Sep112016

Hotel Review Holiday Inn London Commercial Road

One of the reasons I chose Holiday Inn London Commercial Road were several positive hotel reviews stating the rooms were large for London at this relatively newly built hotel opened soon before the 2012 London Olympics . Over the past two years with about 15 nights in London hotels, most rooms I have stayed in are quite a bit smaller than a typical USA average hotel rooms of about 300 square feet. Some of the London hotel rooms I have stayed in were less than half that size with only enough space to lay luggage out in the walking space near the door. There was nothing special about the Holiday Inn Commercial Road, but I also have no complaints, which is normally not the case for my London hotel rooms.

Another reason I chose this hotel is I was ready to see a different part of the immense city of London after having visited many of the big tourist attractions in several of the other inner London boroughs. The Borough of Tower Hamlets, the core of the traditional ‘East End’, is quite different from any other place I have been in London. I generally liked the location of the hotel since I was not staying in London for tourist sightseeing of the major attractions. Tower of London is within walking distance at a little over one mile from Holiday Inn Commercial Road. 

London Heathrow to Whitechapel Station

From London Heathrow airport it took me around 90 minutes to get to the hotel on the Underground from the time I walked out of the Arrivals Hall in Terminal 2. LHR airport is on the Underground Piccadilly line and I changed at Acton Town Station for the District line to travel to Whitechapel Station closest to the hotel. The fare was 3.10 GBP with my Oyster card. Holiday Inn Commercial Road is about a ten minute walk from Whitechapel Station.

HI Commercial London

Check-in

As a Platinum member in IHG Rewards Club I chose a welcome drink in lieu of 500 IHG points. A pint of beer at the bar was welcome after the long tube ride. Breakfast at the hotel was 10 GBP, but I did not eat breakfast at the hotel.

HI Bar

HI lobby   HI bar seating

Holiday Inn London Commercial Road lobby and bar.

HI computers

There are six guest room floors with 20 to 25 rooms on each floor, the lobby level and the fitness room is in the basement. I stayed on Floor 2.

Room 207

HI 207 room-1   HI 207 room-2

HI 207 room-3   HI 207 room-4

There was plenty of floor space for my luggage in the standard size guest room and still room to walk around.

HI coffee   HI frig

Empty mini-frig I something I always appreciate.

HI sink HI tub-shower

Tub shower in bathroom.

The view from my room over the hotel entrance looked out onto a green planted ledge with Watney Market across Commercial Road with numerous Bangladeshi street stalls in a pedestrian walking zone about 100 meters in length offering produce, clothing and jewelry. Iceland super market is also across the street. Several restaurants are on Commercial Road too.

HI 207 room view

Holiday Inn London Commercial Road Fitness Center

The fitness room is in the basement accessed via the elevator or stairs.

HI gym-1   HI gym-2

Tower Hamlets local area around Holiday Inn London Commercial Road hotel

I spent about 8 hours of my 18 hour stay walking the neighborhoods or Tower Hamlets. Brick Lane is a popular dining and entertainment area about 20 minutes walk from the hotel to the northwest. Whitechapel Road is lined with hundreds of outdoor sidewalk vendors with ultra-cheap clothing goods, similar to Watney Market by the hotel. Old Spitalfield’s Market is near the Brick Lane area and offers visitors one of London’s oldest and largest markets in a covered space. Jack the Ripper tours and the Whitechapel Museum are located on Whitechapel Road west of the hotel.

Towards the River Thames are beautiful and peaceful canals surrounded by upscale residences. St. Katherine Docks is central London’s main marina and about a one mile walk from the hotel, mostly alongside quiet canals with locals walking dogs, joggers and cyclists. I walked from Holiday Inn around canals to the River Thames and St. Katherine Docks to Tower of London and back in 90 minutes before I headed back to Whitechapel Station to Victoria Coach Station in the morning for a bus to London Luton Airport and a flight to Kosice, Slovakia. It takes about 20 minutes on the Underground from Whitechapel Station to reach Westminster Station across from Big Ben and Houses of Parliament.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge and The Shard

Until this hotel stay, the farthest east I had ventured in London on previous trips was Tower Bridge beside the Tower of London. The River Thames is about a 15 to 20 minute walk from the hotel. The Thames Path is a riverside walkway that leads to St. Katherine Docks just east of Tower Bridge on the north side of the river. The Shard is the tallest building in London and the UK at 1,016 feet, located in Southwark, the borough on the south side of the river from Tower Bridge.

Holiday Inn London Commercial Road IHG Rewards Club and Room Rates

IHG Rewards Club 30,000 points per night. Rates are higher on weekday nights and frequently over 100 GBP per night. I thought I got a great deal at $94 per night for advance purchase prepaid rate. The one night stay during the IHG Accelerate Fall 2016 promotion provided me with 8,000 bonus points on top of normal earning for this stay.

My personal valuation for IHG Rewards Club points is $6 per 1,000 points, so I calculate the 9,000+ points earned on my $94 room rate at about a $54 points rebate making my overnight in London a great budget value hotel stay at a net cost of around $40 based on anticipated future room rate savings when I redeem the 9,000 points.

Update Oct 1, 2016 – Today I see 8,000 bonus points posted for IHG Accelerate promotion. I earned 8,973 points for this $94 hotel stay.

HI lobby art

Other London hotel reviews from Loyalty Traveler

Loyalty Traveler – London East End impressions from a one day stay.

Loyalty Traveler – Factor Hoppa in transportation cost at Holiday Inn London Heathrow T5

Loyalty Traveler – Review: Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury

Loyalty Traveler – Review of Holiday Inn London Regent’s Park

Loyalty Traveler – Bed time at InterContinental London Park Lane

Loyalty Traveler – IHG Rewards Club made Thanksgiving in London affordable

Loyalty Traveler – Tiny Room Comfort Inn Westminster London

Loyalty Traveler – Rock history and a view at Holiday Inn London Camden Lock

Loyalty Traveler – Into the ‘Free’ Nights at InterContinental London Park Lane

Loyalty Traveler – Comparing hotel reward value in London among different hotel programs

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. recently learned trivia challenge: “hamlet” is a small village, no church.

    “In the United Kingdom, the word ‘hamlet’ has no defined legal meaning, although hamlets are recognised as part of land use planning policies and administration. A hamlet is traditionally defined ecclesiastically as a village or settlement that usually does not have its own church, belonging to a parish of another village or town.” — wikipedia

  2. I think that is the historical meaning behind the name Tower Hamlets. These were the villages in the fields east of City of London that grew in population to become London’s crowded East End.

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