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“Smashing birthday break at the Helme Park Hall Hotel!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant

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Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Fir Tree, Bishop Auckland DL13 4NW, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Bishop Auckland
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Smashing birthday break at the Helme Park Hall Hotel!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Four of us arrived at the Helme Park Thursday 24th Jan, and it was booked through KGB for a birthday treat. It was touch and go initially as to whether we would get there due to adverse weather conditions in the Durham area, but the reception called us on the morning of the 24th before we set off to advise us that the roads were clear, and it was safe to drive over, which we thought was lovely of her to keep us informed.
Anyway, our friends stayed in a lovely room at one end of the corridor, whilst we were at the other end in an equally lovely room. The views were breathtaking, more so with the snow covered fields and trees etc.
We have read some of the previous comments on trip advisor regarding some of the rooms, and yes, in some parts there is room for improvement, but in general we have stayed in higher priced hotels which were so much worse than here. The bed was so comfortable, there was lots of wardrobe and drawer space, which is a must for us, and plenty of bathroom space. Maybe our bathroom could do with a new bathroom caddy as it was all rusty and had seen better days, shower pressure was not very good, but these things can be remedied, and hardly worth mentioning as it does say that a lot of the rooms are going to be refurbished etc, so this can only be a good thing. The meals were fantastic, you really must dine there, we were really impressed with main meals and also full English breakfast. What can we say about the staff!!! Well they were all really lovely, and all of them were helpful, friendly, even when it got slightly busier on the second day we were there. We stayed in the bar till late both nights we were there, and had a lovely time.
Please be aware if you decide to go for a drink in the nearby Fir Tree Village, ask the reception to order a taxi for you, as we decided to walk to the village pub The Duke of York, in the snow, which was difficult, and after staying at the pub till around 10 ish asked the bar staff to order a taxi for us. When said taxi arrived, he had taken us part of the way back to the Helm Park which was literally a mile and a half away, before informing us that he would have to charge us for him coming from Crook to pick us up!! This journey cost £8.00, which we paid as we had no choice by then, but after returning to Helme Park we were told that this should not have happened, and we should not have been charged for taxi having to drive from Crook.
Of course if weather had been good we could have easily walked on path there and back, but we had a wonderful time irrespective of weather, taxi, and some small niggles.

All the best to Sam, Lisa and the lovely new lad behind the bar, Alex the chef, and everyone else whose names we cannot remember, but who were all fantastic. Well done!

Room Tip: Our friends stayed in the Teesdale which really did have breathtaking views!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clair L, Duty Manager - Laura at Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Hello there,

Nice to hear from the 4 of you, hope you enjoyed the birthday cake, i know that myself & Sam certainly did! Thanks for offering us a piece :)

I always aim to keep our guests in the know, especially when the weather was knee deep in snow, i am pleased that you found this useful.

We are aware that some of the bedrooms are in need of updating, and this is in our plans for the end of this year as well as the coming year, however our prices are reflective of this. Hopefully if you visit the hotel again you will see the updates we aim to make.

I am pleased that on both occasions you enjoyed the food, i will pass this on to our Chef as it is always nice to receive compliments. It is also great encouragement for myself and the staff here at the hotel when we meet such nice people and receive such pleasant compliments, it is fab to know that our service is appreciated! Thanks once again!!

Best Wishes from
Laura, Alex, Mike, Sam, Christine, Helen, David, Georgia & Katie
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194 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Just back from a great weekend at Helme Park which we used as a base to visit local attractions. The staff were exceptionally friendly and the food was excellent. We also used KGB but would happily return and pay the rack rate. As Caron W quite correctly points out it is not a 5 star hotel but a very good 3 star so don't hesitate to visit knowing that is the case. As far as cleanliness is concerned, I had no complaints at all and this as an area that I would have issues with if that wasn't the case. To top it all, the hotel organised a great Burns Night Ceilidh which was great fun.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Clair L, Duty Manager - Laura at Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Hello Jim,

Nice to see you arrived home safe and well after your visit to our Hotel.
We are overjoyed that you had a fabulous stay and it is great to get compliments about the staff which work so hard to make it as comfortable as possible for all of our guests.

