I found the Novotel Birmingham Airport on booking.com and decided to stay there the night as I had an early flight to Tenerife the next morning. I could have got a really early taxi from my home about an hour and a half's drive away but decided to treat myself to a hotel room and a good breakfast. I'd last stayed in a Novotel some 10 years previously and had no issues then and selected an "Executive Room" - which I presumed would be better than the average room.
Check-in was easy as I'd paid in advance (via the booking site) but it really wasn't necessary for the receptionist to loudly announce this fact and to enquire whether I wanted 'further credit' (ie in the bar / restaurant). My room was on the fourth floor just out of the lift. Fine for access; unfortunately not if you are trying to sleep and the lift is operating all night. The 'Executive Room' was not executive - I've had standard rooms better. Maybe it was because I was a single traveller. The only saving grace was the coffee machine. To be fair, the room was ok but was over-priced. This theme continued. I decided to have dinner in the hotel and a relatively early night (6-7pm ish). I went to the bar. Very twee and typical modern hotel bar that clearly catered for a large short-stay crowd. I ordered a large, red wine (Merlot). The menu said something like £7.10 (expensive) - I was charged £9.80. I didn't notice until later that I'd been given a more expensive wine. I had a rump steak for dinner which, with all the trimmings, was in the mid £20s mark. Again, expensive. I don't mind paying money for food if quality matches the price but this was just-above-average. Not 5-star, no real quality or panache. Service was indifferent from an under-trained waitress who'd root-learnt bog-standard phrases. "Was that all right for you?" without any real meaning or conviction. Once I'd finished dinner I decided on breakfast in bed and went to Reception to order. They advertised an "Early Birds" menu prior to 5am and went to book for 4.30am to allow me sufficient time to check-in and meet friends. The receptionist was totally unprofessional. Clearly my request was not welcome. "We only do breakfast from 5am - before that you'll have to make do with what we can find in the kitchen. What I suggest is that you check-in your bags and come back after 5am when the chef is in." Fighting the urge to explode with rage, I said that wasn't possible as I was meeting friends and would have breakfast at the airport instead (despite having paid for breakfast in the hotel). I went to bed and was kept awake most of the night by the lift. Overall, staying at the Novotel was not the best start to my holiday. I can see why they have custom as they are located directly opposite the terminal. However, the small things (no early breakfast; despite advertising they do; expensive drinks / food; and an executive room that isn't executive will put me off staying there again. At check-out, the Receptionist acknowledged I had paid for breakfast but no recompense for not being able to take it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Novotel Birmingham Airport is located at Birmingham International Airport, opposite Terminal 1, 20 minutes drive from the centre of Birmingham. Adjacent to the NEC and offering modern meeting rooms, this hotel is ideal for a business trip. A free SkyRail service every 90 seconds links the hotel with Birmingham International railway station and the NEC. Elements restaurant and bar with 24 hour room service. Fitness and excercise room. NCP multi storey car parks adjacent to hotel (fees apply). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Birmingham Airport Hotel Birmingham
- Accor Birmingham Airport
- Hotel Birmingham Airport
- Birmingham Novotel