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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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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.

  • Throwawayname says:

    This type of hotel really is all anyone needs when visiting a city, whether it’s for work or leisure. While I fully understand why people may want to splash out on a top-notch beach/mountain resort, I just cannot see the appeal of urban luxury hotels – not only are they expensive, a lot of the time the service is pretentious (I will never forget the concierge in a 5* Budapest hotel around 2004 who claimed he couldn’t get me some train times/prices ‘but we can get you there in a Mercedes and it will only be €X’!), too high-touch (no, I don’t want you to come into my room for ‘turndown service’ – particularly since I don’t eat sweets and I will only use a duvet/blanket if it’s freezing) etc. Even when I am visiting a city with really cheap hotels, I usually won’t bother looking for anything more than a junior suite in a 4*.

    It’s understandable that there aren’t many detailed reviews of Mercures, Hilton Garden Inns, and independent 4-star hotels out there. People won’t get excited by that sort of thing, but it’s good to know about e.g. major design faults or extremely cordial service, so I would really appreciate more of them!

    • ken says:

      100% this.

      The amount of time I spend in a hotel when on a city break not asleep, in the bathroom, or getting dressed is measured in minutes not hours.

    • His Holyness says:

      I agree, like Waldorf Rome, it’s fairly basic but it’s all you need and you can escape the city for a bit.

  • GS says:

    Great review Rob, having stayed at this hotel several times on trips to the NE. Last time I also got upgraded to the King Exec Plus which actually feels much bigger than the pics suggest. Worth noting self parking at the hotel is expensive for the area at £15, but there is on street parking very close by if preferred.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Any recommendations? I remember circling a couple of times last stay and wasn’t able to find anywhere without restrictions

  • Paul says:

    Ive found the hotel has gone down hill slightly in recent years. Hilton Diamond and used the online room selection check in only to be told that our room wasnt ready and wouldnt be for an hour. Surely they would prioritise room cleaning on rooms they knew were needed at a time. Shame the old Exec lounge staff went during covid as they made the place. Just not quite the same as it was (and yes the rooms are getting desperate for a refit).

  • Dragonlady says:

    Our last visit there was disappointing (back end of a B/ H weekend).. Front of house came to the room and agreed the room shouldn’t have been in use ( bathroom had been significantly damaged including a fist hole in the door …) . We were told that a refurb was in the pipeline but it sounds as if this still hasn’t happened. Breakfast was decent enough and views from the room windows iconic. Luckily we were only there overnight .

  • RussellH says:

    Apropos the CP Newcastle – we stayed there shortly after it opened, and at the time the map that the hotel provided indicated that there would be a direct footbridge link to Central Station.

    Any sign of this actually happening?

  • NFB says:

    My understanding is that Newcastle City Council has made loans to the Crowne Plaza of £38 million (so far) to keep it afloat.
    I imagine that this means that a direct footbridge to the Central Station will not be forthcoming.

  • His Holyness says:

    The first LXR in the world, Al Habtoor has left the brand. Seemed to be from 1 May just like the Biltmore which was the second. The “Hilton can’t do luxury” flop continues.

    • Rob says:

      Ooh interesting!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Al Habtoor is a funny operator they left Marriott very quickly too … I wonder where they’re going .. perhaps try luxury collection since it was a St Regis lol

  • ConfidenceMan says:

    Great review. Stayed there many times as a Diamond member when my daughter was at University in Newcastle.
    The staff were so friendly. Reception were very helpful and the Exec Lounge Team really went the extra mile.
    Probably worth mentioning that there is a very steep incline to walk up if going back over the swing bridge. That would be difficult to negotiate for some – always wondered why there wasn’t an entrance at the front to alleviate this.

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