“ 145 Prince Consort Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear / NE8 4DS „
The Bewick Hotel is somewhere I came across online when looking for places to stay in the Newcastle/Sunderland area. When it came to booking a place to stay for 2 nights in the north-east I dithered a bit, I don't know why because I knew I had to have somewhere to sleep seeing that I was going to a very important concert to see a very important man. I kept putting it off until about a couple of weeks before the visit. A fellow reviewer even advised me to stay at the Premier Inn in Newcastle and I was up for it until I saw the price. I didn't really want to pay £180 for 2 night's kip. I knew we would be out and about all the time during our stay so any old place would do really and I was determined to find somewhere cheaper and did; The Bewick Hotel.
Booking was simple. I booked on line through Booking.com. Fifty four pounds was taken from my credit card as a deposit and I had to pay the balance on arrival.
***Finding the place***
Having found the Metro Line in Newcastle we went one stop down the line to Gateshead where our room for two nights was going to be. I did print off a map of the hotel's location although my husband sort of remembered the area from his training days when he worked with Gateshead Council. The hotel is situated on Prince Consort Road, a Jewish area. I noticed many Orthodox Jews walking around but sadly no shops or restaurants. I'd say it takes about 15 minutes to walk to the hotel from the Metro station.
The Bewick Hotel is not a hotel as such, more like an old fashioned B&B. Arriving at the front entrance and looking through the glass windows we could see a dated patterned carpet; like something my parents had in their living room twenty years ago. I knew at this point that this was going to be a drab establishment and that the photographs on their website were not up to date.
***Greetings from reception***
We stood at reception a few minutes while we had a look around and then rang the bell on the desk. A burly woman came forth with a mane of jet black hair, hefty shoulders and a firm hand grip. Now, Geordies are known for their hospitality so I at least expected a smile but one never came. With a human bark she asked if we had booked. I said that we had and smiled. I could see that my charm wasn't working on this lady at all but being such a positive soul I persevered. She checked her diary, found our name, gave us a bunch of keys and was just about to depart to her private quarters when I remembered that I owed her £54. I reminded her, she agreed. I asked for a receipt and said that she didn't have to do this immediately as I would pick it up later or on checking out. The landlady grunted a bit, went into another room off to the left and came back with a hand written receipt. Our surname had been spelt incorrectly but I let this pass.
The reception hall area was tidy enough. On the reception desk and on a table next to it were many leaflets pertaining to the Newcastle area. I noticed a ghastly object in the corner and had to investigate. It was a free standing plastic and chrome sweet machine. Inside was a selection of Haribo sweets. I suppose you put a penny in and out pops a blue jellied worm or something like that.
Moving up the long and wide staircase I scrutinised the carpet. It had seen better days and had not been vacuumed properly. On reaching the top of the first floor we had to turn right and go through a heavy fire door and up some more carpeted stairs. This time the plain carpet had been vacuumed properly. Three rooms were on this floor, ours was the second one.
***It's definitely not the Ritz***
After nearly giving myself a hernia opening another heavy door I wasn't too shocked at the state of the room and pleased that the carpet wasn't patterned. The room had a lot of potential but I could see that the landlady hadn't splashed out on furnishings. There were two single beds separated by the slope of the roof with two pine set of drawers at each bed side. The bedding consisted of a cream valance that hadn't been put in the boil wash; it had dirty marks along the bottom. The duvet cover was the same creamy colour, clean but creased. I sat on the bed and it felt okay, comfortable enough. Mind you, after 16 days of non-stop travelling I would have slept on the floor if I had to. It was good to see that the two windows in the room were double-glazed as the road behind was busy with cars and buses.
Mounted on the wall opposite the bed was a flat screen TV, it worked. Underneath was a small silver fridge with a tray on top filled with tea bags, coffee sachets, sugar, two small cups and saucers, a packet of digestive biscuits and a kettle. The only item in the fridge was a saucer full of tiny cartons of milk. Where was the beer?
