Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Stay Report: Holiday Inn Express, Dublin Airport (July 2017)

Stay Report: Holiday Inn Express, Dublin Airport
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

I was going to be in Dublin for a short period between flights, so I was looking for a place near the airport.  IHG was having a sale and the Holiday Inn Express was a good price - and I have never tried the brand internationally - so decided to book this hotel.  Closer to my arrival date, I emailed the hotel and inquired about the hotel shuttle between the airport and the hotel.  I was told that the hotel does provide a shuttle and that it is shared with the Crowne Plaza that is right next door.  

Upon arriving into Dublin, I went to the bus stand to wait for the hotel shuttle.  The hotel shuttle is more like a public bus that goes to the area where the hotels are situated - if you are staying at the hotel then the shuttle is complimentary, but if you want to visit the park or restaurants nearby then you have to pay. Also, there is a long wait for the shuttle.  The shuttle dropped everyone off at the Crowne Plaza hotel, and those who were staying at the Holiday Inn Express walked along with sidewalk to the hotel.

The hotel is somewhat narrow so the lobby of the hotel was not big.  The lobby contains the check-in desks, the bar & restaurant, the 'business center' and the place for the free breakfast in the morning.  Check-in was quick and I received my key and went to my room.  When I opened the door, the room looked more like an Ibis hotel room rather than a Holiday Inn Express - it was a very compact room. 

As you opened the door, straight ahead was the open closes with some hangers and shelves to store your stuff.  Continuing along a narrow hallway, on the right was the bathroom and further ahead on the left was the desk.  The bathroom was extremely small, as when you opened the door to the bathroom you covered the toilet.  The bathroom had a sink, a toilet and a very small shower.  There were no standard amenities, rather two bottles attached to the wall - a hand wash next to the sink and a shampoo, conditioner, and body wash all in one in the shower. 

The desk was rather big but it also doubled as the TV stand.  There were a lot of electrical outlets along the wall - which was very nice - and there were of different power ports (so Irish, UK, and US ports were available).  This was a nice gesture and one that other international hotels near airports should adopt.  Across from the desk was a sofa which looked like it could double as a sofa bed (although I am not sure there would be enough room to fit it).   Further into the room was the double bed with a nightstand on either side.  The bed itself was comfortable enough but did not have a lot of padding - and again felt more like an Ibis bed.

Free breakfast is included in all Holiday Inn Express hotels so in the morning I tried the breakfast before I got on the shuttle back to the airport.  The breakfast was similar to the ones served in the U.S., with some minor differences.  The hot food included scrambled eggs and sausage and cold food included a variety of cereals along with milk and yogurt.  Fruit was also available along with coffee and juices.  Pastries were available – including a very good chocolate croissant – but overall the selection was a bit limited as compared to the U.S.  If this is something that the hotel is highlighting as a perk, it needs to be improved.

Overall, it was an interesting stay at the Holiday Inn Express hotel.  It felt more like I was staying at an Ibis hotel - I was paying more for the HIExpress or IHG name but getting the same quality as the Ibis hotel. The nice perks included the fast and free wifi along with the electrical ports, but those did not outweigh the high price for the low quality.  It’s a nice overnight hotel, if you can get it on sale.

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