Birmingham. England’s second biggest city has had major regeneration over the past decade which has seen the metropolis thrive, grow and become a centre for cultural significance. There is an abundance of different festivals and events throughout the year, as well as exhibitions, museums and majestic waterways to explore. If you’re looking for architecture then the city has some eye-catching designs from the modern facade of Birmingham Library to the ultra-sleek exterior of The Cube and the divisive Bullring – home to Selfridges and over 200 stores as well as Grand Central Birmingham station. Not far from New Street is also another striking elongated glass blue building that dominates the skyline – the Radisson Blu Birmingham.
Birmingham City Hotels
There are many hotels in Birmingham so for visitors looking for a city break or stopover, what is the most important attribute a Birmingham hotel can offer? The Radisson Blu Hotel Birmingham may be part of a worldwide network of upmarket chain of hotels but what makes the Radisson Blu so popular is the very fact that they can be found in major cities and destinations and at the heart of the action.
The Radisson Hotel Birmingham on Holloway Circus, is just a stone’s throw from the Bullring and the station, making it easily accessible. It is also close to the O2 Academy for gigs and shows, as well as several theatres, while the Gas Street Basin, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and National SEA LIFE Centre are among the attractions within walking distance of Radisson Birmingham. It was also extremely easy to find after hopping off the train from London at Birmingham New Street.
The Radisson Blu Birmingham
Upon entering the lobby, what struck me straight away was the large brightly coloured mural adorning the stairway which adds a touch of eccentricity to what is a contemporary modern hotel. And these small touches can be found throughout the hotel – from pop art-inspired cushions in the bar area to a smattering of yellow upholstery, it certainly adds an element of fun.
A mix-up with our reservation meant that we had to wait a while for our rooms to be prepared. But it’s always how a problem is dealt with that is the measure of the service of a hotel. And the Radisson Blu management team were outstanding. Not only by offering up their sincerest apologies but by giving my friends and I complimentary drinks while had to wait in the bar area.
Rooms at the Radisson Blu
The Radisson Blu offers up 211 rooms and suites with views for those looking for a Birmingham city hotel. Whether you’re stopping overnight, like myself, or looking for a city break hotel, the rooms were surprisingly large (and big enough for a family) – the interiors are modern but a little lack-lustre, with deep red furnishings that temper the muted hues of dark wood and mushroom-coloured walls and floors. Sinking into the huge king-sized bed all by myself and laying down on the extremely comfortable pillows was a rare treat, however, – I normally have little hands and feet jostling for position next to me. I slept magnificently.
Meanwhile, the bathroom provided white fluffy towels and a decent array of complimentary toiletries and a strong hot shower. And with free Wi-Fi, a state-of-the-art flatscreen TV as well as charging ports for devices as standard, it makes for an excellent base.
Dining at the Radisson
The Collage restaurant located on the second floor is a large and bright space and both dinner and breakfast are served here. The inclusive menu which costs £24 for three courses offered up a veritable choice of hearty dishes such as sirloin steaks and salt and pepper squid, and is excellent value for money. I couldn’t fault my crispy tender chicken wings for starters or my beer-battered cod and chips, accompanied with a tangy tartare sauce.
It was the next morning though that I was really impressed by the vast options of food on offer. Having been so full from the previous night’s dinner, I was amazed at myself for being able to polish off breakfast – but with so many tantalising dishes and items to eat, it really was tough not to indulge.
In fact, the Radisson believe that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day which is why they serve over 100 breakfast items including baked pastries, English breakfast staples such as eggs and bacon, as well as fruits, yoghurts and smoothies. But it’s their collaboration with nutritionist Sophie Bertrand that has taken breakfast to a whole new level. Because the Radisson also has a breakfast menu serving nutritional and balanced dishes, including porridge, buttermilk pancakes and omelettes. I opted for the toasted rye bread with crushed avocado and chilli flakes – and it really set me up for the day.
If nothing takes your fancy (which is hard to imagine) then all you have to do is ask, and the chef will also prepare you something to your requirements. Win-win.
Verdict of the Radisson Blu Birmingham
With rooms beginning at £139 on a bed and breakfast basis, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Birmingham is good value for money. On the more luxury end of city break hotels, the rooms are spacious and comfortable, and while I didn’t get to explore the hotel’s gym or use their dedicated running trail and meeting rooms, the facilities are of a standard you’d expect from a well-known worldwide brand. The service from all staff I encountered was attentive, friendly and helpful, while the food, particularly at breakfast was delicious and filling. And while the interiors are unimaginative in some areas, the Radisson Blu is a decent city hotel and exceptionally placed to explore Birmingham city, whether you’re on your own, as a couple, with friends, or with family.
More on the Radisson Blu Birmingham
See these posts from my companions who stayed with me:
Radisson Blu Birmingham Review – City Break Hotel by Mummy Travels
Radisson Blu Birmingham Hotel Review by Mums Do Travel
*Disclaimer: My stay was courtesy of Radisson for the purposes of this review. As always, my opinions are my own