My review for the Malmaison Hotel (Newcastle) refers specifically to their 'petit spa'. I went for a half spa day and ate lunch in their brasserie but I can not comment on their rooms / hotel service. Now I've made that clear... I went for a half spa day for my birthday (this was a while ago) and went with my Mam. The half spa day package (weekday) was £100 each and included lunch. We arrived at half 9 and on arriving at the reception we were pointed in the direction of the petit spa, which is situated in the basement. So into the fancy lift and down we went. It's pretty dimly lit in the spa, I think you'd call it 'mood lighting'. We were greeted by some flustered staff members (even though the spa was empty?!) and shown where the changing rooms and lockers were. Everything is 'petit' (small) in this spa and the changing area was no exception. A nice way to put it would be cosy. Everything was very clean though (I'm picky about that). So we got changed into our 'fluffly' robes (they weren't THAT fluffy, I thought they'd be fluffy...) and went to relax in the massage chair room while we selected our lunch for later. You have to pick from a limited menu which I found odd. A friend said I should definitely get the burger, but there was no burger so I chose a salad. I had a hard time picking lunch actually. I'm not big on weird, fancy food. There wasn't a great selection - about 3 dishes to chose from in each course. I later found out that as part of the spa package you have this limited menu and can't order from the full menu. Bit of a let down. The massage chairs were a bit unpleasant - a bit rough. It nearly chomped my leg off! But this wasn't what we came for... the best was yet to come. Our therapists came and took us to separate rooms for our treatments. We had... Aromatherapy facial ----------------------------- This was so great... the smells ... the textures. Ah, heaven. There's a choice of essential oils and various cleansers, toners etc. Before we got started the therapist encouraged me to smell each one. Apparently if you like the smell it means you need it. If you don't like it or can't smell it (my Mam couldn't smell one of them) your body doesn't need it. So my nose picked my treatments and we began. I can honestly say it was the best facial I've ever had. They use the ESPA range of products and of course they do advise you to purchase some of them to take the treatment home with you (and in the end I did). It's not the hard sell at all, you get product cards to take with you and ponder over. I don't know whether it was the products or the skilled hands of the therapist but my complexion never looked so good. It was glowing... for days after too! Wonderful! Indian Head Massage ----------------------------- Wow. Just wow. This happened seamlessly after the facial. Pink clay mud and various other wonderful things were massaged around my scalp and I found this part of the experience particularly blissful! Head massages are not something you should miss out of a pamper day in my opinion. My hair looked like I'd stepped out of the 80's afterwards but this can't be helped in these situations! Back Massage ----------------------------- Not a full body massage unfortunately but it only really misses out your legs because your arms get a good seeing to in the process. I felt that the massage therapist I had was extremely skillful when it came to my back massage. It honestly felt so divine and I was convinced that there were two people massaging me! (or she had 4 hands?) It just felt as if I was being kneaded all the way down my arm across my back and nearly down to my bum all at the same time. It was extremely relaxing and I definitely nodded off for a while. Again the therapist used ESPA oils and I think they had been pre-warmed because I wasn't startled by anything too cold as she applied them. The treatment bed was ridiculously comfy - I think Malmaison have invested in top of the range beds - it was like lying in a big, soft, quilted, heated, towel cocoon. No wonder I fell asleep... I think out of all the treatments I had that day, I'd recommend the Back Massage if you were only stopping by for one treatment and not staying for a half or full day package. It was my favourite bit! Manicure ----------------------------- It might just be me, I might just have high standards, but I've never had a decent manicure off another person, anywhere. The Malmaison was no exception and although I was kinda hoping they would do a good job - they didn't. Bless my therapist... her skillful massaging, soothing, wondrous hands were my best friends moments ago back in the massage room but now it was clear they couldn't paint nails for toffee. Or file nails. Or buff nails. It was hopeless. So don't expect too much from this part of the package. You might hit lucky and get a good manicurist. I wasn't so lucky. However I'm still awarding the spa 5 stars on account of everything else exceeding my expectations and me and my Mam both enjoyed the other treatments thoroughly. We definitely enjoyed lunch, the food was very tasty and the surroundings very comfortable. We were given ample time to get showered, dressed and ready before lunch was served and didn't feel rushed at all. The service was prompt and friendly and afterwards, when we'd finished eating, skin glowing, bellies full, I was sad that the day was over. (Though I couldn't wait to get home to re-do my nails - tut!) For a special occasion the half day package is a good value treat and is worth the money for a city centre spa. Though if you're looking for jacuzzis, saunas and fluffy robes you'll need to take your pennies elsewhere. (Quite possibly Seaham Hall - a 'proper' spa near the coast in County Durham, not far from Newcastle) All in all I'd recommend the treatments at the petit spa and was glad I decided to go. It was lovely and luxurious!
