“ Address: Malton Road / York YO32 9TE / United Kingdom / Tel: +44 1904 438660 „
Last weekend we went down to York for the day as we were going to the 6th Gear Experience at Elvington. I decided to book a night at the Holiday Inn York East as it wasn't that far away and though York is only a 2 hour drive away from home, the thought of driving there and back the same day didn't appeal to us. I booked the room directly through the Holiday Inn Express website, and for a double standard room at an advance purchase it came to £73.00. This is quite expensive but other hotels around York can cost considerably more, and with the temptation of a free breakfast which is quite rare in hotels these days, I was happy.
We arrived at the hotel at around 4:30pm. It is situated a few minutes' drive from Monks Cross retail park, where is also where you'll find Monks Cross Park & Ride to get into the centre of York, so this hotel is very handy if you don't mind using the Park & Ride, it's much better than attempting to drive into York central itself which is extremely busy. Right next door to the hotel is a Toby Carvery, which in fact dominates the car park and the hotel is tucked away round the park, the hotel is quite a small building. Parking is free, however we arrived on a Sunday evening of a bank holiday weekend and so the Toby Carvery was busy, along with the hotel! We were lucky though and did get parked quite close to the hotel; otherwise we would have been round the front.
Check-in was quick and easy, and the receptionist was a friendly lady who was cheerful and polite. As a Priority Club member my name was on the priority check in sheet which I simply had to sign before being handed the key card and I was told how to find the room. She also pointed out the breakfast area which is right next to the lobby, and explained what time the breakfast was served. There is also a vending machine and a selection of alcoholic drinks you can purchase from the reception desk, and looking at the prices they weren't as expensive as I imagined. Our room was located on the top floor and up a small flight of stairs and along some windowless and dimly lit corridors we found our room.
Our double room was bigger than I expected, and very light and airy. To turn on the power in the room you slot your key card into a slot near the door. I only knew this from reading previous reviews of Holiday Inns and nowhere did it explain you needed to do this, nor were we informed upon check-in so anyone who hasn't used this hotel before will probably become confused why nothing works. The room was cold, but there was an old heater on the wall. I set the temperature to something warm, and with it being an old heater it did smell but it wasn't too much of a problem. Shortly afterwards we decided to grab some dinner at the Toby Carvery, and I was disappointed to see that taking the key card out from the slot turns the heater off. I was hoping to warm the room whilst we were out but unfortunately I couldn't do this. Tea and coffee facilities are provided, along with a small old fashioned CRT TV which had a nice range of channels including Sky One and there is a selection of pay per view movies, but at a cost of £6.80 a film we gave those a miss. The bathroom was small but adequate with a good sized shower. Near the sink there is a dispenser of Dove cream wash, and in the shower there is a dispenser of Lux shower gel. Fresh towels were hanging up, along with some more on a shelf in the room, and you are provided with 2 plastic cups and tissues in cardboard described as 'face cloths.' They have a sign saying they offer complimentary toiletries if you have forgotten anything, which was handy as I had forgotten my toothbrush which I always seem to do, and the lady on reception was more than happy to get me one when I went down to the desk later. Our room overlooked the back of the hotel and a grassy area, and it was quiet. With it being the bank holiday weekend I was worried other visitors might come back drunk in the late hours but this wasn't the case.
In the morning we went down to breakfast, and the hotel must have been full as it was extremely busy. I can only mention the words 'cattle herd' to describe the situation! It was also disorganised and in my opinion badly laid out. For example on a set of counters you can find everything from bread, toasters, pastries, sausages, scrambled egg, fruit and hot and cold drinks. They have decided the best place to put the cutlery, bowls and plates are underneath these counters. People were pushing each other out of the way to get underneath to find a plate (except there wasn't any, they'd ran out) and people gathering round the toasters were constantly met with 'excuse me' as people reached for cutlery underneath. As it was obviously busy, you would have thought they'd put enough staff on but they had one woman who was doing everything. She was extremely polite though considering the stressful situation, she brought out more plates (along only a pile of about 7 which were immediately snapped up!) and we got a table but it hadn't been cleared away so she quickly offered to clear this up for us. At the same time she also replenished the food and whilst she was trying hard, it was impossible for her to keep up as others demanded tables clearing or more plates and cups or scrambled eggs. I can only guess this was because it was a bank holiday weekend, but they should have had at least another member of staff on at this time.
You can take your breakfast back to your room on a tray, but we didn't fancy doing this.
In reception there are leaflets for things to do in York, and there are also copies of The Independent newspaper for you to take. Check out was just as quick as check in, and the man on reception was just as polite as the lady from the day before.
