My first review – Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham, UK

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankland Lane, Durham, DH1 5TA

This is my first ever review, I hope it is useful, but any comments to help me improve my reviews are welcome. Never having been to Durham before, I choose this hotel because of its central location and my experience of other Radisson Blu hotels. So how did this hotel compare and would I stay here again?

The hotel was easy to find on the banks of the river Wear and there were plenty of car parking spaces in the hotels (chargeable) car park. Walking through into the main foyer and reception area gave me my first impression of this hotel. Light, spacious, clean and friendly instantly sprang to mind. Next to the reception were tourist information leaflets, newspapers and jugs of iced water flavoured with different fruits. 

The staff were very welcoming, found my reservation quickly and upgraded my room to a superior room overlooking the river – now that was great customer service. The staff booked my car in, checked my paper requirements for the following morning and checked if there was anything else they could do to make my stay a pleasant one. The health club and spa looked very nice, but not something I was able to experience on this trip.

My room was great but nothing more than I expected. It was clean and had all the amenities you would want – toiletries, robes, slippers, tea and coffee tray, and complimentary bottled water. There were a good selection of channels on the TV and a room safe was available if needed. The room had its own air conditioning but for those of you who like fresh air, you could also open the windows. What I did notice about the room was it appeared to be well soundproofed. I didn’t hear other guests in their rooms, slamming doors, people in the corridor etc that I can in some hotels. This aided a very peaceful nights sleep and a comfortable bed with feather pillows (these could be changed if you were allergic). 

My only experience of the restaurant was at breakfast. It was a buffet breakfast, but other items were available to order freshly cooked I.e. Scrambled eggs, omelette etc. There was a very good selection of cold ham and cheese, cereals, pastries and hot food. A variety of teas was also available for you to help yourself to, but coffee was just coffee and was brought to the table. My only two criticisms at what otherwise was an excellent buffet was some of the hot items were not as hot as they should have been and secondly was the self service toast maker. Now it maybe just me, but the last thing I really want to do at breakfast is stand by a toaster and make my own toast on a machine that doesn’t always toast on both sides. If you step away from the toaster for a moment you risk your toast being swiped by another guest. It just doesn’t add to improve the breakfast experience for me. 

Overall, would I stay here again, yes I think I would. The location, room and the staff more than made up for the minor criticisms at breakfast. I do wish however that the hotel provided free car parking. 

5 things I liked about this hotel:

  • Free wifi – available across the hotel and very good speeds
  • The staff – just brilliant and know how to look after their guests
  • Location – excellent location, on the river a few minutes walk from the town centre 
  • Room rate – I thought the hotel was good value
  • Room service – a nice room service menu

3 things I didn’t like about this hotel:

  • Charges made for the car parking – if a hotel has its own car parking facility, in my view it should be free to guests. 
  • The self service toast machine
  • Some of the cooked breakfast items were not as hot as they should have been.

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