Jan132018

Crossing Greenwich Meridian at Holiday Inn Express London Stratford

Holiday Inn Express London Stratford is located in East London in the area where many of the London 2012 Olympics venues were built. The hotel is perfectly fine for a Holiday Inn Express with comfortable rooms, buffet breakfast and good value room rates for London much of the year.

This was my third night in London after arriving Christmas Day and staying at Days Hotel London Waterloo, then a night in Stratford staying at Marriott’s Moxy London Stratford by Stratford Station. The Underground and train station is ten minutes walk to HIX Stratford along High Street.

I came to HIX Stratford specifically to earn my Fall 2017 Accelerate bonus offer for 28,400 points with a single hotel night. That did not work out due to my IHG MasterCard being a cancelled card and the task I had to fulfill to earn the bonus points. Apparently, I cut up the wrong credit card last October when I received a new card and discovered my mistake when I tried to pay for my HIX London Stratford hotel room in December.

The walk down High Street from Moxy Stratford to HIX Stratford meant crossing the Greenwich Prime Meridian Line in London Stratford. Prime Meridian is the international officially recognized geographic line designating 0 degrees longitude on Earth.

London Greenwich Meridian

Greenwich Meridian marker, High Street, Stratford, London.

As a tourist, Stratford is known as the London Olympics venue. For locals I think the place is more of a transportation hub and urban renewal construction area of East London.

London HIX Stratford

Holiday Inn Express London Stratford

HIX Stratford Google maps

Google maps – Stratford area and Olympics venues near Holiday Inn Express London Stratford

London Google maps HIX Stratford

Google Maps – relative location of Stratford in city of London 6 miles from Charing Cross.

The Streets of Stratford

The walk between the hotel and Stratford Station along High Street seemed safe enough. I was out on High Street both nights in Stratford between 9-11pm buying food and it seemed okay to me. The cold weather probably kept more people from being on the street.

Stratford streets were busy during the day with a bit of street edginess present at night. All the commuters passing through Stratford Station during the day and shoppers at upscale Westfield Stratford mall belies the imagery I saw at night when a hundred or so homeless were setting up cardboard camps inside the older Stratford Centre 1970s mall across the street from Stratford Station. I walked through Stratford Centre at 10pm as all the stores were closing for the night.

Stratford High street

Stratford High Street

I would like to return to the Stratford area for a future stay in warmer weather if the price is right and check out the parks area around Stratford to see some of the 2012 Olympic sports venues. A glimpse of the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture was as close as I got to any London Olympics sites. 

Stratford Olympics

Glimpse of ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture top on the other side of Stratford Station.

And a Stratford High Street building sign.

“Welcome to Stratford … Home to the Olympics 2012”

Stratford Olympics Home

HIX Stratford Room

London HIX Stratford-1  London HIX Stratford-2

London HIX Stratford-3  London HIX Stratford-5

London HIX Stratford-6  London HIX Stratford-8

London HIX Stratford-7  London HIX Stratford-4

Breakfast Buffet

The buffet was standard fare with scrambled eggs, bacon, beans, sausages, pastries, breads, toast, yogurt, some fruit.

HIX Stratford breakfast-3 

HIX Stratford Breakfast-2 HIX Stratford breakfast-1

HIX Stratford Bar

The receptionist gave us two drink coupons for the bar at check-in. We had two free pints of Stella Artois. Nice.

HIX Stratford bar

Holiday Inn Express London Stratford bar

HIX Stratford lobby

Travel to Southend Airport from Stratford

Staff at the hotel were helpful and friendly. The receptionist printed out directions for the train from Stratford to Southend Airport, which was a little more challenging than normal with holiday season track work forcing us to travel through two different stations than normally needed to reach Southend Airport.

The Builders Arms

I don’t have enough material for a dedicated article to Stratford. The weather sucked the two December days and nights we stayed in this part of London with high winds, snow and frost. Most of our time was spent in other areas of London around Whitechapel and Shadwell and Camden Town.

Kelley wanted a pint at The Builders Arms on High Street walking back to the hotel in the evening. This was the only pub we saw walking between Stratford Station and HIX Stratford.

I had noticed the restrictive pub door sign earlier in the day from outside.

London Builders Arm sign

“HOME GAMES

STRICTLY WEST HAM FANS ONLY

NO AWAY FANS

(Sorry)”

Inside at early evening The Builders Arms seemed subdued enough with a laid back young black woman behind the counter controlling music selections and a couple of guys drinking on stools and relatively large open space for a pub wrapping around the bar.

Her music selections amused me since she looked like she was probably born in the mid-1990s. We were hearing 80s tunes again, some of the better rock tunes from the era. London seemed to be stuck in the 1980s for Christmas 2017 at several of the pubs we visited.

Another seating area was on the far side of the pub from tables where we sat.

3.20 GBP pints of Carling.

Stratford Builders Arms

The Builders Arms pub Stratford, East London

A framed newspaper clipping on the pub wall from a London paper, written at the time of London 2012 Olympics describes The Builders Arms pub as one of the remaining historic gems amidst Stratford urban renewal.

Stratford The Builders Arms

The Builders Arms, High Street, Stratford, London

Holiday Inn Express London Stratford

My rate was 67.20 GBP / $91 USD at the time, but the USD is sliding fast against British pound and euro in recent months. The USD has lost 15% to 20% or more of value against most European currencies since Jan 2017.

IHG Reward Nights = 35,000 points Jan 2018.

 

 

 

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.

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