Newest Review: ... two of us, but it could have been a little bit cramped if we had our children with us too. The large window gave a view of the front o... more
Having Fun & Getting A Rash
Express By Holiday Inn (Aberdeen)
Member Name: belfin
Express By Holiday Inn (Aberdeen)
Advantages: Very central and reasonably priced with helpful staff
Disadvantages: Not so good for those with sensitive skin
The decision had to be made recently of where to stay in Aberdeen for a Friday and Saturday night. The reason for this was that I had arranged with my partner to meet up with another Ciao couple for a relaxing weekend away. Weíve all been under a bit of stress lately with one thing and another, for me itís mainly been to do with planning my wedding in July, and we decided it would be fun to have a mini meet as my friend wouldnít be able to make it to Dundee at the end of June. Look at that review if you are interested in joining us.
Cost was a big factor for my bloke and I Ė after all weíve a wedding and honeymoon to pay for Ė so looking for somewhere that was cheap enough to meet our needs but not so cheap that we would worry about quality. We had decided to go by train but our friends were driving so nearby parking was a must too.
Looking around we found that the best deal to be had was with the Express by Holiday Inn. It was in the centre of Aberdeen Ė just off Union Street Ė and had limited parking available, although there was an NCP just down the street that we found out was free on evenings from 6pm Ė 8am and all weekend.
I had actually been at the hotel for an interview/training day, the day before we were due to stay there, and had already sussed out the reception area. Iíll give a bit at the bottom of the review on the meeting room area but for now Iíll stick to our weekend away.
When we arrived it was just after 7.30pm and we were instantly greeted warmly by a young man who took our names and informed us that the only double rooms he had left that were non-smoking were at the front of the hotel and that it could get a little bit noisy at night. We didnít want to move to a smoking room and we were offered a twin room, but itís not often weíre away from the kids so we didnít fancy that idea either Ė nudge nudge, wink wink Ė a bit of practise before the honeymoon never did anyone any harm. We agreed that it would be fine and thought that after a few tipples we would probably sleep through any noise anyway.
Our credit card details were taken and we were informed that breakfast would be served between 6.30-10.30am on the Saturday and Sunday mornings. I believe that on weekdays the continental buffet breakfast is only served until 9.30am.
We signed in and made our way up to the 3rd floor via one of the lifts and found our room was just through a swing door on the right. This was great we thought Ė again itís easier to find after weíve had a few drinks.
When we opened the door we were impressed by the amount of room there was although we had booked into a room with a double bed and a sofa bed too, as it was the same price for both. The room was delicately decorated with creamy coloured walls and blue and beech wood effect throughout. This gave it a very bright feel to it, but was unlike some hotel rooms where they feel a bit cold and clinical and look a bit like a hospital room.
The lighting was lovely with two wall lamps, which had blue glass shades and two spotlights at either side of the bed and another on the desk. The room had a very Art Deco feel to it and this made me feel quite comfortable. The television sat on a corner of the desk unit and had most of the normal channels you would expect in a hotel but you could also pay to view certain film channels if you so desired. To be honest we werenít really in the room much except to sleep so we didnít use this function.
There was also an open plan wardrobe area with attached coat hangers and open drawer spaces to keep the extra clothes on. This was ok for a couple of nights stay and for just the two of us, but it could have been a little bit cramped if we had our children with us too.
The large window gave a view of the front of the hotel and thatís where we noticed a little bakery that stayed open at night and sold pies, pastries and pizza slices Ė we took note of that for later on as I know my bloke often gets peckish after a few drinks as do I. We could see that there were already quite a few people wandering about but with the double glazed window closed there wasnít an excessive noise.
The bathroom or should I say shower room, as there was no bath in this room, was lovely and clean. Decorated with grey wall tiles and white floor tiles it sparkled. One thing we did find a little strange was that the outer door could also be used to close the toilet area off instead. This would have been fine, especially when the two of you are running around trying to get ready at the same time, but the shower and the toilet were separated by opaque glass and you could see each other through them. Not something I particularly liked much.
