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Not So Express
Express by Holiday Inn (London Greenwich)
Member Name: VampirePrincess
Express by Holiday Inn (London Greenwich)
Advantages: Easy to find, Good location for shows etc
Disadvantages: Not so welcoming, Rooms not up to standard
As me and my partner were off to see a show at the London Indigo o2 Arena we were looking for hotels near the venue. We came across one which is only a 10 minute walk from our designated tube station and the closet one we found to the venue.
Holiday Inn London - Bugsby Way:
_"The Holiday Inn Express London Greenwich hotel is contemporary and was extensively refurbished in 2008. Our facilities include air conditioning, licensed bar and coffee lounge, free WiFi in our Great Room lounge, car parking (£5 per night) and we serve evening meals."_
After getting off that horrid London Underground tube I couldn't wait to get into the hotel. It was absolutely freezing outside and the wind felt like knives hitting your face. So for quickness I put the address into my phone and it directed us there. From the tube it took around 15 minutes to walk to the hotel.
You can see the hotel from the tube station and we just couldn't wait to get there, the hotel reception is located on the first floor so you either need to take the lift for walk up one flight of stairs. The main entrance was on the messy side with leafs all over the floor. But with people coming in and out of the hotel being very windy I guess this couldn't be helped.
We arrived at the hotel around 14:30 however check in wasn't until 15:00. Since it was really cold though I thought I'd ask if an early check in was available, since that most hotels tend to allow it if the room is ready. I asked them but they told us that their system was being updated and no one would be able to check in until 15:00, which is odd as that's a very specific time to be able to predict when the update would be finished. Any updates in our hotel is always done during early hours of the morning so it has minimal impact on guests checking in or out.
So we sat at the bar and enjoyed a few drinks while we were waiting, 15:00 came we went back to the reception desk so we could check in however again we were told that the system was still updating and they would call us when the update was finished. Personally this rather aggravated me as from working in a hotel if that was the case they should have a back up printed list of 'guest arrivals' in order to book guests into their room on time.
Finally at 15:45 were able to be checked into our rooms there was no apology for our wait, but when we were going to our room the cleaners were just leaving that section of the corridor so in my opinion I doubt if there was any issues with the system what so ever they were just running behind with their cleaning, hence our wait.
The Room - (215):
Like with a lot of hotels nowadays instead of keys you have a key card which opens the room doors, we opened the door and were just grateful to be inside! Now I am rather picky when it comes to the room standard, as when I'm at work I check 71 rooms so I know exactly where to look!
When looking at the bed yes it looked pleasing on the eye and very comfortable, however when pulling the duvet back there were some black hairs on the bed sheet. Which personally made me question if they changed the bed sheet after the previous occupant? The rest of the sheet was clean and did smell fresh so I removed the hairs myself. One thing I did like is that we were given 2 soft pillows and 2 firm pillows which were very nice and comfortable.
Now as for the rest of the room - there were coffee stains on the ceiling, the carpet was badly stained, top of the kettle lid was dusty, chewing gum stuck to the bedside board, crisps under the sofa bed and the air conditioning unit in the room didn't work. The jack lock on the window didn't look all that secure but the window was clean and we have a good view over London.
In the room you have a place where you can hang your clothes; it's an open style wardrobe with some fixed hangers. There was also a dry cleaning bag, if you required that service.
For a hotel in London I was thinking it would be very modern but the hair dryer and kettle were extremely dated. The kettle was rather loud when in use and there were only enough condiments to make one cup of tea or coffee each. Hair dryer I found a little awkward to use as you had to hold the button in all the time when using it. The one thing that was up to date in the room was the television, a nice good size flat screen in which each channel was clear with good sound quality.
Again this was a little on the dated side of things, but on the whole it was an okay size for a double room. It wouldn't have been any good for a family room though. The bathroom has one door which doubled for the toilet door also which I'm guessing had to be done for space reasons. When you used it at a toilet door though there was a gap in which you could see into the room and you could see in from the room itself. Now if you were staying with a colleague or a friend I would personally find this rather embarrassing.
Due to saving nowadays days a lot of hotels do not leave free toiletries in the room anymore, but you are supplied with a fixed hand wash and a fixed shower and hair gel in the shower. This is okay for some, however there was a sign stating you can get toiletries from reception if needed.
I guess as breakfast was free with the room it was pretty much okay, although quite generic. For the meat eaters it was no full English hot food wise, it was only scrambled eggs and sausages available. There were also hot croissants, mini muffins, fruits, yogurt, cereal and a selection of hot and cold drinks. You could also eat as much as you wanted, so Joe went up several times! He did say that the sausages tasted like the microwavable ones and the eggs were quite bland though.
I had one round of brown toast with beans and scrambled egg, and in my opinion the egg was pretty much tasteless. Even my orange juice tasted watered down, but after all it was free.
The breakfast area I was very pleased when it came to the cleanliness, everything was in sections, nicely presented and easily accessible.
The bar was very expensive a j2o costing £2.70 where most places it is only 99p! But the prices were heighted pretty much everywhere we went around London. The service area was a little messy not so much unclean just a lot of items left out which staff could have put away, making the area look more welcoming on the guest eye.
The bar area was mixed into the lounge and waiting quarters, there were a mix of chairs and sofa so you have a good choice on where you wanted to sit. We sat on the lounge seats which were padded and comfortable. On the hold was presentable and nice to relax.
Price and Availability:
As with hotels the price is always subject to change due to the numbers and time of each. We paid £89 for our room which included a free buffet breakfast for both of us. So for where the hotel was located in a prime location the price was actually pretty decent.
I personally would stay here again only as it is so close to the o2 arena. However the hotel staff seemed to be fed up and really looked like they didn't want to be there. The room was on the unclean side; the breakfast was ok but didn't really cater for special dietary needs. I would recommend this hotel for the ease of getting to venues but would say to them to check there rooms first.
Check out was 12pm which all we needed to do was hand the key card back to reception then off we went.
I'm really in the middle when it comes to this hotel so I would give it two and half stars out of five.
Thanks for reading
As we arrived on foot we didn't have any need for using the car pack provided but if you did need this service there was a per day charge.
For directions please see - http://www.expressgreenwich.co.uk/
General Manager: Sub Iyer
Deputy Manager: Francois Mvelle
Holiday Inn Express London Greenwich A102 (M)
Tel: +44 (0) 208 269 5000
Fax: +44 (0) 208 269 5069
Summary: An ok hotel which is close to the o2 venue
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