Nestled in the English countryside in 12 acre grounds is Sopwell House, a St Albans hotel and spa. Set in a beautiful Georgian building, this four star retreat is the perfect spot for a relaxing break with great food…
First impressions of the hotel are great, and this continued throughout our stay. The building itself is beautiful – a whitewashed Georgian manor house in pretty manicured gardens.
Inside, the decor is bright and contemporary, while also complementing the age of the property. The reception area has a glass roof, with comfy velvet sofas and a beautiful fireplace, and the receptionists are friendly and very helpful.
In the main building, known as ‘mansion house’, there are 112 guest rooms in total, which includes family and balcony suites. You can choose from a deluxe, executive or chic room, or a suite. The rooms all have that boutique look and feel, with large super comfy beds, beautiful wallpapers and fabrics and unique pieces of furniture.
We stayed in one of the Mews Suites, which are separate from the main hotel in the former stable block and accessed via private gates. Set in beautiful gardens, created by garden designer Ann-Marie Powell, our suite had a private terrace and outdoor hot tub. The cottages are all individually designed, many of which have four-poster beds, small but stylish kitchenettes, feature fireplaces and in-room baths. The suites sleep two, and come with complimentary access to the spa including the spa gardens.
The Spa at Sopwell House…
Having won multiple awards, it’s clear to see why the spa at Sopwell House is so renowned. There are two aspects to the spa – Cottonmill, and The Club at Cottonmill.
At Cottonmill you will find an indoor pool, two vitality pools, a sauna, steam room and poolside terrace as well as an indoor ‘sitting room’. In addition to this, there is a fully equipped gym and exercise classes too. There are a variety of treatments on offer, and after your treatment you can spend time in the Rose Relaxation Room. All guests at Sopwell House have access to the spa.
To access The Club at Cottonmill, you need to be staying in one of the Mews Suites, or have booked a Club Spa Day or Club Spa Break. While the facilities at Cottonmill are fantastic, I’d highly recommend upgrading to spend some time at The Club at Cottonmill. The facilities here are considered to be world class and include: an indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool, a beautiful spa garden complete with hot tubs, loungers and a fire pit, a ‘whisper’ room, garden deep, deep relaxation room, two types of saunas and steam rooms and experience showers.
If you book a package that includes access to The Club at Cottonmill, you also get access to the Cottonmill facilities including the gym. We experienced both, and while the Cottonmill spa was amazing alone, using The Club at Cottonmill facilities made for a really memorable stay.
Dining at Sopwell House…
The on-site restaurant Omboo is not to be missed. Our spa break in the Muse Suites included meals and breakfast, and I can’t speak highly enough of Omboo. With a unique concept, the Asian and Far East inspired restaurant doesn’t offer starters or mains, but simply sharing platters which will arrive at your table freshly prepared and as soon as they are ready. There’s also a fantastic cocktail and drinks menu.
The Brasserie is another great option. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the open-plan dining space has floor to-ceiling-windows for a bright and airy feel. The menu offers British and Mediterranean cuisines and on Sundays you can get a pretty incredible roast.
Open every day from noon, The Cocktail Bar is a must visit. At the centre you’ll find a beautiful marble topped bar, in a room with high ceilings, two cosy fireplaces, stained glass windows and comfy velvet armchairs. You can get light bites here and bar meals, as well as great cocktails. Another option for a bite to eat or a drink is the Conservatory Bar. Light and airy, when the weather is good you can also sit out on the terrace.
The Location: St Albans, Hertfordshire…
Just a couple miles outside of the beautiful cathedral city of St Albans, Sopwell House is well positioned for exploring the local area. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes within the city, as well as independent shops too. St Albans Cathedral shouldn’t be missed, and the market is worth a visit if you’re around on a Wednesday or Saturday. Also close by is the Verulamium Museum and Verulamium Park, with 100 acres of parkland.
I loved every minute of my stay at Sopwell House, and really enjoyed exploring St Albans. This is definitely one to add to your bucket list.