Stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Pittsburgh South Side for 2 nights in May 2010.
The rooms. Based on seeing two rooms within the property (more on that later), you can expect the room to look exactly like the ones pictured on this and other sites. The rooms are actually quite spacious and have a working mini-fridge and sink. Bed was reasonably comfortable.
The advertised free continental breakfast was actually decent. The mini-cinnamon buns were probably the best part -- but you get reasonable choices (cereal [hot and cold], breads [bagels, toast, and biscuits], 1 type of egg per morning, 1 type of meat per morning [like sausage or bacon], various beverages including juice, milk, and coffee. You serve yourself like at a buffet.
Got the room through hotwire for $109 + tax per night which was not stellar but better than the advertised $189 + tax per night. Price was reasonable for the size/quality of the suite.
The pool! - Great for the kids, it was a bit smaller than I expected but fine for us. Most important, it was clean and towels were provided deck side.
The front desk staff were friendly and helpful. No complaints in terms of getting any assistance (directions/etc..). + On the first night, I asked where I could go to buy milk. A staff member asked how much I was looking for. When I told him just enough for my son, he told me to wait a second and went into the breakfast area (that was closed) and grabbed me a complimentary 250ml carton. A small gesture but VERY appreciated. ++ Also got moved to a non-smoking room (see Con below) on the 2nd night which the hotel certainly did not have to do. Greatly appreciated.
Free internet service is great! I used wired and had very little trouble getting access.
Got stuck with a smoking room. Can't exactly blame this on the hotel as I booked through hotwire. Am not penalizing the hotel here, just want to point out that you may not get a non-smoking room. The reason I saw 2 rooms is that they moved us to a non-smoking room on the 2nd night.
Location. Although I think it is a matter of the type of traveller you are. There is an extensive bar scene on the south side and for that reason, the location was quite popular with many of the guests who were young and single. For families, I'd be inclined to say that it is not the best spot to be. Personally, I would not have felt safe walking around the neighbourhood (the hotel is surrounded by a "bath house", a salvation army rehab centre and a "behavioural health" facility). Again probably not an issue for many travellers but a little disconcerting when you arrive with a family.
While the front desk staff is great -- there was a let down. After we booked through hotwire, I called the hotel and asked if they could switch me to a non-smoking room. The staff obliged but when I got there, I was told they were full and there was nothing they could do. Again, mostly my fault since I had booked through HW, but was disappointed when I thought they had made the arrangements. Again, the hotel switched me the 2nd night when they weren't obliged to move us at all.
We did the city tour with Just Ducky Tours. A little on the pricey side but fun nonetheless. And just as other reviewers have said, my son was allowed to drive the boat when we were on the water. It completely made his day. http://www.justduckytours.com/
For food: go to McCormick & Schmick's to eat off the happy hour menu. 1/2 pound Cheeseburger & fries is $2.95. There are other menu options that range from $1.95 - $4.95. Note: This menu is only offered at special times (monday - friday [3:30 -6:30]) or on gameday) and you must eat in the bar section of the restaurant. There is usually a drink requirement. Believe me, You will thank me for this. http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/Locations/pittsburgh-pennsylvania/pittsburgh-pennsylvania/FifthAve/menus.aspx
The other option is Morton's of Chicago for the bar bites menu from 5-6:30 and 9 - close
http://www.mortons.com/pittsburgh/bar/ -- get the 3 prime cheeseburgers!
As far as the shuttle service offered by the hotel -- Did not use it for a few reasons. But primarily b/c it operates on a first called/first served basis (and there is only 1 shuttle bus for the entire hotel). Didn't really want to risk being stuck out somewhere waiting for it to come get us. You also had to call the hotel to arrange for pickup and dropoff. Wondered if we'd actually get a seat if going to PNC park with everyone else from the hotel.
Primanti Brothers is overrated but a Pittsburgh tradition. I left feeling a bit disappointed.
Overall, I was satisfied with Holiday Inn Express Pittsburgh South Side and would recommend it to others.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Pittsburgh is conveniently located in Pittsburgh's historic South Side, well known for its famous Carson Street Nightlife. We are just a few blocks' walk to such great eateries as Mallorca, Pramanti Brothers, Carson City Saloon & the Cheesecake Factory. Shopping is also just a short walk away with something for everyone at South Side Works or Station Square and many others. During your stay at the Holiday Inn Express hotel take in a game at Heinz Field, home of the Steelers, PNC Park, home of the Pirates or Concol Energy Center, home of the Penguins. For our corporate guests we are located just a shuttle ride away from such companies as US Steel, Finmeccanica Spa, PPG Place, the FBI building, Dynavox and General Dynamics. We also offer an on site restaurant & lounge open until 10pm, Bridge Ten Brassiere. Visit Pittsburgh & Stay Smart at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel Pittsburgh! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Pittsburgh South Side Hotel Pittsburgh