* Prices may differ from that shown
We're staying at the Holiday Inn South Wimbledon courtesy of my landlord as my boiler broke down over a week ago and with only a wetroom and no bath that I can fill up so my daughter could bathe we had to be 'decanted'.
Firstly, South Wimbledon is a stretch and I reckon they've called it that to make it look good, this hotel is practically across the road from Colliers Wood station.
Parking at the hotel is atrocious, for the number of rooms there is very little parking, the parking adjacent to the hotel belongs to the housing opposite which I realised when someone scratched my car! There is no parking in the immediate area either which is really inconvenient when you are pushing a wheelchair and carrying luggage.
The room we were given was called accessible however, when we got to the room we found that my daughter's wheelchair, which is a standard size, would not go past the bed to the main area of the room. On the second day a member of staff came up and moved the bed for us - I could not do it myself as I have 7 damaged vertebrae. Currently, our bed is not with the bedstead so reaching the lights is now not so easy and once in bed we cannot benefit from the 'side table' parts of the bedhead.
Breakfast is abysmal, no bacon, hash browns and no option for fried eggs, kippers etc. The Premier Inn does a much better breakfast with far greater choice. The food menu for the rooms is very limited and service ends at 9pm.
In the evening, the shower is more like a trickle. There is a sink right on top of the toilet which makes going to the toilet really awkward and the shower curtain does not fully go around the shower rail which makes the water spray all over the floor.
Staff are great though, really friendly and helpful where they can be.
I recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Express City Centre in Swindon and was extremely impressed.
I'm a permenant wheelchair user and the room I booked had everyone that I needed, with plenty of space for my electric wheelchair.
Check Inn was very smooth and had no problems. When I arrived at the room, I first had trouble opening the door and want back down to the reception where one off the staff were very happy to help me showing how to open the door.
In the wet room, there were handles and a walk in shower which had a perch seat. The shower was very easy to use and easy to get to the right temperature. There was also an emergency cord.
In the main bedroom, which was a double room, there was another emergency card near the bed.
They was even a plug socket for a fire alarm pillow, and a light that would flash if the fire alarm went off.
The bed was just the right texture for me.
The night time staff, Lee and Ahmed were excellent. They helped my to use to the vending machine for drinks when the bar was closed.
Check out was also very smooth. I can't rate breakfast as I had to leave early.
The room had cost me £49 for one night and I can't wait to still again.
I have also reviewed this hotel on booking.com and tripadvisor.co.uk under the same user name 'ldwheel'.
The Holiday Inn chain of hotels have done what many other of these 'chain hotels' have done and have a budget line of hotels that are a bit cheaper than the main Holiday Inn hotels. Recently I was away for a month for work, two weeks of that month was spent in the Holiday Inn Express in Pride Park, Derby. In regards to cost, I'm not sure what the rooms cost - I didn't pay, work did. On the website it states rooms from £39 per night, but I think standard cost is about £70-£80 per room per night.
From arrival to departure I had a reasonable experience in the Holiday Inn Express. Check in was really easy. I turned up, case in tow. I actually asked if there was a room they could put my case in as I was there 3 hours before check in. Check in is normally from 3pm and I had to be in work for half 12. The lady on the reception desk said she could keep the case safe for me, or I could check in there and then if I wanted to as my room was already ready. My colleagues room was also ready, so we both checked in. Great bonus for us. Thanks Holiday Inn!
I got given my door card and set off to find my room with the directions given to me. Though these directions weren't needed - it was pretty self explanatory. I hopped in the lift as had to go up two floors and I wasn't in the mood to be carrying the case up the stairs. I didn't like the lift much, but then that's me. I don't like small lifts. It was big enough for a couple of people plus our cases, but I'm glad there was only the two of us in there, else it would have felt a bit cramped.
Room found, I had a quick glance around before abandoning my case to walk across to the office. With these sorts of hotels you pretty much know what you're getting before you arrive. First impressions was it was a nice enough room - pretty much what I expected. The most important thing to me was that it was clean, and it passed the test. Once I returned to the room later that evening I actually got to 'see' the room. There was a double bed - with choice of pillows - soft or firm. I opted for the 'firm' ones as a personal preference. I imagine that if there were two of you sharing and you both wanted the same pillows you could ask reception for some more.
As well as the bed, there was a sofa (that pulled out to a bed, but I didn't need this, so it just got used as a sofa for me), some sort of desk with tea and coffee making facilities, a large flat screen t.v. (with freeview), and some storage for clothes. This storage was mostly in the form of shelves, but there was some hanging space. I had 6 hangers. This sort of storage was fine for those just staying a few nights, but I would have liked a bit more hanging space. Going by location (in the middle of a business park) I imagine a lot of business users use this hotel, so would like hanging space to keep creases out of shirts, etc. so a few more hangers would have been useful. But not to grumble, like I say, I was a bit of an anomaly staying here for 2 weeks!
The en suite bathroom was pretty standard, but nice enough. A toilet, shower, and sink with a bit of space to store your toiletries. The shower had a wire shelf in it, good for putting your shower gel, etc. on. There was also soap dispensers - one in the shower of shower gel, and one near the sink which was hand wash. I didn't use the shower gel, I preferred to use my own, but the hand wash had a nice coconut fragrance, and was nice enough on the skin.
So how about the rest of the hotel? The hotel offered continental breakfast in with the room, with juice, tea and coffee all also available. I didn't use the breakfast facility every day, but on the days I did it was ok. Nothing amazing, pretty much your standard continental breakfast - bread rolls, toast, croissants, fruit, yoghurts, etc. The breakfast area was quite small, so if it was busy you'd end up bumping in to people trying to get everything that you wanted. Seating wise though, there was plenty, so no worries about trying to get a table.
The bar was nice enough. Same seating area that is used for breakfast. As well as 'proper' tables and chairs, there were also sofas and coffee table tables if you wanted to get comfy. Drinks weren't as cheap as your local pub, but in comparison to some other hotels I would say they were reasonable. Wi-fi was free if you used it in the bar area too (as opposed to chargeable if you used it in your room). The free Wi-fi was limited to 6 hours per customer per day. More than adequate if you ask me. Internet speeds were ok I suppose, but a little on the slow side. Worked though, I could check my e-mails, and of course facebook to stay connected to the real world back home - for a free service I can't complain.
