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Review: Holiday Inn Express Bodmin Victoria Junction

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This is my review of the Holiday Inn Express Bodmin Victoria Junction hotel in Cornwall.

We spent the Bank Holiday weekend in Cornwall, using the new British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Newquay.

We spent three nights at the impressive (and expensive) The Idle Rocks hotel in St Mawes. I highly recommend this place as long as you take one of the larger sea view rooms. I won’t do a full review because there is no miles and points angle, but feel free to email me if you have any questions about it.

Due to availability issues, we had to spend our first night elsewhere. Booking a major tourist hotel for just one night in Cornwall during August is tricky, and I settled on the Holiday Inn Express Bodmin Victoria Junction instead.

The hotel website is here.

I paid 17,500 IHG Rewards Club points per room (we needed two). I’ve forgotten the cash price but it was over £100, meaning that I got more than my target 0.4p per point valuation.

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it …..

Let’s be frank. This is a hotel attached to a service station. Memories of this:

….. sprang to mind. My wife took it surprisingly well when I told her.

It actually turned out very well, and we all agreed that if we had spent the entire four days there it would have been fine.

Where is Holiday Inn Express Bodmin?

Let’s clear something up. Whilst the hotel IS next to a service station, this is NOT your traditional British motorway dump.

Cornwall Services on the A30 is pretty new, opening in 2014. This means it is, at least architecturally, a big step up from the average.

The Holiday Inn Express is brand new, opening in July 2020.

Regular HfP readers will know that I am very positive about Hampton by Hilton, Courtyard by Marriott and Holiday Inn Express. As long as you choose a new one, you will get a sound, reliable product for a good price.

Being brand new, the Holiday Inn Express Bodmin was in excellent condition. There was absolutely nothing to complain about. I’m not going to go into the details, because everyone who has ever stayed in a Hampton / Courtyard / Holiday Inn Express knows what they are getting:

  • a standard rectangular room, many with two beds or a bed and sofa bed
  • a shower but no bath
  • wall mounted toiletries
  • a good quality bed
  • a colourful decor scheme
  • tea and coffee facilities
  • free buffet breakfast
  • a restaurant serving standard mid market fare

Here’s a picture of the room, but it could be any room in any of the brands I named above:

The reason I wanted to give the hotel a plug is that it has a lot going for it in terms of location. It is a relatively short drive from Newquay Airport if you fly down and rent a car. More importantly, a huge number of Cornwall’s top villages, towns and attractions are within a modest drive.

St Ives and Land’s End are a bit too far. However, if your agenda is Newquay, Padstow, St Austell, the Roseland Peninsula, Truro, Falmouth, the Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan etc, it is surprisingly well placed.

Clearly waking up to a view of A30 (although you can’t hear a thing) is not the same as waking up in The Idle Rocks. You are paying a fraction of the cost, however, and can also use IHG Rewards Club points.

The hotel is a FAR better choice than some low quality bed and breakfast. You are getting a far bigger and comfier room, with access to a bar and restaurant, for probably less money.

You are also equally well placed for both the north and south coast, with good road access to both. Basing yourself in a coastal town will mean a lot of driving if you intend to do a lot of sightseeing across the north and south.

If all you want from your Cornish hotel is a cheap, comfy and clean base to come back to late in the evening to plan your outing for the next day, Holiday Inn Express Bodmin does the trick. I’d happily stay there again.

The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.

Comments (62)

  • Nic says:

    The comment about low quality bed and breakfasts is spot on. It amazes me that the UK continues to have such low accomodation in many cities at prices that would get you 5 star in some countries and yet consumer seem to accept it. I needed to book a few nights in Brighton recently and the choices were mostly dumps at £150+ a night and with loads of 1 star reviews on Tripadvisor or a couple of boutique hotels with tiny rooms at £350 a night but good reviews.

    • ChrisW says:

      They’re for people who don’t want to travel abroad. They don’t know what good value, standards and service are because they don’t experience anything else.

    • Goldmember says:

      Try MyHotel next time. Prices apart from pride weekend are usually starting at under £100 a night. Ultra clean, ultra modern, centrally located near the Pavilion and a Tesco local opposite, although the water, teas, coffees and biscuits in the room are free and halfway decent.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The UK hotel scene really is a mixed bag of shite with the odd sprinkle of great properties that know it so charge through the roof.

      • Lady London says:

        I love your comment @TGLoyalty !!

        Thanks Rob for sure I will need this kind of hotel this location, very worthwhile knowing if there’s a way to avoid the ‘standard motorway dumps’ anywhere 🙂

        Would people recommend the Lost Gardens of Heligan ?

