Warwick – Holiday Inn Express Warwick and Stratford-Upon-Avon

Located near to the motorway and about a 40 minute walk from the town centre of Warwick is this IHG hotel. Visible in the photo to the right is what was until relatively recently a large Harvester restaurant, but it’s now been turned into a McDonald’s.

The check-in process was all efficient although there was a weird set-up where the cheapest room rate was only available for twin rooms. I asked about that at reception and they didn’t know what had caused that, but just changed the room booking to a double. I might as well have the extra space….

And the room, all to brand standard as usual. It was clean enough, with the exception of the “rest assured” cleanliness card to show that the room was clean, which itself was dirty. That’s not an ideal situation, they’d be better off dumping the cards or at least putting new ones into the room each time. Anyway, all else was well and I had my usual room location of on an upper floor and nearly as far away from the lift as possible.

The welcome drink selection was as dreadful as ever for an IHG hotel. In what seems to be some form of brand standard, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer Stella on tap which is a completely dreadful choice as the sole beer, alongside Bud, Corona and Peroni in the fridges, all what I consider to be generic rubbish.

The breakfast area, which was never that busy, although I did go down every morning nearly as soon as it opened which is usually the quietest time.

The drinks section on the left, toast and muffins in the middle. What amused me about the set-up is that they’ve hidden all of the plates around the corner. There’s some logic here, that they’ve tried to create a customer flow and they think that the plates are easily noticed. I watched one morning as all eight guests struggled to find the plates, and add to that me the morning before. I accept that it’s not grand entertainment, but there’s a limited amount of other exciting things to watch at 07:00 in the morning.

The hot food selection on the right, consisting of the minimum brand standard of sausages, bacon, baked beans and scrambled egg. There were also croissants, muffins, cereals, yoghurts and the like, all included in the room rate.

The selection of teas on the left, orange juices on the right.

Not entirely healthy perhaps, bacon and sausages, alongside a croissant. The food was the usual basic brand standard from Holiday Inn Express, nothing there beyond the minimum. The coffee cups weren’t the cleanest which wasn’t ideal and I had to pick out the crispiest bits of bacon amidst the rest which looked like it had vaguely been wafted over a naked flame for a few seconds.

I have no idea what this was in the gardens of the hotel. I couldn’t work out whether it’s a small folly to add excitement to the gardens, or whether there was some building here before. I’m fairly sure it’s a a miniature folly as some sort of homage to Warwick Castle just down the road, but I have no idea.

For the price of just over £30 per night including breakfast, this was a rather agreeable set-up, even though it was a slight traipse into the town centre every day. But walking is healthy and all that, but I was particularly pleased that there was a pavement all the way given that the road was quite busy. The staff were friendly, the room was clean and there were minimal noise disturbances. There’s a charge for the car park which annoyed at least one customer, but since I didn’t drive there, I decided not to let that worry me.

There’s further information about the hotel here.