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Crowne Plaza, near the NEC Birmingham
Crowne Plaza (Birmingham)
Member Name: julwhite
Crowne Plaza (Birmingham)
Advantages: Very well presented, very professional
Disadvantages: Not the cheapest hotel, but you get what you pay for
This review is of the hotel, Crowne Plaza, at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC). I stayed here for one night in February 2010, and was also able to eat the evening meal and breakfast in the hotel.
The room was quite expensive, but was booked at quite short notice, so it wasn't possible to take advantage of the offers which I've noticed can be taken at this hotel if you're prepared to book a bit further in advance.
There is a lot of car parking in this hotel, including an overflow area, so you are unlikely to have problems parking. Parking is expensive, ten pounds for a day, but if you take a meal in the hotel, then they waive this car parking fee. The car parking ticket can be collected at reception when you're leaving, and the car park seemed secure and well looked after, and full of rather expensive cars!
The reception in the hotel was large and very clean and well organised. There were two members of staff on reception, both very smart and helpful, and both did their job quickly and helpfully. It was certainly a good introduction to the hotel, and the cleanliness in this area certainly seemed to be replicated throughout the hotel.
The room which we were given was on the executive floor, and was of a very large size, with two sofas, small table in the centre, large desk area, and a large amount of floor space. It was certainly a good sized room, and there were three sets of windows, which looked out onto the car park, but which were easy to open to cool the room down if required. In the morning the free newspaper which we had requested was placed outside the door early on, which was much appreciated.
There were a range of additional free items in the room, such as a small bottle of wine when we entered, a small range of biscuits and the usual coffee tray selection. There was a safe, trouser press, iron and so on, and a reasonably well stocked mini bar, although as usual, take care not to lift anything out to examine it, as there are sensors which will automatically charge you for what you've lifted out!
The bathroom wasn't the largest which I've seen, but was of a sufficient size with a bath and shower. A range of toiletries were provided, and a good selection of towels. This area, like all the others, was clean and well presented. As usual, a dressing gown was provided in the cupboard, which you could take if you wished, but it noted that 25 pounds would be charged to your account!
The evening meal in the hotel was partly included in the room rate, so we stayed in and didn't travel out to anywhere else. The service in the restaurant was a little careless, it was hard to attract the attention of the waiter when we needed anything, but this is really the only complaint which I had. The food was of good quality, my salmon was cooked well, and the starter of vegetable soup tasted nice, although they were a little tight on the amount of bread roll which they provided with it. We had a liquier coffee after, and although this wasn't the cheapest meal, it was all of good quality.
The breakfast in the morning was held in the same room as the evening meal. There were lots of attentive staff around, and the selection was wide and impressive. There were a range of items in the cooked breakfast area which you'd expect, sausages, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, hash browns and so on. There were a range of yoghurts and toppings, a range of bread rolls, drinks, a small selection of cheeses and hams and coffee and tea were served quickly and promptly when we sat down. There was also a small pile of free newspapers provided to read during breakfast if required.
As with the check in the previous day, the check out in the morning was just as well organised and despite quite a few people leaving, their staff were easily able to deal with everyone in a prompt and helpful fashion. The bill was correct, although they gave chance to check it, and we were able to leave and exit the car park smoothly.
Overall, this isn't the cheapest hotel stay that I've had, and the room wasn't the cheapest, but the service and professional standards did reflect the extra cost in the room. I'm sure that if anything was required, the staff would have been easily able to help, and would have done so efficiently. If you're not after a budget stay, definitely consider staying at this hotel. Very impressive.
Summary: Would definitely recommend