Premier Inn Review – Bridge Street, Birmingham
We needed a night in Birmingham for EGX and the hotels around the NEC that were in our budget were all booked up. We chose the canal side Premier Inn on Bridge Street for two reasons: 1 – the price was alright, £63 for our room for one night and 2 – it was on a canal and I was hopeful for Magikarp spawns…Yes, I am THAT sad.
I didn’t have too much hope for a good stay. The main reason for this is because it’s being refurbished and there are plenty of construction works taking place out the front. We had read lots of recent reviews and most of them were negative. There was confusion about the restaurant and I had reached out to marketing and on Facebook to find out if the restaurant was open or not and we didn’t get a helpful reply – and not a single one from marketing. These were the red flags and so we arrived not expecting to be happy with our stay.
Thankfully and surprisingly, we had a great experience once we arrived. We did get lost on the walk from New Street but that was simply down to Google Maps giving us the most stupid directions ever and our lack of navigation skills. However, if you get good directions and head to the hotel via the entrance to Grand Central it only takes about 10 minutes to walk to.
Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover
It does look like a construction site from the front and that’s because it is. There’s work going on outside, I think they are expanding, but there’s also work going on over the street. It doesn’t look promising as you follow the barricaded area for guests. There’s also no parking at the moment – not important for us but if you are going to stay I do recommend that perhaps you leave the car at home and use public transport to avoid costly parking fees.
We found reception, where we were greeted politely and checking in was painless. The receptionist asked if we would like to book breakfast and we agreed, for £8.99 each, all you can eat. The restaurant is well and truly open! Don’t listen to other reviews on this because you can certainly eat on site and the bar is also open until about 11pm. We were given our key card and went to find our room on the second floor. There was a lift but we took the stairs, mainly because I am not a fan of lifts…
Small but Perfectly Formed
Our room was lovely. The website does state that they are smaller than their usual rooms but we honestly had no issue with the size at all. There was an inviting king-sized bed with wall lights either side. An open style wardrobe/cubby hole with hangers for your clothes and four shelves too. There were two spare pillows placed on top of this cubby wardrobe and a large bath sheet on one of the shelves. One of the spare pillows had a slight stain on, looked like Foundation to me. We didn’t use the pillow.
A high corner shelf on the side of the wardrobe is where the small travel sized kettle lives along with two cups, two teaspoons, two glasses and tea/coffees. One negative for me is the fact that they don’t have decaf tea – not a big deal as I thought ahead and brought my own but it’s a shame that they don’t think about adding a decaf option. The milk is that UHT stuff in little pots, which is never nice and the sugar is minimal, although you can ask for more at reception. Please note: they don’t even have normal decaf tea in the restaurant either.
Shame About the Loo Roll!
The bathroom was clean and there was a bath with a shower, toilet, sink and a big mirror. Inside the bathroom they have a hand towel, bath mat, and a bath sheet. They do provide hair and body wash in one – located in a dispenser on the side of the tiles. There’s also a gentle hand wash in a wall mounted dispenser by the sink. One downfall is the toilet roll. It’s the type that comes out in tiny sheets. It gets the job done but if you’re using it to take makeup off then it’s rubbish – my fault for forgetting cotton wipes! There isn’t a glass or toothbrush holder.
USB Plugs Might Cause a Problem
There’s a small television with Freeview and a remote, a hair dryer and 3 plug sockets in total. Two of the plug sockets are on the desk (and one of these has the hairdryer plugged in but you can obviously take that out) and the other one is by the kettle. Unfortunately, these plugs don’t have a lot of room around them so if you are using them to charge phones, tablets or anything else via USB you might have a problem. We could just about fit ours in but if you have a USB plug take one that has the USB on the side or the top and not on the bottom.
There is free WiFi and you can pay for premium if you want to do some high intensive activities. We were only using the WiFi for checking emails, using social media and playing Pokémon Go and we could do that without paying out for the premium option. If we were uploading videos to YouTube then we would have had to upgrade.
We went to the bar for a drink. It’s a lovely open area that looks out over the canal. It was too dark to appreciate the view outside but it would be wonderful on a sunny day and a great place to have breakfast in the morning too. The ciders and beers are bottled not on tap, but they have a reasonable selection. The drinks are very overpriced, we paid just over £8 for a very small bottled beer and a pint of cider. We only had the one drink because of this, but if you’re too tired to go out at least there is somewhere to have a tipple.
The heat in the room was perfect; it rose to 22.5 degrees according to the thermostat. They provide information on controlling the temperature but we were quite happy with it. Our windows opened slightly but we were comfortable all night long so we didn’t have them open. I don’t think there is air con (according to other reviews I’ve read) and this could cause a problem on really hot days, which isn’t likely to cause a problem until next summer. Hopefully air con will be added at some point.
A Good Sleep?
The bed is extremely comfortable – it’s heavenly actually. It’s so soft but also gives you support. The duvet and pillows were perfection. I have ordered two pillows today after being so impressed with the ones at premier inn. I Googled what brand they were and I am just hoping I got the same ones! We both had an excellent night’s sleep and it was really hard to get out of bed in the morning. I really would have loved to stay in it all morning right up until the 12pm checkout time, but EGX was waiting for us and we had to leave. I actually miss that bed! Please note that it was a bit creaky and it did roll quite easily if you leant against it – but these weren’t big issues.
Rise and Shine
After reluctantly getting up we went to have breakfast, which they serve between 6.30 and 10.30am. We were welcomed in by one of the employees who told us the breakfast was a help yourself buffet. You can eat whatever you want, a traditional cooked breakfast or continental. I wasted the money I spent because I wasn’t hungry, but I made some toast and covered it in butter and honey and had a Yeo Valley Strawberry yoghurt. I also took my own decaf tea down to the restaurant and had a cup with real milk.
G was hungry and he had a breakfast consisting of bacon, egg, sausage and so on. They serve unlimited Costa coffee, which G greatly appreciated. Also on offer were a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, pancakes, and croissants. It was a great spread and worth the money if you’re able to eat breakfast first thing.
After breakfast, we packed up our stuff and checked out – which involves simply handing back the key card. We were really sad that we couldn’t stay another night and both agreed that we would happily stay again.
Depends on Your Expectations
If you stay while the hotel is being constructed you will see dusty footprints on the stair carpeting and you may have problems if you drive, but all in all we had a wonderful stay. The bed really is a dream and there is everything you could need in the rooms. The staff are friendly, there if you need them but you’re generally left to get on with things.
Paying only £63 for a night is worth it, but if you are paying £100+ perhaps you would want a few extras such as real milk and plugs next to the bedside. I recommend staying, especially if you’re arriving on public transport and are looking for a comfortable bed for the night. We weren’t disturbed by noises from the construction site in the slightest, but there’s a possibility that that was just luck on our part.
A Room For Pokemon Go Players
Ask for a room overlooking the canal for the best view and make sure you have plenty of Pokémon balls if you want to make the most of the water Pokémon spawns as they are quite frequent – you can’t reach any Pokestops from the hotel though but there are plenty within walking distance. We caught lots of Magikarps, Psyducks, Goldeens, saw 3 Dratinis but only caught 1, caught several Slowpokes and Poliwags too and saw a Poliwhirl on the radar too.
We would definitely stay at a Premier Inn again in the future and hope to do so. We’re also likely to book to stay at Bridge Street again for next years’ EGX.