Room (144 - it's an end room on the first floor)
Plenty of storage, good layout (sockets next to bed etc) and huge window which provides plenty of light. Our room had 3 heaters on the wall - a sure sign that others have found this room to be cold. However, I'm always warm though and found the room temperature perfect for sleeping.
Bed was really comfy and the two firm pillows were perfect. Hubby and I always fight over the firm pillows, so thankfully there was another bed in the room....
Good large mirror over the desk area, plenty of lighting, full sized kettle (though only 4 milks and no obvious way of getting any more). Ridiculously expensive wifi though - how on earth is £15 per day justified in this day and age? Especially when you're hardly in the hotel anyway.
Bathroom very dated (humorously so) but it was clean and warm etc, so no complaints there. Some free toiletries in case you forget yours - always useful.
Very tired and dated, but clean and I think this is reflected in the lower price compared to some other Holiday Inns in similar locations. Carpets kind of dull and have seen better days.
Layout is interesting - it's laid out in a couple of wings. If you have reduced mobility I would request a room nearer the reception/bar area as the end room where we stayed felt like a right trek. Oh and NO LIFT. Neither of us are disabled, but my knee hasn't been too great lately and carrying my suitcase upstairs left me in pain all the next day.
There's a vending machine in the lobby, but no apparent way to get any water or other drinks. I thought free water was a minimum standard really, but apparently not.
Staff were really friendly and felt us feel welcome. I'd say that they're this hotel's strength, based on what I've seen.
Restaurant area was small but functional, though some tables a bit too cramped for my liking. Was offered one ridiculously cramped table in the corner, but took a different table instead.
Ridiculous queue for that stupid toaster (seriously, guests hate them, so why do hotels STILL use them). After waiting behind 3 elderly couples who couldn't figure it out, wouldn't accept any help and wouldn't let me put my bread in until theirs was out, I gave up after 20 minutes. I decided that a 30 minute wait for a toaster was absolutely insane! Please, for the love of God, get some different toasters!!!!!
Food was ok. Mushrooms and beans were a bit cold at breakfast and the hash browns were cooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside. However, the bacon and sausages were tasty. Didn't try anything else, so can't comment, but there seemed to be a good range of items.
Loads of parking, though some people seemed to park where they liked (ie not in spaces).
Good access to A1, local fuel station and a good pub called the Snowy Owl not too far away.
Specific requests to the management
1. Stop scrimping on the milk - put more out or tell guests how they can get more
2. More firm pillows - or tell guests how to get more
3. In room guide to the hotel facilities etc - some people will struggle with the TV navigation to get to this info - or might not even realise it's on the TV!
4. What about a computer for guests to use to check out local tourist info - for free? Or even a limited amount of time/bandwidth for free? Or just lower price of wifi (it's free in most of the hotels I've stayed in in America). I'd have paid £5 for 24 hours of access, but not £15. If you're going to offer a service, make it affordable otherwise there's little point offering it. Business customers might be able to afford it, but I don't know anyone else who would.
Get some better toasters - a 20 minute wait for a slice of toast is just insane!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- News update that Wi-Fi is now Free. With 154 spacious bedrooms each with an en-suite bathroom, Tea & Coffee making facilities, private dial-out telephones, remote control flatscreen TV, trouser press and hairdryer. Should you require an even higher standard of comfort, the hotel has 14 Executive bedrooms offering an excellent range of luxuries to make your stay that bit more special. In April & May 2013 our lounge, restaurant, bar and toilets have had a full refurbishment which we are very happy with and will share some new photos very soon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Newcastle Upon Tyne Hotel Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Newcastle Upon Tyne Holiday Inn