Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate in Essex has been named the winner of the Large Hotel of the Year award, sponsored by Ensors Chartered Accountants, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2022-2023.

Located in a 110-acre estate in Hatfield Heath, Essex, Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate has plenty on offer to provide guests a memorable break.

The property was purchased by the current owners in 1986 and millions of pounds were invested into restoring the house’s historic character whilst also sympathetically modernising and updating the property to create the contemporary, country house hotel it is today.

The hotel boasts 98 individually-designed bedrooms, conference and event space for up to 180 delegates, a seasonal menu at The Garden Room restaurant and an alfresco dining space at The Terrace restaurant.

Guests can also enjoy a stroll around the estate’s manicured gardens or woodland area or take time for themselves in Eden Spa. And for those looking for something more energetic, there is tennis, a trim trail and gym, making it an ideal location for everyone from business travellers to newlyweds, families and even four-legged friends.

The judges said that Down Hall is a “beautiful” hotel that “exudes quality”, with “extremely comfortable” rooms and “high-quality furnishings and décor” throughout.

They said that they were “constantly ‘wowed’” by the hotel’s setting and were particularly impressed with the well-kept kitchen garden, which provides fresh produce for the restaurant.

The dinner provided was praised as being “excellent” with the menu demonstrating “a wide variety to cater for different tastes and needs”, and all staff in the hotel were “exemplary in their manner and service”.

“We are honoured to have been awarded Large Hotel of the Year,” said Linden Beattie, general manager. “It is testament to the hard work, commitment and efforts from our team who strive to offer memorable guest experiences and unrivalled hospitality, each and every day.”


The finalists

Silver - Wivenhoe House Hotel

Wivenhoe House Hotel is an 18th century, Grade II listed country house hotel in Essex. It boasts 40 bedrooms and is home to the popular Brasserie bar and restaurant.

The Hotel also hosts a number of events throughout the year and it provides opportunities for students to join its team through the Edge Hotel School, part of the University of Essex.

The judges noted the quality and cleanliness of the hotel’s rooms and were very impressed with the catering team overall.

Bronze - Tewinbury Farm Hotel

Originally a dairy farm, Tewinbury Farm Hotel is now a 700-acre luxury countryside retreat in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

Many of the original farm’s buildings have been incorporated into the 4-AA star hotel and the site also has a children’s play area, cocktail bar, cookery school and the Farm Yard, a live music and street food venue.

The judges were impressed with the “great welcome” provided on arrival and said that “overall the hotel feels premium with lovely bedrooms available for guests to enjoy.”


About the sponsor

Experienced in working with all kinds and sizes of leisure and tourism businesses, Ensors takes a proactive approach to drive business transformation.

As well as preparing end-ofyear accounts and audit, Ensors provides other services including tax planning, maximising capital allowances for fixtures and refurbishment, sourcing refinancing and preparing forecasts, fraud reviews and bookkeeping support.

Working from regional offices, Ensors’ team is there whenever you need them. They understand challenges from a local, national and global perspective, including the financial pressures that can arise because of the seasonal nature of many business models.

Whether you’re looking to launch a start-up, go for growth or plan your exit strategy, you can rely on Ensors’ expert advice and support.