Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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With over 2,800 properties and more than 298,000 rooms worldwide, Holiday Inn Express — a limited-service, mid-price hotel chain owned and operated by IHG Hotels & Resorts — is by far the largest brand in the IHG portfolio.
While you’ll find Holiday Inn Express hotels in 50 countries around the world, from Costa Rica to New Zealand, the vast majority of them are located throughout Europe and the U.S.
The brand, originally conceived as an “express” hotel, still targets upper-economy customers — predominantly families and business travelers — by offering limited but dependable amenities that maximize convenience, all for an exceptional value.
Here’s what you can expect from a stay at a Holiday Inn Express.
IHG classifies Holiday Inn Express as a limited-service hotel brand. This means, with a few exceptions, that most locations do not offer a full restaurant, bar, or spa.
What you will find at any given property are the key amenities smart travelers look for most. Most notably, all locations serve a complimentary hot, fresh breakfast in addition to free coffee and tea in the lobby 24 hours a day.
Guest rooms, while basic, are comfortable and uncomplicated, featuring triple-sheeted beds, free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, coffee makers, and microwaves. You’ll also be able to enjoy a fitness center, business center, and pool area at most locations, as well as a free shuttle service to and from the nearby airport.
For travelers seeking convenience at a low cost, at a Holiday Inn Express, you’ll find everything you need for a clean, modern, and dependable overnight stay wherever you go.
“We’ve got you covered — now and later” is the Holiday Inn Express promise, and no hotel feature is more emblematic of that concept than the Express Start Breakfast Bar.
The hot breakfast buffet served every morning is complimentary for all standard bookings and includes bacon, eggs, and a make-your-own pancake machine. There’s even a Grab ‘n’ Go option to help busy, time-strapped travelers start their days without a hitch.
Holiday Inn Express and Suites are an extended part of the Holiday Inn Express brand — perfect for travelers planning an extended stay or who require more space to spread out.
At these locations, when you upgrade to a suite, expect all the standard services, including free breakfast and Wi-Fi, in addition to pull-out sofa beds and a kitchenette.
Hot Tip: Don’t get Holiday Inn Express confused with Holiday Inn Hotels — they are similar-sounding but separate brands.
To get even more out of your stay at a Holiday Inn Express, it might be wise to invest in one of the co-branded IHG credit cards issued exclusively by Chase.
Earn up to 17x when you stay at IHG hotels, 3x on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants, and 2x on all other purchases.
If you’re someone who is looking to enhance your IHG stays by earning more points and benefits, without paying an annual fee, then the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card might be the perfect fit for you.
In this guide, we will provide a detailed view of what the card can offer so you can decide if it makes sense to add to your wallet.
The perfect card for IHG fans, offering a free night every year, automatic Platinum Elite status, and your fourth night free on award stays.
If you regularly visit IHG hotels throughout the year, then the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is probably a perfect card to have in your wallet.
The IHG Premier card offers a great bundle of perks and benefits, including automatic Platinum elite status, an annual free night certificate, and travel protections.
The IHG Premier Business card is the perfect option for business travelers who regularly stay at IHG hotels.
IHG Rewards and Chase have teamed up to offer the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Card, a compelling option for those who travel often for their business and stay at IHG hotels.
In this review, we will cover all of the benefits of the card, including earning rates, perks, fees, and more to help you determine whether the card is a good fit for your travel goals.
As soon as you sign up, you’ll automatically gain access to a handful of useful perks at any Holiday Express location, including exclusive member rates and reward nights. The IHG Premier card even comes with a free hotel night at each card anniversary!
Cardholders also receive the benefit of IHG One Rewards elite status — Platinum Elite status comes with the IHG Premier card and IHG Premier Business card while Silver Elite status comes with the IHG Traveler card.
As one of the most prolific and widespread chains in the IHG brand portfolio, you’ll find multiple Holiday Inn Express properties in countries around the world as well as multiple locations in every U.S. state — sometimes even within a single city.
Because of this, Holiday Inn Express hotels are known as much for accessibility as they are for affordability, making them a hit with both business and leisure travelers. Below, we’ll be exploring and discussing the top 15 most popular Holiday Inn Express locations in the U.S. based on search volume and recent demand.
Before the Holiday Inn Express Waikiki debuted in 2017, the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Nashville outpost used to be the brand’s largest location in the U.S. Here, you’ll find nearly 300 guest rooms as well as over 10,000 square feet of meeting space, making this an especially popular pick for business travelers, corporate functions, and events.
Along with a seasonal outdoor pool and fitness center, guests are treated to a few extra on-site amenities including complimentary shoe shines and nightly live music, accompanied by snacks and beverages.
