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Would Never Be In My Top Places To Stay In Glasgow.
Express By Holiday Inn (Glasgow City-Riverside)
Member Name: Machair1
Express By Holiday Inn (Glasgow City-Riverside)
Advantages: Centrally located, adequate rooms.
Disadvantages: Breakfast on the cheap. Decor in communal areas dated and dingy.
This Glasgow hotel is situated about 5 minutes walk from Central Station in Stockwell Street, near to the River Clyde, but tucked away in a fairly quiet side street. This makes it an ideal location for a trip to the city. This was the purpose of my visit a few weeks ago when I went to visit my daughters. One of them stayed with me in this hotel as she is based in St Andrews and had travelled here to spend time with myself and my other daughter who is Glasgow based.
You can book through many agents but the best way is to go to www.hiexpress.co.uk and to join their priority scheme, which will allow you to collect points towards future stays and to have priority check in.
These were not as good as I had hoped; the entrance lobby was fitted with small tiles, which really could only be described as a bathroom range. These looked rather strange as they were in large blocks of different designs. It really looked like they had purchased remnants-not a good start.
Reception staff were swift and efficient as we had prepaid for our room with Octopus Travel, so we were simply handed our room card for a spot on the first floor.
A further glance around reception, bar and dining area left me feeling like I was standing on a Western Isles ferry, more about that later on.
The hotel charges £8 per day for parking, you can take a dog, and also you can enjoy air conditioning, satellite TV, and high-speed Wireless Internet access.
We walked into our room and the first thought was that it looked sufficient for our needs. As I was here with my daughter we had twin beds and these were made up with white bed linen which was faintly striped. The beds were also made up with duvets which were extremely thin, in fact for the middle of winter these were ridiculously thin, and I could imagine rather difficult to sleep in, if like me you enjoy some weight of linen over you to be cosy. There was a small decorative rug coloured red on the end of the beds, which was sadly no more than 2 foot long so as much use as a chocolate teapot! I always look at the pillows in hotels as this usually affords some insight into the attitude, as I am a little fussy where old ones are concerned. I don't complain, just mentally note not to go to a hotel again if they are old and dirty. I also smell them as this gives the best clues as to their age and usage. These did not pass my test as they were hinting sweat. The mattresses were reasonable.
This had a walk in shower, separate toilet and was nicely tiled. There was no damage to the grouting or any visible mould indicating an excellent level of cleanliness and maintenance here.
Other Room Comments.
The room was decorated in buttermilk and white with accessories in colours of red, blue, and white, and over the beds hung a relaxing vermillion and crimson sunset which was a lovely touch.
A hairdryer was fixed conveniently by the mirror and there was a small TV, desk, lamp, kettle and tea and coffee making facilities which provided skimpy supplies of tea and coffee and milk but no biscuits.
There was an Olympic torch style lamp which looked modern and functional by the mirror, and the room was certainly adequate and of an acceptable standard though the pillows were not.
We had a reasonable sleep, bordering on chilly as the duvets were so flimsy, and the morning afforded a welcome opportunity to test the bathroom which scored well in all aspects. Plenty of hot water and adequate towels.
The breakfast experience was likened to dining on a Cal-Mac ferry somewhere off the west coast. Both my daughter and I agreed the restaurant felt like a ferry. Low ceilings and teak chairs, very nautical and basic, I almost felt I needed quells!
Breakfast is a serve yourself job- on a tray and then replace tray in the racks provided. Coffee is machine as are juices and milks, so no fancy things here. There are croissants of sorts and pastries, but the juice is- shall we say cordial - a juice imposter! Two giant TVs blare at each other from opposite ends of the room completing the rather oppressive ambiance. It filled our tummies, nothing else, and certainly no luxuries here. Every item of breakfast really said to me it had been acquired on "The Martin Lewis downshift challenge!"
I had actually been booked into this hotel by Octopus Travel as an alternative to the one I had booked at The Central, which sadly went bankrupt just prior to my trip, so I had been offered this alternative for the bargain bucket price of £44 for two. Therefore I really couldn't grumble, however the actual nightly walk up rate is £99, and if I had paid this I would have been very disappointed indeed.
To me the mark of a good hotel is in the attention to detail-the pillows must smell fresh, the juice must be juice, and the décor must be enticing and airy. Fresh coffee would help. This hotel fails to deliver the ambience a weary city traveller is yearning for, it is doing quite well in the bedrooms in some respects, but unless these improvements are mirrored in the dining and public areas it will sadly not see my repeat business.
Strange really because the hotel is part of a chain and many of the others have been upgraded, such as the one at Glasgow airport ,which is now a much more inviting hotel.
I read recently that this chain is struggling as bookings are taking a nose dive. This is sad because without revenue from repeat bookings there is no money to plough into improvements, without these no one books and the vicious cycle continues.
It is in danger of going the same way as the Central Hotel I was originally booked into. Unless it can climb up competition is in danger of squeezing out hotels which only provide a base and are functional. Discerning travellers are seeking more than this hotel can currently offer in these competitive times.
Summary: A functional hotel which looks tired.
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