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“Unexpected sauna experience”

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Copthorne Hotel Newcastle
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Sorry to disappoint, this title could well be construed to be a far more interesting account of my stay at the Copthorne. Instead, it refers to the unbelievably stifling conditions in our room.

First of all, the positive... it's on the quayside and the rooms all had a lovely view up and down the Tyne. It's easy to access the city centre and it's easy to find and park.

Now the 'opportunities for improvement'...

1. The air temperature in the room was horrible and really spoiled our stay. There was no relief from the air cooling device (it's not 'air con', apparently) and no opening the windows. As a result of the heat, the noise of the air cooling unit and the annoying flashing red lights above our heads on the smoke detector, we had very little sleep (for all the wrong reasons) during our weekend away. We raised the problem on the morning after the first night, we were told that the hotel was having a problem with keeping the rooms cool during the hot weather. The maintenance man said that our unit was functioning correctly, as was the smoke detector (?!). It was suggested that we move to a first floor room with balcony (and therefore openable windows) but sadly none were available. Another uncomfortable night beckoned.

2. Getting a coffee for us seemed to be incredibly difficult for the member of staff on the bar in the afternoon of Saturday. Took 15 minutes sort out, and the 'large coffee' for £3.50 was particularly small. This was our only experience of the hotel catering - we went out for breakfast and didn't bother with the bar again.

3. Much like many other reviewers on here, I think charging £5 per day to park at a hotel you have already paid a large amount of money to stay at is just mean spirited. I don't care what other hotels do, this is a customer service own goal in my view.

4. Sauna was out of order, steam room was ineffective (ironic, no?), the jacuzzi (yes, hotel manager, there definitely is one, I saw it!) is boarded up and the swimming pool was full of kids having swimming lessons. The whole 'wet side' of the fitness suite was shabby and not particularly clean. 'Le Club' as it is branded, is not a relaxing experience.

5. Room bathroom was clearly past it - grubby, taps were difficult to operate and the swivel plug stuck, necessitating another maintenance call.

6. Not enough plug sockets - my wife and I had to share one to charge our phones overnight. Not a problem in the end, as neither of us were sleeping anyway.

In summary, if the rooms were of a reasonable temperature, the other problems would have pailed into insignificance. Not a 4* hotel in my view.

Room Tip: In hot weather, you're going to need to open a window, so choose a first floor room with a balco...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Brayster79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ken E, General Manager at Copthorne Hotel Newcastle, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Thank you for your constructive feedback. With regard to your main issue, the unusually warm weather over the weekend of your stay highlighted some mechanical issues with the bedroom comfort system and I am pleased to report that these have now been addressed. We are sorry that this experience led you to a negative opinion of our hotel.
Best regards,
Ken Ellington, General Manager

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1,258 - 1,264 of 1,913 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2013

In town for a surprise two days off organised by my other half. He booked us in here.


GOOD POINTS

- This hotel is well situated for an easy pleasurable walk into the town. It is in a quiet area and I would feel perfectly safe walking around here on my own at any time of the day or night.

- The view from our room over the Tyne was lovely. It is a mixed urban landscape. I found it remarkably peaceful watching the Tyne pass by.

- Overall I found the staff to be very friendly and in the main helpful and proactive.

- Sleep quality. Amazing. Very quiet, very comfy beds and a cosy duvet.

- Internet was included as part of our room tariff. The signal was pretty constant.


THE LESS GOOD

Miss-marketing

My other half had booked a suite. The Corpthorne's definition of a suite is 'a large bedroom'. A suite is;

- a connected series of rooms to be used together: a hotel suite
- a series of connected rooms used as a living unit
- a set of rooms designated for one person's or family's use for a particular purpose: a suite of reception rooms

A good way to disappoint a customer is to mis-sell a product. Rename and sell your big bedrooms as an 'executive bedroom' because you cannot call a big bedroom 'a suite'. It is a big bedroom, with a settee, a coffee table, a desk and an ensuite bathroom.


Lax Housekeeping

I like to read in bed and found that we had one bedside light between us. When I borrowed my other half's light to plug it into my side of the wall, I found it was impossible. The socket was hanging off the wall and there was something jammed in it. Bear in mind that the rate for Saturday night in this room is £180. This is unacceptable. How did Housekeeping miss the lack of two working bedside lights and an out of order electrical socket?

