Sopwell House Country Club & Spa

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

Cottonmill Lane, Saint Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 2HQ, United Kingdom

1 Review

Sopwell House
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 83% more than similarly rated 4 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families68
  • Couples70
  • Solo76
  • Business65
  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    A short stay in Georgian elegance


    The stay at Sopwell House was as part of a large work event - which included a two night stay over and a large gala dinner on a Saturday evening.

    I was housed in apartment 14, which was an interesting residence - large bedroom and bathroom, not to forget the lounge/kitchenette and the small terrace outside the bedroom.

    It was comfortable enough - although I would say that I had some problem deciding if the towels were clean or not clean. I also thought the breakfast offering was a little mechcanically produced. The coffee was good.

    Unique Quality: The eraliest mention of Sopwell House seems to be in a 1603 deed which refers to "New Barnes" the home of Richard Sadlier. In 1665, the Duchess Alice took up residence there during the great plague and the fire of London. In 1670, Sir Harbottle Grimston (Earl of Verulam) bought the house and at the beginning of the 18th century Edward Strong, a master mason, leased the house. In 1902 Prince Louis of Battenberg leased the house as a country home. The house was converted to a hotel in 1969. It changed ownership again in 1986, and is now the property of Abraham Bejerano.

More about Sopwell House Country Club & Spa


by Sweetpee about Sopwell House

Sopwell House Hotel is a 5 start hotel set in beautiful grounds. As well as the brilliant restaurants it has its own spa facilities. Indoor Swimming Pool and a beautiful Japanese garden.

perfect in every way ...

by TripAdvisor Member thepeacockfamily

On 30th April 2006 we held our wedding at Sopwell House and evverything was just perfect. The day went without a hitch and the staff were just brilliant, they could not do enough for you and nothing was to much trouble.
The wedding co-ordinator on the day (Paul) was fantastic. The food was out of this world and the service was 10/10.
We stayed in the Mews Apartment which again we could not fault in anyway at all. We had quite a number of our guests staying at the hotel and they all agree that their rooms were lovely. clean and comfortable.
I would recommend Sopwell House to anyone ... it truely is an amazing hotel.

perfect service

by TripAdvisor Member JasperB

I recommended Sopwell House to my father for his wedding and then as the big day approached I subsequently visited this website, read the reviews and was worried that the day might not go to plan. My fears were groundless; the service was superb, the food excellent and the staff were extremely attentive. The day was a complete success & nothing was too much trouble. The function rooms were well presented and the bedrooms clean, spacious and modern.

Simply the worst food I have had anywhere, at any price

by TripAdvisor Member beentheredoneit

As a St Albans resident I have had the misfortune to go to numerous events at Sopwell House, and on reading the other reviews I feel obliged to warn anyone considering coming to St Albans about Sopwell House.
On my most recent trip to Sopwell a few months ago to a corporate function the food served was simply terrible - a dried up chunk of chicken that I would have needed a hammer and chisel to eat.
This was not a surprise, my Brother held his wife's 30th at Sopwell recently and only selected Sopwell on the basis that a hotel that holds a lot of functions should be able to handle 34 guests. Well, the night was so disastrously bad it was comical. The main course was served over a period of nearly 2 Hours! The person sat next to me had a main course served, and had to wait 35 mins for the accompanying veg. When the Maitre D was firmly but politely challenged about what was going he scuttled off, never to be seen again!
All of this was at a price per head that would have secured dinner at a top London restaurant. We were offered vouchers towards a "future event", but why anyone would want to go back is beyond me.
At a wedding here a while ago, the main course Lamb was raw (not rare).
Food of this standard is unacceptable at any price, but at the prices charged here it verges on criminal.
Go anywhere else in St Albans, a least to eat.
The rooms incidentally are ok, and the health club quite nice so maybe stay here and order in a pizza!

What a pleasant surprise!!!

by TripAdvisor Member Donee

I booked a room at Sopwell House, having spent alot of money on it and after I had booked the room decided to look at tripadvisor. While there were some good reviews, most were very negative. We went with a pessimistic view. I have to say that we got a really pleasant surprise! When we got there our room was ready and the staff were really helpful. Our room was clean and spacious(I did notice some rooms were smaller) and really lovely. We had our lunch in the terrace bar and it was really tasty and very substantial. I have to say that the setting is really beautiful, peaceful and although there was a wedding that weekend, noise was minimal, contrary to other guests reviews. As regards billing, we checked through our television if it was correct and we were not overchanged once again contrary to other guests reviews. I have to say that this was a really lovely experience. All staff were very helpful and friendly. The spa was clean, and i really cant fault it in any way. Everyone has different opinions and experiences but mine was certainly a very positive memorable one!

Not as bad as expected

by TripAdvisor Member sallywally2006

I have just returned from a one night stay at Sopwell House which was not as bad as expected after looking at the reviews on this site last week.

We didn't arrive until early evening and our room was ready for us. It was pleasant with a very nice bathroom and a good comfy bed.

I didn't make it to the spa but some of our party did and they found it perfectly nice and clean. We spent an hour or two on the terrace having a couple of drinks and, although when around they were polite, the staff seemed to be very few and far between. One of the party tried to order a cream tea but was told that they were only served until 5pm - she was 5 minutes late but had been trying to get someones attention for a good 15 minutes.

We were on a DBB package which I was dreading after looking at previous reviews. Dinner was actually very nice although not particulary substantial. However, I would definately recommend the Cheese and Biscuits - if you found the main course small then that will certainly fill you up. The wine was nice although I always hate paying £25 for a bottle of plonk which I can buy for £4.50 at Tescos but I guess this is something you get at every decent restaurant.

