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“Don't stay....anywhere else than here!!! Perfect.”

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Staying Cool at the Rotunda
Ranked #1 of 118 Hotels in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed May 21, 2011

Attending expos or shows on at the NEC complex is one of the many reasons people visit Birmingham and thus was the reason for our stay.

We traveled all the way out from Australia and this place was recommended to us and so given the fact we had no idea about Birmingham we took our chances.

These apartments by Staying Cool (rather odd name!!) were so much better than we had anticipated and perhaps thats how they like to play it...cool. They are located right in the epicenter of town right between the East and West entrances of the Bull Ring shopping mega plex which was kinda convenient although there is a bit of noise about during the evening.

Guys, its a little hard to find but well worth the effort. Spotting the large circular building when you walk out of New Street Rail Station shouldn't be hard, and its not, however we had great difficulty finding the entrance and ended up asking the tourist information desk who were even vague on it.
The door is actually very secluded and has a tiny sign that just says 'Urban Splash Rotunda' . I was looking for a big sign that said 'Staying Cool at the Rotunda'.

That of course got me thinking 'How bad is this place going to be??'

Well there was seriously no need to think negatively cos the place was seriously awesome.
It seems the Staying Cool places are run by two people with a love of good design who lease or buy these really nice apartments inside buildings and then do them up the way they would like it if they themselves were staying in it.

We stayed on the 19th floor and I am assuming all the rooms on that floor belong to the Staying Cool guys. The rest of the building seems like rented apartments.

Now about the room...it was furnished with very modern pieces and it has every single thing you could need when you are living away from home, from freshly ground coffee to the most exquisite organic bathroom products. The bed is dreamy and there is even an apple mac (TV) in the room with free wifi (who does that!!). Loved the Sky (Pay tv) with most channels available and mostly love all the detail and attention shown.

I won't ruin the surprise but the balcony setup will freak you out!!! Totally 100% safe but it will definitely will freak you out.....lol.

Gets very busy I'm told so book ahead!
Great job guys the place is....perfect!

Room Tip: 19th Floor any room
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Adelaidian-O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2011

Hello Aussie_Business_Guy

We were all tickled pink by your review - thank you. You're not the first guest to say they struggled to find the entrance of the Rotunda (for future guests the quick tip is that it's just after the shop, Zara) so we have decided to invest in some more signage which we're commissioning as I type.

To answer your question about the rest of the building, we have apartments on levels 18, 19 and 20 and below us are 'normal' residential apartments. (Oh and one apartment on level 2 for anyone who doesn't like heights!)

Thanks again for the recommendation and kind words - we had a lot of fun designing the apartments and it's great to hear when people really enjoy them. Hopefully we'll see you again in the not too distant future.

