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“Poor Service”

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Lumley Castle Hotel
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Very disappointed with our last two visits becasue of the service. Sunday Lunch service was extremely slow and the order and the bill were incorrect.

On our second visit, their Mid-week Retreat, on a Thursday afternoon there wasnt anywhere to sit. Most tables in the Library bar were reserved, and we were told we had to book - to sit and have a drink? or sit outside (on a cooler day). We returned to reception and hovered as we didnt really want to go and sit on the end of our bed in the courtyard room for the afternoon! Forutnately the receptionist rang down to the Library and a table was made available to us. As residents we should surely have been catered for in the first instance. I think they book too much in such as weddings, afternon teas etc and cant cater for all guests.

We had asked for a specific table in the restaurent that night which wasnt given, the waitress was abrubt and miserable when mentioned..it was clearly a bother for her and this made the atmosphere unpleasant.

We have been visiting Lumley Castle regularly for years and I really think that the service is now rapidly deteriating, such a shame, I hope the management take note and do something about it if they want to keep their customers rather than just seeing the ££££££££££££.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LLBC2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,339 - 1,345 of 2,141 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2014 via mobile

Recently attended a wedding reception at Lumley castle and was very impressed with the grandeur of the state rooms. Lovely food, grounds & very well organised service with wedding co-ordinator on hand throughout day.
Appreciate the age of the building but feel that the toilet facilities could be better especially near the reception rooms x

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Thank Footballsaints76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Called into Lumley Castle for afternoon coffee following a wonderful Sunday lunch at the Church Mouse with my son his partner & her parents in Chester le Street. Staff at Lumley Castle were rude/not interested in making your visit pleasurable & did not serve what was asked for (we asked for more coffee & liquers) which we never had served. We felt the need to complain about poor service to duty manager who didn't even take our names to give feedback. Not a patch on Church Mouse !!!

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
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1  Thank Michelle R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

I took my wife here for a romancing weekend and for all I believe the standard of the hotel has slightly diminished, I still think it's a lovely place.
Arrived on Saturday slap bang in the middle of a wedding and was unimpressed to find certain areas of the hotel were reserved for the wedding only. I was particularly upset that we couldn't have a drink in the outside courtyard but once I'd had a glass of wine in the beautiful Library bar I was chilled once again. Our room was an executive 4 poster with large comfortable bed and a bathroom raised on a terrace. Room was nice and clean only slight quibble was ther was a damp, musty smell but that's to be expected in a 600 year old room, however the champagne and chocolates made up for that minor issue. Our evening meals were delicious, wife had rib eye steak and I had lumley's special fillet steak with all the trimmings, washed down with a nice sauvignon blanc.
After a lovely nights sleep, a Sir Ralph full English breakfast topped it off.
My wife and I will definitely be back, next time I will make sure there is no wedding on because I like access to the whole castle.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
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2  Thank Pallionlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
2  Thank WorkingTravelMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
1  Thank cussie67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
Thank Matt M
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: £68 - £181 (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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