I have to say, I don't leave reviews. I'm one of those British travelers that politely smiles and mumbles "thank you thank you" as I walk away promising myself I won't visit again. I want to leave a fair explanation and hopefully constructive.
I have traveled a lot. I hold platinum air miles and during a spell in the US I flew over 150,000 miles in a year. Translation ? Lots of hotels. I'm seasoned but not high maintenance.
I was attracted to the Indigo simply because of two factors, the superb photography really lured me into my comfort zone - minimal clean functional hotel environments have always been my "thing". And Marco Pierre White's restaurant... I bundled up the photography with the allure of MPW and thought, its got to be a winner.
Hmm. When I got there, taxi pulled up, nobody to help me inside with my bags. Struggled into the lobby and a singular employee behind the counter - welcomed me swiftly and within seconds I was off to my room.
I wasn't sure what I expected from the room but it really was disappointing. I don't know how to describe this but the room on first glance looked clean modern and stylish just like the picture... But, on closer inspection it was as if some corporate team had come in to the design stages with clipboards and cut each design choice down to the category that was acceptable rather than sumptuous. Bedding, linens, paintwork, curtains... it all felt like like it was perfectly designed for the upwardly mobile business traveler hoping that they wouldn't notice the slashes in quality of materials, but for me it fell far short.
Putting the disappointment of the room aside, I went for dinner. The views are really the clincher here, the restaurant decor is a monochromatic neutral platform allowing wall to wall glass to engage the diner with views of Birmingham City and surrounding areas that are impressive. I have to say, my waiter was one of those guys who had been trained with the "hi guys" formula of American style waitering over any kind of fine dining training. I asked for the cocktail menu from my waiter, when it didn't arrive, I just waited and caught the next waiter after about ten minutes. I ordered a dry martini with olives and when I asked for the choices in vodka, she said I'll be right back... 5 minutes later, she came back with the menu and said "Which drink did you want ?" Knowing we were on a slippery slope I cancelled and ordered a diet coke.
Food okay. multiple waiters asking me if I liked my main course - yes it's good, yes it's good. And it was... except I can't remember what it was...
At breakfast the next morning, this really clinched it. I asked what was in the omelette. "It's fresh mackerel Sir" ! Done.
The omelette showed up and well, it had been incorrectly cooked plain. I asked my waitress for help... "so you want more mackerel in it ?"... "No - I just want the mackerel omelette, this has none in it."
She said she would see what she would do. She came back with the same omelette (reheated) with mackerel flakes dropped on top, She apologised profusely.
I had to say to her, i would prefer that the omelette be cooked again fresh with the ingredients in it. I heard the conversation between the waitress and the chef and the chef was incredibly vocal about her disdain.
In general, the breakfast experience sealed the deal. for £165 per night, I don't expect to see plastic flora butters thrown on a saucer as the "butter" option. Staff were so newly trained, they were floundering and all in all it didn't live up to a premium experience. I'm absolutely baffled by the 5 star reviews of service and can't help wondering where they have been staying to rate such reviews.
I could go on, but want to end on a positive. Visually it looks appealing but some corporate hotel body has gone through all fantastic potential and slashed any luxury from the picture leaving an image of modernism closer to IKEA. Marco Pierre White rescue your name....
The whole thing smacks of corporate bodies trying to cash in on the words "boutique" but missing the point on every level.
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