I was recently asked to review the New Roomzzz Hotel in Newcastle. After clicking to view their website I was expecting the traditional hotel layout…but I was wrong! It’s more than just a hotel…
The hotel is built within Friar House (grade II listed), originally owned by Sir Robert Hopper Williamson. Sir Williamson had invested very heavily into his family home ensuring an eloquently designed interior and a spectacular exterior fitting to his social standing which still impresses today as it stands serenely amongst daily life on Clavering Place.
19th Century ‘celebrity socialite’ Sir Robert Hopper Williamson was a Recorder of Newcastle and chancellor of Durham and considered amongst the elite of the North East and one of the most important men in the area.
A portrait of Sir Robert Hopper Williamson, former owner and resident of Friar House hangs in The National Portrait Gallery, London
The Newcastle City location hosts 14 Hotel Apartments at the moment, which will eventually total 44 suites and apartments in the £5M development of the historic Friar House site with work starting December 2012.
Arrival and stay
On arrival to the hotel it was clear Friar House was a significant building with great features including tall windows and a lovely grand walk way before you enter the hotel. We were greeted at the desk by the cheerful and helpful staff, who also advised we take the stairs on the way down from our room on the second floor (later we did and the staircase was a joy to walk down).
We entered our room, which is far from a traditional hotel room. All 14 rooms in the hotel are suite luxury apartments, with everything you could ask for, a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, lounge, desk and I especially loved the views from the windows of the city and river close by. The two giant flat TV screens in the bedroom and lounge really did help excel the ‘luxury’ of the apartment.
We went out for a lovely meal down the quayside to Gusto Bar and Restaurant with some of the hotel staff and guests, which were great company, then returned ready for our bed. The bed was accompanied with lots of pillows and an original fire place (which we explored a little), it was easy to fall asleep in the comfy bed after watching a little bit of late night telly on the large bedroom TV. It was a shame we had to check out in the morning as we were just getting the feel of the hotel.
On check-out there is also a grab-and-go breakfast which I’m sure will be a winner with future guests.
Location and value
Firstly the hotel is only a two minute walk from Central Station, great location! It’s great that Roomzzz have chosen Newcastle in the North East Region as their 5th location. After 12 months and £5M on an extensive restoration of Friar House, Roomzzz has helped transform a detached Georgian townhouse into the latest hotel in their portfolio. Many if not most of the original features of Friar House have been carefully restored. Including a grand stair and large Venetian staircase window. Historic relics, curiosities and delights such as the original cast iron range, bank vaults and mysterious vaulted ceilings are found contained within the 14 suites whose layout follows the exact footprint of the original Friar House. See photos above containing original fire places and a collection documents found in the house which are displayed on the wall of the staircase. Guests will experience top to toe luxury in suites complete with Apple technology, ‘best night sleep’ beds, state of the art kitchens and chic bathrooms.
The Suites start from £75 which I think is great value for money.
Head of Roomzzz Aparthotel UK Mark Walton comments, ‘Roomzzz Newcastle City dramatically improves luxury hotel stays in the North – there are some fabulous hotels in the area but the transformation of Friar House really raises the game…This hotel experience is pure luxury but with the Roomzzz affordability factor’.
In 2012 the brand maintains its stance on Roomzzz Aparthotel core values matched with the same offering as a luxury hotel. Spacious apartments, stylish interior, extremely well equipped kitchens, Apple technology, specialist memory foam beds, complimentary wi-fi, free local and national telephone calls, 24hr concierge, affordable pricing and the option to stay from one night to one year.
Complimentary Grab & Go breakfast is available between 6.30am and 10.30am to start the day, including a selection of teas & coffee, fruits, fruit juice and freshly baked pastries.
A handy Pantry full of living essentials including toiletries, milk, groceries and meals is available in Reception.
Hailed as ‘possibly the best hotel ever’ by New Woman Magazine and short-listed for the European Hotel Design Awards in the highly sought after ‘Innovation’ category which looks to award high achievers in ventures that offer guests a truly forward thinking and original offering.
Roomzzz Aparthotel has been awarded The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for Roomzzz Leeds City and Roomzzz Leeds City West in July 2012.
It’s S’now Joke. Bookings made between now and Sunday 31st march 2013 – rates start from £45 in Leeds, £65 in Manchester and £75 in Newcastle.
The Royalty Club Membership. Roomzzz Rewards Loyalty with The Royalty Club.
Silver membership card – basic level, available to all, 10% discount, Free to join
Gold membership card – issued on achieving 25 room nights per year, 15% discount
Platinum membership card – issued on achieving 75 room nights per year, 20% discount, complimentary upgrade, late check-out
3 in Leeds, Manchester and of course now Newcastle (a further 36 apartments will open 2013).
For more information on Roomzz and their hotels visit
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