Last weekend was an exciting one as I got to take a road trip to see my favourite band Kings of Leon during their UK tour. The first of three stops on our road trip was Newcastle where the band were performing at The Metro Radio Arena. As a big fan of the Hilton brand, the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel was my first choice. Having never stayed at this particular Hilton hotel before I was curious to how it would meet my accessibility needs. I’m now happy to share my wheelchair access review of our lovely Hilton Newcastle Gateshead accessible room.
RESERVATION AND CHECK-IN
Booking an accessible room at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead is straightforward via their website. Once you select the dates of your stay, you will then see a list of available room types. It’s here that you’ll be able to narrow your search by ticking the box to ‘Show accessible rooms’ on the right-hand side of the page. Our reservation was for one night in one of the Queen Executive Accessible Rooms.
We swooped under the entrance into the carpark and were pleased to see several empty disabled parking bays. These were located next to the lift. So far things were looking good and running smoothing.
The lift brought us up to the hotel’s forecourt where there was a lovely big water fountain. The entrance of the hotel had a revolving door as well as more accessible standard doors on each side.
The lobby and reception area is incredibly impressive. High ceilings, open space, stunning décor and beautiful fresh flowers are just some of the features that I loved upon arrival. Not to mention the amazing view of The River Tyne and the Bridge through the giant full-length windows.
Check-in was quick and efficient, which was perfect as we were keen to get to our room to relax and order some food before getting ready to head to The Metro Radio Arena. Before getting our room key we were informed of the evacuation plan in the event of there being an emergency during our stay. This was reassuring to know that if anything did happen that the hotel would inform the emergencies services of my circumstances and treat me as a priority.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE ROOM
Our Queen Executive accessible room was located on the fourth floor (#406). First impressions upon entering the room where good as I could instantly see enough floor space for me to move around easily. Lack of space is always a concern with hotel rooms, but not in this lovely accessible room.
The bed is always important in any hotel room as it can be the make or break of your stay. Although I always travel with my arm support pillows and inflatable travel mat for extra comfort (especially for hard mattresses), thankfully, on the whole, this bed didn’t disappoint. I found the pillows and duvet cover very comfortable as it kept me warm and cosy.
There was space on each side of the queen bed for wheelchair transfers and clearance underneath for portable hoists should you need to use one. As I was manually transferring I found the height of the bed worked fairly well as it wasn’t too high or too low.
The bedside tables each had a light, but unfortunately no power outlets for charging my power wheelchair or mobile phone. For myself, this isn’t a real problem as I always travel with someone who does this for me, but lone wheelchair travellers may find charging their wheelchair, phone etc when in bed a problem.
A large flat-screen TV was positioned directly at the end of the bed, which was perfect for watching a movie in bed after the Kings of Leon gig. A kettle with a range of tea and coffee was located under the TV on a sliding drawer that makes it easy for wheelchair users to access. A mini bar was also available.
The stylish desk had two power outlets, a lamp, a telephone and a hidden storage compartment with a hairdryer inside. The only downside to this desk was its height as I just managed to roll underneath. It would be a lot easier if the desk wasn’t so deep.
Before any hotel stays, I always try to find photos and as much information as I can about the bathroom. Does it have a roll-in shower? Grab bars around the toilet and shower area? These are among some of the things I look for before booking a hotel room.
The accessible bathroom was a good size and I found manoeuvring my wheelchair easy to do. The toilet had plenty of space for right-hand side wheelchair transfers with both fixed and pull down grab bars for support and the toilet roll holder was within easy reach. Next to the toilet was the sink, which also met my needs nicely. The sink was slightly larger than the standard you typically find in accessible bathrooms, so it was nice to be able to roll underneath and have more space. There was a little shelf beside the sink which was handy for our toiletries.
The bathroom also had a roll-in shower which was fit for purpose. The wall-mounted shower seat had a moulded base for extra comfort and the grab bars for additional support. The shower head and controls were all within easy reaching distance. There was only one little issue with the shower and that was the lack of somewhere to place your toiletries meaning you’d either have to bend down to the floor or juggle them in your hands. A soap/toiletries tray would be very helpful and solve this little issue.
Instead of an emergency pull-cord, the bathroom had a phone as well as a call button. The phone was placed on the wall between the shower and toilet at wheelchair height while the call-button was lower to the floor in the event of a fall etc.
I was relieved to find that the bathroom in my Queen Executive Accessible room at this Hilton hotel met my needs very well.
Included in our executive room reservation was access to the Executive Lounge where we enjoyed our complimentary continental breakfast and drinks during the course of our stay. If we were staying longer then we would definitely have taken advantage of the snacks available throughout the day.
Breakfast with this amazing view was certainly a treat and one we’re sure to remember as being the best so far. This was a great way to start our Saturday morning after a fantastic night seeing Kings of Leon and a great way to end our stay at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.
A special thank you to the lovely Kath who made us feel very welcome in the Executive Lounge and for the friendly chat. We hope to see you again when we return.
FOOD & SERVICE
One of the things we love to do when staying in a hotel is order room service. Since we wanted to relax before heading out at night this is exactly what we did and it didn’t disappoint. Room service for me isn’t complete without a side of sweet potato fries. My favourite!
Our lovely room service food was made in the Windows on the Tyne Restaurant, which is on the ground floor of the hotel. It also has amazing views over the River Tyne and is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The location of Hilton Newcastle Gateshead in the city centre was perfect as it was only a 5 min drive to The Metro Radio Arena where Kings of Leon were performing. The Quayside, Sage, Tyne and Swing Bridge are also situated around the hotel. Shopping, nightlife and attractions including St.James Park are within walking distance making Hilton Newcastle Gateshead a great choice for many travellers.
Hilton Newcastle Gateshead is ideal if you’re looking for a stylish, friendly and accessible hotel in the heart of Newcastle city centre. You are truly in for a fantastic time at this beautiful Newcastle hotel. Our queen executive accessible room was spacious, comfortable and met all my access needs. The staff were all very friendly and always happy to help. Simple things such as a smile and a hello as you pass in the corridor makes all the difference and that was certainly our experience here. We had an amazing stay from beginning to end and didn’t want to leave. It would also have been nice to try the swimming pool hoist if we had more time, but unfortunately it was just a quick visit this time. I’ll definitely stay at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead again whenever I’m back in the city. Fantastic!
*Disclosure: While my stay at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead was complimentary, all opinions expressed are my own and have in no way been reviewed or endorsed by the hotel.