Sitting on the iconic quayside of the river Tyne, INNSiDE Newcastle is the perfect midrange lifestyle hotel for a city break or staycation in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
This is a paid article written in partnership with INNSiDE by Melia with products or services supplied by them. Full editorial integrity is maintained at all times. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.
The INNSiDE hotel brand is quickly establishing itself in the UK as a unique lifestyle accommodation option for travellers looking for a home away from home as well as those needing to be in central locations for work and business. This blending of work and play makes the hotel highly adaptive to any travellers needs and is perfect for digital nomads needing a work space, travellers simply looking for a comfortable base to explore their surroundings on a staycation or city break, and for tourists who need a restorative wellness retreat after a hard day exploring, shopping and dining in Newcastle.
Most people focus on the room itself when looking for somewhere to stay on their travels, which is understandable, but in this case the building itself deserves a moments attention too. The brutal, angular architecture evokes the industrial past of the historic Quayside, mirroring the historical merchants houses along the waterfront and defying the gentle curves of the iconic bridges. Like other INNSiDE properties, the building itself is a statement and actually improves its surroundings whilst at the same time being very sensitive to its heritage, giving the gentrified riverbank a new landmark attraction alongside the nearby high level bridge and Tyne bridge, as well as the ultra modern Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
One of the many things I love about the INNSiDE brand is their attention to detail and commitment to the local environment, and believe me when I tell you this is no cookie cutter brand hotel. When you stay here, you know you are in a property unique to Newcastle!
The ultra modern, chic and contemporary design evokes a feeling of pure quality, far above what you would expect at the relatively modest mid price range. The vast open space of the lobby and open living lounge, not to mention the epic views over the river Tyne and the Quayside are perfect for those who want a more relaxed work or meeting space than the formal meeting and media rooms upstairs, but are equally as welcoming for those who want an informal chat with friends over a few cocktails, allowing for an easy blending of work and play for those there for business or home from home for those there for a staycation or a simple weekend break. As always though it is the little touches that give a place its soul, and the INNSiDE Newcastle does not disappoint here either.
Teaming up with celebrated local artist James Dixon the hotel is festooned with local Geordie pride and reminders that you are in Newcastle. Murals are spread across the hotels public spaces and befitting Newcastle’s love of art and culture, a collaboration with local art gallery North East Art Collective showcases local artists in the bedrooms as well as a permanent rotating gallery.
This is why for me the INNSiDE brand feels like it has the best of all worlds for travellers, the iconic status of a local attraction, the heart and soul of a local boutique hotel acting as a home away from home and all of this wrapped up in all the luxury and quality of a high end contemporary hotel without the eye watering price tags. It truly is a unique and special place to stay in the city.
INNSiDE Newcastle is located right in the iconic and historic Quayside of the river Tyne, right in the heart of the city centre and is a perfect home for anyone wanting to explore the north easts powerhouse of a city. Surrounded by the gentrified bars and restaurants of the riverbank area it has amazing views over the river as well as some of the iconic seven bridges of the Tyne.
The hotel is just ten or fifteen minutes easy walk from Newcastle’s central train station and just seven miles from the main international airport, so is perfectly located for all forms of public transport. Unfortunately if you are driving parking is not great at the hotel and if you aren’t one of the lucky few to be mysteriously allocated one of the limited spaces there is a multi storey car park an inconvenient five minutes walk away.
Shopping is right on your doorstep with Eldon Square, Grainger Market and the rest of the city centre just ten minutes easy walk away, Newcastle’s iconic 12th Century castle, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the Biscuit Factory and a dozen other attractions are all within easy walking distance too, and for those history lovers who are exploring the north east via the famous Hadrian’s Wall Walk, the path itself heads straight past the hotel along the river as you head to Walls End, making INNSiDE Newcastle the perfect end to one of Visit England’s most iconic National Trails.
On a practical level there are a lot of restaurants along the waterfront if you want to eat out away from the hotel, with the city centres bars and restaurants nearby, and there is a small Tesco Express for essentials about five minutes walk down the waterfront, nearer to the Millennium bridge end of the Quay.
