Historical Traveller Reviews of Sheraton Birmingham Hotel
horrible for 2 years in a row
We were staying a weekend for the Premier Beauty Show and it was a bad experience from start to end. Checking in was impossible because the computer would not accept my debit card, yet I had more than adequate funds in the bank. We held up the line and the front desk made it seem like it was my fault, like I was a deadbeat with no cash in the bank. My sister finally had to put it on her credit card. Yet I had no trouble using my debit card shopping at the show, eating at their restaurant, etc. The room was a disgrace. Dirty, dingy, and old. My sister got poked in the head with a nail that was sticking our from where part of the headboard trim was broken off and it pulled out some of her hair, too. The 2 choices of restaurants were a joke. Severely overpriced with a buffet that had lukewarm food and plastic tasting dessert. Every one of the servers we had couldn't have cared less about their job. It was just awful. I complained bitterly and they did give me some gift certificates to use again, but they had already expired! So I complained again and months later finally got new gift certificates, which we did use the following year. We managed to get a room that had been remodeled, but it was just an ordinary motel room. Room service was so slow, over an hour. Same experience in not being able to check in with my debit card. Same experiences with the overpriced restaurants, bad food, couldn't-care-less servers. It's as if they know they've got you trapped downtown where you can't walk to any other restaurants, so they don't try. Even parking in their structure costs, too. This year we decided to go back and stay at the Embassy Suites and pay the $10 taxi ride down to the hair show, even though it would be easier to stay at the Sheraton and walk across the connecting bridge to the convention center. At least there you get what you pay for. At the Sheraton you pay for what you don't get!
2nd time - not as good
Business traveler here. Check in was long and no upgrades available. One person checking in 5 pilots and three other guests. I would say 25 minutes. Parking was Valet - but $16.00 plus tips which they asked for. Rooms were great and Sheraton - so no complaints. Room was really far away. The inside bar in the atrium was not great food, but not bad. Beer was cold so that helped. Overall, the stay was ok - not great again. Breakfast was pretty filling to start the day off. I certainly prefer the Courtyard down by UAB - so stay there.
This place is acceptable, but I wouldn't choose it again. I was in a "tower" room, perhaps the "atrium" rooms are nicer? I'm not sure. The lobby and public spaces are nice enough, but the rooms are showing their age. Scuff marks and bits of frayed carpet are everywhere in the room. Few small, but annoying problems: Malfunctioning remote control (very few channels, by the way), inoperative high-speed data line in room, and a strange and annoyzing buzzing sound coming from the room's emergency speaker all night. The bathroom is TINY. The room also appeared as if housekeeping had done a really quick cleaning job. The room didn't look put together.
I would stay elsewhere...
A very nice stay overall.....
Just returned from a one night stay at the Sheraton Birmingham. We were in town for a wedding, and opted to bid on Priceline for a 3-star in Central Birmingham, and based on the info from ----, we knew that the Sheraton was likely the hotel that we would get. Got it for a lovely $51. Check-in was easy, and the clerk was very nice. We went to our room, and discovered we had been assigned a double/double. Since we preferred a king, I went back to the front desk and made my request. It was honored, and we gathered our luggage and went to the second room. When we walked in, again it was a double/double. Went back to the front desk, and was assigned a third room, this time in the atrium building, club level. (First two were tower rooms.) This room was twice the size of the tower rooms, had a great desk, couch, chair with ottoman, TV cabinet, and a nice sized bathroom. Very clean and modern.
The bed was the best part of the room, plenty of pillows, a fabulous down filled duvet, and triple sheets with a soft, comfy down blanket. The bath amenities included Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Jergens bath soap and facial bar, and Scope mouthwash. Towels were good quality and plenty big.
The service was good, if not great from most. The bellmen were more than helpful, and each one we passed greeted us. The front desk clerks were helpful for the most part. We did deal with one who was a little less that friendly, but par for the course. Parking was strange. As far as I know the only place to park is the Convention Center parking deck. At $5 (without in and out priviledges), one could go broke if you have to leave much. What they don't tell you at check-in or otherwise, is that you can buy an unlimited parking pass from the hotel for $10/day. We figured this out only after we'd come and gone twice, already, when I went to guest services to complain about the ridiculous parking cost that were building. So just remember to ask for a pass.
Overall, we had a very enjoyable stay for a ridiculously cheap rate, and would be happy to stay here again on our next visit to Birmingham.
