Just when I was thinking that Hilton family hotels in the UK were making a turn for the better with some very nice stays in the UK, I got hit with a shocking reality on how bad it can be. After two great recent stays (and reviews are coming) at the Hilton at St. George Park in Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, and the Doubletree by Hilton Newcastle Airport; I had a very disappointing and troubling stay at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel, England.
Now I want to start off with the fact that I have become accustom to lower expectations at any hotel in the UK (outside London), no matter what brand. Many old buildings, quirky room sizes, sound insulation issues, and just the humdrum British hospitality.
However I could not have expected how many little disappointments and bad things could add up at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, a modern hotel in a great location in Newcastle! That’s the only good part… the location; I really think the management has the attitude “we have a great location so people will come”.
The staff looked downright miserable, no smiles. I walked by a maid in my hallway, no eye contact with me, I said “Hello how are you” she just kept on walking with a face the just said “I hate it here”.
The room and the hallways were showing some age, and really needed a good clean. Laziness over time is now showing with accumulation of dust all over the hotel. Under the bed; hairs and dust, the corners around the doorways dust, behind the TV and outlets dust and dirt. Dirty light switches in the rooms. Finger and head prints on the massive room windows. Mold in the showers. Stains under glass on the TV cabinet. Wine and other splash marks around the trashcan. Chips of the wall falling off. Many carpet stains in the room and the hallways. Come on, this is a Hilton, if these common task and preventive maintenance were done between each guest these issues would not be a problem. I do want to point out we had two rooms and both rooms had all the same issues listed, so it was not a 1 off problem.
Hairy dust under the bed
Stain under the glass
Shower rod falling down
Mold in shower
Dirty matt for tub
Hope you do not need one.. there are none
Marks all over the walls, splash around bin
Time to dust was a few year ago
Ring of dust around the room
Wall falling apart
It will wipe away in 2 min
Stains, dust and other stuff all over carpets
Diry light switch
Clock wrong in both rooms
As a Diamond HH member I was upgraded to a room with a view (not an executive room). I think they call it a deluxe room. Good size room, cool view if that is something that excites you, but not clean. I was also granted access to the executive lounge as a Diamond. What a joke this lounge is! Really they want people to pay for this?!?! I’m very grateful as a Diamond I get this perk and many will comment, “you get it for free so do not complain”… Free is a term I would dispute as over 10 years of loyalty to Hilton, I have put a lot of money into the company. I do know that Hilton corporate has made orders for cut backs in the lounges, mostly no more free spirits at happy hour, this is another issues.
Ok there is a nice view from the lounge.. but look at all the dirty glasses around
The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead has found a way to make the lounge a place you do not want to go to. It was way over crowded with people sitting on the FLOOR and Steps (it has a loft type area) there was only seating for I would guess 30-40 people. When I entered the lounge around 5:30PM tables were full of dirty glasses, and plates. The staff was putting out some cold food items. Cold cuts, stale bread, cut veggies and some dips. There was two spots for hot items, at 6:15 people started to ask the staff about the hot items, we were told “the lounge is not very busy on weekends there is no hot items” I want to say again people were sitting on the FLOOR and this is not busy!?!?!? Later people started to ask about spirits, the staff said “yes sir what would you like?” the man asked for Vodka and tonic. The staff did get him his vodka tonic and wanted to charge him 4 GBP for it. The man was not happy and did not pay or take the drink. The other tacky thing was a menu for you to order food in the lounge. Not a very attractive menu or prices for sure. I asked if you could order room service to the lounge, I was told no only the menu on the tables. What a joke. You could hear the rumble of the upset and displeased guest in the lounge, the tables were not getting cleared and the food was not replaced. The cold cuts were gone around 6:15pm and when I left at 7:30pm this is how it still looked. The staff told me only “Beer and Wine” in the lounges world wide now. At 6pm on the dot they did unlock the beer refrigerator and put out white wine and sparkling wine. Many were asking for red wine and that did show up at around 630.
No one to clear the tables, most of this was from the people before us
If you want anything just buy it.
Like this for a long time
Dead flowers a very nice touch.
This hotel is not cheap and it has the Hilton brand on it, and it failed to meet any expectations. I was a very unhappy guest, but I fit right in with the unhappy staff.
My group was heading out for dinner and the concierge was in the hallway so I asked for dinner recommendations. He looked at us and said, “I guessing a casual place with trousers like that?” We all had jeans on.. He then added “they are all good on the river” Really all of them? Even the 3 restaurants on trip advisor that were ranked in the top 10 worst in the entire city? I hope I did not bother the concierge too much it was clear he did not have time for us.
After all this what is the most important part of a hotel.. A good nights sleep right?? Not here! At 0400 in the morning a group of drunkards were yelling and knocking on random hotel room doors. Sure this can happen at any hotel and drunk people are all over. But one would hope the camera all over the hotel in the lifts the staff would put this too a stop. It lasted for a good long time.
Breakfast was just ok, we got there at 8am to find a mostly empty restaurant, the buffet was ok, but was more limited then most other Hiltons. Food was not very hot, and once again most of the staff looked so downright miserable.
This hotel is in a great location, the rooms are a nice size the building is new and modern. It is clear the management is lacking, the staff are not happy, and it is not going to get better until someone higher up at Hilton gets in and makes it right. This will take some time if they even start to try.
The night before my stay at this hotel I did a night at the Doubletree by Hilton Newcastle airport this place was great and I will get a review up soon on that hotel. So if you are in Newcastle and want a Hilton Family hotel and can stay outside the city center go with the Doubletree for sure. If you have to stay in the city center, Newcastle has many fine hotels, until the Hilton is put back on track this hotel is not on that list!
Over this summer I have stays at the Hilton London Towerbridge, the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster, & a few different stays at the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor. Fingers Crossed!