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“A little gem”

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The Manor House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in West Auckland
sheffield
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A little gem”
Reviewed 20 January 2008

We looked at the web site, liked the price ,and what we saw [it had been refurbished since the last time we stayed]. So we thought ,'why not?'. What a gem! We had booked at the last minute and at only 25 pounds per person per night b and b,[january special] we thought we would end up at the back of beyond. But No, we got one of the best rooms. Infact in my mind the best. It was a large,front facing,double aspect room with a large bathroom,and best of all a four poster bed and a flat screen TV.
The staff are friendly and welcoming and nothing is too much trouble for them,and they treat you as indiviuals.
In the restaurant the menu was varied and interesting with gentle background music playing. Nothing too garish and very genteel.
We decided to try the leisure facilities.Although not overly large the pool was warm,clean and not overcrowded. The spa bath was refreshing and once again not overcrowded {just me and my husband] There was also a sauna and steamroom which my husband rates highly.
The bar to the hotel is now across the courtyard great unless it is raining. But what used to be the rather rustic bar [wooden floor boards and bench seats] is now a very classy residents lounge. It has large comfy sofa's and chairs scattered around and is warm,cosy and welcoming with a [gas] coal fire.
If you are looking for an ultra modern hotel in a bustling lively city then this is not the place for you, however is you would like a quiet retreat that is within a 20 minute drive of Durham,and you would like a hotel with class and style that is steeped in history then I cant recommend the manor house hotel enough.

  • Liked — A perfect historical,relaxing retreat,with significant quality and atmosphere
  • Disliked — Nothing in the immediate surroundings .West Auckland the village was closed for the duration but plenty within a very short drive.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lesley J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (233)
Date | Rating
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English first
Doncaster
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2008

I booked this through e-bay as they were doing a deal where you could have a one night stay with one beauty treatment, evening meal and breakfast for £90.
The hotel itself is stunning and full of character and we were in a small twin room close to the beauty rooms which was average, but comfortable enough with all facilities you'd expect.
If you stay here, please don't bother with any beauty treatments as the two rooms they have are dingy with no relaxing atmosphere which is what you want when you're paying £39 for a facial etc.
My friend was in the room right next to the pool area and all she could hear throughout her facial was screaming children. The room I was in was more like a reception as there were no separate doors or rooms where other clients could wait.
The decor was just awful and everything looked old and tatty and could have done with more than just a lick of paint. The ambience was a shared cd with 'relaxing' music. I just think this tatty add-on lets the hotel down, it's just not luxurious and doesn't tie-in with the hotel's grand stature.
Our evening meal was nice, but the waitresses were poorly trained and very young. A little professionalism and attentiveness was needed here and you don't really expect to pour your own wine! Especially when it's not busy!
I wouldn't go back. There's far too much competition out there to settle for second best.

  • Liked — The hotel reception area
  • Disliked — the beauty rooms! Yuk!
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sharon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancs
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2007

We stayed at this hotel for a quiet break and should have listened more carefully to the poor reviews. (The hotel looks nothing like the website pictures - beware - nor does it show the housing estate the hotel is in the middle of!) We booked 2 nights and our deal icluded bed, breakfast and dinner and some treatments in the spa. Overall the hotel is attractive enough, although there are many tacky features which detract from the the old building. Our room was on the ground floor and was in desperate need of a refurb. There was peeling paint, a grubby carpet and a window we could only wedge open with a coffee cup. We were woken by staff early in the morning hoovering and shouting to each other.
The hotel was very empty (this may not have helped with the atmosphere) At dinner we were watched liked hawks and plates were whisked away before we had time to finish chewing! The food was nice enough but nothing amazing. The dreadful music did not aid a relaxing atmosphere.
Staff were friendly and did try to help, but didn't seem very experienced.
The only thing that saved us was the spa treatments, friendly and very relaxing. In the end we cut our loses, not able to face another dinner there we spent the evening in Durham. This hotel could be something really special, but I felt it was a waste of money and very overpriced. You have been warned.

