The Wilbennetts had planned a weekend camping for the Bank Holiday but, after taking a look at the weather forecast and being fair weather campers, we decided to postpone the trip. We were lucky that the campsite allowed us to defer so we didn’t lose any money but then it was a decision about what to do that was needed. We didn’t want to go too far and wanted somewhere we could be indoors.
Cadbury World UK beckoned and we decided to make it an overnight trip. We looked at options in central Birmingham but knew we would be heading into the great outdoors the following day so didn’t need the delights of the city centre.
Being a Sunday a lot of the hotels were great value and we found the Holiday Inn M6 J7 was available at a bargain price. In addition to a pool which is always a bonus (you will see a theme in my hotel reviews) children ate free so we thought a day in chocolate heaven and then a swim followed by room service would be give us a low cost break and easy access to get back on the road. We hadn’t chose necessarily with our hearts for this trip but sometimes budget and practicality wins the day.
The hotel offers double rooms, double rooms with sofa bed and executive rooms (comes with complimentary water and robes/slippers). We were in double room with sofa bed but also received the benefits of the executive. The rooms were compact and for a short stay (which I would assume is what this hotel is used for) then it is adequate. The bathroom again was compact but had some amenities and the shower was nice and powerful. Overall the room was clean, but whilst the soft furnishings were typical of a Holiday Inn and other similar properties, the dark furniture made it look at little old fashioned and dated.
The hotel has a fully equipped gym, studio and a pool. The pool area has a Jacuzzi (really powerful) and a sauna and steam room. We enjoyed about 45 minutes in the pool area both on the night and again in the morning – but all of us with sore eyes due to the amount of chlorine in the pool area with what seemed little ventilation.
Restaurant and Bars
The hotel has a restaurant – Traders – in which the buffet breakfast is served and it offered a decent selection of continental and hot breakfast. We had pre-booked breakfast for only £15 for the 2 adults (as I had mentioned earlier under 12s eat free) so this was pretty good value. My only complaint is on the coffee. They had big flasks to help yourself so didn’t give the good caffeine kick you usually are blessed with in a hotel and as they have a Starbucks on site they could have made more use of this in my opinion.
We didn’t eat in the restaurant on the Sunday evening – opting instead to shower after our swim and get in to our PJs and order room service. There was a range of dishes available from snacks to traditional mains and salads and a typical children’s menu. Hubby opted for Fish and Chips which was huge and he said OK, I had a Chicken Curry again a massive portion but lacking a bit of kick and tasting a bit watery and Ella had meatballs she tucked in and enjoyed but commented that not as good as those we make at home. The hotel didn’t scrimp on sizes but some of the food lacked a bit of flavour. Maybe that is me being over fussy/ over critical but just trying to be honest.
Just 6 miles outside of Birmingham the hotel is easily accessible and only a few minutes drive from the M6. It is also just 8 miles from the airport so a good option if there is an early flight or you want to break up a journey before heading to the airport. There is plenty of parking available and at no additional charge for overnight parking.
The hotel was fully booked too so is obviously a popular option.
We honestly couldn’t fault this. Right from the start at check-in the staff were really friendly, advising of the discounted rate for breakfast, options for dining, and where to find the pool etc. They welcomed me as an IHG Rewards member and wished us a lovely stay.
The room service was served really quickly as was our request for an additional cup.
We also had an incident of the bed leg breaking and the maintenance were straight up. They were unable to move us due to the hotel being full as previously mentioned. In the morning when we checked out they didn’t charge us for the room and apologised profusely for the inconvenience. This shows great customer service in my eyes and definitely worth a mention.
Now this hotel is not going to set your heart racing, it feels dated in parts and the food is ok, just not great. This is, however, a great value hotel and the pool and health club an added bonus. The location is really convenient for getting to parts of Birmingham and surrounding areas. The staff across the hotel we found to be really helpful and professional, nothing seemed to much trouble and are a credit to the IHG brand.
So, if you at looking for good value, convenience and not too fussed about the trimmings then it will do just fine.
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