On our recent trip to Belgium we decided for ease and speed to use the Channel Tunnel. We had booked an early time slot (10.20am) and didn’t fancy a 6am alarm so we booked into the Folkestone Holiday Inn Express for one night, which is only a 5 minute drive from the tunnel check in 🙂
We booked via booking.com as we always tend to do (top tip: use booking.com more than 5 times and you’ll become a genius member which entitles you to 10% discount on many hotels plus other goodies such as early check in etc). We paid £59 for one night which included breakfast. I thought this was a very good rate considering it was booked the day before…oh yes we are very last minute sort of people!
We arrived at around 9pm, parking is free with plenty of spaces available. Check in was quick and efficient, the lady on reception noted that we had a child with us so allocated a ground floor room which I can honestly say has NEVER happened before with any hotel we have stayed in. Check in any time from 2pm.
We booked a room with a double bed and a sofa bed for L (poor kid always gets the sofa bed!). The room can sleep 4 people fairly comfortably. On arriving at our room (room 009) we were pleasantly surprised at the size. There was plenty of room to move around even with the sofa bed down (which had been set up prior to our arrival).
The all important bathroom was a good size with a large shower, I don’t know about you but a hotel bathroom can make or break a stay for me! Being within the express range of hotels, the free toiletries were limited to two pumps on the wall. One hand wash, the other body and hair wash (que the frizz!).
The room was equipped with a decent sized television with a good range of free view channels. Tea and coffee making facilities were fairly good with a kettle, cups and a stash of tea and coffee. There was also a built in hair dryer and full length mirror. There was also a small “open” wardrobe and luggage rack.
Unfortunately we soon realised that the room was particularly cold even with the temperature set at 25 degrees. We did consider complaining but we were all so tired we decided just to get showered and go to bed. I can say that it was a rather uncomfortable nights sleep. The mattress was clearly in need of replacing, my husband and I ended up in sort of jumbled heap in the centre for most for the night. L seemed to sleep well on the sofa bed though.
Morning loomed and we were all pretty hungry so we dressed and made our way to breakfast. The hotel reception area also doubles as the informal dining/restaurant area. Breakfast is served from 6am to 11am and is buffet style with a selection of hot food and continental style choices.
It wasnt a comprehensive breakfast buffet but it was fine for a quick meal to start the day. They offer a range of other meals during the day as well, burgers and sandwiches (unfortunately I did not the price of these). There is also a bar area serving beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks.
In terms of other facilities, the hotel offers free WiFi and is also pet friendly! There is a small fridge in reception with drinks and chocolates for sale (fairly reasonable prices). There was also a business area with a computer and telephone but this was not working when we visited.
After breakfast we returned to our room and packed up ready to check out, which is anywhere up to 12 noon. Which I think is pretty good, you can check in at 2pm and check out at 12 noon so almost a full 24 hours. In saying this I don’t know if there is much around the local area other than a very large Tesco 2 minutes away. Check out was quick and painless, we did take the opportunity to mention the coldness of the room more for the comfort of other guests.
The absolute main benefit of this hotel is its proximity to the Channel Tunnel. For the door of the hotel to the tunnel check in is 5 minutes.
Would we stay again? Yes definitely! If we used the tunnel again and didn’t fancy a long drive before the journey then yes. Would we recommend the hotel? Yes to anyone seeking accommodation close to the tunnel or even close to Dover (although there are quite a few hotels actually in Dover).
Our verdict of the Holiday Inn Express Folkestone is basic but functional!
Thanks for reading x
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