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“GREAT CENTRAL LOCATION AND VIEWS OVER THE CITY” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Staying Cool at the Rotunda

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Staying Cool at the Rotunda
Ranked #1 of 141 Hotels in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Isle of Man
Level Contributor
114 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“GREAT CENTRAL LOCATION AND VIEWS OVER THE CITY”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

We were impressed from the moment we arrived for check in which was smooth and welcoming. We were a bit disappointed not to be shown to our apartment and this would have been pretty helpful if only to find out how the equipment worked! Having said that, the Reception staff were most obliging and helpful and this added to the enjoyment of our first visit to Birmingham.

We had booked a 'Mini' apartment and we found it to be a comfortable size, neither too small nor too large. We would have liked a slightly larger apartment but had been advised when booking that only the Mini had a walk in shower (which my wife needs as she is unable to use a bath at present following an illness.

My wife and I loved the location, close to the Bullring, main shopping centre and Restaurants, and that the apartment was so well equipped, though we couldn’t work the complicated coffee machine! Simple sachets of coffee would have been very welcome. On the other hand, the orange squash machine was great. The floor to ceiling (opening) windows gave unobstructed views over the city and it was fascinating just to relax and gaze out,

I have to say, however, that we were extremely frustrated that only one of the small screen TV sets would work and even that had very poor Sky reception. We reported the problem but the Supervisor came to our room and admitted that it was not an uncommon problem. Though we didn’t go to Birmingham to watch TV, we cannot understand at the start of the 21st century why a solution cannot be found to what should be a straightforward issue! A larger screen and better sound quality should be expected by guests staying in such modern, city centre apartments. A few more drawers for clothes would have been a useful addition to the apartment. Also, though we had requested a daily maid service, our apartment was only refreshed once during our 4 nights' stay and our waste bins were overflowing, even though the booklet in the apartment says “Don’t worry about making beds, doing the washing up, tidying up……..that’s our job!” We always do our own washing up and make our own beds anyway, but that is not the point!

I have to say that we did experience an unexpected difficulty after we had checked out. My wife left her purse behind on the bed when packing her suitcase, unfortunately. There was less than £30 in the purse but it did contain her Bank Guarantee Card and her MasterCard. We only discovered this loss when we were sitting in the departure lounge at the airport but I telephoned Staying Cool straightaway and spoke to the Reception. We have heard nothing since so it is clear that the purse was not handed in. Happily, I was able to cancel the debit and credit cards the same day but, whilst the error was entirely ours, it is a sad reflection on our times when lost property is not declared by the finder, especially in apartments where such importance is attached to security.

I

Room Tip: Don't stay here if you don't like heights but do if you love fabulous uninterrupted views
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Manxtravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this review, 3 April 2012
Hello Manxtravellers

Many thanks for your feedback and your 4 out of 5 rating, which I think was very decent of you. It's easy to see that you would have had a great stay but for the issues you mentioned.

Let's deal with the most serious issue first which is the one you raised regarding your lost property. Kim, our Birmingham Manager, checked with the Housekeeping Supervisor and the servicing team that we did not find your wife’s missing purse in your apartment on check out. Indeed, a senior member of staff also checked your room as soon as you called but found nothing. All of the individuals involved have been with the company from one year to three years and we haven't had any similar issues. We would certainly consider it a theft if one of our staff stole an item that had been accidentally left behind by a guest. We would be very happy to help the police to investigate this if you would like to report it.

I'm sorry you couldn't work the coffee machine - we also provide a cafetiere for those who prefer a simpler method of using our freshly ground coffee. I'm also really sorry about the housekeeping issue around the daily service you requested. It wasn't noted correctly on your booking by a member of the Guest Relations team which is why it was missed from the daily servicing log - simple human error for which the member of staff concerned is very apologetic.

In terms of the TV & Sky issues, again I can only apologise for the poor signal and quality you experienced. I know that Kim spoke to you about it while you were in house. We have had any number of engineers out to resolve this issue which happens from time to time and affects a couple of apartments on one side of the building for a short period but no-one (not even Sky) can say what causes it or how to resolve it. I know Kim offered to swap your apartment to one that wasn't affected but you didn't want to move as you weren't planning on watching TV.