    • Charlieface says:

      Agreed. There is a reason I always prefer self catering if possible, although plenty of those are dumps too.

  • Bloomers says:

    I’m curious to know what your HIX breakfast offering was in times of Covid, Rob.

    • Rob says:

      Standard buffet, pretty much, but plated for you – bit like a school canteen!

      • Bloomers says:

        Thanks, I ask because the breakfast offering at the Newcastle Hotel Indigo in August was dire. In fact the whole hotel was really. Just trying to get the measure of whether this is the ‘new normal’ for now or we just had a bad experience.

        • Anna says:

          That’s weird, we were also the Indigo Newcastle in August and I was quite impressed with the breakfast offerings – bacon or sausage sandwhich or smoked salmon and scrambled egg on toast, plus juice and coffee, well under £10 each.

  • Andrew says:

    I like Premier Inns for stays with kids too. Often in pretty central locations, cheap and give you two extra beds for free. Often ends up a quarter of the price of a nicer hotel.

    • pauldb says:

      Of some relevance to this thread, we stretched our short break in Cornwall with a night in Exeter at the Premier Inn (we were driving). It has a great location near the cathedral and Exeter is a nice place to spend an evening. There are a few similar options in Exeter for around £50/night when anything further west sharply jumps to £150 in August.

  • Nick says:

    It’s sad that Harry isn’t still around… he’d love that there’s so much discussion about his backyard!

    • Andy says:

      What happened to him?

      • Alex Sm says:

        Quarantined I suppose

      • Lady London says:

        I miss him. He was the first with the scoop on a lot of useful things. Like Melia, the IB 90k and the amazing implications of the dufry lounge deal. I loved his intelligence and it was a bad moment when a pack of wolves trolls were allowed to destroy the contribution he made to the site.

        Taking nothing away from Rhys’s comments.

        Wherever you are, Harry, I hope you’re well.

  • BJ says:

    Thanks for posting this Rob, an even better redemption than Hampton Exeter Airport with new IHG pricing, and I guess a better location too.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Hampton Exeter Airport has the benefit that some of the rooms have a bath, so if you fancy a change from just a shower you can request it. I seem to recall the bar had some decent beers available.
      My last stay was over a year ago so I don’t know how busy the hotel and the airport are now that Flybe is gone. Flybe had a base and a training centre there so would have provided custom for the hotel.

      • BJ says:

        Thanks, was supposed to be there this month but it all came unstuck. We will now plan for next year and visit the Lakes this autumn I think.

  • venturelog says:

    Couldn’t agree more on the new Hampton hotels. Stayed recently in Ealing and it was much better than i expected. Modern lobby, room was decent size, big TV & bed. Loved the soft towels.

    • BFT01 says:

      I wished I had known about the Hampton in Ealing, In early March we stayed at the Double Tree in Ealing, it was tired and run down, if you wanted to have vegetarian sausages they were cooked to order, but I had finished breakfast by the time they arrived so it was pointless ordering them, they also had run out of most of the hot food by 9.00 am and were very slow to replenish it. As we went to friends wedding, it was the only reason that we chose to stay overnight

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Linton Travel Tavern was filmed in the Hilton Watford (now called the Hilton London Watford 🙄). Quite why the owners of the hotel agreed for it to be filmed!

  • Anna says:

    Totally OT but did anyone know there’s a HI in the Maldives and it’s 27k points per night?! It even has over water “chalets” and looks to be on a proper island, not like the concrete-dust-beach monstrosity that supports the new Curio. I am really intrigued about what it would be like!

    • BJ says:

      Probably much better value for the points than the
      upscale brands. If you have the time it might be fun to spend a few nights there too for the comparison.

    • Pid says:

      It’s is great value, we stayed their for two weeks in 2016 and as a Spire got treated very well. Got upgraded to a water view rather than garden view and several free bottles of wine delivered throughout the week to our room. There are only a few overwater villas but we actually preferred not to have one as it meant our room was straight out onto the beach. Our boat collection even turned out to be a private trip and no one else was travelling at the same time.

      Can not remember what the points were at the time as it was before some of the recent increase but it was very good value. Despite that as it was June and off peak, we actually cancelled a couple of the points nights during the trip and rebooked as paid nights with breakfast as they were cheaper than using points and paying for breakfast.

      • Anna says:

        Hi Pid – don’t know if you’ll be reading this but if you do, do you know which rooms would have a separate sleeping area for a teenager? As the Maldives is currently allowing people in with few restrictions I’m seriously considering this as a plan B for Easter due to the short airport transfer and the isalnds being pretty much self contained. The flights will no doubt cost an arm and a leg, but free accommodation would offset that quite a bit! Thanks.