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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

After reading all the bad reviews I wasn’t going to stay her, but because it was the nearest and far cheapest hotel near The Digbeth Diner I decided to book it. I have given it 5 stars because for the price and being in a city centre £35 is amazing. The receptionist was very helpful and friendly, it’s a beautiful building and the rooms are simple but very clean. What do some people want? If you want five star hotel you can pay five star prices, but when you are paying £35 I don’t see how any one can moan if it’s clean. I will return and enjoyed my stay.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Sandra P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
G M, General Manager at Rowton Hotel Birmingham, responded to this reviewResponded 20 April 2018

Thanks for your comments and appreciation. We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you will come here and stay again when you next visit Birmingham.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

Where do I start! I booked a room at this place when I was playing at a music festival nearby. As with a lot of hotels, the pictures on the website make it look incredible, when in reality what you get is extremely different. The pleasant decor abruptly stops further than the reception area, but this is the least of your worries. Upon arrival you can park in an enclosed car park next to the hotel, as long as you are happy leaving your car in a urine smelling, rat infested, rubbish filled homeless haven! The hotels defence on this one is that it's owned by a third party, but when it's the first impression of your hotel, you would run around with a bin bag now and again. It's not difficult. I can see that others have experienced the weed smokers on the steps outside the main entrance. As this is a regular occurrence I can only assume they are staff. Ask them to stop/smoke else ware? Again, not difficult.

Once I was thoroughly disgusted by everything so far before I'd even reached the reception desk, I checked in. Like I say, once you leave reception the quality goes downhill. The corridors smell pretty bad (I've seen the hotel defending this which is just silly. If people complain that the corridors smell, then they smell. Maybe you can't smell it because you are used to it!!).

I found my room which looked like it had been recently "refurbished". It's not a good job. Ceiling still peeling off in bathroom, TV's located in hilariously unpractical places, the infamous windows with their draughts and condensation. The management seem to obsess over explaining that this building is grade II listed and that they can't change the windows. This makes no difference what so ever and is not an excuse. Nothing (apart from your stitched up wallet) is stopping you from getting a sash window specialist in to REPAIR them to stop the draught and condensation issues. Why spend so much money on a "refurb" and not fix the simple/fundamental problems with the rooms first?

Other issues began when my TV didn't work. I made my first trip to reception and was moved to a different room and had to move all of my luggage. The second room was smaller but I didn't mind. The TV worked, but there was only 1 plug socket in the entire room which was used by the TV itself, meaning that one cannot watch TV and charge anything or use anything else at the same time. All it takes is to provide some extension leads. You can get these from the £1 shop... it's not hard. I made my second trip to reception to ask for an extension lead. One was eventually found but after I tried it, it didn't work. Third trip to reception and was told that they didn't have another one and that I would have to move rooms again. It was late and I wasn't up for lugging my stuff around again so I just said I would have to lump it. This stuff is so easy to prevent by having a few extensions to hand. So many people mention it in the comments but the hotel quite obviously has no initiative to help itself.

3am came and I was awoken by a fire alarm screaming in my face and a red strobe light. This was obviously pretty terrifying. I looked out the window and the place seemed to be being evacuated. It turns out that someone was caught smoking in their room. Whilst I am aware that this wasn't directly the hotel's fault, I guess it just shows the kind of clientele you get here who are too dumb to realise that smoke sets off fire alarms. I stayed in bed after confirming that the place wasn't burning down and the alarm was turned off. Then at around 4am a coach arrived. No attempt was made to ask the rowdy arriving guests to be quiet so I couldn't sleep for most of the remaining hours of the morning.

After a horrific nights sleep I decided to have a lay in and get up in time to catch breakfast which stops at 11am. I allowed myself plenty of time and stepped into the shower. Stone cold. Back to reception, they sent up maintenance. He said he reset the boiler and I needed to wait 20 minutes. Waited 25 to be sure, still stone cold. Back to reception, guy came back and told me that my boiler was broken (seen this in other reviews too) and he gave me a keycard for another room to use for the shower. So I made my way to the THIRD room I had utilised in my 1 night stay. I've attached a picture of what I was faced with. They mentioned that the room was out of order but regardless, no guest should have to see this during their stay. The shower worked but I had to be quick for fear of flooding the place as it didn't drain properly. I made it back to my room with 5 minutes to spare to get down to breakfast.

