Sopwell House Hotel St Albans: Inside Herts’ luxury countryside holiday resort for the rich and famous

Tucked away in Herts’ beautiful countryside is a luxurious holiday retreat that’s adored by the

Tucked away in Herts’ beautiful countryside is a luxurious holiday retreat that’s adored by the rich and famous.

Sopwell House in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is described as a ‘hidden sanctuary’ where you can escape reality and forget about the world.

The family-run hotel gives a sense of familiarity, yet unrivalled grandeur.

It’s therefore no surprise that it’s a hit with celebrities and those with a taste for the quiet life.

Abraham Bejerano, the present owner, purchased the property in 1986 and has since developed and sensitively updated the facilities.

The character and charm of the original Georgian house remains firmly in tact.

The hotel is steeped in history, with the earliest reference to Sopwell House being in a deed of 1603.

Sopwell House is also no stranger to royalty.

In 1670, the house was bought by Sir Harbottle Grimston, Earl of Verulam, owner of the Gorhambury estate.

Gorhambury was then built by Sir Richard Lee on the ruins of the Sopwell Nunnery which became the possession of Francis Bacon, the 1st Baron of Verulam.

The Sopwell Nunnery, which is just a mile away from the hotel, is believed to have been where Anne Boleyn took refuge following her return from France and where her secret marriage to King Henry VIII took place

The hotel’s website states: “In 1901 Admiral of the Fleet, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Father of Louis and Alice, leased the house as his family’s country home. Louis, later Lord Mountbatten of Burma, was the last Governor of India.

“Alice married Prince Andrew of Greece and was the mother of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh. It is believed that Prince Andrew proposed to Alice in the gardens of Sopwell House.”

As part of the Verulam estate, Sopwell House was used by members of the family until the end of the Second World War when it became a home for the aged before its conversion in 1969 to a hotel.

Sopwell House is currently closed due to the nationwide lockdown, and the latest details can be found here.