More about Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa
Two days of bliss!!!!
We arrived in August to find two brand new Rollers sitting outside the hotel! Great welcome and we were shown to the room by the friendliest porter I have ever met.
Spa wonderful, very relaxing.
Food in Spa restuarant was lovely!
Room was very well kept and breakfast in bed each day was a real treat.
Seaham Hall is on our list of "we must return here someday soon".
Fabulous spa and retreat
We found Seaham Hall to be of the highest standard of boutique hotel: superb friendly service, a top end luxurious spa complete with Zen room, outdoor jacussi and beautifully spacious treatment rooms finished in teak and raw silk hangings. We were in room 11 - a hip suite. It was very spacious and comfortable with a big squashy sofa infront of a fake-real fire, which was lit when we arrived. From the window, you could just see the sea. Bathroom was huge with free- standing bath, a fire place but no fire. Treatments were great - even the indian head massge had a healing as well as a relaxing quality. My only hesitation would be the cost of the food: overpriced at £135 for dinner for two including modest wine. As is often the case vegetarian dishes repetitive in their ingredients. Don't forget to get down to the (shingle beach), only 5 minutes away.
From strength to strength
We have just enjoyed our third visit here in five years and we were so delighted to find that the hotel retains all the great qualities that make it so special and keep us coming back – impeccable service, excellent food and a truly luxurious spa - but now at even better value for money.
For our latest visit we took advantage of the £99 per person per night deal. This price included two facials at the spa (I can definitely recommend the Karen Herzog chocolate facial if you can successfully resist the overwhelming urge to taste all the products!) and notably it was also the first time where a full english breakfast has been included within the rate.
The service at Seaham Hall certainly remains as sharp as ever and the young team seem to be growing in confidence. The food was fantastic and on the second evening of our stay we had a superb dinner in the White Room. As a vegetarian, I often feel rather like a second-class citizen in some fine dining restaurants (I have survived the mean restaurants of Paris!), however, the White Room never fails to impress with their genuine desire to satisfy. I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the menu but the team were more than willing to accommodate my tastes and dietary requirements and they delivered a truly fantastic meal. We had a great evening due in no small part to the care and attentiveness of the Maitre D’, which is second to none.
The only niggle I have regards the technology in the rooms. I’m no technophobe but the hi-tech gadgetry can be a little intimidating (although it would probably pose no problem for the average 7yr old today!). After a little instruction and some familiarisation, however, I think we may have mastered it!
All in all, the £99 rate offers tremendous value for money (which even extended to a very welcome cup of tea on our arrival!). Indeed, we have decided that our new-found technological adeptness should not go to waste and we are hoping to make a forth visit to Seaham before the summer is out! (Any excuse!)
Whos got your car keys!
I had been looking forward to staying at Seaham Hall for some time.. I was attending a friends civil partnership ceremony and had decided it would be a lovely treat to stay over. ( Although I would have thought that wedding guests would have got a preferential rate as so much money was being spent on the event!)
On arriving at 12.15 (ceremony was at 1) I asked if I could check in just so that I could charge drinks to my room ( no room in those little posh handbags for a purse) was then told my room was ready, even though when I had phoned and asked if I would be able to get into my room early so that I could change and get ready andI was told that "check in is after 3!".... Anyway a very nice gentleman showed me to my room ( N0 5, which was beautiful and had stunning views) and gave me a short course on turning the lights on and off and also the tv system! ( Bit complicated, but did master it eventually)...
Ceremony went off very well, all the staff were very pleasant and helpful, the food was delicous too...
