In December 2013, I visited Newcastle-upon-Tyne and had the pleasure of staying at Staybridge Suites on Buxton Street. I wrote a review which I published on this blog and also on TripAdvisor, where it is by far my most viewed review.
[Image description: large flat-panelled television-set with interactive menu of hotel facilities]
On this occasion I did indeed stay longer. We arrived Thursday afternoon and checked out just after eleven on Sunday morning. This longer stay meant I could spread out my activities so as not to tire me out nor aggravate my disabilities.
This time my companion and I stayed in one of the studio apartments. Hopefully the following images give a feel of the place. We took the pictures after settling in so one can observe how homely the pads are.
[Image description: from the sofa looking towards the kitchenette]
[Image description: from the bed looking towards the sitting area;
the writer's gammy leg/foot propped up]
[Image description: the fully equipped & spotlessly clean kitchen area]
[Image description: the room for two shower cubicle in the mould(mold)-free 'bath'-room]
We brought along our own wines, snacks, drinking-water, decaf coffee, etc. However, we also took advantage of "The Pantry", the hotel's twenty-four hour shop. We paid: £1 for a packet of Tyrrell's crisps; £1 for a small packet of popcorn; £1.30 for three large Metcalfes rice cakes coated in chocolate; and £1.50 for a bottle of Purdeys (costing £1.35 in Waitrose). The prices were not extortionate, but reflected local convenience store pricing. One can also purchase inter alia toiletries, ready meals, alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages.
On the Thursday evening we were invited to a meet & greet with the manager and other guests with gratis wine and snacks. We were too tired from the long journey from Manchester to feel up to socialising, so settled down with crackers, pâté and some red wine.
Breakfast each morning featured cereals, fruit, yoghourts, choices of milks & juices, teas, coffees, hot-chocolate, bagels, croissants, muffins…… Friday morning hot sausages were available along with cold sliced ham and cheese. Saturday bacon was available but not Friday's offerings. On Sunday both bacon and sausage were available but not the cold cuts. I suspect part of the reason for some changes each day is so that long- or longer-term residents do not become bored. Free newspapers were available to anyone who wished. Take-away cups & lids were available for those who wished to breakfast on the go. Some folk used their room's tray to collect a breakie and return to breakfast in the privacy of their rooms.
Room service is available weekdays but one is at liberty to decline it. At weekends it is on demand only, so one can have a lie-in without fear of being disturbed. All we had need to request was an extra dishwasher-tablet.
As per our last visit the customer-service interface is faultless. Talking to the employees all were happy in their work and therefore all the affability and smiles were probably totally authentic. It's lovely to hear workers speak contentedly about their work-place. Also reassuring to see all the awards proudly displayed in the vestibule.
The only negative aspect to our stay was the quality of the toilet-paper. At home I go through two rolls every three weeks. Over our stay we went through nearly two rolls between two of us due to the quality being so poor, which meant we were using three to four times more tissue than we would normally. A false economy methinks. Next time - and there will be a next time - I shall take a roll of my own.