BY FIONA GRAY
If you haven’t heard yet, Newcastle has a brand-new hotel, the Holiday Inn Express on King Street, Newcastle West. Situated only a block from the Newcastle
Interchange and Marketown, this hotel is a great base for exploring the city.
From the moment I walked in the doors I was greeted by friendly staff who promptly checked me in and gave me directions to my room. Parking wasn’t included
in my stay, but I found a carpark easily on the street (as it was after 6pm), which was untimed and free until 9am the next morning. Alternatively,
there is a secure carpark at the hotel for an additional $20 per night.
After checking in I was directed to my room, up on the sixth floor looking out towards King Street. The first thing I noticed was the view, over the trees
towards Hamilton and across to Cooks Hill. I even got ocean glimpses of Bar Beach. Wow!
The room was clean and comfortable, like their motto, simple and smart. It was on the small side but included everything I needed, a comfy bed, Foxtel,
free wifi, bar fridge and a glass bathroom. A glass bathroom? Well, let me explain, the wall between the ensuite shower and the bedroom is glass, so
it lets in natural light into the bathroom and adds some style to the room. And no, you can’t really see through it, it’s obscure glass!
Next, I ventured out to dinner, first stop a beer at The Family
which is only a
couple of blocks from the hotel. Followed by dinner of burritos at Antojitos
Newcastle’s fav Mexican street food restaurant, bursting with authentic, fresh cuisine.
Before heading back to my room I had a night cap at the bar in the hotel’s Great Room downstairs, and it was great to see quite a few local options on
the menu like Murray’s, Bimbadgen, Tyrrell’s and Audrey Wilkinson.
How did I sleep? Really well. There was very little traffic or construction noise, and the block out blinds are amazing. The choice of labeled soft or
firm pillows was also a nice little surprise.
The buffet breakfast is included, and kicks off from 6.30am with heaps to pick from, including: muesli, fruit, yoghurt, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, pastries
and breads. It was delicious! Although my favourite was the pancake machine, one press of a button and 18 seconds later you’ve got two freshly made
pancakes. Boy, was this fun!
Overall, my stay at the Holiday Inn Express was enjoyable, I kind of felt like a tourist in my own city. This new 170 room hotel is inviting, comfy and
friendly, and has everything you need - including a self serve pancake machine!