Things went down hill sometime during the night... Several of us had continued to celebrate the happy day back in one of our rooms once the function had finished.. On going to bed at some unearthly hour ( 4am ish!) I fancied one last cigarette before climbing into the fantastically comfortable bed.. I discovered I I had none left but remembered that I had another packet in the car, but on looking for my car keys I realised that reception still had them from when they brought my bags in. Off I went to reception to ask for my keys, not a sole about.. wandered into a few rooms and down a couple of corridors , but no one to be found! I then saw the key cupboard behind reception so just went and helped myself to my keys.. now I'm not sure if there were anyone elses keys there, but had there been I couuld have easily just helped myself to them! I tried to go out of the main doors but these of course were locked.. so I let myself out of the fire exit door onto the terrace, making sure it was propped open so that I could get back in and duly went and collected my cigarettes from my car. Let myself back in and closed the door, still no one to be seen.. went into the bar and could have had free reign in there, I noticed a man curled up asleep on the sofa.. now I wasnt exactly quiet and made a point of going behind the bar and he still didnt wake up... I then felt a bit hungry ( as you do when you've had a few too many g & ts!) so went off on a food hunt, I was able to go in all the kitchens ( I was very impressed at how clean and tidy they were!) and through the fridges and freezers! I eventually found some bread, thats all I could find that didnt need cooking ( now can you imagine if I had started cooking at that time of the morning!). I took my slice of bread back into the bar and sat on the next sofa along from the sleeping body... only then, which must have been at least 30 mins since I had first come down, did a security man appear.. he asked if he could help and I proceeded to tell him what I just done.. he was very apologetic of course!
Needless to say in the morning I asked to see the manager, who wasnt on duty, but the deputy manager came out to see me ( a very nice lady called Linda) and I informed her of what is basically a huge security flaw, her jaw nearly hit the floor! As it was, it was just a bit of high jinks on my behalf after a fair few hours celebrating, but it doesnt bare thinking about what I could have got up to had I been the slightest bit malicious.
All in all the hotel is beautiful as is the Spa.(albeit somewhat expensive).. but I would have thought a hotel of that calibre would be somewhat more cautious about letting guests wander through the hotel in the middle of the night without anyone noticing!
I would go back there, but only after being reassured that night time security had been rectified!
Too clever for it's own good...
We felt that this was a rather strange hotel for various reasons. Fundamentally, as the title of this review suggests, it is just too chic for it's own good. They've taken a run-down country hall (once frequented by Lord Byron, but who cares really?) and turned it into something so hip that it hurts.
The rooms are filled with gadgets and contrivances that are both unncessary and confusing. The cheery geordie chap who took us to our room needed about 15 minutes just to explain how to turn on a light and use the tv. That's because the controls are so complicated. However the remote control for the tv/radio system was actually falling to pieces, the shower died whilst we were there, and all in all it was a bit pathetic. We had an 'indulgent' suite for £160 (usual price £395, or £425 at weekends). This was a fairly good deal, very certain I wouldn't have wished to pay the full amount for this place however.
It gets worse. The set dinner in the restaurant is £65 per person, plus drinks etc. In other words if you have a bottle of wine and throw in a decent tip you've likely spent the best part of £200 for a meal. In Sunderland mind you - even a good London restaurant wouldn't charge quite this much (have just looked and see The Ritz are asking £35 for a three course dinner in their wonderful restaurant)!!
They claim to have a kitchen dedicated to the room service menu, but this was just a crude photocopied sheet offering poor snack-bar type food. We went to the nearby town (something like a deserted housing estate next to the beach, very peculiar) and found a very nice Italian restaurant and both had a nice meal with drinks for £20 for both of us. Breakfast at the hotel was quite nice, but service was hit & miss.
The spa was very nice, but again the treatments were astronomically priced. The main bar/lounge has all the atmosphere and comfort of an aiport lounge.
The place is clean, and the grounds quite pleasant, and if you need a room in the area and can get a good deal then why not, but don't have high expectations, it isn't as good as it thinks it is by any means.
A deluxe retreat....?
Our second stay at this gem of a hotel was as good if not better than our first 18 months ago. We took advantage of the January offer of a discounted room, which included a 'rasul' in the spa; a very indulgent, private type of mud bath/steam room for two. We found the service to be very attentive and friendly; the young staff all made us feel very special and really made an effort to make us feel welcome. On the day we arrived we spent a lovely few hours in the spa where we also ate a very good 'asian tapas' meal. On our second night we ate one of the finest non-michelin starred meals we have ever had. Come on Michelin, where have you been?! In addition to the four courses we ordered we were also treated to four treats at various points in the meal 'with the compliments of the chef'. But whereas they were a lovely surprise the real delight was the excellent and inventive food served by friendly knowledgable staff. We take on board some reviewers comments about the complicated lighting and entertainment systems in the rooms but whereas that may be an annoyance to some people we actually enjoyed getting to grips with the technology....And the room we had was spacious, well equipped and very comfy. The breakfast served in the room was immense (we ordered it so!) and delicious. All in all an almost faultless stay and excellent value for all that was included.
