AC Hotel | Birmingham | Review*

The weekend before Christmas, Terry and I headed up to Birmingham for a trip to the Christmas market. As usual, we left any organising to the last minute and the week leading up to that weekend, I was searching for a place to stay, hoping somewhere still had rooms available. After finding the AC Hotel on TripAdvisor and being impressed with their scoring and the overall look of the place, I decided to pluck up the courage and send over a little email. To my surprise, the next day I had a reply in my inbox, saying that they would be happy to offer us a complimentary stay.
Since we were driving up there, we was pleased to hear there was somewhere for us to park overnight. The hotel is part of shopping complex called The Mailbox. For a daily stay it costs just £20, but if you are staying in the hotel, you get a 15% discount.
From the carpark, the AC is a short two minute walk.
The Mailbox consists of designer shops and a number of great restaurants to dine at. You are spoilt for choice and with so much to offer just a stone throw away from the hotel, you don't really have to leave the centre. Very handy is the Tesco express next door to the hotel and my favourite part, was the Starbucks adjacent to the hotel lobby!
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the friendly staff at the front desk. We knew check in wasn't until 3pm, but as it was 1.30pm was aware that our room may have been ready early. The guy at reception informed us it wasn't, but that it was being seen to next and offered us each a complimentary drink at the hotel bar while we waited. Taking full advantage of the cocktail menu, I opted for an Expresso Martini and Terry kept it simple with a Southern Comfort and Lemonade. Don't judge us, we don't usually drink that early.. But hey we were on a break okay ;)
The bartender was just as friendly as the other staff and very chatty. He gave us a little run down of the hotels history and how Marriot are slowly branching out the AC Hotel in the UK. While they are fairly popular in Europe, there is currently only two based here in the UK at the moment.
After a short while, the guy from the front desk came to let us know our room was ready, so we finished our drinks and headed upstairs.
We had the canal view superior guest room, with a king size bed. Like everywhere, it's extra for the view, but its worth it! For around £20 more, you have the pretty canal to look out on and the chance to watch people down below go about their daily routine.

As we walked through our front door, the bathroom was to our right and storage on our left. Storage consisted of hanging space for your clothes/coats, along with an ironing board and iron. A couple of drawers and shelving space. There was a hairdryer in the top drawer, a plug socket right next to a full length mirror which is always a must have! A sturdy safe was in the gap between the drawers and the shelf and above that we had a standard kettle and tea making facilities. I loved the fact that they offered take away cups too; giving you the choice to have your hot drink "on the go"!
The bathroom was a good size, with a nice spacious sink area; giving you enough space to put your toiletries on the side rather than staying put in your case. In each room you get complimentary washing essentials, along with slippers and a soft bathrobe. Another small detail to some, but a must for me; is the size of the towels. I hate staying somewhere that doesn't give you a bath sheet to wrap around you and instead give you something that could easily represent a hand towel. Do they not realise we all come in different shapes and sizes? AC didn't disappoint us here though.
 Power showers are a must for me, so was really pleased with the shower in our room. Although it took a little while to heat up, the shower speed was spot on and again we wasn't squished somewhere in the corner; but had a nice spacious shower area.
Moving on from the bathroom, the rest of the room was large and welcoming. It's clear that the hotel hasn't cut corners to try and squeeze as many small rooms in as possible. With the rooms being light and airy, you certainly don't feel claustrophobic. The rooms are decorated to a high quality, modern and contemporary; with everything you need for a short stay. Wooden flooring gives you the comfort on knowing just how clean the floor is. No chance of hidden stains, or dirt that gets left behind like with carpet. With plenty of plug sockets around the room, there's ample of spots to sit with your phone charging, or with your laptop to catch up on work.
Each room is kindly supplied with a complimentary mini bar. What hotel does that these days? Complete with a large bar of chocolate, a bottle of still or sparking water to choose from, four beers and a can of coke. Can you tell I'm pleased by the smallest details yet haha?!
While we're on the topic of drinks, I just want to mention the coffee machine. So not only did we get the kettle and teabags I mentioned earlier and the above drinks in the fridge, but the room came complete with a coffee machine too! With a selection of four different pods, we were not limited for choice. Taking full advantage, we had one each in the evening and again in the morning whilst getting ready. Great coffee, a little strong even for me, but we brought some milk from the Tesco next door, so it turned out great in the end.
Considering our room was right at the end, we had no problem connecting to the hotels WIFI. Free and fast wifi that managed to reach us with no issues. Each room is complete with its own flatscreen TV. But not only that, something we were really impressed with; was the SKY TV! Terry was happy when he was able to catch the end of the Arsenal game before we left to go out. Knowing we had a comfortable room and Sky movies back at the hotel, we chose to have an early night out at the market and headed back.
The bed in or room was very comfortable and we both had a great night sleep. Made it very hard to remove ourselves from it in the morning! Fresh white linen helped towards the "clean" feel of the room.
When we did managed to drag ourselves out of bed in the morning, we was greeted by a great view over the canal. It may have been a bit grey, but it certainly isn't a disappointing view. On a clear, sunny day it must be so pretty?
Breakfast wasn't agreed on for our free stay, but we decided we wanted to try out all what the hotel had to offer. A fantastic continental spread, that spoilt us for choice. If your not too adventurous, you can chose to have your basic cereal or toast maybe, with some great toppings? Or how about a fresh muffin or croissant, with different types to choose from? A fantastic selection of fresh fruit; apples, bananas, grapes, watermelon, or a mixed fruit salad. Something I've only ever seen abroad, was their selection of cheese and meats. Again, a great selection to choose from. But if you're like us, you'll be most interested in the full English style breakfast. Considering this too was in a buffet style, everything was cooked to perfection and had so much flavour to it. We fully enjoyed it and was gutted we were so full after, as we would have loved to go back for seconds!
Breakfast is served until 10.30am and costs just £12 per person. We was pleasantly surprised at how much was on offer for the great priced even more surprised when we went to pay at check-out and was told it had already been sorted for us :)

Writing this review has made me realise just how great the hotel is. We knew it already after our experience, but writing everything down puts things into perspective. I wish I could say it came with a rubbish check out time just to add a negative, but it doesn't! Check out at the AC Hotel in Birmingham is 12pm. Giving you ample time to have a lie in. Pop down for some breakfast and then return to your room until it's time to leave.
I can't wait to see more AC Hotels pop up around the UK. I don't for a second doubt their success and know for sure we'll definitely be returning to one!

We want to thank everyone at AC for making our stay a great one and thank you for giving me the chance to review such a pleasant place.

*We received a complimentary stay at this hotel, however all views, opinions and photos are my own.

Love Hannah xx


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  1. Me and my boyf are looking to stay at an AC hotel in Brazil this spring! Looks beautiful! :)

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