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Review: the Hilton Garden Inn hotel, Birmingham Airport

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This is our review of the Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport.

As part of a recent review of airport lounges I found myself staying overnight at Birmingham Airport, without any time to explore the city.

We thought it would be a good idea to review one of the airport hotels and settled on the Hilton Garden Inn, a fairly new addition which opened in 2018.

The hotel building itself won’t win any prizes for its design. It was built in a modular fashion “on a very constrained site and with half the building coming from China” according to the developers.

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport

The hotel website is here. Don’t get confused with the Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham, Alabama – we once used a photograph of that hotel in an article by mistake …..

Location

The Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport is located directly opposite the passenger terminal – just across the road – which means you won’t have to bother with shuttle buses. It probably takes a minute or two to reach after leaving the terminal building.

Annoyingly the main entrance is on the side furthest from the terminal itself.

Inside the Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport

Step inside and you are greeted by the hotel reception:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport reception

Check-in is very efficient and I was promptly given my room key on the top floor (which, if memory serves correctly, is the eighth).

Rooms

Rooms are just what you would expect from a Hilton Garden Inn: smart but fairly basic. It was, however, a very good size:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport room

There’s the bedroom, with king size bed and decent desk:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport bedroom

As you can see there is no overhead light, although lots of lamps. I wasn’t able to get the standing lamp or left hand bedside lamp working, however.

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport bed

The TV is a little dated – more 2008 than 2018, when the hotel opened, yet alone 2021:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport tv desk

Underneath is a mini fridge and safe:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport fridge safe

No coffee machine but you do get a kettle and some instant coffee:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport tea coffee

You also have a wardrobe with iron:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport wardrobe

Plus a view of the airport:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport view

The bathroom is behind the bedroom and is fairly standard. Nothing fancy here, just cream tiles:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport sink

A nice, spotlessly clean shower:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport shower

…. and the usual Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport toiletries

Restaurant / breakfast

My whistlestop tour didn’t give me time to sample the food but I did have a peek before I left. It is served on the ground floor, behind the reception in quite a large space:

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport dining

It was quite busy for dinner although not so much at 5am when I was up for my flight. Breakfast looks good with a decent hot selection – better than in the lounge, although as I was reviewing the lounge I couldn’t defect.

Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport bar

Room service is also available from 5pm-10pm.

Conclusion

Like most people my stay was brief, but I managed to get an overview of the hotel. All things considered it is fairly basic and isn’t breaking any frontiers when it comes to style. It is clean, comfortable and quiet which is more than enough for an airport hotel.

The Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Airport starts at £80 or 36,000 Hilton Honors points for a weekday night in January. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

Comments (25)

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    I still don’t really know where HGI fits in the scheme of things. Better than a Hampton (although breakfast is free for all at a Hampton), not as good as a regular newish Hilton, but some HGI have features that make them into better hotels such as the rooftop bar at LHR T2, the HGI near Venice has a pool and also some rooms with large outdoor terraces and HGI Lecce has a spa area.

    The only thing that seems common to all HGI is they have a little shop by reception and they all have a self service laundry guests can use, this saves a fortune over the priced per item typical hotel laundry service (although some also offer that too!)

    One quirk is diamond and gold members have to choose between bonus points or breakfast at a HGI. Although in reality I’ve only been asked this in the LHR ones, the Italian ones just give you breakfast even if you have points as your preference. A normal Hilton gives a diamond both the bonus points and the breakfast.

    • Vasco says:

      It’s meant to be on the same bracket as Holiday Inn and Courtyard. Hampton meant to compete with Fairfield and Holiday Inn Express.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      With them being a relatively new brand in the UK they’re 100% likely to be better than a standard Hilton of the faded dumpy regional variety. Picking up a high proportion of sporting/activity locations (Doncaster Racecourse, Old Trafford cricket, Snowdonia etc and upcoming is Silverstone) so I think the brand might head down that path.

