More about Crowne Plaza Birmingham
Good but can't compare with CPs in Asia
I had booked a room in Crowne Plaza, Birmingham, through their Website for stay between April 2 & 6, 2006. The booking process was quite smooth without any hitch.
The Check-in process was very smooth with all the documents ready. I only had to sign and walk into the lift.
I had stayed in Crowne Plaza in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was anticipating something similar to that. However, to my dismay, this was a patch on the KL Hotel.
I guess Brand Hotels in Europe can't be compared with their siblings in Asia in terms of luxury, food and service. Mind you, Crowne Plaza Birmingham was good. The room was nice, warm (it was pretty cold outside)though the ceiling was low. The amenities in the room like Welcome Fruit Basket, Fruit Drink & Clear Water which were replenished daily, Coffee / Tea Maker with the necessary sachets and biscuits, were of high standards. The view from the room through the full size window was of the Birmingham's version of London Eye.
Breakfast in their Conservatory Restaurant was good even for a Vegetarian like me, with exotic fruits, Yoghurt, Fresh Fruit Juices, Varieties of Bread, Croissants, Danish Pastries, Preservatives and choice of Coffee and tea. Omnivores would have loved the full spread !
The selection of TV channels was pathetic if you choose not to use their Pay TV. You should come to India. You would be really spoilt for choice.
Perhaps Crowne Plaza Birmingham is better than most other hotels there, but since I was expecting a hotel on the lines of Crowne Plaza, KL, which cost me a fraction of the tariff at Birmingham, I was disappointed.
Great hotel, very happy stay
Our stay at the Crowne Plaza was a delight from beginning to end. Check in was swift and efficient, and so were the lifts at all times. At the time of booking we had asked for a high floor room, and were given one. Our room was wonderfully spacious with two double beds and lots of storage space. There was a nice roomy seating area. The beds were very comfortable and the minibar well stocked. Minus point - only 4 hangers in the wardrobe!
Contrary to some experiences on TripAdvisor here, our room had been recently refurbished and had a new and fresh feel.
We ate in the restaurant both nights and were pleased with the ambience and service. I agree that breakfast was expensive (£16 per head) but we have never felt such confidence in the management of the breakfast service in a hotel before. Although under huge pressure of numbers of guests, Sharon the manager dealt with everything superbly well and kept her finger on the pulse at all times. It was a delight to see and experience this perennial problem area in hotels dealt with so well.
Concierge was a long-serving and capable member of staff who looked after us quickly each time we wanted help.
Some previous reviewers have commented on the view from the rooms, but what do you expect to see from a Birmingham hotel room window? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon perhaps?(etc!). Birmingham is as it is. We would say it is quite a hike from the hotel to New Street station and the Bull Ring, so would suggest getting a taxi, which each time for us arrived very quickly via the concierge.
Very happy with our stay and would definitely return.
dated but nice
I stay here regularly. It looks as if it was built in the 1970's and furnished and decorated with 1980's mahogany furniture, heavy patterned curtains and matching heavy bedspreads. Some rooms have been redecorated in a plain style but most seem to have the 1980's peeling floral borders and pale striped wallpaper. They throw in the clumps of fluff that gather behind the peeling borders for free. And let's face it, if you are a single traveller like me you have to have something to look at when you lie in bed on your own.
The bathrooms are also a bit dated and if it's not been redecorated then you might also be lucky enough to get some complimentary mould on the ceiling. Good toiletries and usually nice flannels and bathrobe also provided. With only one exception once, the rooms are always spotless.
They seem to attract guests who think nothing of standing outside your bedroom door at all hours of the night talking in loud voices before noisily slamming their doors. Beware of getting a room with an (albeit locked) interconnecting door. The one occasion I had one the couple next door sounded as if they were making a porn movie at 2.30am in the morning. I was on my own so couldn't retaliate in like manner !
Restaurant is nice and food very good. The staff are excellent and nothing is too much trouble. They are very polite and helpful although the oriental staff on the reception seem to find it hard to crack a smile.
Parking is beneath the hotel in a spacious underground car park. But be warned - there is no lift up to the hotel. You have to lug your luggage up two very narrow flights of stairs to the main entrance. By the time you realise this you can't get your car out of the car park without paying the machine. Instead you have to put your luggage back in your car, take your ticket up the stairs to the hotel and, provided you have a booking, the staff will cancel your ticket for you so that you can get out of the car park and drive round to the front of the hotel. Once there you can leave your car in the layby and the helpful doormen will happily park it for you back downstairs free gratis.
If you want an view over the front you pay for it in terms of road noise if you sleep with the window open and sometimes the nightclub nearby disgorges their drunken rabble at 2am to the accompanying sound of horns blasting and police sirens. After a few nights of this I now always ask for a room at the back.
Its ideally located for nightlife and shopping and suitable for all types of visitors. I love it there. Home from home.
I stayed here for one night in November whilst in Birmingham on business. I've stayed in other hotels in the centre, but I would not stay here again by choice.
I paid £125 for an "executive room". The rate for a "standard" room is supposed to be £179 a night (according to a sign in reception), but to what extent anyone actually pays that rate, I'm not sure. My company booked the room for me, thus I wasn't sure what to expect.
