I stayed for a night at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, in one of the hotels modern and very spacious Executive rooms, which is part of the hotel’s Executive Club level and a premium choice of room, while visiting London for work. Here’s all about my stay at this comfortable and affordable hotel.
I walked from London Euston to the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, which took around 10 minutes and was very easy to find on foot. As I approached the hotel, I realised exactly why guests would choose to stay here; it’s perfectly located, close enough to much-needed amenities, but well away from loud and busy streets.
Entering the lobby, I saw that the hotel reception and check-in desk was very busy, and later found out that this was due to a large number of people staying there to take part in a marathon that weekend.
From the get-go, staff members approached me to ask if I would like to put my luggage on the side while I waited; they repeatedly apologised for the wait; and every staff member behind the desk dealt with customers with a friendly manner, but in an efficient way. These small gestures were very welcoming after an almost three-hour journey, which had left me rather tired.
When I got to the front of the line to check-in, I was advised that my room was not ready, which, I admit, was a little disappointing. However, the staff member, Tiran, was very apologetic and helpful. He advised me of a safe place to leave my luggage in the hotel and pointed me in the direction of the hotels bar and restaurant.
I was asked to come back in an hour, so after a quick wonder around the contemporary and cool ground floor I popped out for a walk. On my return, just half an hour later, the hotel lobby was still busy, but again, staff members were quick, organised and courteous in service, and to make things better, my room was ready.
At check-in you will be asked to sign in with your name and home address and the hotel will ask for your credit or debit card details, to cover any room service, TV, Wi-Fi or other charges you may incur during your stay. This is very normal of hotels to do and your card will not be charged for any services until check-out.
Another helpful member of staff arrived with my luggage and I made my way up to the sixth floor. Check-in could have been a challenging process, for the staff and for me, but the situation with my room not being ready was dealt with professionally and with sincere apologies – this welcoming and friendly approach was something I appreciated very much.
To say that the Executive room is spacious is an understatement. There’s enough space to fit another good-sized bed in the room and still move around at ease. The room itself was dimly-lit, with many lamps, and wall and ceiling lights to choose as a light source. It was clean and modern with neutral décor, and had everything that you could ask for to tick all the boxes for a comfortable stay.
This included everything from a leather desk chair and work area, a well-stocked minibar, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities and a mini refrigerator to a flat screen colour TV with many cable/satellite channels, a phone with voicemail, high-speed internet access, and an iron with ironing board, a safe, a sofa-bed and much more. Storage space is abundant and there is a comfy armchair as well as a number of mirrors for you to get an all-important look at that special city outfit.
There is also a ton of information in the form of booklets in the room, telling you more about the hotel, food options, TV and entertainment available on the flat screen as well as things to do in that great London location.
The Executive rooms also have a great en-suite bathroom with complimentary bathrobe and toiletries, and the best thing is that there is a bathtub in the en-suite bathroom. The beds are very comfortable and the hotel even offers different types of pillows, including soft natural down and feather, anti-allergenic and soft synthetic, so you can ring reception and ask for your own personal pillow.
I had a good night’s sleep, and I’m guessing the double-glazed windows and blackout curtains had something to do with that! Though at first the Executive room type may seem basic, it is actually everything you would want from a contemporary hotel, providing a cosy stay.
One of the best things about the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury is, hands down, the great breakfast spread and the dining options available in the hotel.
Aside from a good room-service menu, the hotel has a fantastic eatery, the Junction Restaurant, where you’ll find sizzling fajitas, steak and ale pies or lighter options, and this is also where you’ll find the delicious buffet breakfast with fresh juices, every day cereals and warm morning food including fried and scrambled egg, hash browns, beans, toast, crumpets and a lot more.
There is also a cocktail lounge and the adjoining (and sometimes noisy) Callaghan’s Pub which serves up traditional pub grub and offers an inviting and cosy atmosphere, perfect for a few drinks with friends.
The hotel also houses ‘The Academy’ made up of 15 well-equipped meeting rooms, featuring whiteboards, DVD players, digital projectors, stage lights and other hi-tech amenities needed for a business meeting. The spaces here are suitable for banquets, training days and conferences, making the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury a great choice for mixing business and pleasure in the capital city.
The hotel is all-round a clean and modern property connected by fast-working lifts which require guests to swipe their room cards to access all floors, something which should give guests great comfort, in knowing that there is a reasonable safety procedure in place.
This is an area that I cannot fault the hotel on. The service here is second-to-none. Staff did not struggle under pressure and came across as being very competent in their job roles. Everyone I came in contact with at the hotel, staff and guests included, was helpful and very welcoming.
From holding the lift, to carrying my luggage and just flashing a friendly smile and saying ‘good morning’ or ‘have a nice day’, it was clear to see that everyone at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury was enjoying themselves, something I would credit to the hotel’s attentive team.
Aside from the staff, the hotel actually offers a great number of services from laundry, business services like printing and photocopying, off-site use of a health and fitness centre for a very small charge of £5, concierge services, dry cleaning and much more.
This is another pro when it comes to the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury; the hotel is just mere minutes away from mainline stations like Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras, as well as a minute’s walk from Russell Square underground station with great links on the Piccadilly line into central London.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a quiet walkway doubled as a min-shopping centre, just a few yards from the hotel entrance. It was lined with top highstreet stores like New Look and River Island along with a Waitrose and many places to treat yourself to some food and drink.
The streets around the hotel are also lined with cute cafes, restaurants, pubs and boutique shops. There’s a Nanados, Costa, and Starbucks for those who love their mainstream cuisine, and there is also a number of Italian eateries and cosy brasseries to relax with a cup of hot chocolate if you want to venture out of the hotel for a while.
To top this off there are some lovely parks and gardens to stroll around, and more popular London attractions like the West End just a 15-20 minute walk away, making this hotel a great base from which to explore the English capital.
At first it was a bit of a downfall that my room was not ready at check-in, but taking into consideration the volume of people staying at the hotel and rushing to check-in that day, I believe the situation was dealt with very proficiently by the hotel staff, so I actually did not mind waiting a little while longer to get up to my room. However, if I had to be very picky about a downfall, it would be the Wi-Fi and entertainment prices.
Though the hotel has a great selection of family films and blockbusters available on pay-per-view, I am not sure how many people would be happy to pay £8.50 to watch a film, or £28 for a Wi-Fi and film package for 24-hours, especially when there are enough freeview channels available to watch.
Quiet, convenient, well-located and very comfortable, the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury is a stand-out hotel choice for those visiting London on a mini-break for its attractions, or on business. My one-night stay was more pleasant and perfect than it could have been. Admittedly with a shaky start, but don’t be put-off knowing that the hotel can get busy on weekends, especially, as this just goes to prove its popularity with visitors.
The combination of modern amenities, a fantastic location and above all first-class service and staff, makes the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury an affordable and quality choice of accommodation in this area.
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