If you’re looking for somewhere for the whole family to stay in Cheltenham, the Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham Town Centre ticks a lot of family-friendly hotel boxes. As you can tell from the name, it’s right in the heart of the action, and sits just across the road from The Brewery Quarter. It’s pretty good value for money and easy to get to, especially if you’re driving into town (it’s 20-minutes from the M5). Here’s my review of the Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham.
*Disclosure: our stay at the Holiday Inn Express was gifted via Visit Cheltenham in exchange for a review. As always my honest opinion is given. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running!
The Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham
The Holiday Inn does not have parking of its own, but there is an NCP car park directly opposite the hotel, where you can leave your car and get 25% back from the parking fee by using a special card from reception.
The hotel recently completed an £800,000 refurbishment and is spotlessly clean, with light, bright, break-out areas for guests behind reception. Comfy, colourful, cushioned seats are dotted around the downstairs communal area, and there’s a cosy TV-watching area with an enticing fire flickering in the wall if you’re having a evening night cap in the bar.
Our room, which costs around £85 per night including breakfast, was on the first floor, and had a double bed and sofa bed. There was a TV, desk and swivel chair (to the kids’ delight), tea-making facilities, free WiFi and a bathroom with a clever door system, that meant you could shut the door to the toilet separately or close off the bathroom entirely when showering. One thing to note is that there are no fridges in the bedrooms – so it’s worth packing an ice pack if you have an avid milk drinker in your midst.
Eating at the Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham Town Centre
A buffet breakfast was available in the morning and there was lots of choice for adults and children, including a full English cooked breakfast, toast, pastries, cereal, yoghurt, fruit, hot drinks and juice. The dining area was clean and comfy and looked out onto the courtyard, which in warmer weather, would be a lovely place to start the day.
For exploring the town, The Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham is in a brilliant location – directly opposite The Brewery Quarter, where you’ll find restaurants, a soft play, shops and bars. It’s also under a 20-minute walk away to some of Cheltenham’s favourite family-friendly spots, such as Pittville Park, Sandford Parks Lido and Montpelier Gardens.
Any downsides to staying at the hotel?
Unfortunately, Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham Town Centre haven’t quite maximised their eco-friendly credentials. Plastic glasses provided in the bathroom are wrapped in plastic and breakfast condiments (jam, honey, Nutella etc) came in tiny individual plastic portions. The hotel’s coffee also wouldn’t be top of our delicious caffeine list. Hopefully big chain hotels will take this onboard soon!
Would I recommend the hotel to families?
Definitely. Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham Town Centre is really convenient for families doing a one-night stop-over. The location is excellent, the hotel staff are friendly and helpful, and the rooms and communal areas feel spotlessly clean and fresh.
Things to do in Cheltenham with kids
Cheltenham is well-known for its horse-racing, spa waters and beautiful Regency buildings and has more recently been making its name as The Festival Town. Over 25 significant festivals take place here every year, and it was for one of these that we had travelled up from Bristol to spend the night. Light Up Cheltenham (on until 23 February 2020) sees over 30 of the town’s landmark buildings dramatically lit up in rainbow colours. A giant observation wheel in Imperial Gardens gives visitors a chance to see the light spectacular from above and guided tours of this beautiful Regency town are available.