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After months of preparation, applications for Tanja's visas to Australia and New Zealand, sending out her passport and filling out dozens of form everything is finally don. The visas are here and we are ready to pack.
We got our tickets via Vayama web site where we found very reasonable prices. Average tickets were $2100-2300 per person... ours were $1660 each so we saved almost a $1000. We also got a ...
Today we are traveling to Birmingham Alabama, the place where Warren G Harding gave a speech in a time of the civil rights movement. During these times your typical white male would be using put downs or making African Americans feel like they were less of a person than someone who was white. During Harding's speech he called for racial equality. This shocked the world. The fact that a white man stood ...
... it isn't. But I am one of his grammas, and that is how I am going to read it. And Gayle's Papillon, Dudley, seemed glad to be getting rid of Zeus. He is wearing the wounds from Zeus' greeting with as much grace as he can muster.
We sat up and visited until there was nearly as much yawning as conversation. Thanks, Gayle, for opening your home to me, and to Rita for helping me feel welcome!
I make the quick drive from Birmingham to Montevallo, Alabama, to visit the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at the University of Montevallo. This school is unique as the only public liberal arts university in the state, and one of the handful in the nation.
... and walked to the Peabody hotel to watch the infamous duck parade through the hotel lobby. The tradition began in the 1950s when two friends that owned the Peabody Hotels in Memphis and Little Rock went hunting and thought it would be funny to put some of the ducks in the hotel lobby's fountain. Their funny idea attracted people from everywhere. They flocked to the hotels daily to watch the ducks prance down the red carpet twice a day. ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Sheraton Birmingham
Friendly, Professional, and a Sincere touch of Class
I just wanted to take a moment to say how absolutely wonderful this hotel was. I have never written a review before, even though I do my fair share of traveling. This hotel however was amazing. People would not think of Birmingham as the most incredible or high polished towns, but this hotel stands out and shines as much as the city itself.
The rooms are more than adequate, and have the feeling of a true home away from home. And while I know Sheraton has a uniform bedding, there is just something about this hotel that helped me relax, focus and recharge. I found the rooms more than equipped with the latest high speed internet connectivity my team needed, ample phone service and GREAT room service and hotel restaurant which allowed us to save time on seaching through the city on the nights when we couldn't spare it. On the nights we did have time to explore and have a taste of Birmingham, I found the hotel staff among the most helpful and providing suggestions and directions to sights and sounds throughout the city.
Finally, I would just love to commend the hotel for its great conference facilty. Again, my team closed the deal with the help of meeting facilities that are geared for 21st century business.
Like I said, I don't write hotel reviews. The people at Sheraton and Birmingham deserve to be very proud of this fine facility, one I know I plan to use for business and pleasure many more times in the future. Kudos.
Unclean, Tired and Clueless
Wow, I'm surprised at what a different experience these other folks had!
I arrived to find that despite the fact that we had called to say we wouldn't arrive until 1am, they had "no record of our reservation." After we dug out the Res Number, they explained that all rooms not checked in by midnight were automatically cancelled. When told the front desk person that we called and who we spoke to, the front desk just said, "oh well, I guess he didn't do anything." The walk to my room seemed designed to showcase how many different stains a carpet could hold.
It appears the hotel may have been built in stages. If you are in the atrium section, it will appear newer, however many rooms have a window that faces to an interior atrium but no window that faces outside. To me, it's like sleeping in a closet that has a window facing another closet.
You will be hard pressed to find any one to answer the telephone at this hotel, no matter what time of day or night you call. You will find 3 or 4 young men who hand valet parking perfectly, but only one person working the front desk.
If you get a package, you must get security to get it for you and that can take 40 minutes. Finally, I went back to my room and asked them to deliver it. When they did, the security guard knocked on my door and asked me to see some ID (I guess he thought someone had broken into my room and was pretending to be me).
Dining at the hotel proved to be the worst part of the experience. Because the hotel is unfortunately situated near a highway overpass and a convention center, there are only 2 options for food if you don't want to drive. One is a SUBWAY sandwich shop. It is always crowded and it can take 35 minutes to get a normal, no-frills, no cook sandwich. The other is the hotel eatery. I was shown to a table with a flilthy cloth placemat. I took it off the table and the server tried to put it back. I explained that I did not want to stare at all the meals others had shared with the placemat and that ended that.
