The hotel is family owned and ran, along with a sister hotel about 20 minutes from this one. The hotel sells itself as contemporary which it is, it is also classy and unpretentious, modern to look at in the most attractive way. The service is friendly yet very professional, I felt very comfortable from the moment we walked in. Our room was a restful haven after a days shopping, well designed, excellent fixtures and fittings with lots of nice touches, such as free mineral water and free internet and wifi access, which I have in the past paid for at other hotels. The room was not large but so well thought-out that at no point did it feel small; my husband loved the desk area that pulled out from a long modern dressing table. Behind built-in mirrored wardrobes we found an ironing board and iron stored along with tea and coffee making facilities. The biscuits were not the usual shortbread, instead very nice flavoured biscuits, beside the biscuits stood a note saying that if you would like fresh milk to make tea and coffee please ring reception and they would send some, that’s a nice touch. The bed I found very comfortable but again there was a polite note saying that if the bed felt too soft please ring reception and they would bring up a bed board for you. I also liked the fact that the lights were on a dimmer switch. The bathroom did not let us down either very clean, modern, with good quality towels and toiletries, plus tissues which I always like to have.
The restaurant at this hotel holds two AA rosettes so I felt sure the food would be good. Our evening meal surpassed good, it was excellent, the menu is not large and seems to change weekly, indicating the use of seasonal produce. The food was beautifully cooked and presented, the service was slick. I also liked the fact that we could order a carafe of wine in stead of having to have a full bottle, which we paid £10 for and thought very reasonable. I asked to have coffee in the lounge bar and that was no problem at all for this team, our coffee was waiting for us as we went through to the lounge. The restaurant manager ran this very well. Next morning breakfast was excellent, all the produce used was of a very good quality and the fact that they now place pots of tea and coffee on your table shows a management that listens to people’s comments. I had noted from a trip advisor review that they did not previously leave you a pot of tea or coffee but would come round filling up your cup, that is something I would have hated. I was told on the morning that the hotel was full, I would not have guessed, it was clam, quite and very relaxing, it is not a large hotel so I was surprised to be told it was full. This hotel comes very close to being 5 star, we will be going back. I found only two small things which I missed and both are purely a personal thing which I like when away. On the afternoon we were sitting on a terraced area I asked my husband to find what cocktails they did, he came back to tell me they had no cocktail menu, and brought me a glass of wine, this was not a long fresh mojito that I had been dreaming of. The other small thing was that they do not have any in house movies that you can pay for, I love to curl up on the bed with a glass of wine and watch a movie when I am a way, they did have 3 sports channels for the boys! I did ask about this next morning and was told that they did once have them but it proved that here was not enough demand for them.
I often read people complaining about the prices hotels charged for drinks and coffees, well I feel this hotel was close to what we pay in our country pubs, my coffee was £3 but it was a large pot, that gave me three cups of good coffee along with a super chocolate chip cookie, all served in lovely surroundings. Location wise I would say this is more for business than it’s sister hotel which sits in beautiful grounds, but if you are visiting Hatfield house or the lovely city of St Albans then you cannot go wrong. We booked our amazing weekend deal via a special using Travelzoo website; we paid £69 for a standard room, 3 course evening meal and breakfast, with free wine in our room on arrival, simply the best value ever. We will go back and try one of their weekend breaks and maybe review an executive room next time. The management team are active on twitter, facebook and trip advisor, they believe in building relationships with their customers which is very nice, I am looking forward to the next time.