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Review: Hotel Indigo, Birmingham

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This is our review of the Hotel Indigo in Birmingham.

Hotel Indigo is not a brand we’ve given much attention to, although Rob did review the new and very impressive Hotel Indigo Bath last year.

Fundamentally, Hotel Indigo is a mid-market boutique chain. There are few brand standards – instead, each hotel is inspired by the local area. It has a lot in common with Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, and in many British cities a new Hotel Indigo will arguably be the best hotel in town.

The Hotel Indigo Birmingham website is here.

Hotel Indigo Birmingham exterior

Where is Hotel Indigo Birmingham?

If you have got used to a new Hotel Indigo taking root in a converted historic building, you’re in for a surprise in Birmingham.

Hotel Indigo is on the top floors of the ‘Cube’ development in Birmingham (photo above), a mixed use building and part of the Mailbox development.

It is just under a half mile walk from New Street station, albeit under an elevated dual carriageway.

Inside Hotel Indigo Birmingham

Hotel Indigo Birmingham is not the hotel you think it is – at least not from looking at it outside. Whilst the building is big, the hotel takes up just two floors.

There is a small lobby with a couple of check in desks and a handful of armchairs, but fundamentally it is just a corridor to the lifts:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham lobby

It was weirdly dark, which made the hotel look like it wasn’t fully open.

Check in was quick and easy and my status benefits were acknowledged with an upgrade (there are only three room types so don’t get too excited!)

There are two lifts that take you up to the guest rooms on floors 23 and 24, but they are quite slow.

Rooms at Hotel Indigo Birmingham

I was given a corner room, which was very pleasant and clearly – given how high I was – had great views. The door was around a corner from the room itself:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham room entrance

It was very spacious, with a big king bed as the centrepiece:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham bedroom

Let’s talk about the bed for a minute. It was certainly big, but the mattress was, frankly, odd. It had completely lost its shape and was very saggy. It’s not clear if this was a one-off in my room or if all of the hotel beds are in need of replacing. The hotel opened in 2011 so these may be the original beds.

There are bedside tables on both sides of the bed, and both come with two plug sockets AND two USB sockets:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham connectivity

The Zebra-stripe armchairs are perhaps a step too far but on the whole the room is nicely designed, with a bright carpet balanced out by the navy wall and walnut furniture:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham wardrobe armchair

There is a decent desk where I spent the afternoon working, plus the TV and Nespresso coffee machine:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham desk

A kettle and mini bar were inside the wardrobe:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham wardrobe

The bathroom feels a little more basic than the rest of the room, with some very simple tiling:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham bathroom

The shower features dual shower heads:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham shower

Toiletries are ‘heaven’ by Deborah Mitchell, in large pump bottles.

Hotel Indigo Birmingham toiletries

Hotel Indigo Birmingham restaurant

The hotel restaurant, on the top floor, is a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse. This is the only facility in the hotel and it’s also where breakfast is served, although unfortunately I had to be at the airport early for the Flybe launch event.

It’s a pretty big restaurant:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham Marco Pierre White

The window tables are obviously the most popular. I had the French onion soup to start which was so hot I had to let it cool down for several minutes!

Hotel Indigo Birmingham Marco Pierre Whte french onion soup

Then the roast lamb:

Hotel Indigo Birmingham Marco Pierre white lamb

The food and service were good, and my only issue was the time it took to pay at the end.

Conclusion

To be honest, the Hotel Indigo Birmingham is a little odd. There are virtually no facilities – you have the tiny lobby on the ground floor, two floors of guest rooms and then the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse on top. There is no gym, pool or lobby lounge area and in some ways it feels more like serviced apartments than a hotel.

(EDIT: Reader comments below say that the hotel did have access to an impressive sports complex in the same building, but that it closed during the pandemic.)

That said, if you are in Birmingham for business then it could work well. The rooms are smart, the location is decent and for many people the lack of a pool or large lobby space won’t be a problem.

Prices start at £150 per night in May or 28,000 points. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.


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Comments (55)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • mark2 says:

    We have just stayed in the Hotel Indigo in Cardiff and the tiles in the bathroom were amazing and looked like a reproduction of Victorian classics. The only criticism of the room was the ‘wardrobe’ which was about a foot wide so with the hangars and ironing board had no room to hang anything. We had managed to leave our case on the bed at home so that was not a problem. Across the road was the St. David’s shopping centre with every possible shop.
    The Marco Pierre White restaurant at dinner and breakfast was disappointing, but as a franchise (hotel and restaurant) not necessarily indicative.

    In a couple of weeks we are staying in the Indigo Chester. The Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon is superb especially the Woodsman restaurant.

    • RussellH says:

      Agree about Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon. Unlikely to go there again though, as Stratford is now only 50 mins drive away.

      • mark2 says:

        15 mins for us, but must go to restaurant again.
        We had our wedding reception therein 1975 when called Falcon.

  • krys_k says:

    Just steps away is the AC Birmingham. Have racked up 50 odd nights here in last eight months. It has a small gym, restaurant that is a lounging area and ok enough to have a beer in, friendly staff, a black sheep coffee shop (£2.16 for a flat white with oat if staying at hotel), and only two types of room. Both spacious. And a huge and comfortable bed. The only minuses are: a trendy sink that is shallow and refuses to drain quickly, a heating system that switches off the minute you leave the room so when it’s cold outside and you get back of an evening to room it’s cold and parking at Q for £18.30 a night.

