Not so long ago, the Elephant on the Tyne was one of the most dreadful hotel-restaurants in England.
"Stay away from this place if you can help it," moaned one typical online review. Or: "The location is great with a nice view over the [River] Tyne... everything else about this place was bad—so the view only helped you wish that you were somewhere else."
What better place to start over and make something wonderful happen? In October, the once-unloved inn will reopen as The Vault, a hotel expressly for young people with autism.
The Vault will be in Gateshead, a section of the city Newcastle Upon Tyne, which is located in Northeast England about 30 miles from Northumberland National Park.
All of its 28 rooms will be designed with autistic guests in mind. The restaurant on the ground floor will be a place for people with autism to eat without judgment. But that's not all—the staff, too, will include people with autism who are being trained for a career in hospitality.
Its redevelopment, which will cost an estimated £2 million (US$2.65 million), is partly led by St. Camillus Care Group, which devotes itself to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities.
"This is a real chance for young people aged from 18 to 25 to learn alongside professionals in the hospitality industry in a real setting, so that they can hopefully go on to a full time career," said managing director John Huron. "At the same time, it’s also a place for people with autism and learning difficulties to come to and enjoy the facilities."
See? Not all the news is bad today.