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Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC
Ranked #45 of 118 Hotels in Birmingham
Reviewed 14 April 2012

We booked this for a show at the NEC for myself, my husband and 12 year old son. I had reserved a room with 2 double beds and a lake view about 7 months previously but received a call while we were en-route from the hotel to apologise that they were overbooked and they could only offer us a smaller version of the room we had booked but were giving us a discount.
As we were only staying one night that wasn't a problem but in my experience it is unusual to be told about problems before actually turning up to check in.
We called when we arrived at the station and were lucky that the driver wasn't out on another job so were collected from the station.
When we did check in we were dealt with really efficiently and given a really nice welcome. It was great as well that notes of their call about the room were on their system and the discount had already been recorded as, often, when you turn up to check-in, if there was any change it has often not been recorded and you have to go through the whole thing again.
We were pleasantly surprised with the room. Although it wasn't overly spacious it was absolutely fine complete with 2 double beds and had everything we needed. As our 12 year old had brought his laptop we did purchase wi-fi (£16 for 24 hours) but we have only stayed in a handful of hotels that do offer free wi-fi - a nice extra but still cheaper than what we've been charged elsewhere.
We decided to eat in the bar and the service and food were fabulous. Obviously prices were higher than the local restaurants - we did consider the local Wetherspoons (there are 2 in the NEC complex both happy to accept children) but pretty much in line with the prices in restaurants in the South East. The food was really good and my husband hasn't stopped raving about the curry he had since he ate it! He even compared it favourably to Brick Lane in London - the ultimate accolade!
The beds are really comfy - it normally takes me 2 or 3 nights to start to get a good night's sleep when staying in a hotel but no problem here. The rooms must also be quite well soundproofed as our room was close to the lift and I did worry we would get a lot of noise from passing guests on their way back to bed but this was unfounded.
Breakfast was included in our rate and we went down about 10am Saturday morning.Having seen some other reviews I'm pleased to say there was plenty of everything available and again the food and level of service we fabulous.
This is our first hotel stay outside of London in the UK for a few years. We normally stay in 4 star hotels but obviously the costs are so much higher! Even with our meal and the broadband it was less than 1/2 the price of a standard stay in London so we are delighted and would definitely stay here again for an NEC event.
Luckily the weather was also good and the walk around the lake back to the station was really pleasant.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank laroche12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClareBroadhurst, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2012

Dear Guest

Many Thanks for your review we are delighted that you had a positive guest experience with us. We do out utmost to ensure we are meeting our mission to make great hotels that guests love.

We recently did have an overbooking on room types but we do where possible try to contact our guest prior to inform them of such changes. I will pass your compliments on to the reservation manager on how well you found the communication.

Compliments will be passed on to the management team and I will ensure the bar team and head chef get the feedback on the great service and fabulous food your received. I am delighted you will definitely return.

We will be looking forward to seeing you again at the hotel.

Kind Regards

Clare

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1,417 - 1,421 of 1,739 reviews

Reviewed 14 April 2012

booked our one night stay through travel bag and got a good rate when we arrived at the hotel we where told check-in was at 2pm and we where early but they would have a room ready in 30 mins so we waited the returned to reception and the gentle man as if we had a credit card when i said no we where told they need one for charging things to our room and couldnt take a debit card as it takes 2 weeks to go back on card because they wanted to take £50 i said no i will pay cash for anything we have then was told there was a £10 carpark charge so i payed this and we went to our room the bedroom was amazing very modern nice large tv very comfortable bed where where visting the nec so went to the show (gadget show live) on return to the hotel we decide we would eat in the bar area (after seeing the main restuarant menu very very expensive then we saw the bar menu and was shocked to find the where charging £15 for a cheese burger so we looked online and found a weatherspoon pub nearby and eat there for half the price we then went back to the bedroom and had a very good nights sleep and at just after 9pm went to breakfast and was greeted by a lovely young woman who got pots of tea and explained the buffet breakfast we both had cereal first then went to get a cooked break fast there was a couple of people in front of us and someone waiting for bacon the young woman came out with it and asked what else did we all want the buffet was half empty so we said everything and i said we need some plates and there plate warmer was empty so she arrived back with plate and when i picked the plate up the where stone cold so we the got our food after having to wait again for food when returning to our seat and began to eat only to find the hash browns and sausages where cold so we eat what we could and decided to have toast and pastries instead when over to that area of the buffet and the was 3 bits of bread when we asked for pastries we where told they didnt have any and then returned with two cold crossiants so all in all a disorganized breakfast that let down what otherwise is a lovely hotel

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Neil E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClareBroadhurst, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2012

Dear Guest

Many Thanks for your review we are delighted at receiving such feedback of us being a fantastic hotel.

