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“Very bad service in an otherwise acceptable hotel.”

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Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC
Ranked #53 of 118 Hotels in Birmingham
Reviewed 22 October 2011

The service was unacceptable from the point that I checked in. The person checking me in appeared disinterested. After prolonged discussion about how I might spell my name, she was able to find my reservation. I was asked to authorise £50 on my debit card to cover any incidentals. I have no problem with this. However, when she passed the terminal to me the amount was around £430. When I questioned this I was told there was a problem with the system. She was not able to amend this, but I was told that this was not going to be a problem and that she would sort me out as a credit rather than a cash customer. This seemed a little inept, but with a willingness to try to help out.

I later ordered room service. When it turned up, I was asked to pay in cash, as I had apparently not left a card swipe. I explained the hassle at check in and that It was sorted for me to be a credit customer by the helpful receptionist. This was apparently good enough as an explanation, the food was left, and it was reasonable.

I thought little more of this and went to bed. I was woken up by a phone call from reception as I had not paid for my room service. I explained the above and asked whether it was really essential to settle immediately (I was booked in for the next two nights). The aggressive impatient caller from reception insisted that it did need sorting immediately. I later learned that rather than simply taking payment for the £20 I had spend she took payment (NOT pre-authorisation) for £50.

For the next couple of days I managed no interaction at all with the staff and the hotel seemed quite pleasant. Alas, I on check-out I had to step once more into the lions den.

When I tried checking out (a simple process in other hotels) I learned of the £50 payment that had been taken. And I learned that they wanted to refund me £20, as their records showed I had spent 30. This was not true, and after a brief discussion, I was able to demonstrate this. I was then asked to pay the £20 again (now £70 paid for the room service) and I was told that it was for some reason not possible to refund the £50 as there was a problem with the system. I was told that they could not check me out, and close my account because of this problem. They arranged to refund the outstanding £50 and send me a receipt. This process took about 20 mins.

The member of hotel staff checking me out was the first person I spoke with over the three days who seemed interested in recognising there was a problem and trying to solve it. Other staff seemed to tread customers with a bland disregard.

I will avoid this place in future, I do not like this kind of hassle. I would not recommend it to anyone. A shame really as it is a nice enough building in a reasonable location. For staff to wake a guest up to mis-apply charges to their card is exceptionally poor service.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Mike F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KateHughes, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments in reference to your stay last weekend.

Firstly let me apologise for the problems you faced on check in, we had a particularly busy weekend which was found challenging by the Front Office team. I do apologise for the confusion on check in with a credit card authorisation, please be aware I am investigating into this issue and as to what happened also with check out as well.
I can confirm a copy of your invoice has been posted out to you.

Despite these issues I do hope you will come back to our hotel again and let us show you what the Crowne Plaza NEC experience should be like.

Thank you for your feedback. Please be assured all relevant departments have been made aware of the problems you faced so they can be rectified.

Kind Regards
Kate Hughes
Front Office Manager

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1,570 - 1,576 of 1,804 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2011

Nice well appointed rooms as you would expect - no executive room level though. Easy walk to the NEC

  • Stayed: October 2011
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1  Thank Slipstream222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KateHughes, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your post on our Trip Advisor page.

You are correct in saying we dont have an executive level but we class our lake view rooms as our best rooms in the hotel which are on every floor from the 2nd level, obviously along with our suites.
If you would like one of these for next time please ask on reception for their availability, there is a supplement charge for our suites, unless you are a gold or platinum priority club member who have the benefit of this for free of charge!

I will pass on your praises about our room cleanliness to our housekeeping and maintenance teams to compliment.

Thank you again.
Kind Regards
Kate Hughes
Front Office Manager

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Reviewed 18 October 2011

Second time stayed here both for concerts at the LG Arena (Rihanna last Saturday) as before all good, even ordered room service this time as running late checking in and this was delivered quickly and in time for us to still make the start of the concert (food was perfectly adequate too)

Room is decent size, little touchs like chocs and water, tea, coffee etc appreciated too

Breakfast is excellent, buffet style but everything you could ask for and no wait even when very busy as was on Sunday morning

Only recommendation is to try and book ASAP when you know you want to stay as last time we paid around £70 for the night incl breakfast as booked about 6 months in advance, this time was a last minute booking and was over £160 for the same deal :(

  • Stayed: October 2011
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1  Thank Nick T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KateHughes, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for letting us hear about your Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC experience!
Rhianna did bring alot of guests to our hotel last weekend and it was a busy time for us, but after speaking with many of our guests they really enjoyed their weekend, and so it seems you did too!
Its also fantastic to hear it was your 2nd time with us, maybe we will see you again for the concerts throughout November and December?!

Thank you for your comments.
Kind Regards
Kate Hughes
Front Office Manager

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Reviewed 16 October 2011

We stayed here last night,for one night,as we were seeing Rihanna at the LG Arena and had suffered horrendous problems in the past trying to get off the car parks after shows there,so even though we only live 12 miles away it meant a very late and tiring end to the evening.
So....this was a little treat,and so it proved to be.The hotel is very swish and modern throughout with all the appointments one would expect from the brand.The Pendigo bar is particularly comfortable and stylish,and as we were going over to the arena quite early,we decided to eat there instead of the restaurant which didn't open till a little later.Service was friendly and our meals arrived promptly and were very nice indeed.
Our double room was comfortable and relaxing.I've had bigger rooms for the same cost,but it had everything you could want and was very clean and fresh looking.Same for the bathroom in both regards.....not too spacious but pristine and everything that you need in a bathroom.
Plus points would be complimentary bottled water and chocolates at the bedside and a very handy make-up mirror on an extendable attatchment in the bathroom,which could be swivelled and adjusted for perfect viewing (must try and get one for at home!)
Niggles would be the bed wasn't very comfortable,mattress far too soft and it sort of slanted in a strange way,causing the two of us to roll into one another each time we turned or moved.Also,it the room wasn't too warm on arrival and we turned up the heating when we went out so that it would be cosy on our return,especially as we knew we had a walk outside from the arena back to the hotel ( only 10 minutes,but we hadn't wanted to take coats with us to the show) However,when we got back,the room was quite chilly and the heating obviously hadn't been on for hours.My husband soon sussed why. . . . you have to put your swipe card into a slot on the wall to get the electricity connected.....when we went out and took our roomcard with us,the power was cut off.I can understand that this stops power wastage by preventing lamps/TV's etc being left on whilst the occupants are out,but what about returning on a winter's night to a cold room? Also,when we put the heating on again,the small hot air grid, very high up on the wall,was quite ineffectual and took hours to take the chill off.