Best wishes
Tracey

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897 - 903 of 942 reviews

Reviewed May 19, 2011

Due to my son being kept in overnight at a local hospital, and the fact it was my partners birthday, I decided to book a hotel in the city centre and go for a meal.
Following the raving reviews on Tripadvisor I decided to book a Maxi room about a week before our stay costing £199. Following which I made the necessary childcare and restaurant arrangements, etc.
So far so good.
24hrs hours before we were due to book in though, I received a call from Kim at Staying Cool stating that they had double booked and, due to the other party staying for three nights, I would have to downgrade my apartment to a mini!! I was assured though that I would be refunded the price difference within 3 days. I personally thought this was extremely cheek and had never been 'downgraded' anywhere else before and can only assume that the hotel was otherwise fully booked.
Without any extra funds in the bank, or time to book another hotel, I reluctantly agreed and when I explained it was a birthday treat I was told that a complimentary bottle of wine would be left in the room - which it was, and I would also receive a complimentary upgrade next time I stayed there.
Upon arrival the hotel staff were attentive and upon entering, the apartment, on the 19th floor, it certainly had the wow factor. The view (eastward facing) was fantastic. The room itself had everything the website boasts it had, with nice touches such as a bottle of milk in the fridge, loads of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, coffee maker and even fresh refrigerated oranges for your morning juice!
Following a look around and a cup of tea we then began getting ready for our night out. My partner had a shower whilst I ironed my clothes - except when I got the iron out it was caked with starch and would clearly have ruined my shirt. As such I made a call (no phone in the room bizarrely) to the concierge and, fair play, a few minutes later a new iron was delivered.
My partner had been in the shower only a few minutes when the water ran cold and she ended up having to shave her legs in the sink in the cold water. Again, following a call to the concierge, it transpired that someone had forgotten to turn the boiler on in the room so I needed to 'charge' the water. The problem was that I had to wait 30-45 mins for it to warm the tank up for my shower thus making us late for dinner. Not the best start!
Following dinner we returned and the floor to ceiling glass windows with sliding doors were put to perfect use the following morning when I woke my partner at 5 o'clock to watch the sun rise over Birmingham - it was awesome and very romantic seeing the sun appear slowly and changing colours from deep red to orange to yellow.
Breakfast was out of this world sitting there next to the windows, in blaring sunshine overlooking Birmingham with freshly squeezed Orange juice and toast - what a start to the day!!
The room itself, especially with the windows and view, is awesome and well worth staying for that reason alone. It's just a shame that the 'double booked' call, dodgy iron and cold shower made for a stressful start to the stay and put a dampener on the initial birthday jovialities.
This was made up for though with the sun rise vigil and breakfast the following morning.
Would I recommend a friend? Yes
Would I book another room? Yes, but I'd check the boiler first!!

  • Stayed: May 2011
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Thank ObiLongKenobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2011

Hi there

Many thanks for posting the review. I hope your son is recovering nicely.

I very much understand why you would be upset about switching to a smaller apartment – I would feel the same way. In this case, a group checked in before you and only then did we realise that we had made an inputting error on the number of nights requested. I'm very sorry that this happened. It’s not the Staying Cool way to change a guest’s apartment at the eleventh hour - we always aim to over deliver rather than under deliver.

Had we not been fully booked, we would, of course, have upgraded you. We contacted you as soon as we realised the error and Kim offered the only three options available: a full refund and the offer of a discounted future stay; outbooking you to another hotel or for you to switch to the last remaining apartment, a Mini, and for us to refund the difference (and provide a bottle of wine as an apology and a complimentary upgrade on a future stay).

Thank you for giving us such a high rating despite the issues you experienced. I hope that you'll come come back soon to enjoy another bottle of wine in your upgraded apartment.

I’m thrilled that you were given a warm welcome by the Rotunda team and enjoyed the views and especially the sunrise – a lot of guests do that, myself included. It’s really rather special.

Best wishes

Tracey

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Reviewed April 27, 2011

We stayed in a mini room for one night for a shopping break. We arrived too early to check in but Keisha on reception took our bag and offered to ring us when the room was ready. We were impressed that when we did go back to check in, the bag had been taken to our room- a nice touch which many more expensive hotels don't offer.

The room was just stunning, the design is so chic and simple but very comfortable. The sofa was really comfy to sit on and made a really pleasant change from sitting in an uncomfortable hotel room chair. The opening windows made our legs go funny but we loved them, and we were so lucky with the weather that we had them wide open all evening.
The bathroom is small but functional and the toiletries are really nice.
The kitchen is fine but lacked a few essentials in our opinion- surely there should be a corkscrew?! We had to nip out to the pound shop and buy one! Also, we discovered at 8am that the promised oranges were not in our fridge- rather disappointing as this is a selling point of the place. It was too early to ring and ask for any and we shouldn't have needed to anyway. The coffee was excellent though.

We ate out in the evening but then went back to our room and sat for over 2 hours sharing a bottle of wine and just looking out at the view- it was mesmerizing.

