I chose this hotel because it was the excellent Best Western brand and the AA 4-Stars.
The hotel is nicely situated in an affluent part of Sutton Coldfield and sits on the edge of the golf course.
The room is clean, traditional and a reasonable space but fairly basic. The ceilings are like paper. It’s a bit old fashioned and faded for a 4-Star hotel, but it’s in keeping with the style of the building. The room was so warm that I never slept inside the bed during my entire visit.
My room is on the ground floor, just left of reception and left again. When the guests above entered their room, I heard every elephant footed step and could have taken part in their conversation. My upstairs neighbours are from London, I can make out their accent.
The carvery restaurant, The Country Kitchen was pleasant enough. Mainly populated by locals. Good food and a varied selection, the salad bar starter is particularly good.
I’ve had a quiet breakfast there twice so far and the food is good quality and the service excellent. If staff offer to seat you near the ‘fireplace’, don’t let them do it. This is a horrible seat because it’s right by the door to the kitchen and people will be walking past you throughout your breakfast, I counted 7 in 2 minutes. The previous day it had been over 20. The third day, I asked to move.
Paying for my first carvery meal proved more difficult. During the meal, staff were abundant, when trying to put the meal on my room. The waiter brought the bill, and then waited 15 minutes before someone else brought the card machine, which I didn't ask for. Then when I asked to put it on my room she seemed perplexed. It can't be an unusual request. In the end, I waited 20 minutes to sign the check over to my room. Not really acceptable.
I had a meal in the fine dining restaurant on the second night, the food was excellent, very good service, if I only I could have been provided with a gag for the older lady sitting next to me, who complained bitterly about EVERYTHING through her entire meal and pretty much put me off mine with her negativity. From the behaviour of the staff, she was a regular, but I'm glad the staff couldn't hear what she was saying about their food and the service.
Here’s where I come to the problem. This is a very popular hotel with locals. As such, the spa and the restaurant are regularly frequented by them. This made booking a massage impossible during my stay, despite damaging my arm and needing a massage.
It also that means that on my third night in the hotel, I cannot eat in the hotel, unless I want to eat in the lounge from their lounge menu. Having spent all day working, and over £600 so far on my stay in this hotel, as a resident, I would expect to get a table in their restaurant. I could care less how busy they are. I don’t want to eat in the lounge, I want dinner. I’ve never been turned down for a table in a hotel I’ve been staying in, ever.
The hotel prides itself on the slogan ‘the answer is yes, what’s the question?’. Well, the question was ‘could I get a table in your carvery?” and the answer was no. So, the slogan turns out to be untrue. I do not have a car, so I will be walking to a restaurant, as it is the Bank Holiday weekend, most are already booked out.
On walking past the dining rooms at two different times tonight, there were many tables available. Ridiculous.
In general the service is impeccable, but there are small niggles that make me think this is a three star hotel and not a four. less