Accommodation – Birmingham: Ibis Hotel. Excellent location and facilities more than adequate for short stays.

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Ibis New Street is located in the Chinatown quarter of the city and ideally located for the main rail lines and from the motorway, being a 15 min drive off the M6.

The hotel has parking in the basement for approx 12-15 cars with a single disabled bay, but cannot be booked in advance. On our arrival there were roadworks directly outside the hotel which made accessing it slightly more difficult.

The hotel felt as if it was a new build, failing which, it has been kept in an excellent state of repair.

One notable omission on entering from street level (disabled access is perfect with a level entryway) was a reception desk. Staff, bedecked in their red t-shirts armed with a PDA will check you in if you haven’t already done so yourself online. We had a minor issue with the second room we had booked, in that the booking could not be located. However, a short visit by our check-in girl to the management office sorted the problem and keys were produced for us.

On this ground floor you will find the bar area, plenty of comfortable seating as well as the dining area for the snack menu and breakfast.

So, off we went to floor two and four to find our rooms. What you should be aware of is that this is marketed as being a budget hotel We paid £45 per room per night, which, in my line of work is an absolute steal. The rooms, while small in size, are more than adequate for short stays, with supremely comfortable beds, plenty of pillows, and with air con provided. The room had been fitted with secondary glazing as it overlooked the Glee Club at the rear of the premises. To be honest, although some other reviewers have complained of the constant noise, we slept just fine. The bathroom again, although small, was perfectly OK for a three-night stay with a good power shower fitted. Towels were plentiful, and if you need more then it’s a quick call to reception, and we had extra within 15 minutes.

There’s very little storage provided, but again I’d reiterate this is marketed as a budget hotel. It’s probably not the place you’d want to stay for a fortnights city break. In our case, it was a trip to the Christmas market, and for that purpose, we couldn’t have chosen a better hotel. A short walk of five minutes takes you to the indoor and outdoor markets, the Bullring shopping centre, and 15 minutes takes you to the markets. I’m not convinced that there are many other hotels – in this price bracket – that could offer you everything that the Ibis does.

Breakfast was charged extra – we paid £6.85 per person, and once again I was pleasantly surprised to find not only fresh fruit salad on offer, pastries, breads, cereals, yoghurt, cold meats and cheeses along with a good selection of cooked food: scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, mushrooms, beans and hash browns. To my mind this was also a bargain, we filled up on breakfast meaning lunch was a snack.

Would I recommend the Ibis New Street. Without hesitation, it has everything a business visitor needs for an overnight stay or those sampling the delights of the city for a slightly longer stay.

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