The Quirky & Cool Hotel Highland in Birmingham, AL
Update for 2022: The Hotel Highland is now the Hotel Indigo Birmingham Alabama. You can find recent reviews of the hotel here.
Back in June, I drove from MO to FL in two days. (I was helping teach Horse Camp at my barn in Missouri one day, and had a reservation at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort like 2 days later. Eep!) I decided to look for a fun hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, since it was about halfway along my route. As you probably know, I always try to find a hotel with some personality, so the Hotel Highland in Birmingham was a perfect fit!
The hotel has a funky Art Deco vibe, a great location for sightseeing, and plenty of amenities. If you’re looking for a hotel near the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Hotel Highland is just a 2 minute walk from the campus!
I arrived pretty late at night since it was a 550 mile drive to get there. There’s valet parking available, a parking garage right around back, or as I learned from the staff, free street parking until 8 am! Since I was planning to leave super early for the long drive to Florida, that worked out perfectly and I scored a spot right across the street from the entrance. (And the valet was kind enough not to laugh out loud at the 100 attempts it took me to parallel park.)
The lobby sets the mood for the rest of the hotel, filled with color, patterns, shapes, and art.
Hotel Highland is pet friendly (must keep this in mind for when I move back to FL, since I’ll have a car full of cats!), and there was even a jar of doggie treats on the check-in desk! I love little things like that! Hotel Highland has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past 3 years, and I have no doubt it’s little touches like this that help that happen. (You can read their TripAdvisor reviews here!)
As I often do when traveling, I traded the hotel a blog post about my experience there (hey look! You’re reading it now!) for my room for the night, so I had no idea what kind of accommodations to expect. Since I’m usually traveling solo, you could technically stick me in the tiniest room available and I’d be just fine, but sometimes I get surprised with awesome suites like this one! (Almost half of the hotel’s 63 rooms are suites!)
There’s just something so homey about having a living room in your hotel room.
It’s impossible not to notice that nothing at this hotel is boring beige or generic looking. The mix of patterns and textures almost feels like it shouldn’t work, and yet it totally does. The room has warmth created by the golds and yellows, but they’re muted enough that it’s still a really calm, relaxing space.
More fun with pattern mixing in the bedroom!
I was in love with the awesome drawer pulls on the dresser. Another one of those small details that makes a big impact!
Do I need to tell you how awesome this bed looked after like 11 hours in the car?
I always appreciate when a hotel understands that I need to charge ALL THE THINGS while I sleep. This power thing next to the bed had 6 outlets plus 2 usb ports, which made all of my electronic devices quite happy.
Even when traveling, I need some computer time to keep up with work, so I always love having a desk, especially with a big comfy office chair! It helps to put me in a business mindset so can focus and knock out the tasks that need to get done quickly, so I can get back to relaxing asap! (And thankfully the hotel has free WiFi!)
There’s something about having a hallway in your hotel room that makes it feel even bigger:
It’s like the hotel knew that I’d just driven across a billion states (including Arkansas, land of two lane highways) and needed to chill, because there was a big tray of stress relief aromatherapy products waiting in the bathroom. Smart choice!
Little touches like the bath mat being an actual fluffy bath mat, not just a square-ish towel always stand out to me when I’m staying in a hotel. You can tell every element in the room was chosen with thought about the guest’s experience, not just what was cheapest or easiest for the hotel.
I decided to see how many different patterns and textures I could capture within the room. This isn’t even all of them, but there’s quite the assortment! But like I said, it somehow works!
My photo of it didn’t come out well, but the room also had a little kitchenette area with a fridge, microwave, and keurig. Being a coffee nerd, I loved that they provided both disposable to-go cups and actual mugs to choose from.
The views from my room at night. The hotel is on a fairly busy city street, so you may want to request a higher floor if you’re a light sleeper. I was on the 7th floor and was able to hear a police siren pass by, but street noise in general wasn’t a problem at all.
Daytime views. Birmingham is pretty!
Downstairs next to the lobby, there’s a martini bar. I actually got all excited the night I arrived because I spotted a sign in the elevator advertising $6 caramel apple martinis on special (Do not mock my appletini love. They are delicious and you know it.), but super sadly the bar was closed on Monday nights, which it was. No cheap delicious booze for me.
The bar/lounge area by the light of the next morning. Let’s play “spot the accidental blogger mirror selfie!”
Hotel breakfasts are my jam (sometimes literally), especially when I have a long drive ahead and can grab an extra mini muffin or something for later. The Hotel Highland had a pretty good selection available, with breakfast standards like juice and muffins and bagels and coffee and such, as well as fun extras like the maple pecan thing you can see on my plate below. If you’re a hot breakfast person, there’s also a waffle maker and some kind of protein like eggs or bacon daily.
My breakfast goals are usually just all of the pastries and a vat or three of coffee.
I really enjoyed by short stay at the Hotel Highland and would love to visit again when I’m in less of a hurry to get somewhere. The surrounding part of Birmingham looked really interesting, so it killed my exploration loving heart to just hop in the car and leave the next morning, but Florida was waiting!
If you’re looking for a great hotel in Birmingham, be sure to check out the Hotel Highland’s website, Facebook, or Twitter!