A pat on the back to Christine who organised the Burns Night Ceilidh at the Hotel as the weather was completely against her on the night! :) However all who attended had a great night!

We hope to see you again soon, don't hesitate to pop in for a coffee if ever you are passing the hotel - its great to see a familiar face!

Best Wishes from Laura & everyone at the Helme Park Hall Hotel
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Cannock, England, United Kingdom
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

I'm sure this once was a fine hotel back in its day but my stay wasn't the bestl to say the least, we were upgrade (if that's the word to the bridal suite) very tired dirty room it was a flashback to 1990, The curtain rail was hanging off the wall ready to wall on someone,A TV the size of a small house,the main door that wouldn't lock properly (our housekeeper left the room open all day.!!!)
I say housekeeper she didn't clean the room just made the bed.

But worse was the bathroom very old and unclean,no-way would i sit in the jacuzzi bath with brown gunk coming out the pipes and a massive crack in it,also the main gripe was there was no towel's after i washed my hands!!

Breakfast was 8-10am it was like the Mary Celeste at 8.40am not a soul around.
The young girl who arrived late was nice and apologized and the young man on the evening did his best, reminded me of carry on abroad when the one guy did everything......
The food was good though shame the overpriced beer wasn't.

If your on a KGB deal its just ok

i'm only writing this review as my biggest problem was with the door being unlocked i wasn't expecting the dorchester, but we could have come back to nothing, no car the lot gone!

Never again I'm afraid.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clair L, Duty Manager - Laura at Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Hello Andrew,

Thanks you for your review, since the review the curtain rail has been fixed, we did not realise this until you left, thanks for telling us.

The televisions in the rooms are small, however work fine and are adequate for what most people need when they come on a short break.

The door should be locked at all times, regardless of whether or not the room has been cleaned, theses are issues which have been brought up in our monthly staff meetings, and the housekeeper checks all doors now at the end of her shift as a way to resolve this.

The Jacuzzi bath in this room is cleaned every 6 weeks from an outside company as we do not have the equipment to clean the inside of the spa properly, if you had reported this issue to reception we would have called the company in immediately and got them to come and solve the issue as that is what they are contracted to do. Every room has 2 bath sheets and 2 hand towels folded on the bed, with a bath mat in the bathroom, i have spoken to the housekeeper about this as it is not usually an issue.

Breakfast is served 8 - 10am Monday - Friday and 8.30 - 10.30am Saturday and Sunday, so i can only apologise for the member of staff who was supposed to be serving breakfast that morning. All of our staff take pride in our timekeeping and when the member of staff is identified a verbal warning will be issued.

I can only apologise for the stay you had on behalf of myself and the staff in which you encountered during your stay, all issues of the above review which are in our control have been addressed.

Thanks alot
Laura & all of the staff at the helme park hall hotel
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Redcar, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I have stayed there twice now. Once with friends and once with my husband. Different staff were on duty but we experienced the same exceptional level of service both times. We ate in the restaurant on both occasions where the food was excellent, although the portions were a bit on the large side. A lovely country break and great for walking being so close to Hamsterly Forest.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Clair L, Duty Manager - Laura at Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Hiya Wendy,

I am pleased you enjoyed your stay on both occasions, its a pleasure to have guests who return, a familiar face is great!!

I am also pleased to hear that the staff, on both visits were of a great standard, an area which we aim to be 110% every time.

Hopefully we will see you for a third visit sometime soon!

Thanks alot
Laura & All of the staff at the Helme Park Hall Hotel
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Windsor, England, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I stayed here for 2 nights and was skeptical after reading a few bad reviews. I would like to remind anyone when reviewing this hotel that it's 3 and a half stars, not 5 and to not expect 5 star service at 3 star prices. For its star rating I thought it was well above average. The rooms were lovely and warm, very comfortable and clean. I stayed there during severe snow fall and never felt cold in the hotel. The restaurant was good and the staff were extremely helpful and pleasant. The views were stunning and if you're paying for location then you should be paying far more. I took my dog and they catered for him really well. The hotel is quirky but for me that gave it character, not like some of the soul less places that are on offer. I would highly recommend this hotel and would definitely stay there again. Caron Wallace. Windsor

Room Tip: I had Teesdale, a twin room at the back and the views were stunning.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Clair L, Duty Manager - Laura at Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Hello Caren & Wallace i hope you both got home safe and sound after the snow had fallen!