Hit or Miss
I stayed at the Birmingham Sheraton with two co-workers. My room was just fine - comfy bed, spacious, clean room, and a nice view of the atrium. The staff was extremely pleasant and went out of their way to make sure I had the room I wanted. But my coworkers had worse experiences. One found that his room had fleas (yes, FLEAS!) He was moved to another room, only to find that the door didn't lock. The other guy got stuck with a dirty room - old socks, bottles of feminine products, etc.
The food in the sports bar/grill was slightly worse than mediocre. The breakfast buffet was fine. I can't comment on the hotel prices since I paid a cheap corporate rate.
FYI: the view out of most rooms is downtown Birmingham - dingy buildings and parking garages and the interstate. Try to get a room facing into the atrium, at least you can people watch. The hotel has a nice sized gift shop too.
from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife I stayed here one night of our honeymoon. We were not impressed. There was nothing specific that made the stay "bad", per se...But there was nothing to really make it good either. My wife was disgusted with the fact that our room had no outside windows. Personally, I kind of enjoyed the balcony overlooking the atrium, but she thought that we should have outside access for the $179 we payed. We also reserved a king bed and recieved two doubles instead. That was irritating, but they said no kings were available. I really didn't find the Sheraton Birmingham any nicer than the $70 La Quinta we stayed at in Atlanta 2 nights later. The valet was slow and not very helpful and the front desk was the same way. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good...But it was overpriced.
We were travelling from the Midwest and needed a sleepover hotel. Fortunately, they had a room available. Very friendly staff. Room was clean. Bedding extremely comfortable. Room was slightly smaller than I imagined but very nice nonetheless.
My only complaint is the parking. You have to park across the street in Civic Center parking garage. And then go through hotel maze to get back to actual rooms. But that's how it is in most downtowns.
Free breakfast buffet the next morning which was excellent!
Go somewhere else!
from A TripAdvisor Member
Well, let me start off with the front desk. It took about 45 minutes to check me in! They made it feel like it was my fault! When I finally got to my room (supposed to be club level, but they have no club level lounge) it was filthy. I dont know if housekeeping was on strike? Next, the restaurant...I dont know who came up with the prices but $14 for a hamburger? WOW!!! The service was pretty bad. I just kept hearing about the Sheraton Promise. It was like these people were robots. I complained mightily to the GM but have yet to hear anything. To make a long story short...Aweful service, high prices, dirty hotel = a high room rate?
Adequate, but a bunch of show for nothing.
Was very glitzy outside, but the room wasn't that special. Was slightly dissapointed, was expecting something...wow... for $156 a night in a small town, but only got the same as all the other less priced hotels. Bathroom was very small, no room to even sit your purse on the sink. No parking lot, must park in adjacent parking deck used for the Civic Center, cost $10.00 a day. A long haul with luggage. had to walk to the otherside of hotel to get ice. Bathrooms downstairs in lobby were in need of immediate cleaning attention. Not a bad place, just average, you could get the same for half the money. Cheap toilet paper and tissues, towels you see at the other mid priced places.
t get the gushing in previous reviews
I had to laugh at the review before me by the "Manhattanite." While I didn't have the bad experiences that person had, I do commiserate because the restaurant is shockingly expensive (on par with Chicago prices). It was close to $70 for me alone to eat there (and I did not have steak or dessert or a bottle of wine by myself). There really are not any other options in the desolate area surrounding the hotel. The restaurant is situated in the "courtyard" of an atrium. Wow! It felt just like I was eating outside! But the room itself was okay - while the bedding was comfy, (a Westin heavenly bed), the bathroom and toiletries were subpar. As for the other amenities, there's nothing that you wouldn't normally find at other hotels of this caliber.
Top Local Tips for Birmingham
Alabama Theatre is a TREASURE
The fully restored 1927 Alabama Theatre, about 6 blocks from the hotel, is a wonderful, beautiful place for any event that they might be holding. It is a movie palace that is unbelievably magnificent.
MLK Jr. Birthsite and Civil Rights Museaum
The Civil Right Museum was extremely well done. My teenagers and I learned so much more than what we read in textbooks or have seen in movies. We spent two hours there and then drove around the neighborhood, where we saw many of the sites mentioned in the museum. Martin Luther King National Park is well done, but we were over run by school tours. The displays are close together and in a relatively small room. With all of the hundreds of kids running around, it was difficult to appreciate the displays. As a teacher, I was pleased to see all of the students visiting the site, but it was just too crowded and noisy. We arrived 15 minutes after opening, because our navigation system couldn't figure out where the parking lot was, and the tours of MLK birth home were full for the next four hours with school tours. If you want to tour the home on a school day, get their BEFORE the museum opens OR go in the late afternoon, when they have returned home.
There is a store next to Saks called Max Studio. They are great, prices are great and clothes are beautiful!