Fortunately this was just a one-night stay on business, but it will certainly be my last.
Merry Hill is a strange mid-1980s development centred around a big shopping mall, and my guess is that the hotel has never been updated since it was built nearly 30 years ago.
The room was clean, but faded with an odd configuration of a double and a single bed with a triangular table pushed to one side to make room for the single bed. When I arrived I wanted to watch cricket on the TV but I quickly found out that this was a major problem. The TV was a 17 inch box TV at least 25 years old, The TV was a Philips17HT3402 in case anyone wants to confirm its age! it carried maybe 8 channels excluding sports channels, but only three of the channels gave anything like acceptable viewing quality. Both picture and sound quality were extremely poor.
So I decided to get Sky Sports on my laptop and attempted to log on to the wifi system (chargeable!). After 3 failures, I tried to phone reception for help, but after waiting 3 minutes for a reply I dialled the Concierge instead. After a minute I was automatically transferred to the operator, and then gave up after a further 4 minute wait for a reply. I went down to reception and was given a code to access wifi, but I need not have bothered. I did get connected, but the connection was unbelievably slow so that trying to load streaming video consisted of 45 seconds of viewing followed by 30 seconds of buffering - a total waste of time and I quickly gave up!
I tried to console myself with a pint of beer in the (empty) bar but the price of £3.80 gave me no consolation.
I took a shower. The bathroom is as outdated as the rest of the room, but the shower was crazy. The fixed shower head jetted out a painful fine spray but it had no adjustment of any sort and a 20 second shower was enough for me! I stepped out of the bath and almost fell headlong as I discovered that the base of the bath was almost 6 inches higher than the floor - very unexpected and very dangerous.
I had paid the advance booking no-refund rate of £50 bed only and if I hadn't paid in advance I think I would have checked out within an hour of my arrival.
This hotel is just not in the league of the other Copthorne Hotels I have been to - it's a shame to see what was once a well-reputed name for quality dragged down to this level.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Copthorne Hotel Birmingham Dudley. In the heart of the Black Country just 11 miles to the west of Birmingham, this fine modern hotel overlooks the picturesque Canal Marina and is just minutes away on foot from the prestigious Intu Merry Hill shopping complex. The hotel boasts 138 rooms & suites as well as impressive conference and banqueting facilities, catering for up to 600 delegates for meetings, weddings and conferences. Relax in our Le Club leisure centre whilst enjoying a beauty treatment or workout in the gym before taking a dip in the heated pool. Visitors can explore many various attractions, from Dudley Zoo, West Midlands Safari Park, Cadbury World and the Black Country Living Museum. Birmingham city centre is a short drive away with excellent shopping at the Bullring shopping mall, theatres and the Barclaycard Arena to watch all the major music artistes from around the world. With excellent access to the M5, M6 and M54 motorways and Birmingham International Airport, the Copthorne Hotel Birmingham Dudley looks forward to welcoming you as our guest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Copthorne Merry Hill Hotel Dudley
- Dudley Copthorne Merry Hill