Remembering the original 1930s Comet hotel in Hatfield

A sepia image of the old Comet Hotel, prior to refurbishment.

The Comet Hotel was shaped and named after the De Havilland Comet DH.88 racing aeroplane. - Credit: The Comet Hotel

The Comet Hotel in Hatfield is a building steeped in history and tradition. 

It sits on the junction of the A1001 and the A1057, near the University of Hertfordshire's de Havilland Campus and the Galleria shopping centre.

Having first opened its doors in 1936, the hotel was named after the de Havilland Comet DH.88 racing aeroplane, built nearby.

A red plane flying against a blue sky.

The plane won the 1934 England Australia MacRobertson Air Race in world-record time. - Credit: Tim Spouge on Creative Commons

The plane had been designed for the 1934 England Australia MacRobertson Air Race, a competition in which it won in world-record breaking time.

The hotel was designed by E.B. Musman to sit around the footprint of the aircraft, explaining the building's unusual shape.

A replica model of the plane can be seen on a plinth, stood outside the hotel.

The restored Comet Racer model outside the Comet Hotel in Hatfield. Picture: Alan Davies

The restored Comet Racer model outside the Comet Hotel in Hatfield. Picture: Alan Davies - Credit: Alan Davies

After standing since the opening of the hotel, the model was removed to be completely restored in 2018, whilst the hotel was refurbished into its current state.

The model that stands atop the pole now is thought to be the third model plane since the hotel's opening in 1936.

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Originally, the hotel was created using an architectural style named Streamline Moderne, this was a late type of art-deco that emerged in the 1930s.

Following the hotel's multi-million pound refurbishment, which occurred between 2018 and 2019, the hotel now boasts "luxurious modernity, period features and refined glamour".

Despite a new modern feel, the hotel's history has not been forgotten.

A meeting room, with images of the plane of the walls.

Artwork involving the plane can be seen throughout the hotel. - Credit: The Comet Hotel

Art inspired by the de Havilland Comet DH.88 can be seen throughout the hotel, which combines the venue's original art-deco look with a sleek new look.

Superior double, deluxe double and suite rooms are available at the hotel, which has a 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor.

The establishment has also been awarded Tripadvisor's Travellers' Choice award for 2022.

A bed with squared wallpaper around it.

A combination of modern and art-deco styling can be seen throughout the hotel. - Credit: The Comet Hotel

The hotel's website states: "Our refurbishment and extension is based on the rich heritage and period glamour of the original Comet Hotel, hearkening back to this golden age of air travel, glamour and sleek design.

"Beautiful period architecture, classic design and future-facing technology combine to create a welcoming and exciting environment, a rebirth for Hatfield’s most iconic building."

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