From the outside, the hotel looks like a 1970s tower block. I suspect it is an old office block which has been converted to a hotel. This wouldn't bother me if the interior was something to write home about (it is, but for the wrong reasons).
My room was on the top (11th) floor. It felt like a hotel room which had been converted from a 1970s Council owned squat. Very odd. The room was quite long and spacious, but it had corridor-style feel at the entrance because a wardrobe had been constructed behind the door with the bathroom there too. You then continued down the "corridor" to reach the bed and seating area.
The wardrobe consisted of two dark brown coloured/mirrored glass doors badly stuck (with visible screws) in a space behind the door. It looked cheap and tacky. It just seemed shabby.
The carpet and bedspread was on the swirly floral side of things and there was no overhead light in the main bed/tv/seating area, just two lamps and two bedside lamps. There was an overhead light in the corridor section of the long room beside the wardrobe. This seemed very odd and made the room feel quite creepy and dirty. Indeed, I feel it was an attempt - along with the floral and patterned decor - to hide dirt and disrepair. On top of this, the window did not open because the room was on a high floor. It felt as though there had been no fresh air in the room for many years and I kept sneezing. Rather grim.
The bathroom was a strange yellow-ish suite which looked late 70s/early 80s. The wallpaper was peeling and there was mould/dirt/fluff everywhere. I didn't want to touch anything!
I felt it was an odd contradiction - they'd made an effort to make it feel like a superior room e.g. extra toiletries, a bathrobe, slippers and a large bed with extra pillows, but the room just felt dirty, old and offensive. A good renovation is what is required.
The air con unit doubled as the heating. It was a huge (metre and a half long/metre in height) 70s style unit stashed in the corner of the room. The racket it made was incredible! I had to turn it off as it was so noisy, the result being I was absolutely freezing all night. One of my colleagues had stayed for several nights and asked to be moved to a lower floor (the sixth floor) to see whether that was any better/less cold.
I asked for a non-smoking room (and that was what was confirmed on my booking), but received a smoking room.
The staff were helpful. Breakfast was included in my - already inflated - room rate; it was absolutely fine. I was given the option of checking out during breakfast and did so - it proved to be very efficient. The restaurant/breakfast airy was bright and spacious - chalk and cheese compared with the dirty, dark room I'd been stashed in for the night.
Better than average city centre hotel
I stayed here for two nights at the beginning of December and was pleasantly surprised after reading the last review.My room was on the ninth floor and had an interesting view from the-clean-window.Despite having an inter-connecting door to the next room, it was quiet but if Next Door had turned up the volume on the TV it would have been annoying. The bed was huge and comfortable and I found the lighting perfectly adequate.Everything was in working order although some water came out of the shower head and went on to the bathroom floor when in "bath" mode!
The previous reviewer seems upset that the rooms are L-shaped but this is quite normal in purpose-built hotels.
I agree the bathroom looks rather dated but my bedroom wasn't at all "tired". The TV gave good reception and showed all the advertised channels (of how many hotels can that be said?)as well as Teletext.
The really nice surprise was breakfast in the restaurant. At so many large city centre hotels, breakfast is a bear garden -you wait for a table which probably isn't laid properly, staff are invisible and you queue for unappetising food etc.Well, breakfast here is very well organised-no waiting because there are plenty of staff who clear a table as soon as it is vacated. Plenty of choice on the menu - largely self-service but you can have a waffle, an omelette or even a 4oz steak at no extra charge!( Breakfast costs £15.95 so ensure that it's included in the room rate you pay!)
All the staff were pleasant and helpful and even smiled!!!
The rack rate is extortionate-£179, breakfast extra, but I paid £48 incl.breakfast by booking through Marketing Birmingham ( December weekend rate).
The Crowne Plaza is, in my view, an above average large City Centre Hotel where you don't feel swallowed up in a less than welcoming atmosphere.
Stayed here on 9 Dec, and wish i hadn't!
Check in was very quick, and went up to our room. Room was freezing! Only an electric heater in the room, which just didn't seem to throw any heat out at all. Room was overall very dated, and the bathroom was awful. Taps were coming off the sink, half the lights didn't work etc etc.
Not to worry we thought, we'll go up to the bar for a drink before going out for a dinner reservation. However, the bar was closed to hotel guests, as there was a private xmas party taking place. We were told another bar was open for guests, which we visited. I can only describe it as a very large cloakroom converted into a bar for the evening - felt like i was in an old village hall!
Anyway, next morning we were rudely awakened at 7:30am by a cleaner trying to enter our room..
Overall, for the money i wouldn't look twice at this place in the future, and highly recommend staying elsewhere.
adequate business hotel - not bad, not brilliant
Stopped here with my wife over a weekend. We stopped in an exec double on the top floor. The room was like every other business hotel you've ever stopped in. Bed was excellent, usual facilities. Nothing stood out as being particularly exciting, but equally there was nothing substandard either.
Bathroom has strange decor and is a little small.
Room had large King size, 2 chairs and a table to sit.
Restaurant and bar okay, nothing special, you wouldn't chose to come here if you weren't staying.
Does have a small pool which is probably the biggest attraction over some other hotels in the area.
Fairly centrally located although you do have to walk under an underpass.