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“Honestly it's fine!”
Review of The Vermont Hotel

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The Vermont Hotel
Reviewed 24 August 2008

I stayed at this hotel when on a course with colleagues. I'm really surprised that some reviews are so hostile, I have fond memories of a good stay and quality conferencing facilities. I'm not really sure if some travellers think that concireges are put on earth to kiss their feet but I certainly didn't have a problem with the concierge "hanging around" in the lobby/car park - that is where any reasonable person would expect to find the concierge and I found him to be friendly and pleasant, always greeting me with a smile. Perhaps that is because I greeted him with a friendly smile myself?
The lobby, lounge, bar, conferencing rooms, halls and bedrooms were all clean with good attention to detail on the housekeeping front. I didn't have a problem with my card being pre-authorised - for every 100 honest guests there sadly will be the odd guest who does damage the room/do a runner. Pre-authorisation of cards means that this cost is passed on to the dishonest person not other guests in the form of accommodation price increases to re-coup losses. So what if this affects the credit available? If you can afford to stay in a four star hotel you are unlikely to have a credit limit where every last £400 matters.
I enjoyed our meals, we scheduled group lunches/dinners etc around our training, they were varied and well-prepared. An open fire in the bar was cosy and the wine good. We had all put some money into a cash kitty behind the bar, and the only problem occurred when this wasn't mentioned on shift changeover, so the new staff member did not know where our money was. This was rectified by phoning the previous member of staff, which was very kind of them. The sooner you bring up an issue, the sooner it can be dealt with. Remain calm and polite and you will normally recieve that response back.
My room was not the cutting edge of style, but it was not shabby, the bathroom was a good size and it was nice to have a dvd player in the room. I didn't hear any trains at any point during my 3 day trip from any point of the hotel.
This was my 3rd visit to Newcastle and it is a modern and varied city. There are great community projects and massive regeneration has gone on here - we visited a great community theatre, a good mix of commercial and niche shops and restaurants around, also a clean city with good and cheap public transport.
There were some hen/stag groups out in town, but certainly not in this hotel, so it is unfair to include this in criticism of the hotel. Any city with a large university will have groups of people out enjoying themselves during the week and at weekends anyway. We did not feel that anyone was particularly aggressive, just out for drinks on a weekend night. The reviewer commenting on security personnel being on the door of a bar should take note that with the introduction of the new Licensing Act extending drinking hours, many local authorities choose to make it the condition of premises licences that they have a certain ratio of security to customers. The other access to the hotel, through Castle Garth, is quiet and picturesque so there is no need to walk past the offending bar anyway.
As for complaining about a homeless man in a nearby street in a review of a £130 a night hotel - words almost fail me. Certainly not the hotel's fault for a start, again, the sort of thing quite typical of any town/city centre on occasion, and it doesn't really inspire belief in fellow travellers when someone will moan about this spoiling their stay in an expensive hotel as part of a long holiday on Trip Advisor as opposed to notifying the local authorities if the incident actually was as terrifying as construed and thereby getting said homeless man help/support.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled on business
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Thank kernowkerensa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,999 - 2,005 of 2,068 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2008

Newcastle was the last stop of our family vacation (road trip from London to Scotland) on our way back to London. We chose The Vermont due to its central location. Unfortunately, it was a very unpleasant experience. It started off badly. When we arrived, the concierge did not come out and help us with our bags. All we got was a half-hearted “are you OK there?” from behind the desk when he saw us struggling to carry our bags up the stairs. When we checked in, the hotel pre-authorized our credit card for £400. We were not informed of this prior to booking the room. We find this an inconvenience as it affects the credit card balance and it is also insulting to guests (like we’re planning to trash the room and cause damage??). After all, we do leave our credit card info on top of that. Our room was very small for the three of us. With the extra bed for our son, there was literally no room for our bags. The room was stuffy and smelled of cigarette smoke (this is supposed to be a non-smoking hotel) and worst of all, it was located just above Martha’s bar outside. The hotel’s guest directory mentions this bar so we assume it is owned by the hotel. The bar was very noisy at night and we had to sleep with the windows closed, in spite of the hot and stuffy room. Earplugs couldn’t even stifle the noise, which went on till the wee hours. We were very surprised that the hotel, knowing full well that one of the guests was a child, would give us this room. It is also very unpleasant to enter the hotel from the street level, as you have to walk through the throngs of revellers and smokers outside Martha’s bar… it doesn’t feel very safe when you are walking with a child. The next night was a Saturday and upon returning to the hotel, we noticed that there were already crowds of people gathered outside Martha’s bar. Plus there were two security guards outside this time… not a good feeling when you are staying in the room right above. So we asked to change rooms to a quieter side of the hotel (which in fact, isn’t much quieter as the room overlooks the railway tracks with trains whizzing by). We had to stand our ground and ask for the manager in order to get a room change, after excuses from front desk such as “we have no rooms available” and “you should have told us earlier”. They sent the concierge (the same one) to help us with our bags and move room. He looked like he resented doing so. There wasn’t enough room in the tiny lift for the 4 of us and our bags (and the concierge had to pry the doors closed to get the lift working) so my son and I waited for the next lift. When it arrived, it wouldn’t move so the 2 people already in it walked up one floor. Not feeling confident about the lift, my child and I took the stairs, lugging our bags up 4 floors. Even so, from the previous reviewer who was trapped for 45 minutes, I’m glad we didn’t risk the lift. The new room was even smaller but at least it was quieter, although we still had to sleep with the window closed due to the trains. When we checked out, we were only charged for one night’s stay due to the inconvenience. The concierge saw us with our bags at reception and promptly ignored us and went to sweep the stairs to the car park. When he saw a mini-bus was blocking our car, he went to move it. He didn’t acknowledge us, smile or even say goodbye. To top it all off, the hotel sent us an invoice 10 days later, in which they took the liberty of using our credit card info to charge us for a night stay on a date we weren’t even there. Just an invoice and credit card receipt…. no letter explaining the charge. We therefore had to call our credit card company to flag the charge and report possible identity theft. We promptly sent a fax to the CEO disputing the charge and requesting that it be reversed immediately. No response yet. We’ll definitely give this hotel a miss next time… if there is a next time. It seems Newcastle in the summer (especially on weekends) is taken over by stag and hen parties, which isn’t much fun when you are on a family vacation. In fact, the only interesting family activity was the Centre for Life. The Gate has a cinema but it is not in the best part of town (on our way there we had to “fight off” a homeless man who approached our son and wouldn’t leave). It’s a shame Newcastle doesn’t have more things for children and families to do in a safe environment. Ain’t no love in the heart of this city…

