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“A Superior Guest House” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cathedral View Town House

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Cathedral View Town House
5.0 of 5 Guest house   |   212 Gilesgate, Durham DH1 1QN, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 42 Durham B&B and Inns
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A Superior Guest House”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

We (three friends) stayed at Cathedral View two nights this week to see the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham. Couldn't have been better looked after better (anywhere!) by our affable, obliging hosts. Every creature comfort was readily met and to to a very high standard. Our experience here surpassed any previous guest house experience we have previously had, in terms of feeling "looked after" and "special", Plan to stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cathedralview, Owner at Cathedral View Town House, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Dear Elaine and friends
Many thanks for staying with us and for writing the kind review. We look forward to seeing you all again.
Best wishes
Jim and Karen
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
somehwere
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Had the pleasure of staying at Cathedral View on Weekend of 22/23rd June. Fantastic experience and highly recommended. The views are magnificent, the rooms very well appointed with great attention to detail, lovely personal touches and spotlessly clean.
Its well located for the city and really nothing was too much trouble for our welcoming hosts. Breakfast was superb and the only difficulty was choosing from the extensive range. All in all a very pleasant stay and would be pleased to recommend it as a location of choice in such a pretty city.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cathedralview, Owner at Cathedral View Town House, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear Tim
Many thanks for your generous review. We're pleased that you enjoyed your birthday in Durham visiting the old haunts from your university days. You were perfect guests and a pleasure to welcome into our home..
Best wishes to you and Janine.
Jim and Karen
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Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

