When booking a hotel in a major city I try and look for the likes of a Marriott, Hyatt, Radisson, etc. I know the standards they keep and I won’t be in for a shock when I get there. Newcastle doesn’t have any of those, well they have a Hilton but on this occasion, it was fully booked.
Step forward, Hotel Du Vin. A very small chain on the grand scheme of things with only 19 hotels, all of which exclusively in the UK. The price point was typical of that of the larger chains so they must be offering similar standards or they’d be out of business.
Probably one of the weaker points of this hotel is the fact it’s a good 15-20 min walk into the centre of the Toon. The Gateshead Millenium bridge is out of the town and it’s another 5 mins walk along the quayside.
If you’re driving there the good news is they have onsite parking and it’s free, just give your reg number on check-in. By train, you’ll probably want to get a 5 min Uber from Newcastle station. You could get a taxi and they charge you more and take you around the houses, each to their own.
A Standard Double, their entry-level room. The only negative I have to say about the room is the bed. Unfortunately, it’s only a Queen size which I found a little small coming from a King, very comfy, just small. That and the pillows were poor, soft yes but lifeless and offered no support.
The plug sockets are right where you need them to be, next to the bedside table so you can have stuff on charge overnight. The selection of food was pretty cool too, expect your wallet to take a decent hit as the items aren’t cheap.
A cast-iron rolltop bath in your bedroom for the lulz, yeah why not, it is their USP I guess. It is only big enough for 1 and I wasn’t a fan of the blocks of wood it was sat on. Yes, I know it protects the original floorboards but there’s less garish ways to achieve the same outcome.
If you’re more of a shower person, you’ll have to go to the bathroom where they have their signature morgue slab shower tray.
All Hotel Du Vin toiletries are provided by L’Occitane and a conscious effort is made to try and reduce waste and look after the environment.
There is a desk in the room which is again on the smaller side. More than enough space for a laptop and other mobile office stuff. There’s also a double socket that is easy to access should you need to have something powered on or charging.
Advertised as a Superior Double, most major hotel chains would class it more like a Jnr Suite due to its size. I mean you probably could swing a cat.
The King size bed is nice and comfy however the pillows are poor.
The TV is a fair size with all the Freeview channels. There’s no NetFlix but you can mirror your phone to it. You also get plug sockets at either side of the bed to charge things and a little desk should you feel the need to type up some production notes.
Upstairs is where you’ll find the bathroom fitted out with a huge walk-in shower more than big enough for 2. The shower tray looks like something from a morgue but the shower its self is next level. A good few bars of pressure and a massive flow rate, kudos.
A quirky yet good idea. Instead of just having the bathroom upstairs, they have it on a mezzanine level with the cast iron roll top bath looking down onto the room. Like the shower, the bath fills very quickly, unlike the shower though 2 is a squeeze which is a shame.
The Bar is split into 2 sections, a lounge area which is very homely with open fire, etc then the main bar.
The bar itself was a warm quiet area with comfy wide seats. Like all good bars, their selection of spirits was impressive as was the tenders mixing skills. A little lacking on the champagne side but if you’re into ale’s they’ve got you covered.
There’s an awesome little log hut in the courtyard should you want to drink outside. Enough seating for 8 it’s a great place to socialize as a group. The fire does give out a bit of heat but for those further away there are throws available.
To recapitulate, Newcastle is one of the best nights out in the UK and Hotel Du Vin is one of the best hotels in Newcastle. The restaurant serves great food and the rooms should cost a hell of a lot more than they do. The staff are nice and good at their jobs and having stayed there now 4 or 5 times i’ve yet to have a bad experience.