In the bar area there was also a fridge (think newsagent style, not one you'd find in your kitchen) with bottles of fizzy drinks, etc, snacks such as chocolate, crisps and Gingsters Pasties. There was also an ice machine and a microwave should you wish to heat anything up. This was good for the few of us that were staying a couple of weeks - meant microwave meals were an option. The hotel itself didn't do any evening meals, but if you wanted take-away meals they had a selection of menus, and allowed you to order and to eat food in the bar area. They even provided you with plates and cutlery if you asked for them!
The staff were all lovely and really helpful if you needed anything. At one point I asked for some extra milk portions for my room, and got handed loads by the friendly guy on reception.
When it came to checking out I had just as good an experience as I did when I checked in. It was quick and painless. Again I asked about storing my suitcase (again I was in work and didn't want to drag the case to the office - especially when I had to walk back past the hotel to get to the train station to finally go home). The lady on reception took my case, put a luggage label on it and gave me a corresponding tag. On the way back to the train station I simply popped back in to reception with my tag, picked up my case, and headed off home.
I couldn't fault the staff for the service they gave. On a couple of occasions I could have a lie in I put the 'do not disturb' sign on the door. Nice clean towels were left outside my room in a laundry bag. When my room was cleaned it was always left in a nice condition. I could get used to having my bed made for me each day! The only things I could really fault was the food area at breakfast and the lack of storage space. For that reason I've dropped a star, but otherwise a nice enough standard hotel to stay at.
Express by Holiday Inn is a range of budget hotels from the Holiday Inn chain. They are similar to Premier Inn in the standard of accomodation offered, except that at Express by Holiday Inn you get a continental breakfast included. The hotels all tend to be very similar, so you will know what to expect before you arrive.
In February of this year, I stayed at the Express by Holiday Inn in Bath for two nights, with my husband and our two year old daughter. The hotel is located a little way out of the city centre (about a 15-20 minute walk) but this didn't bother us, as we don't mind walking. It is on Lower Bristol Road, Bath, BA2 3QU. We travelled by train, and walked to the hotel from Bath Spa Station, which was about a ten minute walk. The area that the hotel is in is not the most attractive, and is probably more of a student area, but it didn't take long to get to the centre and all it's attractions.
The hotel is a modern building, with a large car park to the side. Inside, the decor was clean, bright and modern. The check-in was quick and we went up to our room in the lift. The room was a family room, costing £70.00 per night (booked through hotels.com and Top Cash Back) and was not as large as the one at Holiday Inn Brighton that I stayed in recently. It was adequate for a two night stay in a budget hotel, though, and was clean, warm and comfortable. The beds(a double and a sofa bed) were comfortable to sleep in, and the room had air conditioning, wifi (we didn't use this), tea and coffee making, satellite television and an ensuite bathroom with shower gel and hand soap provided.
The breakfast at the hotel was self service and Continental. There was a choice of toast, bread rolls, pastries, croissants, yogurts, fruit, cheese, jam, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Whilst not of the highest standard I have ever had, it was certainly adequate for our needs. I noticed that there were quite a few families staying there (it was half term) as well as business people. There was a bar on the ground floor of the hotel and complimentary newspapers each morning. Near the lift was an area where you could get extra supplies of tea bags, coffee, milk, sugar and sweeteners. Something that was really useful to us was the ice machine. We collected a large container of ice each evening to leave our daughter's milk in, as she likes to have a drink of milk as soon as she wakes up, and there was no fridge in the room to keep it cool.
I would stay at this hotel again if visiting Bath. It is very good for families, and the prices are good for Bath, which tends to be quite expensive for hotel accomodation. It is easy get to the city centre, near to the train station and there is a large car park adjacent to it. The fact that breakfast was included was a welcome bonus, too.
Last summer we didn't get a chance to go away on a proper holiday, but we did manage to get a couple of breaks, two nights in Dublin and 3 nights in Edinburgh, both of which were really appreciated. The Holiday Inn I will be reviewing is the Edinburgh City Centre hotel, in Picardy Place, Edinburgh.
We booked this online via the Holiday Inn Express (HIExpress) website at a cost of £89 a night for the two of use. We thought this was a fair price, considering the central location of the hotel and the time we booked (last day of August/beginning of September) which meant we were there for the last day of the Edinburgh Festival.
The hotel is located to the north east of the city centre, near The Mound and opposite the Playhouse Theatre. It is a number of beautiful Georgian buildings converted to a hotel (no doubt extended somewhat to the rear). We decided to get the train to Edinburgh, and once we'd found our way out of Waverley Station, the hotel was a 5 min walk (downhill), which was very convenient.
Check in took about 2 minutes and we were swiftly directed to our room on the 4th floor by way of a handy lift. The room was relatively spacious, very tidy and spotlessly clean. It was pleasantly, although blandly decorated, which is what you would expect from this type of hotel. It had a double bed, a sofa, desk and tv, tea and coffee making facilities and a fan. Pretty standard fare really. There was also information about what to do in Edinburgh in the room, which helped us plan our days. We found the bed to be extremely comfortable and slept well every night we were there.
The bathroom was very clean, but only has a shower, which was fine for us, but some people may miss a soak in the bath. Complementary toiletries are included in squeazy bottles and are Lux branded. The hotel also provides disposable flannels, shower caps and soap. The power shower was great, much better than the one we have at home. However, the bathroom was internal with not much ventilation, so it took a while to de-steam the room after showering.
Our room faced to the north, away from Picardy Place and Leith Walk. As we were located at the top of the hotel, our view was quite nice; in the foreground were typical city centre commercial buildings, but beyond we could see down to the Firth of Forth, and even the Forth road and rail bridges at a slightly oblique angle. Being in a city centre location, there was some noise from revellers etc quite late into the evening. However, as we're not usually early to bed type people, this didn't disturb us too much and it certainly didn't prevent us from getting a good nights sleep. You would expect some sort of noise in a central location anyway. We didn't have any road noise though, which was good considering the location. We also noticed that the sound proofing between rooms was good and we never heard any of our neighbours.
A continental breakfast was included in the price of the hotel. This was not particularly inspiring, but there was a relatively good choice and it enabled us to fill up in the morning, so we didn't need a big lunch. Complementary newspapers were provided at breakfast which was a nice touch.
