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“Shabby Hotel in Need of a Refurbishment”

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The Manor House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in West Auckland
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Shabby Hotel in Need of a Refurbishment”
Reviewed 21 August 2006

We recently stayed here when attending a wedding. While the very negative reviews may be a bit over the top, I think they are closer to the truth than the glowing reports.

The divide between them seems to depend on whether the stay was in the main hotel or in the stable block. Unfortunately we were in the stables.

As we walked along the corridor to our room, the sound of pounding music became louder and louder. Our room was directly above a fitness room where an aerobics class was in full swing, making our floor vibrate. We went straight back to reception to ask for a different room, but the hotel was full, so we had to put up with it until it ended at 6.00.

The room itself was very shabby. The heavily artexed walls and ceiling, 'nicotine yellow' paint, curtains and lamp shades destroyed any character that a building of its age might have had.

The bath showed signs of various attempts to seal leaks around the tiles, with silicon sealant everywhere, but the gaps were simply to big to fill. The connection between the shower pipe and the bath taps leaked, leaving more water spraying around the bathroom than managed to find its way to the shower head.

The whole stable block seemed to have had a hard life since it was converted into rooms, probably in the 1980's, judging from the style of the decor and dated bathroom suite.

The problems with our room may have made us hyper-critical of other faults with the hotel - dead flowers in reception, out of order toilets, and a smell from the health centre gym which took our breath away. The only positive points were that breakfast was of a reasonable standard, and the catering for the wedding reception was good.

On checking out, the receptionist seemed keen to keep conversation to a minimum. I imagine that he has learned not to ask if guests from the stable block if there were any problems with their stay.

We would definitely not recommend this hotel. It is in desperate need of refurbishment. I am sure that we could have found somewhere much better at this price. I would rather have stayed in a well maintained, characterless budget hotel than be annoyed by almost every aspect of our stay at The Manor.

Rather than having a relaxing break we left feeling ripped off and relieved to be on our way home.

Stayed August 2006
4 Thank Creamegg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Tyne & Wear
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2006

After reading the previous reviews ,we were a little apprehensive about staying at The Manor house. However ,we were pleasently suprised.The receptionist gave us a warm welcome,our room was clean and comfortable. The dinner was exceptional with delightful staff.We had a good nights sleep in a very comfortable bed and enjoyed an excellent breakfast. The place is full of character.We have stayed in hotels all over the world from 3*to 5* and rate The Manor house as a really good experience.Make up your own mind I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Stayed July 2006
2 Thank paulinepum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doncaster, South yorkshire
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2006

My family have just returned from a wedding and overnight stay at the Manor House, and having read previous reviews beforehand, was apprehensive to say the least! However, we were more than happy with our stay. Yes - if you are looking for bland, clinical 'motel-lodge' - then go somewhere else, but for lovers of character and atmosphere, then the Manor House fits the bill. It was the afternoon of England's first World Cup game when we arrived and the bar was busy, but the locals were both welcoming and well behaved! The bar food was very well presented and of good quality. Reception staff were courteous and helpful, and our room (Room 10) was outstanding - four poster bed and newly-refurbished white tiled bathroom. It was clean and comfortable. The wedding meal was well-cooked and piping hot - always a feat when catering for large groups - and staff were quietly efficient.
Breakfast (again for large numbers) was excellent and filling - though we did have to waitfor 20 minutes (understandable). On walking back through the bar in the morning we actually remarked on how spotlessly clean it was - contrary to previous review. Its a proper pub bar - how new is the furniture expected to be?
The children in the party used the Leisure Club for swimming while we relaxed in the gardens. Overall, a lovely old hotel - full of creaks and character - and we would go back to stay again.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank MHandAH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 4 June 2006

I stayed at the Manor in 1998 and was pleased with the stay. Not so this time, our room was not in the main Building but in what was stables or a part of the brewery. The shower did not work, the room was not very clean, the exhaust fan in the bathroom was so noisy my wife had to leave the room at 6:00am. The fan comes on with the light but runs for some time after the light has been switched off. The bar furniture was filthy, in a serious state of disrepair, legs on stools wobbled, springs were either broken or did not exsist any longer, on top of that the bar service was not the best. We were booked for two nights but only stayed one, we moved to another local place for the second night. I will never again stay at the Manor

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these West Auckland hotels

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 13 June 2005

I would recommend the hotel to anybody, good value for money, excellent food, good health club facilities included in price. Only downside was that the rooms were only average with NO SHOWER! Bath no good for me. We stayed in the old stable block which was fine but we would have prefered the old manor building (complete with ghosts)!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 23 January 2005

