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“a very ordinary hotel”

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Lumley Castle Hotel
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“a very ordinary hotel”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

If you like poor service at a premium price then this is the Hotel for you. The Feature room we booked had nothing of feature within it. The web site shows lots of pictures of feature rooms, but ours was nothing like those, although it was charged as such. Restaurant was average at best and the service appalling, “may I show you your table sir? That’s it over there in the corner” – I kid you not. Save your money, go somewhere else.

Room Tip: If you're going for a feature room make sure you see pictures first, many of the "Feature R...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,078 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (564)
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English first
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
441 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

This hotel ought to be getting excellent ratings from every single guest, given all it has going for it, but sadly it doesn't warrant one from me.
I really hope its management reads this review, which is well intentioned, as it could learn a few valuable lessons: and learning, or rather training, is at the heart of its short comings.
My husband and I arrived in the evening and were given the keys to an already occupied room.
The reception staff were reasonably welcoming, albeit in an off-hand kind of way, and on leaving we were not asked if we had enjoyed our stay and whether we would be returning.
The building and its environs are superb and staying here should be a wonderful, almost once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is hard not to be swept up in the history of the place, the imposing façade, pretty courtyards, thick stone walls and superb interiors complete with some beautiful artefacts and creaky floorboards.
Our state room had a big bed, wardrobe with squeaky hinges, two tables, and tea and coffee making facilities.
For the price we were paying we expected a bath and a shower, but had only a shower, and there was a toilet and washbasin in a separate room; this was the biggest disappointment, as the washbasin was full of chips and despite its probable historic provenance, should be taken out and a new one installed forthwith. It was not pleasant to use.
Everywhere is very dark and in spite of the building's listing, I am sure English Heritage wouldn't object to more lighting!
But the biggest issue with Lumley Castle is staff training: breakfast service was at best disorganised and at worst chaotic. A shortage of staff was not the problem, rather a lack of training and organisation.
Waiters stood about chatting (we overheard many a conversation between them) when tables needed clearing and one shouldn't have to ask for marmalade, jam, butter and milk - staff should be replenishing tables when setting them up for the next occupants.
The buffet regularly ran short of fruit.
Again, the waiting staff were pleasant, but not overly friendly and training is needed in making eye contact with guests. Waiting staff also need to speed up and affect an air of efficiency. Service was much better on the morning a middle-aged lady was in charge.
But it's not just the young staff who require training: I sat in the courtyard one afternoon, along with a family having tea, and we could hear the entire mobile phone conversation of what appeared to be a senior member of staff talking about improving the hotel's success in attracting bookings via sites such as booking.com. Some irony there, I think!
This conversation should not have been happening in the earshot of guests - not only was it indiscreet, but was disturbing the peace of paying guests trying to enjoy a peaceful afternoon.
It is clear that Lumley Castle is much more interested in catering for the lucrative weddings and school prom events: there were two weddings and three school proms while we were staying, one of the latter resulting in impeding guests trying to drive into the venue to park. Another irony is that the gentleman engaged in 'crowd control' was the friendliest of all the staff we encountered, as he apologised for the disruption and trusted we would enjoy our stay.
Re-reading this review, it may sound disingenuous, but everything we experienced has been faithfully recounted: we had looked forward to our holiday here so much and indeed we loved the building. But if Lumley Castle wants to achieve the five star rating it SHOULD deserve, its management needs to treat its hotel guests with the same enthusiasm as it greets its wedding guests and prom teenagers. The service received was not commensurate with the price paid.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank kittyginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DURHAM
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Cant fault it ....Fantastic bed ......huge rooms,and so quiet ...great staff,nothing is a problem for them.....I am guessing it,s really the Honeymoon suite........but for a special occasion ....why not ......have stayed in other rooms in the past which were great...but the King James Suite ...really is a one off....

