Newest Review: ... served). There was nothing outstanding about the décor, which seemed pretty standard for this type of hotel, but it was bright, inviting an... more
Perfect choice to stay in Stevenage on a budget
Holiday Inn Express (Stevenage)
Member Name: AbsintheFairy
Holiday Inn Express (Stevenage)
Advantages: Clean, nicely decorated hotel, excellent location, friendly staff, value for money
Disadvantages: None for me
A few weeks ago, I ended up in Stevenage on a Friday night. I wasn't expecting this - it hadn't been top of my list as a weekend break destination! One of my friends is a member of a brass band in London and the south east regional heat of the National Brass Band Championships was being held in Stevenage over the weekend. She asked me and another friend to go with her as she didn't fancy staying overnight on her own. She booked a room in the Holiday Inn Express near the station and we met at King's Cross Station after work one night. The train to Stevenage only takes about twenty-five minutes so we soon arrived at our destination.
*** Location and Price***
There are two Holiday Inn Express hotels in Stevenage - we were staying at the nearest one to the station, on Danestrete. The hotel was about ten minutes' walk from the station, which was handy for us and conveniently involved walking through the community centre, where the Brass Band Championships were to be held. It's a good job it was so close as my friend had her baritone to carry, and it was unbelievably heavy!
My friend kindly offered to pay for the room as she was the one dragging us to Stevenage. However she said it was only £50 which was pretty impressive.
The reception desk was a long desk with several tables and comfy chairs in front, with a dining area beyond (where the breakfast was to be served). There was nothing outstanding about the décor, which seemed pretty standard for this type of hotel, but it was bright, inviting and clean and looked like it had been recently decorated. Checking in was a simple matter and we took the lift to our room.
The room (which I assume was a family room) was clean and bright. Again it looked as though it had been recently decorated. There was a large double bed and a smaller sofa bed which had already been taken down and made up. A kettle was provided with tea and coffee (only two cups though, so we had to nick another one at breakfast the next morning!), and there was a hairdryer and a selection of white towels (thankfully enough for all of us!). There was an iron and ironing board available on request (my friend borrowed it to iron her uniform) and there was a TV in the room, although you had to pay for certain channels (mainly those showing movies). When we got in to the room, the TV was displaying a welcome screen with my friend's name on it, which I thought was a nice touch.
We had an ensuite bathroom and again this was clean and tidy. There were no free bottles of shampoo and shower gel, but there was a pump dispenser containing Imperial Leather shower gel in the shower cubicle. We had no problems with water pressure or heat control when using the shower. My favourite thing about the bathroom was the design. The room was arranged so that the door could be used to close the entire bathroom, or just to close off the toilet cubicle itself, leaving the rest of the room free for someone else to use the shower and sink. The only problem with this is that the wall in between the toilet and shower cubicles is made of frosted glass so you might see a little more than you bargained for!
Once my friends and I got ready, we headed out to explore Stevenage. It's a new town, not particularly exciting, but we managed to find a few bars to go to. At least the drinks prices were cheaper than London! Once we got back we decided to have a last drink at the hotel bar. Prices weren't cheap but weren't overly expensive either. While we were there we chatted with some other people staying in the hotel, all of whom were either brass band players or there to offer support!
The room included what was described as a 'complimentary' breakfast. My friends and I hadn't done any research and assumed we would get a cup of tea and a muffin. However we were pleasantly surprised as we found a wide selection of food available at the buffet the next morning. Cereal, toast, pastries and rolls were available, as were tea, coffee, assorted juices and fruit. Some hot food - beans, scrambled eggs and sausages - was available, along with appropriate condiments. The food was hardly gourmet, but it was tasty and I had no problems with it. It's a shame my baritone-playing friend didn't partake of the food as she was too nervous to eat.
Hotel staff are so important - they can make or break a hotel experience. The staff at the Holiday Inn Express Stevenage were lovely. They were helpful and friendly at all times, from check-in to check-out. When we were going out for the night, the receptionist gave us some useful directions, and the staff serving at the bar later on were cheerful. When we checked out I was chatting to the member of staff about the hotel and she said that there were lots of business guests during the week. I imagine this is why weekend rates are so cheap - I can't imagine many people staying here at the weekend! She did say that on this particular weekend the place was full of brass band members!
I had never stayed in a Holiday Inn Express before, but I was very impressed with this one and would certainly consider staying in another. The hotel was in a very convenient location near the railway station, and it was clean and bright inside. The facilities were of a high standard, the breakfast tasty, room rates very reasonable and the staff lovely. In all honesty I can't imagine that I will ever need to stay in Stevenage again, but if I ever do, the Holiday Inn Express will certainly be my first choice.
Address: Danestrete, Stevenage, Herts SG1 1XB
Phone (Front Desk): +44(0)-1438-344300
Summary: My first experience of a Holiday Inn Express, and hopefully not my last
More reviews in the field of Hotel National
- You get what you pay for I guess!
- The beautiful and elegant castle with exquisite bedrooms
- Lovely place :)
- Excellant location, Great Breakfast!
- Warm Welcome to a Cool Room
- Premier Inn, Inverness West.
- A great stay at the Holiday Inn, Portsmouth.
- Great short break
- Not Perfect But Not Far Off
- damons motel and restaurant
- The Alexander Hotel (Dublin)
- International Backpackers (Glasgow)
- Royal Trafalgar Hotel
- Crowne Plaza (Birmingham NEC)
- Apex City Quay Hotel (Dundee)
- Novotel (Newcastle Airport)
- The Ship Hotel (Parkgate, Wirral)
- London Hilton
- Copthorne Newcastle Hotel (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
- Ramada Jarvis Hotel (Swansea)