Newest Review: ... desk and searched around aimlessly for a key as if he didn't know where he was and provided a few choice facts like breakfast times etc a... more
Shabby Hotel with Rude Staff
Quality Hotel (Newcastle)
Member Name: Tortelloni
Quality Hotel (Newcastle)
Advantages: Might have been improved by new owners
Disadvantages: Where to start?
I stayed at this hotel around 2 years ago when it was the Quality Hotel, it has since become The Newgate Hotel after owners 'The Real Hotel Company PLC' went into administration. For a while there have been plans to completely demolish the Newgate Centre below it (which is in dire need of it!) and create a new development so don't think it's likely that an substantial amount of refurbishment work will have been taken out. There was a period where it was completely closed until new owners and during this time the staff lost their jobs, I don't however know if they were re-employed by the new management or whether new staff were recruited (hopefully).
We booked a two night stay for £44.50 BB a night through the Real Hotel Company's website, a knockdown from the £69 RO a night rate advertised on the official website for the same time. At £44.50 it is just passable and at £69 wouldn't have given up until I received a refund!
Having learned that the hotel has both refurbished and non-refurbished rooms I booked a guaranteed non smoking twin online and then enquired in advance through e-mail directly with the hotel for a refurbished room who checked availability and found my choice of a refurbished twin non-smoking room was available and this was confirmed for us in a closing e-mail signed by the General Manager. With this I thought I could rest easy knowing we wouldn't get an old room, though of a hotel and company of this size no one should have to worry about getting an 'old' room.
We arrived at around 2:30pm and as pedestrians had to use the street door, as we live local to Newcastle knew how to access it but can imagine the problems others would have had trying it find it - it is hardly outstanding to say the least! The glass door is etched with the logo and to the right of the entrance to the Newgate Shopping Centre (awful) which there is a large sign for on Newgate street so if you are unsure where to go look out for that. Once in you pass through a maze of doors and empty and rundown old rooms until at reception. There the two staff didn't acknowledge us and spoke to each other about a sheet they were holding while walking around behind the desk and then out to the back room then when ready the man returned and the woman emerged after him. He said nothing and just glared expectantly at us, and assumed he wanted a name. He got a highlighter and marked our name off on a clipboard on the desk and searched around aimlessly for a key as if he didn't know where he was and provided a few choice facts like breakfast times etc and anything said to him a short delay followed making an awkward feel, I was glad to be handed the paperwork and key card. He informed us the room was 306 as is said on the tear-off slip on the bottom, but on the bill itself it stated the room was 306 which was then crossed out and 311 written in blue biro on top. The lift call button is right next to the desk, but once pushed calls a lift right next to it, or an alternative one at the other end of the lobby. You can't really fail to miss though as the noise the far lift makes when opening is mad, so if with a lot of bags you should probably leave them in the middle as the doors are hasty in shutting again too.
The lifts are wall papered with carpet, and have no display telling you what floor you are actually on but once on the right floor, 3, went to 306 and low and behold it didn't work so tried 311 as was written on the receipt and the door opened, only it was a refurbished double room not a twin so back down to reception to the same man while the other woman again watched over as I explained the increasingly frustrating situation. He hunted around behind him and allocated another room and gave us a new keycard for a different room (can't remember the number) on the 3rd floor. Back up in the lift this time the other one but still no floor display and on entering the room the high hopes we had flew out the open window as this time it was an unrefurbished double!! Back down to reception again to the same man at which point the other woman snootily interrupted me asking "Do [I] want a twin room do you??" implying I had booked otherwise. I said yes and pointed out on the tear-off paper that it said room type 'Twin'. At this he uttered "Ohmygod" to himself quietly as he realised that I had a twin booked all along and the other woman said nothing further and faded into the background. An obligatory 'Sorry' was uttered and nothing else and finally was given a regular key to room 222 on Floor 2 which was easy to find being it was the first on the corridor and behind one of the lifts. I was glad to find this WAS a twin room, but it wasn't refurbished, which was evident at the point of seeing the door handle!
