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Later Check Outs - GREAT!! Sleeping Beauties would love it!
Express by Holiday Inn Hotel (Birmingham)
Member Name: ridgeway27
Express by Holiday Inn Hotel (Birmingham)
Date: 20/02/10, updated on 20/02/10 (17 review reads)
Advantages: later check out with loyalty card, parking, comfortable, location
Disadvantages: low lighting in the room - but as said in the review, very small negative
I stayed here last year when I went out for a friend's birthday, but when it came to leaving at the end of the night - I saw that my car was covered with snow and in the short journey to dropping a friend home I witnessed an accident and nearly got involved with another... As a result - it was decided (for me....!) that I shouldn't risk driving back so late at night, and instead stay over. After making quite a few calls to a few hotels at 3am - luckily this one had availability, and I managed to find it without too many more car related issues (a point to mention is that it is very close to the M6 motorway...)
Check in was ok enough - because I had telephoned, they had held my place on the booking system, and it was the case that I needed to give them my credit card (in case of additional expenditure/as a guarantee) and paid for the room in cash... It cost £55 if I remember correctly, which wasnt so bad considering it was a late booking but they obviously knew I wasnt going to be there too long either...
The lobby was open and well-lit -just a mention about the car park - I'm glad it was big enough because there was so much snow and I was slip-sliding everywhere (especially as I was dressed for a night out with heels and a dress... and not in reasonable snow-type shoes/clothes!)... It was quiet, but I guess at 4am or thereabouts that was to be expected. I was given my key card and off I went to my room.
The room was open enough, spacious and I loved the bathroom - well, I know it sounds crazy, but the loo could have a separate door, so if there were two people staying then you could use the loo, and the shower/sink area is still open and usable... but, you could also just close the door on the entire bathroom and hav it all to yourself - it;s difficult to explain but is a good feature for more than one person in the room, or so I felt!
the decor was nice enough - the room was actually a little dark/not well lit - but having staying in more Holiday Inn's since, I think this is just how they choose to have their rooms.....
I went to sleep, and the bed was comfortable enough and requested a wake-up call in the morning which I got, so tht was great.
One thing that Holiday Inn do offer premium card holder guests is the ability to have a late check out (up until 6pm when I stayed) - I dont know if this depends on what their bookings for the following day look like or they offer it regardless, but this meant that I could sleep properly and shower up (they have 'Dove' shower gel readily available in the shower area and 'Dove' handwash at the sink) and have other bits that you can buy like toothbrush/toothpaste..... I had a friend turn up with toiletries in the morning so I didn't need to worry about this, or find out the prices - so unsure if they are reasonable or not (sorry!)
I also ate lunch, and watched the football..... they have a lounge area with a TV and set the channel to the one we requested, and the menu seemed to be reminiscent of a bar/pub. We ordered our food, which was nice enough I suppose - it was, as I say, like pub food.... prices were around £7 each for the food, and then drinks were on top (I can;t recall the price of the drinks - probably because my friend went back and paid for those separately and I didn't think to ask at the time) - but the staff were pretty relaxed about us sticking around to watch the rest of the match, and just lounge around!
The hotel was pretty quiet though - apart from a couple I didn't see anyone else while we were sat there for almost two hours - so for a quiet break (bearing in mind snowy conditions outside) it was not bad!
All in all, they accommodated me at a ridiculous time in the morning, and the room had the amenities I required considering the stay wasn't planned. Food was available, as was entertainment, and the staff were friendly and accommodating enough. The fact that I had the room for longer than standard guests helped an awful lot given the time I had arrived (I hate checking out later than they allow) but the low lighting was a little bit annoying in the daytime... I prefer having a brighter area - but that is a personal preference, and I was able to go into the bathroom which was very well lit.
Summary: overall - served a purpose, and i would stay again... a £55 not too bad for the night
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