Friday the 13th turned out to be a lucky day for me; my boyfriend asked me to marry him, I said yes (woo hoo!) and then he swept me off to Newcastle for a romantic weekend in the Malmaison hotel on the quayside. I had heard great things about the hotel from friends who had stayed there so I was really looking forward to staying there. On arrival at the hotel we found plentiful, accessible secure parking behind the hotel which was free when you asked for a validated ticket at the hotel reception. We walked around to the front of the hotel and were struck by its fantastic location. Right in front of the hotel is the Millenium Bridge leading over the river Tyne to the Baltic art gallery and then across the river and to the right is the Sage concert hall; fab view! We entered the hotel and the reception from the staff was lovely; very helpful and looking to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The decor in the reception was very dark: blacks and purples, lots of velvet and the strong smell of lillies - it seemed rather decadent and sumptuous! Our room was a suite so we had a double bed, corner sofa area with a large plasma screen television and a beautiful bathroom with a huge shower, bedecked with slate tiles, all very chic. The decor in the suite was very contemporary and echoed the black and purple colour scheme which we had seen downstairs. There was a lot of faux leather and velvet in the furnishings and, on first view, I was very impressed but as we spent more time in the room, I began to notice that parts of the suite, excepting the bathroom, looked a little shabby and not as luxurious as I had first thought. For example, the faux leather pouffe had stains on it as though something had been spilled and not mopped up and the velvet cushions were beginning to look a little worn. Not quite what we had expected when the price was about £260 for one night!! It was almost like we were staying in a theme hotel and the room was dressed up to be something it wasn't. This really made me feel that it wasn't worth the amount my partner had paid for the suite. We didn't eat at the hotel as we had a meal booked elsewhere but the hotel restaurant and bar is apparantly very good, I can't pass judgement though as we didn't use it! The bathroom was the best part of the master suite and I had been told by a friend that we'd need a carrier bag to put all the lovely freebies in from the bathroom. We were a little disappointed with what was available in the bathroom as it was nothing more than in any other hotel: soap (grapefuit, it smelled good enough to eat!), shampoo, shower gel. I had been shown photos which my friend had taken of the bathroom when they had stayed there and there were products galore, all of which could be taken away! Perhaps the credit crunch has affected this somewhat. We had a very comfortable night's sleep in the hotel and we did enjoy our stay. Our only disappointment was the shabby feel of the decor in the suite. It just didn't give the feeling of being in the lap of luxury that we had expected for the price we had paid. Although I have been quite critical, the service in the hotel was great, the bathroom was stunning and the location is great; within walking distance of the train station and city centre and had a great lookout over the Tyne and I would recommend this hotel for people to stay in, just make sure you get a good deal with the price as £260 was ridiculously over priced for the quality of room.
