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Catch the Express in Exeter.
Holiday Inn Express (Exeter)
Member Name: pottmar
Holiday Inn Express (Exeter)
Date: 16/03/01, updated on 19/03/01 (736 review reads)
Advantages: very clean, and comfortable
Disadvantages: none if you want B&B, otherwise lack of restaurant may be a problem.
I am spending a bit of time in Exeter at the moment on business, I was looking around for places to stay and found the Express by Holiday Inn, as I had a great time the last time I went to a Holiday Inn hotel I decided to give it a try.
When I arrived the hotel looked brand new, the car park was large and in very good condition with lots of lighting.
When I went to check in the young lady asked if I had used an Express hotel before, as I hadn’t she explained the differences between a Holiday Inn and an Express by Holiday Inn hotel.
The main differences is there is no restaurant, this means there is no facility in the hotel for an evening meal and no room service, but apparently all Express hotels are built with an adjoining pub/restaurant as was the case in Exeter.
Just past the reception desk there was a bar and beyond that was the breakfast room, even though there is no restaurant they do provide breakfast but more about that later. Just opposite the reception desk there was a room with a number of dispensers, here you could buy hot and cold drinks, hot and cold food and snacks. All of which goes onto your room bill, you don’t need money you just swipe your room card before you make your selection. By hot food what I mean is a selection of items such as Cornish pasties etc and a microwave where you can warm them up, they also had pot noodles, sandwiches, soft drinks, beers etc.
Then it was off to my room, as far as I know most of the rooms are the same, unlike the Holiday Inn hotels where you can upgrade to a superior room, but I was very happy with the room I was in.
I had requested a non smoking room so my room was on the 2nd floor as this whole floor was non-smoking, there was a lift so carrying my luggage up the stairs was not required.
One thing that got me for a couple of minutes was how to turn on the lights, there is a slot just inside the door, you have to put your key card i
n this slot to operate the lights. I was impressed with the size of the room, this was not a suite by any means but it had a double bed and sofa bed and didn’t feel cramped, although I should imagine if you had the sofa bed in use then you may feel a little bit squashed.
In my room I had a nice double bed, desk and chair so I could carry on working (Groan), a couple of sets of shelves where I could unpack, a wardrobe type of thing, Bedside Tables with Lamps for Reading, Hairdryer, nice neat Tea and Coffee making facilities all built into a shelf on the wall. The TV was tuned into BBC1, BBC2, ITV, CH4, CH5, Sky News, Sky One, Sky Sports 1 and Cartoon Network, there was also a selection of radio channels and a selection of pay channels where you could watch movies at £6.95 a night. There was also a very comfortable sofa bed positioned so you could sit on the sofa and watch TV. You could also use the TV to view your bill, check your messages and set it as an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning.
The bathroom was nice, everything looked new, there was the toilet a nice sized shower cubical, sink, large mirror and shaving point. Unlike a lot of hotels there was no collection of soaps etc, but there were dispensers fixed to the wall where you could squeeze the right amount on to your hands, better for the environment I suppose.
The only complaint I had was the lack of power sockets, I wanted to do some work on my laptop and the only socket available was the kettle point, not a big problem but I had to unplug the laptop every time I wanted a cup of tea.
As I mentioned earlier, there is nowhere to get an evening meal at the hotel, but just across the car park there is a pub called the Barn Owl, I will not do a review on the pub here, but I went over to the pup for my meal, suffice it to say the food was reasonably priced and tasted great, the service was brilliant and they served beer, what more is there to say.
n the morning off I went to get my breakfast, this was buffet style in the breakfast room on the ground floor, There was Tea, Coffee, Milk and a selection of juices to drink. Food wise you had a massive selection of cereals, a selection of fresh fruit and yoghurts, bread rolls, croissants (with and without chocolate) and sliced bread with a handy toaster by the side so you can make your own toast along with a selection of butter, margarine, marmalade and jams. Not the same sort of choice you would expect from a 4 star hotel, but fine for bed and breakfast.
Checkout was quick and easy, just paid my bill, picked up my free copy on the Independent newspaper and off to work again.
This hotel probably won’t suit you if you are expecting all the trimmings of a smart hotel, but if you want a nice comfortable place to stay with a breakfast thrown in then I would not hesitate in recommending this hotel to you. In fact I have to go back and I think next time I will take my family with me.
For those of you who want to know more here are the facts and figures.
The hotel I have written about is:
Express by Holiday Inn Exeter,
Exeter Business Park,
The phone number is 01392 261000
And Fax Number is 01392 261061
Directions are easy, find your own way to M5 (It is on all the maps) and leave at Juction 29 (A30) Turn right at the trafic lights to the first roundabout,go straight on at the roundabout signposted to exeter city centre, the entrance to the hotel car park is on your right hand side just past the pedestrian vrossing at the Barn Owl pub.
Price (When I stayed in March 2001, I assume it will change so you better phone to check). £52 per night, All rooms appear to be the same price, prices are for Bed and Breakfast;
At the weekend the prices are a little bit cheaper at £48
You can check out the website at http://ww
w.basshotels.com/hiexpress?_franchisee=EXEUK on this site you can check availability and prices and you can even book online.
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