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“A little piece of history in Birmingham”

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Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel
Ranked #11 of 54 Birmingham B&B and Inns
Reviewed 6 September 2012

I was at a trade show at the NEC and this is the best place I've stayed at for that purpose by miles! A fantastic Jacobean building, the gardens lovely, the bed very comfortable, the room full of history but not over the top.I had an ornate fireplace in mine and views over the knot garden! Yes, there is the very very distant roar of Birmingham but this is as good as it gets only 15/20 minutes drive from the NEC. Dinner wasn't the best cuisine but the setting made up for it, as did the very hard-working maitre-d. Don't come here is you want lifts and modern amenities. This is a comfortable grade one listed castle, dating to the mid-1500s.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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Thank KEM243
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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437 - 443 of 485 reviews

Reviewed 30 August 2012

I attended my sister's wedding at this venue on the 18 August, having travelled down to the West Midlands from West Yorkshire. Now as Bridesmaid at the event, I do know my sister had gone through some considerable stress with the Hall after booking the wedding, with many staff changes throughout the process, none of whom seemed to leave any details for their successor. However, despite great reservations in the build-up, on the day the wedding itself exceeded all expectations, and would have done, even if our expectations had been high (which because of the previous glitches, they weren't). So putting that aside, and assuming the hotel is now 'getting it together', I can say this is a great place for a small wedding venue, with beautiful photograph opportunities, the Long Gallery on the first floor lends itself perfectly to a civil ceremony and the dining room providing the grandeur one would expect to eat in at such an occasion.

I was allocated a room overlooking the gardens on I think the third floor of the main hall, the room with the portcullis outside the window , and it was a lovely room. The bed was a nice size double, and was extremely comfortable, and befitting of a boutique style hotel, the bathroom was of a great size, with a lovely rainhead shower, and finished to a high standard. However, in my opinion there had been small finishing touches overlooked in the bathroom, such as whilst there was soap, shampoo and conditioner, there wasn't any shower gel, but neither was there a soap dish at the side of the sink, or in the shower itself in which to put the bar of soap, the result was a slippy mess!! The towels were lovely and fresh and clean however, and for once, plenty big enough to wrap oneself up in. I didn't notice a bathrobe, but there may have been one in the wardrobe, I never checked. There wasn't an ipod docking station in my room, however there was one in the bridal suite, which was a nice touch. There was a wall-mounted tv which I did get to work after fiddling about a bit, as it was switched off both at the plug and the button, and being high-up on the wall it took a bit of finding to get it to turn on. There wasn't a turn-down service in any room, and my sister felt that a welcome bottle of water in the bridal suite may have been a nice finishing touch. One more note on the bridal suite - What a bathroom!! Absolutely beautiful totally in keeping to the time the Hall was built and a sight to behold.

One thing I did notice, was there didn't appear to be any room service, in room dining or private dining offered, and maybe this is something which you could offer and sell the hotel on, particularly if there is a wedding or other event booked, as we did appear to take over the whole dining area, and it did cross my mind (probably because I work in the hospitality industry), where the other paying guests would be eating. But as it didn't apply to me, I could have got this totally wrong).

This hotel has potential to become one of the greats. I have stayed in several boutique type hotels, and infact leading hotels of the world in the past, most notably the Scotsman in Edinburgh, The Clarence in Dublin and the then Bentley Kempinski in London, and whilst these pulled out all the stops, somehow the feel in the Castle Bromwich Hall didn't. I know boutique hotels are meant to be built on their 'discreet' reputation, but that is not at the expense of a lack of staff. The hotel manager, was a very charming chap, but seemed to be operating as receptionist and when he wasn't at the reception desk there wasn't a receptionist there. I had to ask at the bar staff to telephone for a taxi for one of the guests who was leaving around midnight. There was no welcoming concierge to show you to your room, or not, or park your car in the adjacent car park, or not, and this may well prove a welcome addition during busy weekend times, given the steep climb up the stairs and no lift. There was no offer to carry any bags either, and if it was to be 'discreet' they were aiming to achieve, it did feel more like a 'lack of staff' than 'discreet' at times.

