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The Hotel Highland Downtown UAB
Ranked #36 of 80 Hotels in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 March 2009

Just got back from four nights at HH. We were there for Davis Cup, so it was admittedly a very busy weekend. I'll start with the positives. The bed was comfortable, the room was spotless and the location was great. We were not bothered by noise at all, and we were on the 4th floor facing the street. There were lots of TV channels, but we could never figure out what any of them were since there was no in room TV guide. Staff was friendly, not particularly helpful, but friendly. They apologized a lot when things went bad. Negatives: There were many. Do not pay the money for valet parking. The hotel management had to know this would be a busy weekend. Every time we needed our car it was an ordeal. One time we called down ahead of time, and the front desk never told the valet we had called. Without the valet, parking is a problem. Walk, take a bus - don't bring a car. Parking is a big negative. The breakfast room seats about 8 people. This was way too small for the crowd at the hotel this weekend. Would have been great if they had offered to allow guests to sit in the front restaurant. Breakfast was adequate - cereal, bagels, toast. Each day there was one hot dish - two days in a row the hot option was biscuits and red-eye gravy. Eggs would have been good. We had a hard time controlling the water temperature in the room - this included the shower and the sink. The cleaning people were very stingy with the toiletries - we had to leave a note begging for shampoo, and this must have insulted the housekeeper who left several bottles in our bathtub! The elevator was slow and unreliable - I saw people carrying their suitcases down the stairs. The bathrooms were too dark for putting make-up on - there's a shaving mirror that's fine for shaving, but does not work so well for makeup. The closet doors were a sliding glass mirror contraption that were extremely difficult to open and close. There is a "business center" in the hotel, but we couldn't even use the computer to print our boarding passes. The fitness center was a joke - maybe adequate if 4 people are staying in the hotel. As other people have noted - they need to put a guest services guide in the rooms to let people know about the TV, room service (did they have room service?), etc.

Nearby restaurant selection is excellent - highly recommend Jim N Nicks BBQ ( we preferred that to Highlands Bar and Grill, but HBG is worth a visit too.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tarheeldeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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314 - 320 of 350 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2009

I was so excited to take my Husband to the Davis Cup which happened to be in Birmingham this year. I chose this hotel because it seemed to have a great location which it did. I'm going to warn you-if you stay here make sure your Front Desk clerk is not TINA-she has no business being in the Hospitality Industry! Our door handle broke and when we went to check out we wanted to let the hotel know. She was so rude that she was bascially shouting at us with Profanities while several guests were also waiting to check out. She then proceeded to get on the phone and call someone to tell them that we should not be allowed to come back to this hotel (no worries about that), mind you other guests were waiting to check out. We spent over $1000.00 on this hotel for this kind of treatment. She handed my Husband the bill and then said"Please don't come back"-I was in shock! Hopefullly, with us contacting Richfield Properties she will no longer be employed by this hotel because it is a nice location and the other staff were very friendly.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BobandJaneAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2009

This was my second stay at the newly refurbished Hotel HIghland and it was - again - a lovely visit. This is a small facility that caters to personal service. It's cozy, quaint, elegant and very comfortable. I plan to make this my home away from home as I visit Birmingham often. Great value and very comfortable.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled on business
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Thank mspoirot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2008

If you're planning to engage in some Five Points South nightlife, this is probably the place to stay. It's right in the center of it all.

The hotel apparently underwent a face lift in 2007, and all the effort and money poured into the project shows. It looks nice! We especially liked the look and the overall comfort of our room. Great first impression. But there are a few unresolved issues, and we discovered them rather quickly during our one-night stay.

POSITIVES: A couple of the reviews here mention small rooms. Our solution was to spend $30 more for a King Suite. For that, we had a two-room suite with two flat screen TVs, a sofa bed, and more windows than I've ever seen in a hotel room! The bed is really comfortable and so are the pillows. Our room was spotless, and everything looked nice and was in working order.