I have stayed in Malmaison in Newcastle numerous times now on business and have enjoyed my stay, if been slightly disappointed. I lived in Newcastle for nearly a decade and always wanted to stay in/eat in the Mal. It is without a doubt the most stylish hotel in the City Centre and pure indulgence to stay there when you live just down the road! I got my chance last year after moving to London when I had to attend a business event in Newcastle. The Mal costs around £165 a night - I usually book on Expedia as I find they have the cheapest rates but the hotel also features on laterooms and other hotel sites so shop around. It is situated on the Quayside which is the redeveloped area on the Newcastle side of the Tyne. The views walking along towards the hotel are absolutely stunnnig, especially at night. I find it's very conveniently situated for transport as now the Quayside yellow bus goes from just along the quay up into the City centre and to the railway station. As you step into the Mal it is like stepping into a cocoon - the music is soft, the looby is dimly lit and the walls are painted in dark purple. The furniture is decadent and luxurious and the long curved reception desk makes you feel you have arrived to pure luxury. After checking in the lift takes you up into the hotel (complete with french lift voice telling you your floor so pay attention). The rooms I have stayed in vary -with by far the best one facing the Millenium Bridge with the most amazing powerful shower and slate tiled bathroom. Each room I have visited does boast beautiful rich decor and lovely free toiletries as well as little Malmaison touches like the DVD player and flatscreen TV. Heading down for breakfast in the cold light of day the hotel decor reminds me of what a nightclub looks like without all the people and atmosphere of an evening - tired and a bit sleazy. Similarly having your breakfast in a sumptuosly decorated resturant also feels a bit wrong. The food itself is lovely, there isn't a huge amount of choice and the buffet is smaller, (the Hilton is still the best) but the smoked salmon and scrambled egg is without a doubt the best I have had. This is a nice hotel, but each time I go I find it disappointing. When I was a student in Newcastle I thought this place was the height of luxury - and at that time it probably was. If only it would keep up with the times, it would definitely have the potential to be again.
The hotel is right on the Newcastle Quayside overlooking the Millennium Bridge and Baltic Arts Centre. There are a number of restaurants and bars right next to the hotel and less than one minute walk away yet the hotel feels quite secluded and away from the hustle and bustle of the Quayside. Check in is very easy and the staff on reception were very friendly and efficient. We stayed mid week for one night and because the hotel wasn't busy we were upgraded to a suite. I was very impressed as I had got a bargain rate on the internet for £80 per night for a double room. The going rate for a suite is £200 per night plus!! The hotel décor is very nice and modern and what you would expect from a hotel in this price bracket. All of the public areas are spotless. The room that we stayed in was a suite and was very spacious. The furniture was in very good condition and the room very clean. The shower in the room was great very powerful and easy to use and get the temperature just right The prices in the bar are quite expensive. For a small glass of house wine and a pint we paid £9.90. To park at the hotel there is a public car park (secure) and costs approx £5 for the night. I think this rate is discounted as a hotel guest. Probably one of my favourite hotels in Newcastle and would recommend to others.
Sometimes I think finding a hotel in the UK can be a pretty depressing business! For years wed been fruitlessly searching for of a chain of hotels that we could rely on or recommend. Apart from spending an arm and a leg at some renowned golf resort or swanky London address, there didnt seem to be any chains that you could look forward to staying at with complete confidence. The papers are full of the Hotel du Vin chain but from my experience of one, I was extremely disappointed. So we looked forward to our stay at the Newcastle Malmaison with a little trepidation. This chain is sometimes put in the same category as the Hotel du Vin properties, but with much less dewy eyed respect! (Since our stay in fact Malmaison have taken over the Hotel du Vin chain). We booked our one night stay quite a few months in advance and found the responses to our e-mail queries very helpful and efficient. We booked a Chateau Suite at a rate of £165 per night excluding breakfast. We toyed with the idea of booking a normal room, but this being our first trip away with our 3 month old daughter and having just come from Slaley Hall staying in a spacious lodge, we thought we might appreciate some extra space. At weekends you can get a standard room for around £100 including breakfast. The Malmaison is situated on the Newcastle Quayside just a stones throw away from the new Millennium footbridge. It is housed in an an attractive old warehouse building which gives the hotel a lot of character. There is car parking in the public car park behind which is a little inconvenient, but at £2 for the day cant really be sniffed at. We arrived in the morning and went to see if our room was ready which it was unfortunately not. When we arrived back after 