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“Not for Families with Older Children”

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Lumley Castle Hotel
Ranked #5 of 19 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado
Level Contributor
145 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Not for Families with Older Children”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

I booked Lumley Castle for one night for our family of four through Celtic Castles, with a few reservations and much wishful thinking. Approximately half of my wishful thinkings worked out. The biggest concern I had all along was the room. I kept being told there was only one room that could accommodate our family of 4. I tried and tried to get more detail about the room, even looking through 100's of Trip Advisor reviews to see if I could get details about this one and only room and maybe even pictures. I kept being assured by Celtic Castles and Lumley that the room was nice, with a four poster bed. I also knew that the accommodation for the kids was a pull out sofa. They all knew my kids were 9 and 12, not small children. So, the purpose of my review is to help other families out by providing specifics about this one and only family room with pictures. It is room 64, unless we were lied to about it being the one and only. The picture is what we hoped for from a castle room. It was period looking, with a large four poster bed. The problem is the room is big enough for that four poster bed and that is about it. I think it is probably tight with the bed folded up, but it was folded out when we got in. See our first picture. They had the sofa bed nicely made up and put towels on it with a juice box and cookies for the kids, which was a nice touch. But, this sofa bed is barely full sized, at least in our American measurements. It might have been big enough for one of my kids, but certainly not both, as you can see from the second picture. I would recommend this room only for families with one pre-teen or younger child. Might be okay with 2 if they are smaller, say 5 and under. As for everything else, we did luck out on the noise factor that you'll see in sporadic reviews. Room 64 is not near the common areas or function rooms so if there was an event it probably wouldn't be too noisy. It was a very quiet room actually. And since there wasn't an event, we were able to explore the common rooms and get a view of the entire castle. The meals were decent. We had afternoon tea, as well as dinner and breakfast. The sandwiches on the tea were a little weak but there was plenty of food. Dinner was good, although I didn't care for my fish entree - the rest of the family enjoyed theirs. The Lumley Steak and the Pork Shoulder dish were very good. I am trying to recreate the Pork Shoulder dish at home it was so good and I was bummed I hadn't ordered, just got to taste my son's. They do have a nice children's menu as well that was well portioned. Service was good as well. Enjoyed breakfast also, with the option to order a hot entree with the continental and it was fast. The other issue I had was on check-in. The porter showed us to our room, because the place is definitely a maze and you won't find your way around without the tour. However, he showed us the long way to our room, so that he could go by the restaurant and library bar. Then once at our room, he showed us the short-cut, a super short cut, to the car park. The only problem with this was that we had our luggage already with us so were schlepping it up several flights of stairs. Seeing we had our bags, perhaps showing us the short cut first to drop our bags would have been better, then show us the long way down to the restaurant later.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room that is on the "back side" of the main hotel, away from the funct...
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Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank WorkingTravelMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,979 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (534)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

We have purchased a number of local Hotel short stay packages from Groupon over the last few years and without exception have had great experiences until now. Our purchase was for a overnight B& B stay for £89 per night for two. At the time of booking I also requested dinner for two (£20each) and whether there were any upgraded rooms available. I normally pay about £25-30. However, the upgrades were £45 or £75 per night, which I thought was a little too much for one night. Therefore we stayed in the standard Double room as offered, our first mistake.

First impression of the hotel was good, a lovely old castle in a woodland setting. The castle inside had been upgraded in a sensitive manner, creating a good atmosphere. That basically is all the good points. The main accommodation is contained in terraced cottages set around the courtyard close to the Castle. Each cottage had up and down single suites. Cars are parked out side the cottages and in a main car park also in the courtyard.

Our suite was an upstairs one near the entry into the courtyard. Although the suite was reasonably furnished, however, other than having a double bed the suite should be classed as a 'single' room. The room was too small for two, the bed had only one bedside cabinet with lamp, plus only one chair. The bed has really two access points (one side and the bottom) as one side is very close to the window wall. The roof is also sloped, restricting head room.

We went into the Castle and were served tea and scones in the Library which was all very pleasant. This gave us a chance to have a look around a few of the Castle public rooms which again were well decorated making the best of the character of the rooms. One draw back is that to get to these rooms and the restaurant you go through the reception and then outside into a small courtyard and then into the public rooms. As it was a trifle damp that afternoon you risk being wet when going for meals, though to be fair umbrellas are available.

