I stayed at the Hall Garth with a couple of colleagues March 2014 which was pre booked for us by our company secretary, as such we had no idea what to expect.
We all found the hotel difficult to find as its off the main road about,half a mile down a country lane, all our sat navs told us we had arrived but we were not a the hotel, the hotel is situated down a country lane and sign posting is very poor, especially on a dark, wet night when you have no idea were your going.
Receptionist was really friendly, polite and professional and told me that unlike my colleagues I was not in the main hotel but in the stables.
I had room 18 which was ok, a reasonable size but felt very tired.
All the usual pet hates for me were to be found here!, it was cold, the sealant round the bath was black with mould and there was a wooden roof beam in the shower which I hit my head on when fumbling around with wet hair looking for the towel rail.
Bed was old and tired, pillows flat and tired, but the worst thing was my radiator which at 6.15am decided to do an impersonation of a trumpet for 20 minutes, alas despite the noise it never warmed up.
The bar in the stables was fine but again it was freezing cold, we decided to dine in the hotel restaurant which we were told was fine dinng.
We found service here to be poor and found the Maitre D to be rude, we all ordered fish cakes to start which were very nice but arrived on a stone cold plate and were the size of a couple of golf balls with some water cress as garnish. We ordered the slab beef which we were told came with no choice of how we preferred it cooked, rare, med rare etc. the reason we were given no choice was that it was oven cooked, my suspicion is that it was pre prepared and heated to order.
The beef arrived with a couple of carrots and a parsnip again on a cold plate, as we were a little surprised by the portion size we tried to order a bowl of chips but were told this wasn't possible as the restaurant was fine dining and that we would probably been more suited to the bar menu in the stables bar, as I said we found the Maitre D rude.
I tried to order a glass of Malbec from the wine menu which the waiter informed me they didn't do, I pointed it out to him on the menu he then informed me it was only available by the bottle, I then agreed to buy a bottle only to be told 10 minutes later that they didn't have any, seems the fine dining doesn't extend to the wine cellar.
We all had the sticky toffee pudding for desert, my colleague asked for It with custard, again we were told this would no be possible as it was cooked with the creme, again our suspicion was that it was pre prepared and heated to order.
The bill for the 3 courses x 3 came to £120, at least they got this bit of the fine dining experience right.
To be fair we enjoyed breakfast the following morning in the conservatory overlooking the golf course, which on a sunny spring morning was a real treat, and the sunshine succeeded in warming up the restaurant were the portable fan heaters had failed the previous evening.
We had the full English which was excellent all though a little pricy at £12.50 and not included in the room rate, we also had a problem in that my colleague is allergic to tomato as such he asked for this not to be included as it could make him very ill, unfortunately it as on his plate when it arrived, but to be fair they cooked him another breakfast excluding the tomato.
My colleagues both said the rooms in the main hotel were very nice, so maybe just avoid the rooms in stables, the restaurant however we all found pretentious, over priced and distinctly average, much better value to be found in Darlington centre which is only 3 or 4 miles away.
5/10 not all that!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Attractive Georgian Country House with original portions dating from 1540, set in 69 acres of park & woodlands. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hall Garth Golf And Country Club Hotel Darlington
- Hall Garth Hotel And Country