With regards to the breakfast I assure you the restaurant manager will be made aware of this. It is concerning to hear how slow the replenishment of food was and the cold items, as this is not how we normally operate.

Overall though I am glad you found the facilities and service to you liking and I hope that you do use us again when visiting the NEC area.

Kind Regards

Clare

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Reviewed 12 April 2012

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza for one night before an exhibition at the NEC. We had prepaid online months in advance, and had even put in a cheeky little request for a lake view room. Upon arrival, we noticed how nice the hotel looked from the lake directly opposite, and this continued into reception, where after a short wait we were greeted and efficently checked in. The atmosphere in tthe public areas of the hotel is certainly business-like: many suits and ties around.

We were in room 309, a small twin room with all the typical facilities of a hotel room. We had a view of...the car parks. The air-con was rather noisy, although bearable for one night. There was also a considerable amount of dust covering the room.

There was a wide range of complimentary refeshments, but that was where the typical food offering stopped. Because this is a rather isolated hotel (many food outlets in the NEC close at around 4-5pm) it gives them an excuse to hike both the in-room and bar prices up big-time. £6.30 for a cake and ice cream anybody? £2.50 for a 500ml bottle of water? And, of course, for your convenience they have emptied the mini-bar, meaning a longer wait for something that could have simply been provided in the room.

We weren't happy with this, so we took the 20 minute foot and shuttle journey to the Airport, visited some (much, much cheaper) retail outlets, and returned to our room with a full cold supper for two for under £15! We had also noticed an ice machine on our floor, and a neatly placed ice bucket which was filled many times during the evening. Very useful if you bring your own drinks!

It dawned on us, at about 6pm, that the only things you could really do at the hotel were eating or staying in your room. There is no pool, and there aren't really any places in the hotel or nearby that you can simply relax in. An evening in the room was therefore on the cards.

The next morning, we ventured down for breakfast to find a very large and varied selection of typical items, eggs, bacon, pastries, juices etc. A conveyor belt toaster was present (grrr) but apart from that, breakfast was very good. We were only offered tea or coffee by our server, but after that we were not approached by anyone, not even to ask how our breakfast was.

Overall, an average experience, but unless you have work to do, too much money to spend or have a late show at the LG Arena, you might be spending a lot of time in your room.

Room Tip: Always ask for a lake view room, you might not get one, but it never hurts to try!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank adtrainz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClareBroadhurst, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2012

Dear Guest

Many Thanks for your review your feedback is very important to us.

I am concerned that you found our hotel average - but I hope by using your feedback we can improve your thoughts the next time you stay with us.

I am delighted your overall first impression was positive and personally pleased that you found my front office team very efficient on check in.

The NEC area can feel quite isolated with regards to a leisure experience as there are no retail outlets or restaurants within the vicinity. However we do our best to provide a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere in our restaurant, lounge and bar areas. We are very exited that there are plans in the pipeline to build a cinema, casino and retail outlet with the NEC complex over the next coming years which will provide more opportunities for guests to get out and about.

We do not use this to increase our prices in bar and restaurant, they are very competitive with four star hotels and the Crowne Plaza brand.

I will pass your compliments onto the head chef about your breakfast and ensure a little more training happens with regards to the service and check backs.

Look forward to welcoming back.

Many Thanks

Clare

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Reviewed 10 April 2012

It was a simple stay at the Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC but quite nice. We were flying from Birmingham airport so opted to book a couple of rooms here to ensure that we were at the airport nice and early.

The rooms are fine if a little tired. The hotel itself is nice although I did expect a hotel of this level to have a pool but it doesn't!

We used the complimentary shuttle to get a train to Birmingham International station so that we could eat in the city - although the hotel is at the NEC within a 3 minute walk of the LG Arena, it was nice that we could get into the city for food.

On the way back we could have taken the shuttle but instead opted to walk through the NEC to the hotel - it was a 10-15 minute walk at most and quite pleasant. We didn't eat in the hotel as breakfast didn't start until after we had to be at the airport but it's a pleasant, modern hotel. If you were attending an event at the NEC or LG Arena then this would be perfect.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank earltubthumper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClareBroadhurst, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2012

Dear Guest

Many Thanks for your review

I am delighted that we met your needs and expectations during your stay with us.