The breakfast was served on the mezzanine of the bar area. On our first evening we had a quick drink in the bar before going to bed. It was quite smartly furnished and comfortable with friendly staff. However, as is the nature of hotel bars of this type, it was devoid of atmosphere.
Another facility we made use of in the hotel was the ice machine. I would love to have one of these, and although it is very Americanised, it is a useful feature which stops you spending a fortune on chilled water in the vending machines dotted around the hotel. Internet access was available via computers in the hotel lobby. We didn't make use of this as the price was shockingly expensive. I can't remember how much now, but I think it was in the region of £10 per hour! We hadn't taken our laptops due to our train journey to get there, so I can't comment on whether wi-fi access was available or how much it was.
The hotel staff were all very friendly and helpful. They were happy to replenish our tea and coffee making equipment when asked. We also opted for express check-out to stop us rushing for the train. This was smooth and took a couple of seconds.
The hotel is ideally located for exploring Edinburgh. The New Town, The Mound, George Street and Princes Street were all within 5 minutes walk of the hotel. The Old Town was about 15 mins walk, with Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle being about a 30 mins walk. As we are young and fit, we opted to walk everywhere, which was easy to do. However, we noticed buses going past the hotel frequently, so it would be easy to hop on one for longer journeys. We decided to take a taxi to the station when we left as we had been hitting the shops and stocking up on shortbread and our bags had just about doubled in weight (and it was raining and uphill). There is a taxi rank just opposite the hotel in front of the Playhouse Theatre and it cost us about £5 to get to Waverley Station.
One of the highlights of our stay was the fireworks display put on for the last day of the festival. As we were in the city by chance on this day, this was completely unexpected, but amazing. Fireworks were raining down the walls of the castle in all different colours, set to a backdrop of live classical music. It was the best display I have ever seen and completely free from vantage points around the city. Afterwards, we turned the tv on back at the hotel and they were replaying the whole event, so we watched it again!
I see from the HIExpress website that there are two other HIExpress hotels in the city; one is in Leith to the north of the city, on the waterfront and the other is in the Old Town. I would imagine that the standard of accommodation would be similar to the Picardy Place hotel. As the hotel we stayed in was a converted older building, the main entrance is via steps. However, I believe there was a step free entrance for people with mobility problems. There was also a lift to all floors to enable inclusive access.
I was pleased with our hotel. I didn't find it too expensive considering the location and the time we booked. I imagine you could find cheaper accommodation in the city, but I can't vouch for the standard that this would be. We booked relatively late, but I would also imagine the Holiday Inn does have deals you could book in advance and promotions for a cheaper room.
HIExpress is a relatively standard product, and could be described by some as bland and soulless. However, I am quite picky about accommodation, as I like it to be clean and comfortable. Therefore, I find the benefit of a standardised type of accommodation is that you know what to expect in advance. Your holiday will not be ruined by dirty sheets or unexpected hairs in the bath. Therefore, I am more than happy to choose HIExpress, as it certainly delivers a good product - and it's so much nicer than a Travel Lodge!!!
I recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Burnley. This was part of a competition prize so my accomodation, evening meal and breakfast was all included. It was originally supposed to be for 2 nights for 2 people, however due to the short notice of being advised as a winner, I was unable to arrange childcare and so asked if it was possible to change it to 1 night for 2 adults and 2 children instead. I recieved a very fast response advising me that this was no problem whatsoever and I replied also asking if it was possible for them to attach a copy of their menu for me also. Again, I recieved this back very fast within the hour, so immediately was very impressed with their customer service and prompt and polite attitude.
There is a very large car park outside the front of the building which provides plenty of spaces which are all free of charge. There are also spaces provided for disabled persons nearer to the front of the hotel.
On arrival in reception, we recieved a very polite welcome, check in was both fast and easy and I also noticed above the desk that the room rate for the Sunday evening was £110. It was a bank holiday, so Im not sure if this was therefore reflected in the price.It was very quiet and there was absolutely no-one else to be seen in the foyer area when we arrived. We were provided with our room number and key and provided with directions. The room was fine, it featured a double bed and a double rollaway bed for the kids. There was a tv, trouser press, iron, telephone and internet access available at a cost. I didnt use this facility so I am unsure as to the exact cost. The room was nothing amazing, but very clean tidy and had everything you could need. I would personally pay around £60-£70 a night for a room of the standard that it was, so felt that the £110 a night advertised in the foyer was quite excessive. Anyway, it was free for my family and I, so was very pleased with it overall. The rollaway bed hadnt been made up when we arrived and there were no sheets or pillows in the room for us to do it ourselves. My husband walked outside the room to try and find someone to assist and within minutes someone was at the room. It did take a while to try and explain what we needed as the maid did not speak english, apart from to say 'Im sorry, but I don't speak English'! We got there in the end though and the bed was made up.
We checked with reception as to what time dinner was available from and were told that we could eat in the restaurant from 5:30pm. We went down just before then and had a drink in the foyer, there were only two other people in the foyer at this point. It also transpired that the lady working on reception was also the bar manager and waitress and throughout the night as it did get busier she didnt seem to get a minutes rest, yet she was always happy, smiling, and very polite and was more than happy to answer any queries that anyone had.
As with most hotels the bar is overpriced. £4 for an alcopop as they are known, I feel is ridiculous, especially when you can get about 6 for that price in the supermarket. I therefore only had one drink as wine was included with our meal anyway and since my husband wasnt drinking as was looking after the kids whilst I relaxed, I therefore had the bottle to myself.
The menu is basic and features a couple of starters, about six mains and a couple of desserts. The mains appeared to be food which could be prepared a few hours earlier and then just reheated when required as it only took about 10 minutes from ordering to recieve all our meals. It is worth noting that there is no childrens menu, however they will gladly provide you with a smaller portion of an adults meal. Although when they arrived, I wouldnt say that the childrens meals were any smaller than hours and there eyes lit up when the plate was placed in front of them. The food as basic as it may have been was still very tasty and the prices were reasonable at around £5-£7 per main which considering the portion sizes was very good value.
We were also surprised in the morning as we had been told that it was a buffet breakfast. We assumed that this would be the usual hot buffet breakfast as served in most restaurants, however when we went down in the morning, we realised that it was in fact just a very basic cold buffet. There were a few items of fruit available, yoghurt, a small selection of pastries and toast. The thing that I didnt like was that the condiments were not individual portions, so if you wanted marmalade for example, then a full size jar was kept in a small fridge, meaning that everyone got their serving from the same jar. Of course it was therefore full of crumbs and butter from peoples knives who had just buttered their toast and then stuck the same knife in the jar which I didnt think was very nice at all.
