Hotel will step back in time

First published in News Durham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Durham)

A BIZARRE hotel is expected to lose its Doctor Who, Cruella de Vil and French boudoirstyled bedrooms as its new owners try to create a more mainstream venue.

Businessman John Marshall previously spent £2m converting a former student accommodation block in Durham’s historic Old Elvet into The Fallen Angel hotel.

Complete with themed rooms, including a science fiction suite with a Dalek, a Cyberman and a Tardis, it was hailed as the most luxurious in the land.

But, with rooms at up to £300 a night, Mr Marshall and partner Sandra MacDonald were always targeting a niche market and they have now sold up.

New owners and restaurateurs Nigel and Deborah Gadd plan to spend £300,000 creating three extra bedrooms, a cocktail lounge bar and new restaurant.

But the quirky suites will go – to be replaced by a single Georgian theme across the hotel. The Fallen Angel title will also disappear – probably to be replaced by Gadz Restaurant and Rooms.

Mrs Gadd, 45, said: “We want to take it back in time to how it should be – a boutique Georgian townhouse.”

Mr Gadd, 49, said: “We want to appeal to quality customers with a quality hotel, in keeping with the historic city.”

The couple previously transformed the Seven Stars Inn and Pump House Restaurant, both in Shincliffe, turning them into top-of-the-range venues. They also run Thai restaurant Zen.

Mr Marshall, the man behind Durham Pine, opened the Fallen Angel in 2008.

Its cinema room had a huge screen, two movie theatre seats and a popcorn machine.

The Cruella room had a huge black, sleigh-shaped bed and a sauna in the bathroom. There were Army uniforms in the library room and a Wurlitzer jukebox in the New York apartment.

The Gadds have submitted their plans to Durham County Council and a decision is expected next month. Work could take about three months. The hotel would remain open throughout. Gadz Grill is open now.

Michael Huston, from M Design, said: “We will be sympathetic to the original building, bringing it back to its former glory.”

For more information on the plans, visit

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