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank PB&PA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2008

This hotel is a disgrace. The room had old fashioned decor and did not feel clean. The bath was so dirty that before I could use it I had to clean it myself.

The reception staff were rude, unfriendly and appeared to think that if they called you 'Sir' they could treat you with disrespect. The only pleasent member of staff we encountered was the nice lady behind the bar who was very friendly to us all evening. Whilst in conversation with her she was not very complimentary about the hotel staff herself and wasn't surprised by our opinion of the hotel thus far.

To top it off, we got stuck in the lift for 45 minutes, missed our dinner reservation and were then charged for breaking it 2 weeks later! When we checked out no mention was made of the lift and as we were in a rush we didnt bother complaining. 2 weeks later I was charged for breaking the lift without any contact from the hotel! It should be me who receives compensation from the hotel, not the other way around! Unbelievable.

I have obviously disputed this charge with my credit card company and will certainly not be paying it.

So, if you are unfortunate enough to have booked this hotel expect to be treated with contempt by the staff and make sure you check your credit card bill after your stay!

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TheChapman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2008

We stayed at the Vermont for one night in May 2008. Considering the hotel claims it is a 4 star hotel and cost £130 for one night with no breakfast, we were expecting good things......

The hotel however is it great need of a complete refurbishment - it is old, the decor is out dated, the rooms are musky and dark, all in all it does not make for a pleasant stay.

Next time, I would pay a bit more for the Malmaison.

  • Stayed: May 2008
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1  Thank LondonNoddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2008

My husband and I booked a double room in this hotel hoping to spend a lovely weekend in Newcastle. Our room was on the top floor and we did have a good view - however - the room was very small and dowdy. It did not look anything like the hotel's publicity shots. The double bed was the smallest size possible. And, there was a distinct stale smell in the room. I was also unhappy about the fact that there were no drawers for clothes and when I hung my dress in the wardrobe, a quarter of it was lying on the bottom of the wardrobe.

Definitely, NOT luxourious bedrooms and not worth £130 a night. I would not stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank divadiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2008

I have just arrived back from a 2 night stay in the Vermont while attending a work conference nearby. The hotel was the only 4 star recommended by the conference organisers ( others were 3 star) so booked without checking Trip Advisor - never again! The room was cramped and very dimly lit - despite the efforts of a very pleasant housekeeper to find an extra lamp so I could read by the bedside - the bedside sockets are round pin so no modern lamp ( ie less than 20years old!) could fit. The furniture is cheap and nasty . The buffet breakfast acceptable for a youth hostel, not a supposedly 4 star luxury hotel and not at £140 per night. A colleague complained to the unhelpful general manager and was refused a discount and informed no - one else had ever complained about the hotel ! I was advised to complain to the Chief Exec. My advice - avoid this hotel until it has a complete refurbishment.

Stayed: March 2008
2  Thank Busy99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2008

Having read the reviews we were not expecting a great night , however from the moment our car was parked for us we have nothing but positive things to say.

Yes the place is maybe due a facelift but the staff are super courteous and friendly and the food was delicous and well presented , the room was very spacious and also very clean.

The Moonlight package is well worth the money.

Newcastle is also a great night out.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank shaun01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Vermont Hotel

Address: Castle Garth | Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Tyne and Wear > Newcastle upon Tyne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Luxury Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne
Price Range: £73 - £293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Vermont Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 101
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Few hotels can boast a more enviable city centre postcode than the Vermont Hotel, for this imposing structure is located in the heart of the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, not only next to the Castle Keep and opposite the historic Moot Hall, but also just two minutes from Newcastle's Central Station. Combining old character in the form of 1930s grandeur with contemporary elegance and four-star luxury, the landmark building is your base from which to discover the many bars, shops and attractions of the town centre and wider area. Look outside your window and you might see such sights as the River Tyne, Millennium Bridge or stunning cathedral, and it's not the only mark of the sheer inspiration of the Vermont Hotel experience. That's because the reasons for the hotel's reputation become clear with a stay in any one of its sophisticated bedrooms, which are finished in soft relaxing colours while also coming with a wealth of facilities for your pleasure and comfort, including - among others - private en-suite bathrooms, a mini bar and free Internet access. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vermont Hotel Newcastle Upon Tyne
Vermont Newcastle Upon Tyne

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