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Review: the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel

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This is my review of the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel.

I was up in Newcastle last week for the official launch of the new Aspire lounge complex at Newcastle Airport. I’ll be covering this in a separate article soon.

I spent the previous night at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel, one of the flagship hotels in the area. It is technically in Gateshead, not Newcastle, because it is on the south side of the river.

The hotel recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and, whilst the rooms could do with a little refreshing, I was impressed by the overall package.

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead review

I had an odd realisation when I arrived. I hadn’t stayed in a ‘standard’ upscale regional business hotel for ages. Most of the hotels we cover, even the city centre ones, tend to have a ‘luxury’ or ‘lifestyle’ focus that – frankly – makes them more interesting to write about. Hilton Newcastle Gateshead is totally devoid of the flourishes you’d find at a Hotel Indigo, a Malmaison or a Hotel du Vin etc. You probably already have a vision in your mind of what it will be like.

And yet …. I really liked it here, and would happily stay again.

The hotel website is here.

Where is Hilton Newcastle Gateshead?

The hotel has a great spot at the foot of the Tyne Bridge. The PR photo above shows it nicely, on a far sunnier day than I had.

It’s next to The Glasshouse International Centre for Music (ex The Sage) and, next to that, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art which annoyingly is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Whilst it is a modest 10-15 minute walk from the railway station, you will pass a number of hotels on the way – there is a Hampton and a Crowne Plaza virtually at the station – so think about whether the hotel is worth the stroll. You can either walk across the Tyne Bridge or head downhill from the station to the quayside and walk across the swing bridge. The latter is marginally faster.

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead entrance

You enter from the rear. Whilst dull to look at, there is a large turning circle to allow taxis to drop off guests which is handy. It opens out into a huge open lobby, with the bar and restaurant off to your left.

(This is an old-school hotel lobby. There’s no mini-mart, no hot desking area, no huge piece of modern art! Just the check-in desks and a few chairs.)

I’d booked a Double Deluxe with River View, one level above a base room, and got upgraded as a Hilton Honors Diamond to a King Executive Room Plus. I had hoped to get this because it is the only king-bedded room category and because the rooms have an interesting layout.

A King Executive Room Plus at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead

Here’s a photo which sums up the layout of the room:

King Executive Room Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel

You’ve got a surprisingly wide room with two windows. The desk is effectively the headboard of the bed, which is clever.

You can just see the tea tray on the desk and there is an empty mini-fridge next to it.

Here’s another angle:

King Executive Room Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel

…. and here’s the view of the Tyne Bridge from the window, which was quite cool:

King Executive Room Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel

The bathroom has a stand-alone shower, a single sink and (out of shot) a bath tub. There’s not a huge amount of space but everything is here. Toiletries are Crabtree & Evelyn, in large bottles.

King Executive Room Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel

The room clearly hasn’t been refurbished in the 20 years since the hotel opened, but I still found it totally acceptable – except for the sockets. The bed has NO sockets of any kind next to it. There is an alarm clock which I assumed was one of those ‘alarm clocks with integrated USB sockets’ – but it was just a standard clock radio!

This is bonkers, if only because clock radios with built-in USB sockets are not exactly expensive. You can buy a basic one on Amazon for under £25.

It’s also worth noting that the clock had not been adjusted for BST even though it had been three weeks since the switch.

Executive Lounge at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead

Yes, this hotel has an Executive Lounge, and an attractive one at that. You get access by booking a room type which includes it, or by having Diamond status in Hilton Honors.

The lounge is across two levels (upstairs is purely seating) with a floor to ceiling glass wall overlooking the bridge:

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead executive lounge

The lounge is open from 7am to 9pm for coffee and soft drinks. There is no breakfast service. Evening drinks and canapes are served from 6pm to 8pm Sunday to Thursday, and 5pm to 7pm on Friday and Saturday. There is also cream tea offered from 2pm to 4pm on Friday and Saturday.

On the evening I was there, the hot food options were macaroni cheese bites and cajun chicken wings. There was also salad and bread available, plus ‘serve yourself’ wine and soft drinks.

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead executive lounge

The restaurant

The restaurant, just off the lobby on the ground floor, serves dinner from 5.30pm to 9.30pm and breakfast from 6.30am to 10am (7am to 11am at weekends).

I had a chicken murgh makhani for dinner, which did the job although the portion size wasn’t massive:

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel restaurant

Whilst the restaurant is large, as you’d expect given that it has to seat the whole hotel for breakfast, it had been partitioned for dinner. This meant that guests were unnecessarily crowded together purely to make life easier for the staff, and many of the prime bridge-view tables were not used. You can see the partition in the photo below:

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel restaurant

Room service meals are available from noon to 10.45pm, and bar food can be ordered from noon to 11pm.

Breakfast was, as you’d hope but not necessarily expect, a touch above the standard Holiday Inn Express / Hampton by Hilton buffet. It had all the hot items you’d expect to make yourself a full English breakfast, along with a couple of things I didn’t expect to see – Pret-style chocolate croissants and crumpets.

