All eyes were on Michelangelo's hotel on the outskirts of Newcastle last week as it featured on The Hotel Inspector.
The business in Blaydon was first visited by famous hotel inspector Alex Polizzi in 2019, when she was a little underwhelmed.
Owner Paulo and younger brother Giacomo were successfully running the restaurant, but the hotel needed more than a little care.
Introducing the Channel 5 show on Thursday, August 4, Alex explained: “The two brothers had sacrificed everything to keep Michelangelo’s ticking along, but had been completely ignoring almost half of the business.
“When I came here last time they had ten bedrooms that were painted an awful muddy brown colour."
However, Alex knew there was promise behind the dirty walls.
She added: “They had no idea what a gold mine they were sitting on."
Fast forward to the 2022 episode and Michelangelo's had had quite the facelift.
Despite family health and Covid-19 setbacks, the owners had triumphed in rejuvenating the hotel.
Rooms had been done up, a new online booking system implemented and touches of care added.
Alex said: "What a transformation! I can't believe it was brown. What was dark and dingy is now light and bright. Immediately, you feel like this is somewhere you'd like to stay."
Featuring on the show has proved a canny bit of business for the owners, with some guests writing on TripAdvisor that they stayed at Michelangelo's just to see if Alex knew what she was talking about.
Here's what the amateur hotel inspectors had to say.
‘All of the staff were super friendly’
One of those was Paul who, having lived locally in the past, stayed at the hotel for five nights in October 2021 to experience it for himself after seeing the show.
He wrote: "The room was of a very good size and a really comfortable bed. Was spotlessly cleaned each day with refreshment tray topped up. I ate breakfast daily which contained both a continental table (although a bit limited) and cooked option.
"All of the staff were super friendly and helpful and made the stay totally excellent.
"The only thing that makes this four star instead of five were a couple of minor things with the room: the shower was very state of the art but far too hot and despite five days of trying I couldn’t turn it down, wardrobe was huge but only four hangers and no sections in it for storing folded clothes etc. A very comfy chair for relaxing in but no additional chair to use with the more than adequate work surface meaning I had to do work on my knee.
"All of the above are very trivial in terms of the overall experience. Had I had any issues I’d have brought them up. Just mentioning for general feedback as could be easily addressed and the hotel maybe not even aware. I’d return without hesitation and will."
‘Ms Polizzi knows what she is talking about’
Earlier that year, a reviewer who goes by the alias of A Voice of Experience deemed that 'Ms Polizzi knows what she is talking about'.
They wrote: "Couldn’t resist a visit to an old haunt. Living in Durham these days we don’t get here very often but after seeing the full story presented on Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, we felt we just had to book and contribute to that journey of survival these people have been on. Survive they have and boy, the work and effort put in is blatantly obvious.
"The layout has changed and there is a magnificent function / wedding venue in the middle section of the building with the Italian restaurant at one side and an absolutely stunning beer garden on the other.
"Service was good given how busy they were and in light of the resource issues the whole hospitality industry is experiencing and the food was exquisite.
"Well done to the brothers behind it all and I really can see why Alex Polizzi raved about them the way she did. Well done everyone, we will be back ASAP, especially in this good weather."
‘Service was hitty-missy’
The third and final guest who references The Hotel Inspector when reviewing on TripAdvisor, Joanne, only ate at the restaurant and didn't stay over.
They wrote: "We choose this Monday day treat as we saw the Brothers on The Hotel Inspector on Channel 5.
"Pulling up in the car park there was loads of space but we noticed that it had a fab garden area with a lot of outdoor dining space for food or drinks. To get in we went through the new wedding area which was not set up but what we saw was really good.
"The service was hitty-missy but the food was fantastic for the small amount we paid. All I would say is that there was no upselling in the restaurant and they could have done that really easily.
"We had a great late lunch at 3.30 pm and was soo value for money as the ingredients were to a very high standard.
"We would definitely go back and try the Sunday lunch and maybe go on a Friday arvo for outdoor drinks then have dinner off the main menu as the prices on there were great and also the variety was really good."