My boyfriend is a generous sort and often treats me to weekends away. I've heard great things about Newcastle's shopping so he treated me to a weekend up there about 3 months ago now.
We picked together the hotel and decided to go for a holiday Inn. Being students its being reasonably priced was one of the main criteria and this certainly was, two nights for £50. I've stayed in Holiday Inns before and they've always been great so was really looking forward to this hotel.
This hotel is quite far out of town, probably about about 15 minutes or so car drive. Public transport I should imagine be quite tricky as you are quite in the middle of no where. Location wasn't an issue for us as we were taking a car. However it was a nightmare to find. Not very well sign posted and when I rang the reception for directions they weren't overly helpful to someone who hadn't a clue where they were. Suppose it's a hard job though.
Anyhow we finally arrived around 6pm. Slight queue to check in but it didn't bother us. We got to the front and I said hi, smiled and said do you want to know our check in number. The rude old man looked at me blankly and said really sarcastically 'No. Your name might be slightly more helpfully than a number'. I was mortified and left checking in to my boyfriend. There was no reason to be so rude to me.
We were given one of those key cards and set off finding our room. I believe it was 267 but don't quote me on that. We walked past a vending machine and an ice machine. The ice was free but vending machine was reasonably priced I believe.
Eventually found our room. On the second (and top!) floor and actually could not have been further away if we'd tried from reception. It was down a very long corridor, probably around 200 yards and the last room.
Bit of trek but again I wasn't disappointed.
Finally got the card working and got in. It was quite a nice room, two single beds zipped together but I don't mind that as it's bigger than a double, more room to roll... There was a bathroom with a heated floor, felt lovely on bare feet! We had an old 14 inch television set with BB1, BB2, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BBc 3, BBC News 24 and Sky sports 1. A good enough selection considering you don't go on holiday to watch TV. However when we turned it on it crackled terribly and was really annoying. So bad you couldn't watch it.
I rang reception and probably about 15 minutes later the rude man came up. He just swapped it with the room next door. Although he was slightly friendlier this time I still didn't dare say or comment on anything.
We were starving and having spent enough time driving about we decided to have tea in the restaurant. A carvery was around £15 each. I believe it was £20 each for a dessert too. The food I've got to say was very poor. My turkey had gristly bits and it wasn't very appetising. I've had better carveries at a local pub for £3.50! I've got to say though I ate it anyway, something I regretted when I saw how yummy the puddings looked but didn't have room for one!
When looking at hotels my main criteria is a swimming pool. I love having one and in the description on the internet we were promised a jacuzzi, pool, steam room and sauna. THERE IS NO JACUZZI! I was really annoyed about this! The photograph they show on their website clearly shows a jacuzzi but there isn't one here! I must have asked about 4 different staff where it was and they all looked at me blankly and said we don't have one! The flippin' manual in the room states there is one too! Very bizarre. There was even a sing in the changing room mentioning this 'Spa bath'.
Anyhow back to the leisure facilitates. There is a small weights room and gym. There changing rooms are either side of reception, males right and females to the left. I went in and they were quite modern. You need a pound for the lockets and then I thought how do I get to the pool? I asked a lady in there and she directed me out through reception. I was horrified! I'm not the most confident person and having to walk past a bunch of people in a bikini is not my idea of well set out pool area! Anyhow I grabbed my towel and got on with it! The pool was quite nice, a good depth to it, nice length and relatively clean. The steam room and sauna were also quite nice. There is quite a lot of peeling paint and it is a bit scruffy but it does and we had a laugh in the pool.
I didn't mention my annoyance about the false advertising because non of the staff were particularly nice so I left it at that when there but once I got home I looked at the description and photographs and nope I wasn't imagining it! It was all still there so I fired off a letter of complaint and also mentioned how bad the food was and my boyfriend got 30 DOLLERS(?!) in vouchers and a slight apology. Don't quite know how we'll spend those...
I can't comment on breakfast as we didn't bother. The bar seemed reasonable priced and modern.
All in all it was a nice holiday with a few let downs. Our room was comfy, a good size and clean. The bathroom was also clean and I loved the heated floor. We got new towels everyday and more freebie little bottles of shampoo. Yes I was disappointed in the lack of jacuzzi as I has visualised myself spending the weekend in one but we made up for it. There is fields out the back which were a nice walk to go on. Don't pay to eat in the restaurant, instead go 5 minutes up the duel carriage way and there is pub, possibly a Beef eater. Go there. We had a nice meal there. There is also a McDonnalds if you are a partial to one!