I recently stayed in my second home town of Birmingham. I like Birmingham and I have great memories and friends so it is always nice to return for a visit. Considering I still have Diamond suite certificates that need to be used it made perfect sense to actually book the Hyatt Regency Birmingham for £84 per night. Actually I had initially booked it for £95 per night because they didn’t have any ‘My Elite rate’ available, however a day before I travelled I checked and it was available. I called Hyatt who where more than happy to change and adjust the rate for me.
I arrived very early in the hotel and I knew that I didn’t have much chance of getting a room. I was informed that there were no suites available and I can check in at 3pm. I had requested early check in so I was just asking when the manager came and said they don’t have a room however they can offer me access to the lounge. The front desk staff are excellent and they will do anything for you to be honest, though it depends if you will get a trainee or an experienced member. Once I got into the lounge they came up with a key to a Junior Suite. I always wondered how they managed to move things around so fast and come up with a key. So I actually received my room key at 10.30am. I definitely can’t complain with this.
The Club Lounge:
I haven’t stayed there before the renovations so I don’t have a comparison but I liked the views and the atmosphere of the lounge. It is now a very big space but it works well. I was there during Boxing day and the hotel was not very full so you can enjoy a coffee in relative peace. I had a few friends coming over and it was a great place to relax and meet up.
They serve breakfast in the lounge which is very adequate and you are not missing anything if you don’t have breakfast in the restaurant. The afternoon snacks are nothing impressive than 3 different cold snack options. I believe one was vegetarian, one was fish and the other was meat. I wasn’t really impressed and since I don’t drink I can’t comment if they compliment the free bar. The staff in the Lounge were polite and accommodating and most of the time they just stay in the kitchen and you don’t see them around.
There was a mix up with what suite I should receive and I will write about this in another article just in case you are in the same position. However according to the hotel the room available is the Junior Suite which on the website is called Club Deluxe King.
The suite was spacious comprising of a separate living area with floor to ceiling windows which is very nice as you can have spectacular views. The bedroom is also spacious with enough space and nice views from the windows. Interestingly our room had a distinct smell from an Arabic perfume called Oud. This is a very strong aroma and only used in small doses. I would assume the guest broke the bottle which spilled on the carpet. We were there for two days and the smell didn’t go away. 🙂
My only complaint with regards to the room was room service and the cleaning didn’t happen until 6pmon both days. They come in the evening for the night set up and fresh up but in our case it was the only service.
The bathroom is very spacious with separate areas. They have strong water pressure which is excellent. I don’t think they did any major renovations in the bathroom and you can see this in some places. The bathtub needs a change or better scrubbing around some areas as there is concentrated mould. Also the sink in the bathroom had a problem and even though I informed the staff it was not taken care of for the duration of our stay. Interestingly the shower area didn’t have a door and it can be noisy in the morning if one person is sleeping and one is taking a shower. The sleeping person being me.
I did have breakfast in the main restaurant but I have to admit it was a disappointment and below Hyatt standards. The choice is not much better than the one in the lounge and the staff seemed indifferent. I had a feeling that they were a little bit confused. Guests where asking for cutlery from my table, things where forgotten not only for my table but for others as well. The food I ordered from the hot selection on both days came with issues. I had ordered pancakes the first day which came burnt on the inside and on the second day when I asked for them they informed me I had to pay £4.50 for them. My eggs where supposed to be poached but were rather boiled and hard. Also another thing I found very odd is the orange juice. Usually this level of hotel offer fresh juice or some better quality. Apparently they went for the cheapest watered version of concentrated juice. Actually the Ibis orange juice that comes from the machine is much better than this. No wonder the juice was not touched by many guests. If you are thinking of paying for breakfast I would recommend you opt-in for lounge access as the breakfast there might be continental but it was good. Next time I will not be bothered with breakfast in the main restaurant.
The Hyatt hotel offers an off-site car park for £13,50 per night which is about 5 minutes’ walk away. If you are travelling on a Sunday you can park on the street parking for £2 for two hours. It worked very well for us and it saved us quite a bit of money on the parking especially since we checked out on Sunday and we didn’t need the car to be in the hotel’s car park.
Overall I liked the hotel. I find the reception staff excellent especially Mohammed who was very polite and helpful. They even brought my charger down when I forgot it in the room. Top marks for them. However I think the staff in the housekeeping and restaurant area can be trained a little more to pay attention to detail. The hotel is beautiful with a relaxing atmosphere and in the city centre it is great not only as a business hotel but also as a city hotel.