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Leave Without Having To Pay For Breakfast !
Holiday Inn in general
Member Name: Karael
Holiday Inn in general
Date: 13/02/02, updated on 13/02/02 (253 review reads)
Advantages: Limited facilities
Disadvantages: Free breakfast
The main reasons why we chose this particular hotel was because of the price, on offer at £39 per room including breakfast, plus it was less than ten minutes walk from the centre of Bristol. I thought this sounded good value for city centre accommodation.
# So Who Are 'Express by Holiday Inn'?
'Express by Holiday Inn' are part of the giant Bass group of hotels which include well known chains such as Inter-Continental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. They have something approaching 3000 hotels in over 95 countries.
'Express by Holiday Inn' is the latest addition to what they call 'their family'. There are 71 hotels throughout the UK (plus another 30 in Europe). To give you an idea of where the hotels are situated they include 10 in Scotland, 14 in the North of England, 7 in the East Midlands, 10 in the West Midlands, 19 in the South (including Wales), 10 in London and finally 1 in Northern Ireland.
# What Sort of Hotels Are They?
I think that many of the hotels are for people on the move as lots of them are situated on motorways or near airports. They are ideal for breaking up long journeys or for staying overnight prior to a flight. I would say that their average client most likely stays for just one or two nights. In saying this there are also city centre hotels, such as the one we stayed in at Bristol, which are ideal for weekend breaks if you are looking for a decent standard but without any frills. They are similar in many respects to the Travelodge chain but have the advantage of including a free breakfast and having a bar.
# How Much Does It Cost?
This is where it becomes a little confusing.
The official prices are quoted as being from £42.50 per room, per night, for weekends and from £52.50 per room midweek. Note the word 'from'! The reception at Bristol quoted their price as being £65 but, as I said earlier, we paid £39.
The best way is to look at their website (details later) where you will be able to see any current offers and the prices for individual hotels, depending on location. Central London, for example, is going to be a lot dearer than a motorway hotel.
All prices are per room, per night, for up to two adults and two children. Breakfast is included. If you should have children this would appear to be of extra value.
# What Are The Rooms Like?
The simple answer is clean, well decorated and of a good standard. There is a main bedroom with either a double or two single beds (with duvets). In most rooms there is also a settee which converts to two more beds suitable for children. I would imagine, however, that with children it would all be a little tight once the beds were made up.
In the room there is a desk, with chair, a hairdryer, open clothes hanging space, bedside tables with phone, a couple of drawers and a television. There is a modem point but anything to do with the phone seems expensive with typical high hotel phone rates. For warmth there is a heater which can be adjusted to your preferred temperature.
The television has the usual BBC & ITV channels plus a few of Sky, including Sky Sports 1 and 3. There are also a choice of 'Pay to View' movies available at £6.95 per film.
Tea and coffee making facilities are in the room i.e. an electric kettle and sachets of coffee, tea bags, sugar and milk.
The bathrooms all have power showers and the usual toilet and hand basin. Dove and Lux liquid soaps and shampoo are supplied. There is a hand towel and an enormous bath towel per person, which is changed daily. It was all very clean. No real c
omplaint other than it could have been a little bigger.
All in all I was quite happy with the room and facilities. I've stayed in much better but, when considering the price, I think it represented good value for the money.
# What About The Rest Of The Hotel?
Obviously there is a reception, for booking in and out. The receptionists were polite and efficient at Bristol. Booking in was straightforward: complete a small form (name, address, car reg) and hand over your credit card. You pay on arrival.
Each hotel has a small bar and an area where breakfast is served. There are a range of vending machines for snacks, chocolate, drinks and ice cubes.
For business people, the majority of the hotels also have rooms for meetings or presentations, suitable for up to 30 delegates. Details are available from the website. There are fax and photocopying facilities.
# What's The Food Like?
The only food available, apart from the vending machines, is the continental buffet style breakfast which I would think to be more than adequate for most stomachs. There are fruit juices, grapefruit or orange segmants, various yoghurts, a choice of five or six cereals, croissants, mixed rolls and pastries, butter, preserves, cook yourself toast, coffee and tea. It's all 'help yourself' so you can eat and drink as much as you like between 7 and 10 am. I thought the breakfast was excellent and there are free newspapers to set the meal off.
# How Do I Book?
There is a freephone reservations number:
0800 897 121
Or use the website:
I booked through the website, which I found easy to use, and this gave me all the info I needed. There is comprehensive information on every hotel including detailed location maps. By searching for a specific hotel, or area, full details come up of any special price offers and also the type of rooms available. The
rooms can vary slightly with double or single beds, family rooms and so on.
~ One tip I would give is that if there are several rooms available, at the same price, always choose the one that sounds the largest. Even if there are just two of you, for example, choose a family room as it will be bigger and will have a settee. You might as well try to get the best value for your money ~
The website has a route planner whereby you can enter your home address and it will come up with a route to any other address (or hotel) within the UK. It works quite well but must be American in design as it talks about circles instead of roundabouts and tells you to turn east, west or whatever. In some instances it uses road names instead of numbers which can be a little confusing.
I booked without any problems on-line and was given a confirmation reference number. This was also sent to me the next day by e-mail together with some additonal information.
# But Can I Cancel After Booking?
Yes, you can! No problem, you can cancel your booking up to 4pm on the day of arrival, which sounds very fair. Otherwise one nights rate will be drawn against your credit card for any non arrival.
# How Would You Sum Up 'Express by Holiday Inn'?
I would recommend them as good value for that overnight stop or weekend away (if situated in a city centre). There is no room service, flash restaurant, cooked breakfasts, large lounges and the such, but if you want basic, clean, well presented rooms plus a continental style breakfast thrown in give them a try. I would certainly use them again, and in preference to Travelodge.
# Surely There Must Be Some Snags!
Not really, the only thing that did irritate me a little was that there was a £2 charge per night for car parking. I always think that these sort of extras should be included in the price.
# Anything Else You May have Missed?
39;s it. Other than that there is a special offer on at the moment, but this expires on the 24th of February, so you'll have to be quick. Rooms under this promotion are supposedly available for £35 per night. To qualify you need to phone 0800 015 2396 (this is a different number to the one I mentioned earlier) quoting 'Express Winter Voucher'. The offer does not apply to Central London, where the special rate is £65 (normally £75-£88). Note that this info doesn't show up on the website.
And must mention that 'Express by Holiday Inn' state that all of their hotels offer easy access and have specially adapted rooms for disabled guests.
I think that is definitely all now.
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