On a more positive note, we are in the process of refurbishing the oldest apartments and are upgrading the size of TVs in the Minis (studios) as we too feel the original ones are too small.

For the benefit of other Tripadvisor readers, all of our apartments have a walk-in shower apart from the Clubman which has a bath with shower overhead. In the Maxis and Penthouses you have two en suite bedrooms, one with a walk in shower and the other with a bath and overhead shower.

We’re so glad that you found much that was positive about your stay and we’re so sorry to have let you down in other areas. I can assure you that it has been fed back to our management and staff and the matters were taken very seriously by everyone.

Best wishes
Tracey
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848 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (231)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, uk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

On first entering the Mini we were stunned at the floor to ceiling views of the city, we could see right to the horizon and it was really quite special. On the other hand it was much smaller than I had imagined, I think the pictures on the website make it seem bigger somehow, or perhaps the price per night makes you expect it to be bigger.

Pros:
1. Stunning city views, especially against a sunrise or sunset depending on which side you’re on. I spent a lot of time with the sofa pulled right up to the window admiring the views, and in the morning doing Qigong as the sun was coming up.
2. Location, you really can’t get any more central.
3. The windows slide open fully, but I was not brave enough to try it in case I was a sleep walker without knowing it.
4. Entertainment set up, including sky TV with movie channels, Mini Mac with DVD player, ipod doc.
5. Super comfy bed and bedding.
6. Cosy bathrobes.
7. Very warm, hardly had the heaters on at all.
8.Complimentary items to use in the kitchen, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, tea/coffee/hot chocolate, muesli, milk, oranges and the juicer.
9. Complimentary items to use in the bathroom, body wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hand wash all with real essential oils.
10. You don’t need to worry about bringing washing powder, dishwasher powder, washing up liquid etc as it’s already provided.

Cons:
1. Small. Not enough room for two people to sit on the sofa for example, and while on the subject the sofa provided is not suitable if you require any back support.
2. Not everything was in working order. Had some sound issues with the Mini Mac, the washing machine worked but the dryer didn’t, the coffee machine was a bit temperamental and dishwasher didn't work at all. Issues are sorted out quite quickly by the reception team to be fair, but I just couldn’t be bothered to call someone up for the majority since they were issues I could work around.

Would I stay again? Yes but only for one night on a special occasion. If money is no object Staying Cool has to be first choice for serviced apartments in Birmingham, but personally I would give the Mini a miss and go for the Clubman instead.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Natii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this review, 3 April 2012
Hello Natii

Many thanks for posting your review of our studio (Mini) apartment. We are really glad that you enjoyed your stay and it was great to read that the pros outweighed the cons by 5:1!

That said, we are sorry and disappointed that you experienced a few issues with the sound system and the dryer. We are changing the brand of dishwashers as we are not happy with the performance of the current model when it is working (Mini apartments only - the rest are fine).

I'm sorry you thought the apartment was on the small side. I guess that size is completely down to personal choice - I have just responded to another reviewer who thought that the Mini was the perfect size for two. Of course, the Clubman is very much more spacious and it sounds like you may have been more comfortable in that apartment type.

Thanks again for posting such a detailed review. Hopefully we will see you again in a Clubman sometime soon.

Best wishes
Tracey
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2012

Rotunda has an excellent central location in Birmingham. When I checked in I found the staff to be polite and helpful. I am not used to having to produce my driving license to check in, but, this is the way they do things. The apartment was clean, spacious, and well equipped. It was just before Christmas when I stayed, and in addition to the usual bits and pieces in the room, management had added a selection box. I thought this was a really nice touch which showed a very personal and friendly approach to the way they work.

On check-out I had a payment problem (caused by the agent I used, rather than being caused by the Staying Cool staff) which the staff handled for me effectively and very quickly.

Would happily stay again, and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this review, 26 March 2012
Hello Mike F

Many thanks for spending your time in Birmingham with us. It is always great to read such lovely comments about our team - they are indeed very friendly and personable. I'm glad you liked the complimentary selection box, we have just started giving away yummy Cadbury's creme eggs for Easter.

