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Holiday Inn Express
Holiday Inn Express
Member Name: Ainat
Holiday Inn Express
Date: 05/03/12, updated on 13/01/14 (65 review reads)
Advantages: Lovely staff, nice enough rooms, free wi-fi
Disadvantages: Small breakfast area, lack of storage space
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.
Summary: A pretty decent standard budget chain hotel