Luxury hotel and award-winning spa on the Durham coast

Review by Emily Hopcroft
THE FUTURISTIC WATER SCULPTURE behind the gates of Seaham Hall is a clue that your stay here is going to be something special. This chic boutique hotel on the rugged Country Durham coast combines cutting-edge quarters with a state-of-the-art oriental spa.

Poet Lord Byron married Annabelle Millbanke at Seaham Hall in 1815. Byron’s words are inscribed on the staircase and a stained glass ceiling based on his poetry tops the atrium.

Despite its fascinating literary history, everything inside Seaham Hall is about 21st century luxury. Think deluxe designer retreat rather than trad country house.

Hit the spot
On the Durham coast, near Newcastle.


Room 6 (an Executive room) is a favourite with honeymooners , while Room 15 (a Superior) has a bathtub for two at the foot of the bed.

Be savvy

It’s not the place for a cheap weekend. Book one of the double treatment rooms for a his-and-hers massage.

Be smitten
Perfect for a pamper break.

Techno treats

Our spacious room had views over the coast and enough contemporary artworks to fill your average art gallery. Smart designer furniture was matched with plenty of techno treats, and gadgets included surround-sound Bose speakers and a control panel to create every kind of mood lighting. Creature comforts included duck-feather pillows and duvets, making the kingsize bed one of the comfiest I’ve ever slept in.

Keen to explore, we made our way down to the drawing room, with its squashy chocolate brown sofas. It was the perfect place to re-wind and relax over a Bellini while we browsed the evening’s menu. You’ll soon understand why Seaham Hall’s White Room restaurant is reckoned to be one of the top Michelin-starred restaurants in the country.

The sun lights up and fills this classically chic restaurant through wide bay windows. Head chef Kenny Atkinson uses the best locally sourced produce in his inventive (and often daring) dishes that retain the food’s regional identity, while being finished to perfection.

The warm, dark chocolate fondant with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream proved irresistible and is an absolute must. We nibbled happily on a platter of taster desserts that included coconut chocolates and mini lemon-meringue pies – heaven!

After a blissful night’s sleep, it was time to burn off our indulgences. “Just follow the sound of the water and the elephant’s tail”, advised a friendly staff member as we headed down to the hotel’s award-winning Serenity Spa for a swim and a tone-up.

Linked to the hotel by a magical underground walkway where water trickles hypnotically and you are greeted by a giant sculpted elephant, Serenity Spa has put Seaham Hall firmly on the map as the leading luxury spa hotel in the North.

Inspired by oriental and feng shui principles, it boasts  a 20m ozone treated swimming pool, a black granite steam room made with amethyst, a hammam, ice fountain and lots more. All is peace and tranquillity here.

Take your pick from a menu of 45 treatments ranging from massages and wraps to facials – and be sure to have a dip in the outdoor thermal hot tubs. We only had one complaint – we’re definitely coming for two nights next time!

Seaham Hall was reviewed by Room for Romance
Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.

Dining in
Michelin-starred modern European cooking is on the menu at Seaham Hall’s swish White Room restaurant. Chef Kenny Atkinson’s ambitious menu of daily-changing dishes include rolled terrine of partridge and cheek of rare breed organic pork to start, with wild sea bass, Shetland salmon or venison from the Balmoral estate as mains. Exotic desserts include blood orange parfait with roasted plum and toasted almond icecream.

Ozone, the Serenity Spa’s Thai brasserie and juice bar, serves a range of delicious dishes with an Asian slant.

Dining out

Check out the award-winning restaurant at Newcastle’s Baltic art centre, with its views over the River Tyne.

The White Room at Seaham Hall.

What’s cooking?
Start with hand-dived Scottish scallops and follow with Goosnargh duck accompanied by young spinach and beetroot. Round off with a delicious  plate of taster desserts.

Top table?
Looking out over the terrace.

See & Do
Cross Newcastle’s signature Millennium bridge for a peep at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – an eye-opening collection. Make a trip to medieval Alnwick Castle, the film set for Hogwart’s in the Harry potter movies. Durham cathedral is a beauty, while Beamish Museum shows how working people in the North lived in centuries past. Hadrian’s Wall beckons if you fancy some serious walking.

There are excellent local shops in Jesmond and in Newcastle city centre. For a designer shopping extravaganza, head to Newcastle’s Eldon Garden.

One of the hottest spas in the UK, the Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall wraps around an ozone cleansed swimming pool (so it feels like swimming in Evian water). You’ll also find a steam room, hammam, plunge pools, exercise studio, gym and outdoor hot tubs. There’s also an après-sauna ice fountain and plunge pool (invigorating and then some!) and a hydrotherapy bath with 12 massage stations.

Signature spa treatments include a hot foot and scalp massage and hot stone massage ritual. There’s a huge menu to choose from, and some treatment rooms are designed for couples.

After dark
Newcastle’s nightlife is legendary, so don’t expect an early night. 

Watch the breathtaking aerobatics at the Sunderland International Air Show.

There’s ice skating, Christmas markets and more at the annual Newcastle-Gateshead winter festival.



Lord Byron’s Walk, Seaham, County Durham SR7 7AG


There is free guest parking.


Newcastle Upon Tyne – three hours from London by Intercity train. The local station is Seaham – 800 yards.

GBP 40 from Newcastle airport.


Newcastle Airport. Seaham Hall has a helipad if you decide to push the boat out.

Rooms and suites

18 suites plus a vast penthouse.

Special features

Rooms have a lighting mood console, Bose surround sound speakers, a CD/DVD player and internet access.


Bathrooms (many with double-ended tubs for two) come with candles and piles of fluffy towels, and many have walk-in drench showers. Ground floor rooms have a terrace area.


Rates guide
GBP 200-595, including breakfast, VAT and use of the spa.

Open all year



Minimum night stay?


Breakfast is served until 10.30am.

Room service
Available 24 hours

Welcome with restrictions. Access to the Spa for children under 12 is restricted to set times.



Air conditioning
Yes – all rooms

Wedding license?
Yes. Seaham Hall can cater for up to 150 guests for an evening reception.
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Room for Romance Extra

A complimentary half bottle of champagne in your room; plus an upgrade if available.



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