“ Hagley Road / Edgbaston / Birmingham / Tel: 0121 455 0271 / Fax : 0121 456 2394. „
The Apollo hotel - Birmingham
DATE OF STAY: 14TH June 2008
** REASON FOR STAY **
My best friends birthday was coming around, we always go away somewhere different to avoid the boring night clubs that Southampton offer so we decided to visit Birmingham again.
The year before had been easy because there was 6 of us staying all in couples so we just went for the premier travel inn, 2 in each room. But this time there was only three of us and we didnt want to leave one person in a room alone. So i searched all of the hotels in Birmingham that offered triple rooms and came across this one. I know the travelodge do a family room but it was booked solid.
I had read some bad reviews so i was a little bit worried about it but decided to go for it.
** PRICES/BOOKING **
I booked our room via the internet, their booking system was very simple and easy to use.
I booked a triple room for £75 which included a full buffet breakfast and free parking, which is unusual for Birmingham.
** LOCATION **
The hotel is based on Hagley Road in Edgbaston, which is about a 5 minute taxi ride onto broad street where all of the night clubs are.. but this wasn't a problem, reception ordered us a taxi. The only problem i did have was the taxi driver calling my friend ugly but that is a different matter and i did complain to the taxi company (charming huh).
Opposite the hotel is a a TGI Fridays and Beefeater restaurant, even thought we didn't use them they are very convenient if you are daring enough to cross the very busy road.
The road its based on is very busy and noisy but not really a problem if you are only staying for a few nights.
** PARKING **
There is free parking where you pull into the entrance of the hotel, which is where we parked. There is also parking under an archway which is near the reception and seems the safer option as its off of the busy main road. But there was plenty of parking to go around and i didn't see anyone struggling.
It does seem a popular place for taxi drivers to park up waiting for jobs. I would make sure you car is very secure.
** RECEPTION **
We arrived at 3pm, check in time is actually 2pm.
Because the hotel is sort of "motel" styled, the reception was hard to find. There are several different blocks with rooms, and the reception isn't very well signposted.
Once we found reception you walk in and up to a desk, which is to the right of the restaurant.
The lady at the desk was very happy and pleasant.. I showed her my printed confirmation of booking and she looked on the computer.
I do have one major complaint about this hotel and it really did annoy me a great deal...
My friends had given me the cash for their part of the room and i said i would pay the lot on my debit card. The receptionist took my debit card and they do a pre approval, but you pay for the full amount when you leave. so she did a pre approval for £75, the next day when leaving to pay they took the £75 for the room. I spent some money on my card on the night out... When i got home i had no money because the pre approval had gone out of my account and took 3 days to show back in again.. apparently this happens with a lot of banks. I was actually worried at first that they had charged me twice. So for 3 days i had no money untill it went back in! So be careful with that i would suggest letting them take the £75 when you arrive.
Apart from that check in was pretty easy and we asked the lady at the desk to order us a taxi for 9pm which she did and it turned up promptly.. she even phoned us in our room when it arrived.
We were given a key to our room and she explained where it was, and told us about breakfast for the next morning.
** OUR ROOM **
We walked across the inner car park straight into a small block which was only 2 stories high. Our room was on the ground floor facing the busy road.. but we didn't notice much noise as the window has triple glazing.
What we did find very useful was that we could park our car right in front of the window and pass our luggage through it.. which was much easier then walking around with it (3 young ladies, massive suitcase each and plenty of booze i am sure you can imagine).
The room was very clean and tidy. It was a little bit old fashioned but it was exactly like the photo on their website.
It had 3 single beds, which were very comfortable indeed.. it even had 2 nice plump pillows which is unusual for a hotel.
The room had a television, trouser press, full length mirror, hair drier, 2 comfy chairs and a table to sit at, a dressing table with mirror, kettle, tea, coffee, biscuits etc.
The bathroom was a good size, with clean toilet, heated towel rail, clean sink, full size bath and a shower over bath. My only complaint was the shower.. it was so drippy.. when it was on hot it has about as much pressure as someone spitting on you... but we managed just about.. luckily i like cool showers which has more pressure lol. We did mention the shower pressure to reception when we checked out and she said unfortunately its the same in all rooms their pressure is awful around there. The bathroom also had 3 soaps, 3 shower gels and 3 shower caps.
We had clean fluffy white towels and very clean bed sheets.
All in all we were very impressed with the rooms.
** THAT NIGHT **
When we rolled in that morning at 4am we came around the back to go into the main door for our block and were having troubles unlocking the door.. 3 drunken girls and a key just didnt go well.. the security guards who were on reception came over to help us and walked us to our room.
We went into our room and decided we were hungry so my cousin went off to the reception area vending machine to find food.. she was escorted back by the security guard to make sure she was safe which was nice of them.
We all slept very well on the comfy beds and were woken by our alarm ready for breakfast.
** BREAKFAST **
We went for breakfast at 9.30am.. I am not 100% sure on when they serve this untill, i think its 10.30am.
Breakfast was simply delicious, it was a buffet style..
You asked for tea and coffee, but everything else you could help yourself to.
Plenty of cereal to choose from, we had cornflakes and rice crispies, but there was musili, branflakes etc.
There was lots of fruit, yoghurt etc for the healthy minded.
There was DIY moving toast machine which my cousin was fascinated with as she hasn't used one before and demanded her mum should get one for their kitchen.
The hot buffet was lovely with plenty of choice, 3 types of eggs, sausages, bacon, hash browns, tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, it all tasted perfect and it was hot.
We were totally stuffed by the end of it.
** CHECK OUT **
Check out was by 11am and was relatively easy, apart from the miserable woman on the desk who looked like she wanted to be anywhere but there. But never mind, we had a good stay.
** MY OVERALL OPINION **
The hotel is much better than some reviews it receives on certain websites.. its probably due a little bit of a refit and its starting to look old fashioned. But it was very clean and we couldn't complain about that.
If you want nice accommodation which is easy to get to and away from the hustle and bustle of broad street i would recommend this hotel.