I have stayed in Holiday Inn hotels before but not the Express hotels, however I had assumed beforehand that these were just the same. In fact the Holiday Inn Express' are alot more basic. They are predominantly focused on the business traveller requiring a quick stopover. I cannot fault the cleanliness of the hotel and the staff work so hard it is highly commendable. It was a great break away for free, however if I was a paying customer, I would personally be looking to book something with more facilities and more luxurious rooms. If you are looking for a nice and easy stopover however, then I would most certainly recommend it.
Express by Holiday Inn is my first choice when looking for an overnight hotel stay, or weekend away. This is because they offer good value for money, and although they are the budget off-shoot of Holiday Inn, I actually think having stayed in both, that they are much better, as the hotels are all modern (some Holiday Inns are a bit dated now) and Continental Breakfast is included in the cost of your stay.
I have often stayed in Premier Inns which I have also enjoyed but these are always my first choice due to value for money.
Express by Holiday Inn have hotels all over the UK, (I shall tell you a bit about some I have stayed in later) and the best way to book a room is via their website. This is because you will find rooms from as little as £39 a night including breakfast, and also you can often get a cheaper rate by booking in advance.
One thing I would definately recommend if you do book a room is to join their rewards scheme, which is called Priority Club Rewards. Full details are available on their website. It costs nothing to join and you will earn points for every stay, which you can then exchange for free nights. You will also be sent offers via email which award you extra points, for example :- Every 2nd stay booked within the next few months will earn you an extra 2000 points. This is a typical example of their offers. Also they may send you a short feedback survey from time to time where you can also earn points for completing it.
Another benefit of joining the Priority Club Rewards is you are guaranteed priority check-in, a complimentary newspaper and also later check-out times if you request it.
I have been a member of this scheme for around 4 years now and have had quite a few free nights. There are no black-out dates for free nights, nor do your points have an expiry date. You can also earn points by staying at Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza hotels as they are all part of the same chain.
All the hotels are modern, and double/twin rooms are available. Some hotels offer some smoking rooms, but some hotels are all non-smoking. Every room has an en-suite bathroom with power shower, a TV , hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. I have always found the staff very helpful and its not a problem should you request extra towels, tea/coffee. pillows etc. There are vending machines and ice machines available in reception.
There is always a bar in the hotel and some do have a restaurant, but there is often a pub or carvery adjacent to the hotel.
Continental breakfast is always included in the price, and you can take this to your room if you prefer. Cereals, toast, breads, croissants, pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurt, juice and tea and coffee. You just help yourself.
Some of my favourite hotels are listed below, you will notice most are in Scotland as this is my favourite place to visit with my partner for weekend stays etc, but we have often stayed overnight in a few others. My favourites are :-
Edinburgh - I think they have more than one in Edinburgh, but I usually stay at Leith, located on the waterfront, with a large shopping mall opposite with bars and restaurants overlooking the Royal Yacht Britannia. Also an award-winning Indian Restaurant adjacent to the hotel.
Glenrothes - My partner and myself have stayed here overnight when holidaying in Scotland. It has a quiet location and a lovely pub/restaurant next door - 'The Fettykil Fox' which serves great food in a cosy welcoming atmosphere.
Strathclyde - We have also stayed here a few times, and it is a great place for families as it is right next to Strathclyde country park which also has a theme park with many rides and attractions and a large lake. A Toby Carvery is also adjacent to the hotel.
Glasgow Airport - Located within a couple of minutes walk to the terminal. Car parking available for you to leave your car whilst on holiday. A restaurant is also in the hotel.
Stirling - A very quiet hotel located on the outskirts of a business park but has a great view of the Wallace Monument and a backdrop of hills. Very scenic and Stirling is a lovely place to visit. A pub/resaturant is adjacent to the hotel.
York - Great place to stay whilst visiting York or surrounding countryside. There are a few hotels available, but we recently stayed at York east which has a Toby Carvery adjacent to hotel.
So next time you fancy a night or weekend away or are looking for an overnight stop to break up a long journey maybe, give Holiday Inn Express a try, I'm sure you won't be disappointed!
Total disgusting hotel, staff inefficient and very rude, unhelpful and ignorant. Running out of Food and Beer continually. Rooms not serviced correctly and dirty. Standards are way below standard and management do nothing to enhance the image of hotel and would rather gossip with staff members while guests wait to try and order food or drinks. Do not try complain else you are made to be in the wrong and they make excuses for all the incompetance of the staff and their failings to satisfy your needs. Recommendations there are cheaper hotels in area with better trained staff and where a guest is made to feel they ae important. Best part stay was Checkout, even then when reception tried to overcharge for services not recieved normal practise l heard from other guests checking out. Stay lear of this DUMP of a hotel
We stayed in a holiday in on our way to Alton towers. We stayed in the Stafford one.
On arrival it looked clean and pleasant we walked to reception to we was greeted by a friendly girl she explained how our key card worked and told us about breakfast times. We found it a bit strange getting into our room because we had never used a key card before, when we entered we had to put the card into a slot on the wall to make the electricity work, every time you take the card out the TV and lights go off, this was a pain because we had taken our daughters and wanted to leave them in the room while we popped outside we couldn't take the key so they had to stay up to open the door. They might have given us another key if we had asked but we were only there for one night anyway. The room was clean and large they had even made up the sofa bed for my daughters. The shower was very nice with soap and shampoo for us to use and clean towels. We could not eat here in the evening but the was a pub restaurant just over the car park doing very good cheap meals, but the queues were long to get served.
Breakfast was good tea coffee juice toast cereal and pastry you just helped your self.
It was just over fifty pounds for the four of us most places wanted a lot more because my daughters are teenagers and they wanted to put them in a separate room. When I phoned the holiday inn express direct they was going to charge me more than the Internet rate, so I phoned through the number on their web site and got it for the same price.
This year 2009 we stayed at a Hoilday inn Express close to alton towers in Stoke this time the whole floor smelt of smoke it was so bad they had to move us the next day. We found out that they use half the floor for smokers and the other half is for non smokers, but the whole floor smelt like an astray. Make sure you tell them you dont want to be on the first floor unless you want to smell like you have slept in an ashtray.
