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“Ideal Location for Campus Visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bell Tower Hotel

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Bell Tower Hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   300 South Thayer Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 30 Hotels in Ann Arbor
Bryn Mawr, PA
Top Contributor
225 reviews 225 reviews
84 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
222 helpful votes 222 helpful votes
“Ideal Location for Campus Visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

If you're visiting the University, you can't find a more convenient location than the Bell Tower. It's right on campus and just one block over from lots of restaurants and shops so no rental car is needed if you aren't driving to Ann Arbor. The hotel is a cross between that and a bed and breakfast, serving a perfectly adequate hot and cold breakfast buffet in the Mercy's restaurant space on the ground floor. We visited on a Monday when Mercy's was closed, so the staff directed us to the excellent Sava's around the corner. While the Bell Tower is certainly not luxurious, it is clean and comfortable and fine for a brief visit, and the staff is very friendly and helpful. We would stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belltowerhotel, General Manager at Bell Tower Hotel, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
I am glad to hear you enjoyed your brief stay with us. Sava's is a great local restaurant that is located just around the corner, so I am glad you had a great dinner there.

We look forward to your next stay to Ann Arbor.

Sincerely,

DeWayne Grann
General Manager
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231 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Wheeling, West Virginia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Staff attentive and personable, room clean and comfortable. Older perhaps but still a pleasant stay. Breakfast quality was only fair--but certainly adequate. Location is very close to shopping, eateries, and campus.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belltowerhotel, General Manager at Bell Tower Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel. We are working on upgrading the breakfast. We have recently added fresh strawberries and blueberries and are looking at upgrading our hot items with better sausage and potatoes.

I hope you have an opportunity to stay in the future and let me know what you think of the upgraded items.

Thanks again,

DeWayne Grann
General Manager
Bell Tower Hotel
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Wheeling, West Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

We were in Ann Arbor for a wedding and the Bell Tower was recommended. We found the hotel to be charming and clean. Yes, it is older, the elevator is painfully slow, and the rooms are relatively small but that should be expected for this type of hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belltowerhotel, General Manager at Bell Tower Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
I hope you enjoyed your wedding weekend. I apologize for our elevator being slow. That is one characteristic of the hotel that we are unable to change.

Please let me know the next time you are returning and I will be more than happy to ensure you are on the first or second floor so you don't have to wait for the elevator.

Thank you and I look forward to your return.

Sincerely,

DeWayne Grann
General Manager
Bell Tower Hotel
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Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

We spent the weekend in Ann Arbor attending a family wedding. Our daughter was in the wedding party. At our daughter's behest, in March 2013 I reserved a room at the Bell Tower because, as our daughter advised "all the family is staying there." I did this even though my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Campus Inn on our last visit to Ann Arbor.

In all my years of traveling in the US I have never stayed in a hotel room as small as the room we stayed in this past weekend at the Bell Tower. Likewise, I have never stayed in a room that did not include a chest or dresser of drawers to unpack our travel bags into. The moment we entered the room I called the front desk to request a larger room with a dresser and was politely, but firmly, advised that the hotel was full and no move options were available. So we spent the weekend in a postage stamp size room living out of our travel bags as we changed for several wedding weekend events each day. Fortunately, we had a great time at the wedding.

In fairness to the hotel I'm going to list the Pro's and Con's of our stay at the Bell Tower.

Pro's:
-It is located in the heart of the campus of the University of Michigan
-Free valet parking for the weekend (an unexpected surprise when we checked out)
-Complimentary continental breakfast
-Front desk staff very polite, even if they were not accomodating
-Our room (one of the four X01 rooms, ours was 401) had a small balcony facing the street

Con's
-Small (dare I say tiny) rooms (we heard other wedding guests voice the same complaint), basically the queen size bed filled the room
-Absence of any furniture to unpack our travel bags into
-Besides a queen size bed only furniture was a small bedside table for the phone and a small arm chair (which we used to hold some of our travel bags)
-With window curtains closed the room was dark, only a single bedside light over the bedside table
-Bed mattress must be ancient, it sagged in the middle so both of us rolled into the middle of the bed all night long preventing a good night's sleep
-No counter space in the bathroom
-At $180/night the price to value ratio was way out of wack

Having made our room reservation almost seven months in advance, I would have expected to be assigned one of the best standard rooms (as opposed to a suite) in the hotel. Perhaps the hotel's management thought assigning to us one of the four balconied rooms in the hotel accomplished this objective.

Come on. The last time I encountered similar con's for a hotel stay was in a hostel in Amsterdam in 1970 when I was in college and didn't care. I read all the top rated reviews of this hotel, but frankly they must have come from Michigan grads who just love repeating the time honored (probably a long time) tradition of staying at the Bell Tower. We will most definitely return to the Campus Inn on our next stay in Ann Arbor.

Room Tip: Stay away from rooms 101,201, 301 and 401. These rooms are small and face the street and probably a...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belltowerhotel, General Manager at Bell Tower Hotel, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay. I am sorry that we did not exceed your expectations. You are correct, we were sold out that weekend due to a few wedding groups or we would have moved you in an instant. I am happy to hear that you received excellent guest service (of course minus the ability to move you to another room).

