The Express by Holiday Inn Hotel is offering great value for both business and leisure. It is perfectly situated close to Birmingham. Conveniently located by junction 5 of the M6, the hotel offers 110 en-suite bedrooms.
Ideally situated for National Exhibition Centre, National Indoor Arena, City Centre and Airport.
For relaxing - Star City, Drayton Manor, Cadbury World, Sea Life Centre.
Adresse: 1200 Chester Road
B35 7AF „
I stayed here one night with a friend, due to the hotels close proximity to the LG arena. The lobby area is very grand and we were dealt with immediately by a friendly receptionist. The trip to the room was a bit of an adventure and we ended up in the pool area on more than one occasion (not planned!) It was a trek, but we were really pleased when we saw the smart, comfortable room. The bathroom, however, was a little on the shabby side, and we had bare plaster showing in parts. Also, the air conditioning was on the blink and we were really cold!
Next, we walked over to the concert/airport area, which was a little way, just to see if we could make it in high heels later on in the evening!! It was a no go! Fortunately, however, the airport run their own shuttle service. Due to a concert at the LG arena that night, there were extra journeys running. The driver, who was a member of hotel staff, had found out when the concert started and finished and had organised his journey times around this. He was a great guy and chatted to us all the way over to the arena area. We happened to mention the heating system in the room and he said it would be no problem to sort it.
After the concert, we returned to the hotel bar. We payed what felt like an arm and a leg for a glass of luke warm white wine, which we felt wasn't really a great way to spend our hard earned cash! The bar was still lively and had a good atmosphere. When we returned to our room, we found it cosy and warm and discovered that an electric heater had been left for us. Nothing too much trouble for that particular member of staff (sorry I can't remember his name). Great breakfast next morning too!
I stayed here last year when I went out for a friend's birthday, but when it came to leaving at the end of the night - I saw that my car was covered with snow and in the short journey to dropping a friend home I witnessed an accident and nearly got involved with another... As a result - it was decided (for me....!) that I shouldn't risk driving back so late at night, and instead stay over. After making quite a few calls to a few hotels at 3am - luckily this one had availability, and I managed to find it without too many more car related issues (a point to mention is that it is very close to the M6 motorway...)
Check in was ok enough - because I had telephoned, they had held my place on the booking system, and it was the case that I needed to give them my credit card (in case of additional expenditure/as a guarantee) and paid for the room in cash... It cost £55 if I remember correctly, which wasnt so bad considering it was a late booking but they obviously knew I wasnt going to be there too long either...
The lobby was open and well-lit -just a mention about the car park - I'm glad it was big enough because there was so much snow and I was slip-sliding everywhere (especially as I was dressed for a night out with heels and a dress... and not in reasonable snow-type shoes/clothes!)... It was quiet, but I guess at 4am or thereabouts that was to be expected. I was given my key card and off I went to my room.
The room was open enough, spacious and I loved the bathroom - well, I know it sounds crazy, but the loo could have a separate door, so if there were two people staying then you could use the loo, and the shower/sink area is still open and usable... but, you could also just close the door on the entire bathroom and hav it all to yourself - it;s difficult to explain but is a good feature for more than one person in the room, or so I felt!
the decor was nice enough - the room was actually a little dark/not well lit - but having staying in more Holiday Inn's since, I think this is just how they choose to have their rooms.....
I went to sleep, and the bed was comfortable enough and requested a wake-up call in the morning which I got, so tht was great.
One thing that Holiday Inn do offer premium card holder guests is the ability to have a late check out (up until 6pm when I stayed) - I dont know if this depends on what their bookings for the following day look like or they offer it regardless, but this meant that I could sleep properly and shower up (they have 'Dove' shower gel readily available in the shower area and 'Dove' handwash at the sink) and have other bits that you can buy like toothbrush/toothpaste..... I had a friend turn up with toiletries in the morning so I didn't need to worry about this, or find out the prices - so unsure if they are reasonable or not (sorry!)
I also ate lunch, and watched the football..... they have a lounge area with a TV and set the channel to the one we requested, and the menu seemed to be reminiscent of a bar/pub. We ordered our food, which was nice enough I suppose - it was, as I say, like pub food.... prices were around £7 each for the food, and then drinks were on top (I can;t recall the price of the drinks - probably because my friend went back and paid for those separately and I didn't think to ask at the time) - but the staff were pretty relaxed about us sticking around to watch the rest of the match, and just lounge around!
The hotel was pretty quiet though - apart from a couple I didn't see anyone else while we were sat there for almost two hours - so for a quiet break (bearing in mind snowy conditions outside) it was not bad!
All in all, they accommodated me at a ridiculous time in the morning, and the room had the amenities I required considering the stay wasn't planned. Food was available, as was entertainment, and the staff were friendly and accommodating enough. The fact that I had the room for longer than standard guests helped an awful lot given the time I had arrived (I hate checking out later than they allow) but the low lighting was a little bit annoying in the daytime... I prefer having a brighter area - but that is a personal preference, and I was able to go into the bathroom which was very well lit.