My husband and I have stayed at Cobb Lane twice--once when we were in town to see "Wicked," and a second time for a friend's wedding. We actually stayed there two different times in one month--April '09.
I found Cobb Lane through Google (www.cobblanebandb.com), and they had a great website with pics of all the rooms, pricing, online reservations, etc. Seems like if a hotel/B&B has a professional, upscale website, the accomodations will be upscale and nice too.
This was definitely the case with Cobb Lane. The butter-yellow Victorian B&B is in the middle of Five Points, an up and coming area of downtown Birmingham. There are a lot of first-class restaurants (like Highlands Bar & Grill) close by, and lots of nightlife. The University of Alabama at Birmingham campus is also close by. However, there are also residential areas near Cobb Lane, so it's pretty quiet and peaceful--a neat neighborhood.
Upon arrival at Cobb Lane, one of the innkeepers--Sheila or Ira--will meet you on the expansive front porch (with tons of wicker porch furniture) and "introduce" you to the inn. They explain the key system (you are given two keys, one to your room and one to the front door of the inn, so you can come and go at any hour), tell you when breakfast will be (7 a.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. Sunday), and show you the guest refrigerator, where they keep complimentary drinks. (Also look for the complimentary covered dish of fresh cookies and sweets in the front parlor!)
We also got a tour of the inn, since some of the other guests had not checked in yet, and we were impressed by all the beautifully decorated--yet comfortable--rooms. Some rooms include a separate living room, while others just have a bedroom and bath.
We have stayed in the Periwinkle Room and the Bird of Paradise room, both of which are around $100 per night. Both rooms are on the second floor---we prefer the second floor because there is less foot traffic from other guests, and more privacy. The Periwinkle room--decorated in blues and yellows-- had a neat claw-foot tub and shower. The Bird of Paradise room was decorated in pinks, reds and oranges, and had a fireplace (not operable) and a smaller bathroom than the Periwinkle room. Bird of Paradise seemed to be a bigger room overall, but definitely the bathroom was smaller.
We enjoyed being able to come and go as we pleased, and we really didn't see much of the other guests, though the inn was fully booked during our second stay (Talledega race weekend).
Breakfast was yummy---everyone eats at one big table in the beautiful dining room, though breakfast in bed is an option. Coffee, tea, water and OJ are all served, and the breakfast menu changes daily, depending on what the chef cooks. During our first stay, breakfast was scrambled eggs, sausage and croissant casserole and fruit. Quite yummy. During our second stay, breakfast was a biscuit, sausage patty, scrambled eggs and fruit. Definitely yummy, but we have pretty good appetites, and wanted seconds but weren't sure if it would be proper to ask for a second divvy!
The company at breakfast was also pleasant---there were younger couples and older couples, and if you're not talkative in the early a.m., no worries. It seemed like one person would always pick up the slack and do most of the talking! Ira, one of the innkeepeers, would also contribute to conversation as he refilled coffee and cleared plates.
At breakfast, they bring you a credit card ticket to sign, so the financial end of things is taken care of. Check-out is 11 a.m., and to leave, you simply lock your room, lock the front door, and leave the keys in the mailbox on the porch. No chasing down the innkeeper!
This was our first stay in a B&B, and from now on when we're traveling, we'll consider staying at a B&B before a hotel. Service was great, accomodations were beautiful and comfortable, and you can't beat the price, with breakfast included!
We're definitely sold on Cobb Lane! Really, the only improvements they could make would be to add a pool or spa, but being in the middle of town, there's really no room on the property to do so. It would be a nice touch, though.
Couples with young kids probably wouldn't want to stay at Cobb Lane---there are a lot of breakables. Otherwise, I think the inn would appeal to everyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Two Victorian Mansions from 1898 on the National Historic Registry offering 17 guest rooms from $99 to $159 per night plus tax; full hot cooked breakfast; daily maid service; free parking and high speed wireless internet; enjoy parlor cookies and complimentary beverages; cable TV; air conditioning; near UAB and 26 restaurants ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cobb Lane Bed And Breakfast
- Cobb Lane Hotel Birmingham