I'm a loyalty card holder for Holiday Inn and so it's unusual for me to rate one of their group hotels so lowly. The main reason is that my family and I booked the hotel, via the Holiday Inn website, as a park & stay package before going on to Birmingham Airport for our flight. The web site indicates that a complementary airport shuttle is available on request, which it was for our trip to the airport despite being told the night before we needed to book (and pay for) a taxi. We had to pay £1 for the shuttle to cover the cost of the drop-off car park at the airport, otherwise this was fine.
However, the driver informed us that the shuttle doesn't operate after 9:30pm and that as our flight was due to land at 11:30pm we would have to get a taxi back to the hotel. He gave us the number of their recommended taxi firm and although I wasn't happy that the 'complementary' shuttle wasn't available I wasn't about to let it spoil our trip before we'd even flown.
In reality, by the time we'd got our bags etc after a 5 and 3/4 hour flight it was almost half past midnight, we were tired and we couldn't be bothered to order and wait for a private hire cab and instead tried to get into one of the waiting black cabs. The drivers wouldn't take us. It was too short a trip for them (about 2 miles) and they would lose their place in the taxi rank queue for too little revenue.
This was the final straw and we decided the 3 hour drive home wasn't that appealing anyway, so decided to leave the car another night and checked in to the Ibis Hotel which is opposite the terminal exit. Refreshed after a good night sleep in a very basic but quiet and comfortable room we tried to call the Crown Plaza shuttle the next morning to take us to collect the car in the hotel car park. No joy. We were told that the driver had gone home sick. Only when I prompted them with the question what were we to do to collect our car did they offer to order a cab for us. This came within 15 minutes and cost £6 to take us to the hotel to collect the car. Not a great deal but not a complementary shuttle either...
As such, my conclusion is that the Crown Plaza is set up more to serve the NEC than the airport, so stay somewhere else if you're looking for park and stay at Birmingham. The Ibis was nice and very convenient and cheaper too. The Crown Plaza rooms were very noisy (lift mechanism and generators on the roof of the kitchens below our window) and there was a large rat running backwards and forwards across the patio whilst we ate breakfast.
I'm not going to change my view on Holiday Inn - normally you know what to expect and this was a one off... But don't use it as an airport hotel - it isn't.
So, we're stood in the rain at
- 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:
- Crowne Plaza Birmingham
- Birmingham Crowne Plaza