Beware of booking Durham B&B Cathedral View Townhouse

We booked with this B&B based on Rick Steves 2013 recommendation. However, unless you are absolutely positive nothing unexpected will happen to delay your arrival to this B&B, do not put your pocketbook at risk by booking with them. We booked 2 rooms for June 2014. We were asked to try and arrive between 5 & 7. Unfortunately, we got lost sightseeing in Yorkshire Dales and were out of mobile phone range (and no land lines to be had) until a bit after 7. When we called at 7:40, we were told to find another room. We practically begged them to let us stay there, saying we would meet anyone anywhere anytime to get a key. They again told us to find another room AND they would bill us the full cost for 2 rooms. When we yet again tried to suggest an accommodation, they hung up on us. Obviously, they are just about the money and not concerned about service. We followed up with 2 e-mails, but they did not care that we were unexpectedly delayed 45 minutes -- they charged us the full cost of 2 rooms despite the fact that they did not incur any housekeeping or food costs for us. These proprietors are greedy and are not interested in anything but the money. We now note that they are not included in the 2014 Rick Steves recommendations. We know why -- they are not nice people. Book with Kings Lodge Hotel instead. They provided alternative lodging for us that night and were a great value with a good location!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12558 posts

So - they held 2 rooms open for you and waited all that time for you to arrive and no sign of you, no phone call, and when you finally call you are still miles away?

And you're upset?

Just because they run a rooms business doesn't mean that they should be expected to drop everything 24 hours a day. A B&B is not a hotel.

Did their terms and conditions say you could come any time.

A tough lesson, but I'm not sure I agree with you.

I don't think they are greedy. They are trying to grind out a living and they kept 2 rooms open for you and sacrificed income from others. You should understand their situation.

You don't know what plans they had for that evening that you put askew.

I'm sorry for you, especially as you got lost. But out of signals and phone boxes for nearly 3 hours? Were you walking or in a car?

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
1200 posts

Nigel, there is much that is true in your reply. But since they refused to allow the use of the room that was paid for, I don't give the poor, put-upon B&B hosts a free pass. "A Bit after 7" is not "after 11PM". When we stayed in a B&B near Cheddar, the hosts commented that international guests are the most reliable for "showing up". It's only the weekenders from London who have left them in the lurch.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

If you screw up, get lost, don't call, can't figure out how to get in cell range, can't figure out how long it takes to travel two hours, don't follow the rules . . . . doesn't make it somebody else's emergency.

Maybe, just maybe they had other plans......and you screwed them up.