The Briar Rose – Wetherspoon hotel – 25 Bennets Hill, Birmingham B2 5RE
We knew we would be too late to get home to Aberystwyth from Birmingham airport, especially on a Sunday night, so used our favourite standby booking.com to find a B&B. Unfortunately, the NEC had been hosting a horsey show so no rooms available unless we went to the city centre.
The Briar Rose is a Wetherspoon hotel five-minute walk from Great Western rail station (previously called New Street Station), perfect at just £39 for twin room. It has notices up saying it was voted best budget hotel in the area so were not sure what to expect, especially when we arrived at a large, busy city-centre pub.
What a surprise – welcoming reception area in the original Arts & Crafts style, very friendly and helpful staff, and a spacious, clean, comfortable room. If you want a perfect example of noise protection in a first-floor room above a pub, this is it! Secondary glazing has around 9-inch gap from the original window and absolutely no sound from below us. You can add breakfast for £5 each with the booking, or just choose breakfast in the bar downstairs anytime from 7.00am until midday.
Wetherspoon’s is known for refurbishing beautiful old buildings to retain original features and this was no exception. Lots of information and photographs related to the Pre-Raphaelite artists (also see the great collection of works at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery) and lots of framed works on the first floor as part of a local primary school project on Sleeping Beauty theme. Clearly we were impressed, and at this price it is worth staying overnight when Christmas shopping or seeing a show – note it is generally cheaper to stay over on a Sunday night. There is a lift & they have a room suitable for those with limited mobility.