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The 3 Rs make this site work - Read, Rate and Review. Trying to keep 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.

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since 30/09/2015


Holiday Inn Algarve, Armacao de Pera 22/03/2017


Holiday Inn Algarve, Armacao de Pera (But it was a cracking view!) <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>> My husband can’t take leave over the Christmas period and we’re not great fans of the English winter, so we often head off in search of warmer climes in January-February. While searching for a good deal online a review of the “best value hotel” in Europe grabbed his attention. Reading on he was very taken with the description of Holiday Inn Algarve, and even more taken with the price. In past winter breaks we have chosen local branded hotels on the continent, but the write up and prices were too tempting to resist and we booked in for 6 nights at the end of January running into February. <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> Address: Holiday Inn Armacao de Pera, Avenida Marginal, Armacao de Pera, 8365-909 Algarve PORTUGAL Telephone: +351 282 320 260 Holiday Inn Algarve is, as the name suggests, located on the southern coast of Portugal, the Algarve. It is 53km west of the airport at the regional capital, Faro. The popular holiday resort of Albufeira lies 15.2km to the east of the hotel and Lagos is 49.6km beyond the hotel to the west. The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is 264 km to the north and slightly west of Holiday Inn Algarve. Holiday Inn Algarvel is located immediately above the sandy beach on the western edge of Armacao de Pera. Old photographs of the hotel in the lobby show that when it was built in the 1960s it was outside the boundary of the former fishing village, but as the years have gone by, so ...

Holiday Inn Bristol Airport, Bristol 14/03/2017


Holiday Inn Bristol Airport, Bristol <<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> My husband was looking for cheap flights from the UK to Faro, Portugal and found some at the end of January from Bristol. As often seems the case with us, Bristol is not our nearest airport and as the flight was early in the morning, we needed somewhere to stay. At the time of booking there was no on site hotel at Bristol airport, but there was a Holiday Inn Bristol Airport, which we could book using Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) Rewards points. It made a significant dent in the points bank, but at least no money changed hands. <<<<<<<<>>>>>>> Address: Bridgwater Road, A38, BRISTOL BS40 5RB Telephone: 01934 861123 Holiday Inn Bristol Airport is 3.2 miles South-west of Bristol airport. As the postcode suggests it is a fair way south west of the centre of Bristol at 11.5 miles. The hotel is 21.8 miles west of Bath, 67.7 miles north east of Exeter and 12.1 miles east of Weston-super-Mare. Driving south west from the airport the hotel is on the right hand side. <<<<<<<<>>>>>>> Holiday Inn has come a long way since its early beginnings as a hotel opened by Kemmons Wilson in 1952 in Memphis. Its name came about as a joke by Eddie Bluestein, the architect, and was taken from the 1942 Christmas themed film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, “Holiday Inn”. In partnership with Wallace E. Johnson, Wilson went on to build more Holiday Inns. In 1968, after a period of rapid expansion the 1000th Holiday Inn ...

Holiday Inn Express Kettering, Kettering 06/03/2017


Holiday Inn Express Kettering, Kettering <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>> Whilst planning a few days meeting up with family in the South and Midlands in early December, we noticed Holiday Inn Express Kettering had come up as a points break. Having had a good experience staying here previously in September 2015, we were keen to try it again. It was well positioned for breaking our journey and we could use points rather than cash to pay for it. After all who wants to get back late at night to a cold house when a warm hotel room is on offer with breakfast thrown in? <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> Address: Holiday Inn Express – Kettering, Rockingham Road, Kettering NN14 1UD Telephone: 01536 210210 Holiday Inn Express Kettering is by the southbound carriageway of the A43, 2.6 miles north of the centre of Kettering. It is 16.6 miles north east of Northampton from where it takes its postcode. Located in the south of the East Midlands, Holiday Inn Express Kettering is 39.5 miles east of Coventry, 64.5 miles south and a little east of Nottingham, 109 miles west and slightly south of Norwich and 83.5 miles north and a little west of London. Travelling from the south we could see the recognisable Holiday inn Express branding but managed to miss the turning in the dark for the hotel and drove several miles up to the next roundabout to double back only to miss the exit on the southbound carriageway. At our second attempt and when patience was wearing thin we took a left off the northbound carriageway towards North ...

