So when Motel One opened in Newcastle it answered my prayers. A budget city centre hotel that's stylish, has a bar and complimentary wifi with rooms from £59.00. Sounds too good to be true right?
Last week Simon and I were invited to check out Motel One Newcastle for ourselves and I couldn't wait to take a good look round to see if things were as good as they promised on the tin.
You'll find Motel One Newcastle on High Bridge which is a dream location in the heart of Newcastle. Easy walking distance from the Train Station, Metro and shopping streets with the famous clubs of the Diamond Strip and the bars and restaurants of Grey Street literally on your doorstep. If you're staying in Newcastle for a weekend you really couldn't find a hotel in a better location.
We checked in on Wednesday night, feeling pretty drained from a busy day at the office and were greeted by smiling friendly staff and a busy reception. Whilst we were getting our keys we saw two suited men arrive and a handful of couples - it was great to see that the hotel is popular with both leisure and business travellers.
Heading straight up to our room we were thankful to find a comfortable looking bed in a clean and modern room. The room was a little on the snug size, but for such an amazing price you can't really complain. There were plenty of facilities including tea and coffee making and a hair dryer.
Each room comes with complimentary wifi and, being a little addicted to social media, I was very happy at how fast and reliable it was.
The rooms have no wardrobes, instead there are hooks to hang your clothes, this could perhaps be a little problematic if you were away for a week, but for a long weekend there's ample space to hang things.
We loved the plug sockets that were right by the beds, perfect for making full use of the free wifi but we were a little stumped in the morning when we realised there were no plug sockets near a mirror. How's a girl supposed to do her hair?
Of course the all important test was sleep and I can honestly say that we both had the best nights sleep at the Motel One. Our Queen Sized bed was far larger than our bed at home and we loved having so much space. The mattress was really comfortable, the room was peaceful and I couldn't believe how dark the room was - perfect conditions for a great night's sleep.
During our stay I was more than a little obsessed with the Motel One bar. It is huge and I feel like it may be one of Newcastle's best secrets. There are four areas to the bar with plenty of different style seats to choose from.
So whether you prefer to spend your evening sitting on a stool chatting to the barman, on a comfy couch in the middle of the action or in a snug little area with your loved one - there's an area to suit every requirement.
For a big Newcastle geek like me there are some fantastic pictures printed on the walls featuring some of our most loved bridges across the Tyne. I love how proud the Motel One are of their new location and it's great that visitors to our beautiful city are able to appreciate our most famous landmarks before they've even left their hotel.
We decided to take ourself off to the cosy corner of the bar which I'd had my eye on from the moment we stepped inside the door. Brightly coloured swivel chairs (that made me feel a little like a bad ass super villain!), thick shaggy rug and a fake fire made this my favourite part of the bar. It felt like our own private little den.
There's a lovely little cocktail list at the Motel One bar featuring loads of the classics. Embracing my love of Prosecco I immediately turned to the fizz page and ordered myself a Hugo - Prosecco with elderflower syrup, soda, lime and mint leaves on the rocks. So refreshing.
If you prefer to venture away from the hotel, the night life on the doorstep of Motel One Newcastle is amazing with many of my favourite bars and restaurants a few steps away. For a bite to eat and fantastic gin you'll find Pleased to Meet You a few doors away and The Stand comedy club is next door. Just round the corner, Grey Street (one of the most beautiful streets in the UK) boasts an amazing array of eateries including chains like Las Iguanas and Pizza Express.
For our night out we decided to head round the corner to The Gentleman on the Bigg Market, one of Newcastle's newer restaurants. It has a fantastic cocktail menu, serves great food and at weekends you can enjoy live music.
A few steps away is the Theatre Royal that shows the very best touring productions of musicals and plays or if you prefer catching some action on the big screen I highly recommend our independent cinema, the Tyneside which screens a great variety of blockbusters, cult classics and indie films.
The Surrounding Area
If you're lucky enough to be staying in Newcastle for a few days then basing yourself at the Motel One is a great idea as the hotel is in the thick of the action. Great for travel networks there's a Metro stop a few minutes walk away and the train and bus stations are both close by.
Eldon Square shopping centre is right on your doorstep as well as Northumberland Street where you'll find Fenwick's flagship store.
A short stroll down the hill will bring you to Newcastle's famous Quayside and the iconic Tyne Bridge. The perfect place for a walk with plenty of fantastic cafes to enjoy, cycle hire from the Cycle Hub and lots of sunny spots to top up your tan.
I'll admit when I heard that breakfast at Motel One was £9.50 per person for a continental I wasn't sure it'd be great value for money. But the next morning we decided to head down to the bar and take a look.
I really wasn't expecting the great spread that was laid out for guests in the bar. There wasn't a single Kellogs multipack box in sight, this was a continental breakfast for Kings and Queens.
Featuring locally sourced food from the North East I was particularly impressed to see that the coffee was from Pumphreys in the Grainger Market and there were huge pots of delicious jam from Yummy Things in Gosforth.
I eagerly grabbed a plate and was quick to pile it high with delicious food and knew immediately that my breakfast was going to feature several courses. By the end of breakfast I'd feasted on toast covered in a thick spread of jam, a pain au chocolat and a huge bowl of Greek yoghurt with a generous dollop of mango puree. Simon had also delved into the cereal and had a generous shovel of belgian chocolate gronola.
We loved our stay at Motel One Newcastle and with such great prices I think we may well start checking in after nights out. It's definitely far comfier than getting a taxi home!
You'll find Motel One hotels across Europe and their UK hotels are in three of my favourite cities - London, Manchester and Edinburgh. All offering the same level of comfort and convenience at purse friendly prices. I think it's only a matter of time before I'm booking us a little city break!
Where do you think I should head first?
Thank you to Motel One for inviting us to stay. Our hotel room was complimentary, but all opinions are our own.