I am from Manhattan and one happy byproduct of that is to think that everyplace I go is cheap. This is not true here. A steak dinner here costs $2 more than when I ate at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse the following night. I am not kidding.
To get food that is warm at this hotel is to feel like you've hit the lottery.
Rubbing salt in the wounds of any stay here is that the entire staff will tell you at every opportunity: "We have our Sheraton Promise Help, would you like me to tell you about it?"
I replied: "Is that where you don't answer the phone, don't wash a table between guests, won't give a guest their packages, don't clean the carpets and inflate the only dining option available to guests unfortunate enough to be trapped at your hotel?"
Told you I was from Manhattan.
Great choice while in Birmingham
I was very impressed with the service at the Sheraton Birmingham Civic Center. I was attending a convention, and it seems they took care of everything! The rooms looked like-new and the staff was helpful.
I stayed at the Sheraton for New Year's Eve and overall, I was impressed with this hotel. The beds looked and felt as if they were brand new, the rooms were clean, and the shower had good water pressure. The staff that I encoutered were pleasant. The only thing I can complain about is the price of the breakfast at the atrium cafe. The food was good, but $15.95 a piece for a breakfast buffet seems a little high to me! I would stay here again, but probably do room service for breakfast the next time.
I had a very pleasant stay at this hotel while in Birmingham for a convention. You can't beat the convenience of this hotel for the civic center. The room had just been renovated and was tastefully appointed, and the bed was excellent. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful.
Good Location if you want to be near the BJCC
I stayed here twice and it has been nice both times. The most recent was for a concert this past May of 2004. The rooms are very clean and the bed is excellent for a good nights sleep. The pool and jacuzzi were nice too they are indoors. The atrim area is nice just to hang out to mix and mingle with friends. A restaurant and sports bar and in the area. I would definitely stay again. Also, I received a good rate of only $80.00. I would consider this a four star hotel.
This Hotel is Great
This was my second time to stay at this hotel over a two night period while attending a conference. This hotel is great. The beds are wonderful, nice and firm and provide an excellent night's sleep. The room is clean and well furnished with towels and extra pillows. The hotel overall is excellent and provides great service and staff I encountered was very friendly. I would highly recommend this hotel.
Excellent service and room!!
The Sheraton service was fantastic! The new sweet sleeper beds were so comfortable that I felt like I was at home. It was so convenient that the civic center is connected to the hotel; everything is right there!
Steer Clear of the Sheraton
I made an overnight stay at the Sheraton based primarily on its location and to get Starwood points. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this hotel. Most importantly, its rooms are very dated and in dire need of renovation. I felt as if I had traveled back in time to 1985. I stayed in the "tower" portion; there is also an "atrium" that looked a bit newer from the outside. Perhaps those rooms are not so outdated and weathered looking.
The other thing that really bothered me was the bed. Sheraton advertises the "perfect" bed, and mine was far from it. I have stayed at Sheratons that have the new "perfect" bed, and what I had was not it. They shouldn't advertise it if the rooms don't have it yet. The bed I had was hard as a rock and felt like an Econolodge.
The air conditioning was anemic at best. I don't know if the master system had not yet been turned on (my stay was in April), but I kept inching it further and further toward "cool" and finally ended up with it all the way. I still woke up hot -- the system might have gotten it down to 77 or so.
The cut-off for room service breakfast is really early -- 10 PM. And my menu (which I couldn't use because I arrived at 11 PM) was already filled out by the previous guest.
There is no valet parking. You have to park yourself, and at a garage that is across the street from the rear of the hotel.
The room was at least clean, and breakfast was pretty good at the Atrium Cafe. The staff I encountered were very courteous. The workout area and pool are pretty nice. But for a "rack" rate of $189, I expected more. Overall, I would recommend staying elsewhere when in Birmingham.
I stay at the Birmingham Sheraton every week, and every time it is a pleasure. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the rooms are well appointed and clean. I enjoy every aspect of my trip!