We stay at St Michael’s Manor Hotel with our children to visit the Harry Potter Studios and explore St Albans
St Michael’s Manor Hotel.
Where is it?
A 10-minute walk from St Albans city centre, which is just north of London near the M1 and M25 motorways. The building, converted into a hotel in 1965, is on Fishpool Street bordering the city’s large Verulamium Park.
What is it?
An historic 500-year-old building which is now a lovely four-star upmarket hotel in five acres of fabulous grounds, which include a lake. The hotel has 30 bedrooms, a bar and restaurant.
Is it family friendly?
Families are probably not the hotel’s main market (it is a popular wedding and fine dining venue) but they are well catered for here.
The main attraction for visitors with children is the large grounds, nice for children to run around and explore. There’s a pool with a fountain and big fish. Inside, family rooms are an excellent size and breakfast has plenty of child-friendly options.
The hotel’s suites are the rooms suitable for families of four. We stayed in Sycamore and it was a very good size with a king-size bed and a sofa bed for the children tucked around the corner so it almost felt like having two rooms.
There were two TVs, one opposite each bed, a massive bathroom with large bath and separate shower.
There was also a desk, large wardrobes with plenty of storage, kettle, ironing board, coffee maker, biscuits and bottled water.
Food and drink
Breakfast was all self-service with a good selection of six cereals, including Weetabix, Cornflakes, Rice Krispies and Coco Pops. There were also pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurt and a full cooked breakfast offering.
Breakfast is served in the bright and spacious Lake Restaurant, which has views over the gardens and, as you might have guessed, the lake.
The restaurant also serves afternoon teas, which you can eat on the large terrace or in the gardens on a nice day. The evening meal menu is upmarket fine dining so may not be ideal for children – we ate in the city centre instead.
The large Verulamium Park is a three-minute walk away. It has a playground, splash pool, football goals, Roman museum and plenty of space to run around.
The main attractions of the city centre, like the huge cathedral, market and museums are around a 10-minute walk.
We combined our visit with a trip to Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, which is a 20-minute drive from St Albans.
*The grounds – a fantastic space to explore, although be careful with young ones around the lake. The five acres are flat and inviting to burn off energy. In the corners of the garden there are trees and bushes to play in. It could do with a swing or slide in a quiet corner, but apart from that it is a wonderful space.
*The room/suite – we all felt comfortable straight away, a lovely room with plenty of space and everything we could need.
*The bathroom – one of the best family bathrooms we have seen in a hotel – big with a large bath and separate shower, bath robes and fluffy towels.
*Breakfast – a good selection of food for children in a sunny and bright orangery-style restaurant, with great views over the garden.
*Parking – sounds a bit dull but parking is very tricky in St Albans so this is a godsend. The hotel’s large car park is free and stretches around the side and back of the property. It is close enough to the city centre to leave your car for your entire stay. You can stroll through the park to reach the attractions, or take the slightly quicker route along Fishpool Street to the Cathedral area.
Our son’s review!
It’s great, the rooms are named after trees.
It has a delicious breakfast, a fountain, a pond, a garden, deck chairs and a car park.
St Michael’s Manor Hotel, Fishpool St, St Albans AL3 4RY.
For more information go to the website.
RELATED CONTENT: Read our full review of our family break in St Albans here: A family break in St Albans with our children proves a great mixture of old and new
RELATED CONTENT: We went to the amazing Harry Potter Studio Tour from this hotel, read our report here: The full guide to Harry Potter Studio Tour London with must-read tips and family review
(We received free accommodation for the purpose of this review, all views are our own).