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“A very comfortable and centrally located place to stay”

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Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Reviewed 10 April 2014

The hotel is a short (£5) taxi ride from the station. It is downhill, so you could walk, but the roads wend their way around the town a bit, so I would go by car. There is a car park if needed.

The hotel is also very close to the Cathedral and shops (between five and 10 minutes on foot - although it is uphill on cobbled streets, so take comfortable shoes!)

Check in was efficient and friendly. I was upgraded to a suite, which was nice. The hotel is a bit tired in places, for example the lifts are being replaced the door of mine got stuck a couple of times.

The suite had a lounge area, with a sofa, which led through an arch to the bedroom area. Each part of the suite had its own TV. The bathroom was spotless, as was everywhere else in the hotel. The bed was extremely comfortable, although not that large for a double so a couple might find their sleep an intimate experience!

I used the hotel pool, which has a jacuzzi, steam room and two saunas beside it. It is an odd shape and not that deep, but given there were not many users, it was possible to swim laps. The saunas smelled a bit odd but the steam room was great. There is a small gym, but again it was not much used so seemed adequate.

Breakfast was good. I particularly enjoyed the haggis, which I thought an unusual touch. It is a self-service buffet, so it depends a bit when you arrive as to how freshly cooked the bacon will be. But eggs are freshly prepared to order, which is great.

Overall, this is a good hotel to stay in, at just under £90 for the night.

Room Tip: The hotel is on many different levels so if you have a mobility difficulty, it may be worth checking...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Roland D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 April 2014

I stayed here for two nights on a business trip to Durham. The receptionist who checked me in was friendly, efficient and polite. I had booked a larger room to make sure I had sufficient space to work and that was what I got. The reception area was clean but the decor is strange, all fake greco-roman which does not sit well in a building the style and age of the hotel. There is also quite a strong use of rather pale and insipid colours particularly in the bar which when coupled with fluorescent light makes the place rather off putting.

I made my way to my room along a corridor that was being painted another inspid colour to the lift. The inside of the lift was run down beyond belief for a hotel of this standard. On each occasion I used it I needed to press the buttons several times before I got any response and the door would partially open and then close again. A passing member of staff told me it was always like that and indeed it was on each occasion I went to use it. I do wonder why it hasn't been fixed.

The room itself was the size I had booked but I was surprised at the level of interior maintenance and decor. It was poor. Paper was peeling off the walls at the window and looked like it had been patched several times, the window frame was mouldy, paint was chipped.

The bathroom had serious staining on the lavatory, poor water flow to the basin - the dribble in the picture was the tap open at full pressure, paint on the mirror from a badly painted wooden surround and a door handle that was missing half the screws. The bathroom door didn't actually close properly which didn't matter too much as I was on my own but would have been quite unsuitable in any other circumstances. The bed was adequate because of a topper but the matteress was old and worn underneath. Room servicing seemed to mean the bed was made but nothing was tidied, a dirty coffee cup was left untouched and towels were not changed promptly. There was a minimal range of toiletries provided. In any event the room was not particularly clean.

The gym has a reasonable pool, reasonable cardio equipment but the choice of weights equipment is poor. I don't understand why anyone would pay to be a member as the equipment is way below the standard of any gym I would pay to use. I actually left frustrated because I could not get the exercise I wanted in it.

The breakfast buffet was reasonable though on the first day I was not offered any cooked to order food and didn't know it was available. I was offered it mid-way through breakfast on the second morning by which time I didn't want it.

The only saving grace of this tired and run down dump is the staff who are almost all personable and friendly and will do their best to be helpful.

Wi-fi outside of the reception area is at additional cost which on a room costing £130+/night is unreasonable. Why don't they charge extra for the water that comes out of the taps? That has a cost too and wi-fi is not now cutting edge technology and charging for it is inexcusable. I didn't pay, I used the data package on my phone which allows me to create my own hotspot. It is less convenient but I won't be ripped off on this score.

This hotel fell way short of the standards I would expect of a Marriott and it was very poor value for money. The hotel is the only one in the city and therefore has a monopoly and clearly exploits that with poor standards and high prices.

If you have a choice there are probably better places to stay close to Durham.

Room Tip: Ask for one that is clean and maintained.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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9  Thank longhaulfromlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurhamMarriott, General Manager at Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post your review and for your kind comments regarding our hosts.

I was disappointed to read that your visit to the hotel on this occasion did not meet with your expectations and I am sorry that you experienced poor standards of cleanliness and maintenance within your guest room.

