Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Guests Keep Coming Back

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Guests Keep Coming Back

Article excerpt

Byline: By Karen Wilson

As the Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel celebrates its 40th anniversary, Karen Wilson speaks to manager Stewart Lorimer about the past, present and future of one of the region's best-known venues.

When the Gosforth Park Hotel first opened its doors on October 6, 1966, it was hailed as the biggest and best luxury hotel in the North-East.

Over the years it has been the backdrop for thousands of wedding receptions and countless prestigious gala dinners, award ceremonies and events, including The Journal's North-East Business Executive of the Year and 21st Century Living Awards.

In the Sixties and Seventies, it was known as 'the place' where well-known celebrities would stay when visiting the region. Everyone from Hollywood stars such as Charlton Heston to entertainers such as Tom Jones, Lulu and Billy Connolly, stayed at the hotel.

Most of the Royals have also checked in at some point as well as high profile MPs, top business executives and sporting teams.

In 1968, a room cost 150/- (or pounds 7.50), rather expensive at the time, as The Journal reader Jack Young from Low Fell found out when he spent his wedding night there.

Although the hotel had all the mod cons of its time, it was a far cry from today's Marriott, which offers everything from webcasting and high-speed Internet for delegates to the latest multi-media presentations.

Now, with increased competition from a growing number of luxury hotels, there aren't quite as many famous faces at The Gosforth Park Hotel and with 178 en suite bedrooms it has become the third largest hotel in the area after Jury's Inn and The Hilton.

Undoubtedly it has moved with the times, yet its ethos is still based on excellent service (and that's why so many guests keep on coming back. Stewart Lorimer, who is cluster general manager for Gosforth Park as well as sister hotels in Durham, the Metrocentre and Sunderland, said: "We have an awful lot of regular guests who have special memories of the hotel. Some may have had their wedding reception at the hotel and they come back every year on their anniversary. …

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