“ Address: Aberford Roadoulton / Woodlesford / Leeds / LS26 8EJ / ENGLAND / Tel: +44-1132-880574 „
Express by Holiday Inn have fast became my favourite 'budget' hotel chain over the last few years. In terms of what you get for your money with this chain and also the rewards incentive, I have found them better than the others I have tried.
I recently stayed at Express by Holiday Inn, Leeds East, for one night whilst away visiting the York and Wakefield area for a couple of days, but I have also previously stayed at this hotel on another two occasions. It has however, been totally refurbished since my last visit, so I was curious to find out what had changed.
~~ Location ~~
The hotel is easily accessible from the M62 (Junction 30) and the M1 (Junction 44) and is within easy reach of Leeds Town Centre. It was very easy for us to find the hotel the first time we visited by following the directions given on the Express by Holiday Inn website. It was only a few minutes drive from the M1 and conveniently situated just off a roundabout. The hotel is set back from the road and adjacent to a Toby Carvery.
~~ Booking ~~
Every time I have booked a room at this hotel I have done so online via the website HiExpress.co.uk. You are assured of the best rate available and I was very happy with the reasonable price of £53 for one night on a weekend. This room rate also includes breakfast which makes it even better value.
I am also a member of the Priority Club Rewards Scheme. This is a really good reward scheme which earns you points for every stay which you can redeem for free nights. The scheme also brings other benefits, such as extended check in and out times, you will also receive priority check-in, complimentary newspapers and regular offers sent to you via email, to earn extra points.
It is free to join and full details are available online and at hotels. I highly recommend you join this scheme as I have taken advantage of a few free nights and offers over the years.
I also made my booking via the cashback site Topcashback and earned 7% cashback of £3.52 which is also worth noting before you make a booking. All bookings at hotels owned by Inter Continental Hotels Group are eligible for cashback and also the priority club scheme.
~~ The Hotel ~~
As I mentioned earlier, this was my third visit to this hotel, but my first since its recent refurbishment.
Although it is situated just off a roundabout on Aberford Road which can be quite busy, the hotel itself is set well back from this and I have never experienced any noise from the road during my stays here.
Parking is free and there are plenty of parking bays outside the hotel. Enough to cater for hotel guests and also the adjacent Toby Carvery restaurant which does get quite busy, especially on a Sunday.
As soon as I walked into the reception area I noticed there have been a few changes due to the refurbishment. It has a cosy but modern contemporary feel using walnut shaded wood alongside blue, and brown shades for soft furnishing and decoration.
I was welcomed immediately as a Priority Club member by a friendly receptionist. It was certainly an express check-in as my key card was ready and waiting for me at 2pm. I was given info on breakfast times which takes place in a spacious area just off reception. You are welcome to take a tray back to your room if you wish to eat your breakfast there as it is a self-serve buffet.
The hotel has two floors and we were given a room on the second floor overlooking the car park.
The door opens via the key card which also operates the electricity in the room.
On entering our double room, I was really surprised how different the rooms look since their refurbishment.
Anyone who is familiar with Express by Holiday Inn hotels will know that there is little variation in the room decor and they are pretty much the same from hotel to hotel. Always clean, comfortable with modern appeal.
However, the room was totally different from any other hotel I have stayed in with this chain.
The dark wood and shades of blue and brown continued into the rooms. The walls were white, except for the wall behind the bed which featured a brown contemporary wallpaper. I don't think I have ever seen wallpaper in any of these hotels before and it did add something extra to the room.
The large bed was made up with white linen with a blue bed runner. The pillows had a blue removable runner around them and a tag indicating whether they were soft or firm. Two of each were provided and I felt this was a nice touch. My first impressions were that the room looked really inviting and a lot of thought has gone into making it pleasurable to stay there.
Also in the room was a blue sofa bed which matched the curtains, a spacious work area with LCD flatscreen TV which included some satellite channels, full length mirror, wardrobe hanging space, tea/coffee making facilities and hairdryer. The swivel chair in front of the workspace was particularly comfortable and again is something I have never seen in these hotels.
A blue abstract art canvas hung on one of the walls and brown cushions finished off the decor. Overall, it was a really lovely room. Spotless, modern and comfortable.
The bed proved to be very comfortable too and myself and partner got a good night's rest.
The bathroom had been re-tiled and again was spotless. Black tiles lined the shower wall and the remainder of the walls were tiled in white. There was no bath as is the norm in most hotels, but there is a decent power shower and shower gel and handsoap were provided via wall dispensers. If you do happen to forget any other essential toiletry items then reception will issue you with replacements free of charge. This again is a nice touch as I know other hotels would charge you for this. There were also plenty of fluffy white towels.
I could find no fault with the room at all. The refurbishment totally took me by surprise as to what they have done with the rooms etc. I had no faults with previous rooms but I have to admit, this is a big improvement.
~~ Breakfast & Dining ~~
The next morning there was a large continental breakfast available as well as sausages and scambled eggs. You simply help yourself and we took ours back to our room to eat.
Up until recently there were no 'hot' options, but the hotels now advertise hot breakfast also. Maybe this is the only possible fault I can find as the only hot options are sausages and scrambled eggs, but having said that, I am perfectly happy with the croissants, pastries, cereal, toast, yoghurts and fruit on offer and after all, it is included in the room rate, unlike other budget hotels where you have to pay extra for breakfast.
We also visited the Toby Carvery during our stay which was also very nice. We were fortunate to have really lovely weather and we were content to sit outside in the beer garden after our meal enjoying the evening sunshine.
Checkout was at 12pm the next day. We were asked if everything had been ok for us and thanked for staying there.
I can highly recommend this hotel if you are visiting the Leeds area and I will return again. I can find no fault at all with the whole experience and the refurbishment has just added something extra special to what was already a decent hotel. I think overall this is possibly the best Express by Holiday Inn I have stayed at.
For more details and booking visit HIEXPRESS.CO.UK
EXPRESS BY HOLIDAY INN - LEEDS EAST