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: obscuredbykep
Britannia Hotel (Birmingham)
Advantages: Cheap! Central Location.
Disadvantages: Soft Pillows, dirty bathroom.
The other weekend, I had a weekend of awesomeness planned, revolving greatly around my favourite band, Brand New. Some time ago, my friend and I both agreed, that when they next toured in the UK, one night wouldn't be enough for us, and we needed to attend two. So, that's what we did, seeing them at the O2 Academy in Birmingham Friday night, and the HMV Forum in London the next.
Originally, the plan was that I'd have my car on the road, and so we'd drive down, and sleep in the car. However, it is currently sat on my drive, awaiting a new seatbelt before I get it MOT'd. So, trains and Travelodge's it was to be... Unfortunately, since we waited until Tuesday to actually get everything booked, the previous bargain price of the Birmingham Travelodge had lost it's advance fare, and was now expensive. So, it was time for some shopping around...
Doing a load of searching and whatnot on Google, I stumbled upon this, the Britannia Hotel. Located down New Street, Birmingham, and at just £35 per night as the advanced fee - it was a bargain.
== Finding The Hotel ==
Being pretty poor at most sort of planning, I didn't really take much note of exactly where the Hotel was, just that it was somewhere down New Street. So, it actually took us a bit of finding, but that was mainly due to us not knowing Birmingham at all. All I remember now, is it is next to Primark, so that's that.
== The Room ==
We had room 225, located right at the end of the maze-like corridor, on floor two. Opening the door, the room was pretty much how we expected it to be - as basic as humanly possible. Two Beds, sat next to each other, with a tiny set of drawers to their right hand sides. A TV, and a little dressing table, that had the Kettle on. And, 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 made, but I did find the pillows a bit too soft - being used to having a hard pillow under a soft one at home - which provides the support my neck seems to like. I woke up with a really stiff neck, which, I think was due to the bed, but could be something to do with the moshing and whatnot at Brand New, and the dancing at the Club we went to after. Still, the five hours we slept in the beds, were nicer than the next nights 2 hours sleep outside Euston Station in London.
The TV was really basic, an old CRT thing, that had a few different channels, with terrestrial like reception. Clear, but a bit fuzzy. There was the basic 5 channels, along with Sky News, Five US, and I think, Dave, or something that was playing Top Gear anyway. We watched a little bit of TV on the day, before heading to the gig, the highlight from the TV was to do with Michael Jackson's death. There was a woman speaking to two break dancers in the US, and they were going to do a little performance for her. Before they began, she said "we are just having a little technical hitch" - fair enough statement, but followed by, "yes, they are just plugging in the iPod". It made Jam and I laugh for quite a while.
The Dressing Table, had a decent sized mirror above it, and a sturdy-ish chair. It became rickety, after I sat on it a little too hard, and heard a massive crack - it now wobbles. In the drawer was a Hair Dryer. On the top was the Tea and Coffee bits. A basic little kettle, two cups and a teapot. There was, I think 3 tea-bags, 4 things of UHT milk, and a few different sugars and a couple of coffee sachets. The Tea was OK, and Jam didn't complain about the Coffee. A mini-bar would have been a welcome addition to the room.
Our room overlooked the shops, and while the view wasn't anything amazing, the noise didn't travel into the room much, except when the busker playing the Sax was sat opposite - but we both enjoyed listening to him play, so that was cool. The window opens at the top, which lets a good little breeze in, but I still found the room far too hot and humid.
The bathroom was pretty basic too. A bath/shower, toilet and sink. The shower was pretty good, although took a while to find the right medium between scolding hot and freezing cold - finally getting a nice warm. However, there wasn't a flannel, so, I had to use a towel to wash with. I didn't see at first, but Jam found the Shower Gel, which was in the form of two tiny little bottles. It smelt fine, and I used it the next morning. Also for free in the bathroom was two soap bars, some shoe polish, hand towels, two normal towels (which could have been bigger..) and a shower cap. No toothpaste though.
There were also two small glasses next to the sink for drinking water I assume. But the water was so metallic tasting it was vulgar.
Also, in the Bathroom it wasn't cleaned great. There were skidmarks on the toilet bowl, and hairs in the bath, and on the toilet seat. The floor was clean, but there was some dirt and bits on the wall under the sink. If I had been paying more that we were, I would have complained.
== Checking in and Out ==
The reception is located on the ground floor, just in from the doors, in a small, ornate little room. There are two counters, which meant that we didn't have to wait very long to be seen to. Gave them the reservation number, they gave us the key cards and it was as simple as that. You can check in anytime from 2pm, up to around 3am or something. The hotel is open all night, so you can, like we did, go out all night and come back late. Check out is at 11am, which is normal for most hotels I think, and was just a case of handing the key cards back.
== The Hotel - Other ==
Whilst obviously, we only had a short stay, the Hotel has a wide range of different rooms, singles, twins doubles etc. There are conferencing rooms on the second floor which we walked past and saw looked quite large. There was a bar on the Mezzanine floor which looked quite good, and from the posters we saw around the hotel, was well priced too. There is also a restaurant area, I think a breakfast was about a fiver - which is a good price, although we didn't use it.
== Overall ==
All we needed was a cheap place to stay and somewhere to shower after the gig (the sweatiest I have ever been to). So it did good for that. The room was spacious for our needs, and did everything it needed too. However, a mini-bar would have been awesome, as we would have both appreciated another drink when we got back, even though it would have been expensive. The water in the bathroom was disgusting, and I am glad I didn't have to rely on it for drinking, since there was the tea. It's location is brilliant, being right in the middle of Birmingham, surrounded by shops, a short distance from New Street Train Station.
Obviously, the only real downsides were the slightly dirty bathroom, and the soft pillows. Oh, and the lack of toothpaste.
We are looking at a few more of us going to Birmingham again, to visit the Subway City Club which we went to after the gig, and will definitely be staying at this Hotel, mainly owing to its price.
Summary: Rule Britannia!
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