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“Loverly Castle Stay”

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Lumley Castle Hotel
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 July 2008

Got a great advanced purchase deal directly with the hotel.

Although the room (10) was on the small side it was full of character. Size of the room was not an issue for us.

Had diner in the restaurant which was lovely, service a little slow but again this did not distract from an excellent evening.

Good breakfast with lots of choice.

Found the car parking convenient for the courtyard rooms.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cladrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,058 - 2,064 of 2,138 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2008

We stayed here for a long weekend at the beginning of June, as we were going ballooning in the north east on the Sunday so thought we'd treat ourselves to a stay at Lumley Castle.

On arrival (2.00pm on the Saturday) we could not get parked for love nor money. We drove round and round just searching for a spot. Nothing. This was due to the fact that there were FOUR weddings on. We were quite annoyed about this, because as hotel residents we felt that adequate parking should have been set aside - let the wedding guests there for the day walk miles instead. We asked on check in if there was any parking set aside for residents to be told 'no, all the wedding guests are staying here overnight and that's all the parking there is'. Hmmm.

The room wasn't ready (no problem as we arrived well before 3.00pm check in) so we were sent to the library bar for a drink intil it was ready. It was a beautiful day and we asked if there was anywhere we could sit outside and enjoy our drinks in the sun to be told 'there is a courtyard but it's closed to guests, it's for wedding use only'. Hmmmm again.

When the room was ready, a porter showed us to it as it was in the castle itself. We were quite high up and the room was beautiful - canopied bed, massive thick walls, a tiny window, bathroom behind a bookcase and the bath and shower in a little curtained off area. It was while sticking my head out of the window that I saw a parking space come free so we legged it to the car to move it into said space before anyone beat us to it! Success!!!!

The courtyard was opened to guests later on so we enjoyed some drinks sat in the evening sun, very pleasant indeed.

Breakfast was good, a buffet containing cereal, fruit, continental stuff etc with cooked breakfast to order.

Unfortunately, it rained on the Sunday so our ballooning was cancelled, it was really too wet to do anything apart from eat and drink so we had Sunday lunch in the restaurant (excellent but absolutely huge) followed by some more Sunday afternoon drinks and we had dinner in the restaurant again that night (good food and huge again).

We had been due to leave on the Monday but we were having a nice, relaxing time and as Sunday had been a washout we decided to extend our stay by another night and were able to stay in the same castle feature room for an extra £120 B&B. This meant we were at least able to salvage something of the weekend and spent Monday at the excellent Beamish museum which is well worth a visit.

On arriving back at the hotel, we noticed that they were serving hot meals in the Library bar (we'd wanted this on Sunday but were told 'sandwiches only' hence we ended up having Sunday lunch) so we had a drink and asked for the menu to be told 'sorry it's now sandwiches only'. We really didn't want to eat in the restaurant, it meant getting changed into smart clothes and those huge portions again so we had a bit of a moan about the lack of dining options and got a taxi into Chester le Street where we went to an Italian called Da Vincis.

The castle itself is stunning - full of nooks and crannies. There are doors which say 'these steps are not in general use' and they are the old spiral staircases. Naturally, we had to have a bit of an explore to see where they came out! Excellent fun. Exploring is a must.

A couple of minus points re the room/housekeeping:-

On our first morning there were no tea bags so we had to phone up for some.
Any used drinks glasses weren't taken away from the room so by the time we left on Tuesday morning there was quite a collection.
On Tuesday morning we found that we hadn't been left any bath towels, so again we had to phone up for some to be sent.

All in all we had a lovely time, the negative things weren't negative enough to spoil our stay, just niggles really and not worth getting upset about.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank jillandmatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at Lumley Castle for one night as we were attending a function dinner (which was v good also). We found the stay absolutely fantastic.

The staff were all very friendly and helpful and were mostly dressed in Elizabethan clothes which added to the atmosphere of the 14th century castle.

We stayed in a state room within the main castle which was very grand. The room had a large bed, wood panelled walls and decor you would expect for a castle of that age. The best bit was that the shower room was contained in a secret door in the wood panelling which was brilliant!

The rest of the castle was also lovely and grand with twisting corridors and passageways behind curtains etc.

On a slightly different note, upon inspecting our photos of the room, there was some very apparent strange mist in the picture resembling figures, which definitely were not there when the pictures were taken!! Having done some research the castle is supposed to be very haunted....

Would definitely recommend this hotel. It is very pricey but worth the money we thought. Truly magical.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank holly545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2008

This is such a well kept castle that the conclusion has to be that it is a Victorian copy, but copy it is not. It is the real thing. So atmosphere it has in buckets. I had a very small room in the stable block which just was not acceptable so beware. There are other stable rooms which are superior and also the one I had in the end which was in the roof space and really very cosy. The breakfast is very good but the room service limited. If you are a business traveller the food is not ideal, as it is full restaurant with trimmings or a sandwich in your room. And at £3 for tray cost for delivery to the room that is very steep. But staff very helpful, in spite of unreasonable outfits. They might add to atmosphere for guests but at what price as they are not very thoughtful for staff - my opinion.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled on business
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Thank dmhLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2008

My wife and I travelled up with our friends for a birthday weekend and the medieval banquet. When we arrived we were taken aback by the style of the reception area. After travelling all over the world between the four of us, we had never experienced anything like Lumley Castle. Reception was dark but very atmospheric. If the staff didn't like their costumes (as a previous reviewer appeared to be intimating) they didn't show it and everybody we met throughout our stay was courteous and friendly.

