“ Address: Newbridge Street / Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 8BS / Tel: 0871 527 8802 „
I stayed in the newcastle premier inn for weekend in november in 2011 as was a weekend away with my girls for my birthday :) I had only stayed in a premier inn once prior and was not disappointed with the excellent customer service and friendly banter from all the staff!
Originally from london, we arrived at the premier inn and were greeted from friendly newcastle staff, who were on hand to giving us thorough advice on good places to go in terms of nightlife, and assisting us with cabs and how to get around. We were shown to our room which was also of high standard, clean and tidy. We had received a courtesy call earlier in the week to let us know the restaurant was closed and would we like to book dinner at a restaurant not too far from the hotel which they would provide us with a free cab service and 10% discount on the food but we declined, however I appreciated that they had gone to such effort to let us know.
We checked in around 5pm on a saturday evening and due to work arrangements we checked out 9.30am the next morning but the staff were friendly and made sure we had a pleasant visit.
My only minor complaint was that the heating in the room was dodgy and I was freezing! We turned the heating on full blast but felt like within half hour it was cold again and it seemed the heating kept turning itself off :( we specifically left it on when we left at 11pm but back in at 3am and it was off, so I was quite annoyed about that! but we wasn't bothered to make a fuss so we did not address the issue downstairs as we didn't particularly spend much time in the room anyway!
Location to town and the strip was perfect and meant we saved on cab fare!
A recent trip to Newcastle found me searching for a hotel in the city. In the past I would drive down and usually stay close to the Metro Centre in Gateshead but this time round I decided to take the train down, making a city centre hotel more attractive.
I chose the Premier Inn Newcastle Central because the location was good and the price was right, with rooms available at an advance purchase rate of £29 per night. I booked a twin room as I was travelling with my daughter and no family rooms were available.
~~The Location & First Impressions~~
The hotel is located on New Bridge Street West, close to a couple of bars and clubs. Monument Metro station is a five minute walk away, and Central Station is about 15 to 20 minutes walk or a £5 cab ride. There is a taxi rank outside the hotel too.
The hotel doesn't have its own car park but parking is available next door at discounted rates which at time of writing are £6 for 9 am to 5pm and £3 from 4.30 pm to 9.00 am. I didn't use the car park or view it during my stay however.
This is a large Premier Inn and unlike so many I have stayed in before it's a standalone hotel with it's own bar and restaurant and even has conference rooms. I have to say I like this and it makes a difference to be able to have breakfast in a restaurant in situ as opposed to having to dine in the pub next door.
The reception area is large and airy and check in was quick and painless - as with all Premier Inns you pay on arrival. We were asked how many keys we needed - which my daughter appreciated even though we only needed one.
There are two lifts and the reception area features some vending machines and a couple of pay as you go internet terminals. There is also a cash machine but this charges a fee to use.
I usually book Family Rooms when I stay in a Premier Inn so this was my first experience of a twin room and while I have to say the room was comfortable it was also very small. There was an open wardrobe area with four wooden hangers and on the shelves beside this there was a kettle along with two cups and two spoons along with tea and coffee and dried milk - but no biscuits. Two glasses sat here too which I found odd - I would have expected to find them in the bathroom. There were two spare pillows on the highest shelf and a set of towels underneath.
The two beds took up most of the space in the room there were two very narrows bedside tables with a telephone sitting on the middle table. One bed had one of the ubiquitous purple Premier Inn bed shams which looked a bit odd - why not on both of them? The purple theme continued with a padded purple headboard which was attached to the wall and stretched from one side of the room to the other. This might give an idea of how small the room was.
Opposite the beds was a desk and chair with a flatscreen TV which had all the Freeview channels. The screen wasn't particularly big - I am guessing 19 inches but the picture quality was excellent. The desk had various pieces of literature regarding the hotel including a restaurant menu and information regarding breakfast.
The room had three plug sockets which proved to be sufficient for the two of us but all were located by the desk so if I wanted to use my netbook sitting on the bed I had to run it off the battery and my daughter had to do this with her portable DVD player. There is wifi available in each room but there is a surcharge payable. As both my daughter and myself have 3G phones we didn't bother with this service and as a result I don't know what the surcharge is.
The bathroom was one of the best I have encountered in a Premier Inn. Unlike so many it was fully tiled from floor to ceiling, and this gave it a classier feel. The over bath shower was excellent - the water only had to run for about 30 seconds or so before it warmed up but it wasn't scalding when it did heat up either. Water pressure was excellent and the shower curtain wasn't one of those cheap ones that stick to you when you are washing either. There was however no extractor fan in the bathroom which leads to the large mirror steaming up completely when you have a shower.
Soap is included in a dispenser but I found it to be very slow to release, despite a full bottle being inside. I don't know if it was blocked or if it was faulty but it was a bit irritating. There is a hand soap dispenser close to the wash hand basin and this worked without any problems.