We visited for our 10th wedding anniversary. We really enjoyed the modernity of the setting and the gadgets in the room kept me amused for a while. The room was beautiful, and the bed was amazing. We really enjoyed the spa and the treatments, though can see why some reviewers have blanched at the cost. I thought the staff were really nice and helpful, and very attentive in a low key way (I swear that when i dropped my fork in the rstaurant the waiter had caught and replaced it before it hit the floor!).
My main gripe would be the food, in terms of complexity and price. A lot of the food was lovely but not good value for money. I good hear the strained conversations in the bar as guests saw the prices on the menu. I don't think the amounts were very generous either. Our dinner for two cost about 160 pounds incl wine. Had i bought a cooked breakfast this would have cost over 30 pounds per head, so settled for various lovely free items on the menu. I gather that since our stay they are doing a mid week fixed menu cheap deal and if we go back that will be the one for me! (my wife on the other hand...!)
Rip off central
I would rate this place a "0". Do yourselves a favour, rather than going to the Seaham Spa, book yourself into London's most expensive hotel (and then don't go). Better yet, buy yourself a couple of beers and drink them in your sofa over the weekend, take a thousand pounds and bury them in the garden. Your money will be better spent. Where do I start? The £5 cup of coffee? The dire massage service? A romantic weekend getaway that turned into my worst weekend in years?
I was tempted to leave right after we got there. First of all, we could not locate the entrance! Then we had a very nice man try to "teach" us how to turn on the TV [which he did not know how to do]. Followed by the aforementioned "massage", then an overpriced dinner [even by London standards]. After dinner, we went back to our room, but then I spent half an hour trying to turn off the TV in my room. The TV control is so modern, that I could not see the keyboard or figure it out. I called reception, but since it is an "exclusive hotel" there is no one to help you after midnight. There was no one at reception to "teach" me how to turn off the TV and there I was, at midnight, trying to have anyone help me... Eventually, after running around my pyjamas, a hotel guard tried to help me and, of course, he could not turn off the TV either [I have a PhD, so I should be able to figure things out]. It is nearly impossible to do! As a public service, please stay away [even if you have the money to bury in your garden]. Fly to Italy, go to Dubai, or take the Eurostar to Paris, it will be far more rewarding (at half the price of one night here).
What a fantastic venue
I have arranged many events at hotels all over the North East, but never before been completely bowled over by the standards/ service and back drop of this jewel of a place. The assistance and quality of the service by the events team/hotel reception staff and the restaurant team has been fantastic, and, although not cheap, represented good value for money! If anyone would like to have a quality, classy or even cosy weekend/weekday break, I can think of no better place. It gets my vote!
My sister and I went for a girly night away and spent two days pampering ourselves in the spa.
The staff were wonderfully helpful, polite and made us feel at completely at ease. Our room was huge and had a beautiful terrace with lovely views. We had lots of fun playing with all sorts of gadgetry in the room, including the reading lights that automatically turn them selves off if you fall asleep!
We had dinner in the White Room restaurant. The food was amazing! We were a little over awed by the pretentious naming of the dishes, however, the taste and presentation of the food was stunning! The waiting staff were extremely attentive, yet unobtrusive.
A hearty breakfast was brought to our room next morning and laid out on the terrace for us. We thoroughly enjoyed sipping tea and eating salmon and scrambled egg whilst sitting outside in our robes and slippers.
The spa was as relaxing as ever, however, we were disappointed that the hydrotherapy pool, was not working to full capability and that three rain showers were not working.
Again, the spa staff were exceptional!
Our only very small gripe about the hotel (also shared by other guests we talked to) is that one or two areas are now beginning to look a little more lived-in and tired (e.g. loose or dirty grouting, chips in wood work and marks on walls and carpets). Maybe it is time for some areas to get a little décor face-lift.