As very experienced travellers (60+ overwhelmingly positive reviews) we chose this B&B because of the many good reviews on Tripadvisor (ignored the negative ones). Unfortunately, ours was not the positive experience we expected. The accommodation itself was OK but the owner’s aggressive attitude spoiled everything.
Our twin room was on the ground floor with a window looking directly onto the street. The owner informed us that this window was not able to be opened. I guess this is for security and noise issues but it did make the room rather claustrophobic – and hot in Summer as there is no air conditioning. The room was small but prettily decorated. From other reviews, I gather that the rooms with a cathedral view are larger, if more expensive. The roomy, clean bathroom had a shower with controls requiring a special touch (or an engineering degree). No matter which combinations we tried, only cold water emerged and we had to, reluctantly, call on the owner for help. We knocked/rang the “Please ring” bell four times between the not unreasonable time of 7.30 – 8.15 a.m. with no response even though we knew the owners were there because breakfast was arranged for 8.30 a.m. and we could smell breakfast cooking. Why didn’t anyone answer? Guests only knock if they need something. Finally, the owner erupted out of the door, scowling and berating my husband angrily and accusing him of waking them up with the loud knocking. After an unpleasant confrontation, he showed us how to operate the shower (easy when you knew how!) but it was terribly embarrassing.
Breakfast was good with several choices and served in a pleasant room with a lovely view. But, honestly,we found it indigestible in that tense atmosphere and couldn’t wait to get out of the house.
Obviously, we must all have all got off to a bad start. So, here are some hints for how to avoid our negative experience:
• Ask for instructions for how to operate the shower when you are shown to your room. As travellers know, shower controls differ everywhere and, unfortunately, this type eluded us completely. Prevention is better than cure!
• If, however, you do need help, don’t even try to get it before breakfast . My husband was subjected to aggression unbefitting a B&B host.
• Despite the words on the web site “We are here if you need us” , I would suggest that you don’t disturb the owner with any annoying requests – ever!. It’s probably best to stay in your room, shut up and have a cold shower
• Never go out for a walk before breakfast. My husband did and was accused of going in and out constantly (once!), banging the door loudly and waking the owners up. Remember, you are not in a prison and should feel free to leave and enter the house at your convenience.
• Be aware that Check in is between 5.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m. (a rather late time and not noted on web site) Be sure to make prior arrangements with the owner if you are outside these hours.
And a hint for the host:
Yes, it must often be difficult to deal with your guests’ silly problems patiently, pleasantly and smilingly. But, if you wish to make your clients feel welcomed and valued, then do it – even if it goes against the grain. You humiliated and embarrassed us terribly. We will certainly remember your B&B for all the wrong reasons!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cathedralview, Owner at Cathedral View Town House, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
I have responded to each issue and apologise if it is unclear but there does not appear to be a facility to use a different type font or colour but have used inverted commas to help. As very experienced travellers (60+ overwhelmingly positive reviews) we chose this B&B because of the many good reviews on Tripadvisor (ignored the negative ones). Unfortunately, ours was not the positive experience we expected. The accommodation itself was OK but the owner’s aggressive attitude spoiled everything. 'WOW - What a comprehensive condemnation of our business together with a character assassination! We have operated this business for 14 years and these guests were far and away the worst we have encountered . In fact we can only recollect a handful of people who do not know how to conduct themselves in a civilised manner. We do not take any pleasure from having to respond to these unjustified comments and we could certainly find better uses for our time'
Our twin room was on the ground floor with a window looking directly onto the street. The owner informed us that this window was not able to be opened. I guess this is for security and noise issues but it did make the room rather claustrophobic – and hot in Summer as there is no air conditioning. 'I do not recall this conversation but guests are free to open the window themselves as it is not locked'. The room was small but prettily decorated. From other reviews, I gather that the rooms with a cathedral view are larger, if more expensive. 'These guests, upon arrival, were offered a larger twin room on the first floor at the back of the house with views but did not wish to pay the modest premium of £5 per night, advising that the room was perfectly adequate for them'. The roomy, clean bathroom had a shower with controls requiring a special touch (or an engineering degree). .No matter which combinations we tried, only cold water emerged and we had to, reluctantly, call on the owner for help. 'This shower is electric and has three heat controls clearly marked Low, medium and high and a further control for volume of water. When I turned the heat setting to high, in front of the guests, the water became unbearably hot immediately and was simply adjusted to moderate heat by increasing the flow of water'. We knocked/rang the “Please ring” bell four times between the not unreasonable time of 7.30 – 8.15 a.m. with no response even though we knew the owners were there because breakfast was arranged for 8.30 a.m. and we could smell breakfast cooking. Why didn’t anyone answer? Guests only knock if they need something. 'We do not have a bell but there is a clear sign on the door to our apartment to inform our guests of how we may be contacted which is simply to telephone our landline or mobile telephone if we are not around to answer the door. We do not employ a night porter and it is unreasonable that guests should expect 24 hour service as we are not a hotel'. Finally, the owner erupted out of the door, scowling and berating my husband angrily and accusing him of waking them up with the loud knocking. 'The explanation for this being that I had heard him banging/kicking my apartment door in an aggressive manner whilst I was taking a shower. After quickly dressing, I went downstairs to find the guest in the hallway standing in my wife’s face and SHOUTING at her using most foul language including words beginning C, F and B.' After an unpleasant confrontation, he showed us how to operate the shower (easy when you knew how!) but it was terribly embarrassing. 'The guest continued with his bad language demanding that I call the ‘Tourist Police’. I explained that we do not have such an outfit in England (he is of Italian descent living in Australia) but upon reflection I should have called the real police and had him evicted. Prior to this incident, my wife had not met the individual who confronted her in her own home. The guest simply had to tell me that the shower was broken or that he couldn’t operate it and the matter would have been resolved.'
Breakfast was good with several choices and served in a pleasant room with a lovely view. 'Thank you'. But, honestly,we found it indigestible in that tense atmosphere and couldn’t wait to get out of the house. 'How do you think my wife and I felt having been subjected to this totally unnecessary tirade not of our own making. In fact we were surprised and disappointed that you stayed a second night! We would have happily waived payment'.
Obviously, we must all have all got off to a bad start. So, here are some hints for how to avoid our negative experience:
• Ask for instructions for how to operate the shower when you are shown to your room. As travellers know, shower controls differ everywhere and, unfortunately, this type eluded us completely. Prevention is better than cure! 'This shower was installed two years ago to replace and update an earlier one with identical controls and until now, no one has ever expressed an inability to operate it. We shall ensure that future visitors are given guidance taking care not to insult their intelligence',
• If, however, you do need help, don’t even try to get it before breakfast . My husband was subjected to aggression unbefitting a B&B host. 'I regret that I lost my temper reacting to this objectionable man verbally assaulting my wife. Apparently he did not realise she was my wife, having assumed that she was a member of staff – would this have made his actions acceptable?!'
• Despite the words on the web site “We are here if you need us” , I would suggest that you don’t disturb the owner with any annoying requests – ever!. It’s probably best to stay in your room, shut up and have a cold shower. There was nothing wrong with the shower and even if there had been, it was not appropriate to shout and kick doors.
• Never go out for a walk before breakfast. My husband did and was accused of going in and out constantly (once!), banging the door loudly and waking the owners up. Remember, you are not in a prison and should feel free to leave and enter the house at your convenience. 'We do not have any issues with guest s going out for a walk at any time and they have a front door key to facilitate this. However it is not reasonable to leave the house slamming two internal fire doors and a heavy front door screaming (literally) in temper and repeating the exercise on returning particularly at 5.30am. There are other guests to consider. The guest would be unaware that my wife got up to investigate this situation but not seeing anyone, she assumed it was caused by a domestic argument and returned to bed'.
• Be aware that Check in is between 5.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m. (a rather late time and not noted on web site) Be sure to make prior arrangements with the owner if you are outside these hours. 'We endeavour to be entirely flexible and I have appended the check-in arrangements emailed to these guest within the booking confirmation. ‘Check-in time: We ask that our guests arrive between 5 & 7 pm. This enables us to undertake maintenance, shopping, and personal appointments etc.
Consequently, there may be no one in before or after these times. Please call the above number if you arrive early as we may be around. Please let us know if you are travelling by public transport and wish to leave your luggage before this time and we will make alternative arrangements.’ We were not in when these guests arrived, not because we were lying on a beach somewhere but probably because we were shopping to replenish the guest kitchen larder!'
And a hint for the host:
Yes, it must often be difficult to deal with your guests’ silly problems patiently, pleasantly and smilingly. But, if you wish to make your clients feel welcomed and valued, then do it – even if it goes against the grain. You humiliated and embarrassed us terribly. We will certainly remember your B&B for all the wrong reasons! Many thanks for your helpful advice, I do not know how we have managed to run a successful business for all of these years! I am particularly annoyed that I have had to waste my time responding to your vitriolic bile. 'A hint for you – do not let your difficult marital relationship impact upon innocent third parties.'
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

