22 January 2018

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel (REVIEW)

***REVIEW***
Earlier this month we took advantage of the boys' school holidays and stayed mid-week in Durham, to take up an invitation to stay at the four-star Radisson Blu Hotel in a family room.  So if you are looking for vacation or staycation ideas this year, read on to see what we thought...

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

A Family Staycation

A few years ago I wouldn't really have considered staying in a hotel close to home. Then the boys came along and we've managed a few nights away without the boys in hotels in and around North East England on a cheap weekend getaway or midweek deal.

Now the boys are older we've started having the odd night or two away in a hotel as a family, but choosing to stay close to home - it saves on the time and cost of travelling too! And we've been able to enjoy a family staycation a few times now when we've revisited our home cities as tourists.



Radisson Blu Hotel Durham City


Durham is a historic and Unversity city in North East England, just south of Newcastle upon Tyne. In the city the River Wear loops around the Romanesque Durham Cathedral and Norman Durham Castle which together form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Radisson Blu in Durham is just a short walk from Durham Castle and Cathedral. This hotel offers premium lodging in the heart of the city. After a day exploring the cathedral and charming marketplace, you can retreat to your cosy room. Each of the 207 bedrooms and suites offers contemporary design and stylish d├ęcor. No matter which style or room type you choose, all rooms come with flatscreen TVs and high-end toiletries.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

Location


The hotel is located on Frankland Lane in Durham. It's very close to the train station if you are travelling by train (less than 3 hours from London) and next to an area of the city currently being redeveloped. Once completed the hotel will have more bars, restaurants and a cinema on its doorstep.

It already has the Walkergate complex just across the river with a number of bars, restaurants, library and a theatre too. It's also just a 10-minute walk from the marketplace in Durham and 15 mins from the WHS of Durham Cathedral & Castle. More of all that later.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel


We arrived in Durham by car and easily found a parking space in the hotel car park, which is directly behind the hotel. There is space for 130 cars and costs £8 per night. The Hotel Receptionist was warm, friendly and very informative fully explaining breakfast and also the leisure facilities. We then took the lift to the first floor and to our room.

Family Rooms


Our room was a family room with one large king size bed and a sofa bed made up as two single beds. They are not separate but the room is very spacious, with plenty of empty floor space, definitely not cramped. There was also a bathroom with a shower over the bath. The wardrobe and tea and coffee facilities were to the left as you enter the room, away from the main area, leaving plenty of room for luggage etc.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

The family rooms are approximately 38 sqm. The maximum number of guests is 2 adults and 2 children. These large rooms offer an optional sofa bed, rollaway bed or interconnecting room along with superb amenities including 40-inch LED flat screen TV, Coffee and tea provisions (including hot chocolate and biscuits), free high-speed, wifi, individual climate control and a laptop-size safe.

The boys also received Global Explorers Kids Packs and they always love finding the notepads and pens in hotel rooms too. Luckily there were two!

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel


Some rooms overlook the river however our view was of the car park and if you looked up you could see trains passing through Durham train station.

After a cup of tea, while the boys sorted out who was sleeping where, and how many TV channels there were, the wifi for their tablets, of course (there is free wifi), we decided to go for a swim.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel


Leisure Facilities


The Radisson Blu in Durham has a 15m swimming pool with jacuzzi, and also a sauna and steam room. The jacuzzi, sauna and steam room can only be used by over 16s but that didn't stop the boys from loving the swimming pool. They love swimming and in fact, on a one night stay, we used the leisure facilities both days. Children are allowed to use the pool at all times except between 7pm and 10pm Tues-Thurs.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

There is a Pace Health Club & Lime House Spa. We did not use the gym or the spa but you can book treatments - they specialise in spa days, massage and facials.

There are both hair dryers and straighteners in the changing rooms - you do need a one pound coin for the lockers but this is refunded after use. The very helpful staff even lent me  £1 coin as I'd left all my valuables in the hotel room.

Dining Options


Once I'd gotten the boys out of the pool, we had a quick change and headed out into Durham for food. Me and hubby had eaten in The Collage restaurant before (it was very good), it does also have a children's menu and you can also order pizzas to your room as well as a full room service menu which includes a children's menu for £7.95, but on this occasion we thought we'd head across the river to see what Walkergate had to offer.

There are a number of bar and restaurant chains including Nandos, Ask Italian, Chiquitos, Fat Buddha, a champagne bar and a JD Wetherspoons. The boys fancied burgers so we headed to The Bishop Mill, where we were also surprised to find a selection of vegan dishes too.

At about nine o'clock we headed back to the hotel. It was raining pretty hard now so we were glad we'd not ventured to far. A cup of tea, a hot chocolate and a few books later and we were all asleep.

