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Hotels in Birmingham in general
Member Name: gibbon
Hotels in Birmingham in general
Date: 17/08/01, updated on 17/08/01 (1570 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, Clean
Disadvantages: Too quiet
I have been researching in glamorous Birmingham for the last month or so. But as a PhD student my budget for accommodation is limited. I personally have an aversion to B&Bs and prefer 4 star hotels (don’t we all) but sadly the Economic and Social Research Council don’t run to such luxury. Cheap accommodation is hard to come by but I recommend considering the University of Birmingham’s self catering accommodation. It is university accommodation and therefore only available during the summer vacation (June to September).
The University of Birmingham rents out 2 of their self-catering blocks of flats during summer. I stayed at the Beeches which is about 10 minutes walk from Five Ways station if you are travelling by train. Trains to Birmingham New Street are fairly regular, though strangely not between 8.40 and 10.10, and it’s about 10 minutes away. By car it’s in Elvetham Road, off Wheeley’s Road, Lee Bank Middleway, A4540. It’s near Edgbaston and located down a nice leafy street, though I’m sure the local residents don’t like having a student complex there! There are about 50 flats in the complex. There is a large car park if you are driving.
Each flat has 5 bedrooms, a kitchen/ dining room, a shower room and toilet. The rooms are of a reasonable size. In fact all student rooms I have stayed in seem to be exactly the same size. Maybe there is an architectural standard which determines how much space a student should be allowed. Anyway, they have a single bed, wardrobe, desk and shelves. The bed was fairly comfy and they provide bed linen. However, it is a single bed because students are probably the least sexually active group within society! The wardrobe doesn’t have any hangers so you need to bring your own. Each room has a phone, though you can’t actually dial out! The kitchen is fairly standard and comes provided with crockery, cutlery and so on. There is a gas
cooker and a fridge freezer but no microwave. There is a Tesco’s about 15 minutes walk away which is very convenient. Apparently there is a laundry on site though I didn’t use it. You also allowed to use the university sport’s facilities, the Barber Institute of Fine Art and the Botanical Gardens. Sadly I didn’t have time to do any of this!
If you are a student of the University of Birmingham then the costs will be less as they don’t charge you VAT. Otherwise:
£15 per night (this includes bed linen and cleaning)
£58 per week (without bed linen)
There are some other price scales but you would need to ring and ask.
There is some information on the website (www.birmingham.ac.uk) and the phone number for the office is 0121 440 6265. The official office hours are 2.30pm to 4.30pm. You are meant to complete a booking form in advance but in actuality this wasn’t a problem. They also only accept cash or cheque.
If you are looking for budget accommodation during the summer it’s well worth considering staying here. The flats are fairly new, very clean and definite value for money. The only thing I didn’t like was how quiet it was! There were some other people around but they were in different flats. If you are on your own I would bring a radio with you. I personally like to have a reasonable amount of background noise and find going to stay at my friend’s farm vaguely scary as it is so quiet! I guess it would be a good option of you are travelling with a group of friends. Though except for going to see the cricket I’m not exactly sure how many tourists Birmingham gets! I would stay here again but as I still have a few months to go I have decided to rent a room in a house, sharing with professional rugby players! Should be interesting….