The Express by Holiday Inn at West end, Southampton is located just on the outskirts of Southampton M27, junction 7. It is situated adjacent to the Rose Bowl, home of Hampshire cricket and also Hampshire Health & Tennis Club.
I recently booked into this hotel due to renovation works being carried out on my house. I have stayed at other budget hotels in the past including Travelodge and Premier Inn so I thought I would give this one a try. I was pleasantly surprised by the value for money offered from this budget hotel. The room was reasonably priced at £59 per room, which included breakfast. Unfortunately, I had not made an advance booking and was therefore offered a single room.
My room was furnished with two single beds, plenty of storage units, hanging space, several waste bins (which are always handy) a desk/workspace with a desk light, spare pillows & towels & bed linen, a good size TV, well stocked tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer etc In my opinion, the bed was made more comfortable by the fact it had a thick, cosy duvet on it which made for a very restful night's sleep. I noted there was also WI-FI internet connection.
I have read others reviews describing the facilities and rooms as 'basic' however, I did not find this to be the case. I have stayed in many four star hotels which haven't been anywhere near as clean, comfortable and so well facilitated as this.
My only complaint would be no bath. Having said that the shower area was spacious with a good power shower and the bathroom altogether new, bright and absolutely spotlessly clean.. which makes a nice change!
As far as budget hotels go this has to be one of the best. In fact my experiences staying at other budget hotels have not been anything like as pleasant.
Express by Holiday Inn, Bugsby Way, Greenwich, London, SE10 0GD
I stayed at this Greenwich hotel this Christmas and was drawn to it because of its cheap price for quality rooms. I booked through hoteldirect.co.uk.
The location of the hotel is excellent. Although the area around it is not very aesthetically pleasing, it is close to the O2 arena and a local retail park which was great for my holiday, yet it is far away from central London so not busy.The hotel is near the Blackwell Tunnel and I was anxious about there being a lot of noise at night, but this was not the case.
From the hotel you can see many great things such as the O2 and Canary Wharf, which produced some great shots on my camera.
The staff were helpful but not intrusive on my visit.
The rooms themselves are probably described as being quite basic. However I am used to traveling abroad to countries like Greece, so I thought the room was great. The beds were clean and comfortable, the bathroom complete with a power shower and W.C..
Breakfast was included free and there was great selection of food available and you could take as much as you wished.
Overall, defines great value.
Holiday Inn Express - Luton Airport
WHY WE STAYED THERE
We were attending a wedding one weekend in June and the happy couple organised a rate of £39.95 per night at the Holiday Inn Express, Luton Airport so guests who were coming from near and far could stay over for one or two nights without breaking their bank balances. It was clearly stated on the wedding invite that we were to give the groom's surname in order to get the aforementioned rate instead of the advertised rate of about £80 a night. It was a bit of a nightmare when calling up 6 weeks in advance to book a room at the discounted rate as the person who answered the phone seemed rather clueless. It took a good 20 minutes on the phone before they bothered to speak with the manager who confirmed that we could, in fact, book the rooms for that reduced rate. We were later told by the bride and groom that most of the guests booking in had the same problem with the hotel staff unaware of any discount until they went and checked with a manager.
We were a bit surprised to see that the hotel charges £5 for the first day for parking and then £15 a day thereafter; although in the hotel itself the signs said parking is £10 a day after the first day, which is rather conflicting information. The bride and groom were actually clever enough to negotiate with the hotel so guests for their wedding did not have to pay anything for parking which was rather sweet of them, although the barrier for exiting the car park seemed to be open the whole time we were there.
Considering the hotel has nearly 150 rooms there are only 71 parking spaces available, and they operate on a first come, first served. When we returned on the Saturday evening from a wedding reception we found we had to park alongside the hotel where there were no spaces marked. There were half a dozen cars parked this way when we returned at 12:30 and I know there were more than a dozen cars coming back after us so I can imagine it was a bit chaotic in the car park. The hotel staff didn't seem to have a problem with guests parking this way so I can't really say it was an issue and no one blocked in any fire exits or anything like that so it was still health & safety compliant.
We arrived at about 5pm on the Friday having sat in traffic for ages to get there. There were a couple of elderly couples checking in before us and it took ages for their check in process which was rather annoying, our check in process took about 10 minutes which was not really satisfactory considering I had printed off the booking reference email they had sent when I had initially booked the room for the weekend - I had booked the room over the phone and they just took my surname and said it was all booked. I insisted that they give me an email address I could write to so that I could confirm the booking - I never trust things to go according to plan when it seems that simple. They did actually email me back confirming the details and giving me a booking reference number to us. Even with this reference number; the check in process was very slow which was not very impressive.
You can check in to your room from 14:00 onwards and need to check out by 12:00 to allow time for rooms to be serviced before the next guests arrive.
The hotel doesn't look very impressive from the outside. It's all rather impersonal looking but this is not the sort of place you go for a weekend away to pamper yourself. It's mostly used by people who are flying out from the airport and I saw at least a couple of airline staff (presumably the really cheap airlines put their staff up here)! The reception area is very small and the bar is right next to it and it all seemed rather cramped for the staff having to work there. There's priority check in desk which was manned by someone even though no one was in that queue and the regular check in desk seemed quite slow to move. I have to admit that when I asked the chap at reception a few questions such as what time the bar closed and what time breakfast was served until he was friendly enough but it felt rather forced and it felt like he only smiled at me eventually because I kept saying please and thank you and had a permanent smile on my face whilst I spoke with him. We asked for 2 room keys so we could come and go as we pleased when we went to bar later in the evening - the room keys were basically like credit cards with a brown strip and it wasn't rocket science figuring out how to use them. Pretty standard for most hotels these days, but also like other hotels that have these type of room keys, it's hit and miss as to whether they work most of the time!
The hotel boasts 147 guest rooms of which 92 are non-smoking. We had a smoking room which I found strangely enough that the room itself didn't smell of smoke when we entered but the corridor outside the smoking rooms smelt quite smoky! Apparently all of the rooms have a double bed and some have additional sofa beds or futon type beds for family groups.