    • Pete says:

      I have never seen anyone buy anything from the “shop”!

      • Rob says:

        I have bought lunch in the HGI Hatton Cross – not when staying there, but because if I have an event at Heathrow I tend to go there before or afterwards to work, as the lobby is set up for hot desking.

  • BlueThroughCrimp says:

    The HGI Glasgow didn’t have the usual C&E individual bottles, rather a different brand and from a dispenser.
    Nothing wrong with the product but a bit Hamptonish.
    I’m guessing the recent gig at the SECC may have had something to do with it.

  • DJ says:

    Got a stay coming up in two weeks time, I ended booking the BHX Holiday Inn. Is it worth it switching to the garden inn ? Ta

    • RM84 says:

      I’ve stayed at the HGI BHX a number of times and it’s a good airport hotel. As well as being fairly new with decent rooms and bar/restaurant, the main draw for me is that it’s actually at the airport so no need for shuttles etc. So it mainly depends how pricing compares and how much you value that convenience.

    • CH says:

      If this is the one accessible by a short shuttle bus ride, the HI does what an airport hotel at that price point is supposed do: pleasant overnight stay close to an airport. Dinner in the bar reminded me of a Wetherspoons (not in a bad way): reheated from a pack, but good enough quality that, if arriving late at night with no other easy options, it was quite acceptable. I didn’t stay for breakfast, but it looked standard (pre-COVID). If there were another connected to the terminal (iirc, there are a few in the attached conference Center at the rail station) or not requiring a shuttle bus I would tend to prefer that, but even the shuttle was efficient and convenient (ie, like what one gets at many US airports).

    • Vasco says:

      Best Birmingham Airport hotel is the Crowne Plaza at the NEC, IMO, if it’s not still being used as a quarantine hotel.

      Looks a bit far away, but connects into Birmingham International Station and from there you can use the monorail. Much better than faffing about with shuttles.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Mmm for me the best hotel is the Novotel right across from the terminal.

        The Hilton metropole is going through a complete refurb and will probably end up as a better experience than the CP

        • Tariq says:

          That refurb is long overdue! Last time I stayed there, the service and the rooms were so poor that I vowed not to use it ever again.

  • Doug says:

    Have stayed quite a few times at the HGI at Birmingham Airport. I can say that the food is usually very good both at dinner and breakfast, service is also friendly and efficient in my experience. If you can, do book a room with a view of the airport runway/apron, it helps pass the time.
    This hotel is a favourite of mine when staying for a flight or if visiting the NEC. There are other hotels nearby, of course. Including a full service Hilton nearer the conference centre itself but this gets booked very quickly when events or conferences are being held . There is also a Novotel right next door to the HGI but I’ve not yet visited there.
    Perhaps the biggest drawback to the HGI (and also the Hilton and Novotel) is that they have no sheltered connection to the airport. You therefore are likely to get wet if you have to walk across to the terminal in the rain (which is quite common in the area).

  • Andrew says:

    “we once used a photograph of that hotel in an article by mistake”

    For ages, Skyscanner used an image of the Halifax’s former Head Office to represent Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • The cyclist says:

    Pity you couldn’t make it to the city, I like the Radisson close to New Street, the rooms are enormous and the breakfast spread really good, HGI looks a solid option though, its always nice to have a quality iron in the hotel room.

    • Tariq says:

      Aloft is usually my first choice in the city, decent value for the facilities and service, plenty of cheap off-peak street parking in the area.

  • Big Ern says:

    Hilton related. Just had an email telling me my forthcoming stay in January at Hilton Grosvenor at Glasgow has been moved to another hotel as it will no longer be in the group. Shame, its a bit run down but handy for the West end of Glasgow.

    • Andrew says:

      It was sold earlier in the year, it was reported at the time that that there was a 30 year contract with Hilton starting in 2001.

  • Gavin says:

    Bar the fridge reminds me of the Exeter Hampton. The safe is different as Hampton too I suppose.

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