Photos Credit: Down Hall Hotel

English Country Charm: Inside Down Hall Hotel & Spa

Oct. 25th, 2017

When it comes to traditional country house hotels, it’s hard to imagine one that fits the bill more than Down Hall Hotel & Spa. Perched on the border of Hertfordshire and Essex, this elegantly handsome pad is one of England’s most established country hotels. A 45-minute drive from central London, Down Hall Hotel is just as popular with city dwellers escaping for a country weekend as it is with wedding parties seeking a stately setting—but after extensive renovations, what’s it like to stay here?

Down Hall Hotel & Spa

Style & Ambiance

Situated in over 100 acres of parks and woodland, the setting is as tranquil and pastoral as you’d hope. A grand, tree-lined drive leads to the hotel which, with its cascading circular fountain, makes a majestic first impression. The public rooms are ornately decorated and intricate, yet stay true to their 19th-century origins.

There are 100 bedrooms at Down Hall Hotel, and all are individually designed to reflect the character of this historic property. Feature bedrooms have large four-poster beds, heavy floral-motif curtains, views out onto the landscaped gardens and a striking continental style. Classic and executive rooms are simpler in decor, but still spacious and comfortable. All rooms come with complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, an iron and ironing board, a roomy safe and a work desk. The bathrooms are relatively compact, but spotless, with large showers, powerful water pressure and complimentary toiletries.

Down Hall Hotel & Spa

Food & Drink

The main hotel restaurant is the award-winning AA Rosette Grill Room restaurant, which serves up contemporary British food with many ingredients sourced from the hotel’s own vegetable garden. The food is very good, with interesting, flavorsome starters like Cornish mackerel with garlic cream, radish, spring onion and dill emulsion; and smoked cheddar cheese soufflé, with walnut pesto, yogurt and apple.

As the restaurant name suggests, steaks are the most popular main course, but vegetarians are well catered for too, with dishes like butternut squash risotto with pumpkin seeds and radicchio; or braised cauliflower and couscous and tarragon. On Sundays the restaurant is a popular spot to enjoy a traditional roast dinner.

Breakfast is served in the Grill Room, and it’s an informal affair with a good spread. The Cocktail Bar is a cozy place for a pre-dinner apéritif or nightcap, and has a decent selection of cocktails, wines, beers and Champagnes. Afternoon teas at the hotel are in-demand, and guests are provided with a mouthwatering array of sandwiches, cakes and drinks.

Down Hall Hotel & Spa

Service & Facilities

Down Hall is known for its Eden Spa, where guests can enjoy a range of reviving and relaxing beauty treatments. You can choose from a long list of indulgent treatments, but if in doubt, go for the full-body massage from one of the expert therapists.

If you want to get active, you can work out in the hotel’s new state-of-the-art gym, which has running machines, cross trainers, exercise bikes, a rowing machine, free weights, plus exercise balls and mats. There’s also a sauna and steam room where you can enjoy a post-gym pamper. Tennis fans can get their game on at the two hard-court tennis courts, or for something more leisurely, you can always have a game of croquet.

On the business side, there are 14 meeting spaces at Down Hall, ranging from intimate boardrooms to huge function spaces that fit up to 200 people.

Verdict: Down Hall Hotel merges traditional country charm with contemporary comfort and luxury. An ideal spot for a weekend away from the city. Bring your walking boots!

Selene Nelson

Selene Nelson is a freelance writer and contributor to JustLuxe, Food Republic, SUITCASE Magazine, A Luxury Travel Blog and Huffington Post. She's currently travelling the world and writing about her experiences. ...(Read More)