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“Okay, but lack of communication.”

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Down Hall Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hatfield Heath
Reviewed 11 August 2014

I went to the hotel for mine and my partner's 2 year anniversary, we were drawn to it as we managed to get a Wowcher discount with £70 off. I'm glad we did that as I felt it was not worth the full price of £139 a room per night. When we arrived at the desk, they asked for the discount code, which caused inconvenience as I had already been informed that they had the discount code, and so I had to spend 10 minutes trying to use the wi-fi to access my emails - this was the first lack of communication. We were then asked if we wanted to leave a card or pay as we went, which was chose the latter as we were uncertain of what we wanted to do. This was all we were told.
We then got to the room which was of a reasonable size, but I felt it wasn't "executive" as they classed it. We then set out to go for a walk in the grounds, however we were stopped by someone who worked there and said that we weren't allowed in the grounds as there was a wedding on - lack of communication from reception staff. When we booked the hotel, we decided against using the sauna facilities as we planned on walking the grounds. So it was 3pm and we ended up spending the rest of the evening in the hotel watching TV. Being a Sunday, there was nothing to do in the surrounding villages, so we were completely stumped for something to do.
We ordered room service for our dinner, and I felt that the food was not worth the price it was being sold at; I felt like guests were taken advantage of, especially as a 220ml glass of coke was almost £3 - a complete rip-off. We were then told by the staff who brought us our dinner than the card machine did not work at this part of the hotel, and so my partner had the inconvenience of walking back down to reception to pay.
Upon leaving, we ordered a taxi, and the staff on reception gave the wrong name to the taxi company, however we did not know this, and so when a taxi turned up and asked us for "Mr Woods" we told him that we were not him. And so we waiting 30 minutes for a taxi, until my partner went to reception and asked them; they told us they had given the name Mr Woods instead of Edward. They seemed to know exactly what had happened, yet they did not tell us when we checked out.
Overall, the stay was poor and a complete waste of money. The lack of communication between staff and guests made our stay very stressful. I will not be returning.

Room Tip: Walls are thin and the doors bang very loudly - make sure you avoid a room that is next to a dividin...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank zoejtyler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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821 - 827 of 1,756 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2014

This hotel is a magnificent place, set in beautiful grounds. We went to a murder mystery here last night. The actors were superb, great fun evening. Except for dinner. No choices! Starter was butternut squash soup. Not bad. Main was chicken which must have been cooked hours before as it was dried out and very tough, and inedible! Dessert was chocolate mousse, which was quite good. As a diabetic I was given fruit salad which was by far the best part of the meal. I don't think it would be too difficult to at least have two choices for each course!

Room Tip: We had room 405. Very clean, comfortable and very big
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Champagne27_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Very pretty hotel from the outside, perhaps a little dated inside. Had the two course set meal which was nice - the lamb was lovely. Staff in restaurant were very attentive. Presentation seemed a little dated but we ate everything! Yummy breakfast too.

Room was very large and bed very comfy. Bathroom was a bit pokey and in need of updating - unsightly mould and grouting - not very nice to look at when enjoying a relaxing bath!

Overall, an OK hotel, wouldn't rush back, have stayed at much nicer country house hotels in the past, this one just seemed somewhat lacking considering the price (£126 per night).

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank NCSE1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

My partner and I booked 2 nights at Down Hall via Secret Escapes and managed to snag a bargain. Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised to drive down a long drive, set between sprawling grounds meticulously maintained. Although there was some refurbishment going on near the front of the hotel, this did not take away from the impressive main building. Cosy gardens and a soothing fountain lay to the left and scurrying rabbits coupled with birdsong was a welcome respite from the hubbub of London we had left behind us a mere 40 minutes prior to arrival.

Check-in was swift and armed with our room key and a voucher for two complimentary glasses of Prosecco, we quickly left luggage in our room and explored the grounds. It's easy to lose ones self in the hotel grounds and never feel the need to explore further. An outdoor chessboard and restaurant seating area is enough for anyone seeking a quiet romantic getaway. Indoors the hotel has a fantastic although small gym/steam room/sauna which we certainly took advantage of. One small issue was the lack of sufficient changing areas/storage but this didn't take away from our enjoyment.

