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“Between the Car Park & The Warm Champagne ?”
Review of Rockliffe Hall

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Rockliffe Hall
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Rockliffe Hall is a beautiful old home set in acres of lovely grounds; it is odd then that the suite I was allocated - Raine Suite overlooked the car park and was situated above the entrance; resulting in far from stunning views and the intermittent annoyance of engines being turned on and off and echoes of voices from lingering guests outside - for over three hundred pounds a night, I found this unacceptable. Service was mixed; sometimes excellent, sometimes appalling; front reception was courteous and helpful yet this was ruined by the spa receptionist who when I first wandered down and asked to see the pool was told with a blunt comment that I "could look at the pictures of the pool on the wall"! Only when I reminded her I was an in-house guest did she make any effort to actually show me the pool. I invited guests from Durham to lunch at the Club House, being the golf club's 19th hole the views over the grounds are beautiful and made me question again why my suite was located overlooking the car park! As this was a celebration lunch I ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon 2004 at a cost of one hundred and ninety pounds; it took 20 minutes for it to arrive and I was presented with a completely room temperature bottle that the waiter told me "we will try and make cold"! My retort was such that a senior manager ran to the main building and returned with a perfectly chilled bottle from the main bar! Service at Rockliffe is hit and miss; despite my apparent VIP package that included movies etc, the two films I partly watched were still on my final bill and I had to ask to have them removed; breakfast served in the orangery is pleasant but a request for scrambled eggs saw me presented with a ladle of dry scrambled egg that had been sitting in a warming tray for sometime – given it takes a minute to make fresh scrambled egg this reflects a laziness in the kitchen; the spa is an excellent facility and the pool long enough to do my 1.5klm laps but haughty service detracts from the entire experience. Rockliffe Hall may suit local guests but for those visiting from overseas or driving up from London, there are better options in the area.

Room Tip: Avoid the Raine Suite if you want green open views, if you like car parks, book it!
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank MDAP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,684 - 1,690 of 2,722 reviews

Reviewed 12 July 2014

My wife and I stayed here as it was the venue for a friends wedding. From the moment we arrived and the valet parked our car and moved our belonging to our room we were very well looked after. Our room was spacious and boasted a fantastic view over the estate and golf course. Our room consisted of the main bed area, a separate toilet and a bath room with a walk in shower room and deep bath. The dressing area was ample sized and the furniture was tasteful and worked well with the layout of the room. The bed was comfortable and we got a great nights sleep. The hotel staff were all attentive and genuinely happy to help.

The cocktail bar is well stocked and the staff are friendly with great product knowledge. My only complaints were concerning the restaurant and breakfast staff. We were served our meal with no cutlery on the first night and two drinks orders never arrived. Unfortunately the service only got worse as despite waiting 25 minutes and trying to get the restaurant staffs attention I had to approach the bar area to get a drink and settle the bill. Our breakfast on the first morning was no better as I was served my eggs Benedict on a exceptionally hot plate that was placed on top of my cuttlery; furthermore, despite the plate being hot, the food was not.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank blairnichols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

My fiancé and I stayed at RH recently using our £200 voucher we received as an engagement gift. To get the most of our vouchers, we booked the 'Summer Days' deal which was £155 B&B allowing us £45 room credit during our stay.
We also signed up the online newsletter which gave us a free upgrade as this was our first stay!
On arrival, we were met by concierge at the front door who parked our car and had our bags taken to our room before we had finished our complimentary drinks during the simple and friendly check-in.
We were allocated a room in the New Hall which had balcony overlooking the immaculate grounds and golf course. The bed, furniture (including 2 sofas), bathroom complete with a bathtub TV and all other bedroom amenities were nothing short of perfect.
We headed to the very well equipped gym and spa where we spent best part of 2 hours relaxing and enjoying all the treatment sauna/steam rooms surrounding the hydro-pool and swimming pool. The area was spotlessly clean and complimentary refreshing drinks readily available.
For the evening, we shared reasonably priced drinks served to our table in the courtyard beside the orangery before heading down to the more relaxed environment of the clubhouse for a lovely meal which couldn't be faulted. We then popped into the small but cosy 'spikes' sports bar where we enjoyed some more drinks watching the World Cup on the large TV screen.
After a great evening, we retired to our room and enjoyed some champagne followed by the lovely coffee and hot choc drinks provided in the room.
The bed was extremely comfortable and had it not been for the delicious full English breakfast, served beautifully in the orangery, we'd have struggled to get up. Check-out was a matter of dropping off our room key and a quick goodbye to the lovely staff who made the stay all the better.
Based on the offer we stayed and the upgrade provided, the value for money was great. At normal rate, the price is still justified by the immaculate appearance of the place, the facilities and the attentive, friendly staff.
Thanks for a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Craigy42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

