were superb and played on till 1 in the morning. The food was stunning hot and tasty something very difficult to do for mass catering. Breakfast in the morning was again superb and we were sad to have to leave.

Room Tip: The mews are a delight to stay in.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Christopher3965
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 reviewResponded January 9, 2013

Dear Guest

Firstly I am thrilled your New Year got off to such a wonderful start and thank you for taking the time to share your own personal experience at Sopwell House and of course for your loyal custom.

We were absolutely delighted with the feedback we received from our New Years Eve events this year and as the team worked extremely hard in ensuring all our guests had a most special and memorable evening, it is extremely rewarding to receive such a wonderful review.

I hope you plan to return again next year and of course some time in between.

Thank you again and we look forward to being of service again during 2013.

Warm regards


Alessandro Convertino
General Manager

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Additional Information about Sopwell House

Address: Cottonmill Lane | Sopwell, St. Albans AL1 2HQ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > St. Albans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 10 Hotels in St. Albans
Price Range: $161 - $371 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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