Gateshead – Holiday Inn Express Newcastle Metro Centre

Going back a week or so, this is the hotel that I went to after completing St. Cuthbert’s Way last week. It’s a slight faff to get to from central Newcastle for walkers, it really requires a train to the MetroCentre railway station and then a ten-minute walk from there. I got this train to get there (I felt that I had done enough walking), although I walked back via Gateshead the following morning which took about an hour (or would have done if I hadn’t stopped at the pub en route). Anyway, the hotel is usually quite keenly priced, not least as it’s not very central and it’s probably more usual to drive there.

The welcome drink of a Goose Island IPA, which is a perfectly acceptable drink to start a hotel visit with. The bar wasn’t particularly busy, but the staff member was enthusiastic and friendly, so it all felt inviting.

The room, all clean and comfortable, with some modern touches around the room (including a slightly fancy Bodum kettle that I forgot to take a photo of).

The breakfast is included in the price here, although this particular IHG is perhaps making more of Covid restrictions than some others in the chain. I had to pre-order my bacon roll the evening before and had to give a time that I wanted it, which seems a little excessive (it’s not a complex cooked breakfast order). Other IHGs just stack them up in a big pile, but it was ready when I asked for it, so all was well. Much of the breakfast has been removed, although the area itself is self-service.

My breakfast of orange juices (the glasses are little), yoghurts, the bacon roll and a croissant. Nothing overly exciting, but since the room rate was cheap and this breakfast was included in it, I was entirely satisfied.

The hotel is generally well reviewed, complaints are mostly about the road being loud (they tend to be, or at least the cars on them tend to be) and noisy guests. The hotel says that it puts families and groups in different parts of the hotel, which sounds a good idea in principle, but they might be better trying to manage noise pro-actively rather than some random room selection like that given the issues they keep having. I’m not sure why this should be a party hotel given its location, but perhaps the price is what sends some groups there.

All told, this wasn’t the easiest hotel to get to for a walker, so I probably wouldn’t pick this one again. However, that’s hardly the hotel’s fault (I find it bizarre when people rate down a hotel as it’s not near where they wanted to go, as if that’s the hotel’s problem to solve) and I liked everything else about this place. Quiet internally and externally, with a fan that worked sufficiently well, all really rather lovely.