Holiday Inn London Camden Lock has attitude. Attitude in a good way. After a week in luxury London hotels, where most men are walking around in a suit and tie and I am going in and out of the hotel lobby in shorts and sandals on hot July days, arriving at the unpretentious Holiday Inn Camden Lock was like a breath of fresh air.
For a tourist, Camden Town is a part of London you might love or hate. I do not recommend staying in this area of London as a family hotel destination, although it is an easy walk to Regent’s Park and the London Zoo. Camden Town streets are not really a child-friendly area with thick crowds of people partying and drinking outside beside the canal. On warm weekend days, drinking beer by the canal was exactly the kind of activity we were into on our London holiday.
Holiday Inn Camden Lock is a pretty laid back place in a popular part of London where alternative lifestyles are the norm.
I don’t really like most luxury hotels, where there are generally loads of staff standing around to greet you and talk to you and ask you if there is anything they can do for you, and then waiting for a tip, if you get any assistance. I generally choose luxury hotels when I can stay for free on points or free night credits due to the location and the fact that I know there will be a good firm bed.
Holiday Inn London Camden Lock
We arrived early in the day to the hotel, around noon. At check-in I received a voucher for two free drinks at the hotel bar. Our room was not ready, so we checked our luggage at the desk and headed out to walk through Regent’s Park.
The actual Camden Lock is located by the Holiday Inn seen in the left background of photo. This photo was taken on a Sunday morning. When we arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon, this area had hundreds of people.
We returned around 2 pm and our room was still not ready, so we went to the street market across the canal where there were numerous food stalls.
We came back to the Holiday Inn with an Indian take-away and sat down in the bar with our two free glasses of Stella Artois for lunch. I certainly would not have felt comfortable doing that at The May Fair or InterContinental Park Lane, and those hotels probably would have given me attitude for bringing food into the hotel. Holiday Inn Camden Lock is pretty laid back. We settled in and watched Serena Williams win the Wimbledon 2015 Tennis Championship.
The bar area was quiet in the afternoon. Step outside the hotel though and there were hundreds of people partying and dining in the immediate vicinity around the hotel. Every café and restaurant was packed and most of the canal side was filled with people eating takeaway and drinking beer and wine.
View from our room 222 at Holiday Inn London Camden Lock.
Holiday Inn London Camden Lock bar lounge area.
The lobby area had numerous newspapers and a guest computer. There were several interesting books on the shelves and even board games.
The hotel upgraded me to a canal view room for my IHG Rewards Club Platinum status. There are five floors. Our room was 222.
The hallway has large color images of Camden Town scenes.
The images were nice to see since the crowds on the streets of Camden Town were so intense on a warm July Saturday afternoon, I was not sure I would get my own photographs. On Sunday morning I hit the streets early before the crowds had arrived.
Holiday Inn London Camden Town Room 222
After a week in London hotels, this was the first room where there was an interesting view.
The May Fair and InterContinental Park Lane had better beds and pillows, but the view kind of made up for the lower quality room furnishings. Best part was a patio door that opened wide.
The patio door had a chain lock limiting the degree to which the door opened. Kelley figured out quickly how to unchain the door.
The major disadvantage of the canal side room was the pounding music and crowd noise that went on until about midnight. I was writing, not sleeping, and did not mind the noise.
A major bonus of the hotel location is a Morrisons supermarket five minutes walk away. I mean a real supermarket with aisles and aisles of food and a car parking lot in front. Morrisons is the largest grocery store I have seen in London and prices were about one-third less than small markets like Sainsbury, Tesco and Marks & Spencer in the city center where I had been shopping.
So what do I mean about hotel attitude?
Rock music history is one of my passionate interests. Holiday Inn Camden Lock has a great rock history map for Camden Town in the lobby and I learned quite a bit from reading the map.
You know this is not your grandparents kind of Holiday Inn when you read ‘Fuck’ on the wall of the lobby.
Holiday Inn London Camden Lock has attitude, in a good punk rocker sort of way.
Holiday Inn London Camden Lock is 35,000 points per reward night. I redeemed IHG Rewards Club points for our weekend stay when published rates were 269 GBP per night, around $400 USD.
Canal boat in Camden Lock
Related post: Loyalty Traveler – Alternative London in Camden Town.
I walked around Camden Town and photographed several of the music venues mentioned in the wall mural. I’ll cover those locations in another post about Camden Town and rock and roll history.