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Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC
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Reviewed 8 April 2013

Good quality hotel for any venues at LG Arena and NEC. Walking distance to both venues. Only negative was queue at the bar after the show. Needs more bar staff. Other than that, it was a pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank mary d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David S, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2013

Dear mary d,

thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent stay with us.

I am pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us and I am looking forward to welcoming you back to the hotel soon.

Kind Regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

nice hotel, very convenient for NEC and LG Arena. stayed one night as seeing a show at the LG. Room clean and comfortable, staff friendly and helpful. Didn't eat at the hotel as menu seemed expensive and as train station only a 10 minute walk and into city centre in 15 minutes ate out. also gave breakfast at £16 a miss!! Got a good deal on the room so was reasonable value, but find it utterly outrageous that hotels have a cheek to charge for wifi, it's not like the pay for each person logging on and will have it already set up. In this day and age it's like charging for hot water or toilet paper! Overall if you get a good price for the room and don't 'eat or drink at the hotel it's a handy place to stay.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank annemk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David S, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2013

Dear annemk,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on your recent stay with us.

I am pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us.
I do understand that that the internet price seems very high to you. Our internet is provided by an outside company and they do offer high speed internet and also a 24hr customer service.
I hope to welcome you again soon to the hotel.

Kind Regards,

David

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2013

Stayed here in March for four nights on business. Rooms are very good, comfy bed and pillows. Bathroom a little small but excellent shower and lovely large bath sheets made up for that.
Restaurant okay for breakfast but found evening meals expensive and mediocre. Three of us dining there on the first night all had to send our sirloin steaks back as they were tough as old boots but replacement not that much better. No compensation offered!!!!
Staff however very god and pleasant.

Room Tip: Ask to a lakeside view, very pleasant.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Maureen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David S, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2013

Dear Maureen B,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on your recent stay with us.

I am pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us.

I am sorry to hear that your dining experience was not as you expected it to be.

Please be advised that your comments are taken seriously and with your response we will continually strive to make us a 'Great Hotel Guests Love'.

Thank you and kind regards,

David

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2013

My wife and I were going to see "For the Love of Mrs Brown" at the LG Arena and therefore this hotel should have been an ideal place to stay and give us a relaxing evening/night. Oh dear, what a disappointment.

Where do I start? How about the 15 minutes it took to check in? Two receptionists on duty at the desk and both were busy with customers. So my wife and I stood and waited. And waited. And waited....... Eventually I suggested that my wife sat down with our overnight cases and I'd wait in the "queue". And wait. And wait. Finally a man appeared from behind the reception area and asked if there was anything he could help me with. I said that I was waiting to check in. There then followed a magical "rabbit in the headlights" moment where his eyes widened and his face froze. He then moved over to one of the receptionists (who appeared to be having a problem) and started talking to her. He never did say anything else to me after the first question.

The second receptionist eventually finished with her customers (what were they talking about?) and I managed to check in - I'd booked online and I'm a platinum member of the points scheme so my check in took about 2 minutes as all was ready for me. Goodness knows what the delay was.

The room was clean and tidy although I wonder if the rooms are ever checked as the standard lamp didn't work and the bathroom door didn't close properly. I forgot to mention those on our departure. Also, we'd reserved a lake view which we got, but also got a view over the building site next door (not the Crowne Plaza's fault I grant you, but worth noting that you can get "extras" with the lake view :-) ).

Now comes the tricky part. The LG Arena is about 6 or 7 minutes slowish walk away from the hotel and the show started at 7.30pm. Therefore we decided to go downstairs to eat at the hotel around 5.30 to give ourselves 2 hours to order, eat and then freshen up and get to the show in a nice relaxed manner. When you've got youngish kids, evenings away together are pretty precious and should be savoured.

Problem No 1 is that the restaurant, Pendigos doesn't open until 6.30 (according to my welcome letter). I'd assume that most shows etc on the NEC site start at around 7.30 so that's a bit tight to say the least. However we thought we'd eat at the bar. It was 5.20 when we arrived in the bar area (I looked at my watch) and there appeared to only be one person serving! I assume from what happened later that he was the bar manager. I was 3rd in the queue behind 2 other guys but somehow got served behind 2 women who appeared from nowhere but seemed to be known - the guy next to me remarked on that as they pushed him one down the pecking order too. Service was slow, why only one person doing the bar? A couple of people asked about ordering food and were told that you needed to sit at one of the tables where a server would magically appear to take your order. So my wife went off to get a table.

