My fiancé booked a 1 night stay at Lumley castle, intending it to be a special treat between Christmas and New Year. We arrived in darkness and the castle was very impressive, beautifully illuminated against the dark sky and surrounded by the snow. Both of us were very excited to be staying in such a grand hotel and really looking forward to the experience, my fiancé is from the area and knows of the impressive reputation it has locally.
We found it difficult to find the reception, as, like most things in the hotel, it is tucked away and not well signed. Check in was quick, we had room 8, a courtyard room in converted stables. The window box outside our room had old cigarette stubs in it which I found really distasteful. The room itself was small, although it was decorated in very dark victorian gothic style the lighting made it cosy. The stairs to the rooms above bit into our bedroom and as we were to find out later the soundproofing is none existent. The bathroom was clean and tidy. The shower gave loads of hot water, although the temperature did vary somewhat during the shower from cold to scalding. The shower curtain billowed around a lot when using the shower and it was rather like having to fight off an over amorous suitor! Overall the room was a little care worn, the wallpaper coming way from the wall in places and some bits torn away, the odd cobweb and the wall light was coming away from the wall.
As recommended we had booked a table in the Black Knight restaurant. The whole place was heaving, there were a couple of weddings on that day and the place was over run with wedding guests in various stages of “conviviality” The information in the room states dress code is (smart casual ,no jeans or leisure wear) this didn’t seem to be the case that night.
The Menu is limited but offers some good choices. The food was well presented, I had the venison which tasted beautiful but was spoiled by the instant mash. My fiancé had mixed grill, normally a very robust choice but this was definitely more “size zero” than “super size”. Side dishes (like a lot of things in the hotel )were extra. I wondered if Ryan Air had shares in the place such were their charges!! Dessert was good but again the choice was limited.
We experienced a problem with noise from the guests in the room above us at night, they and their friends, were very merry, ( good luck to them, it was a wedding after all !!) we called reception to complain and they sprang into action and moved the guests to another room. I can’t fault any of the staff at the hotel, they were excellent and I don’t blame the guests I just think the conversion has been badly done with lack of thought for sound proofing. A case of trying to pack in as many extra bedrooms as possible at as little cost as possible.
Breakfast next morning was populated with the revellers from the weddings all sporting a brilliant range of leisure wear. The breakfast gave a good choice but the Lumley Full English, the Sir Ralph, was on par with the one I had the day before in Tesco! At around £15 each for the breakfast I expected much better quality.
Overall. I was hugely disappointed by the Lumley Castle experience. I felt so bad for my fiancé who had intended this to be such a treat. I think the hotel rests greatly on its local reputation and the wedding trade, The castle is an impressive backdrop for a wedding but guests are there to have a good day not to enjoy a high quality experience. In Yorkshire we have a phrase “all fur coat and no knickers” Lumley Castle is definitely that. More RyanAir than Qatar air, more Blackpool than Bondi! I think it would be fair to say I won’t be returning to Lumley Castle.
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- Also Known As:
- Lumley Castle Durham
- Hotel Lumley Castle
- Castle Lumley
- Castle Hotel Lumley