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Down Hall, Bishops Stortford, Essex
This comfortable hotel, set on its own large country estate, has a good number of facilities, including a restaurant serving hearty fare, a swish new cocktail bar, a spa, playground and more.
Rooms available from £169.50 per night
Situated on the Hertfordshire/Essex border in Hatfield Heath near Bishop's Stortford, Down Hall is set within a 100-acre estate. The extensive grounds and the facilities - including the spa - ensure there's plenty to do at the hotel.
The hotel is 20 minutes away from Stansted Airport, and near the M11.
By car: under an hour from Cambridge, an hour from London and 2 hours 30 minutes from Birmingham. Free on-site parking available.
By train: London Liverpool Street to Harlow Town takes 20 minutes, after which a taxi takes 20 minutes. Book trains to Harlow Town.
CHARACTER & STYLE
The hotel's style varies - the lounge very much has a 1980s feel, while the newly revamped cocktail bar is smart and cool. The garden room restaurant has a green palette with rainforest wallpaper and green linen panels. The Italianate exterior is attractive from some angles.
The extensive grounds encompass 110 acres with woodland walks and fields to explore. There's also a spa, tennis courts, a croquet lawn, giant outdoor chess set, gym and a jogging trail with keep fit equipment available.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Rooms have traditional décor: colour palettes with light patterned wallpaper, fabric panels. Amenities include a flatscreen TV, tea and coffee facilities, a big, comfortable bed, built-in wardrobes and an antique-style desk.
Room types: Classic, Executive, Prestige, Feature, Deluxe, Mansion House Suite, Master Suite
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee-making facilities, mini fridge, TV, free Wi-Fi
FOOD & DRINK
There are plenty of settings for food and drink: enjoy a sundowner on the terrace, afternoon tea in the lounge, a tipple in the cocktail bar or hearty dishes in the restaurant. The breakfast buffet includes cheeses, meats, cereals and pastries with à la carte options - and the avocado on sourdough was tasty.
Garden Room: fine dining restaurant, modern British cuisine. Open daily for dinner.
The Terrace: outdoor dining and bar. Dishes include sharing plates, pizzas and salads. Open daily for lunch and dinner (weather permitting).