We starting asking guests for ID a few years ago in response to a marked rise in credit card fraud. I understand it is an unusual practice but we have been able to advise five unsuspecting card holders about attempted fraudulent activity on their cards - for which they were very grateful - and we now have very few issues with it ourselves as fraudsters can rarely produce viable ID as well as the card booked with. We only ask for ID the first time you stay - thereafter the check-in process is very speedy.

Hopefully we will see you again when you are next on business in Birmingham.

Best wishes
Tracey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malvern
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2012

My wife and I and another couple stayed for one night as we had tickets for Caro Emerald at the Symphony Hall. We stayed in a penthouse suite which was fantastic. Great decor and views especially at night. Loved the coffee and oranges for juicing and so convenient for popping out to eat. Check in was straightforward and we left our bags at reception on arrival and departure.Thankyou to everyone for looking after us so well. Already planning another trip!

Room Tip: Very quiet up on the 20th floor with great views and balcony.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nige623
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this review, 20 March 2012
Hello Nige623

It was a pleasure to look after you during your stay - and to read your review. I hear the concert was great too.

Until your next trip...

Best wishes
Tracey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
46 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2012

Liked the vibe of these cool apartments. I stayed in a Clubman which was recommended and I have to say it was a fun stay. I stayed with my 11 year old so the modern TV and internet was a great plus and I especially liked the fresh coffee and juice available in the morning. Nice linens too. Only bad part was you could hear the elevator a bit (Room 1912) and no room service, and the guy downstairs is just a security guy, so asking about restaurants was sort of comical. Nice views really high up!!

Room Tip: Clubman apartment.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YankeeAbroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this review, 20 March 2012
Hello YankeeAbroad

We were all really pleased that you enjoyed staying at Rotunda and had a fun time with us.

We were sorry to read that you only came into contact with the Security Guard - our concierge team is on duty from 08:30 until 22:00 daily and the guard thereafter. The Rotunda team likes nothing better than to advise on which restaurants to go to, so they were very disappointed!

We don't have room service as such but you can pre-order food and drinks and we include complimentary fresh oranges for the juicer and cereals and fresh milk for breakfast plus teas and hot chocolate as standard.

Hopefully if you stay again you can experience the true Staying Cool concierge service.

Best wishes
Tracey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

My wife and I and another couple stayed for one night in a Maxi suite of two ensuite rooms plus lounge/kitchen, and overall had a very good stay. The views from the 19th floor over central Birmingham were superb - we were on the North side of the building and spent a lot of time simply observing the city below. We were particularly interested in the city centre as we we had been students here 30 years ago, so I guess others for whom the city does not have the same memories might be less absorbed by it.... but I would challenge anyone not to be impressed. The floor to ceiling windows make the most of this. One word of warning - the wndows do open fully and only a hip-level barrier stops you heading at speed to the street below - not one for young children or reckless teenagers!

The apartment was well presented and well equipped, and the gentleman who came to fix our TV (more later) was very friendly. The reception staff allowed us to store our bags behind reception when we arrived an hour before check-in time, and also leave them for a few hours after we checked out. The provision of oranges for squeezing our own orange juice - plus a set of basic provisions such as milk, tea, coffee and cereals - was just what was needed.

I would stay here again, although there were a handful of relatively minor issues that combine to stop me from giving this an Excellent rating. These are :
> size of bedrooms - these are very comfortable once in bed, but there is very little space around the bed. I would estimate at the narrowest point there is only about a foot gap between the foot end of the bed and the wall. Not a major problem, but does make it slightly cramped when dressing etc.
> styling of furniture - the 60s retro look might be stylish, but the low backed sofas weren't to everyone's comfort. The single armchair was very comfortable however.
> equipment not working - there is a TV, Apple Mac and Sky Box all provided, but unfortunately we were unable to take advantage of this fully as there seemed to be some interaction between the Sky box and the TV that was leading to the sound being lost. A call to reception led to a very helpful and friendly gentleman coming up to investigate and spending some time to try and address the problem, but after some time was only partially succesful in fixing it. He did, however, give us a decent bottle of Chablis in recompense. However, to be rated Excellent I would not expect such problems. I understand from our friends that one of their bedside lights wasn't working - again, not a major issue but contributes to the less than perfect score I've given the Rotunda.