When we first walked into our room we were somewhat disappointed to see just how basic it looked. There was no wardrobe to hang up our clothes which was a necessity as we were going to a wedding and I had 2 outfits which I was going to change in and out of and hubby had one suit and 2 shirts which were nicely ironed. There were however 6 hangers on a rail which we had to make do with begrudgingly, this was over the tea/coffee area which wasn't the best layout as far as I was concerned.
There was a double bed which didn't look very comfortable BUT I have to say it's the most comfortable bed I remember ever having slept in whilst staying at a hotel. The quilt was feather soft and the bed itself was pure heavenly luxury. I don't know what it was about the bed but both hubby and I found it extremely comfortable to sleep on for the two nights we stayed there.
On first appearance and inspection (as I have got rather paranoid now after reading about some really grotty hotel rooms), the room seemed very clean. There didn't seem to be dust on any of the surfaces which was good but having walked around barefoot in the room during the afternoon and then when I sat in front of the mirror on the bed and looked at the soles of my feet they were quite grubby. I was pretty shocked as I assumed the carpet would be as clean as it looked!
The bathroom was quite small but clean. The shower was cramped but it was a good strong power shower with adjustable temperature controls which worked as they should (I only mention that they work as I've heard of people staying in various hotels where they couldn't adjust the heat in the shower and nearly scalded themselves as it was so hot). There was a Dove soap and shampoo in one dispenser in the shower and a Dove hand soap by the sink. The towels provided were not exactly bath size towels but they suited our needs so no complaints there. The toilet roll provided was of the cheapest that one could imagine; I wasn't impressed with that at all. One thing which was very clever about the bathroom was that you could open the door into the bathroom and close it into the toilet unit so you could use the toilet separately to the shower and sink. My husband and I were most amused by this clever door and childishly had fun opening and closing it!
The TV was very polite and welcomed us to the room but apart from the basic terrestrial channels and Sky News there were no other channels available to watch. We weren't bothered, we weren't staying there to watch TV, although some of the channels which seemed like they should be available weren't working. It was a fairly small TV, about 16-18 inches I think. There was internet connection available in the room (for a cost), a keyboard was there on the table next to the TV to use with the TV available as your monitor. We didn't need to check the net so we didn't take advantage of this payable facility.
There was air conditioning (or possibly a cooling and heating system) available in the room which worked really well and we didn't feel overly warm or cold once we put this on. We could hear the planes landing and taking off even through the triple glazed windows but not so much that it was annoying.
I have to add here that even though we found our room to be pretty clean; a family that we know who also stayed for two nights whilst we were booked in had to have their room changed. They had a folding bed which had what seemed like a huge bloodstain on it and had to ask for their room to be changed and this took a good half an hour to sort out which was rather tiresome for them. I don't think they were offered much in the way of an apology though but they're quite nice gentle people so they didn't make a fuss.
There was a vending machine available near the reception which sold drinks and sandwiches which was pretty handy as the restaurant stops serving at 9pm which I thought was rather early. We went down to dinner at 8.30 and ordered 2 main courses, hubby had lamb, mashed potatoes and green beans which was about £13 and I had one of the "specials", which was gammon, chips and pineapple which was £12. We both enjoyed our meals but it was more to do with being very hungry than actually liking the food very much. I do think the food was over-priced for what it was but the portions were big enough to fill us up and my husband is quite a big eater. The bar prices were quite steep, a glass of wine was £5.50 and spirits were about £4.50 or more depending on which brand you ordered. A mixer of soda water was £0.90 and a very small bottle of tonic water was £1.70 which I felt was ridiculous.
There was also an ice machine at reception which was pretty cool and paper cups available to fill up with ice if you wanted to take ice back to your room.
Some of the seating in the bar was very comfortable, lounge type sofas and some of the seating was very basic. It wasn't very welcoming but it served its purpose.
The hotel advertises that they have a Cocktail lounge but it's just a bar basically when you have dinner served and you can sit and have your drinks. It's all non-smoking here already so smokers need to go outside the reception which isn't too far. I noticed all evening that the staff were not very alert and a few times we had to take the empty glasses up to the bar as the table was getting quite full up with glasses. We were in the bar till 12.30, there were 6 of us, we weren't exactly drinking a lot but I think they only came round once to collect the glasses. Tables around where people had long gone just had empty glasses sitting on them for the whole evening which really wasn't very impressive. There was a/c on in the bar during the evening but where I was sitting it was really cold. I didn't mind as I prefer to feel cool when I'm having a few drinks but my companions were really quite cold. No one thought to ask to have the temperature changed so I don't know if they would have acceded to our request. I left it to my husband to go to the bar when required and we noticed that it took a long time for them to serve drinks but the staff were polite enough when actually serving, just very slow! The staff closed the shutters in the bar at about 12:15 and they made a real point of slamming the shutters down so we would know they were waiting to close up. I found this rather amusing but also quite rude at the same time. We were not a loud bunch, we were 2 doctors, a teacher, a lawyer and my hubby and me, just having regular conversation, and certainly not loud and drunk and I felt it was a bit cheeky that they made it so obvious that they wanted us to leave the bar area. Funnily enough on the Saturday evening, many of our fellow guests from the wedding and the bridesmaid and groomsmen, who were staying in the hotel came back after 12:30 and they opened up the bar again and when I met the others in the morning they said they were up drinking in the bar till after 05:00! I guess they were too drunk to notice if the service was good or bad.
The breakfast area was rather small considering how big the hotel is. Breakfast is available to 09:00 on weekdays and 10:00 at weekends. It's all self-service; you can help yourself to toast (which you need to put in the toasting rack yourself as in most self-service restaurants), various cereals, various fruit juices (including orange and apple juice), milk, tea, various types of coffee, croissants, pain au chocolat, mini muffins, butter, margarine, marmite, jams, marmalades, cheese, yoghurt, fresh fruit and fruit salads. There were no staff members around in the breakfast area that I saw over the 2 days I stayed at the hotel and several of the guests were grumbling about having to wait ages for things like bread for toast, or fruit having run out. There are clear signs displayed asking people to put their trays up on the racks provided but not everyone took any notice of this but there were no staff around to move these trays that were left on tables, so it was up to guests themselves to put away other people's trays.
The checking out experience was much more efficient than the checking in process. It literally took a few minutes and we found that our bill was printed off 100% accurate first time so we didn't have to query the cost. It was a pleasant surprise to find that we didn't have to remind them that we shouldn't be paying car parking charges, although as we left we heard the receptionist quite rudely telling the chap behind us: "You must pay the parking charge!" The car park barrier was up when we left just as it was when we first entered and when we had come and gone several times the day before. We assume it was broken?!