Without doubt this will be where we will stay next time we spend a night in Birmingham. It is cheaper than other hotels we have used in Brum, but more comfortable, and has a real feeling of calm and privacy. Especially as you could not be nearer to the shops! We thought it might be noisy at night but it wasn't.
We'd highly recommend it, but it would be even nicer if the minor niggles were sorted.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jayaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2011

Hi Jayaw

We are all chuffed to bits that you enjoyed your stay with us and I can see from your 27 other reviews that you are very well travelled! Everyone is mesmerized by the view at night from Rotunda – especially on a balmy Summer’s evening when it really is quite magical (and calm, as you say).

On the two niggles – there is a drawer full of of utensils, including a cork screw, above the built in bin drawer. It sounds like you just didn’t see them (sorry!). The missing oranges were completely our fault and our only explanation is that we had a new member of staff working that day who just plain forgot. It certainly isn't an excuse and we should have picked it up but that is why it happened. It’s such a shame that you didn’t contact us on the day as we keep a small supply of everything in the fridge at reception for guests who want extras and we could have got them to you in a jiffy.  We’ll make sure there are extra oranges in your apartment for you next time to make up for it.

Thanks again for the review and we all look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best wishes
Tracey

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Reviewed April 21, 2011

Me and the now wife decided to have a city break after getting hitched a few days earlier. We looked for something a bit special/different and came up with the Rotunda. We stayed in a 19th floor Clubman apartment (we actually got a free upgrade so it still cost us £129 per night) for 3 nights. If you have any doubts about staying here please don't, it really is excellent, very stylish and very practical. Staying Cool are clearly trying to provide something a little extra, so the little touches like fresh oranges ready for juicing really do count.
If there was 1 negative, and this isn't aimed at Staying Cool directly, it's the 1 way system in Birmingham and trying to find the nearest car park. Perhaps it was just me being rubbish at navigation, but we ended up parking up quite far away. The wife doesn't do travelling light, so by the time we got to the entrance of the Rotunda I was sweating like a good'un as I was weighed down like Buckaroo.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank MaxPower_1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2011

Hi Sheffielddude

Congratulations to you both - here's to a long and happy life together. I'm delighted we were able to upgrade you for the occasion and that you had a great time with us.

On the Birmingham one way system - we can't do much to change that (other than suggest you come by train as it's a two minute walk away!) but we thought we could make a little video that shows future guests the best driving route into town from the motorway and how to get to the nearest car park to us. It should be ready by the end of May. Hopefully that will help a little.

Best wishes
Tracey

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Reviewed March 30, 2011

My boyfriend took me away for a suprise shopping trip in Birmingham. We stayed at one the Rotunda's 5* 1 bedroom apartments on the 19th floor and WOW what an experience it was!

The view was just spectacular, especially at night, where you could see lights for miles. We slept with the curtains open just to enjoy the view!

The apartment was a great size, with an open plan kitchen and living area. The kitchen being supplied with fresh oranges to make juice (and what a lovely juice they made too!) and fresh filter coffee. The kitchen had a good size dishwasher, fridge freezer and all the necessities.

The living room had a great size sofa and a very funky chair with footstool so plenty of space to chill out. The living area had a large samsung tv, iMac mini and a Bose sound system. Fantastic!!!!

The bedroom was a little on the small side, but hey - you dont live in a bedroom! However the mattress, duvet and pillows were like heaven. It actually felt like sleeping in a cloud!!

We cant wait to go back to the Rotunda, it was a real get away...

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lily_1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2011

Hello Lily_1987

Thanks for the lovely write up. You’re not the only guests to sleep with the curtains open to enjoy the view – some even set their alarms for 4am just to see the sunrise!

The bedrooms are definitely smaller than average as we have given most of the space to the extra large lounge and we’ve also squeezed a king size bed in there. But as you say there’s just enough and you do get to see the amazing view from bed which is very special.

We're delighted you enjoyed your stay and thanks again for taking time to write the review.

Best wishes

Tracey Stephenson
Managing Director

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Reviewed March 24, 2011

Gavin and the Staying Cool team made my visit to Birmingham a pleasure. I stayed in a Mini room for 2 nights on a business trip. From the start, Gavin and crew emailed me key room information and even went so far as to stock the fridge with my beverage of choice.

