GLOBE-TROTTERS stopping off at a Newcastle city centre hotel will be greeted by some famous Geordie faces.
The Albatross youth hostel, at Grainger Street, has long been a popular destination for back-packers keen to explore Tyneside and the wider region.
And now artworks of North East stars such as Alan Shearer, Sir Bobby Robson, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Ant and Dec form the focus of a £100k refurbishment to the venue.
They are just some of the celebrities whose images adorn the walls of the hotel, which is owned by Newcastle-based leisure giant Malhotra Group plc and has also been fitted out with new beds and undergone a complete re-branding.
The venue, named after the seabird – known as ‘the wanderer’ as its giant wing span enables it to fly vast distances without landing – has 172 beds in dormitories for between two and 12 people and offers a wide range of facilities and amenities.
Along with free Wi-fi, bed linen and breakfast, guests can take advantage of a self-catering kitchen, a games room, Freeview TV, DVD and towel hire and a laundry room.
And it is this added value that the Malhotra Group believes sets it apart from its competitors.
“Gone are the days when hostels were aimed solely at impoverished backpackers,” said operations director, Atul Malhotra.
“The Albatross is popular with hen and stag parties, foreign exchange students and tourists from around the world, because they know they will get great value for money and clean and comfortable accommodation.”
The Albatross, voted Best Youth Hostel in the UK by travel experts Hostel World, also puts an emphasis on safety with CCTV cameras and electronic room keys.
“Travellers of all ages have higher expectations when it comes to quality, facilities and value for money,” said Atul. “And this investment helps us not only to meet, but to exceed them.”