Birmingham – Birmingham Snow Hill Holiday Inn Express

One measure of just how much I like a hotel is how disappointed I am to leave it. This hotel in Birmingham, near Snow Hill railway station (and about a ten minute walk from Birmingham New Street), is one that I didn’t much want to leave at all, the professionalism of the management is evident across the building, the facilities and the staff engagement. This is, as far as I’m concerned, a glorious example of how to run a hotel and I have no idea who the general manager is, but he or she certainly seems to know what they’re doing. I rarely have reason to write that in the 100s of hotel posts I’ve made on this blog.

The view from my room, which was on the top floor and at the end of a corridor, my favourite location for a room. I arrived late at night and phoned the hotel in advance to check that they wouldn’t give my room away, but they reassuringly seemed surprised that I ever thought they would. Check-in was efficient and I felt like I was given a proper welcome, with lots of information offered about the hotel.

This is the view from the other side of the hotel, giving a scale of the height of the building.

The room, which was clean, comfortable and had a desk (a concept seemingly being ignored by some hotels now). The air conditioning worked and I was able to have the room nicely chilled for my three night stay. The windows don’t open, but I can forgive that on a building of this height and with functioning air conditioning. The room was spotlessly clean and there were no noise issues internally or externally. The hotel doesn’t seem to have cut corners during the construction of their building and although I knew that the hotel was busy, it didn’t feel like that in the room which was beautifully quiet.

The welcome drink and there was a choice of around five different beers, this was perfectly acceptable to me.

The breakfast selection, which was operating as it did pre-Covid, with individuals being able to take what they wanted themselves without staff involvement.

The pastries. The quality of these was OK, although nothing more than that, although I suspect that the hotel might be tied into buying these from IHG for brand consistency.

A general view of the breakfast room, which the reception desk told me got busy from 08:00 onwards, so I beat that by going down at 07:00 every morning. The coffee actually tasted of coffee and there were a range of different teas as well.

For what is a hotel charging £50 me per night including breakfast, I’d say that the quality offered here is really good. Perhaps there could have been a greater choice of hot food items, but there were eggs, bacon, sausage and beans, which I thought was sufficient. No-one ever checked my room number at breakfast, but there were plenty of staff members about clearing down tables on a regular basis. Everything felt clean, organised and well managed.

The reception desk staff were impeccably polite and helpful, saying hello whenever guests passed them. It’s a nice touch as this is a large hotel and it adds a level of personal interaction to proceedings. Rooms are also being cleaned every day, they’re not taking shortcuts there as some hotel chains seem to be.

I can’t really find any fault with this hotel. I did have one empty soap dispenser, but since there were two, that was hardly a major fault. That this is only negative that I can think of shows just how perfectly things ran for me. All very lovely.