Midscale/standard hotel Full service Lon 7 mi s Alexandra palace 6 mi Brent cross shopping centre 1 mi Galleria shopping centre 15 mi Golders green 1 mi Hatfield house 18 mi Metropolitan police training centre 3 mi Phls offices 3 mi Raf museum 2 mi Staples … see full wiki
Holiday Inn Brent Cross: Not the Holiday We Had in Mind
Dec 11, 2006
Pros: clean, decent rooms
Cons: lousy location, horrible restaurant
The Bottom Line: Definitely avoid this one if you are a tourist.
My husband and I absolutely love to travel. We have been all sorts of places, especially since I seem to have a knack for winning trips. So, when I won two roundtrip tickets to anywhere in Europe from New York, we decided to visit jolly old England.
While perusing the different hotels available to us, we noticed that a lot of them didn't have the amenities we had hoped for: a private bathroom and air conditioning, for instance. We didn't want to share a bathroom or be uncomfortable at night, so we decided to go for a familiar hotel chain. May chains were well out of our price range. However, the Holiday Inn Brent Crossseemed perfect for us. The description said that it was located near a tube station and had a free shuttle back and forth to the tube. It also said that there was shopping nearby, as well as other attractions. Plus, the restaurant in the lobby was really appealing to us because we knew that we were going to do a lot of sight-seeing.
Well, my dear reader, don't believe everything that you read.
Staying in Brent Cross while visiting London was much like staying in western Long Island while visiting New York City. We had to take the tube absolutely everywhere. Taxis and mini-cabs were just too expensive. The location of the Holiday Inn Brent Cross is absolutely HORRIBLE for anyone visiting London on a vacation - especially if it is your first time. It's about a 30 minute train ride to the center of London (Leicester Square), where all of the cool things are.
Furthermore, there just isn't anything around the hotel. Yes, there is shopping... But not the tupe of touristy shopping that a person wants to do while on vacation. Rather than cute shoppes, you've got Barnes & Noble complete with a Starbucks, Toys R Us and a couple of other American stores. Why would I travel all the way to England just to go to a store that I can visit at home?
The shuttles to the tube station run every half hour. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the station, where they wait for 5 minutes for new passengers to bring back to the hotel. So, it's basically a 15 minute cycle. If the shuttle isn't there to pick you up, you can always call the front desk from the pay phones outside of the station. Just be careful of the homeless people milling about in the parking lot... We saw one get violent with a person. It's kind of scary. Sort of like waiting outside of Jamaica Station at night.
The first thing you notice about the hotel lobby is that it is very smokey. Remember, smoking indoors isn't a faux pas in Europe, and it take a little time to readjust. There are a couple of computers in the area where you wait for the shuttle, but you have to pay for internet. It's actually 30 pound per day, if you decide to use it from your room. A bit on the expensive side. And since I run my business through the internet, Holiday Inn Brent Cross really had me by the short hairs.
Checking in was easy enough. The registration desk is right past the entrance doors to the right side when you walk in. You just give them your ID and hotel confirmation information, and they give you your room and key. Then, you get into a tiny elevator that can fit about four people and make your way to your room.
The elevator was one of the worst parts about this hotel. It is absolutely tiny and extremely rickety. Plus, it is really, really slow and starts to move before the doors close. Needless to say, it freaked me out a bit, and I tried to use the stairs whenever possible.
The room itself was decent. A little smaller than what we are usually used to, but definitely a decent place to stay. There was a Queen-sized bed, coffee table, loveseat, two bedside tables, dresser with two drawers, television, and a desk and chair. Plus, there was an air conditioner / heater that was operated by placing your key into the slot on the wall. Once you took your key out, all of the electricity ceased working. It's a good way to save energy, but a lousy way to keep the room comfortable.
The bathroom was a nice size with a deep bathtub and shower, toilet, towel racks, robe hooks, granite vanity and sink. The hair dryer is provided as well, which was very convenient. The water pressure was not as hard as I would have liked it, but definitely hot.
Beware the minibar! It is extremely expensive, regardless of what you take from it. Don't even open it-- You get charged once you remove an item from the slot it was in, even if you don't consume it. There are vending machines right down the hall, plus the restaurant on the first floor and 24 hour room service.
The restaurant was more of a bar / lounge than a restaurant. The food was absolutely horrible: bland, rubbery, and extraordinarily expensive. The fish and chips, which I really wanted to try while in England, wasn't even good. On our first night, a steak sandwich, cheeseburger, french fries and two sodas cost us 45 pound. That's over $80 USD! We ate there once, and learned our lesson.
Two restaurants deliver to Holiday Inn Brent Cross. Be sure to ask your shuttle driver for information on them. One is a pizza place and the other is a Meditteranean place. The food is okay, but not the greatest. Room service was okay, too.
Craig and I didn't like England. We went there, really wanting to enjoy it. I think that the location of our hotel, the indifferent staff, overpriced food and lack of entertainment in the area really contributed to our dismay. As a matter of fact, we cut our vacation short by 2 days, and never want to return.
I suppose if you are a local, Holiday Inn Brent Cross may be a good choice for you. However, if you're a tourist and looking for a great place to stay that is near a lot of attractions, definitely pass this one by. Even if you are looking for a budget hotel, don't stay here. It just isn't worth it.