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“A great little hotel with a wonderful atmosphere”
Review of Three Tuns Hotel

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Three Tuns Hotel
Ranked #17 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Reviewed 18 December 2009

We have transported our son to and from Durham University since 2007, staying in Premier Inns. We found the Three Tuns during a web search and wished we'd found it before! Premier Inns are fine but this one had a lounge to sit and read in, in front of a live fire (peaceful and rather like a private old-fashioned club), the staff were lovely and yes, the bathroom had mould on the ceiling, but the building is very very old! The bedroom was clean and tidy and the bed was comfortable. One criticism - no hairdryer (oh God my hair!). We had a nice meal with our son and his girlfriend in Brown's Restaurant which was spoiled, rather, in that only one other table was occupied.
Our son's time at Durham ends in June and how I wish we'd found The Three Tuns in 2007 - I would recommend this hotel for anyone having a holiday in Durham. it has everything one could need and - important to us - somewhere quiet to sit and read without having a tv blasting out sport all day. There is a tv lounge but during our stay it was unoccupied. We sat in the bar and listened to the intelligent conversation of a party of (Ph.D?) studends at the next table - not a tattoo in site! Great.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Durhamfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_threetuns, manager at Three Tuns Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2009

Many thanks for your kind comments which I will pass on to the team.

Wishing you a prosperous 2010.

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180 - 186 of 235 reviews

Reviewed 16 December 2009

what ever you are visiting durham for,shopping,night out or for the scenery this hotel is in an ideal location with car parking.However the hotel is in need of major overhauling.Reception area is ok but the rest of the hotel has a musty smell,paintwork and paper chipped and peeling off.The room was comfortable but again the decoration let it down.Bathroom ceiling covered in mould,peeling wallpaper and smelly.Breakfast was just warm and small portions,apart from the beans,very average.Must say all the staff on duty in the hotel were very pleasant

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank tripper3northeast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_threetuns, manager at Three Tuns Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2009

Thank you for passing on your observations concerning your recent visit to Durham. Our location is as highlighted popular and planned improvements in 2010 will make future stays more pleasant as regards the fabric of the hotel.

I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

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Reviewed 7 December 2009

Stayed overnight at this hotel on 6/12/09. The hotel is situated in an excellent location. Hotel was very good value for money, £55 total for dinner bed and breakfast, which is exceptional value. The room itself was cosy, nicely furnished, and clean. The bed was very comfortable. We enjoyed a lovely three course meal at Browns restaurant, in the hotel. Breakfast then next morning was OK, but not really much chioce.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable break, which did not cost too much. Will definately go back again.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tina2603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_threetuns, manager at Three Tuns Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2009

Thank you for your kind comments which I will pass onto the team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2009

Stayed a couple of nights at the Three Tuns. Can't stay it's the best place I've ever stayed in Durham. Location is really good so near the river, cathedral, shops etc. Reception area is fine. Room was very small and really tired looking. Curtains very tatty and torn, radiator didn't seem to work despite making loads of noise during the night, bathroom looked in need of a makeover. The breakfast was truly the worst I have had in any hotel in recent years. Really poor quality bacon and sausages, swimming in trays of grease. Very unappetising. What do you eat if you don't like 'english breakfast'. How about something for those of us who like a healthier option, some fruit salad, yogurt, muesli, wider choice of cereals. Staff bring toast within two mins of sitting down so that it's cold and dry by the time you are ready to eat it.
Lack of wifi internet in rooms a real pain nowadays.
Not somewhere I'll be staying again.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled on business
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Thank danrSuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_threetuns, manager at Three Tuns Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2009

Thank you for taking the time to pass on your comments.i acknowledge that your room does require attention and we are planning to rectify this in 2010.

As regards breakfast I have brought this to the attention of those involved and please accept my apologies for falling short of your expectations.

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Reviewed 16 November 2009

overpriced hotel it had a funny smell, mould in the bathroom, get up early to get full breakfast, sausages in short supply!!! Food luke warm , in good location but thats all its got going for it.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank streety9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_threetuns, manager at Three Tuns Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 November 2009

Please accept my sincere apologies for the problems encountered on your visit to the hotel.

I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss this with you and if this is acceptable please give the hotel a call.

