Express by Holiday Inn was rebranded as Holiday Inn Express earlier this year, although confusingly on the website this Hammersmith property is still referred to by its old name. As promised by the brand, however, it is a “fresh, clean and uncomplicated hotel” and its location is a bonus, being on the Heathrow side of London yet convenient for getting to most points thanks to its proximity to Hammersmith underground station (although note that this is a good ten-minute walk east along King Street, so with heavy luggage you might end up taking a taxi).
The hotel is on the site of the old Fuller’s Brewery, and it incorporates the original distinctive façade of the building. As you travel along King Street you might miss the hotel at first, as it’s on a small side street running north. Look for the Plough and Harrow (a JD Wetherspoon pub) – this is separately owned and run from the hotel.
The open-plan reception is bright, with the lobby area doubling up as the breakfast room. To access the pub, you have to walk outside under the covered walkway. There is no restaurant in the hotel, although there is a microwave and cutlery in reception for those who want to buy food from one of the local shops, heat it up and eat it in their room, which in London is an excellent way of saving money.
All rooms are air-conditioned, with power showers, direct-dial telephones, fixed internet access (£6.50 for 24 hours) and satellite television. The rooms are a good size and can accommodate up to two adults and two children, and rates include the continental breakfast buffet.
Business and meeting facilities include four boardrooms with a capacity of up to 40 delegates in each, but no natural daylight. The hotel is not in the congestion zone (so no charges) and there are 22 covered parking spaces available (£12 for 24 hours).
I left very early in the morning (before 6am) but the continental breakfast had already been prepared and the staff said it was fine if I helped myself rather than insisting on sticking to the start time, which impressed me.
VERDICT Very good value and location, although note it is a long walk to Hammersmith station. King Street has lots of good shops and the hotel is convenient for Heathrow.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 135 rooms, including 110 non-smoking, 50 doubles and 85 singles.
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS Tea and coffee-making facilities (no fridge), workdesk with wired internet access (£15 for 24 hours).
CONTACT 124 King Street; tel +44 (0)20 8746 5100; reservations +44 (0)871 423 4931; ichotelsgroup.com.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in October started from £132 for a Standard room.
OTHER HOLIDAY INNS IN LONDON Battersea, Earls Court, Victoria, London City, Southwark, London Limehouse, Swiss Cottage.
By Tom Otley