Set in the former university offices at Old Shire Hall, Hotel Indigo Durham has recently opened following a £15 million transformation. I was lucky enough to be invited along to check out the hotel, and was overwhelmed by just how wonderful it is!
The stunning red brick building is ideally situated on Old Elvet, which makes it the perfect base to explore the city centre. It is also the home to Tinderbox Espresso Bar, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill and the Rotunda Bar – which I’ll get onto later.
The building has kept all of its original features including the gorgeous stained glass windows and marble tiles which gives the boutique hotel a luxury Victorian feel. The interior is stunning and is like no other hotel that you’ll find in the area.
There are just over 80 rooms at Hotel Indigo Durham, each with interior taking inspiration from Durham Cathedral and the University. Our room had an academic theme with science books, pieces and prints decorating the walls and shelves!
The attention to detail with local history and surroundings was possibly my favourite thing about the hotel, and certainly makes it stand out from the rest. There were Durham mugs for you to drink from, Durham cinder toffee for you to devour, and even Old Elvet Durham toiletries made specifically for the hotel, which were inspired by the Monks of Durham Cathedral who would grow mint and rosemary on the banks of the River Wear. How amazing is that?!
After taking in the surroundings of our room, we decided to take a peek around the hotel and head to Tinderbox for a coffee. Walking through the halls, I was in awe of the interior! Everything is so grand and there’s just a real ‘wow’ factor to the space. At one point whilst walking down the marble stairs, I felt like I was in a Disney film because it was like being in a castle!
Tinderbox is located just next to the hotel reception and is a lovely area for guests or passers by to pop in and grab a cuppa. It was clear by how many people were there that it has already become a real popular spot for the locals, especially students! The coffee was divine, and it was lovely to sit and have a natter before heading back to the room to get ready for our evening meal.
We stopped for a cocktail in the Rotunda Bar before we headed on through to our table within the restaurant, and it was such a stunning area to relax with a drink in.
Now, onto the food!
You’re definitely in for a real treat if you’re eating in the hotel, as the restaurant is a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill. It’s set in the old Council room and is breathtakingly beautiful.
For starter, I ordered the Selection of English Charcuterie (£8.95) and well, it was absolutely divine. The meats were presented on a wooden board, served with a nice chunk of warm sourdough.
For main, I decided to go for the Alex James burger (£15.25) – great name, right?! The burger was BBQ glazed with melted blue cheese and crispy streaky bacon, and served in a brioche bun with pomme frites. It was definitely a little messy to eat – but burgers are! It was so tasty, and incredibly filling.
That being said…we managed to squeeze in a dessert! Well actually, we ended up sharing one. Our server was so passionate about Mr Coulson’s Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce, so we caved and ordered one with ice cream…and we were so glad that we did! It was probably my favourite part of the meal, and was only £5.95 – as are all the desserts.
The service was great within the restaurant, and hotel in general. The staff have such a good local knowledge and can offer stories of the area, and recommendations – which is perfect for anyone visiting from out of town.
After a wonderful sleep in that HUGE bed, I woke raring to go and ready for my breakfast.
Breakfast at the hotel is served in the restaurant, giving guests another chance to sit in that beautiful dome – which is even nicer on a morning as the sun shines through the stained glass windows. It is open between 6.30am and 10.00am on weekdays and 07.00am and 10.30am on weekends. There is a help yourself breakfast table which includes a choice of locally baked breads, pastries, gluten free bakes, cereals, yoghurts, fruit and more! You can also order from the hot menu, which again has so much to choose from.
I opted for scrambled eggs served on toasted bagel and it was delicious. The perfect way to start the day!
One of the best things about Hotel Indigo Durham is that guests are able to check out at 12pm, which means you don’t have to rush your morning and can enjoy the rooms for a little longer. I absolutely loved my stay at the hotel, and will most definitely be going back to enjoy another staycation right in the heart of Durham. The hotel is such an incredible space, and would be perfect for a visit or any kind of event that you have in mind.
I vlogged my stay and you can check that out below!
I enjoyed a complimentary stay with dinner and breakfast at Hotel Indigo Durham in exchange for this honest review.