We've been coming to visit our son in Birmingham for 7 years, since he first moved there as a student. We've stayed in lots of different hotels over this time, including a few others on the Hagley Road (there's one in particular that really should have been condemned long ago!), and I always thought the Strathallan looked like a 70s multi-storey car park when we drove past! However, we needed a fairly cheap hotel for last Saturday night, and our usual choices weren't coming up with very good prices. So we thought we'd give this a try. And we were so glad we did!
Don't be put off by the dated exterior; inside it is spotlessly clean, timelessly decorated and tastefully furnished. Service was impeccable, and we will definitely be back!
It wasn't clear from the booking website we used whether parking was free or not, and I must admit that even as we drove into the car park, we weren't sure of the cost. I left hubby in the car while I slipped down to Reception: no problem - parking is free for guests who can come in and out of the car park as many times as they wish as long as they register the car registration number at check-in. Sorted! Car parked, we were given a room on the 7th floor. I had requested a high, outside room; the corridors on each floor go around in a circle, so on one side of you the rooms face inwards, and on the other they face outwards. I hadn't expected our request for an outside room to be granted, as I assumed they'd cost more, but we did in fact get one, and it was very impressive! I'm not sure that the inside rooms would have been so spacious, but ours was probably the biggest hotel room we'd ever had in Birmingham, and by far the most luxurious!
Big windows with nets, curtains and drapes. A huge and very comfy bed with extra cushions. TV, iron and board, hairdryer. A tray with a clean kettle, plenty of tea, coffee, semi-skimmed milk cartons, and even hot chocolate and a few biscuits. Lots of storage space with plenty of hangers(there's even a thick towelling robe in the wardrobe), and plush towels and face cloths. Soap, shower gel and shampoo were also provided, as well as a scrupulously clean rubber non-slip bath mat.
I had noticed other reviewers mentioning that the windows didn't open much, which made the rooms stuffy in the hot weather; I can see how that may have been a problem, but when we were there the weather was warm without being hot, and the room was a perfect temperature and never stuffy. It was also very quiet - we weren't disturbed by noise from other guests in their rooms or by traffic noise - although with the windows open slightly, we could certainly hear the wind whistling through!
We went for a meal at the Beefeater across the road on Saturday evening; there are plenty of restaurants nearby - Ask, TGI Friday, Akbar (Indian), and a new Argentinian one (I can't remember the name but it looked nice). The Strathallan obviously had it's own restaurant and also offered room service, which looked like fairly standard prices.
We then had to drive our son back to his house, and realised as we got to the car park exit that there was a barrier down which prevented us fromn leaving! However, as we sat there wondering what to do, the barrier rose automatically, so no problems. It rose again to let us back in later - a nice bit of extra security for the car. We'd also noticed that on leaving the lift on the 7th floor, we had to insert our room key before we could get into the corridor to our rooms. Again, this made us feel very secure; there's no chance of anyone wandering in off the street (which I'm sure happens at certain other hotels nearby!).
We'd arranged to meet our son at Selly Sausage in Sellyoak for breakfast the next day, but the smell of bacon wafting out from the hotel breakfast room smelt pretty good! I think they said breakfast would have been around £8 each if we'd booked it on check-in, but more if we decided to have it on the day.
The only thing that let the hotel down very slightly was the lack of water pressure from the shower. I really wanted the shower to be a really good one, but it was just ok. Not much pressure, which was a shame. However, the bath towels were large and thick, and the lack of pressure just meant that I felt clean but not truly pampered!
When we checked out the next morning, I felt I had to check with the Reception staff that there was only meant to be one bath robe in the room - I had visions of getting a letter weeks later claiming that we'd taken one and asking us to pay for it! We said that we hadn't needed another one, but the Receptionist was very apologetic, and he explained that they only supply one per room unless someone requests another, in which case of course they would oblige. I did notice something in the room advising guests they could call Reception if they needed anything else, such as extra towels; I don't remember another bathrobe being mentioned, but the staff were so helpful that you felt they would be happy to oblige, whatever you needed. I think it may be worth the hotel making it clear from the outset that only one robe is supplied initially, as I worried that they would think we'd stolen one!!
We were really, really impressed with this hotel, and I am sure we will be back many more times in the future!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan is centrally located and easy to get to. The hotel is close to Birmingham city centre and offers plenty of free parking on site. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. The Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan has 135 bedrooms including 53 brand new City Double bedrooms. The hotel also has lots of great facilities including a brasserie, bar and lounge, a small gym for hotel guests, 7 air-conditioned meeting rooms for up to 170 delegate and function rooms for weddings up to 170 guests. BT Sport is now available in the bar/lounge area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Menzies Strathallan, Birmingham Hotel Birmingham
- Menzies Strathallan Hotel Birmingham