More about Sheraton Birmingham
I have stayed approximately 20 nights over the last 6 years at the Sheraton Birmingham and it has consistently remained my least favorite hotel experience. My company hosts an annual event at the BJCC and there really isn't much of anywhere else to stay near the civic center so every year I stay at the B'ham Sheraton Over the years I've lowered my expectations so it doesn't bother nearly as much as it originally did.
I've learned a few things over the years to make my trip more bearable. Use the valet parking, it's only slightly more over-priced than self-park. $16 per day is more along the lines of what I expect to pay to park in Atlanta, not Birmingham, AL. As many others have stated, the self park is quite a long walk across the street and an entire city block from the hotel entrance.
Request an atrium room. Staying in the tower is a wretched experience. The rooms are significantly smaller and seem more dingy. The tower is built literally overlooking a highway ramp system that sounds like jets are taking off outside your window.
The Sheraton food is sub-par and overpriced and my 2 experiences with room service have been abysmal (stale bread, dirty flatware and dishes). There is good food in Birmingham, but you need to drive a few miles to the 5 Points South entertainment district. Cafe DuPont on 20th street is excellent.
I don't travel to the Birmingham Sheraton without packing my bedroom slippers because the carpets are filthy and I refuse to put my feet on them. I am not normally a germ freak, but this place is dirty, moldy and the wallpaper is peeling off the bathroom walls. The toiletries are about what I would expect in a Hampton Inn, not a Sheraton.
I’ve never had any problem sleeping in the bed. The beds and linens are nice and comfortable. I was there 2 weeks ago and my towels did not smell fresh, they were sour. Simply put, this is a poorly managed facility that has delivered a consistent sub-par experience on each of my various stays over the last 6 years. I always say I'm never staying there again, but its just so darn convenient to the convention center...but I positively refuse to eat there. I'd only recommend staying here if you are driving through town and need a place to grab a few hours sleep, and if you can get a priceline bargain.
Not worth the price
Is it my imagination, or did Sheratons used to be nice hotels? Because I've stayed in 3 of them in the past few months and all of them were badly in need of renovations and they didn't seem clean.
This was my second stay at the Sheraton Birmingham. My first stay was three years ago and was uneventful, and I had a fairly decent room, so I thought I would give them another chance. This time was a completely different story.
Upon arriving, I couldn't even drive up to the hotel entrance because there were so many cars waiting for the valet. I decided that since it was a weekend, I would take my chances on free street parking, since there were open meters right around the corner. I had no problems, and was happy to save the $18 charge. I heard several people complaining on my way in that it was taking over 1/2 hour to get their car back, so it appears that I saved a lot of time too.
Check-in was almost as much of a hassle as the parking situation. There was a tour group that was checking in ahead of me and only two people working the desk. It took nearly 35 minutes for me to get through the line. In the meantime, people were also approaching the desk with a lot of complaints about their rooms and the service in general. Not a good sign.
Finally I get to my room, right across from the noisy ice/soda machines (which turned out to be a popular gathering and conversation spot all through the night). And I find that I have a lovely view of the adjacent rooftop heating and cooling system. Oh well. I can live with that for one night. What really bothered me was the shabby condition of the room. Just the little things, like the broken door latch, stains on the wall and carpeting, dirt in all the corners and under the sink, cracked tiles in the bathroom. I normally would have asked to be moved, but honestly, I don't think it would have mattered because no one else seemed very happy with their rooms either. And I didn't want to lose another hour of my life waiting in the line. So I just dealt with it and promptly checked out in the morning.
Another thing, this hotel is in a fairly isolated area as far as dining and entertainment options go. The only thing that this hotel is convenient for is events at the BJCC or conventions. As far as a tourist stop goes, it is seriously lacking. And so if you want to go out at night, you have to either wait forever for the valet or get a cab to 5 Points or someplace else. If you're looking for a latenight meal at the hotel, their grill will run you at least $12 for a sandwich. That's fine if you have an expense account, but a little pricey for the average traveller.
Overall, I just didn't enjoy my stay there at all. I wouldn't stay there again.
Awful if you have a vehicle, ok if you don't!!
The parking situation is a joke. Valet is $14 a day, self park is $10. The garage is 1/2 mile walk from the rooms and always full of cars who are parking there from the convention center events. Room was OK, not a great room when comparing it to the 5 star lobby and atrium.
comfortable & convenient/ VALET SERVICE AWFUL!!!
Stayed one night for a show at the Convention Center. Travelling with kids and nothing could be more convenient than an indoor skywalk to the Convention Center. Check-in was quick. Had to wait several minutes to give car keys to the Valet($16/night), but self-parking was not an option due to the distance from the hotel. Our room was in the Atrium. Clean & comfortable, no complaints about housekeeping. Beds are great. Kids enjoyed the indoor pool. Jacuzzi was closed. Restaurant for breakfast is WAY overpriced: $15 for breakfast buffet, $7 kids, 5 and under free, but they charged for my very small 4 yr old and it was a HASSLE to get the charge reversed. When checking out, I phoned Valet to have car brought around (we were on a tight schedule to return home). Went downstairs 30 minutes later and car still not there! Asked about it, and they said it's on the way. Well no it wasn't, because then someone came out with my keys. Waited another 30 minutes. Ran inside lobby because it was cold outside. Came out and there's the car. Loaded the kids & tipped valet, got in, and NO KEYS!! Where are my keys? "We'll have to wait till Carlos gets back; I think he has your keys." CARLOS??? Another 30 minutes...... here's Carlos with my keys, now we can leave 2 hours later. A pleasant stay, with the exception of LOUSY valet parking. Cheers!
