Stayed at Shaftesbury House for one night on a Saturday in April 2013 with my best friend.
Booked through late rooms which had the best price at the time. As I was staying for only one night on a weekend they do take a £150 deposit from you, and mine was refunded within 4 days of my Departure. They even sent me an email on the Monday telling me it would be refunded which is always a nice relief!
Had rung for information before arrival; staff were friendly and helpful on the phone.
TOP TIP: for parking your car the city council Pershore Street Car Park, which is about a 5minute walk to the apartments is the best value at an amazing £3.50 for 24hours, which for the centre of Birmingham is an absolute bargain. Everywhere else is charges considerably more, with some car parks not allowing 24 hour stays.
Pershore Street car park is about 150 yards from Debenhams Bull Ring, opposite Arcadian and next to the ice rink. You would probably miss it unless you were looking for it as it's not well signposted. If someone who is leaving sees you arriving they often hand you their car park ticket to use anyway for free!! The apartments do offer a car park a bit closer which is £12 for 24 hours.
The location is really great. You are about 1 minute from the Bull Ring, and 5minute walk from Arcadian Centre/Hurst Street. 5minute walk to New Street Station. These apartments are past the Holiday Inn, round the corner. Use street view on google if you are not familiar with the area beforehand as I did which was helpful.
I was really impressed at the location given the price we paid for two was £40 each, as it was £80 for one night stay. Loads more space than the hotels located almost immediately next door charging more for less space. I know other reviewers have mentioned the apartments are small, but I chose the one bedroomed apartment and this was a really great size.
On arrival I followed instructions on email easily, you enter a four digit code to enter the building. Same code to open the safe by the entrance, which has your name on an envelope containing your keys. It did take me a moment to find my room number 3.4 on the paperwork, this could have been made a bit clearer or bigger.
I went to floor three via the lift and was immediately confused! There was one room on the floor which did not say 3.4. I tried to open it with my key unsuccessfully, and a nice lady who was staying in that room came out and told me there was a door just by the lift which had more apartments in!! That door by the lift does not have any sign or notice explaining there are more apartments behind the door, hence me thinking it was some sort of fire exit!! I think the layout is the same for each floor, so do make sure you notice the door immediately on the right as you come out of the lift. This door leads to more apartments.
Anyway, eventually found my apartment and went inside and it was a lovely place. It was a good space and furnished really well. I felt it was really good value in terms of space, furnishings and location, compared with a local hotel room. The apartment I had booked was the one bedroom apartment. Looked exactly like the photos. It was very clean, modern and beautifully furnished. The bedroom was spacious with a wardrobe, shelves, bedside cabinets and the all important full-length mirror!
The bathroom was a good size with handwashes provided (bring your own shower gel/shampoo), nice shower with bath. The kitchen/living area was lovely. The kitchen comes with toaster, microwave etc and good stock of cutlery and crockery so you don't need to bring your own like I did!
However I did have two negative issues whilst there! One was the fact that the TV did not appear to have good signal, as after hours of trying to locate channels I finally only managed to get Channel 3 :( This was echoed by my neighbour in room 3.2 who I made friends with, who had the same problem and could not sort my TV or his either. There was no guide/Samsung instruction manual for the TV that I could find.
The second problem was the internet which was very temperamental, it kept losing connectivity throughout the night which was really frustrating. As they are advertised as the sort of accomodation that is "home from home" for city professionals, I had booked assuming they would have would have excellent TV and internet facilities.
I could have rung the 0845 phone number for help (its 24hour helpline) but I checked in rather late and it was around 10pm when I reached the end of my tether with both TV and internet, and honestly I did not want to bother the staff at this late time, perhaps I should have, maybe that's my fault!
These two issues really disappointed me in what was otherwise excellent accomodation. It's a shame that what seems to be relatively minor things to me have let Shaftesbury House down for me. I don't know if it was just my misfortune to have this apartment with bad connections, or if these issues were the same in all of the apartments.
I did contact CityQuarters a few days after I departed and told them about the TV and internet. The manager emailed me back to apologise and said he would personally look into it and email me back.
Conclusion: if you have problems with their internet you can ring the 0845 number in the welcome pack and ask for a different internet network: apparently they have "other protected networks available in the building for business guests that have problems with connection speed". I would be inclined to ask for this pre-booking if you will need reliable internet, save you the faff of having to call them once you're there.
The TV issue the manager said: "The issue with the TV signal has been resolved. We have had to replace a signal booster as a few of the extensions off it had stopped working." And he kindly offered me 10%off next stay as goodwill gesture! Very friendly and helpful, responded quickly to emails.
Overall would I stay here again or recommend to others? Now that internet and TV sorted: definitely yes :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.