    • OP says:

      Am a big fan of the AC in Birmingham. Definitely my preference over the Indigo for similar reasons as you, plus small things like being ever so slightly closer to everything else / the main stations.

    • Tariq says:

      I’ve been a frequent stayer here over the last few years as well. I tend to just park on the street as I arrive after 6 pm from work and always leave before 8 am.

  • Meyers says:

    Can confirm that:
    – Indigo Birmingham (thought there was only one) is one of the worst hotels I’ve stayed in – poor, poor service and felt more like a hostel
    – Indigo Chester is nice but unloading and parking is very tricky, the TV ‘s didn’t work with no offer of compensation and someone in reception needs a lesson in manners. The restaurant’s good though!
    – Indigo in Stratford is fab…..all round

    Great review! 👍

  • JonnyFly says:

    A few years ago I used to stay here regularly – mainly for the location and the collection of IHG points. I also found the hotel odd and unbalanced — draughty small reception but fancy (-looking) restaurant.

    The rooms have clearly since been renovated but the bathrooms look original. Immediately outside though there is the canal area with some restaurants, cafes and bars with outdoor seating plus a Tesco Express. The Mailbox is only a short walk if you don’t need the, um, full delights of Birmingham city centre….and so the setting makes quite a difference.

    • Kiran_mk2 says:

      Just inside the Mailbox from the canal area is Bar Estilo which is a great Tapas place. Just outside the Mailbox and on the canal is Red Peppers – both pretty nice independent/local places to eat.

  • Aston100 says:

    “Fundamentally, Hotel Indigo is a relatively budget friendly boutique chain.”

    Sorry Rhys, if you feel Hotel Indigo is a budget friendly brand, then you are probably unaware of what ‘budget friendly’ means.
    There are many other hotel brands that are far more budget friendly than an Indigo.

    By the way, your reviews seems to imply there is nothing else around; you fail to mention the tons of eateries both within the building itself and immediately outside.

    Being familiar with the hotel and the vicinity, I feel this is a disappointing review and is quite unfair to the hotel.

    • Rhys says:

      Fair point, I was trying to compare vs luxury. Mid-market may be a better descriptor.

      Have you stayed at the hotel?

      • Aston100 says:

        Apologies, I realise my comments may have come across like Tim M.

  • 1nfrequent says:

    I generally like the Indigo brands and have had some good stays in them but some are more miss than a hit. I can recommend the Indigo in Durham – comfortable room and very friendly staff. Only issue was the parking is limited.

    1F

    • Tom says:

      +1 for Indigo Durham. Great hotel in a historic setting, really well done.

    • DarrenS says:

      Agree that Indigos are hit and miss. Durham is a fantastic building with great staff and we got upgraded to a big room in the tower. Found parking on the street really easily. York – V dark, small rooms, nice breakfast, parking a pain. Chester, a little out of the City. Rooms and parking, as York.

    • Chas says:

      I also enjoyed the Indigo Durham last year – fantastic building, and a great meal in the Marco Pierre White restaurant there. Checked in as Spire with two rooms, and when I said I’d take the drinks voucher rather than points was then asked if I’d like 2 or 4. Silly question really, but the wife and I enjoyed a couple of cocktails each, whilst we paid cash for the the teens cheaper drinks. Was only expecting to get 2 vouchers max.

  • tom says:

    I like the Indigo brand and have stayed in MANY around the world including this one (2019). I like the fact that as a chain hotel I know I’m getting a certain standard, but that the indigo will be a bit different as it take inspiration from the local area. (Singapore’s indigo is a nod back to the Peranakan culture or the location in San Diego’s was all about the gaslamp area).

    That said this particular Indego is a bit of a let down vs. expectations. The room has an amazing view and we slept well, but I found the restaurant a bit slow and chaotic. The area around the hotel has LOTS of things to see/do/eat though. One of the random highlights for me, as an engineer, is if you park over night, their on site car park is one of these automated machines. You cannot see the full workings, but as a one off it was worth it.

    As others have said, I’d hardly call this budget friendly hotel or even a budget hotel. The holiday inn express or Travelodge are budget friendly hotels in my eyes and wallet, unless I’m just a poor northerner!

    • Leo says:

      It’s not you it’s Rhys – I think he’s had his head turned by the Ritz-Carlton Reserve lol 😉

      • qrfan says:

        Checking a few random Friday nights it’s between £170 and £200 per night. Doesn’t seem very budget friendly to me…

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Well if your budget is £200/night it is budget friendly then 😜.

  • Karl says:

    Indigo’s seeem to be very much a case of YMMV. Glasgow and Liverpool were lovely – really nice rooms, free minibar with some local snacks, crisps and biscuits.
    Paddington was a bit of a dump. Room tatty with ashtray on outside windowsill containing old fags that could be smelt inside the room. No complimentary snacks/drinks. Complained to reception who said they don’t do that anymore. Manager then stepped in and offered a bottle of water.

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