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Reviewed 17 September 2009

The Three Tuns is pretty average. Its got a great central location ( a lot better than most hotels in the Durham list) but it is pretty expensive for what you get and a little dated.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled on business
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Thank BPKM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2009

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

The Good
Despite what one or two reviewers have said, this hotel has a fair few good points in its favour. The location is excellent, right next to the picturesque & historic part of the city.
The two car parks, although a little tight, usually had spaces available for guests.
The twin bedded room was more than adequate. It was clean, the décor and furniture were good, the beds were comfortable and of a generous size, and the pillows & bed linen were crisp & in good condition. A small fridge was a very welcome bonus in the room.
As a listed building, the sash windows had been sympathetically double glazed and refurbished – and opened top & bottom with none of the usual problems of sticking which can arise.
There were two good armchairs, and a large fan was available in the cupboard.
The bathroom was a little dated, but the water ran hot very quickly and the over-bath shower ran at a reasonable pressure & correct temperature without having to fiddle with it forever. Our stay was for a week, and each day all the towels were replaced for clean ones.
This is a historic hotel, and the public areas were furnished in a period style (which seems entirely appropriate). I disagree with those reviewers who say the place is in desperate need of the dreaded ‘makeover’. A building of this character needs to look the part (which it does), and we don’t need any glass, chrome or predominance of neutral colours - thank you very much.
For those who do, a Travel Lodge is also in the town.
If someone is offended by the odd creak of a floorboard , they must lead a very sad life!

The dining room is split into a separate breakfast area & restaurant area, although when the hotel is busy both can be used at the same time. The restaurant is again furnished in a period style with dark wooden paneling and comfortable seating. Although this style may not be to everyone’s taste, it certainly provided a pleasant & intimate atmosphere.
Service in the restaurant was excellent, tablecloths & cutlery were always immaculate. The menu was very restricted with only three main courses & a vegetarian option. However, the food was well presented and although not exactly ‘haute cuisine’ was quite acceptable.

The Bad
Bar prices were quite astronomical – only used on the first night. Two halves of cider were £6.50 (are they crazy, they don’t charge anywhere near that in Mayfair).
Go just down the road to a charming little pub smothered in flowers called ‘The Durham Ox’. The same drinks will cost you £2.80, and the atmosphere is great.
Some of the food portions were shall we say ‘economical’.
The breakfast grill, although well cooked and hot was definitely ‘bijou’
One tiny sausage, one very small rasher of bacon & fill the rest of the plate up with something cheap! The cold buffet table was tragic, with yellowing broken grapefruit segments, a few yogurts, cereals, & croissants available just a couple of times during the week.
As many guests were from the continent, I’m sure they would have appreciated a bit of cold meat or some fresh fruit, as they stood looking slightly bewildered at the buffet!
With every evening meal were ‘new potatoes boiled in their skins’ & a very small crescent shaped plate of vegetables – not nearly enough for two people.
Potatoes normally can arrive at your table in a dozen different forms, but sadly not at the Three Tuns.
However, my attempts to get chatty with the waiter paid off, and by special request I managed to get chips towards the end of the week.
(I thank all the excellent restaurant staff for their co-operation with my request).
During the stay at the hotel, it came to light that the place had gone into the hands of the receiver – & apparently even the staff couldn’t rely on getting paid.
Perhaps a fairly critical financial situation was the reason for one or two of the hotel short falls. I applaud the staff for maintaining a degree of moral in these difficult circumstances, since it was obviously not their fault!

The Ugly
The hotel exterior is a complete disgrace.
One could not be blamed for taking the place as a derelict doss-house.
Downstairs windows were rotting badly, cracked rendering, and flaking paint.
Many stains (either vomit or beer) covered the lower walls.
No menu was displaced in the outside display case & anything which once may have been illuminated at night, now is in darkness.
Rows of rusty hooks show were once hanging baskets may have blossomed. Sadly now the only vegetation is the large weed thriving next to the front door.
Next door the Police station is a mass of colour from its display of baskets – if one were guessing, you would take this building for a decent hotel instead!
How could any hotel exterior end up looking as bad as this?

It wouldn’t take that much to clean this building up. Even a vase of fresh flowers at reception would surely welcome the guest if he manages to get past the eyesore outside!

At present, the majority of the guests seem to stay only one or two nights. The hotel does not seem to cater for a longer period since the very restricted menu changes only very slightly during the week and you could easily run out of options.
I think this should be considered by the management to encourage longer occupancies.

Finally, the booking was made on the internet & was a special ‘Swallow Hotel’ deal, making a considerable saving on the hotel’s standard B/B rate – and indeed was an excellent promotion.
Despite the short falls, the stay was certainly good value and the excellent staff definitely helped to outweigh the negative aspects of the hotel!
Thank you!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank LeicesterChestnuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Three Tuns Hotel

Address: Three Tuns 10 New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Price Range: £83 - £136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Three Tuns Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Attractive 16th-century Tudor-style hotel situated in heart of Durham, within walking distance of Norman Cathedral. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
3 Tuns Hotel
Three Tuns Hotel Durham
Three Tuns Durham
Durham Three Tuns

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