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Ideal and cost-effective place to stay for a business or shopping visit to central Birmingham. Well-lit secure underground car parking with direct lift into lobby. This is a plus when street parking is on a meter and in generally short supply. Usual modern and practical rooms. No restaurant on site but within a short walk of Broad Street with numerous pubs clubs and restaurants. Asian restaurants are excellent. Tyr Jimmy Spice's buffet off Broad Street - all you can eat for £9.99. Standard fare at the continental breakfast included in the price but the dining area was not particularly cosy - particularly on the busy day we stayed. A 5 minute walk brings you to the new Bullring with more shops than you could visit in a day. The new Selfridges is well worth a visit if only for its architecture - with the interior as interesting and surprising as the space-age exterior. Room rate seemed a bit high at £85 but we stayed on a week-day and during a busy conference period. Well worth a return visit with the family - hopefully when the rate is a bit more realistic.
We just had our second Centerparcs mid-week break in Heijderbos in Holland. Last year we went to De Kempervennen, also in Holland, which was definately a better location with a slightly better aquadome. Cycling to local towns was easy and safe even for my 9 year old who learned to cycle during our stay. Facilities are good as they are at all the sites and the on site supermarket is excellent even if it does close too early for my liking. On-site restaurants are expensive for what they offer. Helpfully, Holland has some English TV with subtitles which made evening entertainment easier for my kids who tend to be hypnotised by the TV even if they can't understand whats being said. Unfortunately during our stay our accommodation was plagued by mosquitos which put us off re-visiting this location. However, we're all keen to do Centreparcs in Holland again because of the mix of activities, independence and easy access to the countryside.
I like Novotel. Uncompromisingly modern and unpretentious. If you look out for their regular special offers they can be surprisingly good value. We used the novotel in Heathrow for the second year in a row (our third stay) as a stopping off point in a driving holiday in Europe. I don't find it offers value when we travel out of the airport because of the lack of parking packages and its position outside the free bus system that runs into Heathrow. Although beginning to show its age it remains well maintained and modern. At £70 for 2 adults and 2 kids including an excellent buffet breakfast it was good value. Staff are efficient and attentive. Rooms are bright and modern although less grand that the 4 stars in the area. The pool is very small and the fitness room is very basic. The bar area is a pleasant atrium and the prices reasonable. Breakfast was of the usually good standard. Parking in a secure compound opposite the hotel is convenient.
Usual Travelodge room - you could be anywhere. A 3 storey building with a recent extension suggesting its well located and popular. Situated near cinemas and a choice of restaurants but the Little Chef on the premises is very convenient - especially for breakfast. Parking felt a bit unsafe - probably because the dedicated section was full and we had to use the "overflow" which was shared with fast food restaurants etc. The last thing you need on a motoring holiday is to lose your motor before you set off!! However we had no problems. Reasonably near the Channel Tunnel terminal. Ideal for an early morning start. A bit expensive (£60) when compared with nearby alternatives like Travel Inn (£45) which are also closer to the Tunnel terminal.
I'm not sure how to write a review about Heathrow. It would be like trying to write a review about a small city. However, one tip for travellers is the availability of free London Transport into the airport from the main Bath Road (Meridien, Rennaisance, Marriott hotels etc). In the past I've been encouraged to use the Heathrow Hopper at an exorbitant £3 per trip. London busses are not only more frequent but are FREE (I like that word). Its also better than using taxis since some of the taxi drivers leave a lot to be desired - try asking them to take you the short distance back to your hotel car park on the return trip! Well done London Transport.
The weekend rate with parking offers exceptional value for money. It?s a pity (for people like me travelling with two kids) that they seem to have reduced the maximum occupancy to 2 adults and a child recently. The location could hardly be better. Plane spotters will love the proximity of the main runway and the Heathrow visitor centre is right next door. For those like me who begrudge paying £3 each way for the Heathrow Hopper the main London Transport route is immediately outside and, since the hotel is within the Heathrow Free Transport Zone, you can get to the Airport bus terminal every few minutes - free. The rooms are standard international quality and restaurants expectedly pricey (McDonalds is opposite). One big drawback - especially if making comparisons with nearby hotels is that there is no pool.