There was also a sticky stain on the desk that needed cleaning up.

The room itself was badly laid out. This may sound as though I am nit picking here. But if you are presenting a top room in what is considered a blue chip hotel, the layout of a room is important. I was shown two other rooms in this hotel that were the same size, that were properly laid out. They were far more attractive and better reflected the rate being charged.


Badly decorated

I am aware that this hotel is currently undergoing refurbishment. There are two new lifts. The carpets are being replaced. The televisions are about to replaced. The beds have been replaced. But when are the bedroom walls going to be stripped and redecorated? The room we were originally in (110) is in desperate need of a thorough refurbishment. It does not deliver value at £180. The wallpaper is very shabby and coming off in certain areas.


The Breakfast

Exceptionally cheap ingredients. Powered orange juice, tinned mushrooms, nasty thin white sliced bread, and very basic muesli. The scrambled eggs were watery, the fried eggs like bullets. This is mass catering at it's very worst. It was not a good experience.

On the first day the highlight of my breakfast was a croissant. It was warm from the oven, and fresh. And you could help yourself to a small bowl of quite lovely marmalade. Day two and my mouth was watering at the thought of another croissant. I ended up with a cold stale croissant and when I asked for marmalade I was given a small packet of it. Such different experiences two days running. I cannot explain the inconsistencies being delivered at this hotel.

I have to be fair and point out there was a choice of cereal and fresh fruit. Score points on this one Copthorne. I was also delighted to see a bowl of summer fruit and two bowls of yoghurt. But no labels for the yoghurt? Is it diet yoghurt, full fat, or what?

One female staff member was being very proactive keeping the hot buffet supplied. The other staff were less so. After eating cereal we went to look at the hot buffet. Upon returning to our table it had been completely stripped of our coffee, tea and cutlery. Exasperating. The male staff in the restaurant on Saturday are not quite clueless. However they need to get engaged and think about the service they should be delivering.


SUMMARY

Service - 3
Value - 2
Sleep Quality - 5
Cleanliness - 4
Location - 5
Rooms - 3
Breakfast - 2

In summary the reason for my overall low rating? This could be a truly amazing hotel. The architecture in the place is lovely. The breakfast room is beautiful and has lovely proportions to it. The Corpthorne is a blue chip brand. Whilst our problems were fixed pretty quickly, they should not have existed in the first place if the management team were properly engaged. I am aware that the refurbishment programme will take resource and time, but basis problems are being overlooked. "Could do better Corpthorne".

Room Tip: Do not book 110 until is is refurbished and properly laid out. When it is done I think this will be...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Le_Scribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ken E, General Manager at Copthorne Hotel Newcastle, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2013

Sorry to learn that your expectations had not been met in a number of areas during your recent stay which you have clearly viewed as mixed. Whilst it is disappointing that you felt the requirement to rate the hotel at such a level when the issues raised were addressed and fully resolved immediately, you are entitled to your view. Your constructive feedback will be reviewed and discussed with my management team accordingly, and I hope you may decide to return at some point.
Best regards,
Ken Ellington, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I organised a weekend away for a group of friends and after a lot of research and advice I went for this brilliantly situated riverside hotel. I'm glad I did. Everything we had planned to do (athletics, good food/drink, site seeing) was within easy reach.
I found all the staff to be attentive and helpful and the room was clean and nicely sited with views of the river. I would recommend it and will certainly stay there again.

Stayed: June 2013
1  Thank Alan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ken E, General Manager at Copthorne Hotel Newcastle, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2013

Many thanks for your great review. I'm delighted that you enjoyed your recent stay with us, with particular regard to the standard of guest service, bedroom cleanliness and hotel location. Your balanced recommendation of the hotel to other tripadvisor readers is much appreciated, and I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back again soon.
Best regards,
Ken Ellington, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I've organised an event in Newcastle recently and this is where I billeted our guests. The staff were lovely and very helpful, nothing is too difficult a request for them which gave me peace of mind. The hotel is situated along the banks of the river Tyne and is quite far from the noisy bars of the Quayside. All of the rooms face the river which is lovely, either in the summer or colder months. The hotel has its own restaurant and bar if one feels like staying in, but there are nearby pubs and restaurants which are all walking distance. And given the feedback of single travellers in my group, exploring the river banks by foot at night wasn't an issue. There is a nearby bus stop for those who don't want to walk to get to the city centre, but if one is exploring a new city, walking is definitely the way to go. Interesting sights and buildings along the way.

