A recent girly get together took me to the charming country estate that is Seaham Hall. Located on the coastline of Durham this once stately home is now an award winning 5 star hotel nestled in 37 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens.
After enjoying a superb time at Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall (read review here) we then made our way over to the hotel to continue our 5-star experience.
The hotel reception is welcoming and grand in a traditional country estate like way. With a high painted glass ceiling, wrought iron staircase and artefacts such as large vases, old fashioned travel chests, cases and grand wooden chairs you’d be forgiven if you thought you were in a well-travelled eccentric uncle’s stately home.
The large open internal doors presented a view through to the rear outdoor balcony area framed by a big old stone balcony with expansive views of the green woodland below. I am really annoyed with myself but I didn’t venture out here in the dark but I think it would have been beautiful as it was obvious that the lighting had been strategically designed to create such an effect.
Check-in was quick and easy and Chara, the reception manager, showed us the hotel’s dining facilities before taking us to our room where she explained all the features we needed to know. Regular readers will know how much we love our coffee at TLE so we were thrilled to see a coffee machine, great selection of biscuits, snacks and soft drinks. The tea was Jing which apparently is 29 times more expensive than some of the standard teas served in other chains of hotels!! All of this was complimentary and replenished at our desire.
We were then asked if we needed anything pressing (I wish I’d brought my full ironing pile!!) and what time we’d like the garments delivered back to our room. Domestic bliss!!
As I previously mentioned our experience with the Spa team was one of personal touches without being overly familiar and this was to continue at the hotel. Chara was outstanding in her role of reception manager – not only did she provide us with the necessary information to ensure our stay was comfortable she made us feel very special in a highly professional yet very personable way – you instantly warmed to her and she was a real ambassador for the hotel, she didn’t know I was doing the review either so her approach and style was entirely genuine.
Only 20 rooms which are each individually styled but all have the mod cons and spacious lounge area you’d expect from a five star hotel. Although the décor in our room was slightly dated the little touches more than made up for it. Candles, padded coat hangers, umbrellas, the complimentary selection of refreshments (including fresh milk – none of this UHT malarkey!!), beautifully crisp and comfortable bedding, floor to ceiling windows and a rubber duck.
The turn down service was also exceptional. When we returned from dinner all of our Elemis bathroom products had been replenished with a lavender Elemis pillow mist laid out on the pillow and a cute little card informing us the name of our porter, how to contact him should we need him in the morning and the weather forecast for the next day – another personal touch which added that extra layer of class and attention.
Food and Drink
This was to be continued at dinner when we arrived and were introduced by name to our waiter for the evening. He was highly attentive and great fun considering he had 10 girls to put up with. (He even humoured us and wrote a lovely memo in the hen party book of memories!!) We dined in one of the private dining rooms and enjoyed a delicious three course meal and wine from the market menu created by Head Chef Simon Bolsover. As part of our package dinner cost £30 (plus wine) and was great value. The house Sauvignon Blanc we chose was £33. Menu is seasonal with a lot of produce coming from local suppliers.
As we’d enjoyed the use of the private dining facilities by the time we’d finished our meal and a few after dinner drinks we were ready to hit the hay (boring I know!) but the Tattinger Sports Lounge, complete with table football, pool table, black leather seating and customised lighting would have been a fab place to end the evening. However, the Terrace or main Lounge Bar looked equally inviting. I suppose these are all good excuses to visit again!
Breakfast was just as good as dinner, and after a run along the beach (5 mins from the hotel) I had worked up an appetite to do it justice. All dishes were cooked to order and with a great selection of continental and hot breakfast options there is something to suit all tastes. Again the team at breakfast were highly attentive; one of my friends popped to the loo just as her hot breakfast arrived and it was immediately whisked away to be kept warm until she returned. Another example was the fact that I’d arrived all red faced after my run and when I asked if we could have some jugs of water for the table the waitress kindly obliged but brought me a glass of water first as she thought I needed one quickly!!
I know I say this all the time, but it really is the attention to detail that takes an establishment up a notch or two in my opinion. The attention to detail here unequivocally prevailed through the personal service and the friendly people. All of my friends agreed – not one of us had a grumble about anything. We were all made to feel like royalty from the moment we arrived and as such we did not want to leave.
This establishment comes highly recommended and would be equally as suitable for friend’s gatherings, family occasions or a romantic getaway.
I thought the package we had was exceptional value: £305 bed and breakfast (per night based on two sharing) + £45 spa treatment + £30 dinner. Prices do change and there are special offers too so do check their website before booking.
t: 0191 516 1400