The Bottom Line
The dark browns, glossy blacks and creams of the lobby at the Malmaison Birmingham lift you right out of the urban bustle and signal that this is a stylish, "treat" hotel. One of Birmingham's most expensive, it is still relatively reasonable - compared to London prices, for example. Its stylish decor - dark velours and leathers, flickering votive candles, discreet but not sedate ambiance, may be something of a cliché in today's boutique hotel world, but it is a style pioneered by the Malmaison group and here, as usual, they pull it off rather well. They made my dog very happy too.
- large, comfortable rooms
- Courteous, friendly staff
- The Malmaison's lovely takeaway toiletries
- Generous (if pricey) breakfast
- The so-hip-it-hurts bar can be intimidating
- Inconvenient luggage provision
- No discount for parking in the expensive garage
- Front desk staff couldn't provide directions to several popular sites for visitors
- The Mailbox, 1 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RD, England
- Price Band$$$ - May or may not include breakfast
- 189 guest rooms
- Full service spa
- Restaurant serves modern British food and local dishes. The wine list is extensive.
- There's a big breakfast buffet and choice of fashionable hot brekkies. I liked the presentation of a slab of honeycomb.
- Trendy and very hip bar is either noisy or buzzy, depending upon your mood.
- Adjacent to the Mailbox, a small luxury mall anchored by a branch of famous UK department store, Harvey Nichols
- Close to New Street Station
- Parking in attached multi-story garage offers no direct access to the hotel's lobby.
- Book Now and Get a Great Rate
Guide Review - Hotel Review : Malmaison Birmingham - Chic, Luxury Boutique Hotel
The Malmaison in Birmingham, one of the largest in this UK hotel group's collection, is also one of its hippest. Enter the minimalist lobby to be greeted by black uniformed staff who are gorgeous, mostly blond (including the men) or darkly exotic. The sound of laughter and tinkling glasses tumbles down a sweeping, carpeted stairway from the bistro and bar, teasingly just out of sight around a bend.
RoomsLike others in the group, rooms feature flat screen television,CD and DVD player, free broadband internet and tea or coffee making equipment. Bathrooms are supplied with loads of thick, huge towels and the company's own brand of toiletries in generous containers you are encouraged to take.
Naughty Weekend SpecialOkay, be coy and call it a romantic getaway, but the English tend to be more frank. The Malmaison beds are like playgrounds - huge, high and firm with plush feather duvets, crisp white bed linens and loads of pillows. You can also have a very comfortable night's sleep of course.
And for doggyWallace is a discerning canine critic. He flipped over the fleece bed and the large water bowl, reveled in attention from the staff and, when over-indulgence upset his tummy, staff cooked him plain pasta (served on a silver charger!). He awarded 4 paws.
A few quibbles
- The welcome for guests in cars could be better There is no direct entry to the hotel from parking and no staff to help with bags. Arrive with more than one wheelie bag and you're in trouble.
- The mini-bar had a paper seal that you had to break to look inside. It struck me as a chintzy touch.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of reviewing. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.