Ramside Hall is in a picturesque location surrounded by 350 acres or 141 hectares of private grounds only minutes from the main North South A1 motorway. It is very close to the historic city of Durham with its stunning cathedral designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO, and a global tourist attraction. Ramside Hall has not one, but two 18 hole championship golf courses, a newly built luxury on-site spa complex, and four award winning restaurants.
Ramside Hall is Durham’s only silver awarded AA rated and 4 star hotel and it has 127 rooms with suites and four poster beds available. A new extension houses some fabulous rooms overlooking the golf course, and the room we stayed in had a view of a small lake with a family of Moorhens paddling about on it. The bathroom was particularly impressive with a standalone bath and ultra chic white subway tiling.
Popular for weddings and with full conference facilities, Ramside can provide accommodation and catering solutions for pretty much any occasion.
The spa at Ramside
The spa at Ramside is really quite something. This stunning and substantial spa with a beautiful vaulted roof is just a year old and is probably the best in the North of England. It has a full size 25 m or 83 foot swimming pool and a huge selection of other watery options. An outdoor hot tub overlooks the golf course and has a helpful umbrella to hide under in case of rain. A large hydrotherapy pool has a series of water jets that pummel your aches and stress away from different angles. There are steam rooms and saunas and you can even hire your own room, which has private access to a raised heated infinity pool outside overlooking the estate. It is very popular with wedding parties who like to relax with a glass of bubbly as a special treat.
There is fully equipped fitness gym that overlooks the lovely pool and there are classes held in two exercise studios including aerial yoga! A large and luxurious spa treatment centre offers a full range of treatments using the ESPA range of products. There is a hair salon and even a sleep centre where you can lie down on a electric lounger with a fur throw over you and snooze away your cares.
Another interesting fact is that the Spa at Ramside Hall is a recognised Wellness for Cancer centre. Wellness for Cancer is the first global organization to establish standardized, objective, cancer-focused training and business criteria for the spa and wellness industry. Wellness for Cancer has specifically trained and certified the Spa at Ramside to provide services for clients who have experienced or are currently living with cancer.
Dining at Ramside
There are lots of dining options at Ramside Hall. We ate at the new ‘Fusion’ restaurant, which is next to the spa. The food was spicy and delicious and the portions generous. My starter, Bang Bang Chicken, was full of flavour as was the green Thai curry. Watch out for the added chillies in the edamame beans though — they are super hot!
We opted for a bento box dessert, which means you get to try small portions of all the sweet treats on offer just in case you can’t make up your mind — a great idea.
If traditional fare is more your style, then why not try the Rib Room. Beautifully decorated to look like a rather chic Parisian brasserie, with vintage wine labels, chateau signs and French posters, meat is the word here. Local butchers supply the Hereford beef, which is hung for 28 days before being prepared, and Chef Paul Beckwith has a background in butchery so he knows his way around a steak. The speciality of the Rib Room is a massive 20 oz or 700 gram rib eye, which would be more than a challenge for any carnivore!
If you prefer a more flexible option, there is buffet style dining in Pemberton’s carvery where there is a huge choice of dishes, or you could pay a visit to the Clubhouse attached to the golf course.
Conference and meetings at Ramside Hall
Weddings are big business for hotels and Ramside is no exception. They can cater for everything from a small, intimate wedding, civil marriage or a large-scale celebration if you want to pull out all the stops. There were two weddings coming up at Ramside when we were there. Apparently, one that had just happened was a Disney themed one with everyone on each table being given a Disney character to identify with and a huge wedding cake using the Disney font had been made. One just coming up that day was a marvel comic character themed wedding with table decorations being made from marvel comics and Spiderman climbing up the side of the wedding cake! The hotel is even becoming one of the best known venues in the North East for its expertise in Asian weddings and events.
Conference and meeting facilities are extensive, and Ramside Hall is one of the North East’s foremost business and event venues. A range of function suites and meeting and conference rooms can cater to 6 – 600 people. It really does have an impressive range of facilities.
Ramside Hall — great location and superb facilities
Ramside is part of the Ramside Estates group, which is a family business established by the grandfather of the current Managing Director, John Adamson. The aim is to keep up with customer demands and high standards and they have certainly managed that with the show stopping spa.
The staff were mainly locals and were extremely friendly and helpful without being over the top — our request for biscuits and milk was quickly satisfied with more chocolate chip cookies than we could possibly eat!
County Durham is a very pretty part of the North East with lovely countryside, and the beautiful medieval city of Durham itself with its glittering river, winding streets and quirky shops.
In the bar next to the carvery, there are cartoon drawings on the wall of many of the famous visitors to Ramside, some entertainment stars and sports personalities coming to play golf. You’ll see cartoons of local celebrities like Ant and Dec and Chef Marco Pierre White, and even the Jackson Five! Although there did seem to be only four of the five in the picture.
I was pleasantly surprised by the high standard of the hospitality and the food, and the amazing spa facilities. Don’t forget to check out this charming hotel if you are coming to this part of England, which is hard to beat, especially in the summer and the fall.
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