This is a rather dated pale brick building just off the A1 and opposite the Hatfield Galleria Shopping centre. That is probably being a bit harsh, as it is an Art Deco listed building. According to the brochure, it was designed to reflect the “iconic de Havilland Comet aeroplane” as the de Havilland airfield and factory was located opposite the hotel. The hotel has grown since then and at the back is a characterless massive white fronted building.
Inside it is a rabbit warren with long corridors. I was thankful to be located near the reception area in the original building. The room overlooked a small internal courtyard, so there was no traffic noise. Soundproofing wasn’t very good, so I was relieved to be away from the group of kids on the Harry Potter Studios trip and the wedding party who became quite noisy in the early hours.
I was in a double room which I would describe as ‘snug’. There wasn’t a lot of space. There was an open hanging area with plenty of coat hangers and a small drawer underneath. There was a flat screen TV with a reasonably sized working area next to it. It took me a while to find the kettle hidden away in a cupboard behind the full length mirror. This also had a hair drier and iron and ironing board. Life looked a lot rosier after a cup of tea.
The shower room had a good sized walk in shower with a seat. There was a plentiful supply of toiletries which were replaced each day. Towels were average rather than good and soon got wet. It did however have a bath mat – a definite plus.
The bed was comfortable with the usual selection of decorative cushions which I soon got rid of.
The room was well maintained and clean. The radiator was very efficient and soon warmed up the room when the thermostatic valve was turned up.
I was booked in for two nights as part of a Mystery Tour. This included breakfast and evening meal.
There is a large and pleasant dining room with a smaller private room off. The lounge area has the usual wide screen TV and serves a typical selection of keg beers and other drinks.
The breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice of cereals, yogurts and fresh fruit. The hot breakfast was a serve yourself buffet with bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, hash browns, tomatoes, mushroom and baked beans. The heat lamps did keep the food hot without drying it out. Fried, poached or boiled eggs could be ordered. With a plentiful supply of toast or croissants, this really did set me up for the day and I didn’t need any lunch.
The evening meal was again self service and I would describe it as canteen style food. There was plenty of it, but the main course was a bit uninspiring. There was a choice of soup or salads. With a choice of several different salads with a selection of cold meats one night and prawns and smoked mackerel the next, this would actually have served as the main course. There were three choices of main meal, including a vegetarian option. The first night I had a pasta and tomato dish which was a bit uninspiring. The next night I had the shepherds pie and again I found this a bit bland. The grilled pork chops would have been a better bet. There was a good choice of vegetables – no problems in getting your five a day. Dessert was either fresh fruit salad or assorted cheesecakes. Fortunately these weren’t too sweet and sickly.
Staff in the restaurant were attentive and checking that everything was satisfactory. Tables were cleared promptly.
As a chain hotel, you know what to expect. It is probably a bit boring but provides good, clean accommodation at a reasonable price on the northern edge of London.