When faced with a list of overwhelmingly positive reviews I tend to dismiss the couple of negative ones as being down to people's unrealistic expectations. However, in this case our experience was far closer to that of floggit and oxforduser than the others. We arrived at 5 pm to find a sign asking us to ring the owner, which we did. He told us that he was out "getting provisions" and wouldn't be back for an hour or so. This wasn't a big deal, as we were planning to go straight back out anyway. He also informed us that he wouldn't be able to provide the advertised cooked breakfast due to an illness. This was rather more disappointing, and I agree that the cold buffet provided was little compensation for this. To his credit, he did knock £10 per night off the bill for this. There were some nice touches in the room, but we would have preferred more attention to the basics such as checking that all light bulbs were working, removing cobwebs and replacing the showerhead which dribbled rather than spraying. When we came to check out we were told that the credit card machine wasn't working adn that we would have to pay by cheque. Again to his credit, he said that we could post it when we got home.
All in all quite a disappointment, particularly given the reviews on here. We will be looking elsewhere next time we are in Durham.