Did you realise Holiday Inn was four-star? Me neither, but this Intercontinental brand is undergoing a huge revamp to firmly establish it as four-star. The hotel group also has Crowne Plaza in this category, and the difference between the two is that Holiday Inn has slightly fewer amenities and comparatively lower room rates than Crowne Plaza.

Holiday Inn is a 117-strong estate in the UK and is not to be confused with Express by Holiday Inn (which has just been rebranded as Holiday Inn Express). This Bloomsbury example is one of the first Holiday Inns to be renovated in line with the new branding. A minute’s walk from Russell Square and five minute’s from St Pancras International, it looks from the outside (apart from the rebranding) like many concrete hotels built in the 1960s and 1970s. The area has had money spent on it, though, with the upgraded Brunswick shopping centre having several cafés and a Waitrose supermarket, and the area outside the hotel hosting an outdoor barbecue and café in the small square during the summer.

Inside, the lobby is spacious, full of colour and with a seating area and bookcases making it look more like a coffee shop in a library than a reception. To the left is Callaghans Irish bar, owned and run by the hotel but obviously popular with local businesses, not least because of the large sports screen. Straight on is the hotel bar – all very minimalist and modern, presumably to differentiate it from the Irish bar – and the new restaurant, Junction. This is good value, and has a range of Mediterranean-style food.

The 310 rooms are over six floors, and look out onto the surrounding streets. None have views of any distinction, but are quiet and of a decent size for London, although you are unlikely to be rolling out a yoga mat between the end of the bed and the desk. The hotel is noted for having two disabled rooms, winning the Best Disabled Access Award in 2007.

On the first floor is the Academy, a self-contained meetings, conference and banqueting facility with 15 suites, the largest of which accommodates up to 450 delegates reception-style. There is also a dedicated team on site to help organise events.

VERDICT Even with the rebrand, there’s nothing dynamic about Holiday Inn, but the new public areas make it a pleasant place to stay, as do the helpful and informative staff. A solid choice.

Fact file

HOW MANY ROOMS? 310 rooms over six floors, including two disabled rooms and two suites.

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The rooms are going through an upgrade, so it’s worth asking for one on a floor which has been completed, although all are in good condition.

CONTACT Coram Street; ichotelsgroup.com.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in September started from £185 for a Standard room.

OTHER HOLIDAY INNS IN GREATER LONDON London Mayfair, Oxford Circus, Regent’s Park, King’s Cross, Camden Lock and Kensington, to name a few.