“ Address: 2225 Coventry Road / Sheldon / Birmingham / B26 3EH UK „
At first glance the ' hotel ' looks nice. Once you enter be aware of the lack of cleaning within the bathrooms if you like other peoples hair then you will love it! The fire alarm was set off then the manager started shouting down the corridor for people to stop smoking. The door outside the room bangs all night. This is a week after it opened. When I compained about the pubes the lady said there wernt any cleaners today. They should not accept bookings then! The worst place I have stayed.
**~~**~~**~~** Innkeeper's Lodge in Sheldon **~~**~~**~~**
After staying in one of these for a friends wedding and spending a great deal of time talking to god on the big white telephone the morning after, I knew that I would definitely use them again. They're a chain of great little hotels pretty much like Travelodge, only better.
I knew the dates for Crufts so I booked the hotel 8 months prior to wanting it because the year before was a nightmare trying to find space and we ended up with a really crap hotel. Thus, my organising skills took over and not wanting to face the wrath of mother, I booked in plenty of time - what did worry me slightly was that in little print it said that prices were subject to change but I decided that we'd just have to shut up and pay up should it come to the worst. Also you can cancel providing it's not 72 hours before booking, so technically I could have checked they weren't charging a grand a night. When deciding which Lodge to stay in (there's a lot to choose from in Birmingham) I deliberately chose the one nearest to the NEC - saves on valuable fuel. The internet site was so easy to use - I chose the dates, booked it, printed off the thing, gave the thing to mother as proof, and done - you pay on arrival so that was that.
The day of our holiday arrived and after travelling for 3 hours with mother talking to Thomas (GPS man) we found the Lodge really easily seeing as it was located on the main road with a massive sign attached to the outside. We parked in the ample car park on site which was locked after midnight and a code was needed should you want to get out - mother was particularly impressed and accidentally on purpose left her handbag inside as if to test it - twit. Anyway, should you not want to park in this car park, there was also the one attached to the pub so loads of parking. Check-in was 2 - 11 pm but late check-in was available should Thomas have got us lost.
Inside the main entrance we gave our details to the bloke on reception and paid our monies - £69.95 a night - originally we were quoted £49.95 but as I found out whilst talking to the bloke on a smoking break (hotel's completely no smoking like everywhere now) they stick on £20 if there's sommat good on at the NEC - fair enough really as they had told me and it could have been worse. I still think that's a bargain. There are offers of advance-bookings at £29.95 or 3 for 2 nights on the website but we weren't lucky enough dammit.
Our room had twin beds - had to share once and it's not something a daughter should ever have to experience - I still have counselling now. Mother checked out the view of the carpark and I checked the tv had a remote and worked. Both satisfied, mother then announced she was off to the bathroom to wash for dinner, happily the toilet and shower matched her high standards so I knew I'd booked a winner. The room in summary was big enough to swing a cat (always a criteria I look for) and was very clean with good wardrobe space - mother unpacked like she was on a real holiday and even hung up her dressing gown. Bless. It also had a desk with chair, wifi that we didn't use cos you had to pay, a phone, tea and coffee, pen and paper and a bible.
Dinner was in the Toby carvery linked to the pub and it was really good - being northerners we like food to be value for money and it was. We even had a desert - well it was a holiday after all and it only came to £7 each, plus we didn't have to wait for a table though the place was very very busy. Breakfast in the morning was in the same place and was included in the price (another reason I love Innkeepers Lodge). Although it was only a continental buffet, there were tons to choose from and everything was fresh. Cheap asses that we are: we took some extra for lunch time (please don't tell them) cos if you've read my Crufts review, you'll know the NEC charges a fortune for a butty.
We found the staff to be very helpful (especially when we had the puncture) so no complaints there. Even though there were 85 rooms all being used, the place was actually very quiet - so quiet I could hear mother's snoring: nice. On the final day, check out was 12 but we left way before then, however, this feature was very useful when I found myself suffering from a slight hangover after the wedding of the century the year before. Another little characteristic of the Lodges is that they offer many complimentary kits like shaving, sewing, toothbrushing etc - you just have to ask. Oh and they have Dove shower cream which I really like, and the Independent to read whilst your mother faffs around doing whatever it is mother's do every day.
The Innkeeper's Lodge chain is fantastic - we ate well, slept well, was cheap, was clean, had good parking, and they made my mother happy - an essential criteria to fill. We will definitely use them again.
Should you wish to contact them to confirm everything I've written or to tell them we stole food, the number is 0870 243 0500. The details for this hotel can be found at http://www.innkeeperslodge.com/lodgedetail.asp?lid=16 - go and take a gander - it might be the perfect resort for next holiday!
Thanks for reading
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