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“Great Location, Gym and Food”

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Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County
Ranked #9 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Reviewed 25 July 2017

This hotel is a combination of an old hotel with new buildings towards the river. It is just across the bridge below the town and Cathedral in Durham so its location is excellent. The rooms are good, the breakfast is the classic English full breakfast, there is onsite parking (wonderful) and also a very good gym. It is comfortable, stylish and now owned by the Marriott Group after an interesting history. It has the "Royal" in its name apparently because the Prince of Wales, Queen Victoria's eldest son, called in and/or stayed at some time before he became King Edward VII. I am told that the Labour Party still has an annual meet every election with the leader standing on the first floor balcony to champion his cause. The only "downside" was the pool which was a strange shape and difficult for doing laps especially as they had a swimming lesson for young children in the longest part of the pool.

Room Tip: The more expensive rooms have views over the river.
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  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Rosemary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 July 2017 via mobile

As a newly appointed manager on my first work trip with my team (me and another a coeliac) I have never had a better experience at a hotel. Charlotte was absolutely amazing! She went out of her way to quiz the chefs on our dietary requirements and we were both safe. No reactions! 100% gluten free... 100% great atmosphere and 100% lovely approachable staff and nothing was too much. They are far too modest! We will definitely come back next year and we 100% recommend. The rooms are really clean and comfortable too. Absolutely no issues, it was a perfect experience.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled on business
Thank KayGCN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurhamMarriottRoyal, Manager at Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2017

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience - we certainly hope to welcome you back next year and look forward to being of service to you.
Warm regards
The Management Team

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Reviewed 24 July 2017

Difficult to give an overall classification here, so let’s just list positives and negatives. Firstly, the positives:
-- Easily accessed location: SatNav took us straight there after leaving the A1(M);
-- Excellent walking access to the centre of Durham;
-- Reasonably sized car park, though slightly reminiscent of a can of sardines;
-- Efficient check-in;
-- Two welcome glasses of wine at reception, with canapes (but this may not always apply!);
-- Good décor;
-- Nicely planned swimming pool, with sauna etc.;
-- Efficient service and table-clearing at breakfast;
-- Good self-service buffet options at breakfast;
-- Generously-sized double room and bathroom;
-- Pleasant river view from the riverside rooms;
-- Generously sized bath towels.

But now for the negative:
The overwhelmingly important downside was the high temperature in our room, which could not be adjusted. We were given a riverside room (numbers in the range 159-167 if I remember correctly). The high temperature was apparent as soon as we entered the room, but we assumed – foolishly – that it could quickly be adjusted.
Despite having a thermostat on the wall, the room (as, I suspect, with others on that wing) did not have air conditioning. The thermostat could apparently be used to control heating, but not cooling. We tried opening the windows, but a safety chain restricted the opening aperture, so that was of limited use.
The problem was seemingly well-known to staff. When we phoned Reception, they asked if we had switched on the two cooling towers provided in the room – we had. They then suggested that we lift them off the floor and place them at a higher lever – the desk or table perhaps. So we did. But, really, should Marriott guests be expected to experiment with the placing of large cooling devices in their room simply to try to get a sensible ambient temperature? We were in Durham to relax … not take part in some kind of work-experience exercise. Sleeping was difficult.
One might understand the problem if it were high Summer, but the external daytime temperature had barely reached 19C, so it wasn’t as if the system was labouring under unusual conditions. Other guests obviously had the same problem too. We overheard a lady complaining about it to Reception staff, asking for a change of room – only to be told that the hotel was very full, and no suitable alternative was available.
When we checked out, we raised the issue with the receptionist. She nodded in recognition, commenting that “those rooms” did seem to retain heat, and she suggested it might be something to do with their location above the health suite. Well, perhaps so. It certainly obviated any need to visit the sauna – our room was itself a sauna. Even the corridor was hot.
Over the years, we’ve stayed in many hotels in the UK and around the world, including Marriott hotels. We’ve never had a room – even in the Tropics – where the temperature was so ridiculously high. Luckily, we were only staying two nights. Had we needed to be in Durham longer, we would have checked out of the hotel and sought accommodation elsewhere. But for two nights, it was just – just – tolerable.
Given that this is a known problem for certain rooms, hotel management needs to implement a solution. As it currently stands, it’s unfair to guests.

