On our way back from South Carolina, we made it as far as Knoxville by sunset. I hadn't planned where to stay and I misplaced by Tennessee AAA Guide. However, I saw a billboard for the new Holiday Inn Express. The HIX Chain usually compares to Comfort Suites, Hampton Inn or Fairfield Inn, which sounded sounded like just what we wanted. Fortunately, this hotel did not let us down.
The Holiday Inn Express on Papermill Drive is a new hotel just off I-40, and it appears to have just opened earlier this year. There isn't very much else near the hotel, other than a Waffle House. However, the HIX Papermill Drive is a very good quality hotel and very clean throughout. The staff was quite friendly and helpful. With the AAA discount, the price was $99/night, plus tax. The hotel was very clean and open, and our room was spacious and tastefully decorated. The beds were very comfortable and the room was also fitted with a 55” HDTV (which was more than I expected). Our standard room also had a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.
The breakfast was good. It's typical for the HIX chain, which is slightly better than what Choice Hotels ususally offers. The parking in the front of the hotel is limited, but there is more behind the hotel. There is a small exercise room, which we did not use. And there is an indoor pool with hot tub, which was out of service when we stayed.
While I don't often stay at Holiday Inn Express, the new Knoxville location is a good example of what the chain strives to be. In terms of quality, price and location, it worked out very well for us. I'm glad we stopped.
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