Bed & Breakfast


The boys woke as ever bright and early. Amazingly we had all totally slept through Storm Eleanor as it had lashed the UK with violent storm-force winds of up to 100mph - we just didn't hear it at all - although after checking on Facebook we saw plenty of other people in their homes had had a sleepless night.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

And after as much of a lie-in as we could persuade them to have we headed down to breakfast. Having stayed here before the boys knew what was coming and were very excited. They always remember the food, no matter where we go. And they had fond memories of the breakfast at Radisson and I'm pleased to say they weren't disappointed. And neither were we.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

The breakfast at this hotel remains one of my favourites across the world! There is an abundance of fresh fruit, a choice of dairy and non-dairy milk, cereals, seeds, nuts, fruit juices, to accompany a continental or full English breakfast.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel


There is an additional cooked to order breakfast menu too. And from this, we chose the salmon and poached egg muffin and the avocado and tomato muffin.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel


Both were really tasty. Filling, but not too filling that we couldn't manage a chocolate mini muffin and some watermelon.

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel


And then we headed back to the swimming pool. The boys love swimming! Before checking our at 12 noon and heading out into Durham and enjoying a circular Riverside Walk before driving home.


A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

What to do in Durham?


Located right next to the Radisson is Crook Hall & Gardens and as well as the Castle & Cathedral, which has a great Open Treasure exhibition which my boys loved, Durham also has museums, theatres and shopping centres. Within half an hours drive of Durham City, you can also enjoy a trip to the award-winning Hall Hill Farm, Beamish Museum, Auckland Castle, Durham Heritage Coast, Locomotion and the Angel of the North which turns 20 this year!

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel


Durham is also just 10 minutes from Newcastle which has been named as THE place to visit in 2018 by Rough Guides. Newcastle will also be hosting the Great Exhibition of the North this year between June and September. The biggest event to happen in the UK this year and a family-friendly event just 10 minutes on the train from the Radisson Hotel.

Family Staycation


The Radisson Blu in Durham is in an excellent location and has great facilities. Our TV had kept turning itself off but this was a hotel-wide issue we discovered, because of the storm and we also reported a loose fitting toilet seat so they could make sure it could be fixed before the next guests arrived in that room.

At Radisson Blu Hotels, including Durham, kids can stay and eat for FREE! Children 16 and under stay for free and under 12's eat breakfast and/or dinner free when staying at the hotel and are accompanied by at least 1 parent purchasing breakfast and or dinner at the hotel.

For a family of four including the breakfast for everyone and access to the pool, would have cost approximately £140. All in all, it was a great place to enjoy a family staycation in North East England.

Have you been to Durham?

Deb x

Disclosure: We received a complimentary stay for a family of four on a B&B basis in return for an honest review. All other expenses were paid for by ourselves.


To be kept up to date with events, new openings, recipes, things to do and child-friendly places to take the kids, plus giveaways then follow My Boys Club on FacebookInstagram or Twitter too. 

Or why not pin this post on Pinterest?



A Family Staycation in Durham,North East England at Radisson Blu Hotel

16 comments:

  1. This is so interesting to read. I've never been to Durham, but my daughter has just been offered a place at the University so we could well be spending quite a bit of time there if it all works out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Its a lovely place and well done to your daughter hope she enjoys it if she heads to Durham x

      Delete
  2. The room looks great, along with the food and the facilities. It sounds like the hotel is in a really good location close to attractions and transport. Would love a stay here - looks fun and relaxing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My daughter loves staying at hotels and this looks perfect! We usually go with my husband when he has a meeting over the weekend and it becomes like a mini-holiday for us :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have never been to Durham before but I would like to. Especially if you are able to stay in hotels like the raddison blu, the swimming pool looks incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This hotel is in all the wedding magazine I buy (mainly NE based ones) and it looks lovely. We love having family staycations close to home too, especially with the little two x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looks like a fab place to stay. Do they do a family room that sleeps 5?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I do love Radisson Blu hotels and this one looks really lovely, I would definitely love to check their restaurant for sure. The room looks really large too

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh god, give me a room with a view and a hotel next to some water & I am a happy gal! I love the look of this place! I hope that you had an amazing time during your stay!



    www.nmdiaries.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great place, it looks great for families. We are a family of 5, do they have a additional bed in that room as you could easily fit another roll out single in there. Great room size

    ReplyDelete
  10. We have never visited Durham it looks lovely, and there are some great attractions to visit! The raddison blu looks an ideal place to stay - that swimming pool looks gorgeous x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, what a great place to stay as a family. I love the look of a gorgeous fresh breakfast like that. I can see why it was a favourite. And the rooms are so spacious and the little packs they gave are really sweet! :) x

    ReplyDelete
  12. We've heard a lot of good things about Durham, I only visited once briefly for work but probably time to return for a leisure trip. Hotel clearly does the job well.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Stays close to home can be a real eye opener. We've had some wonderful experiences and discovered places on our doorstep that we didn't know were there. The Global Explorers Kids Packs and breakfast at the Radisson Blu caught my eye - great idea and yummy! Thanks for sharing on #MondayEscapes

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks like a good place to stay for my kind of family. The rooms are spacious.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The kids packs look a great idea. And I love splashing out and staying somewhere with a pool as it means you have some easy entertainment right on site. #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

    ReplyDelete