Glitter & Glitz in the UK’s Northeast

 Written by Laura Ferry, curator and writer of WhatLauraLoves

Ladies and gents, if you haven’t sorted out your plans for a loved up Valentines Day, then look no further than Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel.

The day of love has conveniently fallen on a Saturday this year, and with many of us off work for the weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to escape our everyday lives for a night of luxury at a top city centre hotel.

Arrive at the hotel for your overnight stay as part of the Loved Up Experience and be greeted by a beautiful single stem red rose and a bottle of Moet Champagne, waiting patiently in your King Room for your arrival.

Feast on a luxurious box of chocolates from exclusive chocolatier Hotel Chocolat as you plan how you’re going to spend your £50 Eldon Square shopping voucher after your full English breakfast the next day.

I was lucky enough to preview one of the rooms and let me tell you, they’re beautiful, especially when the scene was set with a gorgeous dress and accessories from local designer boutique, Love Niche.

With large windows letting an abundance of light flood into the room, crisp white premium bedding and a bright, spacious bathroom with a walk-in rain shower and complimentry designer toiletries, I couldn’t help but beam when walking into the room. If my husband treated me to this Valentines Day package, I would certainly feel like a princess.

What is really unique about Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel is that over 50% of the rooms have fitted kitchens and the ones that don’t still have a microwave, fridge, wine glasses and tea and coffee making facilities.

The hotel offers a unique service at no extra cost where you can tell them the foods that you would like and they will pop to Waitrose and have them waiting for you in your in-room fridge. What a fabulous idea; why pay a small fortune for a bottle of wine in a hotel bar when you can have your favourite brand chilling for you in your room? This also gives you the option of cooking for your other half this Valentine’s Day or taking them out for a meal to one of the many fabulous restaurants in Newcastle if you want a night away from the stove.

With busy lives, many of us don’t have the time to organise a luxurious romantic getaway but with this Valentine’s Day Package, all you need to do is make a quick phone call to the hotel and the rest will be taken care of for you.

I’m sure you’re wondering how much a night of luxury costs at the Sandman Hotel? Much, much lower than I thought that’s for sure. Most hotels seem to inflate their prices spectacularly for February 14th but not the Sandman, as their Valentine’s Day Package provides very good value for money. Last week, we stayed at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester where the breakfast alone, for two plus tray charge, came to an eye watering £48.90.

You can spoil your loved one with rates starting from only £219 for a King Room and upgrades to suites are available for only a small amount more. I’m sure you’ll agree that you’ll be getting a night of splendour at an affordable price in a hotel that’s conveniently located in the heart of Newcastle.

Call the hotel on 0191 229 2600 to book and let your Valentine’s Day be the best one ever!

Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel: Official Hotel Partner of the Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle - Falcons sponsorship

Staff from Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel pose with members of the Newcastle Falcons.

The Newcastle Falcons announced yesterday they have two new partners for the remainder of the 2014/15 season: Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel, their new official hotel partner, and Shark Club Bar & Grill, the gastronomically minded sports bar situated within the hotel’s premises.

The Newcastle Falcons (formerly Gosforth FC/Newcastle Gosforth until 1996) is an English rugby team that returned to the Aviva Premiership on May 29, 2013 after a season in the RFU Championship. The club was established in 1877 and played under the name Gosforth Football Club until 1990. The name was then changed to Newcastle Gosforth and the club began to play at Kingston Park stadium in Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. At the start of the professional era, the club adopted its current name Newcastle Falcons.

The partnership will see a number of events for Falcons’ supporters and corporate clients staged over the remainder of the current season at both Shark Club and the Hotel. Falcons’ supporters as well as visiting opposition team fans will also be able to take advantage of some exclusive room rates at the luxury 4-star city centre hotel.

Speaking about the new partnerships, Newcastle Falcons managing director Mick Hogan said: “It’s fantastic news that both the Sandman Signature Hotel and Shark Club are partnering with the club for the remainder of the 2014/15 season. We look forward to working with both organisations to deliver a series of great events for our supporters and corporate clients over the next eight months. The management at the Sandman Signature Hotel and Shark Club are a very impressive and forward thinking team. They have already proposed some fantastic ideas that will mean this partnership really delivers for all involved.”

Newcastle Lobby2Executive General Manager of the Hotel, Paul Smith said: “The Sandman Signature Hotel ethos is to work closely with the business and corporate community, with relationships in our home region of the North East. As a top sports bar and dining destination for all the major sporting fixtures, Shark Bar & Grill was perfectly partnered to link with the Newcastle Falcons. We are proud to have a region which has nurtured so much sporting talent across the board, and we are delighted with this new partnership.”

Newcastle Legacy 03Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel and Shark Club Bar & Grill were originally home to the former iconic Scottish & Newcastle Brewery which has played a significant role in the city’s history. The Hotel is surrounded by key attractions in the city including a thriving shopping district, China Town, Newcastle University, The Centre for Life, Quayside, the stunning North East coastal region and Intu Metrocentre, the biggest shopping centre in Europe.

SIG_Newcastle_Shark Club BarGeneral Manager of the Shark Club Bar & Grill Adrian Lowry said: “Newcastle Falcons are a perfect association for our profile at Shark. We are a sports bar destination with a fantastic sporting fixture diary available on 37 flat screens around the bar. We hope to see players, visiting teams, dignitaries, guests and VIPs in the sports bar throughout the season.”