This B&B, while not a 5 star hotel style stay, is a really nice stay! They've a lovely outdoor patio that they serve you breakfast on if the weather suits... Not an offer you get at a lot of places! Our room was spacey and clean. Not brand new, but very clean and well set up. Our only complaint wouldve been it was pretty warm as we were on the top floor, and the noise from the street was a bit much if we left the windows open. However, we didn't ask for a fan, in sure they would've given us one if we had asked, and it was graduation time while we were here so maybe a bit noisier than usual. Location very convenient to the town. Easy walk down Gilesgate street, also lots of nice restaurants within easy walk. Really the perfect place to stay!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cathedralview, Owner at Cathedral View Town House, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Many thanks for writing a review and delighted you enjoyed your stay and were able to enjoy an alfresco breakfast.
Regards
Jim Garfitt
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Geneva
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

We stayed two nights in this gorgeous BnB, to visit our daughter who studies at Hild Bede College. The BnB is just a couple of minutes uphill for Hild Bede which was a real bonus for us
The host was very kind and helpful. The room spotless and bed very comfortable.Best of all was the cooked breakfast, absolutely fabulous, beautifully cooked and presented. Full marks, we'll definitely come back net time we visit our girl!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cathedralview, Owner at Cathedral View Town House, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Dear Mr and Mrs B
Many thanks for staying with us whilst visiting your daughter at university and for taking the trouble to write a generous review. Hope to see you when you next come to see her.
Best wishes
Jim and Karen
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in Durham and this B and B really made it special. Jim and Karen went out of their way to help us celebrate: a bottle of champagne, the best breakfast ever (which we could even have on the terrace on the second day) vouchers for the local restaurants and general good vibes! Thanks so much for giving us a memorable weekend!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cathedralview, Owner at Cathedral View Town House, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Many thanks for your kind review and we're pleased that you chose us to stay with for your wedding anniversary celebrations.
Best wishes
Karen and Jim
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Stratford upon Avon
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

Travelling up to Northumberland over the years, we have always said we must stop off on our way in Durham to visit the city & the Cathedral. We finally decided to visit this year & made the excellent choice of The Cathedral View Town House. A lovely warm welcome with all necessary information given at the meet & greet. A lovely bright room with excellent en suite facilities, & after a good nights sleep we were met by the most amazing breakfast to set us up for the rest of the day. We thoroughly recommend this bed & breakfast & a visit to the most inspiring Cathedral Thank you Jim & Karen.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cathedralview, Owner at Cathedral View Town House, responded to this review, June 8, 2013
Dear Ann and Richard
Many thanks for your generous praise.We're delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and trust that you have a good week's break in Bamburgh.
Best wishes
Jim and Karen
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Cathedral View Town House

Address: 212 Gilesgate, Durham DH1 1QN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > County Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 42 B&Bs / Inns in Durham
Hotel Class:5 star — Cathedral View Town House 5*
Also Known As:
Cathedral View Town House Hotel Durham

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