Express by Holiday Inn hotels are always my first choice hotel when I am looking to book somewhere for an overnight stay or short break.
A few years ago I would use Travelodge, then progressed to Premier Inn, then I discovered Express by Holiday Inn and they have became my favourite.
The main reasons for this are, price and what you get for your money, the special offers on room rates, the excellent priority club rewards scheme and also the fact that continental breakfast is included in the price.
I stayed at the Express by Holiday Inn at Golders Green, London for 2 nights when attending a concert.
Express by Holiday Inn, Golders Green North is situated on a very busy intersection known as Henley's Corner, on Regent's Park Road. It is the intersection for the A41, Finchley Road and A406 North Circular.
The hotel is five minutes drive away from Golders Green tube and bus station and also Finchley Central. It also offers good road links into Central London and the major motorways.
The hotel is also situated outside the congestion zone.
The location of the hotel is around 5 miles from both Wembley Stadium and also The Emirates stadium.
My first impressions on arriving at the hotel, were that maybe it would be very noisy, as it is literally on the corner of the junction. It is a big building which looks new from the outside, with an unusual and modern design.
There is a small car park, but only room for around 25 cars, and some people were parked in the neighbouring street, as it is a residential area.
The hotel has four floors so really there is not adequate car parking for the size of the hotel, but as we did not have our car with us on this occasion, the car park size was not an issue, though worth pointing out in case you do stay here with a car.
On entering the hotel, it was very bright and modern inside. Check in was quick with no problems, and although the staff member was foreign and her English not too good, I was able to make myself understood.
I will point out here that during my stay I noticed all the staff seemed to be foreign, and it felt strange as I almost felt as if I was in another country, and not in England, on hearing them speaking in other languages.
This did not cause any major problems for me during my stay, other than once when I was asking about places to eat or takeaways, and it took a while to make myself understood, and also they had mixed up my check-out time as had not understood me properly. However, they apologised and it was all sorted out with a phone call to my room by the hotel manager, who also apologised. All the staff I encountered were polite and helpful.
The room I was allocated was on the top floor, easily reached by the lifts.
The door key was a swipe card which you also use for the electricity.
On entering the room it was quite spacious, with a large double bed. The decor was contemporary and modern, and everything looked quite new.
Also in the room was a flat screen TV, with some satellite channels, telephone, tea/coffee making facilities, work space, a sofa bed, hairdryer and space to hang your clothes. Internet connection is also available.
The bathroom had a narrow frosted glass panel next to the door which lit up with a blue LED light which I thought was really nice. There is no bath, but the power shower was excellent. The whole of the bathroom was tiled and very clean. Shower gel and handwash were provided along with hand towels and bath towels.
The bed was very comfortable with plenty of pillows, though if you wanted more you only need to ask.
The room was at the front of the hotel and overlooked the very busy junction outside. You could not hear the traffic noise if you closed the window, but as it was a warm day, I wanted the window open. I was aware of noise from the traffic but it did not bother me as much as I thought it would. The room also has air conditioning, so if you prefer, you could close the window and turn this on.
From the window I could see the Wembley Arch on the stadium.
I was very happy with the room. It was clean, spacious and very comfortable. It was cleaned everyday, the bed made up and fresh towels, tea, coffee etc left.
Downstairs there is a large restaurant area, again very modern, with also leather sofa's etc to sit on beside a bar. The restaurant is there solely for the purpose of breakfast, as the hotel does not offer any other meals. They do however, have a selection of take away menu's and we had a very nice take-away delivered to the hotel. The reception rang our room when it arrived. They can also give you details of places to go for a meal nearby if you prefer.
Breakfast, as I mentioned before, is included in the price of the room. It is a continental style buffet and there were plenty of cereals, breads, toast, pastries, muffins, fresh fruit and yogurt to choose from, as well as fruit juice, tea and coffee. If you do not wish to eat in the restaurant you can take it to your room on a tray, which I did on my second morning.
PRICES AND THE REWARD SCHEME
It is always worth checking online at HIEXPRESS.CO.UK for room rates, as they often have room offers from £39 per night. If you cannot secure one of these offers, then by booking in advance you do receive a reduced rate of £68 per night, which is a saving of over ten pounds on the usual £79.50 room rate. I paid just over £100 for 2 nights, which is not bad for London.
It also pays to be a member of the Priority Club Rewards scheme which I have mentioned in a previous review.
It is free to join the Priority Club Rewards scheme which covers all hotels in this chain : Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc. Details can be found on the website.
After signing up to Priority Club rewards, you receive a membership card and you will then earn points each stay which can be saved and used as payment for a free night. There is also the option to buy points if you do not wish to wait until you have accumulated enough for a free night.
This is a really good reward scheme which brings many benefits, apart from extended check in and out times, you will also receive priority check in, complimentary newspapers and regular offers sent to you via email, to earn extra points.
I have earned quite a few free nights over the last five years, and the good thing is your points never expire so you can save them for as long as you wish. There are also no black-out dates on redeeming your points, so you can have a free night on any day you wish.
IN THE AREA
I stayed at this hotel when going to a concert in London, and found the transport links to be excellent. There is a bus stop right outside the hotel, with buses every few minutes. It is only a five minute bus journey to Golders Green tube station. We found getting to our destination and back very easy using the bus and tube. The bus service was still running after midnight which was useful!
Wembley Stadium and Emirates Stadium are only 5 miles away, so the hotel is ideal if you are visiting either of these venue's. Brent Cross shopping centre is just over a mile away.
Overall I can recommend this hotel and enjoyed my stay here.
Express by Holiday Inn
Golders Green North
58 Regent's Park Road
Tel. 0871 423 4896 for reservations or visit HIEXPRESS.CO.UK