OK, so Hotel Du Vin are a chain, but they're a pretty good chain - in as much as they don't actually feel too much like a cookie-cutter hotel.
I definitely wanted somewhere very nice for this particular trip, and didn't want any element of a gamble, so having stayed and eaten at HDV a few times before, it seemed a good choice - backed up by a very cool looking building for the Newcastle hotel and a perfect location for The Sage (the other part of the evening's plan) - a 10 minute walk along the river and across the Millenium Bridge.
So, here goes:
The room - extremely good. I booked an open plan suite, and got Mouton-Rothschild (the room that has the massive, arched window in the middle of the hotel). A very, very nice room - big (but not massive), comfortable, stylish and extremely well appointed. The mezzanine bathroom was very cool and the drench shower was fabulous. And, of course, great views across The Tyne. Amusing too, to be attempting to check in early and be told 'sorry, your room's not ready. And it's going to take at least an hour to clean that room...'. A winner before we've even started.
The general decor - great. The hotel is an old reclaimed industrial building and has that feel to it - definitely not a cold, lifeless faux-old new-build. As per most HDVs it's all bare wood and brick, brown leather and chunky woody stuff kicking around. So very warm, very welcoming and very nice.
The service - excellent. Friendly, but not overly intrusive, and just engaged enough to make me feel like they actually bothered that I was choosing to stay at this particular hotel. Basically perfect.
The restaurant - predictably good. I like the HDV Bistro - nothing too flash or crazy, just really, really good food, a pleasantly relaxed (but slightly high-end) atmosphere and good service. And anywhere where I hear the words 'I'll leave your fork, you might need it to break through the cheese' when describing soup is my kind of place.
The bar - good, but not great. The actual bar itself was good, with excellent drinks and good service, but there isn't much space in the bar itself - you kind of end up on one of the sofas where the bar spills into the reception area which is ok, but a little cold and not quite in keeping with the comfy leather sofas, open fires and general vibe of the place.
Overall then, basically spot on. Great room, great service and the good food and drinks you would expect. Not particularly cheap (if you choose one of the posh rooms), but not crazy expensive and definitely an extremely pleasant experience so, in value terms, pretty good.
I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again - or recommend it to anyone. I liked Hotel Du Vin before, and this stay has only helped.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.