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“Excellent ambience...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Manor House Hotel

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The Manor House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in West Auckland
durham UK
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Excellent ambience...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2008

This was a repeat visit to this fantastic hotel. It is a trip back to the far far past and we enjoyed being seeped in history.
Not a hotel for the professional or the perfectionist looking for faultless and 100% efficiency but if you appreciate our heritage this is a true gem.
We had the Catherine of Aragon room, fantastically atmospheric but with a large bathroom inc shower cubicle and flat screen tv which did not detract from the overall feel of the room.
The main building is a former hunting lodge of Henry VIII, allegedly, and latterly home to the local gentry and the Monk family who ran the West Auckland Brewery. The outbuildings, now extra rooms, were the brewery at one time.
The residents lounge is fantastic since they moved the public bar from the to the outbuildings. The old fireplace and beehive oven are now well displayed and the room is very pleasant and comfortable. Sadly it now lacks the facility of a bar and the makeshift counter and restricted stock lets it down. On the afternoon the efficient staff member had a pint of my choice brought quickly over from the bar but four hours later with a change of shift this was not on offer. They also ran out of the bottled beer I was drinking and displayed a take it or leave it attitude with the poor choice of alternative. Please get the bar situation sorted in this diamond of a room.
Food was very impressive as usual but staff are in need of experience, and supervision from someone who knows what to do. Also breakfast was great but with no seating plan a family of three were sent away until a table became free, very bad form.
There are ample tables available to cater but planning is missing. You can not dictate when people will arrive for breakfast and if they all come at once a plan would save the day.
All in all however we got what we wanted from this hotel, a feel of the old, worn, bent and crooked character of an authentic historical building. We will return.
Just for the record and to respond to scathing and untrue comments, the hotel is not in the middle of a housing estate, it stands just off the main A68 road which slices through the middle of the village of West Auckland. This village is a typical ex colliery community, very insular and engrossed in its own activity. It is not equipped for tourists and frankly the residents have no intrerest in such. That said however the place has its niches in history.
Just a few doors along from the hotel is the house where the serial killer Mary Ann Cotton was arrested before being taken to Durham Jail and hanged. She moved to WA in 1871 and within two years her husband, a lover, her baby and two stepsons had died . She became a carer to a man called Quick-Manning and married him. He was an Excise Officer for West Auckland Brewery, (Yes the Manor House Hotel). Suspicion mounted and led to her demise on the gallows on 24th March 1873. She was suspected of 14 or 15 murders in and around County Durham and in twenty years, 21 people close to her died prematurely....

West Auckland Football Club are recognised as the first winners of the World Cup. In 1909 they went to Italy representing England and won the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy beating Swiss team FC Winterthur 2-0 in the final. Two years later they repeated the feat beating Juventus 6-1 in the final and retained the trophy. A copy is exhibited in the local Working Mens Club. Unfortunately the original was stolen in 1994 and never recovered.
West Auckland village green is purported to be the largest village green in europe.

  • Liked — Authentic historical
  • Disliked — unskilled staff
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank pinkplatypus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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973 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (229)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Essex, UK
Level Contributor
37 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2008

I have stayed here a few times on business and I love this hotel. I would recommend staying in the outbuidings next to the main hotel, the rooms there are newer and really nice. The rooms in the main hotel are ok but very dated.

The hotel has a nice pool and fitness centre which are great for relaxing. The food is surprisingly excellent and not your usual Wetherspoons-like pub grub.

There are two bars/lounge areas with free WI-FI which is great but it would be better to have access in your rooms.

When I go back to Durham I will stay here again.

  • Liked — reasonable rates, modern rooms in the outside block, good food, leisure facilities
  • Disliked — dated rooms in the main hotel building
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ashavor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2008

My husband and I booked in for 1 night on a special dinner, bed and breakfast deal - it cost around £150.

We stayed in a standard room which was adequate but looked nothing like the photo's from the website. The room was small but clean. It had tea and coffeemaking facilites, TV (small LCD), and a shower and WC. The room had a temparature control on the wall but no air conditioning - our room was so hot and we only had a tiny window so we did suffer a little during the night from the heat.

I think I had kind of high hopes from looking at the website to be truthful - a romantic country house hotel, large rooms, spa facilities etc. It didnt live up to my expectations but it wasnt bad. The main building is an oldy worldy building with big open fireplaces and lots of character - our room was across the courtyard and into another building which had none of the main buildings charm.

We found the pool and spa are quite clean. There was only a few other people using it - a local family with their children. It didnt bother us but just be aware that the facilites are used as the local healthclub.

The resteraunt was a strange experience - a poorly decorated room which was a little cold. We asked to be moved as they sat us next to the open doorway which they refused to close as people wouldnt know where they were? Service was a litle slow - we thought this was maybe due to the fact that everone seemed to be on the same deal as we were and didnt seem to be tipping but once you did catch their attention the staff were pleasant and nothing to complain about. The food was good and well prepared and there was a good choice (sometimes with these deals there ends up being a limited menu).

Overall it was an alright place - I'd compare it to a well equiped Holiday Inn, I had just hoped for something more given the price and the lovely website photos.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jadeyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sheffield
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lesley J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doncaster
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      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
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      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
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Amy2210
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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