Hotel Amic Horizonte, Palma de Majorca 25/02/2017


Hotel Amic Horizonte, Palma de Majorca <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>> We like to grab some last minute sun before the winter sets in. As we are no longer restricted to school holidays, we tend to head away when the prices drop at the end of the Autumn half term. So it was that we found ourselves looking for cheap flights leaving at the end of October. With the added incentive of Ryanair vouchers received as a birthday present, my husband found reasonably priced flights from Stansted to Palma, Mallorca. Whilst I accept that Ryanair is not everybody’s airline of choice, in our experience it serves its purpose and the are competitive. Having sorted the transport, my husband’s research turned to hotels and having decided that Hotel Amic Horizonte, Palma de Mallorca, within easy travelling distance of the airport, would do the job, he booked us in for a week half board. <<<<<<>>>>>>> Address: Hotel Amic Horizonte, Carrer de Vista Alegre, 1, 07015 Palma, Illes Balears, SPAIN Telephone : +34 902 40 06 61 The Balearic Islands, consisting of Mallorca (the biggest), Menorca and Ibiza lie in the Mediterranean Sea to the east of the Spanish mainland. Palma is the capital on Mallorca. Palma is roughly 280 km south of Barcelona, 470km west of the coast of Sardinia, 290 km north of Algiers, Algeria and 300km east of Valencia. Hotel Amic Horizonte, Palma is located on the other side of the capital, 13.3 km from the airport, around 20 minutes by taxi. The airport is further round the bay to the east and the ...

Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport, Stansted 10/02/2017


Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport, Stansted <<<<<<<>>>>> We have a tendency to put price ahead of convenience when we book airline flights. As a result we quite often find ourselves travelling a distance in the UK to get to an airport. So it was with Stansted in late October. As it was a fair drive and our flight was in the morning we looked for reasonable hotels nearby. It also seemed like a good idea to book in for the return leg in early November. My husband found that he could use Intercontinental Hotel Group Rewards points at the Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport, which was a deal clincher, as no money needed to change hands. We have often used Holiday Inn Express in the past and have been very happy with hotels of this brand. So this review is a two for one deal. One review about two separate stays. <<<<<<>>>>>> Address: Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport (STN), Thremhall Avenue, Stansted CM24 1PY Telephone: 01279 680015 Holiday Inn Express Stansted Airport is 31 miles south and slightly east of Cambridge, 34.7 miles west of Colchester, 38.8 miles north east of London and 39.9 miles west of Luton. It is 3.6 miles from Stansted Airport terminal and a transfer takes around 5 minutes. <<<<<<>>>>>> The Holiday Inn brand has been around since the first hotel of this name was opened in August 1952 in Memphis. The Holiday Inn name was a joking reference by the hotel’s architect to the 1942 musical of the same name starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Kemmons ...

Holiday Inn Express Grimsby, Grimsby 19/01/2017


Holiday Inn Express Grimsby, Grimsby <<<<<<>>>>>> That’s a good question. After all Grimsby is probably not everybody’s top choice location for a hotel break. We wanted to stay within travelling distance of family near Leeds. My husband had collected Intercontinental Hotel Group Rewards points, so we waited to see which hotels would come up on the points break list for 5000 points a night. Holiday Inn Express Grimsby fitted the bill, so we thought we would give it a try for three nights in September. <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> Address: Holiday Inn Express Grimsby 3-9 Wellowgate Grimsby DN32 0RA Telephone: 01472 806000 The old fishing port of Grimsby is located on the south side of the Humber estuary as it opens out towards the North Sea. Hull (via the Humber Bridge) is 33.5 miles north west, Skegness is 38.7 miles south east of Grimsby, Lincoln 35.8 miles south west and Doncaster 50.1 miles west. Holiday Inn Express Grimsby overlooks the station and a train to Lincoln from here (according to Google maps) takes the same time as travelling by car – 59 minutes. While we were staying at Holiday Inn Express Grimsby we travelled back to Leeds to visit family one day and on the other we took a trip round Cleethorpes (3.2 miles away) which was uninspiring on a drizzly day, Waltham Windmill (4.1miles), okay for a cup of tea in the tea shop and Louth (15.1 miles), where the mist cleared enough for us to climb the church tower. This was a slightly unnerving experience, as the lady in the church ...