Room Tip: I think whatever your budget is ,you,l be fine.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BAILEYBINGBONG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

We stayed in room 56 in the castle. What a treat! The bathroom behind a secret door disguised as a bookcase. How cool is that! Speaking of that, I do believe that when the castle was built in about 1300 ad, the plumbing most have been installed then as well. Couldn't get hot water for the longest time but when we did the cold wouldn't work. Adam, the bellman was terrific. He gave us a tour of all the nooks and crannys that you intuitively know must exist. It was neat. Being a castle, it was well kept, clean, and worth the trip. Loved it.

Room Tip: Being in the castle itself allowed us to be taken back to yesteryear. They have rooms in the court y...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank theattic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
northeast of england
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

My husband and I stayed at the castle for their Friday night getaway deal. This was £179.00 for dinner bed and breakfast. I was concerned as it was quite slot for one night, however, it turned out to be worth every penny.
We were met at the beautiful reception like old friends and given a key with clear directions to our castle view room. The room was beautifully decorated (a bit of wear and tear, only to be expected and added to the charm). Tea, coffee, hot chocolate etc was on a lovely dresser with a tea pot and cookies. The shower was powerful and lots of clean towels were provided. I can't fault the room at all.
We were booked in at the black knight restaurant and started our evening in the library's bar with a glass of wine and a look at the menu, which was taken to our table by the waiter. Our meal was lovely, the service was nice and discreet as this was date night.
The bed was comfortable and the tv had free view. Free WiFi was also available in the room.
The grounds are amazing and the next morning we were encouraged by the receptionist to explore the castle. It didn't seem to matter that the rooms were being set for 3 weddings. No room was off limits. We even got a private tour of some of the beautiful rooms at the top of the castle by just asking directions. We felt very welcome.
Breakfast was also above expectations, a continental breakfast is provided buffet style, then a hot order is taken. It was all so nicely done. We will return here as much as we can. It was a lovely night away and felt relaxing and luxurious....Thank you to all the staff that took the time to speak to us !

Room Tip: Castle view room 32 has a lovely view of the castle and is very cute.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank missnikkipink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

We attended my friends wedding here and stayed for 2 nights Friday & Saturday. It was expensive £400 for the 2 nights bed & breakfast. We were quite excited because it is a lot money and expected 5* treatment. We were sadly disappointed. Don't get me wrong the place is in a beautiful setting, we enjoyed a morning stroll around the castle and looking at its historical back ground,the staff are lovely and friendly and the room is spotless but the food at my friends wedding was not worth the money she paid, and it was very disappointing. It was prepped in the morning and microwaved in the afternoon for her wedding breakfast. The soup (starter) was lovely. The Main (roast beef dinner) was warmed up, Yorkshire pudding was like a brick, the veg was soft and sloppy, the beef was fatty and roast spuds were just awful, The pudding was awful also and like a brick I was unable to get my spoon through the top. I watched to see if anyone else in the room was eating and a lot of food was left on plates. Our breakfast in the morning was ok, good choices from the buffet and a nice cooked breakfast. Service was ok and friendly. I am not a fussy person and never complain about anything but I did feel that it is over rated and I have stayed at better places, for less money. It does lack something which is a shame because it is a beautiful place.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 913aprild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

I can't actually remember the room number I stayed in but it was one of the feature castle rooms and was fantastic! Individually decorated and packed full of period features and antiques. Had an amazing 4 poster bed that I had to climb onto a chair first to get onto as it was so high so maybe not good for any body with mobility issues but there are so many stairs to get to the room that you would struggle anyway to be honest. I was told on my second day by the chamber maid there that the room was haunted but I did not see anything and slept fine both nights.
Food was all good and particularly enjoyed the themed dinner we had in a private function room on the last night (was there for a conference). I would definitely recommend a visit here and would love to go back again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lainey_666
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
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Also Known As:
Lumley Castle Durham
Hotel Lumley Castle
Castle Lumley
Castle Hotel Lumley

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