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“The best boutique hotel ever !”

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Grafton House Hotel
Ranked #17 of 19 Hotels in Durham
durham
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The best boutique hotel ever !”
Reviewed 21 July 2008

The plan was to go to this little boutique hotel, have a nice meal and then go for a night out in Durham City Centre and bed down for the night in nice surroundings.....that all changed the minute we entered our suite.
From the outside Grafton is a clean and unassuming terraced building with quaint topairy trees and shiny door furniture...the minute you enter the big front door you know you are somewhere magical. Michael Buble played softly in the background and a warm sense of feeling fills you like you've just come home. We were booked in to stay at the Castle Suite right at the top of the hotel. After a slow meander up the winding staircase admiring the fabulous black and white photographs, we put the key in the door and opened up to the most spectacular view I have ever seen. The whole of the bay window was filled with the most breathtakingly beautiful scene...the bottom of the window looked out onto a sea of fluttering tree tops and the top half of the window was filled with the amazing vista of Durham Cathedral..... now don't get me wrong.....i'm all about the love, life and labels of this world....i am practically keeping Vivienne Westwood going with my purchases.... but anyone who is not swept of their feet with the romance of such a spectacular vista.....is....well dead ! In the window was a small table and two squishy arm chairs complete with a cashmere throw, and there my husband and I sat marvelling at how serene it all was, so quiet yet awe inspiring at the same time. So what started as a quick drop the bags off and go back out... became a lets just chill and watch the world go by with a bottle of wine (or in my case...Evian) for 4 hours. We could have been anywhere in the world, yet we were only 10 miles from home....who knew. By 7 o'Clock it was time to make a move and go for our evening meal. We quickly showered (whilst watching Glastonbury...in the Shower which is the size of a new mini Cooper!!!!!) and went down for tea (dinner to you lot in the south) The dining room is small and only has about 10 tables (think ten tables in your living room...after all in it's former incarnation, this hotel was a residential property) But that doesn't make it any less grand. The menu is small, but fabulous, even with limited choices it was still hard to decide (and it's no good looking at everyone elses plates because that just makes you want it all !) The hotel don't turn the tables, which I personally love because i ofeten want to sit around and enjoy the company after a meal not jump back onto the conveyor belt and be wisked out. The food was delicious and the portion sizes excellent for the very reasonable prices. I would highly recommend booking for lunch or dinner even if you don't want to stay overnight. After dinner we made the slow crawl back up the stairs readmiring the photographs on our way back to the room. In our bathroom was a fabulous infinity bath...now if you've never tried one of these(or seen one of these)... again book the Castle Suite just to experience the bath (which is well big enough for two !!!!!) So candles on (provided by the hotel) Bath filled and gently cascading over the sides...check......chromo lighting on (in the bath)....check......champagne-like effervescent bubbles that caress your skin quietly oozing from the jets...check....Glastonbury on the TV (in the bathroom )......check.....If carlsberg made heaven this would be it ! All squeaky clean and relaxed and back to those squishy arm chairs to watch the day turn to night. The bed was fabulously soft and cocoon like...and off to sleep we went.
Breakfast was a fabulous selection of continental pastries, muffins, cereals and more fresh strawberries than you could shake a tennis racquet at , followed by a hearty Full English Breakfast minus the grease.....perfection. I was so sad to leave but came away so rejuvenated that I could well have just spent two weeks at Sandals St Lucia... but in reality I had been away from home for one night. Weeks later I am still feeling the effects of my 'ephipany' such is the magic of this little jem ! Words can never fully explain how amazing this place can make you feel. I have booked to go back again in October and again in December...just to marvel at the ever changing view (and to share a bath with my gorgeous husband). Book now people...you won't regret it...see you there ! xxx

  • Liked — The decor and view from the room
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank princessamandapinky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2008

We had a room at the back of the hotel, overlooking the bins. This would have been okay, given that we were not paying their top rate, but the room was absolutely tiny, with a bathroom so small they had nowhere to hang towels, and one had to sit sidewyas on the loo! The beds were comfortable, with good toiletries also. Breakfast the next day was an extra £20 for 2, and was slow to arrive, average in execution. Staff friendly, but poor restaurant service.

