The hotel is situated near Spennymoor, 6 miles from Durham, in quiet countryside. The gardens surrounding the hotel as classically sculpted and deer park with a lake and generally a beautiful setting. No complaints, if you like country mansions and park land you'll love this setting. The gardens themselves are worth a visit, relaxing and bring a camera, you can feed the deer and get really close to them, great for the kids or just to observe. Close to Durham for greta food, views and history. 40 mins from Newcastle and the Metro Centre for shopping and a few galleries and theatres.
A classic country house, or mansion, built in local stone, solid and beautiful in the most part. There is a welcoming reception thought the parking is a gravelled and some time muddy setting. A central bar leads to the rooms either upstairs for the best rooms, or to the back for the standard rooms. There is are three rooms to eat, breakfast lunch and dinner,plus bar meals too. Decor is classic English, lots of heavy curtains, classic reds and greens, art and paisley. But its looking worn, especially the carpets in places. There are no sports facilities, but you could run cross country on at least one route.
Apart from the classic maids uniforms, you can't fault most of the staff. They are on the most part extremely friendly, warm, welcoming and helpful. If you want something they can normally help (remember this is not the Savoy) but if you just want to pass time they are chatty too. No disappointments here either.
Comfortable with a few exceptions. The beds can be comfortable, some are really hard (Room 25), some doubles are twin beds pushed together (lovers beware), and the mattress protectors are thin, so if you're a hot bod, or just plan on getting steamy, it can get uncomfortable and damp. Definitely need some improvement here. Having said that they are fitted with comfy pillows, crisp cotton sheets, plenty of cushions and are certainly warm. The rooms are well catered - iron, drinks tray, hair dryer, trouser press, large wardrobe, dressing table/desk, lots of lighting controlled from both bedsides, comfy chairs and case stand. There's no air con but the heating is good and the windows open wide. No private bar/fridge. There is free wifi, though it can be temperamental and limited at busy times. There is a phone in the room, but be warned, you'll need it, there is next to no mobile phone reception on most networks (3, EE and O2 tried). Final note is the sound proofing, if you plan on getting steamy, or if your neighbours do, or if next door is on the phone, expect to hear it all, sound from room to room is pretty average at best. keep it down please!
Average. Good bath, but the neck pillows that used to be provided are long missing. Poor showers, not enough water pressure and thermostatic controls that often wander from warm to scalding after being set, watch out. Toilets are fine but occasionally difficult to flush. Sinks vary, some are small, some have taps that make it impossible to get hands underneath, some have annoying glass shelves that make it difficult to shave or lean down without clouting your forehead. Floors are tiled, but often cracked. Towel rails are heated and towels are good quality and plentiful. Free shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and soap.
Used to be good, now less than average. Try the burger, McD's compete with it well, thoug the fries and salad are good. The steak used to be fantastic, but last time it tasted and looked like it came from the microwave. No colour, no taste. The duck was no better. Breakfast is simple, cooked is good, try the scrambled egg, bread is cheap sliced, croissants are often crispy not fresh, coffee is average and not strong enough for me, but I like it strong. If you want a good meal, catch a ride to Durham and find plenty of better places to eat.
In summary, typical but worn country house hotel. Not bad if you get a good room rate, but in some ways nothing special. There are lots of country house hotels in the area, often in the same chain, some are much better, others about the same.
Upstairs are quieter and more classy
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.