Thursday, May 30, 2013

Travel Review: Holiday Inn Express - Circleville, Ohio

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Nice sized, comfortable room
Cons: Pool and fitness center could be larger
The Bottom Line: Comfortable room
Amenities were mixed bag
Still, great place to stay

I Might Be Sold on Holiday Inn Express After My Stay in Their Circleville Hotel

About a month ago, I took a trip visiting family and friends in three states.  My final stop involved meeting a bunch of friends in Circleville, Ohio.  We stayed in the Holiday Inn Express there, and we all really enjoyed our stay.

Location

The Holiday Inn Express is located on US Route 23 South.  You actually can't miss the signs is you are paying attention.  It's across the highway from the Wal-Mart and back behind a Tim Hortons/Cold Stone Creamery combo.  (No, I didn't walk down there for ice cream one night.  I have no idea what you are talking about.)  The hotel is located far enough from the highway that you won't get much traffic noise in your room.

Rooms

This hotel actually offers single and double rooms.  Both are extremely spacious.  I had a single room with just one queen size bed in it.  I actually enjoyed being able to spread my stuff out and not trip over it as I was walking around the room.  Of course, the room had a TV in an entertainment center/dresser combo.  There was a desk that was pretty large.  I also had a comfortable chair I could sit in and relax.

Many of my friends had double rooms.  Even with two queen size beds in the room, there was still plenty of space for the desk and dresser.  There was even a couch in a little alcove between the bathroom and the bedroom.

I will admit I was surprised to find that the sink was in the bathroom itself.  I've gotten used to seeing the sink separate from the toilet and shower, but that wasn't the case here.  Other than that, the bathroom was clean and worked fine.  The shower/tub combo was plenty big.

The hotel was also fairly quiet.  I never heard any noise in my room from my neighbors or anyone in the hall.

The bed was wonderful.  I was able to comfortable in just a few minutes.  The pillows were soft and helped me drift off to sleep quickly.  (Okay, so all the physical activity I was doing and the late hours probably helped, too, but it truly was comfortable.)

Since I was part of a group, check in and check out were very easy.  Everything had been paid ahead of time.

The rates on the hotel seem to be fairly standard hotel rates most of the time.  Every October, Circleville hosts a giant pumpkin festival, and the rates definitely go up during this high demand weekend.

Amenities

The hotel does offer an indoor pool, an exercise room, and a meeting room.  All three are small.  We still managed to cram all 40+ of us into the meeting room one night for a pizza dinner.

The pool goes from three and a half feet to five feet deep.  It's big enough to splash around and cool off, but not big enough to do much else.  They claim they heat the pool, but it sure didn't feel like it either time I got in it.

The fitness center is right next door to the pool and consists of two treadmills and a stationary bike.  The room does have a TV in it and is just big enough to house all three pieces of equipment and be almost comfortable.

They serve a very nice breakfast there.  In addition to cold stuff like fruit, yogurt, cereal, and bagels, they've got scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy.

And they have free internet.  You can either connect to their wireless network or bring a connection and plug into the jack by the desk.  I hadn't counted on having internet access for that leg of my trip, so that was a very nice surprise.  You do have to agree to the conditions of use every 24 hours, but it's a simple process.

Conclusion

I don't remember staying at a Holiday Inn Express before, but I was quite happy with the experience.  Yes, the amenities could have been better, but that's my only real complaint.  If all of them are as good as the one in Circleville, I'll be very willing to stay at one again in the future.

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