Hopefully we will be able to welcome you back to the hotel soon, so you can see the improvements we are currently making to the hotel bar, lounge and reception areas and to the guest elevators.

Warm regards
Des Caldwell

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

We stayed here while visiting my daughter who is at the university.
My wife stayed here on business a while ago and had a fire in her room. The hotel were very good about it and not only upgraded her room but gave her a free two night stay for two with dinner included. When we arrived we also discovered we had been given a small suite. Although having a fire in your room and being up all night was very traumatic we were pleased with the way the hotel dealt with it overall.
Our stay this time was very nice indeed. The room was well equipped and quite large. The health centre is very nice and the restaurant is good. Breakfast is excellent.
I have stayed in a number of hotels in Durham and would definitely recommend this one.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Andrewgp1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

This is a lovely hotel in a great location. We were upgraded on arrival and had a lovely, comfortable big room. The staff were friendly and very accommodating. We didn't have breakfast but but we did have late night room service after a night out and it was top notch. Recommended.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank ciaranotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

I am surprised at the negative reviews for the Marriott Royal County Hotel in Durham. We stayed there last weekend and my only complaint is that they did not have adapters available to lend us, as most other hotels do. Our ground-floor room was lovely, the breakfast was outstanding, and the staff could not have been more helpful.

Room Tip: We were upgraded to a deluxe king bedroom, perhaps because we are Marriott members. Loved being on t...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Eileen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

Booked a cheap deal so at £72 for the night I cannot complain. The room was big and clean and comfortable. The room was L shaped with a sofa bed in it so created a small sitting area which helped create additional space. The bathroom was large and clean. Closer inspection showed it had been "knocked about a bit" but didn't affect it's usability or cleanliness in any way.

Check in was friendly and we were offered a complimentary glass of wine - very nice. Overall the hotel was pleasant and the room quiet, However what a maze of corridors to find the room. We were in the Riverside section which involves going up two floors, a long corridor walk and then down a floor. Signage is very average and we got confused on a number of "journeys" in and out!

Hotel is very central but quiet - good location. Car parking is £5 per night.

For the price great room!

Room Tip: Riverside rooms - are in the quietest part of the hotel
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank LeylandAtlantean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

Good: the staff is very well trained and helpful (even sometimes annoyingly helpful) and there are plenty of people running around, I even started thinking that the cost of personnel in the UK had fallen down! We also liked the breakfast and the location. Bad - the building badly needs renovation, it feels old and overused. The gym definitely needs new ventilation system if not total refurbishment!

Room Tip: Ask if they have riverside rooms,above the spa
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank Stan040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurhamMarriott, Manager at Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I was pleased to read your positive comments about our hosts I know they are driven by delivering excellent service to our customers.
I am delighted to confirm that we are currently in the process of refurbishing our ground floor public space so do hope that you will return to the hotel soon to enjoy the fresh new look.
Warm regards
Des Caldwell

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Additional Information about Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County

Address: Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3JN, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Durham
#4 Luxury Hotel in Durham
#8 Business Hotel in Durham
Price Range: £70 - £152 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of the historic city of Durham, this hotel – part of which dates back to circa 1630 – boasts views of Durham Cathedral and Castle and is situated on the banks of the River Wear. The Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County is ideally located within this University city, a short walk away from the world famous Cathedral and Castle. Through Durham’s cobbled streets, explore this unique city’s blend of old and new with shops, bars and restaurants to suit all. No 59 Old Elvet restaurant serves a full buffet breakfast with a choice of a la carte options, along with dinner, featuring Chef’s unique signature dishes. Afternoon Tea is served daily and a glass of Champagne can be added for an extra special touch. Later in the day choose from an extensive range of classic and contemporary cocktails in The Brew Bar. Alternatively our Starbucks store, situated on the ground floor of the hotel, serves a wide variety of teas, coffees, sandwiches and pastries throughout the day. Relax with a visit to the hotel’s leisure centre, complete with indoor swimming pool, gym, spa bath, sauna and steam room. The hotel is also ideally located for exploring the north east and its surrounding areas. Just 15 miles (24 km) from the centre of Newcastle and 11 miles (18 km) from Sunderland. Other local attractions include: Beamish – The Living Museum of the North, The Bowes Museum, High Force Waterfall and Durham Adventure Valley to name but a few. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Durham
Durham Marriott

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