London – Newham (Borough of) – Stratford – Holiday Inn Express

I booked this hotel as there was a 5,000 points IHG rewards bonus on it, which is pretty generous as 10,000 points can get a free room. It was the cheapest IHG hotel in London, coming in at just under £40 for the night, including breakfast. That’s a bit more expensive than the endless Accor hotels that I’ve been booking, but it’s a modern and clean hotel.

The dining and bar area of the hotel. It was never particularly busy, but it’s a pleasant environment for guests who want somewhere to sit.

A water feature. How decadent.

The room, which I’d booked as a family room to myself, as it was the same price as the other rooms. All bright, clean and comfortable. The television was meant to allow casting from my phone, but it didn’t work and I couldn’t be bothered to make it work. The remote control was also wrapped up in a little bag which was very thoughtful in terms of the health issues.

The rewards voucher. I’ve never lost the key folder before, but I managed to last night, I have no idea where it went. Luckily the keycard wasn’t in it and I remembered what room number I was in. In the morning, a cleaner came into the room (well, she didn’t, she couldn’t get past the key chain thing), just as I was leaving it. She looked horrified but said she thought the room was meant to be empty. Her timing was fortunate though since I was leaving, but it would have been annoying if I was having a lie-in.

The welcome drink, this was the best I could find. It’s something a little different, although I found it a bit drab. Anyway, it was free, so I won’t complain. Well, not much.

The breakfast arrangement.

The hot food was served by a staff member, who was very generous on the beans front. The ingredients were of a decent quality and if it was self-serve then there might have been a lot more bacon on the plate. There was only one other hot option, which was scrambled egg, but I’m not much of a fan of that. The croissants and muffins were a bit drab, but at least the hotel had made an effort with putting some sort of breakfast on.

And this is my final hotel of 2020. I have a trip to Bilbao booked on 3 January 2021, although given everything I’m really not sure that this will actually happen. Anyway, I’d stay here again, although I’m not sure why I’d be in the Stratford area of London….