North East & Yorkshire

Rockliffe Hall Hotel undergoes refurbishment

Rockliffe Hall Hotel- Darlington- Durham

Rockliffe Hall Hotel is a five star, £60 million hotel resort situated in the North East of England.

The hotel opened in 2009 and most recently underwent a refurbishment scheme to update its prestigious Orangery restaurant.

Rockliffe Hall Hotel comprises 61 beautifully appointed bedrooms, a spa, golf course and three restaurants. The restaurants include the Club House Restaurant, the Brasserie Restaurant and the aforementioned Orangery, which is overseen by top chef and Saturday Kitchen regular Kenny Atkinson.

The Orangery re-opened in January 2013 – as a part of a soft opening – following a tight two week refurbishment programme. The Orangery refurbishment cost £200,000, with two-thirds spent in hard capital and the remaining amount divided between staff costs and consultancy fees.

Discussing the transformation of the Orangery, Rockliffe Hall Hotel Managing Director, Nick Holmes, said:

“We’ve run the Hotel for more than three years and fortunately we are in the position where we can reinvest our own money back into the site. Working this way has given us the opportunity to take stock of where we are as a company, to look at how we have functioned and then look at how we would like to function. We can then adapt accordingly.

Rockliffe Hall Hotel- Darlington- Durham

“When re-evaluating the Orangery we wanted to look at ways to improve the restaurant, by altering the decoration, so that it would look a little softer in design. We created a walk-in wine cellar which customers can access; we changed the artwork and also made changes to the drapes.”

Cosmetic changes aside, a few practical alterations have also been implemented at the Orangery, including the installation of a new kitchen – to meet the ever increasing demand of the restaurant –along with enhanced extraction systems and air conditioning.

Nick added:

“As a result of the refurbishment of the Orangery we have increased our seating capacity by 25% and we can now open for lunch, which is something we previously were unable to do. In addition, we have successfully re-launched our Sunday afternoon tea service, which is always very popular.”

Rockliffe Hall’s in-house construction team was the main contractor and lead architect on the project. The team worked alongside a number of local subcontractors to complete the work.

Nick commented:

“We manage our work in house, so we can make the inevitable adaptations as and when they are required. We continue to invest and reinvest all the time in Rockliffe Hall Hotel to ensure that we can offer our guests the best quality services.”

Rockliffe Hall Hotel- Darlington- Durham

Nick added:

“The feedback for the Orangery has been very positive, we now offer more choice and the ambience has improved. The Orangery sits within the pinnacle of our business, so whatever happens in the restaurant can be very reflective of the rest of the business.

“The Orangery is our flagship, so it was very important that we got this project right. We are already seeing covers increase within the restaurant and by the summer we expect to double the amount of diners we have when compared with this time last year.”

For more information about Rockliffe Hall, or to make a booking, please visit:

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