3pm we still had a little wait, which with a small baby wanting her feed was starting to become a bit annoying, but soon enough we were given our key and were on our way. The check in staff were quick and efficient despite the room not being ready. Our dinner reservation was not mentioned when we checked in however, which you may have expected from other service-orientated hotels.. We had requested a room at the front of the hotel, although I am unsure if any of the Chateau Suites actually are. Our room was actually at the side looking along the River Tyne towards the Tyne Bridge so actually was a very nice view, although a view across the Millennium Bridge would have been even nicer! We noticed when we checked in that the cot we had requested was not in the room, but a quick phone call rectified this and a strange laundry cart type contraption arrived that was masquerading as a cot! In our large square open plan suite, the décor was very now with neutral beige and cream striped carpets and curtains, cream walls and very dark brown chequered effect furniture. The artistic edge of these hotels though was shown by the little touches, black and white framed local photos on the walls, fresh exotic flowers, black and white striped tall headboard and chequered cushions setting off the crisp white bed linen as well as the almost obligatory woollen throw. The windows also had natural blinds and the room benefited from a large black sofa and subdued lighting. The room contained the normal facilities plus a CD player and air conditioning. These touches certainly set it apart from the Hotel du Vin we stayed at in Winchester where we didnt even have a clock! The bathroom was large and it was great to have a large separate shower. It seemed a very Malmaison bathroom, quite sleek and sexy. Although we were being accompanied by our daughter, we still werent prepared to forego our usual pre-dinner cocktails, but unfortunately there was no non smoking area in the bar, but the helpful bar tender found us a spot at the edge of the bar near the restaurant where we wouldnt be bothered by smoke. The bar was very intimate and cosy with subdued lighting very classy. I didnt hesitate long before choosing a Kir Royale, my very favourite when it is done well, which it most definitely was, carefully poured with the champagne resting at the top. The price of £8.95 wasnt shocking either. My husband chose the house champagne which was veuve Cliquot, and fairly reasonably priced at £7.95. Before we left the bar, our daughter had fallen asleep fantastic, so we then made our way through to the restaurant. This had windows on about three sides, giving a good view of the surrounding frivolities outside. And with Newcastle there usually is some good people-watching to do! Unusually for us we both opted for the set menu at £12.95 for 2 courses. I chose the Plum Tomato Stack with Parmesan and Rocket. This could have been uninspiring and bland but was actually perfect, very tasty and really well executed. For main course I chose Chicken with Mustard Mash which again was a huge surprise. I usually choose chicken when I am stuck for anything else and often I am underwhelmed. This was lovely though, the chicken was cooked just right and tasted like corn-fed. The mustard mash was an ideal accompaniment I was well pleased. My husband chose the Trout for starter and the Risotto for main course. He was equally happy with his choices, although he was longingly watching the group of men on the next table tuck into a very appetising looking steak their whole crab for starter looked equally inviting. Next time . We both commented though that for a set menu this was outstanding. We tend not to choose the set/table DHote menus because you mostly end up feeling short changed and that you have been given less exciting food, but here that was not the case at all. My Vanilla Ice Cream with Hot Valrhona Chocolate Sauce was the perfect end to the meal such classic comfort food, that you dont expect to find on a restaurant menu, and with the great chocolate sauce, it was just right. When we were exploring on our way back to our room, we noticed an intriguing large room in the centre of the building on our floor, decked out like a private lounge. Our key card got us into it, but it didnt appear to be used much. We enquired about it when we checked out and were told it was indeed just a lounge area. It is a pity we werent made aware of it, as these private floors with lounges are so a la mode currently that Malmaison were really doing themselves a disservice not to brag about it. I notice now they do mention it on their website, so maybe it was a work in progress when we were there. Our total bill, for the suite, dinner, wine and pre-dinner cocktails plus tips and parking came to just over £255. For a well respected city centre hotel with great food, this didnt seem half bad to me. I would definitely stay at a Malmaison again. We decided against it on a trip to Birmingham recently instead opting for the Hyatt mainly because of the swimming pool, but in hindsight I really wish we had stayed at the Malmaison. I would definitely stay next time I go to a City where a Malmaison operates. In my opinion, there is no comparison between the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison chains, one seems to rely on its upmarket trendy but somewhat shabby chic image, and the other just gives stylish, modern surroundings, with good service I know which I prefer.