I wouldn't hesitate to stay at this hotel again. I love the location of it being so close to Monks Cross, which has a good range of shops there, and also the Park & Ride to go into the centre of York. The Toby Carvery next door is handy for dinner, though I'm not sure if there's anywhere else nearby apart from the Pizza Hut at Monks Cross. The rooms were clean and the bed was comfortable, combined with polite staff and a free breakfast I couldn't have asked for anything else.
When visiting York recently we booked a night at Express by Holiday Inn for a very reasonable £49 direct from their website.
When looking for hotels, Express by Holiday Inn is usually my first port of call as I find they offer good value for money, you can often secure a reduced rate with their 'advance purchase' bookings and also have regular 'rooms from £39' promotions.
Another advantage to staying at Express by Holiday Inn is that a buffet style continental breakfast in always included in the price.
Express by Holiday Inn, York, is situated only 2.5 miles from York City Centre and is easily found on the A1036 to York, not far from the eastbound A64. If travelling by train, York train station is approx 4 miles away and a taxi transfer will cost around £9.00.
There are ample parking bays in the spacious car park outside the hotel.
Having stayed here, I thought the hotel is ideally located just outside the city of York and there is an efficient park and ride service running throughout the day to take you to and from the city, which we took advantage of.
The hotel itself is set back from the main road and appeared very quiet whilst we were staying there. It does seem to be one of the smaller hotels in the chain with only two floors. We were allocated a room which overlooked the car park after checking in, which was done efficiently by welcoming staff. As we had booked online, it was really just a case of giving our name and car registration number. All rooms are non-smoking.
Access to your room is via a swipe card which gave us no problems, though I have to say we have had experienced a couple of problems with them in the past, which resulted in a trip back down to reception to sort it out.
The room was bright and spacious with plenty of room to move around. Clean and comfortable, with a large double bed made up with crisp white bed linen. Four pillows were provided, but if you want more then you simply ask at reception. The bed was comfortable, the mattress was just right, not too hard nor too soft and we spent a comfortable and quiet night.
Also in the room was a sofa bed, an open wardrobe space to hang your clothes, work space, flatscreen TV with some sky channels, a kettle with sachets of tea/coffee etc, hairdryer, full length mirror and telephone.
Unfortunately, if you like to have a bath when you stay in a hotel, then you will be disappointed when staying at Express by Holiday Inn, as what you get is a shower. However, it is a very good power shower which does the trick, leaving you refreshed. Not having a bath doesn't bother me, but it is worth pointing out incase it is a requirement you need.
The bathroom was fully tiled and spotless, with Dove liquid soap and Lux shower gel provided in dispensers, along with a notice informing you that if you have forgotten any essential toiletry items, then Reception are happy to provide you with a replacement with their compliments, which is good to know.
I couldn't find any fault at all with the room or the service from the staff and spent a comfortable night after a busy day in York.
The next morning we headed down for breakfast, which as previously mentioned is a continental buffet style affair and offers a varied range of cereals, pastries, croissants, toast, jams, yoghurt, fresh fruit and also fruit juice and tea and coffee.
You just help yourself to as much as you like, and can also take it back to your room on a tray if you prefer.
I find this really good value when compared to staying at other budget hotel chains where you pay extra for breakfast, which is not always value for money. I recall once paying at another popular hotel chain, around £5-6 for a muffin, yoghurt, fruit juice drink and cereal portion with longlife milk!
Adjacent to the hotel, you will find The Hopgrove pub which is a Toby Carvery. We enjoyed a lovely carvery meal there in the evening and a couple of drinks in the cosy bar.
Checking out was as easy as checking in. Checkout was at 12pm, though if you are a member of their Priority Club Rewards Scheme, which I am, you can ask for a later checkout time at no extra cost.
The Priority Club Rewards Scheme is really worth joining as it is free to join and covers all hotels in this chain : Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc. Details can be found on the website at HiExpress.co.uk.
Signing up to Priority Club rewards is easy and shortly afterwards you receive a membership card in the post although you begin earning points as soon as you register. You will earn points for 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 reward scheme brings many benefits, apart from extended check- out times, you will also receive priority check-in, complimentary newspapers and regular offers sent to you via email, to earn extra points, for example at the moment there is an offer available where you earn an extra 1000 points for every night you stay.
I have earned quite a few free nights over the last few 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.
The amount of points you need to redeem for a free night varies from hotel to hotel and can range from just 5000 points to 20000 on average.
It is something for nothing, so well worth joining.
Overall I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel if you are thinking of visiting York. It offers great value for money, the rooms are clean and comfortable and the staff helpful and friendly. I will return.
The attractions of York, including the Minster, Dungeons and The Shambles are only 3 miles away and York Racecourse 4 miles away.
Holiday Inn Express
YORK, YO32 9TE
Visit HiExpress.co.uk for more information.