Newest Review: ... to the right of the room, a door to the bathroom. The room was clean, and smelt fresh, which is always a good thing. The beds were nicely... more
Britannia Hotel (Birmingham)
Member Name: i_am_joy
Britannia Hotel (Birmingham)
Advantages: Comfortable and well decorated rooms, gorgeous breakfast, reasonably priced food
Disadvantages: The ramp leading to reception, no parking available
The location of Britannia Birmingham is ideal, it's slap bang in the City Centre and situated on New Street which is perfect for shopping and has a nice selection of pubs and places to get a bite to eat. The rest of Birmingham City Centre is easy to get to from the hotel and I found navigating around Birmingham very simple on foot. Much of this area is now pedestrianised, apart from buses and taxis, so walking around Town is much nicer than it used to be some years ago when pollution must have been on a par with Beijing! They even have flowers on the streets in Birmingham Centre now, which was a surprise as the last time I spent any time in the City was almost 20 years ago and it was an awful drab grey place then.
I was not terribly impressed with the reception area at all, Britannia Birmingham boasts full disabled access but the first thing I saw when I walked in was a very steep ramp leading to reception. As a disabled person myself I think this is completely unacceptable, here they have catered for 'your average' wheelchair user but unfortunately seem to have paid no more than lip service to those of us with lesser mobility problems.
When I finally puffed and wheezed my way to reception I was greeted by a beautifully groomed receptionist who was cheerful and sympathetic to the fact that the ramp had not done my immediate health much good. She quickly and efficiently arranged for our bags to be taken to our room and offered me use of one of the hotel wheelchairs, which I declined as once I was in the room I was planning on doing nothing more than relaxing for a few hours before we went out for dinner.
I held my breath a little as my sister opened the door to our room as I have read a few reviews on Britannia Hotels, including this one in Birmingham, and was dismayed to find that a lot of people find the rooms dingy and not terribly pleasant. I had a lovely surprise though when I walked through to a spacious, light and beautifully decorated room which was tastefully furnished with an en-suite bathroom. The room was clean and smelled fresh, the carpet was spotless and so were the rest of the furniture and dressings in the room including the window sills which I find often get overlooked in hotel cleanliness.
We were in a Superior twin room which had all the facilities we would need to make this a real home from home for the two nights we were planning to stay. The two single beds were comfortable with crisp, clean linen and were a delight to sleep in. I like the fact that the beds had been placed at angles from one another because it gave more of an impression of privacy. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister dearly but do not particularly want to wake up looking at her so it was a definite advantage for me that Britannia Birmingham have veered away from the traditional side-by-side layout in twin rooms.
Everything in the room was well laid out and maximised the floor space in the room, I particularly liked the stylish dressing table and stool in our room which was perfect for all the lotions, smellies and bottles of medication that my sister and I bought along with us. The kettle didn't work, but a quick call down to reception led to it being replaced within ten minutes and the man who bought it up to our room also bought us more coffee, tea bags and sugar by way of an apology. A copy of that days Daily Mail was on each of our bedside cabinets, along with details of how to set up a wake-up call and general information about the hotel.
Our en-suite bathroom was lovely. Decorated in neutral colours, the bathroom was bright and beautifully maintained and cleaned to the highest standard. There is a shower over the bath, which was a nuisance as I cannot step into the bath so would have much preferred a separate shower cubicle but again Britannia Birmingham have obviously done this to maximise the space in the small bathroom. Hot water is instant and plentiful and the small selection of toiletries provided were good quality and came in very useful as I had forgotten to pack my soap and shampoo.
After a good nights sleep we headed for Britannia Birminghams restaurant, Bentley's, for breakfast. Buffet style, the breakfast food tables contained anything you would want to eat in the morning to set yourself up for a day sightseeing in Englands second City. Hot and cold foods were kept separate and I was impressed at how well the cooking and serving staff kept the hot food hot and the cold food at the correct temperature. During our stay I think I sampled the majority of breakfast items and found them all to be wonderfully cooked and of excellent quality; cereals were all branded, the bread rolls were fresh and doughy and all the meat products were delicious and cooked to perfection. The breakfast buffet costs £10.50 per person and in my opinion is worth every penny, although I could have chosen to eat from the reasonably priced breakfast menu where bacon sandwiches, scrambled egg on toast and other such dishes are available.
Unfortunately I didn't get to eat in Bentley's in the evening, but I did poke my head through on the way to the in-house bar and it looked like a lovely place to eat with a large open plan kitchen and intimate lighting. A 2 course evening meal costs just £9.95 and the menu had a wide selection of meals including traditional steak dishes and more exotic sounding fish and vegetarian options.
I was impressed with the bar which catered for visitors of all ages, unlike a London hotel I stayed in recently when myself and my three brothers (all of us pensioners) walked through the door to the bar and all the young things drinking in there literally went silent to look at us! Not so at Britannia Birmingham, a lovely selection of people were in there from young couples who obviously had popped in for a drink after work to larger family parties ranging in age from young adults to pensioners even older than my sister and I! The seating was comfortable with drinks and bar snacks being reasonably priced, there was a surprising amount of real ales available as well as any other drink you could expect to find in a pub.
All in all I was very happy with our treatment while staying at Britannia Birmingham. All members of staff I encountered were pleasant and extremely helpful, any problems I reported were quickly sorted out and certain staff members seemed to bend over backwards to give a good impression of their hotel. Our Superior twin room cost £62 per night, which I think was very good value indeed for such a lovely and relaxing stay.
If you would like to book a room or discuss specific arrangements with Britannia then call 0871 222 0093. The hotel address is Britannia Birmingham, New Street, Birmingham, B2 4RX.
Summary: An ideal hotel for a short stay in Birmingham.
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