“ Address: Strathclyde Park M74, JCT.5 / Country Park / Hamilton Road / Motherwell / ML1 3RB / Scotland „
Believe it or not, my recent visit to the Holiday Inn Express at Strathclyde Country Park was my first stay in a Holiday Inn/Premier Inn/Travel Lodge style hotel. I was attending a family wedding at a nearby hotel, and as it was fully booked, I booked two nights at the Holiday Inn Express.
The Holiday Inn Express is easily accessible at the M&Ds end of the park. As my parents were also at the wedding (although staying at the other hotel), I had a chauffeur (my dad), but had they not been there I would have been relying on public transport. Given the location of the hotel, I think it is better suited for those who drive.
I had booked the hotel over the phone, which was quick and easy. At first I had only booked the Saturday night, which would have been £75, but when I extended this to include the Friday night, it went down to £64.95 a night. I received an email confirmation from the hotel, but this was on request and when it arrived it was clearly not auto-generated - so I expect it is not standard practice for phone bookings.
The hotel reception is clean and smartly decorated - to the right of the entrance is the lounge where breakfast is served and there is a large TV. The lounge also includes a bar with very reasonably priced Tennents - I can't remember the exact price for two pints now, but it was less than in my parents village pub, which we usually consider the lowest price for a pint.
On check in they took my credit card details and I was given a swipe card key and advised about the times for breakfast - which I was slightly surprised about as I hadn't realised it was included. Had it not been included I would have opted to pay for it on the Saturday at least given that the wedding would be a long day. The staff at the reception were friendly and efficient, and got things done quickly. On check out their system was down so they said they would process payment later and post me the receipt. Payment has been take from my credit card, but I haven't recieved the receipt yet.
First impressions of my room were good. It was on the second (and top) floor, which was accessed by lift. The room was clean and in good condition, quite bright and pleasantly decorated. There was a choice of pillows labelled hard and soft (which amused me - I've never seen that before), tea and coffee facilities, a TV, and a reasonable sized bathroom. There was also a hairdryer and clothes hanging space.
The bed and pillows were comfortable, and I slept soundly both nights. The sheets were very clean and fresh, which is obviously important in a hotel. The shower was surprisingly good - my limited experience of hotel showers is that they are quite weak, but this was as good as my shower at home. My only complaint about the bathroom was that instead of little bottles of shampoo and shower gel, there were two wall-mounted dispensers, one in the shower, labelled "body, hair, hands" - a multi-function soap. I was glad that I had brought my own toiletries.
The hotel was very busy during my stay - I didn't see any other wedding guests there (I think they had all been quicker than me and managed to get into the hotel where the reception was) but there was at least one bus tour group all weekend. Despite this, I was not disturbed at all by noise, the reception was never crowded or rowdy, and there were plenty of seats at breakfast both days.
On both mornings of my stay I saw the cleaners doing the rounds of the rooms, but I decided to put the do not disturb sign on my door - I was only there for a short stay so I wasn't going to make much of a mess, and I'm never entirely happy about other people being in my hotel room.
My room at the Holiday Inn Express was not fancy, but it did the job. However, I did have two issues with the hotel which meant my stay was not as good as it could have been.
The first and more minor issue was that wifi was only available in the reception area. I didn't even have the option of paying to connect to wifi in my room - it just wasn't available. This was really only a minor inconvenience, but it was a disappointment. Wifi access in the reception is at least free, with an access code supplied by reception.
The second issue was breakfast. There's no way round this - it was rubbish. When I am staying at a hotel I like to take advantage of the hot breakfast - it's usually quite tasty and it's not something I often have at home. So at the Holiday Inn Express I bypassed the small selection of cereal, toast and a large bowl of sad looking pineapple chunks, and went to the hot food counter. There was a choice of scrambled eggs, beans and (meat) sausages. I'm not asking for a massive spread, but that seemed to me like a bit of a puny selection. The cold selection wasn't extensive either - some cereals, the sad pineapple and some yoghurts. As a vegetarian I could only have scrambled eggs and beans from the hot selection, and I don't even particularly like scrambled eggs. I also had two little pain au chocolats from the warm cabinet, which looked good but were stale and chewy. Even the fruit juices weren't brilliant. I had really wanted to fill up at breakfast as I knew that I wouldn't eat again until near 5pm. Later that day I spotted that the Toby Carvery restaurant next door was advertising breakfast for £5. Should have gone there.
The disappointments of the wifi and breakfast aside, my stay at the Holiday Inn Express at Strathclyde Country Park was fine. I might think twice about choosing the brand again if I want breakfast, but the room and the staff were absolutely fine.
I have stayed at this Express by Holiday Inn hotel, at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell, many times now on my frequent visits to Scotland with my partner.