Our hotel is ideally situated next to the NEC Train Station and Airport. Our airport shuttle is available complimentary between the hours of 6am and 10pm at night to help guests to and from the hotel.

Your compliments will be passed onto the management team and I do hope you use us again when you fly from Birmingham.

Kind Regards

Clare

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Reviewed 10 April 2012

I'm a loyalty card holder for Holiday Inn and so it's unusual for me to rate one of their group hotels so lowly. The main reason is that my family and I booked the hotel, via the Holiday Inn website, as a park & stay package before going on to Birmingham Airport for our flight. The web site indicates that a complementary airport shuttle is available on request, which it was for our trip to the airport despite being told the night before we needed to book (and pay for) a taxi. We had to pay £1 for the shuttle to cover the cost of the drop-off car park at the airport, otherwise this was fine.

However, the driver informed us that the shuttle doesn't operate after 9:30pm and that as our flight was due to land at 11:30pm we would have to get a taxi back to the hotel. He gave us the number of their recommended taxi firm and although I wasn't happy that the 'complementary' shuttle wasn't available I wasn't about to let it spoil our trip before we'd even flown.

In reality, by the time we'd got our bags etc after a 5 and 3/4 hour flight it was almost half past midnight, we were tired and we couldn't be bothered to order and wait for a private hire cab and instead tried to get into one of the waiting black cabs. The drivers wouldn't take us. It was too short a trip for them (about 2 miles) and they would lose their place in the taxi rank queue for too little revenue.

This was the final straw and we decided the 3 hour drive home wasn't that appealing anyway, so decided to leave the car another night and checked in to the Ibis Hotel which is opposite the terminal exit. Refreshed after a good night sleep in a very basic but quiet and comfortable room we tried to call the Crown Plaza shuttle the next morning to take us to collect the car in the hotel car park. No joy. We were told that the driver had gone home sick. Only when I prompted them with the question what were we to do to collect our car did they offer to order a cab for us. This came within 15 minutes and cost £6 to take us to the hotel to collect the car. Not a great deal but not a complementary shuttle either...

As such, my conclusion is that the Crown Plaza is set up more to serve the NEC than the airport, so stay somewhere else if you're looking for park and stay at Birmingham. The Ibis was nice and very convenient and cheaper too. The Crown Plaza rooms were very noisy (lift mechanism and generators on the roof of the kitchens below our window) and there was a large rat running backwards and forwards across the patio whilst we ate breakfast.

I'm not going to change my view on Holiday Inn - normally you know what to expect and this was a one off... But don't use it as an airport hotel - it isn't.


So, we're stood in the rain at

Room Tip: Don't expect an airport shuttle if you're flying before 6am or after 9.30pm
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Romablade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClareBroadhurst, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2012

Dear Guest

Firstly may I thankyou for spending the time to write this review.

As a priority club member we do value your loyalty to our hotel chain.

I am concerned about your thoughts on our shuttle service. Our website clearly states that we do operate a complimentary shuttle service to the Airport and Birmingham International station, between the hours of 6am and 10pm. We do not operate a 24hr service, unfortunately it looks like your flight times were outside these hours. On these occasions outside these operating hours we do recommend guests do make their own travel arrangements. Our shuttle bus is operational always between these hours, unless staff sickness occurs for which we cannot prepare for.

Many Thanks for your review

Kind Regards

Clare

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC

Address: Pendigo Way | National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham B40 1PS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Business Hotel in Birmingham
#20 Luxury Hotel in Birmingham
#33 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range: ₹ 6,052 - ₹ 29,103 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC 4*
Number of rooms: 242
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of England the Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC offers a unique contemporary style and simple elegance on the doorstep of the NEC and within close proximity of Birmingham International Airport. Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC offers a luxurious accommodation featuring air-conditioning, high speed Internet access (subject to an additional charge) and TV with movies on demand. A fashionable bar and Pendigo's Restaurant is also available for all residents and non-residents. With 11 custom-designed meeting and banqueting suites, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC has the flexibility to host events of many shapes and sizes. Set in landscaped grounds overlooking Pendigo Lake, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC is only 5 minutes walk from the National Exhibition Centre and NEC Arena, 5 minutes drive from Birmingham International Airport and International Train Station, 10 miles from Birmingham City Centre and within easy reach of major UK motorways (M5, M6, M40 and M42).WI-FI Internet Access is available in all meeting rooms, bar and the restaurant. We also have very reasonable Park and Fly packages packages available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Birmingham
Birmingham Crowne Plaza

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