Well, it’s that time of year again! The run up to Crufts is on, and on 8th March, Oscar will be going to report on the greatest dog show on earth. He writes: “After my first NEC experience in 2018, one of the thingsI I am most looking forward to is our stay at the same hotel we used on that occasion. Prepare yourselves, Ibis Styles, NEC, I am on the way!
What makes this hotel so special? I would say that apart from the excellent facilities, what really stands out for me is the wonderful hotel staff! From the moment we stepped into the building we were made to feel valued, and the wonderful young staff really took care of Mum and I. Nothing was too much trouble, and they invariably anticipated our needs. What is more, they absolutely adored me! So did many of the other guests.
The Ibis Styles is a modern, light and airy building that also offers a gentle nod to traditionalism. The lobby is spacious and inviting, with welcoming reception staff, who very quickly assessed our needs and assured Mum that she would receive all necessary help.
They quickly introduced Mum to a conference room, where her scooter could be securely stored and charged overnight, thus ensuring we had plenty of space in our accessible room. Throughout our stay, the young staff always carried Mum's things to and from our room, leaving her free to concentrate on walking!
Our quiet ground floor room was well appointed, and included a small dressing area and wet room, with ample space to get around easily.
The bed was very comfortable, with the complimentary items usually found at good hotels. After a long day at the NEC, a shower and a quiet cup of coffee in your room are always welcome. The lighting was adequate, and there were plenty of power points, as well as free wifi, which is essential for journalists like me.
The Ibis Styles also welcomes guests using Birmingham International Airport, which is almost next door, but we were not disturbed by aircraft noise at any time during our stay. We slept well, which meant we were ready to meet the demands of each day. Being on the ground floor was especially welcome as it gave me fast and easy access to the lawns surrounding the hotel. These things are important for a dog before bedtime and early in the morning if you know what I mean! Yes, we remembered the poo bags!
Many regular readers will know that as a scent hound, I can sniff out food at record speed. At the Ibis Styles, I soon found their large airy dining and lounge area, where I observed that the food was good. The buffet breakfast was a rare treat for Mum as she did not have to cook it! As a dog on a diet I really appreciated a tiny piece of her delicious sausage at the start of my busy working day. Mum ate there each evening, and from the delicious food aromas, and the handed down titbits, I can assure you dinner was equally good.
The close proximity of the Ibis Styles to the NEC is a great advantage. A 5 minute walk or 2 minutes with the scooter, and we were there. In inclement weather, that is a real gift and so much better than having to park at the NEC, then walk to catch a crowded courtesy bus to the venue.
On returning to the hotel each evening we found the same pleasant welcome from the lobby staff. What pleasant young people they were! Any hotel is only as good as its staff, and that's exactly what makes this a really special place to stay.
When it was time to leave, Mum was helped to our vehicle that had spent a couple of days in the hotel's large, quiet car park, which is protected by CCTV.
As a canine visitor, I reckon you won’t find a more dog friendly hotel almost anywhere in England. Yep, The Ibis Styles NEC Birmingham is really great, even for a shy dog who had never stayed in a hotel before. I can’t wait to go again.
Woofs for now
Photograph. Emma Newman Pics-Elated Photography
Major Events UK Editor
1st February 2019