  • Liked — A relaxing facial
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KatyLancs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these West Auckland hotels

Newcastle
1 review
Reviewed 8 November 2007

My boyfriend and I absolutly loved this hotel!!!
I would ask people researching this hotel to disregard any reviews made prior to the refurb as it is truely gorgeous now!

We were in the old part of the hotel and the rooms were stunning! lovely huge beds and nice decor. (my boyfriend loved the wall mounted plasma!)

Breakfast was excellent... lots of choice

Dined in the brasserie at night. Service and food were excellent (little pricey)

Staff were all brill.

Leisure area was great. Nice size pool and very clean!

One bad point is the bed was boiling hot!!!!! also the area outside of the hotel (West Auckland) is not a place to be visited!

We loved this hotel and have already booked to go back!! =)

  • Liked — Our Room and the Leisure facilities!
  • Disliked — Hot bed!
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Amy2210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkshire, UK
Level Contributor
37 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2007

Have just returned from a 2 night stay at this hotel for a family wedding and felt compelled to write and expose the good the bad and the ugly about this hotel, some of it quite ugly.

First of all I shall start with a good point - the staff. Almost without exception the staff at the hotel were courtious, friendly and extremely helpful. The woman who oversaw breakfast was perhaps a little sour but all the staff who helped us with the various problems we had when staying at the hotel were great.

On arrival at the hotel (no directions on their website which wasn't terribly helpful, I used both google & AA directions to get there but neither were exactly spot on, try ringing the hotel if you're not sure) we were allocated room 35 in the main building. Personally I don't feel this room should be let out to guests. The room is up in the attic of the main house, consequently the ceiling is quite low, the eaves slope in and there are some very low beams. The hotel building is very old and possibly listed so there are no lifts in the building. To reach room 35 you have to go up one staircase to the first floor and then up a second staircase which gives access to room 35 only. This second staircase is increasingly narrow and steep on the return and we struggled to get our luggage up there even though we only had small suitcases. If you were staying for a week and had a large case I'm not quite sure how you'd get it up there. Although the staff were generally very good, no help was offered to get our bags to our rooms.

The room itself was very large. It was also incredibly hot. There was a large window at one end of the room overlooking the green, unfortunately it had only one tiny pane which opened no more than a few inches. There was no air con. The room had a very nice flat screen TV but lacked key facilities like a bedside clock, hotel information folder, full length mirror or dressing table mirror. The only mirror in the room was in the bathroom above the sink, which as it wasn't heated (the mirror that is), huffed up at the merest hint of hot water. The bathroom also had low and sloping ceilings which meant my husband who is 6ft could barely stand up - he certainly couldn't stand up to pee! There was also no shower. Just a slightly ineffective shower attachment to the bath tap. All it succeeded in doing was drenching the rest of the bathroom as more water came out of the side of the head than the holes! There was nowhere in the bathroom to hang towels, certainly no heated towel rail, only one small hand towel ring.

Our first impression of the room was "oh, how sweet" but closer inspection revealed it to be far from sweet. In addition to all the points above, it didn't look as if it had been hoovered in months. The floor was covered in fluff and miscellanous other unidentifiable items and a number of dead flies and bugs. Maybe that awkward access prevents a hoover from making it's way up there - who knows. Anyway, I picked up the dead bugs thinking they'd maybe been overcome by the heat and headed off to the pool for a swim. I didn't check out the gym but the pool area was clean and on ok size for hotel of this type. Both the pool area & changing rooms were clean. The jacuzzi could have been bigger though. On returning to my room - grateful to have had the chance for a proper shower in the pool changing room - the room was still incredibly hot and a few more dead bugs seemed to have appeared as well as a few live ones. I evicted these out of the window & headed down to the brasserie for dinner. I asked at reception for a fan for the room which was no problem and was delivered to our room - they could have switched it on, but we had a fan, albeit a rather dirty fluffy one. I'd also asked reception for a dressing table mirror as there was none in the room - this wasn't possible.