Our stay included breakfast both mornings and we enjoyed this, a broad selection of hot and cold options. We sampled several local pubs for both lunch and dinner and thoroughly enjoyed the local cuisine and hospitality. In particular The Thatcher's stood out for us as the food was outstanding. The ambience and decor lent itself nicely to the locality. A mention for the Fox Inn which had a mean cottage pie and range of sandwiches! All pubs were within a 10 minute drive from the hotel.

I would definitely recommend the hotel. I know some reviewers feel it is dated but somehow this added to its charm (for me anyway!). I would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Rooms near the gym are more luxurious.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Finkadoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Beware of the throw pillows. Really it is disgusting that they have them and are not changed every visit so stunk of other people's heads and so old they just cut off the tassels so they were old and crappy looking anyway. Threadbare carpet, room so tiny that the complimentary tea and coffee was in the wardrobe, mould in the grouting in the bathroom (not hard just use bleach). Even the towels were not ironed and just left around. The plug was broken so we fixed it to have a bath. Bloody joke for the prices they charge. Couldn't touch the mirror because it just fell off. To me this are minor things that shout bloody lazy to leave it. Even the little entrance door to the bedroom door didn't have a light that worked. And then promoting at reception newly furbished bedrooms? Felt like we were outcast

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Beaburd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

My husband and I spent our 4th anniversary here and what a treat it turned out to be. Our room was huge and the double bed was massive and so comfortable. The staff were very good apart from the barman who actually ridiculed me for wanting ice in my brandy! We had a deal from Secret Escapes which included a glass of bubbly on arrival and breakfast the next day which was plentiful and tasty. In all, a good experience.

Room Tip: Get a package to ensure you grab a bargain because the restaurant is very expensive.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lindafire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We visited this hotel as part of a voucher deal for a Murder Mystery evening. The cost for the room was £119 which included the 3 course meal, the entertainment and breakfast; this was excellent value.

The hotel has a very interesting history, you can pick up a leaflet about it from reception. It has a newer (30 years old) west wing, and the older part of the hotel. There is a new sauna and steam room and small gym, mainly CV machines and some dumbbells. They are building a spa or something at the moment.

As the hotel does weddings I would suggest the west wing might be better as you won't hear the wedding reception. We had room 411 which was huge, with a huge bed (2 singles pushed together) and an equally huge bathroom. It was clean and tidy and very comfortable (the pillow was a little too firm for me however, but my wife liked it), also lovely and quiet despite a wedding being on. It did have an adjoining door to the next room which meant it was possible to hear the TV from next door (and vice versa), this was not a problem with quiet neighbours however.

The entertainment was fabulous, amateur players, and a good laugh. The food was very good too. It finished around 22:30, we didn't win because we didn't get as many bonus points, but our table did guess the who, how and why correctly :-).

The only things I feel that were missing from a hotel like this is air conditioning (the aircon was a desk fan) and a swimming pool. If these were in place I think it would be deserving of an extra star. We did talk to some people who didn't have such a favourable experience with their room, so I guess sometimes it is down to good luck.

the breakfast was lovely, plenty of choice and all buffet style, the food was very nice, in fact some of the nicest scrambled eggs I have had in a long while.

Based on our experience however, I would definitely recommend the hotel and the Murder Mystery night.

Room Tip: The West Wing seems to have been the quietest with the biggest rooms. Room 411 was lovely.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Harley_Wiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Down Hall Hotel & Spa

Address: Matching Road | Bishop's Stortford, Hatfield Heath CM22 7AS, England (Formerly Down Hall Country House Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Hatfield Heath
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hatfield Heath
Price Range: £73 - £142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Down Hall Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Down Hall Hotel & Spa is one of England's most established country house hotels. Located in Hatfield Heath, near Bishop's Stortford on the Hertfordshire and Essex border, Down Hall Hotel & Spa is 45 minutes from central London and ideally located near London Stansted Airport which is only 9 miles away. Dating back to 1322, the impressive Italianate mansion is an historic setting and has had an eight million pound refurbishment in 2017. The hotel's grand interiors, ornate ceilings and abundance of natural daylight combine to make Down Hall Hotel & Spa an experience like no other. The restaurant and bar offer relaxed, high quality dining in an informal setting. The boutique spa has four treatment rooms, ESPA products, a hydrotherapy pool, a steam room and sauna. The 18 meeting rooms vary in size and combined with the 110 acres of ground, ensure that Down Hall is the perfect venue for any event. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Down Hall Country Hotel
Down Hall Hotel & Spa Hertfordshire/Hatfield Heath
Hotel Down Hall Country

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