The food at the reception was well cooked, nice tasted and in abundance, the breakfast the next morning was buffet style, so no choice of eggs, just scrambled, but again was nicely cooked, presented and warm, and the waitress was attentive to the fact that the spoons kept getting left under the hot lights! There was good quick service with tea and coffee.

The bar service was very good throughout the day, and in fact for coffee towards lunchtime the morning after. The prices were certainly not over-priced. I work in the hospitality industry myself and can say that the round of drinks I bought was only fractionally more than I would have expected to pay where I work or in the local pub. Whoever mixed the Pimms in the afternoon for the wedding party, certainly knew how to mix a Pimms, there was nothing lacking and the drinks on the lawn during the afternoon were well presented, well served and again in abundance - so whoever did that WELL DONE TO YOU.

The building is impressive, and has been tastfully (although maybe a little bit to minimalistic in terms of reception) refurbished. In my opinion, the reception area is somehow 'cold', and lacking something, although I'm not sure what. The public toilets and other areas were clean and of a good standard, which is most definitely a plus for this hotel.

As far as the gardens are concerned, I can quite categorically state they have nothing to do with the Hall itself, nor the National Trust. The Hall have agreed a private arrangement with the Trustees of the gardens to allow guests access. These are gardens which rely solely on funding, funding which stipulates they have to be kept in a Jacobean style the era in which they were created. My now brother-in-law works at the gardens, which are mainly run by volunteers, and recent paid staffing problems there may indicate the odd weed. I have flagged up the reviews on here re. the gardens and my brother-in-law will attempt to address these.

So ... for a venue only opened for around a year ..... and as far as I can tell not run by a large chain of hotels ..... it's a pretty good start, but you now need to build on this, look from a paying customers eyes at the attention to detail, set on a person to help show guests to their room, as the layout and all the stairs is very confusing, even if you offered this to a keen young person on an NVQ or apprenticeship to get that person a start in life, it would just make the place feel a bit more welcoming. Look at the reception - it is stark, there's minimalist and then there's bare and there's a difference - it wouldn't cost a fortune to just finely tune the place and you'd be well on your way to achieving 5* status.

Overall, I look forward to coming back for a Christmas meal in December, and I wish you all the success in the world.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Heccythump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

Castle Bromwich Hall
We saw a Groupon deal for this hotel but called them directly to see if they would be able to do the same deal without the bother of buying the voucher (meaning they would also get all of the money, not losing a majority of it to Groupon!). They agreed that they would so we booked a Superior room for Sunday 26th into Monday 27th August.

Before I begin my review I’d like to say that Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel is a lovely place to stay and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it, it just doesn’t quite live up to the standard it so wants to portray. If you stay here using a deal there really is nothing to complain about BUT if I had paid full price then I’d have been having words with someone in authority as there were some minor but niggling failures in my opinion.