Eventually I got our drinks served by a "different" guy in a suit (it was then 5.35, so about 15 minutes!) and joined her. She suggested that in order to save time, we got the Brasserie Boards (note that the British one differs from the one on the website as I write this). These involved no cooking as far as we could tell and we were starting to get a bit nervous based on check in and bar speed. After a 10 minute wait, no server appeared so we asked one of the staff who was passing if we could order some food. She said she's get us a server, who arrived about 3 or 4 minutes later (we were after all at least 20 feet from the end of the bar).

We ordered our food, one of each of the boards (a Spanish and a British) and finished our drinks. About 5 minutes later our server appeared and said that the kitchen had told her that there would be a 30 minute wait for the food so did we still want it? After looking at our watches and weighing up the options, we decided to carry on and wait. At 6.10 the server appeared and said that our food would be along in about 2 minutes. We ordered a couple of glasses of wine which appeared rather quickly. At 6.25 I called the server over and asked where our food was. She went back to the bar and spoke to the guy who had served up the drinks at the start. He came over and began to apologise, saying that the kitchen..... At this point I stopped him, pointing out that it was now 6.30 and we wanted to have something to eat and then get off to the show. I pointed out that they were a hotel and as such, guests should expect to be served in a timely manner (my son is a chef by the way and he would not have put up with a customer having to wait for that length of time). I asked if he agreed that it was poor service and he said that it was and started to blame the kitchen again. At this point another server arrived with our food. I asked if we could be allowed to eat our food as this was what we wanted and all of the talking was delaying us further. He said that he's take the cost of our drinks off of our bill. I told him that that was not what I wanted, what I wanted was to be served in a reasonable time. He did take the drink cost off, but again, that's not what I'm after.

Part way through our meal (which we had to "bolt" down now, my wife looked at the menu as she was certain that there was supposed to be salad on the British board. She was right! I called the server over and showed her this. The server apologised and said that they had introduced a new menu and the kitchen hadn't got to grips with it yet! She said that all the servers were doing their best to speed up service but that the kitchen was a problem.

We managed, by dint of some quick walking to get to the show on time (excellent if you haven't seen it - or even if you have) but decided against an after show drink at the bar - well would you?

We woke up and looked to see what time the restaurant was open for breakfast. According to the welcome letter, it's 07.00 - 11.00 Saturday and Sunday. According to the information in the room, it's 7.00am - 11.30am on weekends and Bank Holidays. Are you prepared to chance an 11.05 arrival on a Sunday?

Actually, for us the service and food was pretty good for breakfast. However it cannot make up for the annoyance,explanations and excuses of the night before. It was supposed to be a relaxing night away for 2. It turned in to a joke - and not a very funny one either.

How can a hotel which is obviously targeted at the NEC and LG Arena have a restaurant that opens at such an inconvenient time?

How can said hotel have a bar menu that takes so long to prepare?

How can said hotel have a kitchen staff who don't know the menu?

How can it take so long to check in?

Unfortunately they made the mistake of asking me if everything had been alright with my stay when we checked out. Guess! They took all the bar food off as well, even though I told them again that this isn't what I complained for. I just wanted a good stay. They asked if I wanted to speak to someone, but I explained that I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.

I won't be going back so please do not phone, write or e-mail me to offer me discounts/freebies. You ruined the night away and you're not going to get another go.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Fred_the_needle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David S, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2013

Dear Fred_the_Needle,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on your recent stay with us.

I am very sorry to hear that you did not have a pleasant stay with us and that we have not met your expectations in regards to the bar service and food.
Please aceept my sincere apologies that we did not provide you with the hotel experience that you expected and paid for.
Please be advised that your comments are taken seriously and with your response we will make sure to improve our customer service.

Thank you and kind Regards,

David

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2013

Stayed in hotel sat 30th March for one night. No problems with hotel/room etc. Great location. Problem after checking out. Within 15minutes of leaving the hotel, i remembered i'd left a ring on the side. I called the hotel straight away and told them. 7 calls made by myself and 29 hours later i finally get a call back from the housekeeper, basically telling me tough. She couldn't find the ring. Her attitude stunk and when i asked to be put through to a manager, i was "cut off" Thats one priority club member who will never stop with this hotel chain again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank dinglejohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David S, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2013

Dear dinglejohn,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on your recent stay with us.

I am sorry to hear that you have not had a good customer service experience when you were asking for your lost property. Please accept my sincere apologies that your lost property has not been found.
Please be advised that your comments are taken seriously and we will be carrying out refresher training in customer service so that incidents like this will not happen again.

Thank you and kind Regards,

David

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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