Here's some info about the hotel which might be of interest to potential guests:
1. They have analog or high speed internet access available and fax facilities as well as an unstaffed business centre.
2. Wireless Data Connection is also available to use.
3. Only guide dogs are allowed in the hotel.
4. All rooms have tea/coffee facilities but no mini bars.
5. Hairdryers are available in all rooms.
6. Ironing facilities are available on the lower ground floor and there is a safety deposit available at reception.
7. The hotel is a quarter of a mile from Luton Airport, 32 miles from Heathrow Airport and 35 miles from Stanstead Airport.
8. A taxi to Luton Airport will cost £5 and take about 3 minutes.
9. Luton Airport Parkway train station is a mile away from the hotel and will also cost you £5 to get there by taxi.
The contact details for the hotel are:
Address: Holiday Inn Express, Percival Way 2, Luton, LU2 9GP
Tel: 01582 589100 (there's also an 0870 number to call which costs more: 0870 400 9093)
Fax: 01582 589189
The hotel website is here to view: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/LTNAP/welcome
I'd say that I mostly enjoyed my experience of staying at this hotel (if I ignore the intermittently poor service from the staff in reception and the bar/restaurant). For comfort of the room I'd give a strong 8 out of 10, for the atmosphere I'd give a 5 out of 10, for the restaurant/bar/breakfast area I'd give a 5 out of 10. For staff attitude, I'd give a 7 out of 10, no one was rude but some of them just seemed really lazy. For a cheap and cheerful hotel with breakfast included in the price, it's certainly cheap for the room prices we got but not for the bar or restaurant, not very cheerful but adequate for our purposes, which was to have a bed for 2 nights to save us driving to the wedding in the morning and risk getting stuck on the M1 roadworks and being late and to rest our heads after being at the wedding and wedding reception all day. I'd stay there again if I needed to be in the area and didn't have to spend a lot of time in the room or bar but I wouldn't stay there for the full price that they advertise which seems to vary between £80 a night to £120 a night.
N.B. I have also published this review at ciao.co.uk under the same username.
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Southampton West during the summer with my husband and our two small children. We stayed on a Saturday night.
As the name suggests, the hotel is not in the centre of Southampton, but at its western edge, just off Junction 3 of the M27. It is very easy to find, as you can see it from the road running south from the motorway. It is far enough away from the M27, however, that it doesnt suffer immediate road noise.
The hotel is a red brick, three-storey building, although this is staggered so at first I thought that it was mostly ground floor. There is a large car park immediately in front of the hotel, and we were able to park the car where we could see it, although apparently there is also CCTV so you should be able to sleep safe in the knowledge that your vehicle will be there in the morning.
On entering the hotel, we were greeted by a fairly bland, modern lobby dominated by the central reception desk. There were a few easy, but not too comfortable, chairs the kind of place you might wait if you had to, but wouldnt choose to lounge in. The breakfast area was located around to the right, with the entrance to the accommodation to the left. When we visited, late on a Saturday afternoon, the hotel was very quiet, and we checked in very quickly and easily, having pre-booked a non-smoking room via the web. Express is the budget brand of the Holiday Inn Group, so we were handed our keys and pointed in the direction of our room, which was on the ground floor just down the corridor to the left.
The main reason that we had booked this particular hotel was because it offered family rooms at a low price. We were looking at property in the New Forest, and just needed somewhere to sleep overnight. Our room comprised a bathroom, wardrobe, double bed and a fold-down sofa bed. There was also a small table housing a kettle, cups and tea and coffee making items, and a TV. There was enough room at the end of the bed to put up the travel cot for our younger son, and while the sofa bed remained as a sofa, this gave enough space for the children to unwind, watch some television and get changed for bed. Overall, we were pleased with the amount of space. However, I think it would be too cramped for any extended stay, as there was no room for more than an overnight bag just inside the door.
The décor of the room was slightly tired, but it was extremely clean. Similarly, the bath looked a little old and scuffed, but the cleaning was meticulous. The sofa bed folded down into a bed that our four year old slept soundly on although it would have been big enough for an adult. Our bed was satisfactory not the most luxurious hotel bed that I have ever slept in, but firm with no broken springs or sagging mattress, so we were happy. Most importantly, the sheets looked and smelt fresh! There was no air conditioning, but we were able to open the window in the room. This wasnt a problem, as we were on the ground floor, but might have concerned me if we had been on a higher floor with the children.
There was no restaurant at the hotel, so we had expected to have to get back in the car to go to dinner. We asked for recommendations at reception, and the staff very helpfully produced a list of nearby food venues, and even better, handed over a folder stuffed with takeaway menus from establishments that would deliver to the hotel. The menus were marked according to which ones would deliver for free, or had a delivery charge. As the children were tired, we ordered takeaway. I can recommend the local curry house ;-). You can also get a drink at reception to wash it down with, and there were vending machines available for snacks and chocolate.
We had a good nights sleep, although we did hear people coming in from the car park during the night due to the location of our room. However, these werent late night revellers; the hotel is too far out of the city to be a good base for people taking a short break to Southampton, and there are plenty of other budget options that are more convenient. Most of the people that we met seemed to be on their way to somewhere else. I would imagine during the week it would see a lot of sales reps.
Continental buffet breakfast was included in the price, and comprised the usual suspects, although there was a good choice of items, and decent coffee. Check out was swift, and with a smile.
We paid just £45, which I think was very good value. The rate, as with most hotels, would have been slightly more without booking in advance, but overall I would highly recommend this hotel as a budget just-somewhere-to-sleep option.
Holiday Inn Express, Hemel Hempstead
Where is the Holiday Inn Express, Hemel Hempstead
STATIONERS PLACE, APSLEY LOCK
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, HP3 9RH ENGLAND
EXIT M25 J20 . AT ROUNDABOUT, EXIT TOWARD KINGS LANGLEY & CONTINUE THROUGH TO HEMEL HEMPSTEAD. CONTINUE THROUGH LIGHTS (RED LION PUB) AND ROUNDABOUT. AT NEXT LIGHTS TURN RIGHT.
We found this hotel very easy to find from the M25 and was easy to spot from the road.