Breakfast was a buffet but generally quite good. There was a good selection of fruit and the cooked breakfast went down very well with my party. We had to wait a while for drinks and when the tea arrived it tasted of coffee but it wasn't the end of the world.

All in all this was an OK stay although rather over-priced. I would have expected a bit more luxury for the money involved so probably will not visit again unless with a party or conference.

OK but not great service

by TripAdvisor Member Typhoid

Rooms are on a par with Sheraton type hotels. Clean and pleasant but very expensive for what you get vs other hotels.

Service was quite slow and not at all attentive.

Overall nice hotel and surroundings, poor service

Nice setting, Very poor service

by TripAdvisor Member victoria32

We were booked into this hotel by a third party and after reading the reviews I was a little worried even though we were only staying the night.

We were dealt with very efficiently by reception, and shown to our rather small room, where the furniture was more than tatty, although the bathroom looked as though it had recently been updated.

We decided to enjoy the sun and sit on the terrace for a drink and snack, after waiting some 15 minutes we gave up and headed for the lounge bar and the shade !!, where we were attended to almost immediately, allthough my Husbands food order arrived a good 10 minutes before mine it was of a good standard.

In the early hours when we arrived back to the hotel the staff seemed to be unable to deal with large numbers and became very panicky and stressed easily, although the bar manager was trying his best to soothe over the problems.

Breakfast was fine, although we were asked 6 times if we wanted tea or coffee, it would have been easier if the waitress had taken the cups away the first time we said no, but thats just a niggle.

I'm not sure about the lawn being used as a make shift sunbathing area especially when there is a beautiful wedding on, I'm sure the bride did not want bikini shots in her album! perhaps the hotel should seriously be thinking of extending the terrace area from the pool.

A short bed, breakfast and dinner stay over

by gordonilla

"A history of St Albans"

This has been based upon the information provided on the St Albans City & District website:

St. Albans is Hertfordshire's oldest town. The town first appeared as Verlamion, a Celtic Iron Age settlement whose name means 'the settlement above the Marsh'. After the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, it developed as Verulamium. It was built mainly of wood, it was destroyed during the revolt of Boudicca in AD 60-61 but was rebuilt and grew to feature many impressive town houses and public buildings. It was encircled by gated walls in AD 275.

After the departure of the Roman Army in AD 410 the town slowly declined and the fine Roman City fell into decay. Its ruinous buildings provided building materials to build the new monastic and market settlement of St. Albans which was located near the place St Alban was executed. In the Norman Abbey Tower, you can still find the Roman bricks removed from the Verulamium. The Saxon settlement grew around the precincts of the Monastery, which had been founded in AD 900-950 by the Abbot Ulsinus, the acknowledged founder of St. Albans.

He established a market, encouraged settlers and built three churches - St. Michael's, St. Peter's and St. Stephen's. It developed into a town of significance with a powerful Abbot and was one of the five chosen venues by the barons and clergy in 1213 for the drafting of Magna Carta.

The city of St. Albans played a part in the Peasant's revolt of 1381. There had been growing conflict with the Abbot over milling rights and a surge of popular feeling that the townspeople should have more control of their affairs. Fifteen of those taking part were tried at the Moot Hall. The Abbey Gateway and Clock Tower symbolise the conflict between monastery and town. The Abbey was surrounded by walls, to keep livestock safe and townspeople out, which highlighted the church's need for security from the town outside. The Clock Tower was built between 1403 and 1412, constructed by the townspeople as a symbol of their independence. This tension was not resolved until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1529.

The town prospered during the Middle Ages, and many inns grew up around the Abbey to support travellers and pilgrims. The Fleur-de-Lys, the George and the Tabard Inn were all built in the 15th century. After the Reformation, the town continued to prosper with the growth of the stage coach service from London.

Until 1539 the town was dominated by the Abbot, but with the suppression of the church, the right to a Mayor was granted by a Charter of Edward VI in 1553. The Charter also formalised the right to hold markets. The reformation also had the extra advantage of releasing church land. The Abbey Church was bought by parishioners to become the parish church of the town.

St. Albans sided with the parliament during the English Civil War (1642-45). A minor skirmish took place in 1643, when the royalist High Sheriff proclaimed for the King outside the Clock Tower, at the same time Cromwell and a detachment of men rode up Holywell Hill! The unfortunate Sheriff was chased, captured and dispatched to the Tower of London.
The 18th and early 19th centuries saw continuity and change. The decline of the coaching trade in the 1840's was eventually offset by the arrival of the local railways especially the main line to London in 1868. St. Albans was now an attractive place to live and it began to develop into a modern city, a process marked by civic and sanitary improvements. In 1877 it received a Royal Charter giving the town City status and the Abbey Church became a Cathedral.

"Sopwell House, St Albans"

This was a work event - and many colleagues from different parts of the UK spent time at the hotel. There is a spa and health centre - and a swimming pool.

This hotel is used by footballers and those working at Elstree film studios. The stars of the Harry Potter films have stayed at Sopwell House, as do the evictees of the Big Brother House. It is also a regular haunt of premiership footballers.


Sopwell HouseSopwell House


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 Sopwell House Country Club & Spa

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Sopwell Hotel Country
Sopwell House Country Club And Spa
Sopwell House Country Club Hotel St. Albans

Address: Cottonmill Lane, Saint Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 2HQ, United Kingdom