This is a 3* hotel, 3* price. That said, yes, this is a new hotel (1 year old). However, please note it is a Holiday Inn; NOT Holiday Inn Express. So forget your ideas about HIE -- free breakfast buffet. This is a new class of HI... their so-called "new generation" of hotel with an indoor pool and an in-house restaurant. HI's attempt at "upscale" it would seem.
The hotel is definitely fresh, clean, tidy -- all of the basic things one expects for in a hotel. Beds are comfortable, soft linens. Choice of pillows is nice (though more than four TINY pillows on a King-size would make more sense). Flat screen TVs in room and throughout hotel (including in restaurant), but seems like all hotels have these now.
The worst part of this hotel: location, location, location. Arriving on 281 South, we had to exit 281 @ 1604, go down 2 lights, make a U-turn, get back on 281 (and into the horrible afternoon traffic), and exit again to get to the hotel we had passed about 15-20 minutes earlier. Access is just ridiculous. You must repeat this process anytime you want to leave or return. Just plain silly, very poorly thought out. For this reason alone we will not stay here again.
Bathrooms are basic, but are new and clean. Decent marble shower & matching vanity. Water pressure during our visit seemed low especially in the sink. Had to flush the toilet twice to get TP to go down. Shower was okay, one of those nicer showerheads, ok pressure (could get the soap out of my hair). Bathroom has standard finishes, is a bit tight on space, but is workable. Plenty of towels. Poor lighting in the bathroom for doing hair and/or make-up. I ended up at the desk by the window to have enough light to see to do my make-up. Has one of those tiny pretend hairdryers on the wall.
Room has a small microwave, coffee making set up and a small in-room fridge.
Ah, the view: 281 highway traffic, houses for miles and the backside of a strip mall. Not much. From the back of the hotel I think it's worse: just a view of the parking lot and dirt. But at these prices, I guess a view is not to be expected.
The staff was friendly and accommodating. Easy check-in. Nice lobby area.
We were VERY surprised to find out there was NO breakfast buffet, but now I know to watch MUCH more closely when booking. There is in fact a difference between Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express (and not just the price). They have what they are calling a "restaurant" instead. It's very quite small and quickly becomes noisy (add several families with squaling kids and a few groups of execs yukking it up on their cell phones). Service here was ok. Food was nothing special, rather bland. Typical Holiday Inn breakfast buffett type food -- however, at the rate of an $8.00 minimum (oh and don't forget to add $2.00+ for any beverage, side order). Your $8.00 breakfast is quickly heading to a $15.00 breakfast. At Holiday Inn?? Uh, I think not. This is not a "bistro like restaurant" (as hyped in HI's relaunch material for their "next generation" of prototype hotels). I ordered the egg, bacon and cheese croissant. I got a plate with 2 hugh croissants and a giant pile of potatoes, enough for at least 2 really hungry people. I could only eat 1/2 a croissant, the rest I got to go (lunch later?). Some smaller portion choices would be nice. I'm not a truck driver and I don't need enough food to last me until 6 p.m. Judging from the restaurant set up and prices, this is about making money, not meeting customer needs. Unfortunate. This is reason #2 will not return. There are too many other options in decent locations that INCLUDE breakfast.
The walls seem a bit thin. We could hear people in the hallways; kids running up and down the halls screaming last night, and can hear the cleaning people outside in the hall when present. Moderate noise from overhead (again kids, people stomping/walking, housecleaning staff). Once you are in for the night and the kids settle down, it was relatively quiet.
The biggest in-room issue however is the air conditioning unit. It is LOUD. When it cycles on and off, there is a big clonk sound. Very annoying. It woke me up more than once. I finally set it on auto and adjusted the air so it would not cycle on and off constantly. It is still very loud though. For a brand-new hotel, the AC units seem archaic. There is no wall thermostat. This are the old-type of in the wall units popular 15-20 years ago. Surprising given that this is a new property.
1) New facility (1 year old). Clean, fresh, well maintained.
a) Soft linens.
b) Okay bathrooms.
c) In-room microwave, coffee maker, fridge.
2) Friendly staff.
3) Smallish indoor pool with hot tub.
4) Respectible room size, moderately well appointed.
1) LOCATION!!! An annoyance to SEE your hotel and have to go thru 20 more minutes of traffic and U-turns to get BACK to it on the other side of the highway. Very poorly considered location with bad access issues.
2) No breakfast buffet. $20+ for breakfast for two? A captive audience may feel obliged to pay this since there is nothing within walking distance (that I can see), but there are too many other hotels that offer inclusive breakfast -- and too many other dining options in general (especially if you have a car). I expect this at a higher level hotel (4*+), but not at a basic Holiday Inn. If you want breakfast included, stay elsewhere or pay the $20 upcharge on your HI room rate.
3) Very noisy AC unit in room. Old-fashioned in window/wall type unit that clonks on and off and is very loud and irritating. I don't get why HI would build a new facility and put old AC units in. Crazy.
Value for money: 4/5 (clean room with good bed, shower, nice linens for fair price).
Location: 3/5, depending on where you want to be in SA, but consider access issues described above before booking.
Food: 3/5, Meh! I think not. HI restaurant food was edible, but overpriced and bland. Room service is available with the usual service charges added.
Pool: 3/5 Small, but definite plus if you don't mind the noise and kids.
Stay here again: No.
a) Poor/complicated access from highway.
b) AC noise
c) No traditional HI breakfast buffet.
d) All other issues above.
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn San Antonio North-Hill Country Hotel San Antonio
- Holiday Inn San Antonio N - Stone Oak Area Texas