Room Tip: We had temperaure problems with our Riverside room
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  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank PJandSJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurhamMarriottRoyal, Manager at Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2017

Thank you for your review. We're sorry that you found the Riverside wing of the hotel an uncomfortable temperature. These rooms do not currently have air conditioning, however installation will be included in any future room refurbishment plans. It was great to read that other aspects of your stay did meet your expectations and hopefully you might consider returning in the near future where we look forward to improving your experience.
Warm regards
The Management Team

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Reviewed 23 July 2017 via mobile

Hotel has great location at bottom of high street area. However having stayed in number of Marriott hotels over the years I must sadly admit that the heat and lack of ventilation in the riverside rooms was simply awful. Unable to open window more than a few inches ( I understand why but does not help that no fresh air can access rooms) and small fan did nothing to ease stuffy air less room and corridors. Shame as staff in bar and reception were very good spoilt by need to seriously upgrade air conditioning....would not recommend rooms in this side of hotel I am afraid.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank carpyboy13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurhamMarriottRoyal, Manager at Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2017

Thank you for your review. We're sorry your stay on this occasion did not meet your expectations and hope to improve your experience the next time your travels bring you back to Durham.
Warm regards
The Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2017

First let me set the stage. It was hot (28C or 82F) when we stayed at this hotel. The hotel was fully booked with hot air balloonists and bicycle racers. These are not excuses. When we checked in, our room was stifling hot. The AC wasn’t working in our room or several other rooms in that wing. The windows in the room had rotted frames, were limited to 4” opening, and were painted shut anyway. The hotel staff told us at first that they couldn’t make other accommodations for us since the hotel was fully booked. We started looking for another hotel on line, but they finally moved us to a room with a queen bed and a (hopefully) working AC. It took the AC a long time to cool the room, and again the windows were limited to the 4” opening. The room had only a queen bed instead of the king bed we reserved, but we were too tired to make a fuss. We had dinner at the hotel since it was raining. I had Caesar salad with tough beef and a glass of wine, and my spouse had a burger and chips with a pint of Guinness, total £53.78 including a 12.5% gratuity which they added for a party of two. Service was average, food was average, price was too high. A bottle of still water was £3.75.

We also had two breakfasts at the hotel at £10 per person per day. It was all buffet, and the food was average. It was very crowded and noisy. We had to flag down servers for more coffee more than once. Several staff seemed to be just wandering around.

We were not the only guests with issues. People who were staying in the annex with rooms on the floor above the swimming pool complained that their AC could not overcome the heat coming from the pool.

The Marriott has maintenance issues: AC, rotted window frames, windows painted shut, etc. Staff service attitudes were uneven. Some staff were very good, some not so good. The CEO of Marriott needs to visit this hotel incognito, or have one of his/her minions do it. This place is not up to what Marriott likes to claim are their standards.

Stayed: May 2017
2  Thank hummernator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurhamMarriottRoyal, Manager at Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2017

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County with us. We sincerely apologise for the issues you incurred during your recent stay with us. Your comments and feedback have been passed to the relevant departments to isolate these issues moving forward.

We hope you will consider Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County on your next visit to Durham, England so that we can better deliver upon the guest experience you deserve.

Warm regards,
The Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County

Address: Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3JN, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Durham
#4 Luxury Hotel in Durham
#8 Business Hotel in Durham
Price Range: $108 - $277 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of the historic city of Durham, this hotel – part of which dates back to circa 1630 – boasts views of Durham Cathedral and Castle and is situated on the banks of the River Wear. The Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County is ideally located within this University city, a short walk away from the world famous Cathedral and Castle. Through Durham’s cobbled streets, explore this unique city’s blend of old and new with shops, bars and restaurants to suit all. No 59 Old Elvet restaurant serves a full buffet breakfast with a choice of a la carte options, along with dinner, featuring Chef’s unique signature dishes. Afternoon Tea is served daily and a glass of Champagne can be added for an extra special touch. Later in the day choose from an extensive range of classic and contemporary cocktails in The Brew Bar. Alternatively our Starbucks store, situated on the ground floor of the hotel, serves a wide variety of teas, coffees, sandwiches and pastries throughout the day. Relax with a visit to the hotel’s leisure centre, complete with indoor swimming pool, gym, spa bath, sauna and steam room. The hotel is also ideally located for exploring the north east and its surrounding areas. Just 15 miles (24 km) from the centre of Newcastle and 11 miles (18 km) from Sunderland. Other local attractions include: Beamish – The Living Museum of the North, The Bowes Museum, High Force Waterfall and Durham Adventure Valley to name but a few. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Durham
Durham Marriott

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