The more I looked around the room I could see that the lady of the house didn't have an aesthetic eye. The decorative fittings were shocking especially two matching silver, glass and chrome light fittings. The one nearest the door was coming away from the ceiling. A floral effect had been added to the wall in the form of three brown and white flower printed canvas blocks. They were wonky; I had to rectify this straight away by straightening each one up.
To check if my drainpipe jeans hadn't ruffled up I looked in the full size mirror, encased in imitation brown leather, this was attached to the wall at the foot of one of the beds. I could only see a part image due to the hideous, wonky cream and gold standard lamp standing in front of the mirror. This served no purpose whatsoever; it was ugly and didn't even work.
It was a good job we didn't bring many clothes as the only facility for storing clothes was a high shelf above 3 clothes pegs attached to the side wall near to the bathroom and underneath a small black table with towels on the top and a selection of booklets about sightseeing opportunities.
The en-suite bathroom was tiny and claustrophobic but practical enough with a loo, wash basin, shower unit, heated towel rail. Soap came from dispensers; one was next to the wash basin and one in the shower unit. Towels consisted of one medium sized and one small with a mat to place on the floor to catch the leaking shower water. The flow of water wasn't consistent; one huge burst then a small continuous drop. Still it did the job; we were pretty grubby after all the travelling.
***Time to test the bed***
Having been out on our first evening to meet two lovely people from Gateshead and have a few beers both my husband and I were ready for bed on our return. Within seconds of lying down we were both out like a light and didn't surface until 7.30am. I can conclude that the beds were extremely comfy and we both had a great night's sleep. You don't need fancy duvet covers and flouncy valances to get a good night's sleep you just need a good bed!
Breakfast was included in the price of £54 per night. We don't generally eat a lot of breakfast at home but seeing that we hadn't had an English breakfast for many years and Polish bacon isn't nice we decided we would make the most of our stay and 'tuck in.'
The breakfast room was huge and had a tall ceiling. Part of the room had been separated and was clearly being used as the owner's storeroom. Potentially this room could have been really elegant but again more patterned carpet and heavy curtains.
Tables were dressed in maroon cloths with white paper throwaway cloths on the top. The table we chose was set for two and I immediately spotted the stained cloth. Someone wasn't taking their housekeeping duties seriously - it only takes a minute to change a paper cloth. Boxed cereals, coffee machine and a kettle were all placed in a section underneath a large flat screen TV which was on all the time. There wasn't a lot of choice of cereal only cornflakes and Weetabix, the coffee was luke warm and very strong. Toast came before the cooked breakfast which is rather annoying as I like to eat it afterwards. The famous English breakfast was good and not too filling; the portions of sausage and bacon were small as was the dollop of beans and tinned tomatoes. Sauces were available near the cereal section.
The guests in the dining room were miserable; they didn't speak at all. The only words that came from the young chap who was waiting on were; 'Full English' and 'There's your toast.'
This is a B&B not a hotel. I am going to award 6/10 stars. Location, beds, TV, bathroom and breakfast, all okay. Cleanliness and Customer Care score very low points. It seems that the owners lack care and aren't bothered about the attention to detail. I got the impression that they had been in business a long time and lost interest. The whole building needs stripping down and refurbishing. I saw three different family members helping out in the dining room and not one of them greeted any of the guests. They walked around in a lethargic manner, didn't smile and very nearly threw the food on the table. This really isn't good enough.
We enjoyed our stay in Gateshead and for what we wanted; a cheap room to rest, we were satisfied. I know all about Geordie friendliness so I was a bit shocked to see that these people were devoid of it. I wouldn't choose to stay here again and would only recommend it to friends if they couldn't find anything else within the same price bracket.
The address is: The Bewick Hotel, 145 Consort Road, Gateshead, Telephone: 0191 477 1809
I apologise for the length of the review but as you can see I have a lot to say about it.