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housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired
Holiday Inn Express (Stevenage)
Member Name: europe-chick
Holiday Inn Express (Stevenage)
Date: 23/01/13, updated on 25/01/13 (39 review reads)
Advantages: cheap rooms, complimentary hot buffet breakfast
Disadvantages: housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired
We've stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Stevenage a couple of times now whilst visiting friends living in Stevenage. Each time was for just a 1 night stay. The first time we stayed was July 2011, and the second time was May 2012.
I like the Holiday Inn Express chain as you get the hot breakfast buffet included, and the hotels are normally ok. I have to admit though that I find the Holiday Inn Express hotels in the US to be of much better quality than the Holiday Inn Express hotels in the UK, well the ones we've stayed at have been anyway.
So back to the Stevenage Holiday Inn Express. It is situated fairly near the centre of Stevenage, and the train station is just a short walk away. We drove to Stevenage both times and the hotel doesn't have any parking but you can park overnight in Matalan's car park which is opposite the hotel. The only drawback to this is that you have to vacate the car park by 9am otherwise you will incur the parking charges applied to Matalan's car park.
The first time we stayed was a Saturday night and so we chanced leaving later the following morning, at 11am, as we figured that because it was a Sunday Matalan wouldn't be open until later. By the time we'd checked out of the hotel it was around 11.15am when we arrived at our car, there was no-one manning the ticket booth at the car par so we were fine having gone over the 9am departure time.
The second time we stayed was a Friday night and so Matalan would be opening at 9am on the Saturday. We tossed a coin when we got back from the pub on the Friday night to see who would be getting up early to go and just pay for an hours parking in the car park and then we could have a leisurely breakfast and leave around 10am. My husband lost and so he headed out at 9am and paid about £1.60 I think for an hour. When we did leave just after 10am there was no-one manning the ticket booth again so we probably could have got away without paying for that hour after all!
The Holiday Inn Express in Stevenage is quite a shabby and slightly run down hotel, its saving grace is that it is cheap; we paid less than £40.00 each time for the room. The second time that we stayed I also felt that the housekeeping was below par as well, our bathroom was really quite grubby, and I went to look out of the window and there were some chicken drumstick bones on the outside window sill - lovely!! To be honest due to the housekeeping issues I will look elsewhere for a hotel in Stevenage next time we go (which will be in a few months time). I also felt that the beds were a bit past it as well, the second time we stayed the double bed had a definite roll together!
The rooms did have everything you would expect; double bed, sofa bed, desk and chair, TV, phone, wardrobe area, tea and coffee making facilities etc. The bathroom was small but functional, with a shower stall, sink, loo, hairdryer and enough towels.
Breakfast is included in the room rate, and is not too bad at all; coffee, teas, juices, cereals, pastries, fruit, yogurts, toast, and hot items - sausages, scrambled eggs and baked beans. My human hoover husband definitely had more than his fill each time.
There's no restaurant in the hotel, but there is a bar, we didn't use the bar area as we had plans each time with our friends.
They do have free wi-fi throughout the hotel; you just need to get the code from reception.
I'm not 100% sure that I'd recommend the Holiday Inn Express in Stevenage after the housekeeping issue on our second stay, I would see if I could get a reasonable room rate elsewhere first of all. If I couldn't then I would stay again but it wouldn't be my first choice next time around.
Summary: housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired