History of Down Hall Hotel and Spa

Down Hall, situated on the Hertfordshire/Essex border, is one of England’s longest-established country hotels.  Located in Hatfield Heath, near Bishops Stortford, Down Hall has a history as rich as its luxurious interiors. The stately home itself dates back to 1540, before which it was the site of a monastery, founded in 1322.

In its long and distinguished history, Down Hall has been home to artists, painters, lords and baronets, whose style and aesthetic spirit has rubbed off on the choice of décor today.  All those European Grand Tours, so fashionable when the house was being transformed from its Tudor incarnation, have had an influence on the flamboyant Italianate style of the house.

Of course, the best way to understand the rich past of Down Hall is to stay there. Each of the hotel’s 98 bedrooms has been individually designed to reflect the mix of style, elegance and history that give the Hall its unique character.  The Classic and Executive bedrooms are spacious and comfortable.

The Feature Rooms have luxurious two- or four- poster beds and offer views of the magnificent landscaped gardens through gloriously large windows, fashionable in both Georgian design and the Italian style emulated by the architect, James Gibbs, when he remodelled the house in 1720.

Despite Gibbs’ European influences, Down Hall remains a very British stately home. The Hall ‘did its bit’ during World War One as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers and, from 1932 to 1967, it became Downham School, a girls’ school whose alumni included Frances Shand-Kydd, the mother of Diana, Princess of Wales.  The hotel opened its doors in 1986, giving discerning guests a taste of its now-famous Italian grandeur in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.

Down Hall’s corner of that beautiful Hertfordshire countryside comprises 110 acres of woodland, parkland and landscaped gardens for visitors to explore. After all that walking, guests and visitors can take a traditional afternoon tea in either the historic lounge or Ibbetson’s tearoom, named after the family who owned Down Hall from 1794 to 1902.

The more peckish explorer can enjoy a leisurely meal in The Grill Room restaurant, which serves the best of modern English cooking prepared with fresh ingredients from the hotel’s own vegetable garden.

So whether you want to relax and soak up the Hall’s history and enjoy its opulent surroundings, or have a change of scene from the office for your meetings and team days, Down Hall can meet your needs.  Down Hall is only 45 minutes from Central London and also within easy reach of London Stansted Airport in Essex, making it an ideal base for business trips, team-building events and conferences.

All of the rooms and public spaces benefit from complementary wi-fi access, enabling the Hall to offer its guests the benefit of modern technology in the midst of truly timeless elegance…