The Inspector reviews an 'impressive' Newcastle hotel with river views

The Inspector calls at a hotel in Newcastle that, like the city’s football team, is impressive… but not top of the league

  • The Inspector stays at Malmaison Newcastle by the city’s Millennium Bridge
  • He receives a ‘cheerful’ welcome before checking out his purple-toned room
  • Remember, the Inspector pays his way… and tells it as it is

The Inspector checks into Malmaison Newcastle (above) 

There are 16 Mals (as they like to be known) in the UK, most operating from converted historic buildings such as this seven-storey one in Newcastle, once the Co-operative Society’s warehouse, built in 1902.

It stands imperiously by the arched Millennium Bridge on bustling Quayside. 

You pay extra for a room overlooking the River Tyne, but it’s worth doing so. 

On the opposite bank is the magnificent Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Malmaison has always chased a young market. The decor is dark and moody; the welcome bright and cheerful.

The hotel is housed in a historic seven-storey building that once served as the Co-operative Society’s warehouse

‘The decor is dark and moody; the welcome bright and cheerful,’ writes the Inspector. Above is the hotel’s bar 

My room has a cosy sitting area with its own TV, a proper desk, another TV near the bed. Purple is the primary colour.

‘Dare to be different’ is the motto I remember from past Mal visits — for example ‘Get an earful of these little beauties’ on a packet of ear cotton buds. 

Here, there’s one by the shower that says: ‘Too hot to handle?’

You pay extra for a room overlooking the River Tyne, but it’s worth doing so, the Inspector reveals 

At Chez Mal Brasserie (above), the Inspector dines on a ‘delicious’ serving of lamb shank pie 

The hotel stands imperiously by the arched Millennium Bridge on bustling Quayside

Chez Mal Brasserie is darker still, but with the help of a candle I can read the menu. I go for three big scallops in their shells and the lamb shank pie, both delicious.

A waiter tells me the mood is good in Newcastle. Why? ‘Because we’ve got a decent football team at last,’ he says.

And a decent, affordable hotel. Not quite top of the league, but impressive none the less.

On the opposite bank of the river is the magnificent Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (above)

TRAVEL FACTS

Malmaison Newcastle, 104 Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DX. Double room only £119. For more information visit malmaison.com or call 0191 389 8627.

Rating out of five: **** 

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