This is the first time that I have visited this property which is situated in what appears to be a largely residential area of Solihull.
The hotel is set back from the road and the entrance is clearly signposted - the hotel is also known locally as 'The George' - and leads to a reasonable sized car park. In common with a growing number of hotels there is a notice advertising a scale of parking charges with a minimum cost of £6.
The entrance has a couple of steps up to reception and there is also a ramped access way.
The reception area itself is quite narrow and feels crowded with just a couple of people queuing. It is also the main access from the lift and staircase from the bedrooms to the restaurant which increases the footfall in a relatively small space. This becomes all the more noticeable if you need to queue to check in.
Check in itself was straightforward, if a little dull and uninspiring for my liking - the young lady checking me in was coldly professional and efficient and I'd much prefer to have a conversation with the front of house staff whilst going through the 'ritual' rather than just a mechanical process.
Having got my room key I took a smooth lift ride to the second floor and walked along a rather narrow corridor to my room.
On opening the door the room temperature was more akin to a sauna and the room itself felt quite small and cluttered. It was equipped with the usual facilities if somewhat dated - the tv was an early flat screen model with an attached Freeview box, tea & coffee making facilities, but no biscuits (this seems to be becoming the norm for some reason). The bottle of water was a nice touch. The desk was quite basic but did have 2 plug sockets at a sensible height, a. mirror, 2 chairs (for a room this size was excessive) a suitcase stand & wardrobe. There was also an iron hanging from the wall, but awkwardly placed directly above the suitcase stand.
The mattress on the double bed was in need of replacing but didn't adversely impact my sleep too much. The lack of air conditioning and need to open a window meant that outside noise was more of a problem and the hotel appears to have deliveries around 6am.
The ensuite bathroom was a reasonable size with a selection of toiletries. The bath was narrow with a flimsy shower curtain and an underpowered shower.
Breakfast was in the hotel restaurant which seemed quite small for the number of guests staying and it seemed difficult for the staff to cope. Cooked buffet items seemed to run out quite quickly but the selection was good as was the choice of fresh fruit and cold buffet items. Fresh coffee was delivered in a nice silver cafetierre.
Although I didn't have any evening meals in the hotel the selection is a fairly standard offering although the hotel claims to specialise in Indian cuisine.
Checking out was a better experience and the receptionist was a lot more engaging.
Overall the experience at this hotel was decidedly average - nothing special to shout about but also nothing particularly bad either. I'd have to say you can stay at better hotels for a similar price and I've seen bigger rooms at a Premier Inn but if you're stuck for choice I'd happily recommend this one as a safe option.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ramada Birmingham/Solihull (known locally as The George) started life as a 15th-century coaching inn and now mixes the old and the new around England's oldest crown bowling green. Ideally situated at the end of Solihull's high street with easy access to the M42, NEC and airport, the hotel offers the perfect destination for touring and relaxing in the heart of the West Midlands. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Birmingham, Solihull Hotel Solihull
- Ramada Solihull Birmingham
- Solihull Ramada