I enjoyed a lovely stay in Durham, visiting for my youngest son's graduation. The Premier Inn is well placed for the City centre; staff are all friendly and helpful, my room was comfortable and peaceful (until the rubbish van provided an early morning alarm call) and breakfast was excellent with a choice of healthy options or "as much as you can eat" fry up! My former husband and two of my sons joined me for breakfast and can confirm they really do provide as much as you can eat! They had to sit down for an hour to recover before we set off to enjoy the city sights.
Only two issues stopped me rating the hotel as excellent: the soap container over my bath was empty – as I found out once I had settled in for a relaxing soak; and the room rate had been hiked up considerably as it was graduation week. Tip: If you have a son or daughter graduating in June 2014, book as early as you can. When I first tried to book an overnight stay several months ago, on receipt of details of graduation ceremony from the university, I found all hotels in the city centre were already fully booked. I was lucky to find this room available at the last minute when my son's results were finalised, (presumably as the result of a cancellation.) If you are visiting for other reasons, avoid graduation week as, in addition to all the hotels being full and over-priced, all the best restaurants are fully booked for the entire week and you will have extremely limited access to the beautiful cathedral.
Final tip if you are travelling by car: we had difficulty finding the car park. The hotel is clearly visible from the main road and when I had phoned the hotel to check about parking, I had been told the car park was directly behind it. However, the sat nav took us to the front entrance and, although there may be quicker routes, we found ourselves then having to drive on a long loop past the hotel, left down Claypath, left down Providence Row, and left along Freeman's Place where we finally found the entrance to the multi-storey car park on the left – opposite the Pay and Display car park on the right. The hotel has an agreement with the multi-storey car park for a reduced 24 hour rate – and cost us £7.20.
I have stayed in numerous Premier Inns in my business life and have always been satisfied with the standard of accommodation, service and food.