“ The Close, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Tel: +44(0)191 245 5000. „
The Malmaison in Newcastle opened in 1997. It was converted from an old warehouse and is in an ideal position on the newly revamped quayside. My husband and myself spent a night there in December after my husband's office party. We thought that we would try this highly publicised hotel by way of a change from it's neighbour The Copthorne. The rooms are decribed in th Malmaison's brochure as "sexy". Ours was predominantly black and white, i.e. black and white bedding , white walls and black furniture apart from two bright red easy chairs. The furniture had become extremely shabby and badly stained, the black t.v. cabinet and wardrobe showed every finger print and the carpet was in need of repair. (Not my idea of sexy). Most hotels of this calibre are usually too hot and you find yourself upping the air conditioning, however our room was extremely cold as in fact was the rest of the hotel. When we went to breakfast the following morning I was warming my hands on a cup of hot chocolate and the waiter asked me whether it was cold outside. I said that I had just come down from my room. The decor in the rest of the hotel was painted in dark brown. I felt uneasy when I was on my own getting in and out of the lifts as the lighting was also poor. Breakfast was the only meal taken during our stay. There was plenty of choice for meat eaters but very little for vegetarians unless you settled for the continental version. On a cold December morning, in a cold hotel the latter didn't appeal. There were some plus points, our room had commanding views over the river Tyne and the Tyne bridge and the breakfast bar which doubles as a brasserie in the evenings has excellent views of the new and magnificent Millennium Bridge. When the bridge is opened in a couple of months time it is to be lit in ever changing colours and the views will be spectacular. Well I have satisfied my curiosity, but next tim e I'll return to my favourite The Copthorne.