A Pleasant Stay Overall
Honestly, I don't see what all the bad reviews are about. I travel extensively and some of the former reviews made this place look like a dump. It's a standard issue Sheraton; well worth the $45 I paid for a double room on Priceline. We arrived Thursday the 16th and were given an atrium room on the 14th floor- very nice I might add. The Sheraton " Sweet Sleeper" beds were wonderful, I only wish there had been two queens instead of two doubles, but that's not a huge inconvenience.
I saw a couple in front of us complaining at check-in about their debit card being charged $50 per day as a deposit. Folks, 99% of hotels do this if you don't present a credit card at check-in. This is not unique to the Sheraton, so there is no reason to bash them for that. I also saw a sign posting their policy on this as well, so what's the problem?
We ordered room service, which was a little pricey but not as pricey as other hotels I've used. We paid $62 for a kids meal, two HUGE hamburger platters, 3 cokes, a beer,a bottled water, and a HUGE chicken tender platter. Since we arrived late, 8pm, there wasnt really any place to eat that appealed to me, so I was fine with the room service. The meal arrived piping hot and within 30 minutes of the order being placed. ( The total includes gratuity and delivery too)
Valet parking is $16 or if you want to park it yourself ( very far away), in their garage it's $10. We opted for the valet, and they had our car pulled around upfront at check-out before we could blink.
This hotel is convenient for conventioneers because of its skywalk to the convention center, and it is in my opinion a nice hotel. Not in the most scenic area of Birmingham, but hey, I'm not complaining!
Would I stay here again? Absolutely. $45 is a super deal and believe me, I've paid more than that for a real dumpo.
This is no Bellagio or Four Seasons, but even those establishments have their problems! I think there are some people out there who think they are the Sultan of Brunei and just can't be satisfied.
Do not use this hotel
Luckily I got a good deal on the price or I would have requested a refund. Upon arrival, it took 30 minutes to check in and then line only had 6 people in it with three working the check in desk. You also have to walk through clouds of smoke in the lobby because there is a smoker's area that is not enclosed. Once I got into the room, there were toenail clippings all over the bathroom floor. The bathroom was not clean and there were several stains that appeared to be blood on the carpet near one of the beds. The pool area was also dirty with trash, including a used band-aid, scattered around the pool. I used self park and it was not a long walk if you use the skywalk on the third floor of the parking garage. I also had the pleasure of eating the overpriced breakfast buffet at the Atrium restaurant for $15.50. The scrambled eggs were runny and the food at Waffle House would have tasted better. The service was terrible here as well. After a sleepless night, because the interstate is right outside your window, with a group of people throwing a party 2 doors down and smoking on a nonsmoking floor, I had enough. I will never stay here again. No matter what the price, this hotel is not a good deal. It also needs a major renovation both on the hotel and staff.
I've stayed at this hotel with my wife and three small kids passing through town on our way to Florida. We've actually stayed there twice (if you bid on a three star hotel in Downtown Birmingham on Priceline, you'll probably get this hotel). I've gotten nice deals on the room (between $35 and $50), but you have to consider the cost to park (already well documented in other reviews) which makes it much less of a good deal. I've never had any trouble with the service at the hotel - but we've literally been in late, out early and parked ourselves (quite the hike!). The rooms are not all that large, but were clean in our experience. The pool is large and okay. There is a hot tub that was not working on our last stay. Overall, it's an average hotel - I never felt ripped off paying $50 for a room - but would probably be just as happy at a Courtyard by Mariott or something similar for the price.
Never staying there again!!!
I stayed there a week while at a conference and it was miserable!! Some of the employees were great but most were very rude. It was very strange. One employee would be nice and then the next would be very short and rude. The rooms were not very clean.( If you speak spanish you may be able to get some extra towels from the cleaning staff.)
This hotel is much to expensive for the poor service. I will never go back there again!
Better Than It Used to Be
I have stayed here several times over the years and have had good and bad episodes. The one plus is the convenience: it is adjacent to the Civic Center and all downtown events are close by. The minus: walking to the parking deck, which really is the furthest I've ever had to walk for parking---it's $10 per day for self-parking but if you're in decent physical shape, it won't be a hardship. There is also a great sports bar downstairs that is convenient for fun and good food and the Atrium hotel restaurant downstairs is not bad, either. I had a very low internet rate for a room and was bumped up to Club Level, but there was a rowdy group next to us and we asked to be moved to a quieter room, which they did with no problem. I was impressed with the level of customer service here, even though they are dealing with hundreds of guests at any given time. And the indoor heated pool is just the right temperature, about 90 degrees. All in all, I'd stay here again, if for no other reason than the upgraded bedding (you fall asleep in minutes because you're so comfortable) and for the location.