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
Thank CaitlinB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tetbury, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2008

We stayed at the Grafton for two nights, shame it was not longer. We had our four year old son with us and were made to feel very welcome. The room (Lindisfarne) had probably the best view we have had in a hotel overlooking the Cathedral. Very clean, extremely comfortable bed, and a superb bathroom made for a relaxing stay. This is not always easy with an energetic four year old. The service was friendly, efficient and unpretentious. The car parking is not really an issue, as mentioned in other reviews, as the hotel arrange to put parking tickets on your car. The street is wonderfull and quite quiet so no security issues. My wife works for a five star hotel chain so we do get to stay in some incredible hotels. This hotel is certainly comparable for a small boutique property.

  • Liked — Stunning Room and atentive staff
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2008

After enjoying a well balanced lunch we booked for 4 adults to enjoy an evening meal. The ambience of the restaurant is fantastic- decor and gently playing music. The menu, as already cited in a local review, is too limited. While it lives up to the simple food it claims to provide, the main course options were more fitting to a night out in a local pub than an up market hotel. We will return but only after checking the menu. The lunchtime menu was superior. We were not offered a pre-dinner drink, had passable and competent, if unfriendly, service and a coffee to complete the meal - no refills, no chocolates. Overall, the meal did not really match what the hotel claims to be in our view. We hope it will get better.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank SheilaghDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leamington
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 February 2008

It was OK. Problems with car-parking and too much fussing around. Felt uncomfortable the whole time I was there.

  • Stayed January 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank JJJJ_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Durham hotels

Newcastle
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2008

From checking in to departing we were made to feel very special with fantastic custome service. The hotel is perfect for a romantic weekend. Located on the best street in Durham you can look out of your bedroom window right into the cathedral - wow! With a bath to die for and a matress that makes for the best dreams the room was fantastic. The hotel is peaceful and very homely. Dinner was just right and you even get to meet cook! An evening stroll round the river loop so accessible from the hotels front door ended the stay perfectly. Thanks to all at Grafton House - simply the best hotel in the North East!

  • Liked — The River bath and remote control double shower!
  • Disliked — That I couldn't stay for two nights!!!
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank rvicke01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2008

My husband and i stayed here on our wedding night just before Christmas in December. The hotel is situated on what i think is the best street in Durham overlooking the cathedral. We could not have recieved a warmer welcome (by James) upon our arrival. We were getting married that afternoon in Durham and were able to check in quite early which was great. Our room (the Eden Suite) was situated at the front of the hotel and had a perfect view of the cathedral. A lovely spacious room, tastefully decorated with a fab bathroom. I cannot tell you enough how great this hotel is, as are the staff and everything about it. I could not find fault, nor would i want to. Grafton House puts all other hotels in the city to shame, just what Durham needs, a wonderful boutique hotel with the warmest of welcomes.
After our wedding we returned to the hotel with our quests for canapes and champagne, again with a great welcome.
The morning after the night before we headed down to breakfast and were surrounded in the dining room by the most wonderful pictures. The food was lovely and my scrambled eggs were made into a heart shape! The attention to detail is fabulous.
After breakfast we took a walk across the river to the cathedral, only a few minutes walk away to try and clear our heads!
If you don't stay here then you are missing a treat.
Thank you to James and everyone at Grafton House. We're hoping to be back as soon as we can.

  • Liked — Everything was great, couldn't fault it
  • Disliked — Nothing at all
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DubaiDame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grafton House Hotel

Property: Grafton House Hotel
Address: 40 South Street, Durham DH1 4QP, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 19 Hotels in Durham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Formerly a private residence, on possibly the best street in Durham City, Grafton House has been created with love, care and meticulous attention to detail. Not only is the interior stunning, but it is situated in a conservation area and enjoys breathtaking views of Durham Castle and Cathedral. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Grafton Hotel Durham

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