We arrived for a one night stay and dinner with relatives who live locally. You must appreciate that the hotel IS as it appears... a very old atmospheric, creaky, far from perfect building. If you book in expecting perfection you must be blind and not a little silly.
We were in room 10 which is within the original building, along a small corridor, past the reputedly haunted, room 7... (according to inside information) Your imagination runs riot at the history this building is steeped in. Jacobean stairs uneven floors and relics from the past. What character this place emits!
So, having accepted the authentic setting we get to the staff and facilities. I have to say that we were treated efficiently and courteously in a friendly sort of way. We found all the staff we were involved with very nice, and good at their jobs.
The leisure facilities were very good. Again not perfect but more than adequate. We sampled the sauna, spa bath and swimming pool and had no complaints whatsoever. Only three other guests passed through so we had the place to ourselves most of the time. Changing rooms were quite well equipped and the staff member in the leisure club was friendly and helpful.
We visited the Beehive Bar, and mingled with some of the 'locals' who were far from standoffish. We found them friendly and only too happy to tell us bits and pieces of the history of the hotel.
Later we were informed our guests had arrived, by the bar tender who phoned our room. We then went to the Juniper restaurant for what turned out to be a fantastic meal. The food was wonderful, the wine exquisite and the service efficient and friendly but not overbearing. We were attended professionally. We ended the night in the bar again in the presence of guests and locals and this was pleasant.
The smaller than normal bed in our room was comfortable and we were not disturbed by any spirits (other than those we had drunk earlier). The large fan was a godsend as the radiator was going 'hell for leather' and the place was very warm.
We enjoyed our stay very much. No complaints whatsoever. A great hotel which will accomodate us again.. What a fantastic experience.

4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
83 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2004

Having seen the Manor House Hotel's web site and brochure, I booked us in for a 3 night break for my 30th Birthday late September 04. At the time of booking there were no reviews on this site, but on re-looking in the Summer I came across quite a few bad reviews. All I can say is, don't let those put you off, it's a nice place.

The hotel - It's a very old manor house with original features such as creaky stairs and a full suit of armour on the landing. A bit rough around the edges, but then it's not a faceless modern X-a-lodge so if that's what you're looking for, give this charming old place a miss. Best comments from the other reviews centred on the health club, which we didn't bother with, so I guess we'd have been even more impressed if we'd had time to visit there.

The parking - This was the bit from a review that worried me most (having a sporty hot-hatch and being wary of where I park). Turning down the right hand side of the hotel, there's a tarmac car park adjacent to the entrance to the hotel's health club and Inn - this was covered by a CCTV camera but we didn't like the look of it. However, if you turn left directly in front of the hotel down the grassy drive, you go round the other side, and it looks much safer - directly looked over by several rooms (including ours), the restaurant and health club. Also CCTV'd.

The room - We had room 10 on the 2nd floor. Again a bit rough around the edges, but the room was huge and filled with lovely antique wardrobe, dressers, marble table and arm chairs. Very large TV, the usual tea/coffee/hot choc/biccies tray, and a small looking bed. We think it was dwarfed by the size of the room, as we have a king size at home and didn't feel at all cramped for the 3 nights. Nice large bathroom with modern suite, incl both a bath & shower cubicle. The downside was that the large old-school style radiator - the off switch was broken so we were too warm, having to sleep with the huge sash window open each night. Although none of the rooms are no smoking, ours didn't reek of tobacco like some places do.

The food - We had the restaurant practically to ourselves for the 1st 2 nights (Weds/Thurs) but it was nicely buzzing on the 3rd night. The food was fabulous and the staff most welcoming and speedy with the service. Breakfasts were the usual full English plus a well stocked buffet with croissants, muffins, cereals, fruit etc.

The drink - Reasonably priced bottles of wine. Irish coffee at £3 odd a go (and no whiff of booze) was a downfall, as well as children in the bar at gone 9pm on the Friday.

The staff - Most helpful from the start. No evidence of the "slumped over the desk, unhelpful types" that one reviewer quoted.

Conclusion - A nice place that we'd visit again. £104 per night for DB&B and use of health club is very reasonable when you compare it to the price of a "Travel/Premier etc Lodge", 2 breakfasts and evening meals. I can only surmise that the other reviewers were miserable gits used to clinical £150+ a night hotels. We nearly cancelled and lost our £60 deposit on the strength of those reviews - I'm so glad we didn't as I'd have missed out on a lovely 30th birthday break.

3 Thank Cyberhell
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
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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