I have stayed in many Holiday Inns. I have written good reviews about them, and generally this one wasn't too bad either, except we had paid around £90 for bed and breakfast and a nights car parking, and only the car parking didn't have a major problem.
Check-in was smooth and amiable, the hotel and the room was clean. We had booked a double room for 2 adults and found the sofa bed had been made up for some reason so that had to be dismantled before we had somewhere to sit. As a sofa it was fine, as a bed there was no support to the mattress. The double bed was no better. The mattress wasn't just soft, it had given way. It needs throwing out. That's the one in room 311 if anyone in the management wants to know.
It was not a good nights sleep, I finally managed it by sleeping with the "firm" pillows filling the hollow in the mattress.
In the morning we looked forward to breakfast. The restaurant has great views and we were warmly greeted by a young Portugese waiter called Fabio who explained that because of the number of guests in the hotel breakfast would be cooked to order. This is a hotel guests dream breakfast - cooked fresh for you by the chef. The bacon was dried out and overcooked on one side but almost raw on the other. The black pudding had only been cooked on one side, the tomato was burnt on the cut surface and raw beneath the skin, the sausages overcooked on top and undercooked underneath. The mushrooms were so greasy that as they cooled a translucent glaze of congealed fat stuck them to the plate. The hash browns were perfect but my poached egg was solid and my companions "fried egg, sunny side up" was raw beneath a wafer thin layer of cooked white. He sent it back and got one easy over instead, complete with burnt edges.
If you are thinking of having a cold breakfast instead look at the state of the breakfast bar. The cheese is curling at the edges, as are the slices of sausage - perhaps that why they are labelled as cheese. The compote was a slush floating in its own defrost water.
One person in kitchen uniform did make a brief appearance to look at the food. I expected the Big Body Squad to be filming it.
We were asked at the desk if we had enjoyed the stay, and we answered that we did not. The staff took our details because there was no manager available. They even apologised for the £5 car parking fee saying Holiday Inn didn't own the car park. Perhaps thats why there was nothing wrong with it.
The advertised room rate, with parking, and wi-fi will cost someone nearly £200 a night. That is a disgrace.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay excited……The spectacular Holiday Inn Southend opened on 01st October 2012 !Stay relaxed……The hotel is the latest addition to the Holiday Inn portfolio and has 129 air conditioned bedrooms and features 27 executive rooms and 4 King superior rooms.Stay unique……In a first for Holiday Inn in the UK, the five-storey hotel also houses a fully sound-proofed rooftop bar and restaurant (1935 Rooftop Restaurant & Bar) offering spectacular views of London Southend airport and surrounding Essex countryside. The restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner (open to non residents also), and the bar if open for coffee and range of beverages from 10am - 11pm daily.Stay connected……Holiday Inn Southend will also offer a variety of conference and banqueting facilities, plus a choice of meeting rooms for up to 140 people and is within 40 minutes of central London.Stay devoted…..Choose Holiday Inn Southend for your Essex wedding venue, with flexible facilities we can help make it a day to remember. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Southend Southend-On-Sea, Essex