We ate in the brasserie as we felt the restaurant was very expensive for what it was. The menu was very good, unless you are vegetarian, in which case there was only one option for mains. I was offered the restaurant menu, which though expensive had two veggie dishes on it. The only problem being that all three dishes had one ingredient in common - great, unless you're allergic to it/don't like it/just can't eat it. However the chef was able to whip me up some penne in a tomato & basil sauce. It was a little odd given the standard of the rest of the food that this was all that could be managed, also that the parmesan was the smelly dried variety & not fresh but I was grateful for the meal. When the same meal was produced for me the following evening it was definitely worse. The other food on the menu was imaginitive, well executed, well presented and according to my fellow diners very good. It's a shame more thought wasn't put into the vegetarian food.

On returning to our room after dinner, hoping for a restful night's sleep, we were shocked to discover even more bugs in our room, specifically woodlice. They were everywhere, on the carpet, on the walls and scarily dropping from the ceiling onto our bed (which had a dirty stained cover on it btw). That was the final straw for room 35. We trekked back to reception where the duty manager was very helpful and thankfully they had one spare room. It was a twin room across the courtyard in the annex but we didn't care as long as it didn't have bugs. So, at 11pm we found ourselves re-packing our cases and crossing outside to the other block. Again, no help was offered with our bags. Room 29 was on the ground floor of the courtyard building and was modern, cleaner than our previous room (although I did tread in a sticky patch on the floor which was quite unpleasent) but also increadibly hot so we took our fluffy fan with us. The room is quite dark as it only has half a window which mercifully did open although there was some kind of extractor fan directly underneath the window which was incredibly noisy. Thankfully though the room was woodlouse free so we settled in for the rest of our stay. Minor gripes about this room...the bathroom door didn't shut, the knob was missing from the room thermostat, no air con, very noisy fan outside the window and again no clock - even though the hotel details folder which we now had, said every room was equipped with an alarm clock radio, neither of our rooms had them. We felt we couldn't complain any more and were grateful for a working shower, a mirror and no bugs!

We did feel the hotel was understaffed at times. Having ordered morning coffee in the courtyard..we waited.....and waited...and waited and eventually went off in search of it only to be told there was a delay as there were 8 orders for coffee...come on it's not rocket science! Checking out was also fairly painful as the hotel was full, everyone was trying to leave at more or less the same time and there was one slightly disinterested member of staff on duty who was also due to interview some poor lad who turned up for a job and spent at least half an hour hanging around for her.

Some people in our party had lovely rooms and had a great time with no complaints, however a number of other people did have problems...doors that wouldn't shut, no electricity, sour milk in the bedroom, on our last morning our breakfast table was covered in dead fruit flies - lovely. It just felt at times that attention to detail was lacking slightly. It has the potential to be a lovely hotel and great place to stay, however it needs a lot more work to get it there. We paid a reduced wedding rate for our room which at £80 a night we felt was just about on the edge of being worth it. There's no way I'd stay at this hotel paying the full rate of £120 a night at a weekend. Unlike the reviewer below who encountered problems and was given a reduction in price, no such offer was made to us and gien the chaos at checking out time it wasn't worth the trauma...we just wanted to get out of the hotel.

  • Liked — Friendly helpful staff
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Beccy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff and Canada
Level Contributor
112 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2007

We stayed at the hotel from June 26 thru June 30th and loved our stay there. The hotel has recently undergone refurbishment and relaunch - as a result it's a great place to stay. The rooms are generous and well appointed. Staff are brilliant and accommodating - really going the extra mile to ensure guest satisfaction. This place was fantastic value for money and we'd definitely stay there again. We booked in for four nights and had a three for two night offer. The first night we checked in the room we had originally booked was unavailable so we were given that night free (astute customer service move!). We stayed in the old brewery part of the hotel which has also been refurbished. The room was small, and the bed was a tad small (standard double) for my partner (tall guy), but overall it was fine for one night - we would not have liked to stay there for another night however (too small and cramped for longer business visit). The next three nights we stayed in room 11 - a large room in the main building with a four poster bed and a very large bathroom. It was well appointed with everything we needed including a flat screen tv. I'd read some dreadful reviews of this hotel (also listed in trip advisor under the Manor House Hotel - all the negative reviews are there, but they're also old), but having stayed in the sister hotel 'The Honest Lawyer' (which we also enjoyed) the previous month we thought we'd give this partner hotel a shot and we're pleased we did. The new morph is a delight. Only drawback for business travellers is no wireless internet (unless you do dial-up). This would be the icing on the cake. I used the fitness facilities ( gym quite well equipped) on three days of our trip including the swimming pool and jacuzzi - this is a real bonus. We ate in both restaurants and were impressed with each meal. Breakfast was great each morning with a choice of full English, kippers, cereals fruits etc etc. The fourth night of our stay my mother joined us for her birthday, she was originally given a fairly small double room for single occupancy, but was upgraded to the large Prince Bishops Suite which was a treat! It's a beautiful (huge) room on the main floor at the front of the hotel with a large bathroom (but no shower - only drawback). We had rotten weather, but if the sun does come out on your stay there are lots of lovely places to sit outside to eat, read the newspaper or have a glass of wine. It's about 25 to 30 minutes drive from Durham, and there's not much around in terms of the location - it is NOT, however (as one reviewer wrote) 'in the middle of a council estate', there are houses around and it is on a main road, but the hotel and grounds are well back from the road so noise and visuals were not an issue at all. This place is a bona fide gem!

