The Premier Inn at The Gate, Newcastle Upon Tyne opened in 2016 after a £17million revamp which took 5 years. This 184 bed hotel is housed in what was once a large Coop Department Store. The Coop had a presence on Newgate street as far back as Victorian times but it was 1932 that the department store opened, it closed in 2011.
This hotel is well situated in the heart of Newcastle Upon Tyne and occupies a corner site -Newgate Street/St Andrews Street.It stands around ten minute walk from Newcastle Central Railway Station and around a five minute walk from Newcastle’s Haymarket Bus Station. The hotel does not have its own car park but discounted parking can be arranged by Reception in a nearby city car park. The hotel website states it has no drop off points outside the hotel, having said this, during my stay staff twice booked taxi;s for me which picked me up and dropped me off at the side of the hotel in St Andrews Street.
Many moons ago when I worked on Tyneside and this building was the Coop, I visited it regularly. Once known as Newcastle’s most elegant shopping outlet, the building from the outside was always imposing with huge windows, sweeping curves, and two tall towers. Inside it had a marble lined sweeping staircase, high ceilings and a war memorial. When this year I was visiting family on Tyneside I couldn’t resist booking into the hotel to “see if any of the old Coop still remained”. I am pleased to say it did, but with much more too!
I was booked into the hotel, midweek for one night, booked online in advance at the Premier Inn’s flexibile rate (so if I needed to cancel I could do so before 1pm on the day of arrival and get a full refund). I paid £54 for one night. As I have some mobility issues I booked an accessible room.
The exterior of the hotel retains all of the original building features. Stepping inside I instantly noticed its modern, airy environment, its huge windows not only providing light but city views. Its past is also noticeable by a full wall size painting of its former life as a Coop Store. The ground floor is given to Reception, lounge, coffee/bar area, spacious restaurant, all of which are designed to be easy getting around. A door leads guests to the war memorial and to the original elegant staircase. There are two lifts in Reception and they are wheelchair accessible.
Staff at check in were friendly and welcoming and soon I was in the lift to my room.
My room was spacious, very clean, with double glazed windows and thick curtains to keep city noise out.
The room contained a king size hypnos bed supplied with both soft and firm pillows. The heating controls were easy to use and worked efficiently. Air Conditioning was also available. There was a 40 inch flat screen TV, desk, chair, separate armchair. Usual tea and coffee facilities were included as well as a hairdryer. As this was an accessible room, there were emergency cords and buttons for assistance. The accessible bathroom contained an easy entry bath with a standard shower above, grab rails near the bath and W.C and emergency cords and buttons.
It is worth noting my accessible room was suitable for someone with mobility issues who does not require a wheelchair and so was suitable for me. Wheelchair users can be provided with a room containing a wet room rather than a bath/shower over bath. Those booking a disabled room through Premier Inn, should also telephone Premier inn before their visit to ensure they are provided with the room most suitable to their needs. The website only offers disabled rooms it does not state the bathroom facilities.
During my stay I used Premier Inn’s free unlimited wifi. The speed was acceptable and I did not feel the need to upgrade to their Ultimate wifi (which would have involved a charge).
I ate dinner and breakfast at this hotel using their meal deal £24.99 for which a two course dinner is provided along with a free drink – wine, lager, beer or soft drink. and their full breakfast, i.e. cooked and continental as much as you can eat).At dinner I found the service to be excellent, staff were trying very hard to please guests and succeeding. The food was good quality. The menu at dinner was varied without being too complex. There were vegetarian options (though not a huge choice for vegetarians) Breakfast I found the food to be good, service excellent and choice good.
For those not wanting to eat at the hotel there is a multitude of choices in the immediate area. Next to the hotel is The Gate entertainment complex which is shopping mall style. Here there are numerous restaurants offering British and International Cuisine, to suit every taste and pocket. The complex also includes a cinema, bars and nightclubs,the latter brings me on to noise as this complex is next to the hotel. I stayed midweek and enjoyed a completely peaceful, noise free night, but i am not sure what the noise level would be at the weekend. Having said this, Premier Inn do have their good night guarantee.
Next day I enjoyed coffee in the coffee/bar area of the hotel with my daughter who brought along my twin baby grandsons. Again staff provided great service and my grandsons were well catered for with high chairs being provided and water warmed for milk formula.
Needing to check out for mid day but not wanting to take my overnight case shopping with me, I used the safe luggage room at the hotel to store my case. Staff provided me with a receipt which needed presenting when I collected my case.
I found the service and accommodation here good quality. I also felt it was good value for money and I would recommend this hotel to silver travellers.