05 Feb 2024

Discovering The Hidden Gem on The A45: Unveiling Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport NEC

This blog provides a captivating chronicle of the hidden gem on the A45 – the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport NEC. Join us on a journey through time as we unveil the rich history, recent transformations, and the vibrant present of this 4-star marvel.


Nestled in the heart of the Midlands, just a stone's throw away from Birmingham Airport (BHX), the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport NEC unveils itself as a captivating hidden gem along the A45.

This 241 room, 4-star marvel doesn't just offer a comfortable retreat for travellers, it's a living testament to history, originally built as the RAF Headquarters.

Transport yourself back to a time when the likes of Bruce Forsyth, Des O'Connor, David Bowie, and Tommy Cooper graced the halls. The hotel, once charging a mere £7.99 for a single room per night and £11.99 for a double/twin, echoes with stories from its glamorous past.

Michelle Lowe, the housekeeping manager with over 40 years of service since the Excelsior days, said: “My journey at this incredible place, the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport has been nothing short of a captivating tale.

"My journey began when this establishment was a 141 bedroom haven, known as the Exlistor. Back then, what are now our conference rooms served entirely different purposes. The Main Restaurant, Accounts Office, GM Office, and even Staff Quarters. Oh, the stories I could share from those days.

"In the early 2000s, the standard block underwent refurbishment, creating an exciting chapter. Shortly after, we transformed into the 'Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport' a franchise that brought about a wave of changes.

"Around 2010, the Executive block expanded our horizons, comprising of a 241-room haven. A new challenge for our housekeeping team, but oh, what an exhilarating one.

"Fast forward to 2019 and we welcomed new owners, 11 Hospitality (Birmingham) Limited, and our new General Manager, Jamie Evans. This marked another significant development for our beloved Holiday Inn. Today, we boast a fabulous space with top-notch bedrooms, and everything promised has come to life, thanks to our incredible team.

"People often ask, 'Why stay in one place for so long?' My response is simple: Same building, different owners, different managers, different teams – making each year uniquely different, each with its own story to tell."

"This place holds more than just professional memories for me. It's where I met David, where we said, 'I do'. where our son Daniel had his christening and later his wedding. The hotel has become part of our familie’s story”.

In 2020, the hotel underwent a remarkable transformation. A dramatic upgrade saw 138 bedrooms revamped, and public areas, including the reception, bar, and restaurant, melded into a sprawling open lobby space. An external terrace was added, inviting guests to savor moments of relaxation amid contemporary elegance.

The journeys continued in 2023 with a significant £1.8 million investment into the Lancaster Suite, solidifying the hotel's status as a premier venue for events and conferences.

What sets Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport apart? Despite the extraordinary refurbishment, the hotel remains deeply rooted in its history. All 14 conference rooms are named after famous RAF planes from World War II, paying homage to its origin. From the Hawker Tempest to the iconic Spitfire.

Wander through the open lobby and conference floor where the hotel offers a communal environment, and you will discover key artifacts which reflect the history of Birmingham Airport and the hotel itself where a commitment to showcasing the diverse cultures and characters is evident in its design, décor and food and beverage offerings. It's a journey through time, seamlessly blending the past with the present.

"It is not just a hotel, it is an experience for family, friends, and business," says Rupesh Singh, the hotel manager. Beyond the rich history, the hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers, perfectly situated near the M42 motorway and close to the M6. It serves as the ideal hub for events at Resort World, the NEC, and the Vox Conference Centre.

And that's not all! Need a caffeine fix at any hour? Experience convenience at its best with an onsite 24-hour Starbucks. It's right at your doorstep. Indulge and relax in the luxurious onsite leisure centre featuring a 12-meter swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, and fully equipped gym. Whether you're here for work or leisure, Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport NEC ensures that your stay is not just comfortable but truly memorable.

As you explore the hidden gem on the A45, we invite you to uncover the stories, make memories, and become a part of the rich tapestry that is the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport NEC.

Book your stay today!