This was my second stay at the hotel and since my previous visit, just about a year ago, it has been re-furbished. Mostly, the hotel rooms, reception, corridors (carpet) are in corporate purple including the uniform of the staff. My room - 37, had a nice Samsung flat screen television with the standard Freeview channels - the promised upgrade from last year had been carried out. There was a new carpet, curtains, sofa bed and even the picture on the wall was in corporate purple. The only thing different from the television ads was that mercifully there was no lifesize cardboard cut out of Lenny Henry in the room although you did have to walk by him in reception!
The bathroom has also been updated and I think they have fitted' modern' lightbulbs in there. You just about need your torch when you first go in there but after a few minutes the light is much brighter. I like the heated towel rail but am not keen on the bath soap dispenser - not very well positioned and a stretch to reach it. Why is there a temperature limiter on the bath hot tap - this means the hot water is hardly that, whereas the basin hot tap dispenses decent hot water.
I like a sheet immediately under the duvet and was able to get one from reception very easily. However I was told that the room make up staff have to operate to strict corporate, room make up guidelines and this does not allow/include the provision of a sheet directly under the duvet. The implication was that the sheet may have been removed the following morning to adhere to corparate rules. This is crazy if so - surely the modest wishes of the guest should come first. Whitbread prides itself on giving guests a good nights sleep.
The adjoining Brewers Fayre is very much standard but the evening meals were good and the breakfast was excellent. Isabella, the breakfast lady was a real star and the staff, virtually without exception were incredibly friendly and helpful. I would also like to mention Tony, the night receptionist who was very helpful and had a good sense of humour.
As last year, I was here for the cricket at Chester Le Street which is about 4 miles and 10 minutes away - dual carriageway most of the way and both the cricket ground and hotel are easy to find. The Ariston shopping centre is only a 7/8 minute walk away and obviously less by car. Shops include a large Sainsburys,Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Boots, Asda Living, Homebase, Next, Lakeland and a McDonalds.
I have now stayed here twice, both for 2 nights and would definitely stay here again and recommend it to friends. You know what you are getting, the staff are very friendly and helpful and it is ideal if you are in the area for the cricket.
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- Also Known As:
- Premier Inn Durham North Hotel Durham