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“A Hotel of Two Halves”

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Birmingham Marriott Hotel
Ranked #26 of 118 Hotels in Birmingham
Reviewed March 5, 2013

If you’re staying in Birmingham and Granny’s not putting you up, then you’re probably there on business, as we were, and thanks to the glorious Internet and its many deals there really is no need to compromise on your hotel if you’re willing to spend some time searching and are prepared to book in advance.

The great thing about four star hotels is that you feel good walking in and “belonging”, being greeted by someone in a tie even if it’s a lady, and knowing that the bed will be big and soft and warm. And so it was at the Marriott. We like our home comforts, but we’re not rich or (therefore) extravagant and don’t travel around in taxis, and it would be great if hotels, especially those establishments on stark, concrete ring roads, gave realistic “How to Get Here” information. For example, the website tells you how to get there if you’re driving – well, sort of – but fails to mention that Five Ways railway station, one stop from Birmingham New Street, is just down the road, and a host of bus routes (including 1, 22, 23, 24, 29 and 29A) all stop right outside. Don’t Marriott guests use buses?

Our room was gorgeous, the bed was huge, the shower was hot and powerful and the TV filled a wall, all important to us (except, perhaps, the TV). The tea and coffee was plentiful and, quite honestly, we could ask for no more in a basic four star hotel room – and that’s not a contradiction. We neither ordered nor expected a Jacuzzi suite. There is a pool in the hotel, by the way, which we used. It was nice to have a swim in February, but it’s nothing special.

Another nice touch is the noon checkout time. We had work to do and it was great to be able to stay put and get on with it. There was, however, a hidden trap, which brings me to the reason for the title of this review. On Morning 1 we were up early, went down to breakfast and luxuriated in the fresh coffee and croissants, buffet food and omelette chef awaiting and satisfying our every whim. Replete, we headed out to the NEC in good spirits.

On Morning 2, however, we were up later and had work to do before breakfasting, urged on by what we knew awaited us. But no! Despite the advertised breakfast hours of 7am to 11am everything was cleared away at 9.30am. There was no mistake in the timings and we were informed that they were perfectly happy to prepare breakfast for us and that it would be fresh and hot. The result was unbelievably, don’t care poor and unattractive, swimming around in oil - and we wished that Granny had put us up after all. We expect more from a Marriott.

Despite the breakfast disaster, we really liked the Marriott and will return if they’ll have us.

However, I have one more pet hate for just about all hotels, grand four star places in particular: the in-room information.

There was, of course, a comprehensive guide available, offering advice and information on all kinds of things: the nearest place of worship, what to do if you require ice – an ice bucket was to be found in the cupboard next to the switched off fridge. (Ice is provided by the front desk tie person, who would send someone up to the room with your ice, presumably cupped in their hands because you already have the bucket. Perhaps they have an ice bucket exchange programme.) There is also information about the local attractions, Warwick Castle, for example. I think, if we intended to visit Warwick Castle we would stay in Warwick and research it I advance rather than being surprised to find that it exists whilst searching for the instructions to turn on the fridge/kettle/TV/lights.

I digress. What peeves me about this information is that they completely and utterly miss just about everything you really need to know. Here are some examples: there’s a Morrison’s supermarket right next door and there’s a Tesco Metro across the road, so you can buy a large bottle of water and an emergency Mars Bar late into the night. The hotel may be situated on a desolate, concrete roundabout, but literally within 5 minutes walk or 2 minute bus ride on any of the previously mention routes, is Birmingham’s main entertainment area. The City’s 2nd best Indian restaurant (Pushkar - also reviewed) and a brilliant Brazilian restaurant, plus lots more goodies including a Wetherspoons pub. After a hard day at the NEC (which doesn’t exist in the hotel’s information tome even though 90% of their guests are in Birmingham to go there) you need this information – and the phone number of the nearest pizza takeaway would help too. Too low brow for a four star hotel? Possibly, but a list of local establishments need not include the Subway store across the road!

