WHERE IS IT? About 25 minutes from Birmingham’s airport and in the heart of Homewood, this hotel is convenient to blocks of great shops and cafes. It is popular with meeting groups and social functions with downtown Birmingham a short drive away.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Modern design and impressive artwork and sculptures abound in this boutique operation, which opened in February 2021. A dual-sided, contemporary fireplace greets guests in the main lobby lounge with regional design and art books lining the shelves and tables. Reception offers swift and friendly service greeting guests with bottles of water and signature Southern charm. Some of the art on display has QR codes that provide interesting detail. Farther inside the lobby, guests will find an all-day dining restaurant, outdoor patio seating and a small business center near the front entrance.
ROOM FACILITIES Attractive carpeting and artwork create a welcoming first impression, and many of the wall art features scenery from around the city. Spacious work desks have both USB and power outlets with more on either side of the bed. Pillowtop mattresses, four oversized pillows and duvets await guests, and following an overseas trip, I was eager to climb into bed. With such jet lag, I went to sleep before sunset, and the blackout curtains were very effective. A chaise lounge by the window with side table was a great place to catch up on e-mails. A refrigerator, full-length mirror, Keurig coffee machine and closet with clothes steamer are among the welcome perks. Bathrooms have excellent lighting, eco-friendly and paraben-free toiletries from wall-mounted dispensers and glass showers with cleverly designed, sliding doors that keep you from getting scalded or sprayed when turning on the water.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Ironwood Restaurant serves three meals a day from a creative menu of local and continental dishes. The avocado toast with poached egg and tasty tomato is worth coming back for, and the lunch and dinner menu draws as many locals as guests. An outdoor patio is great in good weather, and the bar doubles as an easy spot for solo diners. On the walls are historic photographs of the area’s industrial past, and a private dining room and well-stocked wine cellar provide plenty of options. A coffee shop in the lobby serves locally roasted beans plus light snacks and meals, as well as wine and beer on tap. An open-air bar and patio on the second floor overlook the bustling street below.
LEISURE FACILITIES A 24-hour fitness center has modern equipment as well as other niceties including energy bars for post-workout refueling.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless Internet works well everywhere, and the hotel counts a ballroom with divisible sections, breakout rooms and boardroom with natural light. An outdoor terrace on the second floor is a great option for social functions or meeting coffee breaks.
VERDICT Homewood and nearby Birmingham offer plenty to do for business and leisure travelers, and The Valley Hotel offers a regionally-inspired option for Hilton Honors fans.
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Surrounded by eclectic shops and dining in charming Homewood, this is the area’s first boutique hotel
CONTACT The Valley Hotel, 2727 18th St. South, Homewood, AL 35209, Tel 205-354-0171, valleyhotelbirmingham.com