I stayed in the Sandman Signature hotel on Wednesday 25th January. It is a 15 minute from /to the railway station in the City Centre - a taxi costs £4 and it is well worth it if you have arrived in the evening and in the dark, even if you do know where it is. The taxi drivers are a friendly bunch, too.
The first impression of the reception is that this is a bit of an oddball place. To your left, as you come in, there is a line of evenly spaced gas flames along the windowledge - to provide warmth and a bit of colour - effective if it is dark outside and you are looking in as I was. There is a padded benchseat in front of this "heating" . You then come face to face with a big black horse- life size, with a lampshade on its head, standing in front of the reception desk on a fur rug. Odd, but strangely nice!
To your right, there is a little raised area up some steps, with seats and brighjtly coloured cushions. Nice for a quiet night cap/coffee if you do not want to sit in the bar. hanging from the ceiling by a thick chain is a cup-shaped seat made of plastic..with a faux fur cushion. I had a go in this seat and as I am short I could not sit in it without it rolling backwards if I lifted my feet off the ground. Funny, but not to be recommended! Ok if you are tall, I guess!
The receptionist was a smart looking young Canadian lady, very pleasant and helpful. Efficiently booked me in, told me the breakfast times and location and said not to hesitate to ask if there was anything I needed. There is a coffee making machine in reception and you can help yourself to a cup (or tea, or hot chocolate) at any time. That was a nice touch.
There are 2 spacious lifts to the rooms upstairs. There are steps if you prefer. I was on the first floor and my room was opposite the fitness room. I did not go in there so I do not know what it contained, but I could hear some of the people using it talking, and I could hear some equipment clicking. I imagine that it could get busy and noisy so if you think it might disturb you, ask for a room on another floor. There was a vending machine and ice machine at the end of the corridor- very helpful if you want a snack or some ice for a drink- the ice bucket was provided in the room.
The bedroom is entered using a swipe card. Immediately to the left is the bathroom, or wet room. No bath, but a walk in shower half glazed . The shower has the usual nozzle but also has a "rainfall" setting where the water falls directly upon you from above. Both lovely refreshing settings, nice hot water etc. The one thing I found disconcerting was that some water ran into the main part of the bathroom. The little channel that the water should have drained down was not across the whole width of the opening where you walk into the shower.
Hint. Do not leave anything on the floor that you might not want to get wet! It could also make the floor slippery, so be careful! The bathroom was lovely and light and clean.
Lovely soap and shower gel and shampoo. Very fragrant and soft on the skin.
The bed was very comfortable, and looked attractive when first seen, with lots of cushions, but it is quite high off the ground. Small people beware!
My room looked out across to St James's park (the Newcastle United football ground) - and there were framed photographs of the ground on the wall, too. ..super if you are a fan but if you are not, well, never mind!
Hairdryer - in the desk drawer- good dryer.
Tea and coffee provided..not enough sugar for more than 1 drink. Quite nice quality tea and coffee, though.
Kettle difficult to fill as it was too big to get into the bathroom sink to put it under the tap!
The window blinds were roman style and made of a thick grey felt-like material. Easy to use and kept the light out- very well.
We met in the Shark Bar for a drink in the evening. It is a sports bar with tables in liltle booth like arrangements, as well as some tables with bench seats. You can get drinks and snacks here. There are many large televisions all around the walls. On the night that we went in, it was very noisy and we found it too noisy and went elsewhere (as planned beforehand). The staff were very friendly indeed, and very helpful. It is not really a place to go to relax and have a quietish chat with friends, in my opinion.
This is where breakfast is served in the morning. The televisions are still on all around the rooms but with the sound off. The young lady who met me as I came into breakfast was pleasant and friendly, and Canadian, and could not do enough for me. Breakfast is quite egg based- you can have them any way you like, basically, and they come with bacon or sausages, little fried potatoes and you can have pancakes and syrup if you wish. there is also fresh fruit, cereal, toast ,muffins and fruit juice. Attractively served on square plates, too.
Their coffee is not a high point. It is too weak for me, but you can have as much as you like!
Our server, Holly, was on first name terms with a couple of the ladies with whom I was breakfasting. We wondered how she knew their names but it seems that she remembers residents' names when they arrive for breakfast and then personalises her service. Quite nice if you like that, but I imagine some (perhaps older) people would not like that degree of familiarity. I really found the staff wonderful and friendly, and again they worked hard to make our breakfast a pleasant experience.
Checkout was fast, efficient and friendly.
Would I return? Yes, I would! It is central, and good value for money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sandman Signature Hotel Newcastle sits in the city center of Newcastle, surrounded by key attractions in the city such as the iconic Newcastle United Football Club Stadium, China Town, city center shopping district, Newcastle University, etc. (all this within 5 minutes walking radius) In addition we are just few minutes walk away from the Theatre Royal, the Centre of Life, the city Quayside and a great selection of restaurants and bars to enjoy this vibrant city. ... more less
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