Value Score Average Value
Good For Solo
Very nice indeed....
I would never normally stay at Birmingham airport: it's far too near my home. But heavy overnight snow was forecast (though it didn't really arrive in the end) and my flight was quite early. So I decided to cut out the worry of driving up the M6 in the morning rush-hour in heavy snow and booked a last-minute room at the airport Ibis.
It was a very good decision, even though the snow wasn't as bad as expected.
The Ibis is brilliantly-located, literally 3 minutes' walk from both terminals (and the long-stay car park bus stop). It is bright and sparklingly-clean, with pleasant and helpful staff. I'd booked on the hotel website (at a very good pre-paid rate of £37) so check-in was quick and easy.
My room didn't have much of a view (not surprisingly, given that the hotel is on-airport) but was clean and comfortable, with tea/coffee-making facilities, hanging space, a big TV (which can be used for internet access....there's a keyboard provided) and a very comfortable bed. The bathroom was a sort of in-room cubicle, very clean, with toilet, efficient shower and small washbasin.
The room was pleasantly warm but not over-heated. There's a temperature control dial, which is always useful.
I did have a very good night's sleep: the bed and pillows were comfortable, the room wasn't too hot and the triple-glazed window cut out almost all car and plane noise.
I'd decided to pay for breakfast, calculating that the amount (£7.95 at the time of writing this) was less than i would pay for similar at one of the airport cafes. I was right, and especially so if people want a cooked breakfast. Breakfast was self-service, although some staff were around. I was happy with juice, pastry, baguette & preserves with unlimited black coffee.(from a machine, but perfectly drinkable). 'Classic' English breakfast standards were also on offer: bacon, scrambled egg, hash browns (US, not UK!), mushrooms.....
I also ate an evening meal in the restaurant, simply because the landside airport offerings did not appeal. Service was very courteous though I had to wait quite a while for my pie (beef, parsnip & horseradish) to be cooked. The pie was excellent, with hot, crispy pastry;, the mashed potatoes were smooth and buttery; the carrots & peas were obviously pre-frozen, over-cooked and droopy; the gravy...well, the gravy was just a packet mix and not very pleasant. Apart from the pie itself, which was very good, the meal was adequate and not really worth the (airport-level) price.
The one big downside of the Ibis, imo, is that you have to pay for internet access. I was surprised by this, given that it must be a hotel largely used by business travellers (though I suppose they are on expenses). It feels odd to have to pay for internet access nowadays. But it's not really essential: the terminal is so close you can, if necessary, simply nip across to look at the screens and see what's happening.
To sum up: a good, comfortable hotel in an incredibly convenient location. If you need to stay at the airport, this is an excellent mid-range option, lying (physically as well as in cost terms) between the Novotel and the Etap (which is about to be part of Ibis as well).
Directions: Unmissable once you are by the terminals. I tried to get terminals (left) and hotel (right) into one photo to show how near they are.
Cheap Airport hotel
Stayed 2 nights.
I couldnt find the hotel at first as there are no directions to the Ibis from the airport. annoying if you are dragging heavy suitcases. I had to ask several people and eventually went into the Novotel which is directly opposite the departure lounge. Ibis is a bit further on and around the next right hand corner.
My room had a shower ensuite with one towel pp, no free toiletries, only a canister of liquid soap on the wall of the shower, tea & coffee facilities, a very hard chair and a tiny wooden desk and a hardback bench with a cushion on it.
It was advertised as a special offer at 43 pounds per night, and as it was cheaper than the Novotel I booked it. The Accor hotel next door however, also owned by the same hotel group was advertising 35 pounds per night in large neon letters as I approached Ibis!
My room on the first floor was basic, but clean with an open wardrobe, no safety deposit box, and a small flat screen tv with several free tv stations; but you have to pay 3.00 an hour to use laptop (broadband) or the 'special package of 9.99' for 24 hour use, which includes watching blockbuster films. You can also use internet via the tv, using the keyboard located in the room for 3.00 per hour. When I signed up for the package, the internet went off after an hour, unfortunately reception did nothing to solve the problem but only offered to refund the money.
Unique Quality: There is a bar and restaurant at the hotel, I didnt eat there but the prices looked reasonable for an airport hotel. Of course you can wander around the airport lounge a couple of minutes walk away where there is Pret a Manger, Burger King, Wetherspoons and a bakery and a couple of other eateries.
Directions: around the corner from NOVOTEL
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