Looking for affordable and central accommodation in London can be quite a nightmare as I discovered when planning a few days there. And finding affordable and central accommodation that also offers FREE breakfast is even more challenging. So, I considered myself lucky when I found just such a place – the Holiday Inn Express Victoria.
Location of the Holiday Inn Express Victoria
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Victoria for two days. It is located a few hundred meters from the Pimlico station, in fact, less than 5 minutes walk from Pimlico. But this we did not know when we arrived in London. On the hotel’s website, both Victoria Station and Pimlico stations were indicated as close to the hotel. As luck would have it, we chose to walk to the hotel from Victoria station and not Pimlico station. Lucky it was downhill from Victoria station, but the walk from Pimlico station is much shorter!
So, there we were. Walking to the Holiday Inn Express from Victoria station, dragging our suitcases behind us. All the buildings in the street look the same – all white and nondescript. Finding the hotel was quite difficult, but lucky we had taken note of the hotel’s street number and eventually we found it. The sign at the front of the hotel is not nearly large enough to make it visible from far, and you may even walk past without noticing it.
Our room at the Holiday Inn Express Victoria
Our room was on the second floor, and we had a view of the houses at the back of the hotel. The window does open quite wide, which was refreshing at night when the room was a bit stuffy. The room was quite a nice size (for London and Europe, in general) and had some cupboard space, a desk, chair, TV and shower in the bathroom. There was no laptop safe or bar fridge.
Staff told us we could leave our valuables at reception, but we never did. They did not have safety deposit boxes and just leave your stuff on a shelf inside a locked room without marking it. We did not feel that this was safe enough. The hotel does provide luggage storage, but no marking or checking of bags take place.
The hotel provided Lux body wash in the bathroom for the shower and basin. Also, facecloths were provided free of charge.
The bed was quite comfortable. The area is quiet at night, which helped us get a good night’s sleep.
There was a kettle with some coffee/tea supplies in the room. Ice buckets were available from the reception.
The free breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express, Victoria
The buffet breakfast was included in the room rate and was lovely with a selection of pastries, bread, sausages, scrambled egg, spreads, cereals, cheeses and yoghurt. There were drinks such as coffee, water, hot chocolate and a variety of juices. Fresh fruits were also given. We enjoyed the breakfast which is served on the lower ground floor (below ground floor). The staff in the breakfast area was very friendly and helpful.
More about the Holiday Inn Express, Victoria
The bad points: there are several fire doors in the hotel, which are quite noisy at night when people move around between floors. The shower water was never hot, but since it was spring and quite warm in London at the time, this was not too much of an issue for us. A bar fridge would have been a lovely addition to the room.
Wifi is free and quite fast. In the foyer, some seats are available for sitting. There were magazines and newspapers in the reception area. There is a small bar area on the ground floor, but we never made use of this. Brochures on tours are available in the foyer as well.
There is a small lift, but it sometimes takes a while to come during busy times, such as during breakfast hours.
We found the staff at the Holiday Inn Express Victoria very friendly and helpful. They went out of their way to assist us, which we appreciated. The one day the wi-fi was down, and I was concerned about skyping with my daughter. They tried getting me a dial-up connection which turned out to not work, but I appreciated the effort they made in trying to resolve the situation.
The location near Victoria station does have its benefits. Victoria station has many different shops in the station, including a Marks and Spencer, which proofed to be useful in our hunt for affordable supper and snacks! There are also theatres near Victoria station offering a variety of shows. Outside Pimlico station, there are also restaurants and pubs available.
We found the hotel to be quite close to almost everything because of its location between the two stations – most attractions were all within a few stops from there if using the tube.
The hotel’s location was very central. We will stay at this hotel again for the location, the staff and the free breakfast! For London the price was also quite reasonable.