I recently stayed at the Durham Hotel Indigo and to say it was love at first sight is an understatement. The harsh Victorian exterior hides architectural delights, fabulous friendly service and super cool design features. Take this 1970s style phone for instance …
I thought I’d been transported back to my childhood. This hotel is a joy and if you are visiting Durham in the foreseeable future, I urge you to check it out.
The hotel resides in the former university offices at Old Shire Hall and reminds me of a Victorian high school. As you wander the hallways you will spot brass etchings, colourful marble tiles and stunning stained glass windows. Many of the original features have been retained to create a dramatic but inviting home from home. I encourage you to take the long way back to your room in your hotel as it is sublime.
Check in at the Durham Hotel Indigo
Check in was slick and friendly with the receptionist making polite chit chat. Meanwhile I was busy admiring the eclectic mix of a modern coffee bar, and Victorian design features. I would not resist the aroma of freshly brewed coffee for long!
Durham Hotel Indigo rooms
I absolutely loved the room in the hotel. My room entrance was a narrow corridor with a full-length mirror. Around the corner is the main bedroom area, whilst bathroom is off the hallway. It is spacious and modern with a large rain shower and oversized basin.
There’s plenty of room to dump your toiletries and big fluffy towels to luxuriate in. Bathrobes are in the wardrobe and there’s a coffee maker on the desk (not that I can ever be bothered trying to figure out how they work!)
Tinderbox coffee shop
After exploring my room, I was keen to sample the hotel’s delights. I headed to the coffee bar to sip on a latte and catch up on emails. It’s fresh and colourful with fantastic service. I ordered a snack at the coffee bar and everything was delivered to my table promptly.
The coffee bar closes around 5pm but don’t worry, there’s an elegant bar next door.
I rarely go for a drink in a hotel bar when I’m travelling for work. I could not resist the allure however of the sultry bar, it’s lighting reminiscent of a gentleman’s club. Dark panels decorate the curved bar but if you prefer something a little less masculine you can escape into the colourful little snug to the right of the bar.
You can feast on all day tapas under the ornate domed ceiling which was formerly the city council’s debating room. Or sip on a cocktail and admire the polished wood panelling and crystal chandeliers.
There is a Marco Steakhouse on site serving the usual menu. Sadly I didn’t indulge as I went out for dinner with a pal. I can however highly recommend the Rabbit Hole if you are visiting Durham. It’s a funky take on Asian cuisine and more reminiscent of Alice in wonderland than Asia. Downstairs there is a superb cocktail bar.
Back at the steakhouse, guests can indulge in classical English dishes including steaks and tasty Welsh rarebit or nibble on afternoon tea with Prosecco.
There’s a small gym on site but if you enjoy running, the path along the nearby river makes for a great outdoor run.
Parking costs £15 a night and is to the rear of the hotel.
My favourite thing about this hotel is the architecture. I found myself wandering the corridors, marvelling at the mixture of old and new. I loved how original features had been restored and paired with modern furnishings and room facilities.
That said, everything else was also of a high standard with good service and a genteel atmosphere. I would highly recommend this hotel. Book the Durham Hotel Indigo through hotels.com to earn one free reward night for every ten stayed.