Hyatt Regency Birmingham, UK
The Hyatt Regency Birmingham is a stand-out building in the centre of England's second city. From the scenic lifts, you get a view across the industrial grit of this town once famous for being able to turn steel into anything. This property is currently the only Hyatt property in the UK outside London, but is a solid 4* business hotel with facilities also catering to the weekend leisure market. In the basement is a small spa and gym - the treatments are reasonably priced for a hotel spa at around £60 per hour, although slightly expensive for the local area. The swimming pool area is new (after a fire last year), but unfortunately the time we wanted to use it, it was busy with a number of children. Secure parking is available just a couple of minutes walk away (those of a nervous disposition or with large bags can use the Hotel's minibus transfer to the car park (I would certainly recommend this for unaccompanied female guests) and the hotel is not far from Birmingham New Street Station. The hotel is close to International Convention Centre (ICC), and also near to the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
We had once previously stayed in the hotel and had been allocated a Regency Suite King (after upgrading using 6000 Hyatt Gold Passport points). This room was on a high floor and was huge: a spacious bathroom and bedroom with a large combined living and dining area with a guest cloakroom. This stay we were slightly disappointed to be assigned a Club Deluxe King room (also using 6000 points to upgrade) though this is still a large room by most standards.
The Club Lounge
For us, this is the highlight of the hotel. This is a large double height room with a great staircase leading to the top floor. Arrive in the lounge early (by 5pm on weekends) to get a good table on the upper deck with excellent views, comfortable seating and away from the food and drink. The food offering in the evening is more than adequate for most tastes. The breakfast is a little sad even by provincial standards. There really should be at least eggs to order. But there was a good choice in the evening, including 8 different wines (three red, three white, two pink) . We were very impressed that a provincial hotel was as accommodating to our (annoying but real) food allergies (we advised in advance of staying). They were able to provide different food on the 2 evenings we stayed, including dairy-free puddings. This is very rare and definitely increases the likelihood we will choose the Hyatt the next time we are in Birmingham.
The club lounge also houses a small and very outdated looking "business centre". At least it is possible to print off a letter or e-mail however and it is a comfort to know you can access e-mail in the event of a failure of your laptop.
The hotel is overdue renovations. There has been a degree of "planning blight" at this venue in the past two years because of the financial position of the owners (soon to be resolved) but we feel there is a lack of ambition. There seems to be an assumption that the Hyatt Regency is the best hotel in Birmingham (which it may be in many ways). We would like to see a determination though to make this hotel the best it can be regardless of the limitations of the destination, which in any case are probably underrated. With better marketing and the attitude to be the best outside the local market, the hotel could be a real asset to the Hyatt portfolio and encourage people to visit the hotel, not just because they need to be in Birmingham, but because they want to return to the hotel. At present, I would say that if you need to be in Birmingham then definitely stay in the Hyatt. However, if you fancy a weekend away somewhere, or need an extra stay to qualify for elite status, I would advise staying elsewhere.