We stayed here for 3 nights in late August, having read the reviews here and knowing what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised. It was a bit tricky to find, even with the Google map, but we got there eventually. Our room (4) was a good size and the bathroom was modern and spotlessly clean with a good supply of toiletries. The room itself was pretty clean although the carpet looked like it needed a good hoover - I found a gel shoe insole in the middle of the carpet which was a dead giveaway that it hadn't been cleaned. The second day we were there, my husband inadvertently trod dried mud into the room - I cleaned up as much as I could from the tiles in the bathroom but the rest of it stayed on the bedroom carpet til we left. My husband doesn't usually notice things like this but even he noticed that the carpets on the stairs and hallway still had the same bits of debris lying there from when we arrived to when we left. Was the hoover broken - I want to think the best of this place, since the staff were so nice and friendly? Apart from that, we had a lovely stay - it was very peaceful and, even over the weekend, we weren't disturbed too much by folk coming and going from the bar and restaurant. It was about a ten minute walk down to the main part of the town and it is well worth it - what a beautiful city.
Finbarrs Restaurant was just fabulous - the food was great and the staff so helpful and knowledgeable, they really know their stuff. We were making the most of the local beer since we can't get anything like that on draught where we live, so we didn't bother with the wine, so can't comment on that. The restaurant had apparently recently been refurbished and was bright and airy. As other people have mentioned, the restaurant is paid separately from the room, however, the breakfast you have there can be added to your room bill. The breakfast was good value for money and I would certainly recommend it.
The separate bar area was a bit stuck in the past but who cares, it was friendly and comfortable.
All in all, my only complaint would be the lack of hoovering, but that wasn't really a major issue. We had a great time and Durham was a good centre for exploring the North East. I would definitely stay there again and hope they got the hoover out!!
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