This is my review of the Holiday Inn hotel at Wembley, London.
This is astoundingly cheap. For comparison, most London Holiday Inn Express hotels are now 35,000 points. If you have an existing balance of 5,000 points, you can buy 10,000 points for just $70 (£42) via the ‘cash and points and cancel’ method (click and see under ‘Purchasing and Transferring Points’).
To see how much of a good deal this is, I decided to check in for a night and review it. I paid for my room using points – this was not a ‘press freebie’. (I have NEVER had a ‘press freebie’, for the record!)
These are the key things you need to know:
1. A fortune has been spent refurbishing the Holiday Inn Wembley. All of the public areas except the gym and pool are done, as are most of the rooms. I think the unrefurbished rooms are no longer available for sale as the work finishes off. Here is my bedroom and bathroom:
2. It has a small swimming pool, which includes a small childrens pool and a jacuzzi, although you can’t see them in my picture:
3. It is directly next door to the new London Designer Outlet. You may not have heard of this yet, but there are a LOT of High Street names, including M&S and Next, at discount prices. There is also a cinema and a large number of restaurants, so there is plenty of choice if you don’t want to eat in the hotel.
4. It is also directly next door to this, if you want to take a guided tour:
5. Transport to and from the hotel is clearly a key issue. The nearest tube is Wembley Park on the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. It takes around 25 minutes to get to Bond Street station and about 12 minutes to walk from the hotel to the tube. You are therefore looking at about 40 minutes door-to-door to get into the West End.
Is this too far? It depends. You won’t want to be popping back to the hotel during the day. However, if you considering this as an option then your alternatives are probably also on the edge of London – and those hotels will be a lot more than 10,000 points and won’t have a designer outlet village on the doorstep.
There is also a National Rail option which removes most of the walking. Wembley Stadium station is literally 1 minute from the hotel, and takes you into London Marylebone in 13 minutes, for connections to the Bakerloo line (and for Madame Tussauds, which is very close!). There are 4-5 trains per hour.
There isn’t much else to add about the hotel itself. Whilst they have spent a LOT on the refurbishment (although it hasn’t reached the gym yet) the exterior is – frankly – one of the ugliest buildings in London, a 1960’s piece of concrete brutalism. At least you can’t see it once you’re inside!
Even though I was only there on a reward night, I received my Platinum amenities. I was offered a drink from the bar and a bag of crisps or a Kit Kit, or 500 points. I took the beer and Kit Kat! I was also offered a free newspaper and a 2pm check-out was granted without question. I also received free internet by virtue of my IHG Platinum status.
What else? There is kettle, tea, coffee and milk in the room. There is a bath with a shower attached. ‘Proper’ toiletries (ie not in wall-mounted dispensers!). I also received two free bottle of water and two small chocolates which may have been because of my IHG Rewards Club status.
All in all, you really can’t go wrong for 10,000 points. Once the refurbishment work is over, it will presumably reprice at a higher rate. However, you can book today for the next 12 months at just 10,000 points, and you can cancel for a full refund at any point.
The best value alternative is probably the Holiday Inn Express Wimbledon South. This is 15,000 points per night. You need 50% more points for a less impressive hotel (HI Express rooms in the UK are pretty basic.) You would, however, get the free Holiday Inn Express breakfast included.
The hotel is also opposite a tube station (Colliers Wood) which would save you the 12 minute walk to / from Wembley Park station that I had.
All in all, though, Holiday Inn Wembley is a fantastic deal for anyone who is ‘points conscious’ but is looking for a modern hotel that is well connected to Central London.
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)