This is an old Crowne Plaza that has been given a better than skin-deep makeover. On my last visit the builders were still in, now it's a fresh as a new born baby: even the worst features of the monolithic block architecture nicely spruced up and toned down (quite a trick).
The new reception area spills onto a very attractive bar (which I didn't test out). I'm assuming that the restaurant still occupies its nice position on the first floor with a 'good as you can get' view across Brum.
As I checked in early (noon) there were fulsome apologies that I couldn't be given a room facing the same way, but those at the 'back' are fine, with a good view across the canals and the skyscraper block that's the Hyatt. From the 10th floor there are no interruptions.
I'd been upgraded to an Executive room with its all new decor. It's smart except for the ghastly cod-modern wall pictures. Massive tv, good work area, junk like the kettle nicely tucked away. The revamped bathroom now has a walk in shower as well as a good tub. One small complaint: the hot water cutout on the bath was too low (luke warn dip) whilst the shower and handbasin were scalding (see http://www.marycreagh.co.uk/index.php?id=438). Forgotten tooth brush instantly replaced.
Breakfast: hotels the world over are now ripping off customers with expensive add on breakfasts. The upgrade meant I got a free 'Continental' in the Executive lounge. Not only was it quiet and with great views (11th floor) the breakfast itself was exceptional. The only thing missing was hot eggs. I can cope.
In case you think this is a peon of praise, the inevitable niggle: why charge top rate customers £5 for internet use? It irritates and I just use my MIFI. (It's getting like phones where hotels lost a cash cow when everyone uses their mobile). Wifi is like water, we've got rid of expensive bottled stuff. Let's do the same with Wifi.
And one revamp loss, no swimming pool - just a gym. Boo.
PS This is often a cheaper online buy than the other - even budget - brands in the same group.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Crowne Plaza Birmingham City is a 4 star deluxe property, conveniently located in the heart of Birmingham City Centre. Birmingham New Street Station, The ICC, NIA and new shopping developments are just a short walk away. Events coming soon-Cirque Du Soleil and Dancing on Ice. The hotel has 312 spacious bedrooms with a variety of amenities including en suite facilities, air conditioning, in room dining, satellite TV and refreshment making facilities as standard.A range of flexible food and beverage options are available to guests in our vibrant, contemporary B1 Bar and Restaurant and 24 hour room service, all of which offer creative menus with healthy options to suit all tastes. Overall, the Crowne Plaza Birmingham City offers great quality accommodation and facilities with service to match - we guarantee an enjoyable experience to all our guests! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Birmingham City Centre Hotel Birmingham
- Birmingham Crowne Plaza