What's in the Hotel?
Hotel opened October 2004, so is quit New.
We stayed at this hotel on the 25th August in Room 119
The hotel has 5 floors and 116 Guest rooms.
The hotel has a large car park with 49 spaces and is well lit.
Check-In Time: 2:00 PM Check-Out Time: 12:00 PM Evening Reception Desk Open
The hotel has a large dining area this is where you eat your Breakfast (Complimentary), plenty of Tables. Didn't seem too busy when we went to breakfast at 8.30am. Breakfast is self service and included, Toast, Cereal, Donuts, Yoghurts, Fruit, Rolls, Juice, Milk, Coffee/Tea etc. My children really enjoyed breakfast here and they had plenty to choose from which normally isn't the case at other hotels.
Everyone at reception was friendly and very helpful with any questions we had. Checking in and out what very quick and very easy to do.
What are the Bedrooms like?:
Rooms here are very clean but because this is a newer building you would expect this. All rooms have ensuites, we have a shower, Toilet and wash basin. Your provided with plenty of towels, shower get and soap. We also had a Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea making items, TV with Sat, in room movies pay per view.
For a family of Four the rooms here where abit cramped compared to others we have stayed at. Also the pull out bed wasn't too comfortable but the main one was so expect some fighting over the comfy bed.
We loved the modern Bathroom, the Blue night light was really great as it doesn't disturb others if you need the toilet in the night, other than falling over something on the floor like I did.
The Bedrooms also have blackout blinds to help you sleep which is ideal.
How much does it Cost?
Rooms from £49.95 Depends on Time of year and Time of Week. Weekends are normally cheaper.
We had the Whipsnade Zoo package which Cost £84.95 this included a family room/ breakfast and entrance for 2 adults and 2 children to the zoo.
Extra Helpful information:
Ideal Location for Visiting Whipsnade zoo which is approx 9 miles away. If you decide to visit here please don't forget the Whipsnade package, see Price.
You can find an ice machine and vending machine near reception but I would avoid as the drinks are very expensive. Pop to Sainsburys which is only a 2 minute drive towards hemel and get some drinks.
You will also find a petrol Station at Sainsbury's too.
Walking Distance from the hotel is a Spa which offers beauty therapies and massages, ask at reception for details.
Nearest Tube/Metro WATFORD METROPOLITAN
Nearest Rail APSLEY
Nearest Airport LUTON
I ALSO HAVE REVIEW ON CIAO
My stay at the Express by Holiday Inn was absolutly great, I was welcomed by all members off staff as I arrived and they were all very friendly and very helpful. I was asked if there was anything I needed and if I would like a coffee and i was checking in.
Even from the reception the hotl looked Lovely, it had a huge Lounge area where people were sitting down waitng for either their room's or a cab. The bar area is only small but when you want a qiuet drink its ideal, serving Alcoholic drinks, Soft drinks, Tea, Coffe and many more.From here I was standing at the reception desk I could also see a dining area where a few guest's were being served their breakfast. From the way things were looking I was really going to enjoy my stay here, even if it was only for one night.
The Hotel itself has got 126 rooms on 4 levels...Ground, Level 1, Level 2 , and Level 3.. It has got a chioce of stairs and Lifts for easy roaming.
Travel cots and Iron and Ironing boards are available at reception.
They have family rooms which sleep 4, a double bed and a sofa bed with the same facilities included below
ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARD ACCEPTED AND CASH UPON ARRIVAL
How it began
I needed a room,i had looked all over for a hotel to stay in for the night and I found the Express by Holiday Inn, right off the Dartford Bridge.This would be perfect after my lnog drive, straight off the bridge and into the hotel.I liked the sound if that so i gave them a call. I phoned the hotel to check availability and was greeted by a very friendly member of staff David. He was very plesant and very helpful. He made sure that he knew exactly what room I wanted before he booked it for me and he told me about the facilities the hotel had such as the bar, lounge, dining area. I was asked if there was anything I needed to be taken to the room like and iron/ ironing board etc.I came off the phone and smiled, what a lovely person and a great help
As I arrived to the hotel David who I had spoken to on the phone greeted me at the reception desk, I was also made welcome by the other members off staff. David qiuckly asked my name and reference number and just made one more check to see if there was anything else that I might need before I was shown to my room.I was given a white swpie card that is used for each individual room. From the reception to the room the hotel was spotless. I was so pleased that i had chosen this hotel to stay in
As I opened the door to my room I could see how clean and tidy it was,I had a kettle with accessories to make a tea / coffee perfect i was gasping. A large dressing table/ sideboard that has the Sky TV on and a chest of draws to the bottom. A huge Doulbe bed that looked really comfy, oh yes I though a hair dryer perfect. besdie cabinets were also in the romm containing built in lamps ans a telephone but the best bit about the room was the fact that it had an en-suite bathroom..wow...that was absolutly lovely
The bathroom had a very large white corner sink unit that was relly nice, a toilet and a great shower.I had everything i needed in here too from shampoo, toilet rolls, hand soap, bath/shower towels mirrors.
As I was staying in the hotel during the week i paid weekly charge of £72.50 and that included your breakfast aswell as for the weekend the prices get a lot lower down to just £49.50 including your breakfast.And for what you get this is a great price.
The resturant area is an ideal size, is non-smoking and there are roughly 5 different dishes on the menu.There is also a cigarette machine, vending machine, drinks machine and toilets all in the main reception area.
The Bar area is only open untill around 12 0'clockish but for me that was ideal as I had a long day ahead of me the following day. But it is a very comfortable and warming place to be and everyone is so friendly and always there to help
Overall I would definalty recommend The Express by Holiday Inn-Dartford Bridge to anyone who wants a great place to stay that is comfortable and welcoming.
In the main reception area you will find guest toilets, Ciagarette machines, vending machine's and drinks machines for those who dont have time to grab a meal.
Reception also have travel cots, Iron's and I roningboards plus more for anyone who may need such items
The Hotel is situated on J1A of the M25. Right near the Dartford
Bridge in Kent.
Express By Holiday Inn
DARTFORD, DA1 5PA
Hotel Reservations: 0870 400 9093
Hotel Front Desk: 44-1322-290333
Hotel Fax: 44-1322-290444
Check-In Time: 2:00 PM
Check-Out Time: 11:00 AM
Thanks for taking the time to read my review Em x