Craig’s review… This is my first time staying at a Holiday Inn hotel. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, but it’s actually quite nice inside. The reception area is quite swish and the pretty bird behind the desk gave me a Jacob’s Club biscuit bar – do you remember those little bars of biscuity chocolate that you had in your lunch box when you were a kid? She gave me an orange one of those – no joke! So that’s the Holiday Inn for you… at a fancy 5-star hotel you get a bowl of fruit and a pot of tea and a bottle of something bubbly, but in here you just get a Jacob’s Club biscuit bar – ha ha.
I definitely think they should change the name though, because calling it the Holiday Inn Regent’s Park makes it sound as if it’s up near Camden Town somewhere, but it’s actually south of Great Portland Place. That is quite a nice location to be. But when I say ‘nice’, I don’t mean pretty. This area is definitely not pretty. I just mean it’s within easy walking distance of King’s Cross and Oxford Street.
The bedrooms are almost within walking distance as well – the corridors are about a mile long. Every time you turn a corner you see a never-ending cream carpet stretching all the way beyond the horizon. I am reminded of that shot they always do in horror movies, when a victim walks down a tunnel only for the tunnel to continuously expand before them, disappearing into the distance. That is exactly what it’s like – only without the horror. If you replace the horror with a bit of cream carpet then that is what it’s like.
The room is okay. It will do. Put it this way: you’re not going to die in here or anything like that. It’s not exactly The Ritz but it has a toilet and a TV, so you can’t complain. Give me a bath and a Jacob’s Club biscuit bar and I’m happy. It also has a bed, some carpet, a ceiling, a desk, a window, a dustbin, some handles on the doors so you can open them, a floor for you to stand on, a mirror so you can look at yourself, a spy hole in the door so you can check for hoodlums, an emergency exit leaflet in case the hotel bursts into flames, a Gideon’s Bible in case you want to say some prayers, and a menu for the minibar. I think that just about covers it. And oh yeah, a teapot and some cups and an ironing board, a hairdryer and a safe to keep all of your valuables.
I always like to record the number of teabags and the minibar prices when I stay at a hotel (I’m starting to go mental) because then you can see how tight and stingy the owners are. The Holiday Inn is better than most. A can of Coke is only £2.04, and a Kit Kat is £1.85. I have stayed in places that charge triple that. You get four teabags, four milks and a few sugars too – hallelujah! I think this is the very first hotel that I’ve stayed in that actually provides the same number of milks as teabags. That is my number one hate in a hotel – when they give you four teabags but only two milks. So the Holiday Inn has straight away found a home in my heart.
The view out of the window is fantastic. And I am saying that in a very sarcastic voice, by the way. They have given me a room on the inside of the building that looks out into a little prison-like courtyard of concrete walls. A load of other rooms are staring into exactly the same space – a ring of five floors and seventy-five windows (I counted them) all staring into this same space. Imagine if we all stood and stared out of our windows together… one hundred and fifty eyes pressed against the glass… what a scary scene that would be… all holding onto our Jacob’s Club biscuit bar.
I am going to have to mark them down for the bar because they’re playing Simply Red on the radio, followed by Wham and The Bangles. Oh dear. The only people who listen to that are big sisters from the 1980s. But the bar is okay and they sell Starbucks coffee (which is actually labelled as Starbucks), so I am happy. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.
The restaurant is a bit like a branch of IKEA – it’s all pine woods and spotlights. Everything is either grey, yellow or wood. The breakfast is self-service and you get your normal cereals, rolls, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee and fruit juice, etc. It wasn’t the greatest breakfast I’ve ever had, but it will do. It was extremely busy, though. I went down there at 6:45 AM and the place was already fit to bursting with business types – not many tourists about. It was all suits and shoes and pressed shirt cuffs. I’m guessing that the Holiday Inn is the highest hotel that their bosses can put on expenses.
I’ve been here for two days now and I must say that their Wi-Fi is totally rubbish. Everybody in the hotel must be using it at once because it’s like being back on dial-up twenty years ago. I’m sitting here eating my Jacob’s Club biscuit bar waiting for it to work. If this page doesn’t come up soon then I am going to storm downstairs and shout at the first person I see (no I’m not). I’m going to start smashing things up (not doing that either). I’ll tell you what I will do… nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because I’m British. I’m just going to sit here and eat my Jacob’s Club biscuit bar.
So in summary then… it’s all right. It will do. I probably wouldn’t rate it as a 4-star, though. In my mind it’s just a 3-star. But it’s a perfectly nice 3-star and I would happily stay here again.
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