Rockliffe Hall – 5 star luxury hotel
Hidden away in a beautiful estate just a few short miles from the thriving market town of Darlington in County Durham is Rockliffe Hall. Take a slight detour from the A1 motorway and find yourself driving up to an impressive country estate with a grand hotel. Adjacent is a sweeping well manicured golf course.
The old hall houses the main hotel which was originally the ancestral home of the Backhouse family. They built the house in 1863. There are sixty one bedrooms in total with forty in the main hotel and the rest in the extension.
Rockliffe Hall – the football connection
As well as the main hotel there other places to stay too. Tiplady Lodge, and the Armstrong apartments are part of the estate. Apparently when new footballers are signed to the local football club, Middlesbrough, they are often put up here for a while.
The house was purchased by Steve Gibson owner of Middlesbrough Football club in 1997, after it had fallen into disrepair. It was gradually developed and added to over time. The stunning 18 hole championship golf course covers 400 acres and is one of the largest golf clubs in Europe and is quite tricky apparently.
Rockliffe Hall – the full package
Rockliffe is ideal for a short break or even a day trip to the fabulous spa. Or book in to one of the three excellent restaurants. It’s great for weddings too – they have a policy of only catering for one wedding in a day.
There are botanical prints and references everywhere. The original Victorian family collected and planted rare and unusual trees which are now flourishing in the lovely grounds. The meeting rooms and each floor are named after trees. There is even a tree trail featuring little plaques which lets children follow the alphabet of trees.
The fabulous spa
Choose an aroma you feel in tune with after a good sniff of a range of aromatic candles. The aroma you choose is the basis of your treatment. That particular candle lit, creates a melted Shea butter massage oil.You can chose from Tranquillity, Energise, De-stress or Happiness options.
For those who like to be active, the Rockliffe Hall facilities are impressive. Gym bunnies will find a full fifty piece techno gym for you to work out in too!
Dining at Rockliffe
Obviously when you visit a five star hotel you will want to sample the cuisine. There are three options for food at Rockliffe Hall. The Brasserie above the Spa is a less formal choice. The clubhouse restaurant at the golf course, has an attractive grass roof and serves Gastro pub style food. Rockliffe’s premier dining option is the Orangery.
More of an occasion restaurant, the Orangery has a number of menus to try. The Orangery boasts a Michelin star chef, Richard Allen. We sampled the seven course surprise menu with wine pairings for each course. This is a flight of wines and each course pairs with a different wine choice appropriate for the food.
They aren’t full glasses of wine but you can’t help mixing your drinks if you choose this luxury option. Rockliffe’s chef is Richard Allen who was poached from the Grand Hotel in Jersey and a Michelin star may be on the cards.
Rockliffe Hall has the traditional feel of an old country house but it has the best Spa facilities I’ve seen in the area. I would love to explore the lovely grounds more if I ever get to return.
Winner of the “Large Hotel of the Year” for 2015 at the Visit England Awards, Rockliffe is certainly the cream of the crop for Northern hospitality.
New at Rockliffe Hall
Welcome to the whimsical world of Mischmasch, inspired by Much-loved children’s author Lewis Carroll who grew up in nearby Croft. Out in the grounds you will find the curious cabins and the stunning Looking Glass House. Slide, sway and climb your way through the Alice in Wonderland eco-playground, enjoy splashing around in the interactive water jets or enjoy a rally on the all-weather tennis courts. There really is something for everyone. Rockliffe Hall promo offers are available now.