At a guess, once upon a time this place was set in rolling countryside, but the modern world has invaded it’s space over time and Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel is in a strange sort of location, literally just off the M6 and in the middle of a (council?) housing estate behind a small park/green. However, the grounds of the hall are walled and once you enter the main gates its location is almost forgotten. You are constantly reminded that you are NOT in the ‘Pride and prejudice’ era though by the fact that the hall is right on the flight path of Birmingham Airport and there is a constant stream of passenger jets taking off/landing not too far away. The air traffic was never a problem for us though and although it could be heard, it never felt intrusive. Most of the rooms and suites are in the main building but there are some located in a separate building called ‘The Brew House’.
We arrived at 1.45pm, and we had been told on the telephone that check-in was from 2pm so we thought we may have to wait for a short time before we were allowed up to our room. This was where the first let-down began. After waiting at an empty check in desk for a few minutes a member of staff passed behind and around us, sat down at the desk and began some paperwork. Not until we offered a “hello” did he acknowledge us and ask if we wanted to check in. We filled in the paperwork, were given a room key and I asked (as we were still early) “is the room ready for us?” to which we received the reply “I don’t know, go and have a look and if not leave your bags there and come back down and get a drink at the bar. It will be cleaned soon”. The room wasn’t clean, in fact it was very messy, so we took the bags back to the car and went into Birmingham City Centre for a couple of hours. Shouldn’t a hotel of any sort of class know what their own staff is doing? Know what kind of state their rooms are in BEFORE clients are given a key?
We stayed in room 318 within the main building. The room was a good size and overlooked a part of the gardens. Small quibbles again with the room, underneath the bed looked as though it had never seen a vacuum cleaner, and the arial and power sockets had been located at high level so the tv could be wall mounted, but it was set on top of a drawer unit leaving unsightly trailing cables. Around the wall just below the ceiling was a very visible band where the decorator had ‘cut in’ before using a roller to paint the wall. These are minor things but simply shouldn’t be there.
We were allowed a 1 course meal as part of our deal and we arranged a 7.30pm seating. Dinner is served in ‘The Great Hall’. A grand name but I wouldn’t really say it is a particularly grand room. It is very pleasant though, with panelled walls and chandeliers. Service was attentive, the food was well cooked and tasty and I can’t agree with some other reviews that say the bar is overly expensive. A pint of Becks Vier was £3.60 and a white wine spritzer was £5.50 I am used to city centre prices and this really is not expensive, some bars in Leicester are charging nearly £5 a pint! We had a sweet each (a very nice chocolate gateaux with clotted cream) and these were charged at £5 each.
Our deal also included entrance into the gardens. I have to bear in mind that we stayed at the end of summer and we have had a pretty terrible summer at that, so any garden couldn’t be expected to look its best, but I think if I had paid to get in I would have felt more than a little cheated. I’m sure when they are finished they will be well worth a visit but at present they are very much a work in progress. If the sun had been blazing and the flowers in full bloom I could have easily spent an afternoon there with a few cold beers from the bar but on a dull, rain threatened August day there was little to get excited about. Some of the garden is tended, other parts look very unkempt. We had seen it all and were finished in less than half an hour.
The hotel arranges wedding packages and when the building work is finished in the grounds of the church the walk from the church into the hotel grounds will be something special but again, at the moment it is ‘in progress’.
So, as I said before, there are some shortcomings and some work to be done to make this place as it could and should be. But even having said this, although I cannot thoroughly recommend Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel, I can say that if you go prepared with this in mind there are more ‘fors’ than ‘againsts’ here and all in all I enjoyed my nights stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mr_Smoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2012

A beautfiul Tudor Mansion located conveniently close to a junction of the M6, thought far enough for noise elimination. The hall is in a somewhat bizarre location, abeautiful oasis totally surrounded by mundane housing estates. Once inside the gardens however, it is possible to forget the world outside.

My wife and I were accomodated in the recently modernised Brew House, an annexe adjacent to the main building. Our bedroom was small and had no views over the gardens but at the rate that we had paid, we could not complain. Tea and coffee making facilities were provided. The Hall had opened as a hotel less than 12 months before so the public areas in the main house and gardens surrounding the building were first rate. Round by the Brew House however, it was very much work in progress.

Breakfast was excellent with a wide choice of offerings. Service seemed a little disorganised, as though the staff were still learning their roles.

Room Tip: Ask for one in the main house.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank grumpymikefrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2012

