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Hotels in South Yorkshire in general

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      04.05.2001 22:22
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      There are often times when you have to book an overnight stay, either for business or pleasure, well in my opinion you can do no better than try the new Holiday Inn Express hotels. Although they are certainly far from being restricted just to one area of the coiuntry they are especially useful to anyone travelling in the South Yorkshire area. I have highlighted two that I stayed at last year that could well be ideal 'stop-overs' or a base for touring the area. With competition fierce in the medium class, motel style accommodation, names like Travelodge, Travel Inn etc immediately spring to mind. A year or so ago saw Holiday Inn – better known for their more upmarket hotels - enter the fray with their ‘Express’ range. These hotels are now springing up all over, often attached to or included in, a ‘fringe of town/city’ entertainment, shopping park. Certainly the first one that I stayed in, last year, fitted the bill. Situated on the outskirts of Rotherham, South Yorks, the HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS 'ROTHERHAM' is an ideal place to stay if you are visiting any of the attractions in the Sheffield area - the Don Valley Stadium, Meadowhall Shopping Centre, Pond Forge Swimming Pool or Sheffield Arena. The hotel is situated just a stone's throw from Junction 1 of the M18. It is new, very smart without having the kind of amenities of a superior ‘marque’ hotel. But the Rooms are all reasonably sized, spotless and comfortable. All containing Double and/or twin beds, TV, Coffee maker and Telephone. The Bar/Snack area is pleasant enough to sit and relax or do some work at a table. However as these hotels are mainly used for ‘stopovers’ or weekend breaks, the menu is basically snacks – eat elsewhere if you are looking for a decent meal. The one huge selling point for short break or overnight travellers is that the price includes a continental style buffet breakfast inc
      luding cereals, toast, fresh rolls/bread and preserves. Plenty of fresh fruit, yoghurts, plus fruit juice, squash, tea and coffee are also ‘on tap’ to give you a great start to you working or touring day. Outside this particular hotel, which is on the edge of an expanding retail/leisure area is a Morrison Supermarket (ideal to stock up, if you are touring or just breaking a journey on your way to a holiday), the ubiquitous MacDonalds and a large Family Pub Restaurant with kids play area. Nearby there is a Multiplex cinema and of course the delights of Sheffield just 10 minutes away! So you have plenty of meal and entertainment options right on your doorstep, whether dining alone, as a couple or with your family. The next time we stayed at one of these Express hotels was another new one – absolutely a clone of the Rotherham one, in CHESTERFIELD, Derbyshire. Same simple check in procedure, comfy room and light and airy Bar/restaurant area. At prices from around £35 per room – NOT per person – including that excellent breakfast during the week and a 'weekender plus' two night stay on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday which costs as little as £70 per room, this is excellent value when you compare it with rival chains. Booking could not be easier with the 0800 number which puts you through to a central reservation system. One time we booked, but our chosen hotel was not available, so they quickly checked to see the nearest alternative and the current rates. Within 5 minutes we were booked in, had directions to the hotel and had saved £5 each as they currently had a discount offer on the other hotel. You can now also book online – just go to http://www.holiday-inn.com/hiexpress - search for a hotel in the area you require, check for availability and…presto! Another plus is their ‘Priority Club Worldwide’. Stay in any of their hotels and earn points towards discounts
      or free breaks at other hotels in the Bass run chain. You can also convert your points earnt in the Priority Club scheme to ‘Air Miles’ with several of the major Airlines own rewards programs. If I remember, last year, they were advertising in the National press special Spring, Summer and Autumn deals, but generally the prices I have quoted above were pretty stable all of last year. It really is nice to see these hotels springing up and adding competition and quality to this area of the hotel/motel market. OK, for those of you that like a nice comfortable individual hotel, with personal service and home cooked food, this is not in that category. But certainly if you want somewhere to break a journey, maybe you are a couple and need an overnight stay (no, I wasn’t insinuating anything…naughty and nocturnal) or are away on business and the company aren’t paying – take a look at the HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS chain. They will give you a break, give a great ‘kick-start’ in the morning and not take a big chunk out of your ‘plastic’


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