Gavin even helped me select the proper trains from Manchester to Birmingham, charted a running route for me, and found a proper vegan-friendly cafe for my dining pleasure.

The room is of top quality, especially the bed. I have never slept so soundly away from my own bed. The rooms are quiet and comfortable, and Rotunda is very close to shopping, culture, and many grocery stores.

The room was excellent, but I do have two quibbles: the shower is small and doorless, and no matter how I positioned the head, I soaked the bathroom floor. However, the pressure and heat were nice, and the towel warmer was a swell touch.

Second, my espresso maker was on the fritz and I was deprived of the provided gourmet, fair-trade coffee. Really, that's pretty minor.

Overall, this place is a great value, convenient to everything, and run by an attentive staff. Recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled on business
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Thank gregg_bernstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2011

Hello gregg_bernstein

I was thrilled to read your review about the team and especially Gavin who is a superstar. We do get a lot of lovely comments about how helpful everyone is.

On the shower issue, you stayed in a Mini (studio) apartment which has a walk-in shower. The rooms were designed as wet rooms to allow for any water spillages but I know that an open shower isn't everyone's cup of tea. Next time you stay, try a Clubman which has a more traditional bath and power shower combination.

Apologies about the Gaggia. I'm not quite sure why it was on the fritz [great expression by the way] but we are looking at a new coffee maker for 2011 as the steam spouts (for frothy milk making) are blocking up more often than they should.

Hopefully we'll see you again sometime soon and you can get that lovely cup of coffee that you deserve.

Best wishes
Tracey
Managing Director

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Reviewed March 19, 2011

I stayed here just for two nights and had a very comfortable stay. The location is so central you virtually step into the Bullring shopping centre. Restaurants are easy to find, I was on my own and found plenty of bistros within a ten minute walk. The room itself was small but perfectly formed with lots of nice extra touches like the hot choc and teabags, these little things make a big difference when you,re away from home and as I travel a lot it is greatly appreciated. The bed was one of the best quality beds I have slept on in a long time, I have paid ten times more for a hotel room with an inferior bed. The nightscape of the city is worth the room rate itself, and if you get up early enough the dawn is stunning. When next in Birmingham I will stay here for sure.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled on business
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Thank kayleighfrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2011

Hello Kayleighfrench

Thanks for posting the review and your kind words. We're all delighted you enjoyed your stay. One guest likened her night in a Staying Cool bed to "sleeping on a cloud" which I always rather liked. Ditto your modern oasis description. I think we may be using that one too!

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best wishes
Tracey
Managing Director

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Additional Information about Staying Cool at the Rotunda

Address: 150 New Street, Birmingham B2 4PA, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Birmingham
#1 Business Hotel in Birmingham
#2 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
#2 Green Hotel in Birmingham
#4 Family Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range: $115 - $367 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Staying Cool at the Rotunda 4*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay at the top of the city's iconic Rotunda and enjoy amazing views of the city from your very own beautifully designed apartment right in the heart of the city centre (Selfridges will be your corner shop). Each apartment has floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open fully and the Penthouses have their own outdoor balconies. These stylish apartments have been designed with your maximum comfort in mind. Each comes with bespoke designer furniture, a very well-equipped Poggenpohl kitchen, espresso maker with complimentary locally sourced milk and Illy or Fairtrade coffee, oranges for the juicer, iPod dock, plus a king size bed with pocket sprung/memory foam mattress for the very best night's sleep. There's a 24 hour reception plus daytime/evening concierge offering Staying Cool's renowned service. Choose from Minis (studios), Clubmans (one beds), Maxis (two beds) and Roadsters (two bed Penthouses). And if you don't like heights, we have two apartments on level two (the Olympian and Cabriolet). In short, stay in the best location, in an award winning Grade II listed building and experience life like a local. If you book via Staying Cool's website then you will get a complimentary bottle of wine or free parking and the guaranteed cheapest rate. ... more   less 
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