Despite its handy location halfway between central London and Stansted Airport, Down Hall feels like a rural retreat. Sitting in 110 acres of grounds, the four-star hotel, which dates back to the 16th century, now features 26 flexible function rooms. The ornate meeting spaces have natural light and high ceilings, some with intricate woodwork and chandeliers. The contemporary Grill Room Restaurant serves a modern English menu using ingredients from the hotel’s own garden. The grounds are ideal for teambuilding activities, such as clay pigeon shooting or quad biking. The venue is also licensed for weddings, with space for up to 180 guests.
The Essex country house hotel has opened a new spa to kick-start an ongoing £6m development that will see all 100 bedrooms refurbished. The project is set for completion by mid-2016.