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“Let Down by Restaurant and service”

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Radisson Blu Hotel Durham
Ranked #6 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 April 2011

My wife, son and I stayed in the Radisson Blu Durham last weekend. The hotel itself is attractive and modern. The setting is spectacular, on a ebnd on the river ovelooked by the cathedral and castle. The place was very clean and fresh. All good so far. However we had a very poor experience in the expensively priced restaurant.

When we arrived there is was only half full so we did not anticipate any problems. However, having ordered we waited a full forty minutes for our meal without a word from the obviously harassed staff. During that time we heard plates crashing to the floor 3 times! When we eventually managed to get the attention of a staff member our meals magically arrived within seconds but without a word of apology or explanation - they had obviously been sitting forgotten under a heat lamp. All 3 of us had chosen medium steaks - 2 were of poor standard , the third was overdone, as tough as leather and inedible.

We complained and the waitress advised us we would not be charged for the worst one.

I was prepared to put this down to experience but when I was checking out I was asked how we had enjoyed our stay. When I responded that it was a nice hotel but that our experience had been marred by the restaurant debacle the receptionist insisted on involving the duty manager. He duly arrived and agreed that mine had not been the only complaint, acknowledged that the kitchen had not been particularly busy but said they "had suffered a bit of a meltdown in the kitchen" and that there was to be an enquiry that day. He undertook to come back to me promptly regarding my complaint.

That in itself has become my main gripe - no communication has since been received. I find that very disappointing and a little worrying as I am booked into the Radisson Blu in Copenhagen next weekend!

Lastly having paid over £100.00 per night for room only accomodation I have to say its a bit of a rip off for the hotel to charge £6.50 on top for guests to use their own car park!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank jimoedinb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NHollowayGM, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2011

Thank you very much for your review of the hotel, I have spoken to the restaurant team about your concerns on the evening and also to the duty manager who dealt with your issues, I am sorry that you were never communicated with in regards to your complaint.
I never the less would like to welcome you back to Durham in the future and if you do come again please let me know so I can look after your reservation personally
Regards
Neal

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2,419 - 2,425 of 2,718 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2011

We have stayed here twice lately and loved the hotel and pool, which is great for kids as its the same 1.2m depth for the full length......Great hotel, and quick walk into town, but had it all let down by poor food in the restaurant. Three cold meals and one not what we ordered, the waitress deleted these from the bill, but we would have rather have all eatten together.......I would go back, but maybe eat out in town.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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Thank TonyTravels262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NHollowayGM, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2011

Thank you for your review of thehotel and its facilities
I am sorry that our restaurant did not meet your expectations but I glad that the waitress at least removed the items from you bill
I look forward to welcoming you back in the future
Regards
Neal

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Reviewed 10 April 2011

We recently stayed for a night away without children. We paid extra for the business class room and it was well worth it, the room itself was fine, just as you would expect (although no biscuits to go with the tea or coffee!). The pool was nice although a bit cold, the changing rooms very clean. With the business class room there is a complimentary bar from 5-6.30 with wine, beer and soft drinks. No nibbles at all though, not even peanut in bowls which i did find unusual compared to other lounges we've been to. You could pay for snacks though which were on the expensive side. The hotel is ideally located, I would however if going on a weekend make sure you book a restaurant as it was very difficult to get one on the night. Beds were good and it was quiet. Toiletries in the room were loverly. Breakfast next morning was nice and all staff we came across were very helpful and pleasant. We will return again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jobelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NHollowayGM, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2011

Thank you for the very positive review of the hotel. I am glad that you found the upgrade good value and enjoyed the use of our excellent facilities. I am sorry that you found the pool a litle cold to your liking but the pool sits comfortably at the top end of the temperature scale in line with enviromental health guidelines.
I look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel soon
Regards
Neal

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Reviewed 4 April 2011

We had 2 good weeknights here. The hotel is bright and new looking next to a modern footbridge over the river. Slightly odd car access route from the main road as you seem to turn into a bus station but then swing under a new shopping area to get to the riverside. The car park is quite large with steps to the rear entrance although you can avoid the stairs. We paid £6.50 a day for the car park on the standard rate.

Reception was quick with an older man greeting us with some helpful chat. We had a room at the front overlooking the river and with a view to the cathedral. It was a good size, attractively decorated and very clean. The double bed was two twins with separate covers, comfortable. A flat screen TV with quite a few channels, not the full Freeview range, bill info was available. The room seemed to get warmer than expected and hard to get right. Quiet part of town.

The hotel restaurant has a good menu although we didn’t eat there because the vegetarian options weren’t broad enough for my wife. Nearby over the river footbridge, 100 yds right and up some steps or a lift, are a range of chain eateries as well as a local theatre and cinema in a modern complex. While a bit further on is the city market square which just beyond has another range of eateries.

The hotel bar is smart with a range of modern lager beers but only Boddingtons for traditional draught English beer drinkers and Newcastle Brown Ale in bottles we noticed. Both beers are now brewed in new locations which is another story.

