My husband and I visited the Aston (Holiday Inn) Darlington 5th-7th March for our wedding anniversary. We had one of the refurbished rooms and it was fab. Large bed, with choice of soft and firm pillows, with the offer to change them at reception if you wanted. We slept very well and there was no traffic noise from outside.
The room was nicely decorated and the very clean, as was the bathroom. There was no bath, but a very large shower which even had a seat in it! Very hot water and excellent shower pressure.
We stayed on the Beamish deal, which gave us 2 tickets to the Beamish Museum and a meal on the first night. The staff were totally happy to change the meal to our second night, at our request, as that was the day of our anniversary.
The staff are very pleasant and friendly, as are most people "up North!"
Our meal was lovely, I had the lamb and hubby had the steak. The only thing I did think was a bit off, was the £4.50 surcharge for the steak. If my memory serves me correctly, my meal at menu price cost £15.95, the steak was £17.50 a difference of £1.55, so why such a high surcharge? Naughty.
As if the surcharge wasn't high enough, it had gone through the till at £7.70. But the receptionist sorted this on check out when I pointed this out. So make sure you check your bills.
The only thing - apart from the surcharge - they need to sort out, is the breakfast. There was plenty to choose from, cooked breakfast, juice, pain au chocolate, muffins, cereal etc. The issue was the cooked breakfast, it is kept on hot plates, but was tepid at best, BOTH mornings. Breakfast is served until 11 am and we had breakfast about 9.30, so not last minute. It's a shame as there was plenty of choice and it was all nice, except I would normally eat hash browns, but couldn't face them as they looked anaemic.
The hotel lounge areas are lovely, very well decorated. There are some games you can play, cheaper versions of Ludo, Connect 4, Guess Who and Mr.Pop. We played them all except the Ludo and were obviously the first to do so as we had to unseal boxes and stick the stickers on. After 4 Desperados for me and a couple of pints for hubby it was quite funny, trying to get the stickers on straight - we did our best!
We did ask for nuts at the bar, but they don't sell them, but if I had been that desperate I could have popped to the garage.
When you are inside you can forget you're next to a main road and a garage etc, it's so nice inside that I would recommend it for a romantic break, as well as any other break.
Would definitely go back : )
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