Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport, Stansted

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Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport, Stansted

This newly built hotel is ideally located within 5 minutes of London Stansted Airport terminals via the hotel transfer bus, and an ideal base for both...

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Review of "Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport, Stansted"

published 10/02/2017 | Westy4
Member since : 30/09/2015
Reviews : 55
Members who trust : 20
About me :
Back after decorating,work and holiday. Still convinced that the 3 Rs make this site work - Read, Rate and Review. Trying to catch up with doing the 3 Rs as much as possible. Very grateful for all the Reads and Rates of my Reviews from others on Ciao.
Pro Convenient location, breakfast included.
Cons Accommodation in need of refurbishment, poor maintenance.
Value for Money


Car park and front of hotel.

Car park and front of hotel.


Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport was well signposted as we approached the airport and the recognisable branding on the modern 4 floor high crescent shaped structure was easy to spot. There were barriers at the entrance to a good sized car park in front of the hotel. Both times we parked here in the afternoon and early evening there was a choice of available spaces. Although over 10 years old the building from the outside still appeared modern and my hopes were high as we approached the wide main entrance.

The inside initially did not disappoint. There were sofas and alcove areas near the entrance and behind, along the back wall, there was a dining area. Initial impressions were more those of a mid-range 3 star hotel rather than a 2 star limited service hotel, but first impressions can be deceptive!

The reception was to the left of the entrance and, as is often the case, curved round to join the bar area. Check in was smooth and efficient, made all the more so by the offer of 2 drinks with snacks. I should perhaps explain that I have often been slightly put out by the offer of a drink and a snack to my husband or points for his IHG membership. My argument is that if there are clearly two guests in a room then surely the polite thing to do would be to offer 2 drinks! But in this area at least Holiday Inn Express Stansted airport scored well, by giving us both a drink voucher. Unfortunately, as I later discovered, everything was not quite as good as it seemed and we were grateful of a stiff drink at the bar.

There were rooms on all 4 floors including the ground floor, which might have been a good option, as the infrastructure (notably the lifts) was showing its age. One of the three lifts was out of order and the operation of the other two was, at best, problematic. The crescent shape design made for long corridors, which were starting to look dated. Clearly any investment had been used on sprucing up the ground floor public areas and the entrance.

I will start by describing our first room in Holiday inn Express Stansted Airport. (We actually ended up with key cards to three different rooms during stays of two separate nights, but the reasons for this will become clearer as I go on).

First impressions were that the room was a little narrower than many Holiday Inn Express rooms we have had in the past. I guess the impression wasn’t helped with the addition of hold luggage in an airport hotel rather than an overnight bag. But it didn’t feel like there was a lot of floor space at the end of the bed.

The three magnolia painted walls helped to open up the room a little, with the wall behind the bed painted in a mushroom colour. The carpet was striped in dull yellow and black. The door onto the corridor and the one into the bathroom were of a light wood colour matching the fitted furniture. There was a built in open unit with dark wood shelves opposite the shower room door, which was on a slight angle. The unit had space for a suitcase, a hanging area, wired in tea/coffee making facilities on a shelf and there was a tall mirror with a wired in hairdryer. Nothing was left to chance in this hotel for light fingered guests planning on acquiring a hairdryer or kettle!

Further along the wall, beyond the bed there was a built in desk with a dark top supported by a stainless steel leg and with light wood backing on the wall behind. There was a built in desk lamp suspended over the desk and a very small free-standing flat screen TV at an angle in the corner. There was a light wood framed chair with arms and orange padded material.

Nearly half of the external wall was taken up with a full length window with net curtains and striped red, orange and gold curtains. In the small space by the window there was a tall upright white shaded light, attached to the wall next to a dark blue sofa bed with one arm rest on the wall side. This matched the colour of the bed base and the dark blue runner on the bed.

The double bed was backed by a light wood built in headboard with an integral strip light over the bed and reading light attached above dark wood bedside shelves on each side. There was the usual telephone, which is always useful if there’s a problem, as it’s easier to ring reception than negotiate dodgy lifts. The bed had a white duvet and 4 white pillows. The room had air conditioning (of which more later) and also radiators in the bedroom and shower room and the wi-fi was useful.