Buffet style breakfast was served in the downstairs restaurant and it was one of the better breakfasts we have experienced of this type.A myriad choice of cereals,fresh fruits,pastries and very nicely cooked hot selection.The individual Cumberland sausages were particularly tasty and the room was bright,spacious and very pleasing.

But all in all,a very pleasant hotel which provides a real treat and is on the doorstep for events at the arena or exhibition hall.We have concluded that we will definitely stay there again next time we are attending a show 'next door'.Friendly and helpful staff and efficient check in/out.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jillymoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KateHughes, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed post about us here at the Crowne Plaza NEC.
It was a busy weekend for us last week with Rhianna and a lot of our guests stayed for the concert as we are in such a good location for it.
Its great to hear you thought of us so highly, we received many a great comment about our guests stay at the weekend which is so rewarding for the team.

I have passed your comments on to our housekeeping and maintenance team about the room problems, which will be rectified.
There are more concerts coming to Birmingham for November and December this year so please think of us for your next concert visit.
I will look forward to seeing you stay with us again soon!

Kind Regards
Kate Hughes
Front Office Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2011

Stayed here on Christmas Eve 2010 and then again on the 30th Dec on my way back home.Got an amazing deal £80 per room dinner, bed and breakfast both night's.Food was very good staff were very friendly rooms were very clean.Bargain.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GavinHosking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KateHughes, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your positive response.
Although you stayed nearly over a year ago its great to hear that you can still remember us, what its like and your overall experience, which shows how much of an impression we left, which is fantastic.
Christmas is a quiet time of the year for us and our rates reflect this, but we still always try to deliver the same service.
Maybe il see you christmas and new years 2011?!?!

Kind Regards
Kate Hughes
Front Office Manager

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Reviewed 9 October 2011

stayed here for one night for the exhibition. good location within exhibition halls. room was pleasant and good. it provided some essential oil for u to use before sleeping.either spraying the oils on the pillow or smelling it that gives you ease and comfort before sleeping. rooms are nice and bed was comfortable. although breakfast has limited choices it was enough to have a hearty meal.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Tony Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KateHughes, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your great comments!
Its fantastic to hear when our guests have enjoyed their stay because it means we are living to the expectations of being a 'Great Hotel Guests Love'.
I hope you will think of us again when visiting the NEC as we are so close and offer a great overnight stop during your exhibition.

Kind Regards
Kate Hughes
Front Office Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2011

Stayed here on Monday 26th Of Septemeber 2011,and It was ok.
Few things let the hotel down; the room was extremely dusty, looked like it had been cleaned and nobody had stayed in there for a while. The bed was extremely uncomfortable and both me and my partner had little sleep. The room service we had ordered to the room was cold, yet was a "warm chocolate brownie" and the hot chocolate looked like muddy water and didn't taste a thing like hot chocolate, so god knows what had happened to it.
We booked a queen size room with lake view but were given a double bed and a small view of the lake. We didnt see the need to complain there and then as we were there for only 1 night.
However, the credit to the hotel were the staff, the 2 women who helped us on our stay at reception were lovely, warming and welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble!!!
I would recommend this as an over night stay especially if going to NEC, as great location and quick access to Birmingham City Centre, but I wouldnt recommed it for a long stay.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank msage18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KateHughes, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your comments through Trip Advisor.
After reading your post I was concerned to hear that you felt our room standards were not those of 4 star, which I apologise for. I have passed these comments onto our housekeeping team who will look further into this problem.
I have also made our food and beverage manager aware of the poor quality room service you received which again is not acceptable, please accept my apologies for this.
Its great news to hear that our front of house team made you feel welcome, our team do have a great sense of arrival which makes such a difference to our experience at the NEC.
Il look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Kind Regards
Kate Hughes

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC

Address: Pendigo Way | National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham B40 1PS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Business Hotel in Birmingham
#21 Luxury Hotel in Birmingham
#33 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range: £69 - £321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC 4*
Number of rooms: 242
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of England the Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC offers a unique contemporary style and simple elegance on the doorstep of the NEC and within close proximity of Birmingham International Airport. Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC offers a luxurious accommodation featuring air-conditioning, high speed Internet access (subject to an additional charge) and TV with movies on demand. A fashionable bar and Pendigo's Restaurant is also available for all residents and non-residents. With 11 custom-designed meeting and banqueting suites, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC has the flexibility to host events of many shapes and sizes. Set in landscaped grounds overlooking Pendigo Lake, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC is only 5 minutes walk from the National Exhibition Centre and NEC Arena, 5 minutes drive from Birmingham International Airport and International Train Station, 10 miles from Birmingham City Centre and within easy reach of major UK motorways (M5, M6, M40 and M42).WI-FI Internet Access is available in all meeting rooms, bar and the restaurant. We also have very reasonable Park and Fly packages packages available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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