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“Nice but over priced”

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Lumley Castle Hotel
Ranked #5 of 19 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
York, North Yorkshire, England
Level Contributor
69 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Nice but over priced”
Reviewed 24 July 2008

We booked a last minute Saturday night stay directly with the hotel. We were able to negotiate a very favourable rate which really pleased us. The room was small and dark but well presented. Everything you should expect with a 4 star hotel. One strange thing was our room (17) didn't have a dressing table. You could see where the electrical sockets were for your hair dryer, etc and there was a mirror on the wall but no table. Found it very difficult to dry your hair and apply makeup. We told reception and they said 'that is strange' but they didn't apologise or rectify the situation. Went to the restuarant for dinner. Although the food was good it was not exceptional and it was extremely over-priced. I only had 2 courses while my husband had 3 courses and the bill was £110 pounds without drinks. The hotel is nice but nothing exceptional and it isn't value for money.

Vicki and Nick
York, UK

  • Liked — Castle's public room
  • Disliked — very bad value for money
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Y0rkshire_Travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
215 reviews
161 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2008

Lumley Castle is very nice, but it is not a business hotel. I was there for 4 days for a meeting that was also at the hotel.

Check in was fast, but noone was available to assist with bags. The room was OK but very dark and had no air conditioning. For ground level rooms, the windows cannot be left open due to fear of intruders, so the room gets stuffy. Room was large enough and had a nice flat screen TV, but most of the channels didn't work - only about 10 channels worked.

Internet was free and reasonably fast. (wireless)

Hotel has no gym but there is a bannatynes about 10 minutes walk away, but one must buy a weekly or two weekly pass there. The hotel has no arrangements with the gym and wasn't inclined to do anything when I asked.

The layout of the place is quaint, but rather inconvenient when trying to find things.

Breakfast was good.

Lunches served as part of the meeting were sparse and tasteless.

There were numerous wedding and party groups every night. They weren't too noisy, but the parties don't mix well with a business meeting atmosphere.

For business visits, the Royal County in Durham is probably a better option.

  • Liked — Excellent breakfast
  • Disliked — not a business environment
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank j889814672
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luton, England
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cladrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — The castle itself - it was fantastic
  • Disliked — Lack of dining options - it was the restaurant or a sandwich
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jillandmatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — Feeling like you were back in the 14th century!
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank holly545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
180 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — Atmosphere of serious heritage building
  • Disliked — Limited parking
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank dmhLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saxilby, Lincolnshire
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — Unique, clean, comfortable, the bathroom behind a bookshelf
  • Disliked — Absolutely nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KarenandSteve1
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

Property: 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 Family Hotel in Durham
#5 Romantic Hotel in Durham
#7 Business Hotel in Durham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Lumley Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Lumley Castle Durham
Hotel Lumley Castle
Castle Lumley
Castle Hotel Lumley

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