It’s got to that time of year where I need to use my holidays up at work and take a well earned rest, or two, so last week I headed up for a few days in Newcastle and in particular the Sandman Signature Hotel…
Newcastle is one of those cities you instantly fall in love with and until this year I had never been, now I’ve been six times! The city itself is so neat and compact and the Metro makes it so simple to get around.
The Sandman Signature Hotel is located opposite the very impressive St James’ Park, home of Newcastle United, and a short stroll from Intu Eldon Square making it the perfect base to explore the city from.
From the outside the Sandman Signature Newcastle looks modern and sleek, a first impression that is certainly lived up to when you walk through the front door and are greeted by a roaring fire (perfect on rainy days such as those that decided to grace Newcastle with their presence during our visit), large sofas and open plan reception/ lounge area.
We booked ourselves into a Junior Suite for our stay, which impressively featured it’s very own kitchenette (that was fully equipped to let you look after yourself if you wished) as well as a living area and separate bedroom. Again the design of the rooms was very modern, sleek and comfortable, there was no spot in the room that you couldn’t watch TV from, there was plenty of space and everything was very ergonomic (yes I did learn something whilst studying). I really liked that they hadn’t gone over the top with furniture, or furnishings, that much of what was there was built in or fitted and that the bathroom & kitchenette were crisp white and clinically clean.
After spending time in the hotel on the first day, working away like a good little blogger, Paul and I went out in search of food that evening and found that the Intu Eldon Square could pretty much cater for any craving we had and that the adjacent Tesco Express was a great spot for picking up breakfast & snacks from.
The next day, as well as spending more time working away on here, I decided to treat myself to a few hours in the Sandman’s gym. This is one thing I often find lets a lot of hotels down, many choose to just turn a bedroom into a ‘fitness room’ with cast off cardio kit & a couple of light weights. Located on the roof of the hotel, the Sandman’s gym isn’t the most fully equipped space I’ve ever come across, but it is enough to get by on whilst you’re away. I managed a full leg day session which turned out to not be the best idea when I realised I had to walk down two flights of stairs with jelly legs after!
After working up an appetite and freshening up, I headed down to the Shark Club. The Gastro Bar located on the ground floor of the hotel. On an evening the bar is a bustling hive of activity, however, on a lunchtime it is peaceful, relaxing and the perfect place to refuel. Trying to stick to my diet (albeit loosely) I ordered a portion of the ‘Lightly Breaded Calamari’ with a side of their ‘Sweet Potato Fries’, however, the portion sizes at the Shark Club are exceedingly generous and I could have easily survived on the Calamari alone. The large plate of Calamari was tasty, cooked perfectly and served with a side of Tzatziki whilst the Sweet Potato Fries had that slight crisp to the outside but were still fluffy on the inside making them particularly morish.
As mentioned above, the hotel is perfectly positioned for a spot of shopping and the heart of Newcastle has everything that you could possibly need to while away a few hours. So that is exactly what I did, I made the short walk into town (trying to burn off my slightly overindulgent lunch) and headed straight for Fenwicks and their amazing Christmas shop! Before hunting down my favourite Indian restaurant (Akbars, their Palak Paneer Balti is one one the most amazing dishes on the planet) and then back to the hotel, to settle down with a cup of tea and Celebrity Juice.
Unfortunately that pretty much was the end of our time at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Newcastle, but I honestly couldn’t find fault with the hotel, the room or the location. I really enjoyed how this room became a home away from home during our stay, we didn’t need to change our habits or diets although we chose to dine out, and we could explore the city from our vantage point. If you get the opportunity to visit this hotel I would definitely recommend it. I’m sure you will enjoy your stay.
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