We chose this hotel over Hotel Du Vin just to try something different at around the same price level. We stayed in the hotel on a Saturday night and checked in in the early evening.
I later found out there was some sort of event on in the bar that night, which partly explains why we were rather aggressively accosted by a suited doorman demanding our name to check off on his clipboard before we were barely out of the revolving doors. This, combined with the starkness of the entrance hall, didn't set us up with a very good welcome.
We had opted for the standard room - it looks nice on the website. But it's really all window dressing and just not as well designed as it could be.
Bad points of the room were as follows:
- There are no blinds or sheer curtains so even in daylight, if you want privacy, you have to draw the dark blackout curtains. I don't see why they don't put a frosting on the windows (unless other guests particularly enjoy the view of roadworks, multi storey carparks or block of flats around 20 metres away opposite looking in to the windows?!)
- The shower water pressure is pitiful and the water doesn't get hot enough. A really unsatisfying shower in what appears to be a fairly decent bathroom.
- The double beds have a join in the middle (ie two singles pushed together topped with a mattress topper which you can feel the join through)
- The bed sheets are not 100% cotton, they have a high content of man-made fibres, which makes them feel rough and bobbly and not luxurious at all. Horrible in fact.
- The kettle hadn't been emptied before our arrival (ok so we don't all empty our kettles at home, but in a hotel you expect it to be empty so you can use your own fresh water)
- The decor is meant to look designer and high-tech but our TV wasn't working (the hidden digi-box had been switched off by an unmarked button on the remote control).
- The anglepoise lamp on the desk, meant to look all modern and posh - doesn't actually angle. It's fixed (ie cheap), so if you want to use the space on the desk you have to pick the whole lamp up to turn it around.
- There isn't a clear Welcome Guide or any kind of room guide with room service details etc. It takes a while to find the one on the TV as you aren't told about it anywhere. If it was on a welcome homepage when you arrive this problem would be solved.
- If you have a room near the lift, like we did, beware of noise during the night by the heavy doors from the lift area banging. We were woken at 2am and again at 2.30am by noise from drunk people in the corridors.
The good points:
The breakfast was OK - fresh juices, nice jams and pastries, and the quality of the ingredients for the full english breakfast seemed good.
Checkout was quick using the checkout machines in the lobby.
In summary, it just isn't as nice as it looks, and isn't as good as it could be. It feels like they ran out of money after they'd bought all the touch screen telephones and click-wheel style light switches, and then had to go for cheaper furniture.
Compared to other value designer hotels, Hotel La Tour was disappointing on several levels. I would not recommend it and would not return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel La Tour has 174 luxurious bedrooms. A floor specially engineered for business conferences.Five-star customer service. Conveniently located in the heart of England's second city. What more reason do you need to pick Hotel La Tour Birmingham? For a contemporary twist on a great British tradition immerse yourself in the unique dining experience that is Marco Pierre White's first 'English Chophouse'. This exciting restaurant concept has its origins in 18th century London when chophouses were created for businessmen to conduct their affairs over hearty plates of cooked meats washed down with fine wines and ales. ... more less
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