Although the hotel is most associated with the convention center, many popular Nashville attractions like the Johnny Cash Museum, Ryman Auditorium, and Nissan Stadium are equally close by. Self-parking is available for $30 a night.
Expect to redeem anywhere from 22,500 to 40,000 points for a reward night at this property. Cash rates average around $140 per night for a standard room.
The best of world-famous Waikiki is within easy reach from this Holiday Inn Express, located slightly west of central Waikiki. Because the property is just 3 blocks from the beach, rooms on higher floors feature views of the ocean. Sadly, there are no balconies.
While guest rooms are relatively basic, the on-site amenities are where this hotel truly shines: there’s an outdoor pool with cabanas, a rare-for-the-brand full-service restaurant, and a fifth-floor sundeck featuring shuffleboard and mini-golf. A $25 resort fee covers the use of these facilities as well as yoga classes at the fitness center and a kids game room stocked with video games.
Get to the pool early if you want a chair; otherwise, the concierge desk will happily arrange activities like parasailing, Pearl Harbor tours, or luau dinners. A short 5-minute walk is all it takes to reach the shops and restaurants of buzzy Kalakaua Avenue, while Diamond Head requires a 15-minute drive.
Reward nights here range from 30,000 to 40,000 points per night excluding the hotel’s resort fee. Paid rates hover around $245.
Hot Tip: Visiting Hawaii is rarely cheap, so we’ve assembled a guide of the best times to visit Hawaii (by seasons and islands) to help you navigate everything from affordable rates to fun in the sun.
Balboa Park and San Diego’s trendy Gaslamp Quarter are just blocks away from this Holiday Inn Express, whose central location also puts you extremely close to several other popular San Diego attractions including Little Italy and Petco Park.
While free Wi-Fi and hot breakfast come standard, more unique features include a complimentary shuttle service to and from San Diego International Airport (SAN), the San Diego Zoo, and the cruise ship terminal. There’s also an on-site café, a heated outdoor pool, and a happy hour in the lobby that takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Daily parking is $23 a day.
Reward nights for this San Diego property can be booked from 20,000 to 32,500 points per night, while cash rates average around $175 for a standard room.
Hot Tip: Feeling peckish after hours? Stop by the hotel lobby at 8 p.m. each night when staff put out platters of fresh-baked cookies.
You’ll be just 2 miles from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim entrance and visitor’s center when you book a stay at the Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon, making this a great base for taking advantage of the park’s only entry point that’s open year-round.
Although there’s no restaurant on-site, the hotel is within easy walking distance of Tusayan’s main strip, which is home to dozens of restaurants, shops, the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater, and tour operators that can arrange unique park excursions like horseback rides in the valley or rafting down the Colorado River.
The hotel is also an easy 45-minute drive from the Desert View Watchtower, a 70-foot-high stone structure whose observation deck affords sweeping panoramas of the South Rim.
After taking in those jaw-dropping views, relax in the hotel’s heated indoor pool and whirlpool — a big hit with families that’s especially appealing during the winter. If you’re traveling with the gang, consider booking a Kids Suite, which comes with bunk beds and video games. Fair warning: while free, Wi-Fi can be slow in this remote part of Arizona.
Reward nights here depend heavily on the park’s peak visiting times and can range anywhere from 22,500 to 40,000 points per night. Paid rates tend to average around $170 for a standard room.
Hot Tip: From May to September, the National Park Service runs a free shuttle bus to the visitor’s center that makes a stop at this hotel.
This isn’t your average Holiday Inn Express.
Sure, it comes with all the expected amenities — free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, a 24-hour fitness center, 3-star accommodations — but with the unique benefit of being connected by a sky bridge to Denver’s luxurious Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, where Holiday Inn Express guests are granted access to its spa facilities, restaurants, and concierge services.
Also, because the hotel is located inside a high-rise building, higher guest rooms feature skyline views. That said, in-room features are limited. You’ll find no mini-fridges here — usually standard for the brand.
Spend time exploring Denver’s surrounding financial district. From here, it’s just 10 minutes to the 16th Street Mall’s bars and restaurants, 12 minutes to the Denver Art Museum, 3 minutes to the Paramount Theater, and 6 minutes to the light rail. Parking is valet-only and expensive at $42 per night.
Reward nights can be redeemed here from 17,500 to 30,000 points per night. Paid rates average around $160.
Hot Tip: As part of the hotel’s partnership with neighboring Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Holiday Inn Express guests can enjoy discounts off of lunch and dinner at the Ship Tavern restaurant.
Talk about historic. The Holiday Inn Express San Antonio’s River Walk location occupies a refurbished 1800s county jail built using the same limestone as the Alamo, and the brand couldn’t have picked a more suitable address for such a vibrant neighborhood.