Room Tip: North side of the Rotunda has best veiws of city.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Temple1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this review, 23 March 2012
Hello Temple1960

We were all delighted you had a great stay with us and enjoyed the magnificent views across the city. I always find it a struggle to tear myself away from the window. Birmingham has changed dramatically in the past ten years, let alone the last 30!

The windows do open fully (like French windows) which is wonderful and all too rare when you are so high up. The penthouses have large wraparound, open air balconies which are great in the warmer months for watching the sun go down.

We were all very sorry to read about the issues you raised. There is nothing we can do about the size of the bedrooms in the Maxis and Clubmans - they are small, especially when compared to the lounges which are very spacious. This is where the architect chose to allocate the most space to, which I think, on balance, is correct, given this is the room where guests spend the most time and given the inherent quirkiness of a listed building and a cylindrical shape!

There is something we can do about TVs and bulbs though and we discussed both at our team meeting last week. When Gavin came to resolve the Sky TV problem for you he went straight for the back of the TV and a SKY box reset, as this is the most common cause of sound failure... he didn't check that all the leads were in correctly and it turned out that the problem was simply a loose scart lead which we discovered after you had checked out. He has asked me to pass on his apologies to you and says a valuable lesson has been learnt.

We have been experiencing the odd problem with lightbulbs across the collection for a couple of months now. We invested in low energy bulbs 15 months that should be lasting three years plus but we keep getting the odd one blowing after just a year. For the benefit of future guests, it is something we are aware of, are closely monitoring and providing extra checks for. We always keep spares at reception and we can come up to replace a bulb when needed if one blows while you are in house.

Thanks again for taking the time to write your review and next time I hope we get the full five stars!

Many thanks

Tracey
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

Really lovely stay in one of the mini apartments. Not really that mini either, and it was so lovely it was hard to tear ourselves away - and they were fine with a late check out. Amazing views, very sunny and bright, well equipped kitchen (though the coffee machine blew the fuses everytime we tried to use it). Only other quibble is that the curtains didn't really block out very bright early morning sunlight. But other than that, fantastic. I'd almost visit Birmingham just to stay here!
Oh - and entrance maybe not that clear as it doesn't actually say 'Staying Cool' anywhere.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WilliamN78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TraceyStayingCool, Owner at Staying Cool at the Rotunda, responded to this review, 23 March 2012
Hello WilliamN78

Thank you so much for the lovely write up about your stay in one of our Minis (studios). They are my favourite apartment types (sshh!). We've replaced the coffee machine that kept blowing the fuses with a shiny new one and new outdoor (and indoor) signage is being designed as I type.

Hopefully we will see you again soon.

Best wishes
Tracey
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Staying Cool at the Rotunda

Property: Staying Cool at the Rotunda
Address: 150 New Street, Birmingham B2 4PA, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Birmingham
#1 Business Hotel in Birmingham
#1 Green Hotel in Birmingham
#1 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
#4 Family Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Staying Cool at the Rotunda 4*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Staying Cool's stunning apartments on the top four floors of the refurbished Rotunda offer amazing views of the city, just three minutes from New Street and Moor Street Stations and right next door to Selfridges. Each apartment has floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open fully and the five Penthouses have their own private open balconies on the very top floor. These stylish apartments have been designed with maximum comfort in mind. Each comes with bespoke designer furniture, a very well-equipped Poggenpohl kitchen, espresso maker with complimentary locally sourced milk and Illy or Fairtrade coffee, oranges for the juicer, iPod dock, plus a king size bed with pocket sprung/memory foam mattress for the very best night's sleep. There's a 24 hour reception plus daytime/evening concierge offering Staying Cool's renowned service. Choose from Minis (studios), Clubmans (one beds), Maxis (two beds) and Roadsters (two bed Penthouses). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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