Holiday Inn Darlington - A1 Scotch Corner, Darlington 16/01/2017


Holiday Inn Darlington - A1 Scotch Corner, Darlington <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>> We were looking for hotels in Yorkshire in September within an hour of family near Leeds. As my husband had collected IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) rewards points, we were watching for points breaks in the area. Holiday Inn Darlington – A1 Scotch Corner came up on the list for 5000 points per night. Although it was in North Yorkshire and on the limit of our preferred location, past experience of staying here once before had been good, so we booked in for three nights. <<<<<<<<>>>>>> Address: Holiday Inn Darlington – A1 Scotch Corner, Near Darlington, Scotch Corner Darlington DL10 6NR Telephone: 01748 850900 Holiday Inn Darlington-A1 Scotch Corner is 29.9 miles south and slightly west of Durham, 55 miles west of Whitby, 36.2 miles north of Harrogate and 76.1 miles east of Lake Windermere. <<<<<<<<>>>>>>>> Holiday Inn was originally founded as a U.S. motel chain. The first hotel was opened in August 1952 in Memphis. The “Holiday Inn” name was a joke by the hotel’s architect, referring to the 1942 musical starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. The original owner, Kemmons Wilson partnered with Wallace E. Johnson to build more motels on roads leading to Memphis. By early 1956 there were 23 Holiday Inns. Expansion was rapid. By 1958 there were 50 hotels, 100 by 1959 and 500 by 1964. In 1968 the 1000th Holiday inn opened in San Antonio, Texas. By June 1972 there were over 1,400 Holiday Inns worldwide. In ...

Ibis Leeds City Centre, Leeds 09/01/2017


Ibis Leeds City Centre, Leeds <<<<<<<>>>>>>> We were looking for somewhere to stay in Leeds for our daughter’s graduation at the end of July. Graduating seems to be something she makes a habit of, this being her third graduation ceremony within 13 months. But this one had the added bonus of Martin Lewis, the money saving expert himself, being awarded an honorary degree and making an entertaining speech (not often a given at graduation ceremonies). From past experience, finding reasonably priced rooms in university cities at the height of the graduation season can be challenging. So I was quite relieved, after a brief search a couple of months before, to come up with a room for a reasonable price at Hotel Ibis Leeds Centre. <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>> Address: Ibis Leeds Centre, 23 Marlborough Street Leeds WEST YORKSHIRE LS1 4PB Telephone: 0113 396 9600 Hotel Ibis Leeds Centre is located 1.18km from Leeds city centre, just to the north of the interchange where the A65(road to Ilkley and Skipton) meets the inner Leeds ring road, the A58(M). Harrogate is 16.4 miles north of Hotel Ibis Leeds Centre, Hull is 61.6 miles east, Wakefield 12 miles south and Bradford 9.5 miles west. <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>> The international hotel company, Ibis is owned by AccorHotels, which was founded as the Societe d’investissement et d’exploitation hoteliers (SIEH) hotel group in 1967 by Paul Debrulle and Gerard Pelisson when they opened the first Novotel hotel outside Lille in northern ...

Carlton Park Hotel, Rotherham 21/12/2016

EY UP. WE'RE IN T' 1970s!

Carlton Park Hotel, Rotherham (“Crossroads” or “Fawlty Towers”?) <<<<<>>>>>> We had been given a Buy a Gift voucher for a two night hotel stay by our family. As time was running out and we didn’t want to pay for an extension to the voucher dates, we looked for a suitable break. We selected Carlton Park Hotel Rotherham, because we had a graduation to go to in Leeds the following week and this was en route. The hotel also had leisure facilities, which we could make use of. I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered a room for my chosen dates, a Saturday and Sunday near the end of July. From past experience I have struggled to use Buy a Gift vouchers and have rung around several hotels before I’ve been able to make a booking. Sometimes the booking was only made by agreeing to pay a surcharge as the voucher was for a standard room and only executive rooms were available. But Carlton Park Hotel Rotherham had a room available and there was no extra cost. <<<<<<<>>>>>>>>> Address: Carlton Park Hotel 102-104 Moorgate Rd. Rotherham S60 2BG Telephoner: 01709 849955 Carlton Park Hotel Rotherham is located 1.7miles south east of Rotherham town centre. It is around 2.5 miles from Junction 33 of the M1 and also accessible via junction 1 of the M18 (4.6 miles). It lies 9.1 miles north east of Sheffield centre with the M1 running between Rotherham and Sheffield. Leeds is 37.1 miles north and slightly west from the hotel. Manchester is 45.9 miles to the west. Nottingham lies 39.8 ...