I had the Director of Housekeeping inspect the mattress in that room since they are only a year old and he requested a new mattress from Serta. We don't expect mattresses to fail that soon, especially since we have a top of the line double pillow top Presidential mattresses.

I agree that our small queens are our smallest rooms and are not designed to allow you to stretch out and relax as much as our standard rooms or suites. I would like to personally book your next stay and offer you a complimentary upgrade to a suite that would offer extra room to relax.

Please contact me directly at 734-769-3010 when booking your next room and I would be more than happy to work with you on your travel plans.

Sincerely,

DeWayne Grann
General Manager
Bell Tower Hotel
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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

Really not impressed by this hotel. It is old - which could be charming, but it is not. It is plagued by out of date technology. The rooms are nothing special and I had to change my first room because the heater made a rumbling sound - the second room was fine. They use "old-fashioned" keys, which are unfortunately like modern keys, just 3x the size. They are not charming and are instead cumbersome. I give my key back to the receptionist each time I left so as not to have to carry the sharp key in my pocket. One of the receptionists was very nice, the other, not so much. The bell boy just stood at the desk as I lugged all of my luggage (big bag, small bag, computer bag and skis) into the hotel, up the stairs to the elevator (I don't understand why there 5 are stairs to an elevator), and into my room - let alone repeating the process as I came back down to checkout. The only time he offered to help was when I was leaving and he was expecting a tip. Just not classy. Overall - don't bother staying here. I hear Campus Inn is much better (though I've never stayed there).

Room Tip: The best room is at another hotel.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belltowerhotel, General Manager at Bell Tower Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. I understand there was a noise in the heating unit that we were able to repair after you brought it to our attention. We should have found that noise before you checked in so I am sorry we had to inconvenience you.

I spoke with the front office manager about the interactions at the desk and she was one of the clerks that spoke with you. She will speak to the entire desk staff about being more empathetic when handling any issues. She will also retrain each valet on being in the correct location so we are able to service guests as needed. There is no reason you were not offered assistance each and every time you entered the hotel.

The one item that we are unfortunately not able to change is the keys. Although, one of our Ann Arbor hotels, The Ann Arbor Regent, has key cards. The Campus Inn and Bell Tower have the metal keys.

Please feel free to contact me directly when traveling to Ann Arbor again and I would be more than happy to make a reservation at the Ann Arbor Regent or the Bell Tower. I would like to prove to you that we offer better service than you experienced this past stay. I would also like to give you a complimentary upgrade to our nicest suite. I know this does not excuse our past shortcomings but hopefully this small gesture shows you that I take feedback seriously.

Again, I am sorry and know we will do better your next stay.

DeWayne Grann
General Manager
Bell Tower Hotel
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New York City, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

the trick is to get the reservation! the staff and location are wonderful. the rooms are very clean; the breakfast could be a tad better but it is not a huge issue; i would stay again if I could get a reservation!

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belltowerhotel, General Manager at Bell Tower Hotel, responded to this review, October 23, 2013
I am sorry to hear that you had a difficult time receiving a reservation during a football weekend. Ann Arbor fills up pretty quick during these exciting times. Other than those types of weekends, we usually have plenty of availability.

We have added fresh strawberries and blueberries to the complimentary continental breakfast. I hope this compliments the whole bananas, oranges, grapefruit and other selections we offer.

Thank you again and we look forward to your future stays with us.

Sincerely,

DeWayne Grann
General Manager
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Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

I spent a night in Bell Tower hotel last week-end before a meeting on Michigan University campus. It was a very pleasant ant convenient place to stay. Close to Ann Arbor downtown and many university building. The site is quiet. the hotel is nicely decorated and the personal is smiling and helpful. Breakfast included in the room fees is pretty good (not gorgeous but tasteful). Wifi service is working easily and efficiently. There is no restaurant in the hotel but many are available at less than 10 minutes walk. My room was located on the side so the view from my window was dull. I would definitely recommend this hotel for people having to stay in Ann Arbor, mostly for business at university.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belltowerhotel, General Manager at Bell Tower Hotel, responded to this review, October 23, 2013
Thank you for reviewing your stay at the Bell Tower and I am glad you enjoyed your stay. I am sorry that Mercy's, the lobby side restaurant was not open during your stay. They are closed Sunday and Monday evenings.

We have added fresh strawberries and blueberries to the complimentary continental breakfast in the past few weeks. This should help to add a fresh and healthy option.

I will ensure our front office manager reviews our policies with our front desk clerks on how to handle dining requests when the restaurant is closed. We are able to retrieve menus for local dining establishments or even offer to pick up orders if guests' don't want to leave the hotel.

Thank you again for your review and helping us improve our guest service.

Sincerely,

DeWayne Grann
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bell Tower Hotel

Address: 300 South Thayer Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Location: United States > Michigan > Ann Arbor
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Ann Arbor
#10 Family Hotel in Ann Arbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Bell Tower Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 66
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bell Hotel Ann Arbor

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