The shower was a very powerful one and I have to admit that once in it, I didnít really want to come out again. There was plenty of elbowroom in it and the area to step out into near the wash hand basin was ample too. The freebies in this hotel consisted of Dove hand wash and Lux hair and body wash. Unfortunately the bottles were fixed to the walls so no taking away little samples from here. They were both well stocked though and replacements available on request.
The towels were very soft and thick and we got two each of bath towels and hand towels and one bath mat to stand on. There were also some disposable face cloths for us to use too. Also available on request are complimentary travel toothbrushes and small tubes of Colgate toothpaste, disposable razors, shaving cream and little vanity kits, which included cotton wool, a nail file and cotton buds. We had to get a toothbrush for me, as my partner knocked mine down in the bathroom and the head broke so this worked out very handy. The little tube of toothpaste will also be useful for my daughter when she does her Duke of Edinburgh hike next month. I also had to get some extra cotton wool for removing make up, as I didnít bring enough with me for some strange reason.
The bed was a standard size with a thick quilt and two well plumped up pillows. There were also a couple of spare pillows available in the room, which were obviously for the sofa bed if it was needed. We found that the pillows we had were enough and the bed was very comfortable. In fact, I think I can safely say that it was the best couple of nightsí sleep I had in ages. Maybe that was due to the alcohol and the antihistamines I was taking but Iíll get to that later.
Tea making facilities were on a shelf attached to the wall right beside a long mirror and a hairdryer. There were also a number of sockets for other beauty products, which is great because I take my straighteners everywhere with me.
Agreeing to meet our companions down in the lounge bar area of the Holiday Inn we ordered a couple of Bacardis with a small bottle of lemonade. We were a little bit shocked when this came to £5.65 and soon decided that after having that one we would head out to a local pub instead. The lounge area was very comfortable with big sofas and coffee tables to sit around. The floor was laminated and looked very clean too. There was also a large plasma television on the end wall for those who wanted to watch a bit of news or the football. It was a bright area and was nice to sit and have a quiet chat in before we headed off to the local bars.
One thing I really love on the occasional stay in a hotel is being able to go down for breakfast. Unfortunately or luckily for me, as I ate enough calories over the weekend, there wasnít a cooked breakfast available. The selection of the continental breakfast was excellent though and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this both mornings. The staff kept them well stocked unlike another hotel we stayed in and there were no cases of them running out of any items.
Getting a tray and cutlery we found that the cereal section was first. This consisted of those one-portion boxes that you usually get in multi-packs and were the real deal as opposed to getting cheaper substitutes. Thatís one thing Iím usually a bit of a snob with so that pleased me. I decided on Rice Krispies and my bloke had the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes but there were also Cornflakes, Coco Pops and Fruit & Fibre, as well as some muesli.
Then you could choose between fresh orange or grapefruit juice, plain water, tea, various types of coffee or hot chocolate. I had some orange juice and coffee the first day and then orange juice and hot chocolate the second day. Unlike some of the hot chocolate machines this one could be made with half water and half milk, which is what attracted me to it. My bloke had some grapefruit juice and tea.
Further round in the chilled section there were large jugs of milk that you could pour into a glass or into a smaller jug to take to your table for cereal or beverages. There were also a good selection of yoghurts including strawberry, raspberry, natural and toffee. These didnít have bits in though, which is good for some fussy eaters but not so good for those who like some fruit included. There was however grapefruit segments available and a selection of fresh fruit including apples and oranges. My bloke had raspberry yoghurt and some grapefruit segments that he said were quite sweet.
There was a grill available to use for toasting either white or brown bread and also a warning beside it not to heat up the croissants, pain au chocolat or small sultana danishes. This was a bit disappointing, as I love warm croissants and pain au chocolat. This didnít stop me enjoying quite a few of them though over the two mornings though. Also available were a selection of seeded and unseeded rolls. I enjoyed the sesame seed rolls, which were lovely and crunchy on the outside and deliciously fresh on the inside.
For the rolls etc, there were little foil wrapped tubs of butter, marmalade and a selection of differently flavoured jams including raspberry, strawberry and blackcurrant.
Internet is also available at a charge of £15 for 24 hours or lesser charges for hourly or 12 hourly sessions. There is also a computer set up in the hotel reception area, which can be charged by the minute directly to your credit card.
There are laundry facilities available too although these seemed quite expensive to us and I wouldnít suggest using these unless you were desperate.
