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Downtown has several distinctive choices for travelers. The Historic Redmont, 2101 Fifth Ave. N. (tel. 877/536-2085 or 205/324-2101; www.theredmont.com), is a modern high-rise. The rooms offer the usual business amenities. Doubles run about $139. With its ideal location in the heart of downtown, the historic Tutwiler, 2021 Park Place N. (tel. 205/322-2100; www.thetutwilerhotel.com), offers spacious rooms and turn-of-the-20th-century decor. The property had become a bit ragged until 2007, when it was acquired and renovated by the Hilton chain as a Hampton Inn & Suites. New in-room amenities include 32-inch flatscreen, high-definition TVs, and wooden lap desks. Rates average $199 double.

The upscale and thoroughly modern Birmingham Marriott, 3590 Grandview Pkwy. (tel. 800/228-9290 or 205/968-3775; www.marriott.com), is an attractive alternative in which all rooms have large work desks and ottomans. Suites sport two bathrooms, including one with a Jacuzzi. In addition, the hotel offers an indoor pool and a health club. Rates run $129 to $189 double.

If you don't mind traveling along the interstate to the outskirts of town, and if you love to shop, there's no better place to stay than the luxurious Wynfrey Hotel, 1000 Riverchase Galleria (tel. 800/996-3739 or 205/987-1600; www.wynfrey.com). Package specials make weekend or shopping getaways to the Wynfrey surprisingly affordable. The gleaming Italian-marble lobby is accented with fresh floral arrangements and French chandeliers. In each of the 15-story high-rise's 329 spacious rooms (including 12 suites), you'll find amenities such as beds with pillow-top mattresses and down comforters. All guest bathrooms were recently upgraded with Italian marble floors and fixtures. The Wynfrey has direct access into the massive Riverchase Galleria, a shopping paradise with hundreds of shops, restaurants, and one of the largest skylight-covered courtyards in the country. Doubles run $189 to $289.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.