The Hotel features a roof top gym, fast Wi-Fi, a range of luxury bedrooms including guest rooms with fully equipped kitchens, an optional Waitrose shopping delivery service and an overnight laundry service designed for the business, leisure and sport travellers.

The Hotel also offers extremely comfortable family rooms with extra large bunk beds, top quality mattresses, kitchens as well as the usual luxury suites and double bedrooms.

Newcastle Falcons next Aviva Premiership fixture sees them take on Saracens at Kingston Park stadium on Saturday, December 27.

For more information about Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel, click here._B5J1560SIG_Newcastle_Bathroom1557SIG_Newcastle_Kitchen1479

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The Wonderous Sights of Newcastle upon Tyne

Grainger Market

Grainger Market

If you were to ask my mom what she knows about England, she would happily discuss Coronation Street – the world’s longest running soap opera.  Others would say bangers & mash or pubs. And some would love the opportunity to discuss the royal family and Kate’s pregnancy.

But how much do we really know about our friends on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. We know that London is the capital, but do you know anything about Newcastle upon Tyne?

First, a brief history. Newcastle upon Tyne was given its name because of a castle built in 1080 by Robert II, Duke of Normandy, the eldest son of William the Conqueror. Originally, the city was based around the wool trade, then coal mining, but is now a business and cultural centre.

Ten interesting facts about Newcastle:

High Level Bridge

High Level Bridge

1. In 1849, Robert Stephenson’s High Level Bridge opened and was the first road/rail bridge in the world.

2. Grey’s Monument was erected in 1838 to commemorate the Reform Act of 1832. It honours Charles Earl Grey who was an advocate of peace, civil, and religious liberty.

3. The city acquired its first art gallery, the Laing Art Gallery, in 1901. Alexander Laing, founder and Scottish wine and spirit merchant, wanted to give back to the city where he made his fortune.

4. Grainger Town is the historic heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. It was designed in the 1830s by Richard Grainger, an internationally renowned builder and developer. 40% of buildings in the area are listed as being of historical and architectural importance.

5. The Grainger Market opened in 1835 and was Newcastle’s first indoor market.

Theatre Royal

Theatre Royal

6. The Town Moor, a park just north of city centre, is larger than Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath put together. The freemen of the city have the right to graze cattle on it.

7. The original Theatre Royal opened on January 21, 1788 and was located on Mosley Street, next to Drury Lane. The present Theatre Royal on Grey Street, opened in 1837, was designed by John and Benjamin Green and just celebrated its 175th birthday.

Lit and Phil staircase

Lit and Phil

8. The Lit and Phil, largest independent library outside London, houses more than 150,000 books. It has operated since 1793 and was originally founded as a conversation club.

9. The Tyneside Cinema on Pilgrim Street originally opened as the ‘Bijou News-Reel Cinema’ in 1937, and was designed and built by Dixon Scott, great uncle of film director Ridley Scott.

10. Newcastle was the location for both the 1971 film Get Carter and the 1988 film noir thriller Stormy Monday.

Now that’s some serious history! There’s a lot to see and do in Newcastle, so on your next adventure, make sure to take advantage of Sandman Signature Hotel Newcastle’s central location.

Sandman Signature Newcastle Sweeps Top Hotel Award…and for Good Reason!

Venturing to a new country is always risky business for any hotel company. Not only are you branching out from your regular customer base, but you’re engaging with entirely different nation of customs and expectations. Yet, however perilous the journey may be, when executed with patience, precision and attention to detail, the payoff can be tremendous.

A case in point is our very own Sandman Signature Hotel in Newcastle, U.K. It’s almost been a year since our flagship European hotel opened, and the U.K. reception has been tremendous. Not only have we established a reputation as the go-to destination for upscale comfort, and contemporary-cool fun in Newcastle, but we’ve managed to integrate ourselves into the local scene while also maintaining our distinct ‘exotic’ Canadian presence.

Where’s the proof? Verbal accolades aside, we recently also garnered one of England’s most prestigious hospitality awards – the RICS North East Renaissance Award for commercial property of the year. Chosen from panel of independent property experts who have seen all the ins and outs of the hotel industry, we were praised for ‘breathing new life into the last existing brewery building on the site where brewing had occurred for over 125 years.”

What the judges are referring to, of course, is our complete refurbishment of the former Scottish and Newcastle Brewery head office building. A local legend, the Scottish & Newcastle Brewery heralds as one of Newcastle’s most distinct historic sites. Not only did it serve as the stomping grounds for generations of beer makers, factory workers and beer lovers, but it put Newcastle on the map as a go-to city for deep dark ales with a punch.

Very aware of this special history and its connection to the locals, our team made sure we gave S&N the proper tribute. Hence, the RICS judges had this to say of our hotel: “While being stylish and contemporary, some of the historical elements of the original building have been maintained, including the Blue Star on the east elevation that signified excellent quality.”

Proud of our success, Director of the Sandman Hotel Group in the UK, Mitchell Gaglardi, echoed the judges’ sentiments when he remarked: “Even though the Sandman Signature Hotel Newcastle is contemporary and design forward, we were keen from the start to be sympathetic to its structure and respectful of its Scottish and Newcastle heritage. We are delighted and honoured to have won this prestigious award with our first UK site and hope our future Sandman Signature hotels here in the UK will be equally as well received.”

A top-tier award, excellent guests and the 2012 Summer Olympics to come? Not a bad start eh?

To learn more about the Sandman Signature Hotel – Newcastle, U.K., click here: http://www.sandmansignature.co.uk