We were shown to our rooms, two Feature Rooms in one of the towers. WOW!! These rooms were amazing. Egyptian cotton towels, bedding to die for (the following morning we saw a member of staff ironing bed sheets), a corner bath to soak in, and bathrooms hidden behind a wardrobe in our friends' room and a bookshelf in ours. I'm sure the flat screen TV was amazing too but we just didn't use it.

Once settled in we opened a bottle of champagne and sat in the window seat of our friends' room, looking over the woodlands behind the hotel. Idyllic.

We had decided to "dress up" for the medieval banquet. On our way from our rooms to the banqueting hall we noticed that nobody else had dressed up. After a brief fit of embarrassment we carried on in. The piper outside was a lovely touch by the way. One good thing about wearing fancy dress to such an event is being able to walk through the crowds of people in the waiting area straight to the bar. One lady even asked us where the toilets were. The staff were again extremely friendly and we were told that people used to dress up but sadly don't any more. I have to say that some guests were wearing jeans!!

The banqueteers were called through a few at a time, and we found ourselves almost on our own. We then found out that the eight of us left were to be on the top table and Mark (the birthday boy) had been appointed Baron for the evening. What a lovely touch.

The banquet itself was plain but amazing and we had to use only the bread we were provided with, and a knife. Plenty of mead and wine were supplied, and we must say a big thank you to the couple in the King James Suite (which they kindly showed us afterwards - lush!!!, and I'm really really sorry I can't remember your names) for the bottle of champagne.

The entertainment afterwards was really enjoyable with some genuinely talented singers.

All in all a fantastic stay, and we will definitely be returning for our wedding anniversary in August, although this time probably not in fancy dress, and a murder mystery weekend at some point in the future. If we can get away with it we might also arrange a round of golf on a future visit. The course looks immaculate.

We would definitely recommend anybody to experience this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank KarenandSteve1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2008

Just returned from a elizabethen banquet and had the most fantastic night.
It was a double celebration,birthday and anniversary so the hotel kindly gave us a free upgrade from a standard courtyard room to a superior,wow,it had a super king size bed,lovely white furniture,all looked new and well kept.
The banquet was the most fun i have had in ages,the staff pull out all the stops to make sure everyone had a great time,food was excellent ,good portions,plenty of wine and meade,which i drunk far too much of and am now nursing a hangover but it was worth it.There was a disco after which apparently i enjoyed very much.
Breakfast was very good,plenty of choich and the service was excellent.I can't believe the last chap on here complained about the staff wearing traditional costume,i thought it was a great touch,i have never seen such happy attentive staff ,they have created the most amazing atmosphere,i guarantee you will have a memorable experience.
We got a special package which we booked directley through the hotel by phone,it was £130 for everything,so fantastic value for money as well,if you want a room in the castle it's more expensive,but all the rooms are nice so don't rule out the modern rooms if your on a budget.
Would love to here from anybody if i can be of any help.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank morweena7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2008

Well this is a fun place in strange position overlooking a large golf course and Chester-le-Street's Durham County Cricket ground. Stunning setting, wonderful castle building, intense atmosphere.
I'm not certain that this hotel quite has the same values as most I stay in, though whatever values it has, are mostly fine by me.
I really had only one complaint (and I suspect I might be unique in this) - I didn't like the twee, old fashioned costumes worn by the staff. Staff who frankly without exception hated them. They were over the top, scruffy and gave the impression that they had been all worn extensively since the last wash. Sexy they certainly aren't.
However this is a small grumble. I enjoyed greatly my stay though my efforts to poison the Everton football team who were staying there when I arrived (I am a Sunderland supporter - their opponents that weekend) failed. In fact I was surrounded mostly by Newcastle fans who seemed intent on encouraging the Everton players. It was an autograph hunters paradise. Don't Geordies (and Mackems) chat to just about everyone? It is a very appealing trait.

Finding ones way to ones room in the castle itself proved a real adventure and meant that a guide had to be sent to show me the way. Once there, one needed a Sat Nav to escape it. Faced with umpteen fire doors and alternative routes, one was not helped by a total lack of signage. No worries, it is just part of the whole fun of staying there.
My room - a single room - was pretty good, clean, spacious well decorated with a large firm bed and crampons to help me climb into it - I'm only joking. Bathroom was fine though their was a problem re getting hot water from the shower. It was there and came through after a few minutes but in the meanwhile one had to undergo an unavoidable short period of ice cold drenching.
Again VERY period which might not suit everyone, though I suspect Laura Ashley would have been inspired to create new fabrics. If there was a ghost, I slept too soundly to have been aware of it. But it would have been no surprise.

The restaurant was good - again hearty very old fashioned food but really well cooked and meat was extremely tender, vegetables perfect. The price reflected the quality of the food and the wine list. Service was friendly and put a single person very much at their ease.

The whole experience, put me in mind of some of the more plush heritage hotels in India.
Yes, I would recommend it, not just for a short stay but also to visit for breakfast, lunch or tea. The grounds are beautiful and the hotel offers a fun time out if you are looking for a different experience.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank Lemniot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lumley Castle Hotel

Address: Chester-Le-Street, Durham DH3 4NX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Durham
#5 Romantic Hotel in Durham
#5 Family Hotel in Durham
#7 Business Hotel in Durham
Price Range: £69 - £182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lumley Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 74
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Also Known As:
Lumley Castle Durham
Hotel Lumley Castle
Castle Hotel Lumley
Castle Lumley

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