Once I reached the dining room, the staff were already clearing everything away and I just about managed to get some kind of breakfast together with the absolute dreggs of what was left. Needless to say it didn't taste particularly good after sitting out for so long. I finally checked out and made it known at reception that my stay was far from satisfactory. I was given an email address to contact.

Now, all in all I'm sure you would agree that this experience was a complete joke. I did see the reviews for this place before I booked but I like to have an open mind and of course it was also cheap. However, this is just plain silly. I emailed with a full review of my stay. I finally had a reply after around 2 weeks of waiting and was told that nothing could be done. After pestering them and after another 2-3 weeks of waiting 4-5 days for responses, they finally said that all they could offer was a complimentary stay. This is completely useless to me as I won't be in the area any time soon and have no desire in the slightest to return to this hotel, so this is not a resolution. They have since point blankly refused to give me a refund.

This is clearly a hotel run on closely guarded pennies and with absolutely NO desire to make any effort to turn their review scores around. This could be done SO easily it's hilarious. All it would take is the most basic of commonsensical changes and putting the refurb money where it is really needed first.

The fact that I didn't receive a refund after this kind of stay is totally pitiful and speaks huge volumes about what kind of operation is being run here. At the end of the day, the reviews speak for themselves.

I will eagerly look forward to the reply from the management to this review. Hopefully I'll be able to play bingo (Grade II Listed Building, Double Glazing, Plug sockets, Lord Rowton blah blah). Maybe instead of firefighting complaints on tripadvisor, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

This isn't quantum physics, it's all in your hands, nobody elses!

Room Tip: Pro tip: Choose another hotel
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Billy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018

I stayed here in a double room over the weekend of 16-18 March 2018 , which coincided with a cold snap and snow fall, the relevance of which will soon become apparent. The room had been booked by my travelling companion as a 'treat' and so we were both reluctant to make an issue of any of the below, especially as many of the 'issues' could not have been rectified during our stay.

Having received the key to a room that was already occupied and giving the occupant something of a shock, we eventually got our own room.

This room was 'compact' to say the least and was superficially clean. However, the bathroom had black mould on the ceiling and the walls had been patched up with no attempt whatsoever to blend the repairs in. The radiator that had once been mounted on the wall was gone. We knew there had been one as the brakes were still there. The replacement was a floor standing plug-in electric heater, neither safe not suitable for a commercial premises.
The pair of curtains had been divorced and allocated a window each, which did little to afford full coverage.
The bed base seems to have been left over from the building's heyday as a men's hostel.
There is no concierge phone
Between two of us, there was one very small tube of shower gel and a matching shampoo offering.
I took cold showers as a youth, but did not expect to be repeating the experience in a 3-star hotel. The absence of a concierge phone meant a trip to reception who - to be fair - did arrange for the boiler to be rebooted resulting in warm water flowing.

The reception area creates a good impression, good architecture, clean and spacious. That's where the good impression ends. The stair carpet is threadbare in places and the woodwork appeared dirty. The long corridor to our room was noticeable for the evident patching-up that had been done to walls and the electric panel heaters more suited to someone's spare room.

The hotel is a ten - fifteen minute walk from the city centre, though not located in the best of areas,benefitting from a modern-day men's hostel just around the corner.

We did not eat in the hotel, nor experience other facilities.

If you are OK with basic and 'economy' then you're expectations will be met. However, to anyone tempted by the 'competitive' room pricing I would suggest not being influenced by the glossy promotional sunlit photos and looking elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Robservationist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018 via mobile

We paid a low price and stayed for 1 night.
The reception staff are rude and don't have customer service skills.
The rooms are freezing. We have about 6 windows in our small room, so probably why.
I didn't find the rooms particularly clean unfortunately.
I wouldn't stay here again personally, as it seems dark and non cheerful.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2018

This hotel has had some appalling reviews and so I felt I should paint a slightly better picture. We stayed for one night, paying £30 for a double room which was a reasonable size, had a clean, comfy bed and tea/coffee making facilities. The bathroom was very small but clean with complimentary shampoo/shower gel. Decor not brilliant but carpet was new. The reception and communal areas were clean and warm although stairways a bit grubby. We had the full english breakfast which is a self-serve buffet so you can have as much as you like - there was a good choice and it was perfectly fine. The downside was that the bar was closed and the staff not overly friendly. On the basis that you get what you pay for I felt it offered reasonable value for money and we didn't encounter any of the problems mentioned in previous reviews. It's an interesting old building with a lot of character and some lovely stained glass sky lights ant although the area is very run down it's only a short taxi ride into town.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jen17551960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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