It was not until I looked at the Leiden city tour map in the Leiden Visitor Center a hundred meters or so from Leiden Centraal Station that I realized I was in the town where many Pilgrim families lived for a decade prior to creating the Plymouth Colony in 1620 on the Massachusetts coast.
I had not come to Leiden on a Pilgrimage, but that is what my day turned out to be. More on that Dutch-American history in a separate post to come. My primary purpose in Leiden was a hotel stay at the Holiday Inn Leiden to earn IHG Rewards Club Accelerate 2016 task credit.
After several days in Amsterdam, I stayed my last night in the Netherlands at Holiday Inn Leiden before flying to California the following morning. The hotel is a couple miles out of city center and a 4 EUR, ten minute bus ride or 10 EUR taxi ride from Centraal Station.
Leiden is as convenient to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport as Amsterdam City Center
I took an express train from Amsterdam Centraal to Leiden stopping in two places around Amsterdam before AMS Schiphol, then traveling onward to Leiden nonstop in 10 minutes. I took a slower train back from Leiden to Schiphol Airport with a couple of stops in about 20 minutes. Trains ran every 30 minutes to Schiphol before 8am on a weekend morning.
Leiden has many 17th century and older buildings in historic city center.
Holiday Inn Leiden
The story I was told is Holiday Inn Leiden was the first Holiday Inn built in Europe. American owners built a regular looking Holiday Inn low story motor court design. In the decades since, the hotel was remodeled, constructing a large atrium over the former car park for expansive restaurant dining.
The hotel is located in a business park near Leiden University facilities. Leiden is the oldest university in the Netherlands from 1575. The newer parts of the university are in the hotel area. There was little development in the area at the time the Holiday Inn Leiden was originally built. It was considered a Schiphol Airport hotel for a time when there were not many hotels catering to airport passengers.
Garden Restaurant Italian buffet looked delicious, even at 25 EUR, but I had smoked haddock and carrots in my room to finish eating before my morning flight.
Breakfast dining area under the atrium Holiday Inn Leiden. The large space also housed a games area. I had to catch an early morning train and missed breakfast too.
Holiday Inn Leiden games portion of the atrium facilities included ping pong table, pool table, foosball table, slides and ball play room.
Indoor pool and fitness center across from pool make this Holiday Inn a great hotel for activities.
Holiday Inn Leiden Room
Bed was comfortable. WiFi worked great. Coffee maker had six pods and I used them all as I worked on IHG Rewards Club hotel category change lists. Flower in bathroom was nice touch. Refrigerator had space to hold my fish dinner.
More Public Spaces of Holiday Inn Leiden
The hotel offers complimentary transportation between hotel and Centraal Station. If I had a phone plan for Europe, I might have called the hotel to learn about that amenity. The shuttle only runs weekdays. I had to take a taxi at 7:15am for 10EUR to make the train on a weekend.
View to front entrance of Holiday Inn Leiden. Hotel’s Ocean Bar Grill is in room on left side of hall. Reception all the way down hall to left.
Holiday Inn Leiden looks set up to handle conference meetings.
Holiday Inn Leiden is 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points for a free reward night. I booked an Advance Purchase nonrefundable rate for 36 EUR per night, plus 2.50 EUR city tax for a total room rate around $43.00 USD.
This was my first hotel stay eligible for IHG Rewards Club Accelerate 2016 promotion.
My $43 Holiday Inn Leiden hotel stay completes two of four tasks for 12,300 bonus points.
- January Bonus Offer 5,000 points (not considered a task for Achievement Bonus)
- Stay Once Get 5,000 points (Task 1)
- Hotel stay paid with IHG Rewards Club card 2,300 points (Task 2)
- I earned 370 base points, 555 total points from the 36 EUR stay.
Total points earned = 12,855 points for my $43 hotel stay. I will earn 9,600 more bonus points on my next Holiday Inn hotel stay (Task 3) by April 30, 2016.
Those points return more than half the 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points I redeemed last week on eight IHG PointBreaks nights in Ghent, Belgium and Vilnius, Lithuania for April hotel stays.
Loyalty Traveler – IHG Rewards Club Accelerate 2016 Jan 1-April 30 promotion open for registration (Dec 15, 2015).
Loyalty Traveler – IHG PointBreaks Jan 25-April 30 Hotel List (Jan 25, 2016)