  • Liked — Wonderful old historic building and features
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank emmaslippers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level Contributor
41 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2007

This hotel is listed in all kinds of upscale catalogs and is a historic property that supposedly was once a hunting lodge belonging to Henry VIII; I thought I was safe staying there on a trip to England, where I prefer to lodge in comfortable and charming places. It is close to Durham and its cathedral and I imagined it in the countryside. Instead it stands in a dismal red-brick suburban four-lane road traffic-circle kind of setting.

From the moment I drove up I had reservations (the kind you don't want). The gravel driveway to the old part of the building, the one that is in all the photos,had weeds in it and looked as if it was last used in 1952. When I parked and went inside, it took quite a few minutes to rouse someone from the depths of the office, and then I got a sweet but seemingly clueless boy who didn't seem as if he knew what to do with a hotel guest-- maybe it was my American accent that threw him. He told me to drive around the back to park. I left my suitcase in the hall, and drove around to the parking lot in the back and saw the main part of the hotel-- a nondescript ugly modern building where the action appeared to be. It seems to be a businessman's hotel with a "spa" (think middle-England brick-suburb spa) attached. There was a red-velvet-colored conference room off the front hall with fake paintings on the walls.

To get back to the old, interesting part of the hotel, where I had asked to stay, I had to walk through the bar, where a number of middle-aged men sitting alone at tables were watching rugby on television. In the hallways, copies of famous pictures were framed in gilt on the walls. To be fair, the boy had carried my suitcase up for me without my asking.

I went down to dinner in the restaurant and found myself alone with three businessmen each eating alone at a table. The food was decent, nothing more, but frankly that was better than I was expecting at this point.

My room was large, with a four-poster bed, two armchairs, a huge wardrobe concealing a television, and two tables. The carpet was old and shabby. Heavy curtains covered the windows, which looked over the four-lane road, but there were no privacy curtains that would have let the light in without exposing the room. The bathroom was down a few steps and nicely fitted out and the hot water worked well-- a pleasant surprise. However, the bathroom was freezing cold because the ancient window was not airtight and you could actually hear and feel the stream of wind howling through its cracks. I had a nice bath anyway and went hastily to bed. In the middle of the night I woke up freezing again. My thick coverlet, made of shiny burgundy polyester, had slipped completely off the bed.

I believe the people who gave this hotel a good rating are probably British, don't travel much, and have very different standards from myself. North Americans or Europeans who visit England as tourists are well advised to avoid this place.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Pretentiousness in a bad hotel
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bracing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Manor House Hotel

Property: The Manor House Hotel
Address: Front Street | The Green, West Auckland DL14 9HW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > West Auckland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in West Auckland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The Manor House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Manor House Hotel is a quintessential Jacobean grade one listed hotel, with 35 comfortably furnished and well equipped bedrooms, all offering free use of our Health Club. The Restaurant serves fresh, seasonal & local food to residents and non-residents alike. The hotel is also an ideal venue for weddings, conferences & events for up to 120 guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Manor House Hotel Durham/West Auckland

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