While valet parking is $18/day, you can self-park in the adjacent garage for $4. That's $4 every time you enter the garage, though. On Sundays, the area parking meters are not monitored and the front desk clerk was happy to give us that information. We appreciate that. Since we stayed on Saturday night, we parked free at a meter in front of the hotel. Nice!

Internet service is available and it's free. Our room also had a refrigerator and a microwave oven. There's a martini bar across from the lobby but no restaurant. The Original Pancake House is a few feet from the hotel and a good choice for breakfast.

NEGATIVES: We stayed in Birmingham on a cold night, and no matter how much we turned up the heat, the temp in the room didn't seem to change. It was as if the thermostat was there just to make us feel as if we had control of the room temperature. The plumbing needs an upgrade, as well. To flush the toilet, we had to hold down the handle for a few seconds. The hot water was just a trickle when we turned on the bathtub water, and although it got much better with the shower, the water pressure just didn't measure up.

The hotel could do itself a big favor by putting a guest services book in the room, or at least a TV channel guide. As another reviewer noted, it's tough to figure out what channel is HBO. They provide the HBO guide, but there is no further information.

The neighborhood is noisy on the weekends. There are plenty of people about and loud music. It didn't bother me, but I could see where someone would have a hard time sleeping. Maybe a room in the back of the hotel, as others have suggested? Some of the noise comes from inside the hotel, mainly with doors opening and closing.

Finally, we've used sofa beds before at hotels... they've always been made up for us. This sofa bed looked brand new and never used. The mattress was still covered in plastic and the sheets were in the closet. This bed, by the way, was not great.

SUMMARY: If you're bar-hopping in Five Points, stay here! If not, you might enjoy this unique hotel or you may not. It appears the hotel's owners are trying hard and somewhat succeeding, but there's still work to be done. I hope they continue to improve, because I see lots of potential in this interesting hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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Thank GoingEverywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2008

I do not write reviews at all but I wanted to warn any business traveler to not stay here. I travel 6 to 10 nights per month and usually choose chain hotels, I took a chance...it was a bad one. Nothing works, no HVAC, no TV, the room is dirty, front desk bad, all public area are dirty with no one there; other than the people off the street looking for money. DO NOT STAY HERE!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank travelerfrmdebver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2008

Great veiw of downtown Birmingham. Very nice staff. Comfortable bed.Decor makes you think you are in the 70's and you want to say "Groovy". Very spacious. Breakfast was super. I would recommend this to anyone!

Stayed: September 2008
Thank GramMobile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2008

This is a beautiful Hotel! It was a last minute book for me because I had guest in town and needed something inexpensive, close to town with dining and etc., and nice for my guest to feel comfortable. This was right on point! I spoke with the gentleman at the front desk and everything was just what I was looking for. I was very pleased with the location, the comtemporary design of the room, and the ability to book quickly with a great price. Even if you live in B'ham and would like to take your spouse or significant other somewhere for a quick getaway, I highly recommend this location. The only thing is the parking. They have valet parking which is expensive. There is a parking deck behind the hotel for 4.00, however, everytime you leave you will have to pay 4.00 again to re-enter.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank CarrieGPMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hotel Highland Downtown UAB

Address: 1023 20th St S, Birmingham, AL 35205-2605 (Formerly Hotel Highland at Five Points)
Region: United States > Alabama > Birmingham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
#20 Family Hotel in Birmingham
#26 Business Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range: £80 - £144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Hotel Highland Downtown UAB 3*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Highland at Five Points South is located just minutes/blocks from UAB and right in the center of all the fabulous restaurants (including Highland Bar & Grill, Chez FonFon, Surin, Ocean, and Twenty Six, just to name a few) and entertainment venues! It is THE place to be while in Birmingham! Just minutes from the Birmingham Courthouse, BJCC, Kirklin Clinic, UAB Highlands and shopping areas! With 63 amazing rooms and suites, with affordable rates that include breakfast and WiFi...it is your "home away from home". Call today to book your reservation! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Highland At 5 Points
Highland At Five Points Hotel

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