Last week we headed back to Newcastle for another gig. This time it was to see the brilliant The 1975 at the Utilita Arena. We stayed for one night at Premier Inn Millennium Bridge Newcastle and this is my review of the wheelchair accessible hotel overlooking the River Tyne.
Booking a room on the Premier Inn website is easy and straightforward. It allows you to select a disabled room and then it gives the option of a lowered bath or level access shower room (wet room). This never used to be the case with Premier Inn as you were made to phone them after booking and request your preference. Many times I found this not to work as I’d arrive at check-in and be given a room with a bath despite asking for a shower. So far in my experience, the new booking system is working well.
I booked the Premier Inn Millennium Bridge Newcastle hotel at a room rate of £39. We stayed on a Sunday, which may be the reason for the low rate.
Location and Parking
I picked this particular hotel due to its close proximity to the Utilita Arena. Central location and a convenient seven minutes drive to the venue.
There are around four or five disabled parking bays at the hotel and we were able to get parked easy each time we left and came back to the hotel. Parking is charged at an overnight rate of £5 and this includes blue badge holders.
The main entrance has double doors which are not automatic. Disabled or elderly guests may struggle opening the doors especially if using mobility aids.
Once inside the double doors, there is immediately another set of double doors which you must pull. Again this may be tricky to manage. There is no staff in this area so disabled guests may have to wait for another passing guest. Not ideal.
Through these doors, you’ll see a corridor with Amazon lockers, stairs on the left and the lift around the corner. The lift takes you up to the reception, restaurant and rooms.
We were welcomed to the hotel by a lovely receptionist and she checked us in quickly.
Wheelchair Accessible Room
Our wheelchair accessible room was #6 on the same floor as reception so we didn’t have to go far.
The bedroom had everything we needed for a comfortable stay. The lowered bed (480mm high) had space on one side for wheelchair transfers. The bedside table on that side was not attached to the headboard (the other side was), which meant it could be moved out the way if needed.
There aren’t power sockets on the accessible side of the bed. This could be difficult for wheelchair users travelling alone and needing to charging their powered wheelchairs, phones etc during the night.
The double bed was on caster wheels, but there didn’t seem to be enough space underneath for a portable hoist to roll under. I know for sure that my Molift Quick Raiser would not be able to fit underneath. I’m sure the maintenance staff would be able to raise it if needed, but best to ask beforehand if you will be using a hoist.
The desk was accessible to me as it allowed me to roll underneath without any problems. There was tea/coffee making facilities, power sockets and a table lamp without a light bulb.
The closet had a floor-length mirror on the front, which was great. The sides of the closet were open to allow easy access, but there was no space at either side to position a wheelchair so unless you can twist and stretch, then you may struggle to hang your clothes up. Extra pillows were placed at the bottom of the closest.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
The bathroom has a bath instead of a roll-in shower. Usually, I would not book a room if there wasn’t a roll-in shower but the two accessible rooms at this hotel don’t have the option. The receptionist told us they are going to be refurbishing the rooms and roll-in showers will be installed.
As it was only for one night and I had showered at home before leaving, I knew it wouldn’t be a problem for this trip.
The bathroom was smaller as the bath took up more space so there wasn’t as much room for manoeuvring my wheelchair as I’d usually expect from a Premier Inn accessible room.
The toilet was positioned in the corner with only one side free for wheelchair transfers (right-hand side). There were grab rails fixed on each side of the toilet.
I was able to roll underneath the sink which is something I often cannot do in some hotels. Two thumbs up for roll-under sinks!
Premier Inn Millennium Bridge Newcastle is in the ideal location for a trip to Newcastle. We choose this hotel for it’s closeness to the Utilita Arena, but it is also super close to the Sage Gateshead and St James’ Park. Although the hotel is close to everything and walking/rolling distance to restaurants and bars, the hotel itself is in a quiet area overlooking the River Tyne. It gives the best of both and for that, it’s great for everyone whether you are staying for business or leisure. We enjoyed our stay and had a comfortable sleep. The room was accessible, but the bath and no roll-in shower let it down for me. It will be great once the rooms are refurbished and wet rooms are installed in some of the accessible rooms. I would return to this hotel if attending a show at one of the nearby venues.