On 21st December 2019, Emma and I got married at Doxford Barns in Northumberland which was absolutely incredible. Whilst we planned for to go on our honeymoon to Australia and New Zealand in April 2020 (look how that turned out – cheers coronavirus!), we wanted to spend a few days away in five-star luxury. We decided to spend a night in York and a night at Seaham Hall, only a swift twenty minute drive away, which was an excellent use of those few extra days off.
I think it’s fair to say that County Durham doesn’t have a huge array of luxury hotels but those that it does have are very impressive. When travelling, I love a little splurge for a night or two on a luxury hotel but often will combine this with a longer stay in Airbnb’s or cheaper accommodation. As a 30 year old male, I’ve got to be honest and say that I don’t have a long history of spa usage. I can’t actually recall going to a proper spa before.
However, Seaham Hall really stood out for me when looking for somewhere special to spend a night away after the wedding and I was definitely not disappointed.
Seaham Hall is a five star luxury hotel and spa situated on the cliffs north of Seaham, approximately 13 miles east of Durham. The building itself is beautiful; bright white and modern on the outside and filled with nods to both the history of the Hall and the exotic spa inside. Seaham Hall dates back to 1791 and was previously the home of Lady and Lord Byron (the famous poet).
From the moment we pulled up to the hotel, we experienced impeccable service; even more so than you would expect from such a luxury hotel. I was thinking I could get used to this lifestyle but alas we had only booked for one night. My camera wasn’t glued to me for my time at Seaham Hall so unfortunately there aren’t a lot of photos and I would have felt very weird taking it into the spa! You will just have to take my word for it on how beautiful this hotel is.
With this being a special occasion, we decided to splurge and paid for bed and breakfast in the Ada Lovelace Suite. I couldn’t quite remember what the room had in store for us but I was blown away when we were shown around our room by the porter. There were two floors and two huge slipper baths in the enormous bay window overlooking part of the 37 acres of grounds. It was absolutely perfect. I’ve never really been to a hotel just to stay at the hotel rather than go out exploring but here at Seaham Hall there is literally no reason to leave and every reason to stay.
The kingsize bed was probably the comfiest I’ve ever slept in and what was even cooler was the TV rising out of the bottom of the bed at the touch of a button. Plug your laptop in with a HDMI cable and you’ve got Netflix all night thanks to the free wi-fi!
Even though you have the spa a short walk away, it would have been rude not to take advantage of those amazing baths. We literally just chilled in them for ages with plenty of bubble bath but yes people can very easily see in through the windows!
Now you might not be wanting to spend £395 for just one night with breakfast but don’t worry, Seaham Hall has a range of room options ranging from the extravagant to junior suites and even garden rooms with their own hot tubs.
Serenity Spa is Seaham Hall’s show piece. From the hotel, you can enter a little underground tunnel which magically relaxes you with immediate effect. It must be the calming scents and the trickle of water features that set you up for stress relief.
As I said earlier, I’m not a spa man by any stretch of the imagination. I get bored easily and you’re much more likely to find me in a hotel’s swimming pool throwing a ball only for me to swim after it. Well, once I donned my complimentary bathrobe, I’m not sure what happened to me but I was loving it. The spa has a swimming pool full of massage stations, jacuzzis, a salt sauna and ice baths that you plunge into amongst many other things. The outdoor area was surprisingly quiet considering the outdoor hot tubs and small infinity pool are the highlights of the spa. With the January chill and the low winter sun, there was nothing better than relaxing in the warm hot tubs surrounded by steam.
Not that I experienced it but the Serenity Spa also offer a full range of treatments and therapies to really take the experience to another level.
Lunch at the O-Zone Restaurant. It’s hard to miss this restaurant if you are anywhere near the Spa end of the hotel. The smell of rich Thai food turned out to be completely irresistable and so, in our dressing gowns (don’t worry it’s Spa attire friendly), we settled for a classic red Thai curry and yellow curry. Both were exceptional. Not only did the red curry have plenty of chicken, it also had sweet potato and butternut squash which I found an absolute revelation. The food was just as good as I found in Thailand and I will definitely be returning to the restaurant even if I’m not a hotel or spa guest.
After having such good food at lunch, the only issue was trying to return to the Spa with inflated bellies. It took a while to get out of my food coma but I can’t really imagine anywhere better than the Spa at Seaham Hall to have a little snooze.
Our room for the night came with breakfast so the next morning we were treated to a very fancy full English and poached eggs and avocado on toast. You also get fruit juices, pastries, toast; basically a lot of extras all included!
The Local Area
Of course, not everyone will be in the same situation as me and some will be first time visitors to the area wanting both a high quality stay and a base to explore County Durham. Seaham Hall is still perfect for this as it’s ideally situated for checking out Durham’s heritage coast, having a wander round Durham itself or even nipping up to Newcastle.
I really enjoyed our indulgence and splurge for one night at Seaham which was worth every penny. I don’t think I’ve ever come away from somewhere feeling so relaxed and I guess every now and again we really should all treat ourselves to a bit of down time.
To book or to find out more information, check out Seaham Hall’s website here.