Will we stay there again? Hopefully. It’s a great hotel, but we’ll make sure we get up early for breakfast.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank JackinKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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726 - 732 of 955 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2013 via mobile

Won a spa day and enjoyed it! Great facilities. Humble and functional gym. Everything was clean and well maintained. Good location near bars, pubs and clubs. Good service. Loved the interior. Would return and would love to stay sometime.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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2  Thank honestsally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This is a good hotel, with comfortable rooms, reasonable priced food (although the standard varies a bit - I have had nice meals here, but others have disappointed), friendly staff, and a gym, pool, steam room and large jacussi. The gym equipment is not the most up to date and there is not that much of it, but the pool etc is very pleasant, and bigger than many hotel pools. It's a bit out of the city centre, but if you are working at that end of town, then it's fine.

It's about 10 minutes walk to the Brindley Place area with lots of good restaurants. The ICC and symphony hall are a couple of minutes further.

I have stayed here 4 times recently on business and would strongly recommend it.

Room Tip: I have stayed in 4 differnt rooms and although they are all slightly different, they are all a simil...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank EastYorksAndrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Let me give you the context here. I regularly stay in Marriotts to collect free points for free stays in nice places like Cayman Islands. so they are my default brand. However some of them are becoming very poor. Why do I not like this this one?
Poorly signposted. Difficult to find
Charge for parking when there is no other option
Charge for wifi
Awful reception staff and experience
average to poor room that was cold
Expensive and average food.
In short nothing to recommend this hotel.
Breakfast looked like it had been cooked a good 24 hours before.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank beesbeesbees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I don't bother to look at other hotels when working in Brum now, I just book this one. The rooms are comfortable, not fantastic, but the service is fabulous. I think the receptionist was Martha?- brilliant- helpful, intelligent and listened. The bar meals are not the best, but again service fabulous. When I spilled a drink, Hamdy cleared it up and replaced it without any fuss- charming man. Omlettes at breakfast beautifully cooked.
It may seem a small thing- as most hotels correct billing mistakes- but there weren't any- checking out was a pleasure, not marred by arguments.
It isn't the very best toiletries, room facilities or food. But it is the best service and spotlessly clean. In my eyes service is the most important thing and being made to feel special! Although working while I was there- I find this hotel truly relaxing. Well done Marriott!

Room Tip: Worth upgrading
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank savkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

After having previously stayed at other Marriott hotels we were looking forward to our time at the Birmingham Hotel. We were checked in by the concierge who took around 20 minutes to check us in. Check in should not take this long!!! When it came down to the payment there was an additional fee which the concierge did not bother to tell us about and decided to charge us regardless, only when we authorised the payment did we query this. WE as a customer should be told before hand about extra payments, the gentleman that served us took the liberty of adding the additonal fee when we knew nothing about it. It has to be the worst service I have received from the Marriott, I expected more from a '4 star' hotel, service should not be lacking in successful chain.

It must be added that the rooms however were lovely, the room we were given was very spacious and had a very comfortable bed.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Carla E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Been to this hotel 2 times. Clean rooms and very cozy, nice bathroom, a bed that that i could sleep in forever . . All the staff are nice. Drinks at the bar are not cheap,but i enjoyed it and it is the city !. Did not try the spa so N/A. less than 5 mins in a taxi to all the bars and restaurants. Only 2 times to this city and was a great time, will do it again for sure. Car park was in the grounds of hotel. £16 to leave your car the night. maybe this should be free for guests, But nothing is free, is it ?? I will use this hotel again, well recomended. and I enjoyed the breakfast, lots to choose from.

Room Tip: Both times I was in a room 2nd,3rd floor looking towards 5 ways? roundabout, very busy with traffic...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank ALY-TTS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Birmingham Marriott Hotel

Address: 12 Hagley Road | Five Ways, Birmingham B16 8SJ, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham > Edgbaston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Birmingham
#11 Luxury Hotel in Birmingham
#12 Business Hotel in Birmingham
#16 Family Hotel in Birmingham
#39 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range: $91 - $305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Birmingham Marriott Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Birmingham Marriott Hotel demonstrates the four-star reputation through responsive service and comfortable accommodations. All guest rooms have been luxuriously appointed with essential amenities while stationed in the heart of Birmingham. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Birmingham
Birmingham Marriott

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