Arrival at the Ramside Hall hotel is up a long drive, winding through the lovely golf course that surrounds the hotel. In the sun the hotel glows as the sunlight reflects off the pebble dash covering, however in the rain and cloud it is not a very welcoming sight. But do not despair; the reception and linked lounge are very welcoming and well decorated.
Reception staff were excellent, as were all the other staff we encountered, and they are the jewel in the crown of the hotel! Our room was well decorated, a little bit too fussy for our taste like the rest of the hotel, and very well equipped, with a huge bed and easy chair with huge footstool. Top class. The bathroom was modern and similarly well equipped; though beware of the light sensors! A good idea to save costs and the environment, and perfectly fine if you are standing at the wash basin. However if you are sitting on the loo or relaxing in the bath with a book, after 42 seconds (in our case) the room is plunged into absolute darkness and frantic arm waving is required to activate the sensors. Quite disturbing I would have thought for someone of a nervous disposition, or the elderly.
The only let down was the food. Not that it was of poor quality or badly cooked, but in a four star hotel we look for a four star restaurant as food is a big part of our time away. There are two restaurants. The main restaurant is based on steaks in all sizes and varieties. The meat looked good and was clearly being enjoyed by those around us. There were 3 or 4 classic dishes only on the menu and we had two of them which were well cooked and excellently presented, as was the nice choice of starters and puddings – first class. I bet the chefs welcome such orders as it gives them the chance to cook something special, and they do.
The other restaurant is a carvery, serving good portions of good, well cooked, food, at a very competitive price; we enjoyed our Sunday lunch in there. But be beware, it is the usual queue system, loading your plate, but you then have to queue to pay before you sit down. In busy times make sure you have a table to go to! and if you have to queue for any length of time your food can go cold.
Breakfast is served in this room and is buffet style with plenty of good, well cooked food. There are 4 or 5 dishes which need to be ordered, at no extra cost, and I had one which was excellent, with scrambled egg to die for. Again I wonder if the chefs welcome such orders.
The hotel is very well situated for Durham, with the Park and Ride terminus minutes away. The grounds of the hotel consist of the beautifully presented golf course with associated gardens and are very pleasant to walk in. Golf however was the reason for the major problem we had. The golf club is about 300 yards away across the car parks and on the Saturday they had a dance/disco, perhaps it is a regular event. The noise booming across ‘till the early hours of the morning was terrible especially if you are in the rooms at the front of the hotel. So be warned.
So why the title of this review? I made the booking by telephone and received an e-mail confirmation which included the following ‘Food or beverages purchased prior to arrival and consumed on the premises, which are not sold by Ramside Estates, will be confiscated and the guests responsible asked to leave’ (the emboldening is mine). I have never come across a statement like this and to be honest felt insulted, so keep your packet of crisps out of site!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Durham's only silver awarded AA rated and 4 star hotel. Set in a unique location, surrounded by 350 acres of private grounds with two 18 hole Championship golf courses, a purpose built luxury on-site spa complex, four bars and award-winning restaurants. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Odigeo, Ebookers, TripOnline SA, LateRooms, 5viajes2012 S.L., Hotel.de, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd, HRS and Cancelon so you can book your Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ramside Hall Hotel And Golf Club
- Ramside Hall Durham