The T.V. was left on when we entered, which was ironic as there was two tent cards next to it saying to turn it off fully rather than leave it on standby! It only picked up four main channels and channel 4 had 'ghosting' and there was also a PlayStation controller, on-demand movies and wake up alarm system. Both beds were evidently old with the level of sagging and ripped sheets, and one of them squeaked at the slightest move mixed with the squeaking from the lift going past at all hours was enough to drive you crazy and there was no way I would think about changing rooms again either. The desk next to the T.V. was tiny and if you sat at the desk it blocked the T.V. from sight from the bed. On the desk itself was the energy saving cards and a menu, and an abundance of 6 wonky switches on the bottom of the mirror, some worked lights etc others appeared to do nothing. In the same unit was a draw labelled hairdryer and a cupboard labelled hospitality. Everything in there had to be taken out to use it as there was no plug. There was a letter on another unit explaining the policy on smoking in the room and a few directories for the Choice Chain. None of these were specific hotel information, just a hotel brochure advertising the services like conferences etc they offer, it did give us a much needed laugh as the starting clause included the line "which prides itself on giving you a warm and friendly welcome"!! The room had a full length window, covered by horrible old curtains, which slid open the full length and didn't have any form of restrictor so be careful if with kids, and there was no lock either. Storage wise there was a flushed cupboard (Iron & Ironing board inside) with hangers and doors, and an outlying unit with two shelves near the T.V. Note also that on the facilities page on the hotel website it states that there is trouser presses in every room, ours didn't have one. The room door was very flimsy and had a 100-year old sticker on it saying to push the middle in with a 'long object' for extra security!!
Unlike with many of the reviews we weren't disturbed by noise from the streets, there was very little at all in fact and we were only on the 3rd floor up. However it was a Monday and Tuesday night we were there.
Bathroom was OK, everything was as clean as it could get given what there was to work with (as was the entire room in fact) but still appeared dirty as the facilities were old and worn out (again, the same for the room). For example the bath was rusty and worn and appeared filthy and off putting but was technically clean as none of it washed off. No take away toiletries just a dispenser of Dove nowhere near the sink behind the shower curtain and a Lux dispenser next to the shower head and there was two glasses on a shelf. On the first night the water was hot enough for a bath, the second night it wasn't, but was good enough for showering and hand washing. Unlike a lot of other hotels the bathroom door locked fine too.
When leaving the room for the day, one of the maids wished us a good morning and asked if we would like the room serviced and before we got to the end of the corridor she was already in the room! Another maid who was in the way when we came back apologised for getting in the way and hurried off, normally at any hotel you are lucky to get a word out of the maids, so well done to the housekeeping department at least!
Breakfast is served on weekdays from 7:30 - 9:00 and was again fine, nothing special but good for being included in the price. On arriving you get asked you room number and asked your choice of hot drink, other than that everything was self service. The tables seemed a bit excessively set up for breakfast with a variety of glasses and knives, forks etc which looks nice but just gets in the way. The tables themselves appeared new but the chairs looked as if they came with the hotel and the bases were ready to fall out - they were very unpleasant to sit on. No music was played in the restaurant, though the chef's music could be heard coming out of the kitchen. The buffet was in the middle of the tables and offered a mix of cereals, pastries, muffins, juices, fruits, yogurts and a separate table at the side carried the toaster and bread - on the second day the white bread ran out promptly while the staff stood around talking to each other doing nothing about it, other things were well stocked though. There was a table of fried food but I never had any of this or even looked at it - not my thing.
Check out involved putting the key through a hole in the desk labelled 'keys' which when done made a few loud clunks as if it was simply a hole - not a box - and nothing else and the key seemed to just fall onto the floor! The reception area is a complete contrast to the room and corridors; it is full of bright reds and browns and wood. See the photo of the stairs too, every step is taped up, but the flight of stairs leading from reception upwards has a brand new red carpet - very deceiving.
I wouldn't advise this place unless you want a bed for the night or all the other city centre hotels are booked.
Summary: Acceptable on a saver rate
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