Newest Review: ... Another point of note is that you can get to the hotel by car without having to go into the congestion charge zone. We arrived a little to... more
Probably the best value for money in London
Holiday Inn Express (London)
Member Name: jodenton
Holiday Inn Express (London)
Advantages: Price, free parking, free breakfast
Disadvantages: environment, time to get to the centre of london
Me, my husband and two stepchildren (aged 17 and 6) stayed at this hotel for two nights in between Christmas and New Year 2007. We booked on-line at the (very) last minute and were drawn to the hotel by the cheap price....59 pounds per night for all 4 of us including breakfast which was at least half the price of anything else that we could get within a reasonable distance of the centre of London.
The hotel is situated in the Docklands area of London (5 minutes walk from Canning Town Tube Station, on the Jubilee Line) within spitting distance of ExCel, Canary Wharf and London City Airport. It would be fair to say that it is not in the most selubrious part of London I've ever seen but I never felt unsafe and lets face it you don't usually go to London to spend time in the hotel.
We arrived by car and it took a little finding (but we did have an out-of-date map which probaby didn't help!) and parking was easy and FREE within a 'secure carpark', complete with carpark type barriers that you can get through by pressing the button but you had to provide your registration number at check-in so I presume they have a security guard. Another point of note is that you can get to the hotel by car without having to go into the congestion charge zone.
We arrived a little too early for our room but the attendant at check-in was more than helpful and took our luggage into the luggage room and said that we could come back whenever we wished and check in so we went off and spent the rest of the day in London.
Upon returning back the check-in staff had changed and they seemed to be a little less clued up and a bit stressed out. Apparently there had been a system failure. The result of this was that they had the four of us staying in a twin room with two single beds (she seemed not to be in the slightest bit phased about giving us this room making me think that you could probably squeeze more people into your room than you originally booked for). Then there weren't any non-smoking rooms left despite us booking one but we didn't complain too much since we had only booked 36 hours earlier. But we did get a room for the four of us (a double bed and a double sofa bed).
The hotel has lifts and stairs and on arrival at our floor (the smoking floor) it was evident that it was the smoking floor as the corridor was quite ripe but the room didn't smell at all so it was no problem. The room was very reasonable. A double bed and a double sofa-bed (which was very easy to make) and plenty of bedding and towels. It was ensuite with toilet, basin and shower. We were only there for a couple of days but there appeared to be adequate storage (hanging space and drawers) for four people which was good as there wasn't an awful lot of floor space left by the time the sofa-bed was out. There was of course a TV complete with Sky, curiously BBC seemed somewhat absent but we didn't spend too much time flicking through the channels so we could have missed it.
The only gripe about the room was the heat (a problem I often find with these hotels). It was almost impossible to be comfortable. There was an air-conditioning unit which was electriconically controlled but you couldn't really have it on all night as it was quite noisy.
The complimentary breakfast was continental style and served for a reasonable time (3 hours or so, 6-9am or 7-10, can't remember now). There was a good selection although it was quite hectic and little system to it all. There was tea, coffee, water, orange and apple juice. A good selection of cereals, cheeses, yoghurts, grapefruits, bread etc etc. A good way to set you up for the day and possible to make sandwiches for lunch if you were so inclined. There was also a small independent supermarket next door which sold all kinds of things.
In the breakfast area, after about midday, I presume, there was a bar serving a limited selection but the usual favourites of most drinks.
In terms of travelling into the centre of London to see the sights, the hotel is ideally situated for the price. As I said earlier its five minutes walk from Canning Town Tube Station which is on the new part of the Jubilee Line that takes you straight to Westminster and from there you can get anywhere. It does take time as you are quite far out ~1/2 hour from Canning Town to Westminster. A travel card from Canning Town for an adult cost 5 pounds 70. For 11-16 year olds there is a child rate (sorry, not sure what this is) and under 11s go free.
The only other thing to note is the second episode of seemingly staff ineptness, when we returned back the second night our electronic keycard wouldn't open our door, so when I went back to see why she asked me if we were supposed to be checking out today I said no and there was no problem and she re-coded it.
Summary: Comfortable, reasonably located and amazingly priced
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