Newest Review: ... desk quickly checked us in. She ran through the hotel's numerous facilities, including an on-site gym. However, we weren't going to mak... more
A great hotel in Birmingham
The Copthorne Hotel (Birmingham)
Member Name: steedandpeel
The Copthorne Hotel (Birmingham)
Advantages: Fantastic staff, nice, spacious rooms, glamorous bathrooms, price, breakfast and location
Disadvantages: The outside is a bit ugly
My colleague and I stayed in this hotel two Saturdays before Christmas in 2007 and we thought it was a lovely place to stay. Our work Christmas party was at the International Convention Centre (ICC) which is a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Our company had negotiated a special 'discount' rate for staff at the Hyatt Hotel, next to the ICC of £120 for a double room. We thought we could do better!
I'm not sure how she booked it, but my colleague managed to get us a twin-bed room including breakfast for £80 at the Copthorne. Considering we only booked a month in advance, and it was two Saturdays before Christmas, we thought this was a great price for a four star hotel in Birmingham city centre. Considerably cheaper than the discounted Hyatt!
We managed to get train tickets from Bristol at around £20 return each - it probably would have been cheaper to drive in terms of petrol and parking, as there is on-site parking, although at an additional fee. However, we were planning a lot of drinking, so we didn't fancy driving home with a hangover, or accidentally over the limit. Also, driving round Birmingham is not something I relish doing!!! We arrived at Birmingham New Street, and not knowing the city well, and because it was raining, we took a taxi to the hotel. It took about 5 minutes, and cost about £5, which we thought was reasonable.
The front of the hotel is not particularly attractive; a victim of Birmingham's road building past, there are lots of concrete roads and ugly buildings nearby. The hotel itself is a pretty nondescript 1980s style box, clad in black and red. However, after a doorman had helped us and our luggage out of the taxi, we entered into a rather swish hotel foyer. An extremely smart and helpful lady at the front desk quickly checked us in. She ran through the hotel's numerous facilities, including an on-site gym. However, we weren't going to make use of these and were eager to get to our room - we had timed our train perfectly, so we could watch Strictly Come Dancing in the hotel whilst we were getting ready!
We took the lift up to our room, as although it was only on the first floor, we had bought a selection of wardrobe options, so our bags were pretty heavy. The room itself was very spacious, with a dressing table area, a small sofa area and two single beds, which were quite far apart - great if you're not that keen on getting up close and personal with your room mate! Getting our priorities sorted, we simultaneously switched on the kettle and the telly and proceeded to watch Strictly whilst enjoying a complementary cuppa!
During the introduction of the dances in Strictly, we took it in turns to run into the bathroom to put on our make up. I must say, that the bathroom was incredibly glamorous, all black marble and spotlighting that emphasised the shine. The lighting was excellent for putting on your slap. There was a good selection of toiletries (although not a premium brand), which we pocketed (of course). There were plentiful fluffy white towels and real flannels for our use.
The hotel was well appointed with power plugs - it allowed us both to run our hair straighteners, whilst still with a good view of the telly! I should say, that by this point, we had cracked open the vino (our own, not from the mini-bar!) and were making use of the glasses provided.
By the time Strictly had finished, we were primped and preened and wearing ridiculously high heels, ready to party! We took the lift down to reception (due to the heels this time) to enquire about directions to the ICC, as the maps we had made no sense. The same helpful lady directed us through the hotel bar to the rear exit which led directly onto the pedestrianised Centenary Square where the ICC was at the opposite end. Although I'm not reviewing Birmingham as a city, I should say we both loved the atmosphere of the square and the amazing Christmas decorations and ice rink - the city had certainly gone all out for Christmas, and we were both impressed - so much better than the measly decorations the Bristolian Burghers had managed to scrape together. I would also add, that this was a much more attractive side of the hotel.
We had a lovely night at the ICC, I won a massive hamper in the raffle, and much merriment was had. So we found ourselves tottering back across Centenary Square at about 1 o'clock carrying this huge hamper between us. We discovered that the hotel's rear entrance was closed, so we had to walk down some precarious concrete stairs (not good with the heels, the hamper and the boozing) to get to the hotel's main entrance. The night receptionist engaged in a bit of friendly banter with us whilst we waited for the lift (again!) which was fun. We finally made it up to the room, where we partook in a few more glasses of wine before crashing out in an alcohol-assisted slumber (make up still on - we were far too merry to make use of the toiletries and flannels this time)!
Before we went to sleep, we opened the triple glazed windows to let some air in - we had stupidly left the heating full blast before going out. I must admit, i have absolutely no idea what the view was from the room - we didn't open the curtains during the time we were sober, and when we opened the window, we were far too drunk to look! However, as our room was above the reception, I would imaging it would be of roads and ugly buildings - Centenary Square was located at the opposite side of the hotel, which would have been a nice view.
The next morning, we got up early to go for an early breakfast before getting our train. I had a shower, which was excellent and gave me an opportunity to enjoy the glamorous bathroom again. We had breakfast at 8 o'clock. We were surprised to find that a) neither of us was too hung-over and b) we were the first people to get down there. Breakfast was served in one of the hotel bars. Breakfast was great - a huge choice of serve-yourself continental, cereal, or essential after a long nights drinking fry-up. We opted for the fry-up of course! A polite waiter brought us toast and tea and coffee. It was much appreciated. Towards the end of our meal, a few more people staggered in, all looking much more the worse-for-ware than us - there must have been a lot of partying going on the night before!
The same helpful lady who had dealt with us before booked us a taxi at 9.30 to take us to New Street. She asked us how our party had been, which was great that she remembered! We went to get our bags (and the hamper), quickly checked out (just narrowly beating a party of about 20 American tourists to the desk thankfully), and almost immediately our taxi arrived.
As an aside, we bumped into another colleague of ours at New Street Station, who had taken up the offer to stay in the Hyatt. He said that his room was pokey and the shower was awful - either too hot or too cold. We were glad we didn't stay there!
So although, I was in Birmingham to party, I was very pleased by the choice of hotel. It was clean, tidy, spacious, with friendly staff and a much appreciated breakfast. Considering the date we stayed, the price was excellent...and don't forget the glamorous bathroom! Highly recommended, I would stay there again.
Summary: Definitely worth considering if you're staying in Brum
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