Motel One Newcastle was the last hotel we stayed in before the pandemic turned the world upside down. And we couldn’t have wished for a better stay. From check-in to check-out, the lovely Geordie staff didn’t disappoint, borrowing a phone charger and reeling out banter. If you’re after a cheap, centrally-located hotel, you’ll struggle to find a better place in Newcastle city centre.
Given the changes to the hospitality industry in recent months, we called to check-in on what social distancing measures have been put in place. We were given confident, efficient guidance from the lovely Jordan. He explained the new protocols, which included: masks are advised in communal areas (if not at the bar or dining), one-way systems, hand sanitisers everywhere and a bespoke breakfast ordering service to limit the risk of contamination.
Motel One Newcastle is in a prime spot on the High Bridge. Located near renowned Newcastle classics, like the legendary café named Blakes and classic Geordie pub, The Beehive. If you’re after a laugh, a few doors down you’ll find the best stand-up comedy venue in the city (The Stand). Pleased To Meet You is a popular hipster bar close-by. You’ll also find plenty of independent and designer clothing stores within five minutes walk (like Retro Vintage, Union Clothes and End). Grainger Market is less than five minutes on foot, so check out the food stalls there. And the city’s main train station (Central Station) is under ten mins walk away too. Arriving by plane? Hop on the Green Line from Newcastle Airport, which will take you to Monument Station in under half an hour. Then the hotel is just a few minutes’ walks from there.
All 222 at Motel One Newcastle are decorated simplistically but are well-finished in a contemporary style. Think dark hard furnishings with pops of teal soft furnishings. They’re comfortable and you can’t argue with the size either for the price. Though it is a budget hotel, so hanging space and storage space is limited to hanging rails. Don’t expect mod-cons galore. You get what you paid for and what you pay for here is not a super-luxury hotel suite. That’s not to say it isn’t swish, it is. And cracking value for money to boot. Beds are soft as marshmallows and the TV is a canny size too.
The style & staff
This swish, three-star design hotel, located in the heart of Newcastle, has a boutique feel for a fraction of the price. The ‘magpies’ (the local football team) classic black and white stripes cover the walls downstairs. You’ll also find photos of neatly engineered bridges in a nod to the city’s industrial past. Motel One Newcastle’s feel is contemporary but it doesn’t feel budget – as you tend to find in wallet-friendly hotels across the country. Care has been taken to local details, from the Newcastle Brown Ale served in the bar to the old train wheels hanging from the walls in the lobby. If you like a cocktail, you can prop yourself up at the hotel bar in the lobby or sit on the internal decking area (weather permitting).
Food & Bev
Other than breakfast we didn’t eat at the hotel but there are plenty of places to eat nearby. From Pani’s Italian (a local favourite) to Kafeneon – a family-friendly Greek restaurant. Breakfast is in the continental style (croissants, fresh juices, fruit and cereals) usually but given the increased hygiene requirements, things have changed somewhat. Since the pandemic began, the hotel has introduced a breakfast form that you’ll get on the check-in and will have to return each night before 10 pm to ensure your breakfast is prepared the night before. You can also get table service or takeaway breakfasts if you wish.
Ask for a room at the back of the hotel so the late-night boozers don’t keep you up.
*This TLE writer was a guest at Motel One Newcastle*