On Hitched.co.uk since 2021
Last update: November 2023
Down Hall Hotel and Spa is a historic hotel wedding venue located in Essex, England. Steep in history and character, this hotel offers a stunning selection of rooms and suites perfect for hosting an exclusive wedding ceremony. Each space offers its own charm, with most areas boasting spectacular panoramic views of their exquisite manicured gardens. The staff at Down Hall Hotel are dedicated to providing you with an outstanding service at a venue that exceeds your expectations.
Facilities and Capacities
Whether you wish to host your wedding indoors in one of the hotel's lavish suites or outdoors on their beautiful grounds, Down Hall Hotel is more than happy to accommodate you. For your privacy and convenience, this venue offers exclusive use of its spaces for the duration of your celebration. They provide many beautifully furnished suites with their largest capacity maxing at 150 guests and their more intimate rooms hosting up to 32 attendees. Their rooms are equipped with large windows offering stunning views of their gardens, creating a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos and live music performances. Down Hall Hotel prides itself on its all-inclusive wedding services and can host civil ceremonies in its licensed Oxford Suite. If you and your guests wish to retire to the hotel after a day of festivities, there are 99 charming rooms available for you and your attendees to enjoy. They can also prepare an exclusive suite for the newlyweds to spend their first night of married life together.
Down Hall Hotel offers a range of comprehensive wedding packages to help plan your wedding day seamlessly. Their professional and experienced wedding coordinator will assist you with each detail of your special day. If you wish to host a special wedding breakfast, their talented chef and his team will carefully design a selection of delicious menus for your meal. All ingredients used are freshly sourced, with some coming from their on-site vegetable garden. Down Hall Hotel also offer a range of additional services, including a spa, DJ equipment, a car park, and accessibility facilities.
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5 User photos
The best wedding day ever
I really did not want to micro-mange my own wedding but this meant things didn’t go to plan. Luckily as we had evidence in writing we did receive compensation for this however that doesn’t change what happened on the day.
Here’s what happened …
We emailed our final planning information 2 days prior to our final wedding planning meeting. We then had our final planning meeting with Tracy who said everything was okay and on-track. 10 days later she then admitted she had not read the documents at the time of the final planning meeting and had now found a problem. There was a problem, which was my misunderstanding, and we resolved this however this is a great example of the level of service that we received.
We had asked (thankfully via email) if we could have a musician outside during reception drinks and were told we were so we booked one. When we then visited Down Hall we were told we were not allowed a musician. As we could provide the email from them saying we could have a musician they allowed us to have one but I would recommend to any potential couples to get all communication in writing as you may need to provide what you have been told!
These are just two of several fustrating interactions we had during planning!
The time management of the wedding coordinators is terrible. We were left waiting on every occasion that we met with them, sometimes up to 45minutes with no idea what was going on. On our wedding day we were left waiting in the reception room for 20minutes wondering again how long we would be waiting with many things to do!
Wedding Ceremony Music
We provided a detailed run-though of the wedding ceremony and when music was meant to be played (nothing complicated, pre-wedding, entrance, signing and exit songs).
- The pre-wedding ceremony music was not setup by the wedding coordinator as promised and was playing through the ipad and not speakers when the Groom arrived.
- Tracy then proceeded mid-way through the ceremony to randomly start playing the second signing music song before realising she was drowning out proceedings and switching it off.
- The Ceremony came to an end and everyone was asked to stand and out their hands together (this took quite a while as my Grandpa is disabled) despite this delay and being given a script in advance Tracy then totally missed starting the exit music until we were 3/4 of the way down the aisle.
The team did offer us compensation for this.
We had paid £500 to reserve the terrace and horsebox bar. When we asked the Food & Beverage team to open the horsebox bar back up after the meal they had to apologise and say that there was a mix up and no staff had been booked and this was not possible.
After the wedding we then complained to the Revenue Manager who claimed that this was agreed with us and this was reflected on the function sheet which we received prior to the wedding … this was a totally untrue!
