It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for hotel openings in Birmingham. Park Regis being one of them is a brand new 4* upscale hotel with a boutique feel and had barely been open for a week when I was invited last weekend for a complimentary stay with dinner, breakfast and an afternoon tea experience.
Although I live just 10 minutes away from Birmingham city centre, there’s something about checking into hotel for the first time, room service, free toiletries, big comfy beds and walk in showers that just excites me. It’s one of the many reasons why I love writing about hotels on my blog, and I have now created a specific ‘hotels’ category section in attempt to try out the best hotels in the UK this year, watch this space…
Park Regis now has 17 hotels of its kind and already have establishments in Sydney, Singapore and Dubai. Lucky for us, they now has chosen Birmingham as the first place to open in the whole of Europe. The hotel is located in the former Auchinleck House building on Broad Street and has received a whopping £50 million renovation offering 253 deluxe rooms, two junior suites and the largest presidential suite in Birmingham. My journalistic skills were tingling as I tried to find out which famous people have already booked to stay at the hotel but general hotel manager Robin wasn’t allowed to tell me… damn!
We checked into our room on Saturday afternoon and there was a small queue in the lobby, situated on the 4th floor. One man had an issue with his friend being located on different floor to him so I watched the staff to see how well they coped under pressure. From experiencing my mother working in hotel openings before, I expected the establishment to have a few teething problems to begin with. Although timely, the staff remained calm, polite and seemed to have everything under control and I applaud them for that, it can’t be easy! I do feel that the check ins / out process was on the slow side but this will pick up over time. A deposit will be required upon check in but will return to your account a few days later. A positive aspect to the hotel is once checked in, the lifts only move if you swipe your room card. This prevents random people entering the hotel and visiting the different floors and emphasises security.
Our standard size room for the night (£89) was incredibly clean, functional and spacious. I could have invited 50 guests over and still had room to move. The purple throw and white sheets on the bed were perfect room décor and also had a lounge chair positioned next to the bed for some casual reading time. Each room is supplied with a Queen size bed which are comfortable, cosy and roomy. Josh and I both lay there without knocking into one another and he is 6 ft 6, so you know for a fact these beds perfect for relaxing in.
Connecting twin rooms are also available and are equipped with a working desk, night lamps, bottled water, complimentary wi-fi, a 42 inch’ LCD TV, tea and coffee making facilities (with delicious biscuits I might add) and blackout curtains. I honestly could not fault our room for its high standard and a tiny niggle that we had a shower instead of a bath, but felt a mini bar would have been a bonus. And for all the women travelling with partners, if you order a deluxe room it comes with Sports channels, so watch out…
We spent a few hours making cups of tea and chilling before I dived into the shower. I must have been the first person to use it as the shower was spotless and fresh white towels were laid out waiting for me, with the friction mat still rolled up. We were provided with white robes and slippers to use at our convenience.
Before dinner we headed down to the hotel bar for drinks. We perched on the higher floor and overlooked the bar as hen do’s and groups came in. As far as hotel food goes, our dinner at ‘1565’ was very impressive. We were tipped off beforehand and had a recommendation from a staff member to try out the A La Carte menu, opting for the Cherry Smoked Lamb (£45). A touch more on the pricy side than average hotel food, I really rated the restaurant highly and not just because we were reviewing it. Staff were extremely attentive and pleasant during our staff and always made sure we had drinks on the table.
A little out of the ordinary but a whole trolly dedicated to bread was rolled around the restaurant. The girl serving joked about the size of the cart as it was perhaps not necessary but we dipped into some delicious homemade tomato and garlic breads with herb butter, a perfect starter. Our next courses were Picked White Crab Meat Tian with Crayfish Jelly (£7.95) and Josh had Mushroom Soup of the day (£6). The crab was tender and perfectly intricate for a small starter. My favourite part was the Black Sesame Seed Tuile which was an interesting twist on a classic French tuile which had a clear texture and crunchy, I wanted some more.
For mains we opted for the Cherry Smoked Lamb platter to share and I couldn’t fault the presentation. It came on a standing glass plate which steamed as the lid was lifted off, accompanied with hot roasted vegetables and we ordered some extra portions of onion rings (£3.75) and sautéed mushrooms with garlic butter (£3.75). You certainly get what you pay for at Park Regis and portion sizes are decent for two people. You can taste the onion rings are cooked from fresh as they have a light batter and were perfect temperature for nibbling on. The lamb had a cherry liquor to pour over the meat which was a bit unusual tasting but very tantalising. I love smoked food so this was perfect to accompany a glass of wine.
It would have been ideal if plates were warmed up before our food was brought out, but what did let the meal dip slightly was the man sitting next to us, huffing and complaining a lot about his ‘luke warm’ chips. Staff were made aware and rectified the problem immediately but personally we found our meal to be of excellence. We have heard great things about the Regis chef, so thank you for a fabulous meal.
We had a tiny bit of room left for a dessert and opted for the platter of Five Ways chocolates (Josh absolutely loved the macaroons, so sweet) and Josh went for the selection of 90’s style puddings which included apple crumble and jam roly poly. Both desserts were elegant and the menu had a limited selection but were tasty nonetheless. Needless to say, we slept extremely well that night and we stumbled back to our room drunk.
What I liked most about our room was the open view we had over Birmingham. The room became a little hot during the night as I had accidently turned the air con off, so be aware that the rooms can get quite stuffy during sleeping hours if you don’t keep it on. The blackout curtains did however led to a great night’s sleep and we woke up in the morning feeling extremelt refreshed and ready for more food.
Breakfast was one of the best I’ve tried at a hotel and we’ve visited a fair few. The egg station is a great touch and a female chef cooked us omelettes and eggs to our preference. The restaurant has a vast selection of juices, meats, cheese, fruits and pancakes, pastries and waffles and I enjoyed the creamy scrambled eggs, my favourite. I overheard people saying how impressed they were with the breakfast and I particularly enjoyed the white cutlery (perfect for instagramming). If you ever stay at the Regis, make sure to try out the breakfast bar, especially the hot breakfast on level 4 to fuel yourself up for the day ahead, they serve until 10am on Sunday’s so there’s no rush down if you have a hangover.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Park Regis, it was an incredibly relaxing stay and the hotel staff went out of their way to make sure everything we needed was provided. We were also kindly gifted with an Afternoon Tea experience and I’m surprised we managed to walk out the door without falling into a food coma. I am now working in collaboration with Park Regis to run a Tea for Two prize on my blog so don’t forget to enter.
Minus the minor problems of check in and some luke warm food complaints, I’m excited for the Shakina Urban Spa and gym facilities to open at the hotel this week on 14th April. Both Rofuto – the Japanese restaurant located on the 16th floor with a panoramic view of Birmingham and the Kurubu Cocktail Lounge are to open on 26th April. What do you think of Park Regis, will you be staying here any time soon?
160 Broad St, Birmingham B15 1DT
Please note: Our one night stay at Park Regis was complimentary, including food, drinks and afternoon tea. Opinions are 100% my own.