It is very easy to locate, just turn off the M74 at Junction 5, and it's literally just off the roundabout adjacent to Strathclyde Country park.
The hotel has 120 rooms and 120 free parking spaces, so no worries about parking your car.
We have always been given a warm welcome and find the staff helpful and friendly. On checking in last week when we stayed here for two nights, it was no different. Check-in was completed efficiently, the staff as welcoming as always. We were quickly issued with our swipe key to gain access to our ground floor room.
The hotel itself is clean, modern and comfortable, with a very spacious reception area so it does not get too crowded at busy times. A bar is located next to the reception area with a large TV where guests can relax with a drink. The bar is open from 11am - 3am.
There are also some vending machines selling chocolate, crisps, drinks and ice lollies. An ice machine is also available. There is no restaurant inside the hotel but there is a Toby Carvery right next to the hotel or take-away menu's are available, so that if you wish you can have a take-away delivered to the hotel. The receptionist will ring your room when it arrives, and you go to reception to collect it.
All rooms have a fully tiled en suite bathroom with power shower. There is no bath but personally this isn't a requirement of mine and the shower is lovely. Also in your room you will find a flatscreen TV with the usual channels and radio along with a couple of Sky channels. A workspace is provided along with internet access. Also a hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities with sachets of tea, coffee etc.
I always request a double room for myself and partner and there has always been a sofa bed in the room also. I was very happy once again with the room we were allocated last week.
The rooms I find are spacious and always very clean. The beds are comfortable and there are always plenty of pillows and towels provided, but if you want any more, then just ask reception and it is no problem.
Breakfast is included in the room rate, which again makes it good value. This has always been a serve yourself continental breakfast buffet consisting of a large selection of cereals, toast, warm croissants and pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurts, cheese and jams, as well as tea/ coffee and fruit juice. It was a surprise then, on checking in last week to be told that sausages and scrambled eggs are now available at breakfast also! A welcome addition to those who like something hot for breakfast.
You can eat breakfast in the large dining area next to the bar, or take it back to your room on a tray if you wish.
Check- in is at 3pm and check-out at 12pm, though if you are a member of the Priority Club Rewards scheme you can request earlier check-in or later check-out at no extra charge, something I have taken advantage of from time to time.
Full details are available on the website of the Priority Club Rewards, visit HIEXPRESS.CO.UK. It is worth joining this if you ever stay at any hotels in the group (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza to name a couple, are included) as it is free to join, and you collect points for every stay which can be redeemed for free nights.
There are often bonus points offers which you will be sent via email, so your points can quickly build up. I have had quite a few free nights over the last five years, and your points never expire so you can save them for as long as you wish.
Adjacent to the hotel is the Toby Carvery I mentioned earlier which also has a beer garden. The carvery is really nice and I can recommend it. Prices vary depending on the time of day but a carvery will cost around £5.25 - £7.50 per person, and it is well worth the money. If you are seated before 7pm including Saturdays, then visiting the carvery will cost you only £5.25 per person. You can help yourself to as much veg and yorkshire puddings as you wish and have a choice of beef, gammon and turkey. You can have a slice of each if you wish!
On my recent stay at this hotel last weekend, I experienced no problems and spent 2 comfortable nights with my partner. The hotel seemed quite busy but we were not disturbed at all by any noise. I enjoyed the addition of sausage and scrambled egg to my breakfast, even though I never eat breakfast at home! I also managed a warm croissant as I couldn't resist!
One of the reasons we choose to visit this hotel is because of it's location, as the back of the hotel faces out onto Strathclyde Country Park, with its large loch, walks and also M&D's Theme Park.
M&D's is free to enter, which is great if you don't wish to go on any rides, and just want to walk around. There are quite a few rides here, for kids and adults of all ages and places to eat. We have often sat outside the large family bar which also serves meals and enjoyed a couple of drinks in the sunshine, overlooking the park and loch.
M&D's is a great day out for families and always seems very popular, although it is much smaller than theme parks I have visited in the past, so I feel it is a little inaccurate to call it a theme park. Amusement park is a better description of M&D's.
If this is too noisy or you prefer something more peaceful, you can always go for a walk along the loch or around the park. There are plenty of grassed areas where you can have a picnic or play ball games etc.
Glasgow is only around 20 mins drive from the hotel, if you fancy a day exploring the big city and maybe do some shopping. Likewise Hamilton and Motherwell are only 5 mins drive from the hotel also.
You can book a room online via the website for as little as £49.95 per night. Sometimes there are offers available from £39- £45 per night. Taking into account that this price includes breakfast, I think this offers real value for money, when compared to Premier Inn where rooms are over £50 per night and you would be charged extra for breakfast.
This is a great hotel in a lovely location. One of my favourites!