Two hand towels and two bath sheets were provided and I was very impressed with the bath sheets - they weren't thick and fluffy but they were far larger than the towels I used at my last stay at a Premier Inn a couple of months ago - something I really appreciate as I use large bath sheets at home.
Maid service was excellent on both days. We slept later than usual and on both mornings the maid knocked on the door to ask when we were going out so she could ensure the room was made up on our return. I liked this as I hate going out in the morning and coming back in the afternoon to find my room still hasn't been made when I stay in hotels. All communal areas were spotless and I saw staff cleaning them rigorously too.
When I made the reservation I also booked breakfast for both days we stayed at the hotel. It costs £7.99 with under 16s eating free. As my daughter is 14 this makes breakfast a bit of a bargain.
Breakfast is served between 6.30 am and 10.00 am in the restaurant which is located on the second floor. It's the usual Premier Inn buffet breakfast and I was impressed with the food both mornings and in particular with the sausages and bacon - the sausages were meaty and tasty and the bacon was very good quality too. The hot buffet also includes fried and scrambled eggs, tomatoes, baked beans and mushrooms.
There's also a selection of breads including crumpets, cereals, fruit, cakes, fruit juice and tea and coffee.
When I made myself toast I noticed a sign warning against changing the settings because apparently "the current settings produce an evenly toasted slice of bread". I wasn't convinced by this and as a result wasn't surprised when my toast came out with a very slight tinge of brown on one side and still completely white on the other. Warm bread as my husband used to call it.
We had dinner at the restaurant on one night and I must admit I was surprised at how busy it was. The hotel has a bar at the front of the restaurant entrance and you can get bar snacks but if you want a full dinner you have to go into the restaurant. The menu includes steaks and usual pub fare including fish and chips and scampi and you can get a Meal Deal which is two courses for £11.99. You can choose either a starter and a main or a main and a dessert but not every item is included and I must admit I found this a bit limiting.
I ended up having lasagne and my daughter opted for pizza. The lasagne was clearly something that had come to the oven via a freezer and was decent enough if a bit insipid. It was served with garlic bread but no salad garnish, which I must admit I missed. My daughter's pizza looked a little fresher and she did enjoy it but it was really far too big for one.
Service at dinner time was pleasant if a little slow. The waiting staff were visibly busy however - I was actually suprised at how busy the restaurant was on a weekday night, never mind the bustling bar area.
The location of the Newcastle Central Premier Inn is a good one but I fear this could also be a disadvantage at weekends. It's perfectly located for hen and stag parties - with bars and restaurants nearby but also there are two clubs located almost outside the hotel so a combination of rowdy guests and revellers outside could well lead to noise issues. I must stress we had no such problems with noise during our stay, apart from a couple returning to their room late at night and talking loudly as they did so.
Both my daughter and myself had no complaints about the beds which were comfortable and afforded us a good night's sleep. The room temperature was fine during our stay and we didn't have to open the window. The heater in the room also doubles as an air conditioning unit which makes the restriction on opening the window too far not too much of a problem on a hot day.
The room was lacking a hairdryer, which I must admit surprised me as they are usually located in Premier Inn rooms as a matter of course.
The vending machines let us down too - there was a machine selling Ben and Jerry's ice cream which caught my daughter's eye but sadly it was out of order. Similarly a machine selling confectionery and crisps was able to dispense some products but was "out of order" for others.
Overall I was impressed with the hotel but had I paid more for such a small room I would have felt a bit aggrieved as it really was rather cramped. I also found the lighting to be a bit dismal with a large ceiling light in the hallway close to the door and bathroom but only two very dim reading lights above each bed. There was a desk lamp on the desk but unfortunately it didn't work. A ceiling light above the beds would be a vast improvement.
I probably wouldn't recommend dinner at the hotel except if perhaps you were a lone traveller and didn't fancy going out for dinner after a long day as there are better options just a short stroll away, including a Nando's and Wagamama at Eldon Square which offer fresher food for a similar price. Breakfast is good however.
I get the impression that this particular Premier Inn is trying to attract business travellers as opposed to families - from what I can gather the hotel doesn't actually have any family rooms for instance - with the average weekend guest someone wishing to sample the city's nightlife.
The hotel's rate is variable and I was able to secure such a cheap rate by booking well ahead and accepting a rate which couldn't be changed or refunded if I were to change my mind. Rack rates are available for £49 which is still a bargain for a city centre hotel but be warned rates do seem to increase at weekends.
Overall however if I am planning another visit to Newcastle and coming on the train I would definitely consider staying at the Premier Inn Newcastle Central again and even the potential for noise at weekends wouldn't put me off thanks to the brand's "good night guarantee" which does promise you your money back should you have problems they cannot rectify - but just remember this won't cover you if the noise comes from outside as that's beyond their control.