Hotel Kyriad Calais Sud-Coquelles, Calais 06/12/2016


Hotel Kyriad Calais Sud-Coquelles, Calais <<<<<>>>> Or more precisely : Why here again? (as this was our second time here within 12 months.) This was one of the many questions I asked myself during a one night stay at Hotel Kyriad Calais Sud-Coquelles in July. We were on our way back to the UK after a post referendum trip to France and Germany. Although our planned stock up on wine in Calais was more expensive than originally expected, due to the fall in the pound against the euro, there were still bargains to be had and we were keen to find them in the hypermarkets, before taking the Tunnel home. After all, what better way is there of putting to good use the space in an old people carrier after all the kids have left home? As our trip on Le Shuttle was booked for the following morning it made sense to shop and stay nearby. In September 2015 we found the cheapest option was to stay at Hotel Kyriad Calais Sud-Coquelles and (much to my disappointment) this also proved to be the case this July. We were also able to use Nectar points when booking through Expedia to cover part of the cost. Along with the price, I was once again persuaded by the hotel’s location. Auchan Calais is 550m away, Majestic Wine 250m and the hotel is 4km from Cite Europe shopping complex and the Eurotunnel Calais terminal. In short I suffered short term pain (a very basic hotel) for long term gain (a well stocked wine garage) and the alcohol won over a comfortable night’s stay. <<<<<>>>>>>. Kyriad hotels (2-3 *) are ...

Holiday Inn Englos Lille Ouest, Lille 02/12/2016


Holiday Inn Englos Lille Ouest, Lille <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>> Having taken a road trip from Calais to Strasbourg via Arras and Metz, we were on the return leg and needed somewhere to break the journey between Reims and Calais. Holiday Inn Englos Lille Ouest fitted the bill on several counts. It was located near the motorway, not far from a large retail outlet with handy transport links into Lille and was under 90 minutes drive to Calais. Added to this, Holiday Inn is a brand that we have often used and rarely been disappointed. The final clincher was that we could use IHG points to cover our stay, so it cost us nothing. <<<<<<<<>>>>>>>> Holiday Inn is a subsidiary of InterContinental Hotels Group. It was founded as a motel chain in the United States in 1952 in Memphis Tennessee. The brand name was taken from the Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire musical of the same name. The 1,000th Holiday Inn opened in San Antonio, Texas in 1968. In the 1980s Holiday Inn lost its market dominance and was renamed Holiday Corporation in 1985. In 1988 Bass PLC, based in the UK, bought Holiday Corporation. 1990 saw the launch of Express by Holiday Inn (now called Holiday Inn Express) a limited service brand. Bass bought the more luxurious InterContinental brand in 1998. Bass sold its brewing assets and name in 2000, changing to Six Continents PLC. In 2003 this was split into Mitchells & Butler PLC for restaurant assets and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for hotels, including the Holiday Inn brand. IHG owns the ...

Marriott Peterborough Hotel, Peterborough 29/08/2016


Marriott Peterborough Hotel, Peterborough <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>> When things didn’t run smoothly at check in, I had cause to ask this question myself. There were several reasons for our choice. We were heading off to Europe and my husband, realising that he finished work in the morning, wondered if we could get another night away. It was my birthday and, had we stayed at home, it would have been a day spent packing. A night in a hotel with a gym and pool was a much better prospect. We still had some Marriott points from a family wedding reception in the autumn and rather than waste them, it seemed a good idea to use them up and Peterborough was en-route to Ashford. <<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>> In 1927, John Willard Marriott, a Mormon missionary, seeing the need for cool drinks in the humid summers, opened a root beer stand in Washington DC. He later expanded the business into a chain of restaurants and hotels. In 1957 the first hotel, Twin Bridges Marriott Motor Hotel opened in Arlington, Virginia. John Willard Marriott’s son, J.W. (Bill) Marriott Jr presided over a period of spectacular worldwide growth in his 50 year career up to March 2012, when he turned the CEO responsibilities over to Arne Sorensen and became Executive Chairman. In 1969 the first international hotel opened in Acapulco, Mexico. In 1983 the first Courtyard hotel, aimed at business travellers, opened. In 1988 the 500th hotel opened in Warsaw, Poland and was said to be the first Western managed hotel in Eastern Europe. ...