I stayed at this hotel at the weekend with my partner. I bought it as a Groupon deal for his birthday and wanted something a bit special. It sounded good, stay in 17th centruy Grade 1 listed Manor House, eat in the Great Hall and entrance to National Trust Gardens. I was very disappointed to find out when we got there that a wedding party had taken over the whole hotel, so we had been allocated rooms in the Brew House, which was a separate building to the main hotel. When I booked only 3 weeks before we hadnt been told or given option to choose another weekend. The room we had was clean and functional, but it could have been a Premier Inn as it lacked any pictures on the walls and was sparsely furnished. Our evening meal couldnt be booked until 8.45pm and we were put into a small room at the back of the hotel called the Boudoir, and just seated with one other couple at that time. Our background music was the very loud disco of the wedding going on. The meal itself was good standard but the whole evening lacked any atmosphere. Breaksfast was served in the Great Hall Restaurant, but not much choice for the Continental one (which was in with the Groupon deal), and no choice of bread - sliced white or nothing!! The National Trust gardens were not National Trust - they were gardens owned by the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel Garden Trust, and we definitely lacking in tlc. Lots of weeds around and borders looking unkempt. Apparently they are open to the public at a cost of over £5! All in all I was very disappointed with their offer, also the hotel is on the flight path for Birmingham Airport (I think?) and planes were going over very frequently, late into the night then started early again the next morning. As it was a hot night we had the windows open until I couldnt stand the noise any longer!! Beautiful venue for a wedding, but hotel definitely lacking finesse and lots of work needed to make the gardens and surrounding areas of hotel better. I found the staff all very helpful if a little disorganised, but we were definitely the 'poor relations' to the wedding party. I would have preferrred to have stayed on a 'normal' weekend, perhaps our experience would have been different.

Room Tip: If you looking for an authentic stay in hotel, dont let them put you in the Brew House, very average...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank KarenS14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2012

Fabulous historical building in a great location, lovely gardens, superior decoration, sadly let down by its service levels and the majority of staff who were miserable and surly. Little or no eye contact. How much would it take for them to smile occassionaly or say thank you. Slow bar service. No sugar offered with hot drinks had to ask afterwards whilst drink was left to go cold. London bar prices!!!!. Staff trying to charge £1.80p for a splash of lemonade. This was apparently the price for a glass. Need to invest in a decent sound system for receptions and teach staff how to use it. Additional seating and tables in garden area required so that function guests have adequate facilities other than the internal lounges.
Although it has free wi-fi it does not offer a computer for use by guests or visitors so unless you take a laptop or compatable phone with you, you won't be able to access the internet.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

Arriived Friday 3rd Aug 2012 warm welcome no porter to carry cases up four flights of stairs and not told there was a lift,
Had booked upgrade from standard room and given family room over looking gardens (£30 for two nights worth doing). Great view big room only shower in ensuite ( just a note if you expect a bath) breakfast as expected but when you order cooked from menu you only get one of each item unless you asked for two bacon two sausage etc.
Had meal there one evening all well cooked and very hot but lacking in taste.
Drive to local train station park for free and get the £2.20 return to birmingham bargin trip only about five mins on electric train return when you want
Would stop again but make sure you have a grouping voucher less than half price we dont think it warrents the full cost
Staff very warm and friendly very nice hotel

Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
Thank Adam T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel

Address: Chester Road, Birmingham B36 9DE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 54 B&Bs / Inns in Birmingham
Price Range: £68 - £129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
17Th Century Splendour Today Set in 10 acres of beautiful mature walled gardens, Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel is a unique Grade 1 star listed country house hotel that combines understated luxury with an impeccable client focused service. Offering the very finest in dining and accommodation, Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel effortlessly provides high quality hospitality with faultless attention to detail. In a delightfully rural and peaceful setting, guests at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel are taken out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and transported back to a time where sophistication and elegance presided. Indulge in the surroundings and relax in the ambience of the beautifully restored Sixteenth century building, enjoying the many remaining original features including exposed wooden floors, intricate stone carvings and roaring log fires sympathetically combined with stylish modern furnishings, fabrics and finishes. Guests at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel can enjoy both the grace of the past and the pleasures of the present in the Hotel's subtle fusion of the conventional and contemporary. The perfect retreat or the magnificent backdrop. Whether planning a wedding, a business conference, a family occasion or organising a special meal - whatever the reason - a stay at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel will ensure you have an unforgettable time in the very finest of care. Offering a range of beautiful and unique rooms for your event, as well as the exceptional skills of the Hotel's award-winning culinary team, you can be sure that your guests or delegates will be suitably impressed with your choice of venue. ... more   less 
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