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Crowne Plaza Newcastle 3.5

Newcastle, Australia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Great location on Newcastle’s harbor, near restaurants and bars
  • Quick walk or drive to the city center
  • Spacious, contemporary rooms have sofas, dining tables, and flat-screen TVs
  • All-day restaurant serves high tea overlooking the harbor
  • Long outdoor lap pool and sunny terrace
  • Free access to the well equipped gym next door
  • Nine meeting rooms, the largest of which holds 240 people

Cons

  • Shared areas are a bit dated
  • Ground-floor rooms lack views and privacy
  • Complaints of clingy shower curtains
  • Have to join (free) rewards program for free WI-Fi
  • Pricey valet parking only

Bottom Line

The Crowne Plaza Newcastle is a three-and-a-half-pearl hotel located right on the wharf on the city’s Honeysuckle harbor. The 175 suites are spacious, featuring separate living areas, fridges, and kettles, but bland decor. Similarly, the shared areas downstairs are dated and lackluster. That said, outside is a long lap pool and a sunny terrace that overlooks the harbor -- where the hotel’s all-day restaurant serves afternoon tea. Guests have access to a fully equipped fitness center next door. Those looking for something more stylish should consider Junction Hotel, which also tends to have lower rates.

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Scene

Lackluster hotel in a restored former warehouse on the harbor

From the outside, the Crowne Plaza Newcastle is attractive, occupying a restored warehouse that runs along the harbor, and featuring a facade that alternates between red brick and clapboard. Inside, however, the design is uninspired and bland, with mostly neutral tones and decor that's not quite modern -- think brown striped couches over patterned rugs. Outside, though, is an attractive lap pool on a sunny terrace shielded from the harbor by verdant hedges and tall trees. The hotel tends to attract business guests who make use of the nine meeting rooms here, as well as couples who want a central setting that's slightly removed from the hustle and bustle.

Location

Backs onto Honeysuckle harbor, with plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants nearby

The Crowne Plaza Newcastle’s location is by far its strongest feature. The hotel backs onto Honeysuckle harbor, a redeveloped marina with an abundance of shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Next door, in a revamped warehouse building, is a gym that hotel members have access to. Farther afield, Newcastle Beach is a 20-minute walk away, or five minutes by car. The hotel is just slightly removed from the city center, at just a 10-minute walk. Hamilton station is a six-minute drive away, and trains from here to Sydney take roughly two hours and 20 minutes. Expect a half-hour drive to Newcastle Williamstown Airport, or just over two hours to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.

Rooms

Utilitarian, but contemporary rooms with separate living rooms

The hotel’s 175 suites are contemporary, albeit outfitted in lackluster color schemes and generic furniture, but they're spacious. They feature separate bedrooms and living rooms, the former with king-sized beds, big wardrobes, and flat-screen TVs with cable and movies on demand. Meanwhile, living rooms have gray couches, coffee tables, dining tables that seat two, and breakfast bars with sinks and minibars underneath counters. Tea- and coffee-making facilities are also provided. City rooms look out over Newcastle, whereas harbor rooms have views of Hunter River. Straightforward bathrooms have shower/tub combos with plastic curtains that guests report are clingy and toiletries. Spa suites have tubs with massage jets. All rooms have slippers, hairdryers, safes, and ironing facilities. Note that rooms located on the ground floor are next to the pool, meaning harbor views are obstructed and privacy is lacking. 

Features

Outdoor swimming pool, well-reviewed restaurant, and free gym access

The Crowne Plaza Newcastle has a basic, but decent set of amenities. Outside is a long and narrow lap pool set in an attractive terrace blocked off from the harbor passersby by tall trees and verdant hedges. An all-day restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and a la carte fare, although guests report that the freshly cooked options are far better value. Lunch and dinner have a seafood focus, and they also serve a fancy afternoon tea. The hotel does not have its own gym, but they have arranged for guests to have free access to the fitness club next door. There are nine meeting rooms on-site, the largest of which can seat 250 people. Travelers will have to sign up for the free rewards program to receive free Wi-Fi access. Although not uncommon for the area, the only parking option is valet and it's pricey.

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Address

Cnr Merewether St & Wharf Rd, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300, Australia

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