I am very grateful for your honest review and over the moon that you enjoyed your stay. I am surprised you managed to leave the hotel without one of the staff asking if they could keep your dog as it was a bundle of joy.

Thanks for the compliment on all of the staff who you met during your stay at the hotel, and i knew you wouldn't be disappointed by the views from your room, especially in this season, its breathtaking.

Thanks again for you review and i hope to see the both of you again some time in the future

Kind Regards
Laura & All of the staff at the Helme Park Hall Hotel
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Berwick upon Tweed, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

After reading recent reviews i was very skeptical of what I would find at this hotel.

I am pleased to say I was really impressed with my stay overall.

From reception,(Laura), to Waitress, (Sam,) I was made to feel really welcome and nothing was any trouble. The room was clean and comfortable, with plenty of clean towels.

The food was fantastic, my steak was the best I'd ever had, cooked to perfection. There was a good choice on the menu, just not enough time to sample it all.

I would definitely recommend this hotel, and am already planning my next trip.

Room Tip: Room - Waskerley
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Clair L, Duty Manager at Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, January 19, 2013
Hello there,

I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay at the Helme Park Hall Hotel, and would be delighted to see you again some time! Thank you for the compliment on myself and Sam, it is greatly appreciated. At the Helme Park myself and every member of staff aim to please the customer in every way possible so i am pleased you found this service to a good standard.


As you mentioned in your review many people are skeptical as to what they might run in to however, i suggest all guests take the time to experience this friendly hotel themselves as everyone has their own opinion.

The food and attitude of our new chef is now of an excellent standard and all reviews on that note are 10 out of 10. Once again i hope to see you in the near future.

Take care
Laura & all of the staff at the Helme Park Hall Hotel
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Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Latest visit to the Helme Park, stayed last January 2011, this visit was disappointing. New management or lack of management have taken over and are obviously cost cutting. Even titanic had a captain.

The room was dirty in places, couldn't open window. The table top was not attached to the base in the bedroom. The beds were pushed together to make a double bed so there was a hard line down the middle of the bed, the pillows were like two cheese crackers. Pressure all over the place in the shower, big old tv perched on a metal bracket with wires dangling down. No tea bags in the room when I asked member of staff they explained I should have coffee? Perhaps it was just this room as on a previous visit I can recall the room being much better.

Staff were not very attentive and unprofessional. Smoking at the front leaving residents stood at bar or reception. No management/manager in site. I didn't have an evening meal as I was out with friends so I couldn't comment. Breakfast was minimal but sufficient.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clair L, Duty Manager at Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, January 13, 2013
Hello Gav H,

I can only apologize for you having a poor stay at the hotel but i can assure you that things have changed since JANUARY 2011.

The tv's are no longer the huge black ones, but they are no black plasma screens which are mounted to the wall. Most of the bathrooms are in the process of being updated, already many of them have new flooring, and basins.

As for the shower pressure, this has improved significantly since December just gone as we have had a new boiler fitted, and several pressure pumps across the hotel.

One thing i am certain on is that all of our front of house staff give 100% to every single customer which comes through our door, the service is excellent and as you can see from more recent reviews the staff are here to make you stay as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

January 2011 is a long time ago and in the 2 years since you stayed at the hotel, things have improved and management has changed. Hopefully you will reconsider staying at our hotel in the near future, and your review would be change on the hotel and all of our staff within the Helme Park Hall Hotel.

Kind Regards
Laura & all of the staff at Helme Park Hall Hotel
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Additional Information about Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant

Address: Fir Tree, Bishop Auckland DL13 4NW, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > County Durham > Bishop Auckland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Bishop Auckland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Helme Park Hall County House Hotel And Restaurant
Helme Park Hall County House Hotel & Restaurant Bishop Auckland, County Durham

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