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead breakfast

Breakfast is £15 per person if booked at check-in or £19.95 per person if you don’t pre-order.

The health club

It’s also worth noting that the hotel has a health club and Hilton hasn’t (yet?) started charging to use the pool. It’s open from 6am (pool from 6.30am) to 9pm during the week and 8am to 8pm at the weekend.

Basic beauty treatments (massage, facial, manicure, pedicure) are also available.

Here’s a PR shot of the pool. Note that one adult must accompany every two children and – bad news for any parent planning to laze on one of the few loungers – children are not allowed in the water unless an adult is in with them.

Hilton Newcastle Gateshead pool

Conclusion

I was quietly impressed by Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. It’s got everything you’d want from a business hotel – decent public space, a large bar, an acceptable restaurant, a club lounge and large (albeit slightly dated) rooms with decent desks.

If you don’t mind walking across the river – assuming that you need to be in Newcastle city centre – it is a solid option and I’d happily stay here again.

It’s worth noting that the hotel is taking part in the current American Express ‘£50 cashback for £200 of Hilton spend’ promotion (read our article here) which you may be targetted for, and which runs until 1st July. This is why I had the curry and the most expensive glass of wine on the menu – I needed to nudge my bill over £200!

You can find out more, and book, on the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead website here.


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How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points and they come with generous sign-up bonuses. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

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The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (49)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • planeconcorde says:

    So HfP has moved on from how much is the kettle to how much is the replacement alarm clock. 😉

  • lumma says:

    Are the sockets on the desk not close enough to charge your phone while in bed?

    • Rob says:

      I suppose if you had a 1m cable then yes.

      • Ryan says:

        Theoretically that’s correct, but highly impractical if the purpose is to use your phone whilst lying in bed.

        Agree completely Rob, it’s a very odd set up.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Yes but only in that room type – in all the normal rooms they are across the other side of the room and on a desk off to the side (or in the hallway by the bathroom!). Not ideal.

      • Ben says:

        This is why I like Hamptons: I know that all of the modern (if you call having a plug next to the bed modern?!) basics will be in place and working.

  • AlanC says:

    Stayed the week after the hotel opened. They had real champagne and spirits in the lounge then! Lounge offering now average. Agree the rooms need a refurb. Apart from the newer TV’s it’s still the original furnishings.
    Still stay every month and the free diamond parking and excellent omelettes I must mention.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Bet you rooms rates were similar in £ terms. So you can see why they’re being squeezed

  • Marc says:

    Free parking for Diamonds is a published benefit. It’s mentioned on the little diamond card they put in the key wallet and also in the parking section of the hotel guide on the Hilton App within stays.

    This often makes the Hilton much better value than the Hampton when there’s not much difference in rate, especially when room upgrades, lounge and better breakfast are taken into account.

  • Shaun says:

    Does anyone remember Jeanette in the lounge ? She definitely had her favourites 😃.

    Must have one of the best views of any Hilton, at least in the UK. Shame they don’t do spirits

    • AlanC says:

      Jeanette and Kath were great. Always a great welcome back and a chat. Kath was working in the CP Newcastle Club Lounge on a recent visit.

  • Sean says:

    Maybe I’m biased being a Geordie who now lives down south, but I really enjoy my stays at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. The difference for me is the staff, I’ve always had a great experience.

    Agree about the lack of bedside sockets, surely that could be easily fixed by the property. Not quite sure about “old-school lobby”. Its water feature and stunning view of the Tyne Bridge while retaining an open air feel to the place certainly sets it apart from most other hotel reception areas. I’ve always had a great breakfast with the chef on hand to make you a delicious omelette. And I enjoy the 10-minute walk into town across the High Level Bridge, or down the hill and across the Swing Bridge where you’re in the heart of the famous quayside within just minutes. Also great riverside paths to walk/run/cycle along.

    • RussellH says:

      Agree about the frriendly staff at most of the central Newcastle Hotels – the exception being the Hampton, where they seemed to be from a different planet.
      But the Hampton is just so convenient when arriving by train!

      • Nate1309 says:

        I had a horrific stay at that Hampton last year. Everything from cleanliness to staff as dreadful. I would never stay there again.

        • Ryan says:

          Absolutely.

          A huge restaurant/bar area that doesn’t serve food. Bizarre. Or if they do serve food, it will be dependant on the reception staff being bothered to do so.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Chefs who can make great eggs seem to be rare these days at hotel egg stations in the U.K.

      Recent Marriott experience asked for an omelette cooked medium it was well but tbf far less crated than those before me … watched him make perfect medium scrambled egg for a customer inbetween though …

      Another had no eggs to order but the fried and poached on the buffet were actually great the scrambled looked radioactive.

  • Robin says:

    There is a local quayside bus service too, which goes to central Newcastle, Gateshead interchange / metro, as well as several quayside locations, which stops by the hotel. I have found it useful when staying there. Nice hotel.

  • jjoohhnn says:

    Is the alarm clock hard-wired in and not unpluggable for your own devices?

    It’s often helpful to travel with a 4-way extension lead, particularly in foreign countries as you then only need one US->UK adapter! 🙂

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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