Swallow Three Tuns Hotel

, Durham, United Kingdom
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Swallow Three Tuns Hotel

, Durham
3 star

Rooms: 50

New Elvet - Durham - England - DH1 3AQ - United Kingdom Hotel Website | | 44 01913864326
155 Traveller

Reviews - Swallow Three Tuns Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Swallow Three Tuns Hotel

Central hotel, bit tired-looking and overpriced

from jt31
The hotel is not much to look at from the outside, but has a central location ideal for exploring Durham on foot. The car park was empty when we arrived early afternoon, however by evening was packed out and we had to squeeze our car onto a grass verge. Inside the hotel is quite quaint and staff helpful.

The room was a bit tired looking, with wallpaper peeling on the ceiling, creaky floorboards and worn-out chairs. The bathroom was a bit basic, but there was plenty of hot water. The bed was comfy enough and we had a good nights sleep.

Guests here can use the leisure facilities at the Marriott hotel around the corner, which is very nice. The pool is quite small and can get busy, so it's not suitable if you want a proper swim, but is pleasant if you just want a dip/sauna/steam/jacuzzi.

The breakfast was nice enough, with the usual selection of cereals, fruit and pastries, followed by a good cooked breakfast selection.

We paid £85 for a Sunday night stay, and although we enjoyed the trip, I don't think I'd rush back to this hotel.

Shabby, Tired, Overly Hot Hotel

from Bucko3587
I spent one miserable night in a dreadful room in this hotel. Granted it was during the July heatwave, but the staff had thoughtlessly left the curtains open on the room facing directly into the sun, and it was 110 degrees in that room when I checked in. I carried my small fan in with me, since the rude desk clerk had none available, and the only way I got any relief from the heat was to open both the street window and hall door to create some airflow. Nonetheless it was still 100 + farenheit when I finally tried to get some sleep. The bathroom had peeling wallpaper, and the only soap was from liquid soap dispensers over the toilet and in the tub. Naturally, the dispenser in the tub was empty.

Dinner was overpriced with rude waitresses, and the overall condition of the hotel was shabby and in need of major updating.

It was a truly wretched experience!

Great location...shame about the hotel.

from Photopedia
I'm not surprised at the fact that The Three Tuns is well down the TripAdvisor league table for hotels in Durham. We stayed there for a night in late July to attend our son's graduation but the ony positive thing I can comment on is the location of the hotel.

The Three Tuns is drab and shabby and in bad need of a major makeover. The staff look about as tired as the furniture and the breakfast was truly awful.

In need of refurbishment - and cleaning

from Surprised
These days the Three Tuns seems not so much a 'character' hotel as an old-fashioned hotel that's looking rather run-down. My large room was quite comfortable, though some of the walls were scuffed and the carpet had seen better days. The bathroom took me back to around the 1960s: scuffed vinyl floor and cracked handbasin. It was all too obvious that the bathroom had not been cleaned; the liquid soap dispenser in the shower was empty and, horror of horrors, the toilet was in a dreadful state, with no toilet brush even if I wanted to clean it myself. [Thankfully this WAS remedied, at my request, by the time I came back from dinner in Durham.] My room looked out over the busy road. With double glazing this may not be a problem in cool weather but, being a warm night I had to have a window open and it was very, very noisy. I was pleased that I only had to stay in the hotel for one night.

Good value for money!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We got a good last minute deal at this hotel and it was value for money. The hotel is very old and has a lot of character. Rooms were cosy (although too warm) and the location in the centre of Durham is brill.
The breakfast was tasty with plenty to choose from and there is also the added bonus of being able to use the pool facilities at the Marriott (across the road) which are lovely and relaxing.
My only complaint about this hotel is the decoration in the rooms - a little old fashioned.
But all in all, better value than the Travelodge.

Shabby and expensive

from Windalicka
On arriving at the hotel, found there were no parking spaces available, due to a lunch time function. (Just what I needed after being on the road for 5 hours!)
My room was badly in need of re decorating, the wall paper was peeling off and was also next to a noisy door in the corridor, which coupled with the squeaky floor boards made it quite noisy.
The food in the restaurant was good, but the service was VERY slow, and the food was expensive.
Think I'll try somewhere else next time I'm in Durham.

