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BEST WESTERN PLUS Carlton Suites 2.5

Birmingham, Alabama, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Just off Interstate 65, within walking distance of several restaurants
  • Spacious, clean suites with microwaves, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and sleeper sofas
  • Some suites have whirlpool tubs and separate walk-in showers
  • Free hot breakfast buffet with eggs and breakfast meats
  • Free weekday manager’s reception with finger food and drinks
  • Heated indoor pool in a glass-enclosed room
  • Fitness center with cardio and weight-training equipment
  • Business center and meeting space for up to 40 people
  • Guest laundry room, plus valet dry cleaning and laundry services
  • Free parking and free hotel-wide Wi-Fi
  • Pets welcome for a fee

Cons

  • Dark and dated suites with cramped bathrooms
  • No on-site restaurant and pool is small
  • Suites lack safes

Bottom Line

The budget Best Western Plus Carlton Suites is a good choice for business and leisure travelers who don't want to spend a lot on lodging, particularly those looking at an extended stay. The 102 suites at this pet-friendly hotel are clean and spacious -- if a bit dark and dated -- and all have kitchenettes, sleeper sofas, and free Wi-Fi. However, the bathrooms are cramped. Facility highlights include a free hot breakfast, a weekday managers reception, a heated indoor pool, a fitness center, and a guest laundry room. Rates are attractive for all that’s included, but travelers may also want to consider the mid-range Drury Inn & Suites Birmingham Southwest next door, which has similar amenities and rates that are typically just a tad higher. 

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Scene

Budget-friendly extended-stay property popular with business travelers and tourists alike

This quiet hotel has a modestly sized lobby with dark and traditional decor that borders on formal and feels almost misplaced in a lower-middle-range hotel. Large vases, red-and-gold valance curtains, and portraits of American icons are positioned around a set of dark-brown leather and wood armchairs and sofas. The furniture is flanked by black granite tables and hardwood floors and sits below a recessed skylight framed by a black ceiling. This slightly prim look continues into the other areas of the hotel, like the breakfast room with its decorative molding and high-backed chairs, and even the indoor pool with its pitched ceiling. The property is popular with business travelers and casual visitors alike, especially those on extended stays.

Location

Just off Interstate 65, about 12 minutes south of downtown Birmingham by car

Map of BEST WESTERN PLUS Carlton Suites

This hotel is situated just off Interstate 65, about 12 minutes south of downtown Birmingham by car. The State Farm Operations Center is an eight-minute walk (one-minute drive), and several restaurants are within five minutes or less on foot. A Walmart Super Center is a four-minute drive, and Brookwood Mall’s restaurants, department stores, and shops are 11 minutes way by car. Samford University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are about a 10-minute drive, and the McWane Science Center, Alabama Theater, and BJCC concert hall are approximately 12 minutes by car. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport takes 20 to 25 minutes to reach, depending on traffic. 

Rooms

Clean and spacious -- though a bit dark and dated -- with kitchenettes and sleeper sofas

Despite being large, clean, and well outfitted, the suites in this hotel feel somewhat dated. Espresso-hued wood and frosted-glass headboards are one of the nicer touches, with attached reading lights and nightstands. Colorful abstract art hangs on the walls, and the separate sitting areas with sleeper sofas and coffee tables enhance the feel of roominess. However, the heavy color combinations of burnt-red, gold, and copper plus the dark-wood furniture, low ceilings, and small windows make the suites look a bit dark and old. The least attractive feature of the suites are their cramped bathrooms, where acrylic faux-marble lines the shower/tub combos. Tan granite vanities are located outside the bathrooms; the same granite is used for the counters of the kitchenettes, which come equipped with sinks, microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. Standard suites come in King and Double Queen options, and some of the larger King units have bigger bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and separate walk-in shower stalls. 

Features

Indoor pool, fitness center, and guest laundry, plus freebies like Wi-Fi and breakfast

This Best Western Plus offers amenities that are more in line with extended stays, including a free weekday manager’s reception that includes snacks and drinks. The hotel also offers a free hot breakfast buffet with eggs and breakfast meats, and free coffee is available in the lobby. Other features include a guest laundry room, valet dry cleaning, and laundry. The fitness center has several cardio and weight-training machines and while small, the hotel's heated indoor pool is in a pleasant, glass-enclosed area with several patio tables. Parking is free, as is Wi-Fi. The hotel's sole meeting room can hold up to 40 people, and the dedicated business center has a boardroom-type table for meetings, along with two PCs and a printer. Although rooms lack safes, guests can use the safe deposit box at the hotel. Pets are welcome for a fee.

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Address

140 State Farm Pkwy, Birmingham, Alabama 35209-7186, United States

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