Just 3 blocks separate the hotel from the River Walk, a network of walkways fronting the San Antonio River that is lined with atmospheric shops and restaurants. The Alamo is an easy 15-minute walk east. The San Antonio Missions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are 15 minutes away by car.
Guest rooms include microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers, while the outdoor pool and fitness center are nice distractions. Parking is valet only and costs $17 per night.
Reward night redemptions here range from 12,500 to 25,000 points per night. Cash rates hover around $112 per night for a standard room.
This hotel isn’t kidding: you can’t get much closer to one of America’s greatest theme parks than during a stay the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Nearest Universal Orlando, which sits within walking distance to Universal Orlando Resort.
Also, forget about long lines waiting for parking and tickets. Hotel parking is free, and park tickets can be picked up right at the hotel’s own Universal kiosk.
The suites are great for families, offering more space including sleeper sofas and kitchenettes. After a jam-packed day spent riding roller coasters and drinking Butterbeer, kick back at the hotel’s heated outdoor pool, hit the fitness center, or pick up some snacks at the 24-hour market.
Being on International Drive also puts you within a stone’s throw of some of Orlando’s best restaurants, shops, and entertainment, including the Mall at Millenia. Walt Disney World Resort and SeaWorld Orlando are both less than a 20-minute drive away.
Rates here are competitive for being in such a convenient location. Reward nights range from 12,500 to 30,000 points per night, while paid rates hover around $100 for a standard room.
It’s a toss-up whether business travelers or students and their families love the Holiday Inn Express Boston more. Either way, the hotel’s location is unbeatable — within 2 miles of the Hynes Convention Center, the University of Massachusetts, and the Boston and Tufts medical centers.
Not only is Boston’s South Bay neighborhood right on your doorstep, you’re within striking distance of the South End, a district famous for its pretty brownstones and incredible food. From here, the rest of downtown is just a T ride away.
Back at the hotel, hot breakfast, a fitness center, and free Wi-Fi ensure you start and end your visit to Boston right. There’s also a convenient 24-hour shuttle that connects to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), the Red Line public transportation station, and the Boston Convention Center. On-site parking is available for $2o per night.
Expect to redeem from 20,000 to 32,500 points for a reward night at this property. If paying by cash or card, rooms average around $250 per night.
Springfield is an unassuming hub for art and culture. This is the home of the Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Springfield Museums, which includes the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss. You’ll be near it all when you stay at the Holiday Inn Express Springfield Downtown.
Expect all of the typical brand amenities, including free breakfast and Wi-Fi, a heated outdoor pool, a fitness and business center, and in-room HBO access. Parking is also free — a nice touch.
Reward night stays can typically be redeemed for 17,500 points per night, while paid rates average about $150 per night for a standard room.
In town for a big event or conference? This Holiday Inn Express puts you right in the heart of the action. Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Colts) is right next door while the Indiana Convention Center sits 2 blocks away.
The Circle Center Mall is also within walking distance, though you can also get there using the hotel’s complimentary city shuttle service, which connects guests to various points in the downtown area.
When you’re not exploring the Indianapolis Zoo or the NCAA Hall of Champions, take your pick between relaxing in the hotel’s heated indoor pool and whirlpool, breaking a sweat in the fitness center, or kicking back in your guest room, which comes with a sofa bed, mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and flat-screen TV with access to cable and Showtime. On-site parking incurs a $20 nightly fee.
Points redemptions vary widely here. Expect to use anywhere from 17,500 to 35,000 points for a reward night. Otherwise, standard rooms average around $105 per night.
With a stay at the Holiday Inn Express Las Vegas – South, you’ll trade the lights and noise of downtown Vegas for a different set of attractions. Not only is this hotel just a street away from Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), it’s also around the corner from the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and Allegiant Stadium — home of the Raiders.
Along with its unbeatable accessibility from the airport, business travelers favor this spot for its business center, proximity to the Convention Center and T-Mobile Arena, and affordability. Rates here tend to be lower than the nearby Holiday Inn Express & Suites Las Vegas – E Tropicana, which is closer to the Strip.
The outdoor pool area is a humble but serene spot to unwind after a round at the slots. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center, and standard guest rooms come with an HDTV-capable flat-screen and coffee makers. Self-parking is available for $10 a day.
Reward nights for this Las Vegas property can be booked from 17,500 to 30,000 points per night, while paid rates average around $160 for a standard room.
Although the Holiday Inn Express Charleston Downtown – Medical Area is most associated with the nearby Medical University of South Carolina, it does its best to channel Charleston‘s charming vibes.
Guest rooms, in particular, are brightened by teal-colored bed skirts and walls as well as small balconies, which feature views of the Ashley River in southwest-facing rooms. Free Wi-Fi, microwaves, coffee makers, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs with free HBO access come standard.