Hotel Kyriad Design Enzo Reims - Tinqueux, Reims 18/08/2016


Hotel Kyriad Design Enzo Reims - Tinqueux, Reims <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> When it comes to holidays I tend to take the lazy way out. Having generally agreed to the destination, I leave the fine tuning and research to my husband. He has a proven track record of putting together good holidays whilst getting reasonable deals on accommodation. So it was with Hotel Kyriad Design Enzo Reims – Tinqueux. We were looking for a stopover on our way back from Strasbourg to Calais in early July. Reims looked like an interesting city to explore and fitted the bill. I was shown online images of the hotel and told the price, which sounded good. I was a little hesitant, as my only past experience of a Kyriad hotel had not been great, but my husband assured me that this was one up on our last Kyriad, as it was a design hotel and, having scoured hotels around Reims, he thought it was a good deal. <<<<<<<>>>>>>>> Kyriad Hotels (2-4 stars) are part of the Louvre Hotels Group along with Premiere Classe (1 star), Campanile (2-3 stars), Tulip Inn (3 stars), Golden Tulip (4 stars) and Royal Tulip (5 stars). The group is said to be number two in Europe’s hotel industry and, with a network of more than 1100 hotels in 51 countries, claims a spot in the world’s top five. The Groupe du Louvre was founded in 1976 by the Taittinger family (of champagne fame). It entered the budget hotel market with the opening of the first Campanile hotel restaurant. 1989 saw the opening of the first Premiere Classe Hotel and in 2001 ...

Holiday Inn Express Strasbourg Sud, Strasbourg 04/08/2016


Holiday Inn Express Strasbourg Sud, Strasbourg Intrigued by the title? Please read on for an explanation! <<<<<<<<>>>>>>> For the past couple of years we have talked of a trip to Germany, as my husband can’t ever recall going before and it’s many years since I last travelled there. For those of you quick to point out that Strasbourg is in France, I know, but its location close to the border makes it a good base for trips into the Black Forest. We had considered a flight + hotel trip to Strasbourg in the past, but it didn’t prove very cost effective. The clincher was Holiday Inn Express Strasbourg Sud turning up in the Intercontinental Hotel Groups list of hotels for points breaks, where a limited number of nights are available at a select number of IHG hotels globally for 5000 points per night, which is a bargain. My husband quickly booked for 6 nights in June/July using 30,000 points and then set about planning the rest of the holiday around it, having decided that taking the car would be the easiest option. <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>> Holiday Inn Express is a mid-priced hotel chain in the Intercontinental Hotel Group, which includes Intercontinental, Hotel indigo, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotel brands among others. Holiday inn Express is focused on limited service and reasonable price. It provides convenient and practical short term stays. In 1991 the first three Holiday Inn Express hotels were opened in the United States. Expansion to Europe came in 1996 with the opening of a hotel in ...

Novotel Metz Hauconcourt Hotel, Metz 01/08/2016


Novotel Metz Hauconcourt Hotel, Metz <<<<<<>>>>>>>>> On a recent road trip to Europe, my husband was looking for a suitable stop over between Arras and Strasbourg. Having done a lot of research, he came up with Metz and set about looking for a reasonably priced hotel nearby. The plan was to break our journey for a couple of nights here and take a look around the city. I have to admit that although I have been to France many times I hadn’t heard of Metz before. But as I tend to leave holiday planning up to my husband and I don’t have the time to go into all the detail, I trusted his judgement and agreed. On the map it appeared to be ‘en route’, although I questioned this a little as we detoured into Luxembourg, with me at the wheel and him tricking the sat nav to avoid the toll roads and pick up cheap fuel. After all, this was just a few days after Brexit and diesel at 95c a litre was a bargain, as everyone else agreed, judging from the queues at the service station. We had stayed at Novotels in Nice, Paris, Ypres and Newcastle previously and all were okay, so we thought this one would be a safe choice. <<<<<<>>>>> Novotel is a mid-scale hotel brand within Accor hotels group, slotting between Mercure and Pullman. There are 439 Novotel hotels and resorts in 60 countries. In 1967 Paul Dubrule and Gerard Pelisson founded the SIEH (Societe d’investissement et d’exploitation hoteliers) hotel group and opened their first Novotel in Lille Lesquin, Northern France. They launched the Ibis ...
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