I agree that it needs a little bit of updating which they are currently doing and I look forward to seeing a more modern hotel given its great location.

Room Tip: All of the rooms face the river
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank krishnna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ken E, General Manager at Copthorne Hotel Newcastle, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Many thanks for your great review. I'm delighted that your experience of the hotel has been such a positive one, with particular regard to the high standard of guest service, hotel location, bedroom views and general facilities. As you mention, we are in the midst of a lot of refurbishment work at present, including flatscreen TV's going into all bedrooms w/c: 1 July, and our final phase of bedroom re-carpeting (2nd and 5th floor rooms) now approved and due to be taking place late August / early September. I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back again soon.
Best regards,
Ken Ellington, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Extremely friendly and helpful staff made our stay very pleasant. Nothing was too much trouble. The views over the river are fantastic and the room was spacious, clean and comfortable. Breakfast was very good too. Would definitely stay there again and recommend it.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Mark J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ken E, General Manager at Copthorne Hotel Newcastle, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Many thanks for your great review. I'm delighted that you enjoyed your recent stay with us, with particular regard to the high standard of guest service, bedroom comfort and cleanliness, quality of breakfast and the hotel location. Your recommendation of the hotel to other tripadvisor readers is much appreciated. I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back again soon. Thanks again.
Best regards,
Ken Ellington, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I recently stayed with friends for the weekend & was very impressed with the excellent service from all staff for the duration of our stay. The hotel is in a great location overlooking the Tyne & the perfect venue for a leisure or business stay.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank PaulBridport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ken E, General Manager at Copthorne Hotel Newcastle, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Many thanks for your great review. I'm delighted that you enjoyed your recent stay with us, with particular regard to the high standard of guest service and the hotel location. Your recommendation of the hotel to other tripadvisor readers is much appreciated. I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back again soon.
Best regards,
Ken Ellington, General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I have just returned from a weekend in Newcastle & whilst Friday & Saturday was fine, it was more like rain on the Tyne, rather than fog on the Tyne on Sunday.

The reason for my trip was an annual lads weekend away, this year found us going to Newcastle for the European Athletic Championships & staying in the Copthorne with 4 friends. Whilst we got a taxi to the hotel on our arrival, I would say the hotel was of a walkable distance from the station. I have read other comments on this site suggesting it was far away from the city centre, however, within 10 minutes of the hotel rear entrance, walking, you would pass at least half a dozen pubs / bars, along with a couple of restaurants.

The rooms in the hotel were spacious enough for two 40 something adults & all rooms overlooked the river, some having a balcony which, when the sun shone, made a nice place to sit out & chat.

Whilst the sauna was broken during our visit, the gym, steam room & pool, whilst slightly small, were the cure needed to assist in the recovery of a major hangover on Saturday morning.

The breakfast was well organised, on taking your room number at the door of the breakfast room, you are shown to your table, where within 2 minutes, both tea & coffee pots were brought to our table. It is self service, however the selection of foods is plentiful, both hot & cold, but if I had to be picky, the toaster could do with a bit of an update.

I reserve my final comments for the staff, from the ladies on the reception, the chambermaids, the spa staff & the people working behind the bar, all were courteous throughout the whole of my stay. However, a special mention must go to the night porter John. His interaction with the guests, making time for each of them, was something that really impressed me.

To finish, I would recommend this hotel for a weekend away for the points mentioned above.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Liam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ken E, General Manager at Copthorne Hotel Newcastle, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2013

Many thanks for your great review. I'm delighted that you enjoyed your recent stay with us (despite the weather), with particular regard to the hotel location, bedroom comfort, quality of breakfast, and the standard of guest service - Your positive feedback on John from the nights team is much appreciated. I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back again soon.
Best regards,
Ken Ellington, General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Copthorne Hotel Newcastle

Address: The Close | Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3RT, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Tyne and Wear > Newcastle upon Tyne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Luxury Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne
Price Range: $85 - $169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Copthorne Hotel Newcastle 4*
Number of rooms: 156
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Copthorne Hotel Newcastle Upon Tyne

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