The staff at the INNSiDE Newcastle could perhaps benefit from a little more experience and training on the floor, but that can be improved on and did not impact on the friendliness or welcoming professionalism across the board.
INNSiDE’s Stay Safe With Melia infection prevention and control policy is still robustly practiced even as Covid19 restrictions are eased and everywhere is opening fully again. As a qualified nurse I cannot fault the Stay Safe With Melia Policy at all, but I also take notice of the little things that are done behind the grand gestures of hygiene screens and increased hand gel stations, and the cleaning staff do an absolutely faultless and largely unrecognised job of keeping every surface and room spotlessly clean and reducing the risk of infection spread as much as humanly possible. If there are those travellers out there who want to get out to visit Newcastle and enjoy a staycation or weekend break here but are perhaps a little apprehensive about restrictions easing, I can tell you that any potential risk is being managed extremely well, and as they have done throughout the last year, the staff have not allowed any of this to impact on the friendliness or level of service they give.
I stayed in a studio room which was large, airy and impeccably well designed. Large white surfaces with dark and light grey furnishings created a modern, clean feel, and little touches like a cute, retro phone and a yoga mat hanging from the wall gave just a touch of character without cluttering the room up. The bed was huge and comfortable and the sofa was likewise, positioned perfectly at the end of the room to take advantage of perhaps the best part, the view.
Large, floor to ceiling windows are designed to frame a spectacular view of the river Tyne, the Quayside and some of the famed seven bridges, the quintessential symbols of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Heavy black out curtains are there for when you want to sleep of course but it is honestly difficult to close yourself away from that view, especially as night starts to close in and the waterfront starts to light up. Nothing beats just sitting on the sofa with a drink and taking it all in.
It is the sheer quality of the room itself and this iconic view – and it really is iconic – that make the rooms at the INNSiDE Newcastle far more premium an experience than you would expect at this mid range price point. If I was staying at a luxury city centre hotel that charged a premium price four or five times what you pay here, I would not be disappointed.
On a practical level an espresso machine is a welcome addition to the usual tea and coffee making facilities and the room also has more than enough plugs for your needs, including two by the actual bedside and one at the modern floating desk if you need to do some work. These little details make a huge difference as this is what a lot of hotels fall down on. You don’t want to walk half way across the room to charge your phone at night or have a treasure hunt for the right light switch.
The only issue is the open plan bathroom, particularly the shower. The room has followed that international trend of open showers and glass walls which personally isn’t for me. The glass walls mean that there is almost nowhere in the room that you can go where you can’t be seen if you take a shower, so unless you are travelling with your significant other or friends with zero comfort boundaries, it might be a consideration you need to think about. Saying that, the shower itself is a top of the range, powerful rainfall shower and the hotel brand shower amenities are nice, and at least the toilet itself is completely closed off in its own separate room.
The INNSiDE Newcastle has all the amenities you would expect from a top of the range hotel and then some. The on site gym is actually spread over two rooms, one that concentrates more on cardio equipment and one that has a mixture of strength, flexibility and cardio equipment, which makes the whole area seem more roomy and less cluttered. The glass wall between the two areas means that even if there is someone else going for a run whilst you tackle the dumbbells, you don’t feel on top of each other, which is something I genuinely liked.
The on site restaurant, a large, airy space with perfect views over the Quayside and the bridges is a new standard for hotel dining with a partnership with famed TV chef Gino D’Acampo. The second in the brand partnership between the hotel and reatuarant chains, with the first being the INNSiDE Manchester’s First Street Bar and Kitchen, the charismatic chef’s personality is evident through the menu and the quality of the Spritz Bar and alfresco terrace.
For a solid mid range budget any traveller looking for a staycation or city break in Newcastle Upon Tyne will find they get a hell of a lot for their money at INNSiDE Newcastle. The hotel has a level of amenities, quality and luxury far beyond the price point, but the service and friendliness of a much smaller, family run operation making it truly feel like a home away from home.
The INNSIDE Newcastle Hotel is located at Bridge Court, River View, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3BE.
Bemused Backpacker always recommends booking directly where it is possible. Ready to book? The INNSiDE Newcastle website can be found here.
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