If you are looking for a snack in the evening then you can order a small selection of hot items, which could be collected downstairs and eaten in the lounge or taken up to your room. We didnít use this service as we decided to eat out.
We booked through lateroom.com and managed to get a bedroom that sleeps 4 for £55 per room per night. This includes the continental breakfast.
***The Meeting Room***
As I mentioned earlier, I had been at the hotel on the Thursday morning for a training day in connection with a new job opportunity. I managed to park in the hotel car park at 10am without too much trouble. I say this with a bit of a smile as the spaces are quite difficult to get into as there are pillars down the sides and I have a Meriva so itís not the smallest of cars to manoeuvre. This done I went for a wander in Aberdeen and a coffee as I had almost an hour to spare.
When I returned and entered the hotel I was welcomed with a smile by the staff and given directions for the meeting room where the training day was taking place. Before I went upstairs I asked where the little girlsí room was and was directed round the side of the bar area. The toilets were also very clean and were well stocked.
I found the room very easily, partly because of the good directions and partly because the meeting rooms were well signposted on the walls of the hotel. It was very spacious and had a large table, which would easily sit twelve people. The hotel had also supplied refreshments in the form of coffee/tea/bottled water and some lovely choc chip cookies. The room was tastefully decorated and well laid out for this type of function.
For a weekend where you arenít spending much time in a hotel, then this is ideal. It is situated just off Union Street and has enough parking nearby. Itís also only about a 15 minute walk from the train station so although not as close as the nearby Travel Lodge it is still feasible to get to easily.
The staff were lovely and couldnít do enough to help although I did have one major problem when I woke up on the Saturday morning. I have sensitive skin and when I woke up I found I was covered in a rash mainly on my back but on some of my front too. It was extremely itchy and the first thing I did was to find a chemist to get some anti-histamine tablets. Luckily Boots isnít far away so I managed to get some to calm down the itchiness but of course I knew I still had another night to sleep in the bed with sheets that had obviously been washed in heavy biological detergent.
When I asked the staff on reception they did there best to try and help and contacted housekeeping but unfortunately they do not have any bedding available for those with sensitive skin and all they could suggest was giving me extra towels to sleep on. This of course seemed a little bit silly to me as the towels would be washed in the same detergent.
I had to accept that I was obviously going to be going home very red and itchy and this did spoil my enjoyment of the weekend slightly although overdosing on anti-histamines did help a bit, even though it made me very sleepy.
This did help me to sleep through some of the noise though from outside and I have to say that I fell asleep the second night as soon as my head hit the pillow. So much for a weekend of passion!!!
To be honest, noise, from other partygoers, didnít really wake us up anyway, but we did face a noisy wake up call at around 8.00am from the street cleaners. This wasnít too bad though, as I was looking forward to my breakfast and 8am is a long lie in for us, as my bloke gets up for work at 5.30am and our 5-year-old is up every morning at 6am.
I would definitely recommend this hotel as a base if you were out and about in Aberdeen. The staff were great, the bed was comfortable and the breakfast was delicious. What more could you ask for at that price?
Express by Holiday Inn
Tel: 01224 623500
The hotel has 155 rooms in total Ė 102 are family rooms, 29 are twin rooms and there are 8 rooms that have been adapted for guests with disabilities.
Summary: Great base for going out in Aberdeen.
More reviews in the field of Hotel National
- What You Need!
- Holiday Inn Bloomsbury London, Location Location Location!
- DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW - IN WRONG CATEGORY
- Express By Holiday Inn Aberdeen City
- No Room at the Inn
- A mixed package..
- Tangiers but in South Wales not Morocco
- Ibis is the biz
- Cheap And Cheerful And Surprisingly Roomy.
- A value for money hotel on the outskirts of Manchester.
- Westin College Green (Dublin)
- Mercure London Paddington Hotel (London)
- The City Hotel (Dunfermline)
- Aston Sheffield Hotel (Sheffield)
- Premier Inn Preston West (Preston)
- Premier Inn York North West (York)
- Wern Fawr Manor Farm (Abersoch)
- Renaissance (Heathrow)
- Sheraton Skyline Heathrow (London)
- Hilton Brighton Metropole