First impressions of the shower room in Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport were that it was functional. (I later realised that this description was a little hasty, as I was presuming that everything was in working order.) This room showed the age of the hotel, as it was a throwback to the old design of Holiday Inn Express shower rooms, where someone had come up with the ingenuous idea that, by placing the toilet cubicle by the door next to the shower enclosure the shower room door could be swung back to enclose the toilet area.

The shower room was clean with large beige floor tiles and large white tiles on the wall with a dark blue/green mosaic style row of small tiles running around the wall at sink height. There was a useful towel rail on the wall near the door, with a tissue box attached above it and a small glass shelf above that.

There was a small circular sink inset into a granite effect work top with a useful additional towel rail built into it. The sink was overlooked by a three sided mirror reaching to the ceiling. There was a soap dispenser by the sink, which I would describe as bubble gum, because of the vibrant pink colour of the contents. There was a similar dispenser in the shower, which was enclosed with a shower curtain.
The shower room was well lit by spotlights inset in the ceiling and with the useful addition of a blue light option. This is great for those who are prone to using the toilet in the night and don’t want to be fully woken up by bright lights, but its successful usage presupposes that the user, in a semi-somnolent state is successful in the dark at finding the right switch! I have lost count of the number of occasions when I’ve been woken from a deep sleep in an unfamiliar hotel room with the lights full on, followed quickly by a muttered apology as my husband has hit the wrong light switch on his way to the bathroom.


One of the advantages of staying in Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport was the inclusion of breakfast. For those expecting a full English cooked breakfast, Holiday Inn Express hotels, with their limited hot offering, would disappoint. But, as hotel breakfasts go I usually find enough to eat to keep me going well beyond lunchtime.
Unfortunately, this didn’t prove to be the case at Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport at a time when, with a flight ahead of you, a good filling breakfast would be a help. Breakfast, even by Holiday Inn Express standards was not outstanding and could best be described as minimal.

The cereals in dispensers (always prone to leaving a mess) were cornflakes, crunchy nut, rice crispies, Special K, branflakes and coco pops. There was no muesli. Milk dispensers gave a choice of full fat or semi-skimmed. There were two machines for hot drinks and two juice machines offering orange juice, apple juice and water.

The hot offering consisted of scrambled eggs, baked beans and sausages, which is standard Holiday Inn Express fare. I made the mistake of picking up a bread roll, but, although the idea of keeping them warm was fine, in reality it was dried out and hard.

There was one toaster, which caused a queue and unusually the bread was not located next to it. There was a selection of sweet spreads. There were also mini pain au chocolat and croissants. Gone are the days of full size croissants in many Holiday Inn hotels, as the brand seems to have taken upon itself to address the nation’s obesity crisis! There were no muffins, which were a favourite with our children in years gone by and which I still see in other Holiday Inn Express hotels.

The cooler/chiller cabinet was in two sections and this highlighted for me the minimalist approach. In one section there were grapefruit segments, tinned peach slices, prunes, sliced cheese and yogurts. On the other side there were small containers of butter and margarine looking very forlorn and isolated with a cooler cabinet to themselves.

The fresh fruit selection was especially disappointing, as it consisted of a bowl of apples (not much variety here and certainly no oranges or bananas).

At best breakfast could be described as adequate, but I found it much more basic than the breakfasts I have eaten in this brand of hotels elsewhere.

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Comments on this review

  • raspberry_ripple published 16/03/2017
  • danielalong published 10/03/2017
    E x
  • elfbwillow published 03/03/2017
    Very well written. E :)
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Product Information : Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport, Stansted

Manufacturer's product description

This newly built hotel is ideally located within 5 minutes of London Stansted Airport terminals via the hotel transfer bus, and an ideal base for both leisure or business travellers.

Product Details

Rooms: 183, 254

Type: Hotel

Address: Thremhall Ave, London Stansted Airport, Stansted, Essex, CM24 1PY

City: Stansted, Stansted Mountfitchet

Country: England, United Kingdom

Continent: Europe

County: Essex

Post Code: CM24 1PY

Rating: 3 Stars

Long Name: Express By Holiday Inn London Stansted Airport


Listed on Ciao since: 04/07/2006