Recognizing that the hotel ratings are determined by visitors to the respective properties, here is some local insight on Birmingham lodging based on several perspectives, such as geography, recent renovations, etc. Of course, more information and reviews are available here on the reviews section.

Downtown

The downtown area has recently experienced over 1000 newly renovated rooms.  These include the 700-room Sheraton, as well as The Tutwiler (part of Hampton Inn), The Doubletree and newly named Hotel on Highlands.  Each property has its own merits and specialties.

The Sheraton is located next to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center and is recommended if you are attending an event there. There is a covered skywalk from the hotel to the Civic Center.  This is the largest hotel in the city and has recently undergone desperately needed room renovations.  The downside to this property is the absolute lack of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.  You are a captive in their restaurants unless you take a cab to restaurants located downtown.  And the eateries within the property are nothing exceptional...the typical 'hotel operated restaurants' with average food at above average prices.  http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sherato...

The Tutwiler is a grand historic hotel located in the heart of downtown.  It has recently undergone a stunning renovation and is now a part of the Hampton Inn chain.  This charming property will remind the visitor of grand hotels from the past and is known for its fantastic suites and ambiance.  The Tutwiler also has a superb chef owned and operated restaurant - Icon - on premises.  In this regard, you don't have to leave the property to have a wonderful experience there.  Ths hotel is recommended for business travelers who are visiting downtown banks, law firms, and other corporate office buildings.  http://www.thetutwilerhotel.com/

The Doubletree was a rundown, shabby Radisson hotel that was recently acquired by Hilton and now operates under the Doubletree brand.  Once again, desperately needed renovations have been performed on the property and have brought it up to Hilton-quality standards.  The advantage of this hotel is location....located six blocks north of the Five Points South entertainment district, while at the same time, bordering the UAB Medical Center.  In this regard, this property is recommended for patients/visitors of the UAB Medical Center and those who want to experience the dining and nightlife of Five Points South.  Both are in very easy walking distance on 20th Street.   http://www.doubletree.com/en/dt/hotel...

The Hotel Highland at Five Points South is Birmingham's premier boutique hotel.  Formerly known as the Pickwick Hotel, this property consistently got good reviews from Trip Advisor visitors for location and service, but there were frequent comments about its rundown condition.  In late 2006, it was acquired by new owners, closed, completely renovated and reopened in June 2007.  It is now is arguably the best hotel in downtown from an accommodations and location standpoint.  Five Points South is a vibrant entertainment district that includes some of the finest restaurants in the U.S.  Over 20 restaurants and bars are located within a five minute walk of Hotel Highlands.  This property is recommended for vacationers, business travelers and visitors to the UAB Medical Center.  Additionally golfers who are playing the Robert Trent Jones Trail will find this to be a very fun property, however not the most convenient to the courses (20 minutes away).   http://www.thehotelhighland.com/locat...

Marriott Courtyard UAB is a new property located in the heart of the UAB Medical Center.  This is a very upscale Courtyard that  consistently gets excellent reviews from TA contributors.  Recommended for patients and visitors of the medical center.

Resort

The Birmingham area has a single resort property - the Marriott Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort.  This hotel is located approximately 20 minutes from downtown and is situated in a valley that has nice views from the rooms.  The hotel is alongside the Robert Trent Jones Trail and is recommended for visitors to Birmingham that are playing the courses in this area.  One of the courses (also known as Ross Bridge) surrounds the hotel and is considered the crown jewel in the entire statewide RTJ Trail.  Two other courses are less than a mile away at the Oxmoor Valley complex - thus providing 54 holes of fine quality golf.  Ross Bridge gets good reviews from TA members and is noted for having an excellent spa.  http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel...

280 Corridor

The 280 Corridor is Birmingham's fastest growing suburban area - located southeast of downtown.  U.S. 280 has a major intersection with Interstate 459.  This is the location of The Summit shopping area, one of Birmingham's three upscale shopping malls.  Visitors to Birmingham who are here to shop will often ask about properties in that area.  The two upper end hotels in this region are the Hiton Birmingham Perimeter Park and the Marriott Birmingham.  Both of these are typical of hotels in these chains and are in good condition.  The Marriott is approximately 5 years old and The Hilton was previously a Sheraton before it changed ownership and underwent a name change and renovation about 4 years ago. 

Less expensive hotels in this area include: The Hampton Inn Colonade, Homewood Suites South Inverness and the Comfort Inn Colonnade.  Each gets good reviews from Trip Advisor members. 

Riverchase

The Riverchase Galleria is the state's largest enclosed shopping mall.  Integrated into the mall are a ten story office building and the Wynfrey Hotel.  Sadly the Winfrey's owners have let it slide in the past several years and it is long past due for a renovation.  TA members frequently give it low marks for condition of rooms and quality of staff service.  The hotel also has a Don Shula's Steak House on premises.