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“A Mixed bag”

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Down Hall Country House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hatfield Heath
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A Mixed bag”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

We went to Down Hall for the living social murder mystery and the whole experience was up and down, everytime we were impressed something far less impressive seemed to happen.

The event itself was excellent really enjoyable & our room was exceptional. The staff did seem a bit out of their depth, maybe they had taken too much on with a wedding there the same day, a few people we saw had issues at reception. They lost our voucher at reception then assumed we therefore hadn't supplied it & at breakfast we all scrambled for cutlery or a slice of toast. Maybe for breakfast they were understaffed. The food at breakfast was good. On balance to be clear, I doubt it's always like that and the living social deal is definitely good value, you get what you pay for.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Stu_Cl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (418)
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English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed for two nights and could not fault the place, an upmarket hotel at an average price. Room was small but there was enough space to do everything you need to do in a hotel room and it's classed as a mini double so that's what you expect. Breakfast was perfect although make sure you include this in your room rate or you will be ripped off for £15.95 per day, also £4.20 for a pint of average beer in the evening is a bit steep!

Stayed August 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Carlosrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2014

We stayed as a family for one night in a room that was advertised as refurbished. The room was mediocre in decor and furniture - think Holiday Inn circa 1990. However it was much worse 'underneath'. The sink was cracked and it looks about 20 years old. The shower head fell off during a shower with water spraying all over the bathroom and could not be re-attached - it had rusted through. When lifting the plug out of the bath to drain it had a huge trail of long black hair and detritus attached to it. It was room 502 if you want to check it out - they wont be able to fix it in 5 minutes so you can easily see for yourself the cracked sink etc. I went to the bar before dinner and asked for a draft Guiness. I was told they did not have that although the beer taps were in front of me. So I asked for a John Smiths bitter and then the bar lady admitted that none of the draught beers were available - only Carling rubbish from another tap. That should tell you something. On ordering a bottled beer from the very rude lady said 'have you got credit on the room?'. I replied that I did not know. She checked and then pushed a bill over and said 'sign this'. A very poor experience. The whole place looks like its decaying. Don't waste your money. This is NOT a good value or nice place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for another hotel with a good room
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lexusking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Hatfield Heath hotels

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014

We recently stayed at Down Hall for a murder mystery evening. Although the building and grounds were beautiful most of it seemed to be unloved and falling apart. We could deal with the poor maintenance of the building but the service from the staff left a lot to be desired as well. Much of the staff seemed untrained and not able to answer very simple requests. The dinner at our murder mystery evening was one of the worst meals I've had in a long time. Dried out chicken and the strangest chocolate mousse I've ever tasted. Be aware that the walls in the bedrooms are also paper thin so if you hoping to get some sleep bring ear plugs. I definitely would not pay the full price to stay there and wouldn't even recommend the Living Social deal to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pepperkabo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

My wife and I stayed at Down Hall Country House overnight as part of a deal website's murder mystery package - which included accommodation, three-course dinner, continental breakfast and an evening of intrigue. The hotel is easy enough to find, located not far from the M11 and Stansted airport, albeit down a fairly winding narrow country road. Upon arrival - around 4pm - we were told our room would not be ready for another hour. That immediately set alarm bells ringing, given that check-in supposedly began at 3pm. Nonetheless, we were given a complimentary glass of Prosecco and kicked back in the cosy cocktail lounge. It also provided some time to take in the splendid surroundings and copious amounts of artwork that decorates the hotel walls.

Our room was small but not cramped, with a decent enough bathroom. Later that evening, we found out that the walls appear to be made of paper maché, as our neighbours continued making a racket with talking loudly and slamming doors well past 2am. This didn't make for much of a good night's sleep, although that could simply be down to those particular guests being inconsiderate jerks rather than any legitimate fault of the hotel.

The Murder Mystery evening was tremendous fun, with our host (and victim) a hammy delight. The actors and script were fantastic, with great improvisational skills on display as each dinner table take turns interrogating the suspects - one of whom had an alarming resemblance to a young Heather Graham (but proved a better actress). Having fun with such an event requires people to shake off inhibitions and just get carried along with the proceedings - sadly some participants were far more reluctant than others. As for dinner itself: tasty enough, if fairly unremarkable - as part of such a package deal it's unfair to expect haute cuisine, despite the protestations of some of our fellow detectives.

In the end, we came fourth (out of six) and yet still felt relatively pleased with our sleuthing skills. Next time - and here's hoping there is a next time - we'll go full Philip Marlowe and have the whole case wrapped up before they've even served dessert.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CatnipThieves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zoejtyler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
122 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Champagne27_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Down Hall Country House Hotel

Property: Down Hall Country House Hotel
Address: Matching Road | Bishop's Stortford, Hatfield Heath CM22 7AS, England
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 (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Down Hall Country House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Down Hall Hotel 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 is 45 minutes from central London and also ideally located near London Stansted Airport. Dating back to 1322, this impressive Italianate mansion is an historic setting. The hotel's grand interiors, ornate ceilings and abundance of natural daylight combine to make Down Hall Country House Hotel an experience like no other. Down Hall has recently completed the refurbishment of 54 West Wing Executive bedrooms and added a brand new gym, sauna and steam room facility. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Down Hall Country Hotel
Down Hall Hotel
Hotel Down Hall Country
Down Hall Country House Hotel Hertfordshire/Hatfield Heath

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