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“Fantastic Premiere Room in a fun and quirky hotel!”

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The Town House Durham
Ranked #5 of 38 Durham B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sunderland
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fantastic Premiere Room in a fun and quirky hotel!”
Reviewed March 1, 2011

I have always wanted to visit this hotel as I have heard so many great things about it. So I took the opportunity to book The Premiere room as a surprise for my boyfriend's birthday. I booked direct with the website which seems to offer the best rates. Check in is not normally until 3pm bit we arrived at 2.30pm and were able to check in straight away. There is parking directly opposite the hotel at a cost of 80p an hour, if you put enough money in it will continue over to the next day so no need to get up early to put more money in the machine. Check in was simple, the lady on reception showed us to our room and talked us through how to operate the big screen and the hot tub.

The Premiere, Le Jardin and Sci-fi rooms are all located outside of the main hotel building which makes them a bit more quiet.

The Premiere room is very small but it isn't really a problem as we spent most of our time in the hot tub! The big screen is absolutely huge and the curtains open by themselves like in a real theatre! There are two super comfy reclining chairs and a popcorn machine which really adds to the real cinema experience. The hotel provides a range of DVDs to watch but we brought some of our own just incase! The bed is absolutely huge and was so comfortable it was like sleeping on a cloud. Bathroom a good size with a free standing bath tub and seperate power shower. Mini-toiletries are also provided.

Behind the room is the private hot tub area. Although fenced off from the other rooms there are rooms in the main building whose windows overlook the hot tub. Hot tub overlooks Durham Cricket Club and some lovely greenery, it was hard to believe we were actually in the city!

Breakfast was included in the room rate. I had smoked salmon on toast which absolutely to die for!! There was a mountain of salmon - they definitely don't scrimp on portion size. They also offer full English breakfast and Continental breakfast as well as cereals and toast.

Although its difficult to find fault with the hotel, the only real issues we faced (which were very minor) was the temperature of the room, it was very hot during the night and although we turned the radiator down as far as it would go it didn't seem to make much difference so had to open the door. The hairdryer was also very poor for what you'd expect from a 5 star hotel, so ladies I'd recommend you bring your own!

The hotel doesn't offer room service but this isn't too much of a problem as the main bars and restaurants are a couple of minutes walk away.

Overall an absolutely fantastic stay! Excellent value for money and makes a great getaway for that special occasion. The hot tub was definitely the highlight, you just couldn't get us out!! Planning my return trip as we speak....!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SarahLovesLemonade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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498 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (101)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
County Durham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
89 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2011

Booked last minute through the website having seen this place featured on channel 4's documentary. Got a last minute deal on the "Russian Bride" room which was £155 with breakfast.

What a fantastic place! As soon as you walk in you realise it really is something different. Out room was huge with a large bathroom, seperate toilet, bedroom and lounge area. The bed is completely out of this world and the bathroom come with a large jacuzzi bath, sauna and steam facilities.

We had a wonderful stay here and could not fault it. I was dissapointed we did not eat in their restaurant as we had a reservation at Zen, and missed breakfast due to leaving really early in the morning. The staff were really accomodating and let us have a nosey into Cruella, Orient Express and the Library- all of which were equally lovely.

I will definately be returning in 2011 and this time want to try Le jardin!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Victoria H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newcastle
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2011

Stayed here for one night in the New York room with my wife who is pregnant and wanting to just relax for a couple of days. The room itself is shabby and needs updating / decorated and certainly not the standard I would expect for £160 per night. Not the best first impression...

Going to make a coffee I opted to use the kettle and not the coffee machine which was dirty and didn't look like it had been cleaned for months, there was solidified milk stains all over it along with general dust and dirt marks. (Photo to be uploaded) I had to take the coffee cups to reception to obtain clean ones as they were also dirty with dried tea / coffee ring stains on the inside.

Intent on relaxing my wife went to run a bath which presented us with the next let down; luke warm water. We waited a while to see if it was a case of peak demand but after half an hour it was another trip to reception who did say they would get someone to look at it but after an hour in total it was a case of putting up with no more than a warm bath.

As I've said my wife is pregnant and tiredness kicks in a bit sooner than normal these days which led to the next problem - if you are wanting to get to sleep in the New York room before 1am it won't happen! The room as we found out, is directly above the restaurant and kitchen and it was impossible to get any sleep. We could even hear the hand dryers in the toilets next to the restaurant. Every plate scraped in the kitchen, toilet door closing, tune on the CD player and laughs by those eating - we heard it all. So another trip to reception it was at 11.30, to be told there was nothing they could do but leave a message for the manager in the morning who would "sort the issue out"

Woken by the kitchen staff at 06:30 we made our way to breakfast (which I have to say was nice and the service was good) and then off as soon as possible in attempt to forget the whole experience. On check out I was told by the receptionist that she was aware there had been problems but there was nothing they could do. I ran through the problems with her - which she agreed were not acceptable - but she again said that there was nothing she could do and there was no manager. I insisted she contacted a manager / owner as I wanted compensating (having paid in advance) and she agreed to contact the owner... who only responded via the receptionist by saying send an email detailing the problems. It took three phone calls to the owner by the receptionist and our insistance not to leave before we were offered any kind of compensation. The owner refused to speak to me on the phone and left a young receptionist to deal with the issue. Very kind. I wonder if he would expect the same servivce at hotels???

Needless to say we left very dissappointed, tired and disgsusted at the owners approach. Do yourself a favour and go elsewhere because the novelity of a themed room is not worth the money at Durham's Fawlty Towers. The Fallen Angel has fallen from grace.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank slugstron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gedling
1 review
Reviewed January 26, 2011

Stayed at the Fallen Angel for the weekend so we could visit our daughter at University and we thought the place was great.

Food and drink in the hotel was good and was of better quality than other hotels we’ve stayed at in Durham.

Our room was very nice and presented in style to say the least.
For the price paid we think the hotel was one off if not the best hotels we’ve ever stayed at.

Staff was attentive and dutiful throughout.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Coolkidgedzville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chester
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2011

It is most unfortunate that having e-mailed the Fallen Angel with our feedback and sent them a follow up e-mail, that we have not received the courtesy of a reply.

So, consequently, here is the e-mail I sent them.

"Dear Sir, on checking out yesterday after our one night stay in Le Boudoir, we were asked by the receptionist how we enjoyed our stay. It hadn't been our intention to respond so fully then, but she was quite keen to know why we had felt so disappointed. We told her that we were going to write to you with our comments in any event.
This is intended as constructive criticism.
We had looked forward for some time to our anniversary weekend in Durham (our first visit) and to The Fallen Angel in particular. We have stayed in "themed" hotels before (notably La Petite Follie in Honfleur, France).
Our first impressions of the room were one of disappointment. The main room and bathroom are very definitely showing their age with peeling paint, particularly in the bathroom. The bed was very uncomfortable as it sags dreadfully in the middle.
Nor were we "drawn in" by any attention to detail. The room was cold on arrival. Where was the small plate of home baked shortbread or a small decanter of sloe gin to say, "welcome?".
We arrived hungry and wanting to enjoy the room and asked whether there was room service; we were only reluctantly informed that meals from downstairs may be brought up. A menu was brought up and we did order delicious burgers, but room service should, we feel, be an obligatory service particularly during restaurant hours.
The bathroom had very meagre portions of l'Occitaine toiletries. There was a beautiful bath and, fortunately, we brought out own bubble bath, otherwise the provisions would have been inadequate.
The steam shower is missing its handle and was very difficult to turn on and off and, whilst the steam experience was very nice, it was a wholly solitary experience in a one man cubicle.
On the plus side, although terribly dark, the restaurant, meal and service was super.
If you plan any refurbishment, we strongly recommend extra sound proofing between floors. Every creak from the Russian Bride was heard below. Indeed it was so distracting we went out for an unplanned walk in the rain.
Breakfast was not as memorable as the previous evening's dinner. Just a few niggles: thin sliced brown bread instead of thick hand cut granary for otherwise lovely scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.
This place looked and sounded fun, luxurious and different. If it had been all three, the £335 spent in just under 24 hours would have been well-spent, whereas we left feeling somewhat underwhelmed and paid over the odds for what could be described as just a B&B not a five star experience. It wasn't fun, it certainly wasn't luxurious and the difference was not what we were after.
We are aware that the Restaurant has undergone a dramatic change for the better in a few short months. We feel that the same focus and attention to the rooms is now a pressing priority, as the hotel has long traded on the themed rooms you have inherited. Some TLC to the whole experience will reap immeasurable rewards and tangible repeat business.
Kind regards,"

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wavydavy_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2011

The Fallen Angel really is unlike anywhere we've stayed before. We chose The Premiere Room due to the cinema screen & hottub, as a wind down before Christmas.

When we arrived at 3:15 the hot tub was just being cleaned out, and we were told it'd be about 45 minutes until we could use it and that we'd get a call from reception. We didn't hear anything from reception, and ended up calling them ourselves after an hour and a half to be told the hot tub should be ready to use. I have to say the hot tub was absolutely superb, there was nothing better than drinking bubbly in a hot tub in the snow!

The room itself was quite cramped, but very comfortable. The room has 2 large leather electric cinema chairs for watching the large screen. It took us a while to figure out how to work it all, but reception had said that if we had any trouble they'd be happy to help. The bathroom was nice, with the most advanced shower I've ever seen with a steamer, jets, lights, radio etc..... again was complicated to use but if you persevere it's worth it

The only major gripe was that the door out to the hot tub wouldn't lock. This wasn't a problem as we didn't go out anywhere, but I wouldn't have felt comfortable leaving the room to go out. We mentioned this at reception the next day and they said it might have been due to the extreme cold weather.

Breakfast was good, we both had a cooked breakfast which was really nice, no complaints at all.

We paid £120 for the night and this is fantastic value for what you get. Yes the room is starting to look a bit tatty around the edges, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

We'd definitely visit the hotel again if it keeps the themed rooms, somebody on here mentioned that they might be changing this which would be a shame.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank AlisonHDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North England
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2010

Stayed in Sci fi room and wasnt disappointed. Met by friendly helpfull staff and continued to be excellent throughout our stay. The room was fun and different from anything we have experienced before, loved the huge bed and bathroom with the cyber man on the wall and darlek beside the bed. Didnt know what to expect after reading the other reviews but were more than happy with our experience. The restaurant food was great, couldnt fault it. the barman was good fun and helpful with cocktail suggestions. Hot tub was excellent despite the bad weather it didnt put us off getting into the warm tub. The only negative I have about the hotel was the hot tub ran all night and was just behind our bed so found it noisey, would have been useful if it could have been turned off at night. Will be back again as loved this small eligant hotel with a twist to a boring room.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sunseakers39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Town House Durham

Property: The Town House Durham
Address: 34 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN, England (Formerly Gadds Town House)
Location: United Kingdom > England > County Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in Durham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Town House Durham 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A classic Georgian building from the outside...... step inside and prepare to be wowed . Choose Gadds Town House, Durham city’s most beautiful hotel and restaurant. Nestled in historical and peaceful Old Elvet, a striking transformation of an elegant townhouse ideally located minutes away from the Cathedral & Castle and Durham’s vibrant night life. Once inside the decor exudes glamour, luxuriously decedent combined with an eclectic collection of antiques & paintings creating atmosphere and special ambience to completely relax and enjoy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gadds Town House Hotel Durham

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