Newest Review: ... and polite. As a Priority Club member my name was on the priority check in sheet which I simply had to sign before being handed the key ca... more
Comfortable hotel with polite staff, met my needs.
Express by Holiday Inn (York East)
Member Name: Gemma_C
Express by Holiday Inn (York East)
Advantages: Good location near a Park & Ride, clean and comfortable and great customer service.
Disadvantages: Busy breakfast area but I put this down to the bank holiday weekend.
We arrived at the hotel at around 4:30pm. It is situated a few minutes' drive from Monks Cross retail park, where is also where you'll find Monks Cross Park & Ride to get into the centre of York, so this hotel is very handy if you don't mind using the Park & Ride, it's much better than attempting to drive into York central itself which is extremely busy. Right next door to the hotel is a Toby Carvery, which in fact dominates the car park and the hotel is tucked away round the park, the hotel is quite a small building. Parking is free, however we arrived on a Sunday evening of a bank holiday weekend and so the Toby Carvery was busy, along with the hotel! We were lucky though and did get parked quite close to the hotel; otherwise we would have been round the front.
Check-in was quick and easy, and the receptionist was a friendly lady who was cheerful and polite. As a Priority Club member my name was on the priority check in sheet which I simply had to sign before being handed the key card and I was told how to find the room. She also pointed out the breakfast area which is right next to the lobby, and explained what time the breakfast was served. There is also a vending machine and a selection of alcoholic drinks you can purchase from the reception desk, and looking at the prices they weren't as expensive as I imagined. Our room was located on the top floor and up a small flight of stairs and along some windowless and dimly lit corridors we found our room.
Our double room was bigger than I expected, and very light and airy. To turn on the power in the room you slot your key card into a slot near the door. I only knew this from reading previous reviews of Holiday Inns and nowhere did it explain you needed to do this, nor were we informed upon check-in so anyone who hasn't used this hotel before will probably become confused why nothing works. The room was cold, but there was an old heater on the wall. I set the temperature to something warm, and with it being an old heater it did smell but it wasn't too much of a problem. Shortly afterwards we decided to grab some dinner at the Toby Carvery, and I was disappointed to see that taking the key card out from the slot turns the heater off. I was hoping to warm the room whilst we were out but unfortunately I couldn't do this. Tea and coffee facilities are provided, along with a small old fashioned CRT TV which had a nice range of channels including Sky One and there is a selection of pay per view movies, but at a cost of £6.80 a film we gave those a miss. The bathroom was small but adequate with a good sized shower. Near the sink there is a dispenser of Dove cream wash, and in the shower there is a dispenser of Lux shower gel. Fresh towels were hanging up, along with some more on a shelf in the room, and you are provided with 2 plastic cups and tissues in cardboard described as 'face cloths.' They have a sign saying they offer complimentary toiletries if you have forgotten anything, which was handy as I had forgotten my toothbrush which I always seem to do, and the lady on reception was more than happy to get me one when I went down to the desk later. Our room overlooked the back of the hotel and a grassy area, and it was quiet. With it being the bank holiday weekend I was worried other visitors might come back drunk in the late hours but this wasn't the case.
In the morning we went down to breakfast, and the hotel must have been full as it was extremely busy. I can only mention the words 'cattle herd' to describe the situation! It was also disorganised and in my opinion badly laid out. For example on a set of counters you can find everything from bread, toasters, pastries, sausages, scrambled egg, fruit and hot and cold drinks. They have decided the best place to put the cutlery, bowls and plates are underneath these counters. People were pushing each other out of the way to get underneath to find a plate (except there wasn't any, they'd ran out) and people gathering round the toasters were constantly met with 'excuse me' as people reached for cutlery underneath. As it was obviously busy, you would have thought they'd put enough staff on but they had one woman who was doing everything. She was extremely polite though considering the stressful situation, she brought out more plates (along only a pile of about 7 which were immediately snapped up!) and we got a table but it hadn't been cleared away so she quickly offered to clear this up for us. At the same time she also replenished the food and whilst she was trying hard, it was impossible for her to keep up as others demanded tables clearing or more plates and cups or scrambled eggs. I can only guess this was because it was a bank holiday weekend, but they should have had at least another member of staff on at this time.
You can take your breakfast back to your room on a tray, but we didn't fancy doing this.
In reception there are leaflets for things to do in York, and there are also copies of The Independent newspaper for you to take. Check out was just as quick as check in, and the man on reception was just as polite as the lady from the day before.
I wouldn't hesitate to stay at this hotel again. I love the location of it being so close to Monks Cross, which has a good range of shops there, and also the Park & Ride to go into the centre of York. The Toby Carvery next door is handy for dinner, though I'm not sure if there's anywhere else nearby apart from the Pizza Hut at Monks Cross. The rooms were clean and the bed was comfortable, combined with polite staff and a free breakfast I couldn't have asked for anything else.
Summary: I wouldn't hesitate staying at this hotel again.
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