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“Comfortable but a bit tired”

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Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Reviewed 10 March 2009

We book this hotel mostly out of habit; for years, we've stayed here whenever visiting Durham. The city lacks the kind of chic designer hotels that have invaded almost every corner of the UK, so the Royal County doesn't have much competition.

It's comfortable; our bed was excellent. The bathroom was large with a very big jetted tub. High marks on these two important things.

There were a number of flaws. First, the pool/spa was being refurbished so we couldn't use it, which was disappointing. As other reviewers have mentioned, the lift could do with an overhaul. I finally stopped using it because I wasn't sure the buttons you pushed actually connected to anything. Since I'm a bit claustrophobic, I was also afraid it would just conk out.

We specifically asked NOT to have a wake up call since we were exhausted and looking forward to a lie-in. But, of course, the phone rang at 6 a.m. It only rang twice, so obviously they realized their mistake. But too late; our lie-in was ruined.

So, yes, the hotel is comfortable and well located. I'm sure you could do worse. But overall, the hotel and staff just have a tired feel about them. If Marriott overhauled the elevator, generally freshened up the hotel, and motivated their staff better, this could become a more special place to stay.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled on business
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Thank SkyeTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,415 - 1,421 of 1,580 reviews

Reviewed 1 March 2009

Well located traditional hotel within a very short walk of the city centre and river side paths. Our room was in the older part of the hotel and was "characterful" (ie squeeky floorboards and inadequate natural light). Room a bit small and the heating was noisy. Staff were helpful and efficient. We did not eat in the restaurant other than breakfast which was OK. No free wi fi.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank JXP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2009

I really enjoyed this hotel, it had a lovely lounge and bar area and the service was all around good which resulted in a very pleasant stay. Don't expect to much of the swimmingpool and spa though. Very small.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Rienk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2008

We wanted a winter break in a lovely hotel in Durham and that is exactly what we got, staff were very pleasant and our room was a good size with a superking bed. We found plenty decent restaurants and bars close by. We only booked room only as we don't like to eat early and found many late breakfast options just a stroll away for around £5
(£17 in hotel). The Christmas Fayre was on and it gave a lovely atmosphere along with the carol singers and makets selling mulled wine and Hog roast sandwiches. We had a great time in Durham and the Marriott in my opinion is the only place to stay.

  • Stayed: December 2008
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Thank Sharon G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2008

My Husband and I steyed at this hotel for two nights, tues and wed, i cant think of a single complaint, we booked a double room, it was more than ample for the two of us, we were bed and breakfast, yet again more than enough choice, full english or for those just wanting light breakfast cereal fruit and toast, we took advantage of the leisure facilities, clean and all working, i wud not hesitate to book this hotel again, perfectly situated for all that durham has to offer. all the staff in the hotel were very friendly, and check in and out were completed swiftly and without any problems.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank franklinHartlepool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2008

Myself, partner and two year old daughter stayed here for three nights in early September for £175/night for a Junior Suite.

On the whole this was a reasonable hotel, with just a few areas of concern considering it’s four star status.

Check in was fast and efficient. We had asked for a large room with cot and an empty fridge – all duly provided.

The room was fairly spacious, plenty of storage, and was exceptionally clean (as was the remainder of the hotel).

The tea/coffee facilities were slightly meagre for a 4 star hotel (no hot chocolate, only one pack of biscuits between three etc).

The internet connection was not working on one day, and was £15 for 24 hours, this is expensive.

The bathroom was in good decorative condition and had a separate shower. However, the shower head did not work properly. The toiletries were minimal and were not replaced on the second and third days.

The best part of the room were the two windows with window seats and the partial view of the river.

Breakfast was almost completely buffet style (except for hot drinks). Hot choices were varied and fairly well cooked/presented. Continental was a little more hit and miss while we were there, during busy periods I noticed a few items had run out (this particular morning they seemed to be understaffed). Also, they only offer four or five cereals (no Weetabix or porridge).

We ate from the lounge menu twice, and the food was served quite quickly; the first meal (a sandwich) was fine. The second (fish and chips) was not (well overcooked), and for nearly £13.00, this was poor value for money.

I notice that a recent review mentions the ‘geriatric’ lift, a good definition! Yes, this was a bone-shaker of a lift and a bit scary! It would benefit from an overhaul.

The leisure facilities were excellent and included a good steam room, two saunas, a plunge pool, Jacuzzi, heated indoor pool and a gym.

All the staff we came across were helpful and friendly.

The hotel is easily the largest in the city, it is very close to the shops/bars/restaurants/ cathedral/castle. Durham itself we thought was a fabulous place, it had a good feel and the locals were very pleasant and friendly.

I would recommend this hotel and I would stay here again (if I could get a better deal); however, I have to say that the hotel/room did not provide best value for money at £175/night.

There is now a lot of competition in Durham hotel-wise, including a new Premier Inn near the theatre, and I would probably stay there next time around.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank WisteriaView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2008

As usual, a pleasant stay in a very well-located, comfortable and characterful hotel, but some flaws -

[1.] aircon in the room was unacceptably noisy

[2.] room allocation was careless - had requested 'near elevator' 'cos I have mobility problems, yet the room originally allocated was a route march away, involving two lots of stairs

[3.] lift / elevator [the one to the right of reception as one stands facing the desk] is very old and unreliable in its control - only works correctly when it feels like it. - disconcerting if one is uncomfortable with lifts per se.

But otherwise fine !

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank jdboyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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: £61 - £154 (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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