Expect the brand’s complimentary hot breakfast in addition to an outdoor pool, fitness center, and complimentary self-parking. The Westside address puts you within an 11-minute drive to Charleston’s Historic District.
Reward nights can be redeemed here from 17,500 to 27,500 points per night. Cash rates average around $115.
This modern and relatively new property in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City is well-suited for those traveling on business who are looking to stay close to the Salt Palace Convention Center. It’s also easily accessible from almost every major transit hub including the airport, train station, and multiple interstates.
Convenience is paramount here. The indoor pool, spa, and dry sauna (a nice added perk) all stay open 24 hours a day while the fitness center only closes for 1 hour before midnight. There’s also a business center and restaurant connected to the lobby called Fat Jack’s Tap House, which is open for lunch and dinner and — score! — delivers room service during dinner hours.
Reward nights here range from 17,500 to 22,500 points per night while paid rates hover around $110.
Holiday Inn Express Hilton Head Island is a reasonably priced, tranquil hotel set close to the beach. You’re just a 6-minute walk from Coligny Beach and Coligny Plaza Shopping Center and a 15-minute drive to the Harbour Town Lighthouse.
This happens to be a popular spot for celebrations and conferences thanks to the hotel’s top-notch service, clean and modern facilities, and picturesque outdoor heated pool and sundeck that offers towel service.
Rooms are spread out across the property’s 6 acres, but luckily, a 12-passenger shuttle is available to whisk guests to breakfast. There’s also a trolley, courtesy of Guest Services, that connects to nearby beaches and restaurants.
You can redeem a reward stay here for 15,000 to 25,000 points per night, though that excludes the property’s $18 amenity fee. Paid rates also rise and fall according to seasonality but typically hover around $200.
Travelers in Nashville on business and anyone at the mercy of an early flight will appreciate that they are just 7 minutes from Nashville International Airport (BNA) when they book a room at this Holiday Inn Express. Major businesses, including Amazon, Dell, and UBS, are also close by for employees.
The hotel’s cul-de-sac location makes it a quiet spot for enjoying the outdoor pool and getting work done, even during short visits. Have some unexpected free time and want to see the sights? Downtown Nashville is just a 15-minute drive west, where you can tour the Country Music Hall of Fame or see a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
When it’s time to catch your departing flight, hop aboard the hotel’s free, 24-hour shuttle, which connects guests to and from the airport (or anywhere else within a 2-mile radius).
Expect to redeem between 17,500 and 25,000 points for a reward night at this hotel. If paying by cash or card, rooms average around $140 per night.
While IHG’s Holiday Inn Express brand is certainly mid-scale — décor is simple and straightforward, extra features are limited, and you won’t find many differences between properties save for their locations — the chain delivers the right level of comfort, convenience, and affordability that many travelers seek. Plus, the free hot breakfast is always a welcome touch.
Look into giving your IHG One Rewards account a boost with a co-branded credit card to help you earn even more points for your next award stay.
The biggest difference revolves around food. Holiday Inn always offers a full-service restaurant and bar on-site, but breakfast has a fee. Complimentary breakfast is standard at Holiday Inn Express.
Holiday Inn Express properties generally sit in the suburbs and near highways while Holiday Inns are typically found closer to city centers and major attractions.
Holiday Inn Express also tends to be more recently renovated than Holiday Inn.
Breakfast hours vary slightly between Holiday Inn Express locations. Some hotels serve breakfast between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., while others serve food between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.
While the look and feel of guest rooms might vary slightly between Holiday Inn Express properties, the in-room amenities remain essentially the same. For standard rooms, expect to find triple-sheeted beds with bedside outlets as well as a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker with free coffee and tea pods, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi.
Prices for award stays at Holiday Inn Express properties vary widely by location and seasonality. You’ll find that the lowest room redemptions for IHG hotels begin at 10,000 points per night and rarely exceed 40,000 points per night.
Some, but not all, Holiday Inn Express hotels allow furry friends inside guest rooms. Those hotels that do have pet-welcome policies charge varying nightly fees and enforce certain restrictions on breeds and the number of pets you can bring to the property. Be sure to check with your hotel ahead of time before bringing Fido along.
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Currently based in New York, Lindsey spent her childhood in Connecticut dreaming of far-off places. Her first flight was to Disney World at age 11. Her second flight was for a high school field trip to Italy, though travel as a career didn’t stick until she studied abroad in London during college and discovered the true power of her passport. Since then, she’s worked as a travel editor at Jetsetter and Travel + Leisure, where she reported on everything from African safaris to hot hotel openings to, yes, Disney World.
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