Simplicity is sometimes all you need. An ideal hub when planning a weekend of Surrey-based explorations, park up to Holiday Inn Guildford and enjoy this tucked away gem, providing everything required for a night of peaceful slumber and a lip-smacking breakfast the following morning
Nestled away from the main hustle and bustle of Guildford’s town centre, Holiday Inn Guildford provides the perfect respite when it comes to a comfortable setting and a friendly welcome.
Helmed by a friendly team who put guests’ happiness at the top of their to-do list, this busy Surrey stay makes an excellent choice for those looking to explore the nearby quaint local surroundings without breaking the bank.
As soon as I park my car, Holiday Inn Guildford reminds me somewhat of an American motel thanks to its bungalow-like entrance and spread of rooms segmented into different buildings, none higher than two stories. Despite its slightly outdated appearance, stepping over the threshold reveals a large modern and inviting reception area.
Wide and open plan, the entrance is filled with seemingly endless comfortable places to lounge, many of which are already taken by fellow guests relaxing with a drink or coffee in hand when I pull my suitcase over the entrance.
The welcome area is stylish, decked out with warm colours and contemporary furnishings, but it’s the reception’s team that leaves a lasting impression. Our concierge is friendly, patient and knowledgeable, settling us in with a smile as he hands over a pair of room keys and answers all the questions I throw at him without an ounce of impatience.
Beyond the main lobby and restaurant, some of the interiors feel a touch dated and in need of some interior TLC. But for what Holiday Inn Guildford lacks in modern furnishings it easily makes up for in comfort and friendly service. Later that evening, our restaurant servers are as welcoming as the reception team – and I notice we never pass an employee in the hallway without at least a small smile and a friendly “Hello”.
Our Executive Room door opens to reveal a spacious abode complete with working desk, double bed and extra seating. Surrounded by grey walls, the room’s most notable feature is by the windows – a set of Japanese-inspired folding windows designed to completely shut out the surrounding light.
The room is classic and traditional, decked out with crisp white bed linen and simple wooden furniture that creates a relaxed and laidback atmosphere. Our bathroom is equally uncomplicated, and whilst the shower wall is undeniably in need of a face lift, it’s ideal for something clean, fuss-free and affordable.
The Food & Drink
The restaurant, located adjacent to the main lobby and bar, is ideal for a quick bite. Guests that choose to opt for a pre-selected package with meals included during their visit at Holiday Inn Guildford are presented with a concise but tasty three-course menu, whilst those dining a la carte have a much wider list of multi-cultural options (charged at an additional price, of course).
My guest and I split a plate of hummus and flatbread to start, then we both order the chickpea curry, which arrives served on a small platter with naan bread and poppadoms. Great minds think alike – especially hungry ones. Each spice-rich spoonful is filling and tasty – as are the three scoops of ice cream that follow swiftly after when we fall prey to the dessert menu.
We explore the wellness facilities the following morning, steering clear of the pool due to its influx of small children, but making the most of the well-equipped gym where machines are squeezed into the space like a game of treadmill Tetris. Still in workout wear, we head straight to breakfast which is served back in the main restaurant.
Presented as a varied buffet of hot and cold options – with all the traditional English breakfast goodies – it’s excellent for grabbing a plate and getting stuck in. There’s also a carb-laden station in the corner that I flock to almost immediately for its dainty pastry and bread options, plus pancake stacks for those feeling extra peckish.
As well as a the DIY options, guests can also order bowls of porridge, poached eggs and other dishes via the breakfast menu. Coffee comes served from several machines – it might not be a fancy barista cappuccino, but I still sip it down faster than you can say “Give Me Caffeine.”
The Wordrobe Verdict
Simplicity is sometimes all you need. An ideal hub when planning a weekend of Surrey-based explorations, Holiday Inn Guildford is both well-connected and well-groomed (much like the town’s inhabitants). Park up and enjoy this tucked away gem, providing everything required for a night of peaceful slumber and a lip-smacking breakfast the following morning.
Make it happen
Where: Egerton Rd, Guildford GU2 7XZ
How: Find out more and make a booking via ihg.com or phoning 0371 942 9036.
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor