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“Dated and dumpy. Safety could be an issue”

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Duke Tower Suites and Condominiums
Madrid, Spain
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Dated and dumpy. Safety could be an issue”
Reviewed August 18, 2010

I was so very disappointed with this hotel. I thought it was a great deal--kitchen and living room plus bedroom for a great price. I should have known better. The buildings (outside) themselves are cute and maintained. The condo I was in, however was so dated and a borderline dump. (It was not one of their "upgraded" ones and it showed) Internet connection was very spotty. It was fairly clean, but I did not feel safe at all. In fact, I did not sleep AT ALL the night I was there. I moved to another hotel the following day. If you want a kitchen, there are other hotels close to in Durham and close to Duke (Extended Stay type places). Check those out before trying this one.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank GoGirlAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DukeTowerGenMgr, General Manager at Duke Tower Suites and Condominiums, responded to this review, August 27, 2010
We appreciate your comments and are sorry to learn you were not pleased with your stay at Duke Tower. We understand from our conversation that you prefer not to stay in courtyard hotels. Many guests feel that the landscaped garden courtyard is one of the hotel’s most outstanding features and it is mentioned again and again in the compliments we receive.

It is very important to us that our guests feel completely at ease and as comfortable at Duke Tower as they do in their own homes. To ensure the safety and the peace of mind of our guests, there are security cameras located throughout the courtyard as well as 24-hour onsite security. At any time day or night, guests can reach the security staff directly through the phone number provided in their rooms.

As you may know, our condominiums are individually owned and guests have a choice of a standard or an upgraded unit. A standard unit, as you selected, is the best value, but does not include the same amenities as the premium units.

We apologize that something may have changed after our conversation to create dissatisfaction with your condominium, especially as you mentioned you were pleased with the cleanliness. We take great pride in every aspect of our property and in quickly responding to an issue if we are aware of something with which a guest is not satisfied.

We do hope that you had an enjoyable stay in Durham and if there is anything more we can do, please call us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

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Daleville, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 10, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Duke Tower for four months while my husband went through the process of a double lung transplant at Duke Hospital. During such a traumatic time, we needed to stay somewhere that allowed us to focus only on our number one priority: my husband's health. Duke Tower was the perfect place. The staff took care of every concern we had, from the weekly cleaning service, security guards, shuttle service, mail delivery, and the personal attention given to every need. The beautiful courtyard was a place where we could relax, have our little picnics with Firehouse subs, meet other guests, and enjoy the unique quality of the gorgeous landscaping and pool. It's a true treasure. I felt surrounded by friends and family with the support we received during this trying time. The covered walkway is a super plus! Getting exercise has never been so easy! We also have never slept so well as we did there - - the tempurpedic king size beds are amazing!! We miss them now! The Internet service kept us connected to friends as well as the hospital which was very important. The premium room with the modern flat screen TV with DVD built in was great in the living room and bedroom. The bedroom was large with two large closets - - perfect for us! All of our clothes fit perfectly in the closets and dressers. We were very happy and comfortable at Duke Tower and will return whenever we come to Duham!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank labette1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, GA
1 review
Reviewed August 7, 2010

Duke Towers is a wonderful place to stay, especially if you are a patient getting treatment at the Duke Medical Center. If need a long-term place to stay, I know of no place better. As far as the physical amenities, Duke Tower is humble and unpretentious. It's quiet, clean, and traditional. If you're looking for fine granite countertops, exquisite Spanish tiles, and the latest juice machine in your room, then go somewhere else. You obviously have other priorities, and this is not the place for you. If, on the other hand, you want to stay somewhere that is comfortable, has everything you need at an affordable rate, and has a laid-back and unassuming charm, then come to Duke Towers. More importantly, if you want to stay somewhere where the staff are wonderfully courteous, sincere in their concern, and compassionate to your needs while you're in treatment, then definitely come here for your stay.

You see, it's the staff that is getting my five star rating. They have been immeasurably helpful to me. They are genuine in their concern for me and their desire to help me out. I have asked for many unusual favors, and they have filled every one with a smile on their face and a hand extended to mine to help me. I am at Duke for a 7 week treatment for brain cancer. I'm away from my home and family, and all of the staff have made me feel like a guest in their home. They have no idea how comfortable and at ease they have made me feel, and I'm grateful to them. I wouldn't stay anywhere else for any price or for any amenity. The service is genuine here.

One more thing...please tip the shuttle drivers. I'm appalled at the number of people I've ridden the shuttle with who get off without so much as a thank you. These drivers go out of their way to get you to your medical appointments on time, and try pick you up as quick as possible. Would it kill you to give them a couple of bucks to let them, know they are appreciated?

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spiders96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fortuna, California
1 review
Reviewed July 9, 2010

Duke Tower is a hidden gem in Durham. Take an old cotton mill, convert the buildings to one bedroom, fully furnished condos, add a pool, courtyard garden, and cafe (continental breakfast) in the old tower, and you have Duke Tower Condos. This is the second year we have stayed at this property for the summer while attending classes at Duke University. The property is located close to downtown (walking distance to Brightleaf Square and a variety of restaurants) yet out of the city noise. It is a nice quiet location. For us, being a pet friendly hotel is also a plus. Bikes are available to rent to explore the American Tabbacco Trail or the bike trail right across the street from the property. The temper-pedic matress is a definite nice touch (like the one I have at home). The premium suites have flat panel HDTVs, wired internet, and indivdual telephone numbers with message capabilities for each suite. I haven't stayed in a standard suite so I can't comment on them. Maid service cleans the units and restocks linens and towels weekly . Mgmt and staff are very friendly. Shuttle services are available to Duke University and locations close to the property. This quaint property is well worth the price.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank swp95540
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronxville, NY
Level 6 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2010

Review of Duke Tower

I made my decision to stay at Duke Tower based on the reccomendation from Duke Fitness Center that clents would be staying there. I checked into Duke Tower on the weekend of April 15th for a two month stay. I booked a premium suite with the Duke Fitness Center refferal. At first when I called they told me they were booked and that to call back. So I had called other hotels and locked down a reservation with another hotel. However a week before my trip, Duke Tower called and told me that they had an availablity however I would have to move to another room Memorial Day weekend (which never happened) and was told my rate would be $65 + $10 a night for the premium room but ultimately cost $69.00 for the regular room. When I walked into the room, I had the impression that I must have booked the premium room because it had HDTV instead of the CRT Televisions.

As I walked into my suite, my first impression was that it was nice, and cozy. Saw the flat screen TV right away and naturally assumed I got the upgraded room <which it was not>. My room was carpeted, with a faint mildew smell. The ceilings were not very tall, and the area between the living room and the bedroom, the kitchen, the ceiling dropped which you can literally reach and touch the lights.

The kitchen had brand new equipment in it, stove, refrigerator, and microwave. The cupboards had 4 dishes, 4 bowls and 4 tall glasses and 4 short glasses. Along with untiensels and cooking pots/pans. The bathroom was rather primitive. It literally was a walk in shower stall with about a 3" separator on the floor with long shower curtains that get changed during the once a week maid service. I found that rather odd, as some weeks, my curtain was short, and other weeks my curtain was long. The colors changed as well and felt weird when that happened, as I don't normally see hotels do that.

The bedroom had twin temperpedic mattresses, and the drawback was that the sheets and pillow covers were cheap feeling. The mattress cover barely fit the mattress as it gave me an impression that the mattress cover was for smaller mattresses. Often during the course of my time sleeping there, the mattress cover would get dislodged and I'd frequently have to tuck it in tightly on sides only for it to get loose again over night. The fabric felt a bit rough, as felt more polyster than cotton. It felt like it was made for a smaller bed because it couldn't completely go over the side corners. I was surprised how flat the pillows were (you couldn't get any neck support with one pillow think just a tad bigger than a flat NY Times Sunday newspaper) as well and management gave me 2 extra pillows, and I replaced the other 2 pillows with puffier pillows that they had in their stockroom so I had to use 4 pillows just to support my neck (had a total of 6 pillows on my bed). Duke Tower has got to replace those pillows but unfortunately the manager told me that she likes those pillows flat. I did like the middle blanket which had a flannel feel to it, but the outer blanket kind of felt old.

The living room's flat screen tv had a lot of channels and it was confusing to watch TV as I'm from NY and the channels are on different channels. However I thought it was a bit weird that the HDTV channels, the voice was a bit of delay so ended up watching most of the analog channels instead. Duke Tower also provided free wireless internet. It was spotty at best, sometime the connection was great, and then over time it would decrease and you would have to 'reset' the connection to get full internet availabilty. They did also have a high speed internet port <you need to bring your own wire>.

Duke Tower's courtyard was extremely beautiful, it had a pool <heated only by the sun>, a tower that had $5.00 all you can eat breakfast <bagel, coffee, muffins (try the blueberry), juice, fruit, cold & hot cereal, milk <regular and chocolate>. I ate there a couple of times and thought the bagels were real good. The courtyard also had a shuffleboard, and a large chess set. It looked like they were doing something on the far end of the courtyard but I could not put my finger on what they were trying to do with it.

Duke Tower's laundry facilities were $1.50 for a wash and .25 cents per 8 minutes.

What I liked at first about the Duke Tower was that it was very quiet. There really isn't anything around outside of the Duke Tower instead of the old Duke Diet & Fitness Center which is across the street and abandoned. I was willing to accept that because I had the impression that people from the Diet & Fitness Center would be staying at Duke Tower, sadly it wasn't really the case as I only ran into one person that I saw at the Diet & Fitness Center staying at Duke Tower. At first I thought the shuttle service was efficient <they ran on a schedule in the mornings, and all the drivers, but one were friendly. That one driver I will get into that later. Management was friendly at all times whenever I went into the office. All but the one driver named Tony was friendly and would engange in a light converstation with you so you felt positive driving with them.

After staying at Duke Tower for a month and a half during that time, I had the impression at first that Duke Tower's shuttle service would take me anywhere within a 10 mile radius, as said on previous TripAdvisor posts. Let me emphasise here, that it is NOT TRUE. One time I had asked Tony to drive me to Blockbuster Video and he wouldn't drive me there. I had complained to the management that the other drivers would be willing to take me there but not him. Management then told me that they were not supposed to, and they were only allowed to drive the clients to limited destinations. From that point I was annoyed to find out a month and half after staying there that they would take me to limited destinations such as Duke University, Duke Diet & Fitness Center, Hospitals, Rite Aid drug store, Whole Foods or Food Lion, Durham Bulls baseball game or Tobacco Planitation. That frustrated me because prior to that, in the past month the other drivers were willing to drive me to other stores like Krogers, or if I wanted to go to Blockbuster Video. But this one guy, his name is Tony isn't a very nice driver at all. As a result of my inquiry, the management sent out a letter to all drivers warning them that they have to get permission from the management to go outside of their 'limited destination' range or face firing by management. I thought that was rather cold because Duke Tower really is in the middle of an 'bad' area, because I was told that a week before I came that there was a shooting 2 blocks away from the Duke Tower, so I didn't feel safe venturing outside of the Duke Tower comlex except when I was riding in the shuttle.

Aside from the limited shuttle service that frustrated me, I grew frustrated with the itches that I was having on my head since I was staying there. My head started having little bite marks on them and my scalp was very itchy. I began to suspect that there might be some bugs in the home even though I didn't see any critters but I had a lot of bites in my head. I was staying on the first floor, in room 112. My scalp continued to itch during the time I was at Duke Tower.

The final straw for me that broke the camel's back for my stay at Duke Tower was my confrontation I had with Tony. One time I asked the Duke Fitness Center to call for the shuttle service for me at 6:05 pm, and the person told me that the shuttle will be arriving in 10-15 minutes. After 20 minutes I called back at 6:25 and the person who called for me told me that the driver said he was on his way and sounded 'annoyed'. So when I got into the car, I calmly asked Tony "what happened?" as to indicate why so long. He angrily and in a grouchy tone said "What do you mean what happened?" I said well you I called at 6:05 you said you would be here 10-15 minutes, I had to call back at 6:25 and you said you was coming". His response was that they were lying and that would be here in 20-25 minutes. I said fine, but you still didn't get here till 6:43. From there this guy just flipped totally! Yelling and ranting, thank god that I'm deaf as I was able to turn off my hearing aids and just nod him off and look out the window. He continued to rant in an angry matter that I started to feel threatened. I'm a big guy and I know if he hit me I would take him down but it was not an avenue that I wanted to go. We then drove to this other Duke place where we picked up a girl on the way. I grew frustrated from that point becasue had the driver said that he would be there in a half hour and had others to pick up, I would have been more than flexible. But the fact that he carried a hostile attitude, and looks like it hurts him when he smiles. When he smiles it feels more of a seer instead. So I went to management and complained about him afterwards.Management said that she would talk with him, so naturally I expected some sort of apology as I emphasized to management that I expect an apology from Tony for his callous behavior!

When I got back to my room, and decided to make some popcorn, my microwave began to make real loud noise and wasn't cooking. I then went back to to management to let them know the microwave wasn't working. Management sent Tony to my room to replace the microwave, something I was NOT comfortable considering what happened earlier. All he did while there was replace the microwave, smile, but no apology. I started getting irritated feeling staying there, along with the continued itchy head, developing some welts behind my ear and certain places on my head. I complained to management that I was developing these itchy scalp and I think that there were some bugs in my room. She indicated that she will tell the cleaning service to turn over my room, replace the sheets/cover, and vaccum and send the exterminator. However when I got back, and saw that they just made my bed. The room looked like it was just 'lightly vaccumeed' because the only vaccum marks I could see was in between the bed, but not around it. I also knew they didn't get under the bed becasue there was some tissues underneath the bed from when I had a cold. I felt like wasn't even vaccumed either so I grew very frustrated at that point and decided that it was it for me after a month and a half. I called the Millenium Hotel, asked them if they would be able to take me to Blockbuster Video and other places around town, they said yes, so I immediately packed my gear, and checked into the Millenium that day not even bothering to stay another night at Duke Tower. I was so happy when I checked in, it felt like a real hotel, and every face I saw was very friendly. I'll be writing a review about the Milienium at Durham in another review soon.

In a nutshell, if you are staying for a 1-3 days with your OWN car, you might be okay with it but word to the wise, you might not like the sheets or pillowcase covers they feel rough and cheap.If you are staying long term, it might be better if you stayed someplace else. If you have no choice, maybe the 2nd floor would be better than the 1st floor and not have to deal with the itchy scalp like I did. The itching stopped after I moved out and put NIX on my head for lice removal and no itching since I moved to the new hotel. Bring your own shampoo because they only provide soap. The towels are real cheap feeling and old 'budget motel' style <thin and course>. Buy lots of air freshner or those gel air freshners for the room. The mildew or smell can be a bit bothersome to some people. If you have no car, you are not going to like the shuttle service's limited range. After a while, you may feel 'trapped' in that place like I began to. I was frustrated upon checkout that my room wasn't really an upgraded room, but an regular room, and felt angry that all that time I was there, I thought I had the premium room. There is no hair dryer, but they might have one if you ask for it. Maid service is only one time a week. If you wish to have it more, you would have to pay for it. Basically maid service just changes the sheets on your bed (which always looks like it was half fitted <you see half the tempurpedic so the sheet looks like its real small), replaces your towels with fresh ones, gives you more garbage bags, and changes your shower curtiains. But they won't touch papers that are left on the couch or 'reset' your living room to make it appealing. Sometimes I feel like they didn't really give it a thorough vaccuming as sometimes I see some dirt on the rug. I also didn't like it too much at night, the place can get REALLY dark. There's only a faint light of the walking lights, and the pool lights are on. If the pool lights weren't on, Duke Tower would feel more spooky and dark. I tended to stay in my room the whole night. I rarely walked past the Duke Tower gates, as I felt more 'trapped' than anything else. If you are going to use the shuttle service, be prepared for the limited places they would take you. It was more surprising to me that Duke Tower won't even take me to North Point Mall, which is less than a mile away from Duke Tower. They told me that I needed to take a cab if I wanted to go there.

For $69 dollars a night, I don't think I would ever stay there again especially with the itching issues I had on my scalp, the nasty driver Tony, and the isolated feeling I had staying there. I felt like it was a blessing when I checked into the Millenium Hotel (for the same cost), I know its a 3 star hotel, but after staying at Duke Tower, Millenium felt like a 5 star hotel. I would NOT reccomend anyone to stay at Duke Tower. I give Duke Tower a one star (to those other friendly drivers and management for trying to accomodate me) however sorry to say overall, and a thumbs down from me.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FastMazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DukeTowerGenMgr, General Manager at Duke Tower Suites and Condominiums, responded to this review, August 27, 2010
Thank you for your comments and your stay with us. We apologize that you were not satisfied with the steps we took to address these concerns while you stayed with us; for example, changes in bedding to be sure there were no allergies and arranging our shuttle schedule to best meet your needs and those of all of our guests requesting transportation.

We are pleased with the many compliments we receive from guests about their stay at Duke Tower. We also realize that our hotel is unique and may not fit the needs of every traveler.

Again, we appreciate your feedback and welcome your call if there is something further we can do.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 5, 2010

What a beautiful courtyard. Rooms very comfortable and the people were very nice. I was pleasantly suprised when I saw all the blooms in the courtyard and the beautiful pool. If you are looking for more than a just a hotel room (each room is a small one bedroom apartment) then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tarheelgolfschool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granville, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2010

My husband and I both attended grad school at Duke, and we held our August 2008 wedding in Durham. We had a lot of family and friends coming in from all over the country, and we wanted to make sure they were comfy and had some amenities. Duke Towers worked perfectly. The awesome pool area gave everyone a great place to escape the NC summer heat, and everyone loved their rooms. It was easy for us logistically because nearly everyone was in the same place, and our guests were able to stock their fridge with necessities rather than having to eat out all the time. Now that we have moved away from Durham, it will be the place we call home when we come to visit. Thanks so much, Duke Towers, for being so great!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank africandreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Duke Tower Suites and Condominiums

Property: Duke Tower Suites and Condominiums
Address: 807 W Trinity Ave, Durham, NC 27701-1855
Location: United States > North Carolina > Durham
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Durham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Duke Tower Suites and Condominiums 3*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Duke Tower Suites & Condominiums. We're your home away from home in Durham. Built on the grounds of the 19th century Pearl Cotton Mill nestled in historic Durham, our charming property is within a few minutes of Duke University and Duke Medical Center, and only a short drive from Research Triangle Park and many of the region's most visited locations. Staying with us, you'll personally experience the distinctive difference of Duke Tower. Whether it's relaxing in the comfort of your own fully-equipped condominium or walking through the beautiful courtyard, our special amenities combined with exceptional service from our warm, friendly staff will make your stay thoroughly enjoyable. Plus, you'll be pleasantly surprised at our very affordable rates, no matter if you stay for a day or for a month. These are the reasons our guests return again and again, and refer their friends. We invite you to stay with us and see for yourself why Duke Tower is the preferred choice of discriminating visitors for over 25 years. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Duke Tower Hotel And Condominiums

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