Breakfast is served in the restaurant as a buffet and has a good selection of juices, cereal, fruit, yoghurt, hot food, pastries. It seemed let down by process. If you want coffee you have to ask and are given a flask. The only eggs ready are scrambled and boiled, others need to be requested and take over 5 minutes. The toaster is a standard home type and a deterrent against bothering. Warm plates are kept in a large oven, it isn’t obvious what it is. On the second day the fruit was nearly all gone and it seemed nearly all the tables were uncleared when we arrived at 8.15.

The hotel has a well furnished and good sized fitness area and a decent pool which we didn’t use.

We enjoy walking and went over the footbridge, looked in Tourist Information that is next to the Gala Theatre / Cinema. Noting that the week before a decent play had been on in the theatre. Then on to the Market Square and downhill on a road on the opposite side. Reaching the river, we walked along the bank before climbing on a steep path to the Cathedral and Castle. A fantastic and high building with the Tomb of St Cuthbert and great windows. Durham is situated high up and has a quite a lot of winding, hilly, narrow streets and the river curves below it. At the moment there is a lot of refurbishment underway. On our second day we got the train to Newcastle which takes 15 minutes costing around £6 return and walked round the Discovery Museum, over a river bridge and along the bank to the Baltic Art Gallery, then over the Millenium Bridge to the Laing Art Gallery all worth a visit although the exhibitions change in the art galleries. We particularly enjoyed the Laing Gallery which will be reported on separately.

We’d use the hotel again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Pete3080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NHollowayGM, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2011

Thank you for the extensive review of the hotel and facilities
I look forward to welcoming you back to Durham in the future
Regards

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Reviewed 4 April 2011

Have just stayed here for a weekend break and have no complaints. Location is very good, but I didn't give it top marks due to pedestrian access to Radisson's riverside location being by unpleasant 1960s concrete steps. We found check in staff helpful unlike some previous comments. Rooms was modern, and very clean and comfortable, if a little characterless, but that's only to be expected in a modern hotel. Airconditioning was very efficient and quiet and there was an added bonus of windows that opened. Although we were at the back and didn't have a river view, our room overlooked a field and it was very quiet at night. We ate in the restaurant one night and food, wine and service were very good, but slightly overpriced. Breaksfasts were some of the best I've had in a hote,l with a good selection of fresh fruit in the cold buffet. We tried to watch a pay to view film in our room on the first night and had problems downloading it. Our call to maintenance was promptly dealt with, even though the problem wasn't sorted. But the next afternoon on returning from a day out, we found a note saying the monitor had been changed and our film had been set up and was ready to view (free of charge). If visiting Durham again, I would certain stay again at the Radisson.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jan81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NHollowayGM, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2011

Thank you very much for the positive review of the hotel
I am glad that you find the staff helpful and that you throughly enjoyed the breakfast.
Sorry about the issue with the movie and I am glad that we managed to solve this for you and enable you to watch this on the next day
Regards

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Reviewed 2 April 2011

This hotel is spotless and rooms are comfortably appointed. The hotel is very well situated on a quiet road a short walk into Durham City.

I have to agree with another reviewer about the quality of the breakfast - my tip wouyld be to avoid the "cooked" and stick with continental and you'll be fine.

Our only gripe with this hotel was the very poor attitude of the young man on duty when we checked in - his customer raltions are of the Basil Fawlty school and we were not at all happy. The situation was only ameliorated the next day by a young lady (Ana) who could not have been more helpful and really made us feel more positive about the hotel. We travel a lot and first impressions really do count!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank PortsmouthLegaleagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NHollowayGM, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2011

Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel, I am sorry that you found the young man that checked you in unhelpful and I am only glad that Ana managed to restore your confidence in the hotel
Regards

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Reviewed 26 March 2011

The Radiisson is a modern hotel a short walk from the centre. The rooms are a good size, clean and well equiped. Parking is convenient. The atmoshere is rather soulless. Room rates are good value and it is worth checking the hotel's website for deals.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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Thank PJW22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NHollowayGM, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2011

Thanks for the review here on Trip Advisor
I am glad that you enjoyed the hotel and I look forward to seeing you back again soon

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Additional Information about Radisson Blu Hotel Durham

Address: Frankland Lane, Durham DH1 5TL, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Durham
#2 Spa Hotel in Durham
#3 Luxury Hotel in Durham
#4 Romantic Hotel in Durham
Price Range: £85 - £158 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Radisson Blu Hotel Durham 4*
Number of rooms: 207
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the River Wear, Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham presents a prime location for a visit to England. Voted "Best City in the UK" by Conde Nast Traveller, Durham has all the culture and charm you're looking for in an English town. Find UNESCO World Heritage sites and attractions Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle and Durham University less than 3 kilometres away. The 207 well-kept, modern bedrooms and suites offer 4-star amenities. Collage Restaurant offers a unique twist on the British Brassiere with a range of signature dishes and British fare. The Bar serves a food menu, great drinks and classic cocktails early into the morning. Unwind at the fitness and wellness facilities which include a swimming pool. Enjoy helpful services like on-site parking, express laundry and One Touch Service. The conference space houses 11 meeting rooms which can be used for all types of meetings and social occasions for up to 500 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham Hotel Durham
Radisson Durham

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