Shabby, In Need of Refurbishment

from Joysey
The hotel is very conveniently located close to the centre of Durham. It was however quite difficult to find, despite printed directions.

First impressions are that the exterior looks shabby and in need of painting. It is also right by the edge of a very busy main road.

Our room was very large - a huge and extremely comfortable double bed and separate area with sofa and chairs. However, although it was clean and comfortable, the decor is much in need of updating. The room was shabby, tired, with old fashioned furniture, worn out carpet and scuffed walls and doors. The bathroom too was old fashioned and very dated.

We ate in the hotel restaurant and found the food to be of a good standard. The restaurant is oak beamed and is very nice. However, the next morning at breakfast our table was a bit grubby, with crumbs on the table and the seats. Also the highchair supplied for our son was grubby, dirty and sticky with dried in ketchup stains all over the table area.

As guests in the hotel you are entitled to use the leisure facilities of the nearby Marriott - we did not have time for this however.

Durham itself is a beautiful city - winding, cobbled streets, lovely river walks and a magnificient cathedral are all highlights.

Overall verdict on the hotel is that although its location is ideal, the whole place could do with redecorating and refurbishment and a lot of smartening up.

Very Tatty Hotel - Saved by Excellent Staff

from A TripAdvisor Member
The first impression you get of the hotel is the outside which is very very shabby. Some of the windowsills are broken, and the paint is very flaked off. The recepetion area and bar areas were quite nice, although the carpets are thread bare in places. The bedroom we stayed in was again very very dated, with peeling wallpaper, a dirty threadbare carpet and a very oldfashioned bathroom. The restaurant was very pleasant, with a superb atmosphere and reasonably priced but good food. The staff at the hotel all deserve medals for their effort and profesionalism. Clearly very overworked, they tried their best to cater for all our needs under what appeared to be difficult circumstances. Reception staff were polite and efficient, the bar staff had good senses of humour and the restaurant staff were amazing. The night we came in for dinner, there were a lot of other people in the restaurant and there were only 2 girls running around frantically! Apparently Swallow tries to keep staff levels low which clearly left the staff looking very tired and overworked. In general, although the hotel itself is shabby and is in urgent need of refurbishment, we would stay there again simply because of the excellent service.

Cosy hotel

from A TripAdvisor Member
What a pleasure to stay in after a fiasco hotel situation in London. Situated within walking distance of restaurants and the university science campus. Fabulous room with king-size bed and 'lounge' area with settee, armchair and ottoman. Combine that with the fridge, kettle and complimentary tea and coffee and it all makes for a very comfortable stay. The room was exceptionally spacious, as was the bathroom with a shower/bath combination. The attached restaurant, Browns, is excellent. Breakfast offers a choice of both continental and cooked options and was good value for money. Definitely worth a visit.

A great little place!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Stayed here on business.
Its on a busy road opposite the university, but road noise was not a problem in the room.
Interesting and unusual decor, by no means distasteful.
Good beer and food.
Strolling distance of Durham center, great location.
Would be happy to take my partner there for a weekend.

If you book, ring for directions first, as its easy to get lost, although the hotel is just off the main road from the A1m into Durham itself.

Wholly recommended.

Top Local Tips for Durham

Beatiful City Excellent location for a city break - so many things to do. Visit the Cathedral, the Castle, the museums, the gardens, the shops, the numerous cafes, bars and restaurants, walk along the beautiful river. A visit to nearby Beamish museum to find out about how life was, is a must !

Good pub for a pre-meal drink The Victoria Pub, just up the road from The Three Tuns, is excellent if you like traditional old fashioned pubs. The pub is Victorian and still retains much of the original decor and layout.

The Cathedral & Castle Don't attempt to drive into the historic centre. There's a congestion charge of £2.00 an dabsolutely no parking! Durham is a walkers' city but most streets are cobbled and so good walking shoes essential.


Other names for Swallow Three Tuns Hotel

  • three tuns hotel durham
  • three tuns durham
  • durham three tuns
  • Address: New Elvet - Durham - England - DH1 3AQ - United Kingdom
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