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Review: the Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

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This is our review of the Holiday Inn Express at Luton Airport.

For reasons which will be revealed later this week, I have been spending a lot of time in UK airports recently. My tour started in Luton with an early morning flight, so an airport hotel seemed a sensible idea.

Having previously reviewed the new Courtyard by Marriott at Luton Airport we thought we would review the Holiday Inn Express, the closest hotel to the airport terminal.

The hotel website is here.

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Location

As mentioned above, the Holiday Inn Express is the closest hotel to the airport terminal. It is still, however, a bit of a trudge along the main access road and underneath the taxiway connecting the terminal to the runway.

It is the first hotel you pass, by the roundabout. It is also next door to the Luton Signature private jet terminal which we have previously reviewed here.

Slightly annoyingly the main entrance is not on the roadside but around the back, by the car park.

Inside the Holiday Inn Express Luton Airport

The check-in desk is right next to the bar when you walk in:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Check in was super quick and easy, and the staff were very friendly. My IHG Rewards Gold status was acknowledged and I was offered a free drink from the bar or 500 points as my welcome amenity.

Behind the check-in desk you’ll also find a little mini market with a range of snacks on offer:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Rooms at the Holiday Inn Express Luton

As far as I can tell there are just three room types: a standard room, a standard room with twin beds and a standard family room with double bed and sofa bed. I booked the standard room and that’s exactly what I got:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

As you would expect from a Holiday Inn Express everything is cheap and cheerful. That said, the room was fairly large:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

The bed has sockets on each side:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

As you can see there is a fairly large sofa/desk area to the right of the bed which I liked:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Opposite is a fairly dated TV as well as tea and instant coffee making facilities. There is no coffee machine.

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Sound proofing is decent although not 100% effective. I could clearly hear the aircraft taking off from the runway.

The bathroom is small but adequate. You have a corner sink:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Plus a small shower:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Toiletries are completely unbranded – you get liquid soap and a combined hair/body-wash dispenser in the shower.

You also get plastic cups wrapped in plastic, which I always think is a bit stupid given that the hotel could easily cut out the plastic and provide reusable glass cups. It’s not like glasses are a new invention – they’ve been around for thousands of years and are fully reusable!

Annoyingly the shaver outlet wasn’t working which meant I couldn’t charge my electric toothbrush.

Bar and restaurant

Back on the ground floor you’ll find the bar and restaurant. Food is fairly basic, although there is a wide range available including burgers, curries, fish and chips, pizza, pies and pasta. You order at the bar and it is delivered to your table.

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

I went for the chicken and bacon salad:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

It was pretty dull but kept me from starvation. The bacon could have been a little crisper and they forgot to provide any dressing when they first delivered it, although they quickly brought some.

This is also where breakfast is provided in the mornings, from 4am. I was expecting pre-packed ‘grab bags’ but they actually offer a small buffet including hot food:

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

and

Review Holiday Inn Express hotel at Luton Airport

Paper bags are provided if you want to take some ambient food away. Hot items obviously have to be consumed on site!

Conclusion

Holiday Inn Express Luton Airport is a perfectly adequate but otherwise uninspiring airport hotel. It gets the job done if you have an early morning flight and the staff are very friendly.

It is, for all intents and purposes, an ‘express’ hotel and you wouldn’t necessarily want to stay more than one night. Take a look at the new Courtyard by Marriott if you need a longer stay in the area, although this hotel does not offer free breakfast.

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


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Comments (39)

  • John T says:

    That salad looks vile.

  • Ambient says:

    How was the kettle? 🙂

  • KevinF says:

    Is the HIX movable desk/table actually comfortable to work on with a laptop?
    Thanks, I’m holding on making a booking because of this.

    • Tom Harrison says:

      I find it OK for light work, but I wouldn’t stay there all day. Then again, of the the ones I’ve stayed at, they usually have a rotating chair, rather than a sofa with the table. The cut out is a good idea for cable management. Usually I connect my laptop to the smart TV too for an additional screen – again this isn’t always available in all locations.

    • Travel Strong says:

      It’s okay for a day if mostly holding calls or being on webcam – but it is not a big desk if needing to spread out. (think – big enough to put a carry-on suitcase on top). Would probably book a room with sofa (sofabed) rather than the chair too.

    • Lady London says:

      It’s in other newish HIXes I’ve stayed in. It’s small so not much space to put anything more than a pen alongside laptop. Plus whether for work or coffee, any table supported by only one pole or only on one side is always, always going to get wobbly with time. As they are mostly held just with screws these days.

      Single pole does work on more oldfashioned tables you used to find in Europe when from the central pole, “grape” arms would extend out towards nearly the edge of the table. So someone leaning on one side of the table didn’t eventually loosen the screws.

  • the_real_a says:

    Is there actually a pavement from this hotel to the terminal? If i remember you literally have to walk on the access road – or at least you did several years ago?!

    • elguiri says:

      We walked along from here to the terminal a few years back. I believe it was all pavement but might have had some grass to go over too. We had large suitcases on wheels and managed fine. Wouldn’t have liked it if pouring with rain though…

    • Bagoly says:

      All pavement.
      Agree with the comment about rain.

    • Rhys says:

      Pavement

  • Lady London says:

    Quite good as a lot of HIXes or similar won’t provide the full breakfast till 0600 or 0630 even at airport locations

  • Russell says:

    Averaged between the two of them, the chicken and the bacon have both been cooked for the correct amount of time I’d say

  • Alan says:

    “Annoyingly the shaver outlet wasn’t working which meant I couldn’t charge my electric toothbrush.”

    That tickled me, is charging your toothbrush at the airport hotel a money saving tactic?

  • Michael G says:

    If you come to Teesside Airport I recommend Rockcliffe Hall which isnt far away and can be booked using Hyatt points!

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