Spent 5 nights there for the Birmingham 2013 Spring Fair, Jewelry show. I had read the reviews about the hotel before going there and putting aside some of the more subjective comments I can confirm the rest.
Situation: Spitting distance from the NEC but if you don't have a car, which was my case its £7,20 to/from the airport and £5 to £7.50, depending on the cab company, to/from the NEC, the private mini-cabs (AAA) being the best positioned and don't think of walking, you'd get run over at the first roundabout
The Hotel. Not easy to say how many stars this hotel has without looking at the brochure, an over sized 2 Star?
The reception. Check in/check out was quick and efficient and generally with a smile
The room. Clean with double bed, 2 good points! Tea/coffee facilities another good point, the view from the window overlooking the back and the dustbins... at least close the lids on the dustbins and close the door of the dustbin area, please.
The bathroom. Can't see why people complain about there not being a bath, if most of the visitors are business travelers like me they don't have time to lounge in a bath, prefer to do that at home. More important is that there's very hot water and ample fresh towels, changed everyday... No complimentary products though :(
...so far so good, now for the food and Breakfast
First evening I followed the reviews I read and made a beeline for the "Little Owl" pub complex next door for dinner. Had a so-so nice-ish meal. Went the following evening it was packed and was told I had to wait for an hour and a half so I went back to the hotel and waited "Just" 50 minutes for a curry. The following evening I skipped going to the pub (shame) and tried my luck with the food in the hotel in the end I learnt that if you go early enough the wait is only about 15 or 20 minutes. Moral of the story. If you don't have transport you're stuck !
(poor lad at the hotel bar counter seemed to be perpetually apologizing for the long wait for the food!)
Breakfast. OK so its complementary but I've eaten a fair amount of "Complementary" breakfasts in a variety of 3 star chain Hotels around the world but even the more nondescript ones manage to put some regional specialties on the buffet...whatever... I came prepared so I wasn't disappointed... sausages, baked beans, (re-hydrated) scrambled eggs (the same the world over) and bacon, straight forward plain substance to tie you over till lunch.
Conclusion. Busy hotel, ideal for the NEC, ideal for a business stopover…
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Holiday Inn Express Birmingham NEC is a modern hotel located in the grounds of the UK's largest exhibition centre, the National Exhibition Centre, 10 minutes from Birmingham International Airport and Train Station. The hotel Reception, lounge and bar are stylish and comfy, having been totally transformed in a refurbishment in 2018. Dinner is served in the lounge and pizzas are available 24/7. Free WiFi, a well stocked bar and flatscreen TVs all make the lounge a great place to relax with friends and colleagues. Our modern rooms feature comfy beds, en-suites with power showers and air-conditioning. The rooms are kitted out with everything you need for a relaxing stay including free Wi-Fi, 32-inch TVs with Freeview and a choice of pillows. The hotel has ample parking and is charged at £8 per night for residents. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Birmingham Nec Hotel Birmingham
- Birmingham Holiday Inn