My friend and I have been to lots of Spa's around the North East for special treats over the last couple of years, but I have to say that Rockcliffe tops them all. The staff were all outstanding. Warm, welcoming, helpful and always thinking about the experience from your perspective. The spa facilities were great. Modern, varied, spacious and exceptionally clean. It may seem a little expensive at first but you can get great week day deals and based on the experience that we had, it was well worth the money. The food was also excellent and a great finish to a wonderful evening. We will be saving the pennies to stay over in the hotel next time. Having stayed at the hotel with work previously I know that their accommodation doesn't disappoint.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Thank Tina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

We stayed at Rockliffe Hall for two nights after our wedding for a short break (honeymoon wasn't for another 3 months). It was brilliant. We checked in and were shown to our room, our luggage had already arrived. The room was amazing - massive bed, huge bath with TV, lovely garden view and delicious chocolate truffles! We had dinner in the Orangery which was fantastic and the spa facilities were excellent too.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank sarah_1977043
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

All started well, my wife was thrilled with her 50th birthday present and I was in the good books, we arrived at Rockliffe Hall at 1PM, note the time as this was my first mistake of the day. The lovely Angela greeted us at the door and offered to take our luggage and park the car, I do love 5* hotels and this service was much appreciated.
We were checked in by another member of staff and told that check in was 3PM for the bedroom and the Spa and the room would not be available as we were at the bottom of a queue of guests who had arrived early, a simple offer of trying to get the room ready early would have been more welcomed at this initial meeting. Step in Angela who diffused the situation and offered to see what she could do and suggested we had lunch in the brasserie in the mean time. We ordered a light lunch with a glass of beer and champagne for her ladyship, the look on her face when a glass half empty/half full arrived for £12, this was quickly sent back and filled up. We were told that champagne is measured 125ml, if this is the case put it in a suitable glass.
In comes Angela once again to inform us that the room is ready and we sign for lunch and laugh off our first hour at Rockliffe Hall.
The room is great, all our luggage is waiting and there is also a bottle of champagne and chocolates sent as a birthday gift from our neighbours organised through the hotel as a surprise gift. Off to the Spa we go in our robes and really enjoyed the amenities for a couple of hours and the pleasant staff who offered cooling drinks.
Back to the room and ready to open the champagne and run the bath, the ice had melted so a quick call to reception to order a refreshed bucket only to be told that there would be a charge of £10, my wife can get very angry... I would just like to thank Rockliffe Hall for this kind gesture, the mood in the bedroom was not good. They thought we were drinking our own champagne even though they had delivered it and sent a note with it, the ice arrived with no charge.
Dinner at The Orangery booked for 7.30PM, bar staff fantastic and informed us that we had received another bottle of champagne from my wife's gym buddies, we declined to drink this one so soon after the last one but thanked the guys and ordered a bottle of Chablis. Seated in the dining room we ordered the Signature tasting dish and looked forward to the best the kitchen had to offer for £170 for two. We asked the waitress to inform us of what she was serving on quite a few of the courses, perhaps the chef should share this information with his staff, The food was bland with only the beetroot cured salmon starter worthy of this price, the beef main course was eaten before the horseradish appeared. The bill arrived and we signed as we had done previously in the Brasserie only to be told by the waiter that Hotel Policy was that we had to show our room card to prove we were actually staying at the hotel. This is a 5* hotel, my brand new car was in their possession, the reception desk had swapped emails with me prior to our visit, the staff were aware that this was a celebration meal and had delivered 2 bottles of champagne and greeted us by our surnames. I'm sorry but this was one step too far, the very angry wife stormed out of the dining room shouting at the staff and I was left to go to the bar and be consoled by the friendly bar staff who offered me a free coffee and a chat. I have to say that my £600 spent at this hotel was not value for money.
The Duty Manager was called for and the present Mrs F was found and all my charms were required to calm her down. Our complaints were duly noted and we retired to bed, that bed was comfortable.
The next morning breakfast was served in The Orangery, the food was inedible, cold sausage, tough bacon and mushrooms, how is that possible? The waitress never even asked why I had not eaten the breakfast. I then said to the wife that I had complained enough and could we kindly leave as soon as possible, this is without doubt the worst 5* hotel I have ever stayed in. I actually thought the management had reduced the price of the meal only to find out afterwards that it had knocked off my pre payment.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank Rodinleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014

As a birthday treat family took me for High Tea with Martini and we were told that we were among the first for this new meal/menu. Good choice of martinis and the food was wonderful, my favourite was the beautiful beef wellington, could have cut it with a fork. Nothing was rushed and the staff very friendly especially Sophia. Certainly somewhere to go for a special treat. One day might manage a stay in the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank walnutwonder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rockliffe Hall

Address: Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington DL2 2DU, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Darlington > Hurworth-on-Tees
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hurworth-on-Tees
Price Range: £270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Rockliffe Hall 5*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rockliffe Hall is the only five red star hotel in the North of England. Set on a magnificent 18th century estate on the banks of the River Tees, Rockliffe Hall is a destination in itself. Rockliffe Hall's world-class spa and golf course, well-equipped meeting rooms, three restaurants and sublime service ensure it is the perfect place to escape and relax, to do business, and to create memories that will linger on. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rockliffe Hall Hotel Hurworth-On-Tees
Rockliffe Hall Darlington/Hurworth-On-Tees

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