Radisson Blu Durham is celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary this month. I attended their anniversary – or can we call it a birthday(?) – party at the start of the month. It was a fun night, with some great canapes, a glass or two of Pinotage, caricatures, a magician and even the Mayor was there.
We returned this week to stay at the hotel and have a little break in the centre of Durham. Whilst I was there I picked up on the customer service, the feel of the hotel and today I’m sharing 10 things I think you’ll love about Radisson Blu Durham if you stay (and you should).
[ad] Our stay at Radisson Blu Durham was complimentary with breakfast included. All thoughts are my own.
1. Check in from 2pm – and it’s so easy!
Being able to check in from 2pm is great as you have the whole afternoon to use the spa and gym facilities before heading off for dinner. Or you could use that time to to have a walk along the river – which is especially pretty during late Autumn.
The staff on reception are so friendly and helpful too, making the check in process very quick and easy. If you need any assistance you can always pop to reception, or call from your room and maps of the city are available if you’re new to the area.
Checking out was equally quick and fuss-free. Handing over the key cards, we were wished a safe journey home.
2. The beds!
We stayed in a Premium room and our bed was huge. The bedding was soft and I could’ve stayed snuggled in that duvet all morning. The blackout curtains really help you get a great sleep, so make sure you set an alarm if you do need to be up early the next morning.
3. The view
Our room was at the front of the hotel, so we had a view across the river and into the city. With a prime view of the cathedral and the sunset when we checked in, which was really impressive. The next morning it was a little foggy, so you couldn’t quite see the cathedral, but it was still pretty atmospheric.
Even if you don’t have the view from the room, you can see across to the cathedral from Collage, the bar/restaurant in the hotel.
4. Robes in the room
It’s such a simple touch, but any time I have a robe in the room I can’t wait to get cosy in it with a cuppa. I’ll admit though, I don’t own a dressing gown at home, so it must just be a hotel treat.
There were slippers too, but we didn’t go that far. I was content sitting in the window with my Nespresso, in a soft cosy robe.
5. Being in the heart of Durham
The location of Radisson Blu Durham is great. You’re only a few minutes walk from some great bars and restaurants – though it would be rude not to have a drink at Collage, the hotel bar, right?!
Plus the Millburngate development that’s happening next door is going to bring more exciting places that will be right on your doorstep.
6. Straighteners in the spa changing rooms
Quite often when I travel, I don’t take straighteners with me – more often than not I don’t take my hair curlers either. I rely on the hotel room having a hairdryer (they do at Radisson Blu) and if that’s not the case them I improvise (french braids overnight give you some decent waves – though it can sometimes be borderline Monica in Barbados)
In Limehouse Spa at Radisson Blu, they not only have hairdryers in the changing rooms by the pool facilities, but there’s straighteners too and they’re pretty good. So whether you’re having a quick steam and sauna before heading to dinner, or you’re making the most of the facilities before you leave, you can quickly straighten (or curl – if you’re skilled and can curl with straighteners) your hair before you leave.
This might seem like it’s quite far down the list, but in honesty I’m not ranking these as a ‘top 10’ reasons why you should visit, as I think this point about breakfast is just as valid as the little extras in the room, the view and the cosy beds.
So breakfast; the most important meal of the day. Served from 6:30am for you early birds, until 10:30am (during the week, times may change a little on the weekend) in Collage, you may be lucky to get a table by the window and you can appreciate the riverside view.
You can help yourself to a continental buffet and hot breakfast (there’s hash browns too, always a good sign!) and, if something from their specials menu takes your fancy, you can order that too – so if you fancy scrambled eggs, or salmon on a toasted muffin then you absolutely can. Nothing is too much to ask and they’ll certainly keep your coffee mug topped up.
8. The little extras in the room (read: coffee)
The little extras in the room always make or break a stay for me. Yes you may just be using the room as a place to lay your head if you’re out exploring all day, but if it’s more of a staycation break like what we had, I look for those little touches.
With a plate of cakes and sweet treats waiting for us in the room, I knew we’d be off to a good start! From the usb charging port and option to connect your phone to play music in the room, to a pre-threaded sewing kit. They’ve thought about the little extra touches you could ask for. Though admittedly, I didn’t need to use the sewing kit, it was nice to know it was there!
Perhaps my favourite feature in the room, aside from the robe, was the Nespresso machine and the option of a decaff pod too. I really enjoyed sitting in the morning looking out at the view, with my Nespresso in hand. Yes it’s a simple thing I do often at home, but I don’t get the same autumnal river view to look at.
9. You can use the spa until noon the next day
You’re welcome to use the Limehouse Spa and Pace gym facilities from the moment you check in, but you can also use the facilities until noon on the day you check out. So if it’s a grey day (like it was when we stayed) have some time to relax in the steam room and jacuzzi before you head home. And remember what I said about the straighteners… you’ve got no excuse not to go for a dip in the pool now!
10. The key cards
It’s another little touch, but it makes it feel more personal and friendly. Each key card has an illustration of the hotel on it, and having stayed in a quite a few hotels recently, these things don’t usually stand out – as typically they’re pretty plain, one block colour with a logo. But it’s the attention to detail with Radisson Blu Durham that makes you feel like a welcome guest, not just another person walking through their doors.
There we go, 10 things you’ll love about Radisson Blu Durham. It’s definitely a hotel I’d recommend you stay at if you’re visiting Durham – whether it’s for the Lumiere next November (nothing wrong with thinking ahead) or you’re looking for a relaxing city break. Let me know if you’d like to see a post about my top things to do/places to visit around Durham – that might be fun to write!