We then (rather embarrassingly for them) sent them their own function sheet and highlighted the line which said “horsebox bar and terrace after meal service”. After agreeing that both the contract and function sheet said this should be open they offered us compensation. Once again showing the importance of getting everything confirmed in writing.
We brought our own drink and did corkage. During the post wedding drinks I went to the horsebox bar to get a Prosecco to then be told that was the last glass. I was surprised given how much we had brought. I found two bottles in the dining room and took them to the horsebox bar. These were drunk and then guests started buying their own drinks as a result of being told this was finished.
I was then very disappointed to be handed back 8 bottles of Prosecco when we checked out. When I complained about this the Revenue Manger said the guests were drinking G&T which does not answer the complaint at all and again reflects the level of service we received.
In summary, the venue is stunning however from reading previous reviews it appears that a completely new wedding team are at Down Hall. I would only recommend this as a place to get married if you are going to micro-manage your wedding coordinator, get everything in writing, and don’t trust the function sheet as this is not guarantee things will happen.
Masters of their craft
The grounds and function rooms are stunning and offer a gorgeous backdrop for your ceremony, pictures and celebrations. The rooms are spacious and the Liddel suite in particular is a treasure trove of a room with all sorts of surprises including a romantic bathtub with views across the grounds. The food was delicious and the day was a success despite such difficult circumstances. Thank you Down Hall. We would not hesitate to recommend you for anyone planning a wedding in the future!
I would encourage anyone to get Married at Down hall perfect venue.
The Most Perfect Day!
The food was perfect, and presented beautifully, and our guests loved it.
My husband and I had the most magical day. Once again we would like to give a massive thank you to all of the staff at Down Hall, for giving us a day that we will never forget.
A perfect day
From the moment we stepped into the venue it felt special and the wedding team made everything so easy building up to the day and on the day.
It was so good we want to do it again every year!
Ride or die together
Couldn’t have asked for anything better.... the venue is beautiful and still going through renovations to keep it looking so. The staff were amazing, very welcoming, very attentive to detail, very accommodating. Everyone contributed to making our day the best day ever!
My husband and I would just like to thank everyone at the Downhall once again for making our
wedding day the best day we could have ever hoped for. The day was well
planned and executed perfectly by all staff involved. We couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day, or venue or service from all your staff involved and
even by those who were not. Massive thank you to Marie and Julie and Martyn; you guys made us feel like royalty!
Compliments to the chef! Everyone loved the food and we appreciate you going the extra mile on our personal requests.
The staff are friendly and helpful. Food is delicious and the rooms are spacious and excellent. We received lots of wonderful comments on our wedding day about the venue and the day itself. We had a lovely day! cannot recommend Downhall enough. If your looking to get married then Downhall is the place! you will not be disappointed. Check it out
Best day ever!
Fabulous venue and wedding team
The wedding team were fantastic and our wedding co-ordinator, Marie was always on hand to answer my questions and was so helpful in providing ideas for my wedding.
The grounds are fantastic and are beautiful! All the staff, chefs, waiters and bar staff and everyone else behind the scenes really made the day go smoothly and if there were any hiccups I certainly didn’t know about them!
Down hall has everything you want for your wedding - comfortable rooms for guests, amazing food, helpful staff and an amazing wedding team who make planning a wedding so much easier!
Amazing Venue & Amazing Team
From the moment we went to the open day we loved how welcoming team down hall was and that nothing was a trouble and no question was a silly quesion.
Marie our wedding co-ordinator is just fantastic (as are all the co-ordinators) she was professional but friendly and had a fantastic sense of humour which instantly puts you at ease. From the first initial planning meeting through to the big day it was pretty much very relaxed.
The venue and grounds are stunning, the facilities are great, the food was delicious and overall we had the best time as did our guests. We certainly will keep going back to stay.
Thank you Team Down Hall.
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