That evening we went through to the restaurant a little wet as it was poring outside. We were not greeted, so not much as stood at the Restaurant receptionists desk waiting for her to lift her head and acknowledge us. Took a little while, no apology for not dealing with us and were then curtly taken to our table. The meal itself average, in fact a month or so after the visit I cannot tell you what we ate other than the dessert. Service was abysmal, we waited for ages for the first course, I think it was soup, so I wondered why the delay at the time. Between our waits I had time to observe fellow guests. The table to our left, obviously had some complaint, as there was a lot of to and fro-ing by staff and restaurant manager, this resulted in the dinning couple leaving with raised voices throughout. Then a little later on a bottle of champagne arrived at the table followed by the couple returning and all attention of the serving staff was targeted to that table. We were still waiting for our mains! During this altercation a group of 6 diners arrived to the right of us followed by a couple of serving staff. These people had some Americans within their group. All looked quite prosperous (not that we didn't!), this resulted in something I have never seen in any restaurant even worldwide (we are well traveled). After fawning around the group the young waiter actually walked away from the table backwards and seem to give a little bow! Needless to say service to them was terrific. We were still waiting! We finally ordered a desert, I ordered a creme brulee (I make my own and always order this desert so that I can look for new tweaks to improve mine). Not a good choice, the desert was simply a custard with burned sugar on the top - this dish should be finished in a Bain Marie and allowed to set and not served 'soft'. That ended a very average meal after terrible service.

Next morning, more of the same in the restaurant - lack of service. It was so bad that I gave up even waiting for our main breakfast order to be taken, I finally had a self-service continental breakfast!

On departure at the Reception, the elderly male receptionist had his mind on other things as he asked whether we had enjoyed our stay. I started to tell him some of our experience only to find he had totally lost interest (in fact he never took any notice of what i was saying at anytime) and directed his attention elsewhere. I gave up and left the hotel. I will not be returning.

Room Tip: Make sure you do not take a standard upper room in the outside cottages
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cussie67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hollywood, Florida
Level Contributor
49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

This was the first time I have ever seriously considered changing my plans to spend more time at a hotel. As they say, "it is no ordinary hotel".

You stay in a modernized castle. How much more could you ask for? The poshness runs over and the staff makes you feel right at home instantly.

This was a fantastic stay for a romantic get away. I would highly suggest booking early and splurging on a castle room not one in the adjoining building which is the castle courtyard/stable area would have been. It is well worth it.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Matt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Shields, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

Today our " ladies group" enjoyed a wonderful lunch. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. One lady is "difficult to please" with food and alternatives to the menu were immediately offered. Plentiful food, beautifully presented and excellent service. The desserts for the two birthday girls came on different plates with "Happy Birthday" written in chocolate around the plate. With birthday cards provided too by the staff and the 2 for 1 offers this was truly value for money and an extremely enjoyably experience. We will be back.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Patricia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lytham st Annes
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

Booked a two night stay with dinner bed and breakfast. And had the most wonderful romantic stay. Staff could not have been more helpful. The Black knight restaurant is a delightful the evening meal was a taste sensation. But breakfast could be improved. Can not wait to stay again.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank robertvikki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

After getting married in Durham City we decided to treat ourselves at Lumley Castle. Unfortunately the service was extremely unprofessional. Reception was slow and lacked any type of enthusiasm and ignored the fact that we are about to spend 250 pounds for one night in their hotel.

The room itself was ok, but with poor amenities. The breakfast was not very well organised and the food was average and arrived after 25 minutes waiting,

Your better off staying at the Marriott Durham for 100 pounds a night for service, breakfast and overall professionalism,

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adam19823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

Went here for an anniversary treat, I wanted to be able to bring the bed home, It was so wide and so comfortable. The place is a bit like a maze, inside, outside, back inside again. Lovely food, nice to have a choice other than a full cooked breakfast, eggs benedict, very tasty. Would go back again.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jennej6
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 Romantic Hotel in Durham
#5 Family 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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