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Holiday Inn VS Holiday Inn Express (Differences) 

Holiday Inn VS Holiday Inn Express (Differences) 

Have you ever thought about an excursion and ended up stuck on what type of accommodation is ideal for your travels? Understanding the different aspects of the options available will allow you to make the right choice to suit your budget, requirements, and needs.

A majority of people know the distinction between a luxury resort and a campsite however, most of us don’t know the difference between the two types of hotels: a Hotel Inn and a Hotel Inn Express although they each have the same purpose – to provide a place for you to rest.

The main distinction between the two hotels, Holiday Inn and Express is that the latter offers less extensive service than the former. Both accommodations are offered throughout the United States and Canada and can be located in other countries across the world.

The convenience factor is crucial for hotels, and they tend to be located in desirable locations, like close to popular tourist destinations.

Business travelers attending a conference might want Express services like the room service or a sit-down dining establishment to make their time as easy as possible.

In this article, I’ve given the differences between Hotel Inn and Hotel Inn Express. If you’re an occasional traveler or week-long vacationer, having accommodation for the night is crucial and there are a variety of alternatives available.

Let’s see what we’re going to talk about!

What Is The Holiday Inn?

A calm place for Holiday
People Prefer Calm Places for Holidays

Holiday Inn is a type of hotel in the United States and other countries that offer rooms at a reasonable price. Holiday Inn hotels are full-service mid-priced hotels that are renowned for their value, comfort, and reliability around the globe.

Holiday Inn hotels receive 100 million visitors every year. There are two types of full-service hotels such as high-rise plaza hotels, and low-rise hotels that offer full-service. A lot of high-rises have round central-core constructions, that are immediately recognized since the 1970s were part of the former.

The two hotels have the option of a restaurant, pools at the majority of places, room service, fitness areas as well as basic but comfortable rooms. In terms of facilities and relaxation, Holiday Inn is the best choice, Holiday Inn offers more extravagant accommodations, speedy internet, room service spas, fitness centers, and many other amenities.

If you’re in unfamiliar areas Holiday inns typically include more staff like concierges and receptionists who will help you organize your activities or give your local information.

What Is Holiday Inn Express?

a person sitting on their couch next to a christmas tree
Holiday Inn Express Is Best for Short Business Trips

Holiday Inn Express is part of the InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) range of brands and is an affordable hotel chain. As the name suggests, it’s an “express” hotel that focuses on providing the smallest number of services at a reasonable cost.

Standard amenities attract visitors to business and short-term trips that are focused on convenience and functionality. Business travelers can benefit from the business center in all Express hotels, which includes computers, printers, and fax machines.

Furthermore, to this, for business travelers with a laptop computer, all Express hotel rooms within the United States offer free local calls and Wi-Fi internet. The Express hotels in North America are corporate architectural prototypes and are the models for Express hotels. There are 50 to 70 rooms, which are a mixture of standard rooms and suites. The majority of Express hotels are either brand new or have been recently renovated due to the rapid growth of the chain.

The initial Holiday Inn Express hotels were basic, with rooms that can be compared to luxury hotels, however, there was no restaurant, room service bar, fitness center, pool meeting facilities, or any other facilities, aside from a breakfast buffet and a fitness room.

However, more recent Express rooms offer a majority of the amenities offered by the premium Holiday Inn brand, such as a bar and restaurant along with conference space and even an in-house spa.

What’s The Difference?

Here are some key distinctions between the Holiday Inn and the Holiday inn Express:

  • Locations and availability: Express hotels can be found across six continents, with popular tourist destinations like Spain, Australia, Japan, France, Thailand, Italy, and all over the United States. Each week brand new Express Hotels sites are opened. 
  • Quality of Service: Holiday Inn Express is not likely to provide certain amenities like bars, a full-service hotel, and eateries and also the ability to provide prompt service in rooms as well as meeting rooms or catering services. However, Holiday Inn provides all the above amenities and more. In addition, the Holiday Inn Express is classified as a hotel with limited services. The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast buffet; however, they typically do not offer a bar or restaurant located on the premises.
  • Food Service: Holiday Inn Express provides a complimentary buffet service, and Holiday Inn guests can order room service, or dine in the restaurant on site.
  • Family Travel and Business Travel: Holiday Inns are great for family trips since children are allowed to eat for free. The cost of meals can be one of the costliest aspects of travel. This is in addition to accommodations and flights. Holiday Inn caters to families looking for a cozy location to relax and Holiday Inn Express caters to business travelers taking a brief journey. It is not necessary to leave the hotel to have a meal with your family because Holiday Inn offers bars and restaurants on-site. Holiday Inn Express is the preferred choice for business travelers.
  • IHG Rewards: If you’re an InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) Rewards member, you’ll enjoy extra benefits and perks while booking a room in a Holiday Inn or Express. The points can be used to reserve a room within any IHG hotel, without time limits or blackout dates.

If you’re short of points, or you want to reserve some points for the future, you could book a Points & Money reservation. Anyone with the IHG co-branded credit or debit card can make the most of their points by getting the fourth night in the event of an award-based reservation.

Earning points for stays that are paid is also extremely profitable. As members, you’ll get approximately ten times more points as well as the possibility of a bonus of up to 100% based on your status as an elite. IHG credit cardholders are eligible to earn the possibility of earning up to 25x points which makes a stay at Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express more lucrative. IHG promotions at times can bring in more points.

Father and Son enjoying their drink in Inn
Holiday Inn Is Best for Family Trips

Comparison with Important Features

FeatureHoliday InnHoliday Inn ExpressVerdict
Where are the hotels?Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, The Caribbean, Central America, Europe
The Middle East, New Zealand, South America, The USA
Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, The Caribbean, Central America,
Europe, The Middle East,
South America,
There aren’t any Holiday Inn Express hotels in New Zealand.
Does breakfast come for free?No.Yes.Holiday Inn Express offers free breakfast.
Are there loyalty programs? Can you join for free?IHG Rewards Club Free to join.IHG Rewards Club Free to join.They also offer the same loyalty plan.
Do they have free Wi-Fi?In certain hotels.Yes.Holiday Inn Express offers free Wi-Fi in the normal.
Does there exist an Executive Lounge?In certain hotels.No.Holiday Inn offers executive lounges.
Do hotels allow pets?Yes.Some do.Both have pet-friendly accommodations.
Does online chat exist?YesYes.Both of them offer to chat.
Which are my options for payment?American Express,
Business Advantage, Carte, Blanche
Diners Club, Discover, JCB,
Mastercard, Visa
American Express,
Business Advantage, Carte, Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, Visa
They provide the same options to pay.
Do I have the ability to make a price match?YesYesBoth prices are in line.
Does it allow for cancellations/changes?The cancellation policy is based on the booking and the hotel. The cancellation of many rooms is possible within 24 hours of notice.The cancellation policy is based on the booking and the hotel. The cancellation of many rooms is possible with 24 hours’ notice.They also have identical cancellation procedures.
Do they have smoke areas?YesYesBoth have smoking areas.
Holiday Inn Vs Holiday Inn Express


If you’re still thinking about the distinctions between Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express and which one would be best for you; the answer lies in your personal choice. Would you rather have a full-service hotel or a restricted-service hotel experience?

With the knowledge collected above, choosing a location to stay is now simple. Be sure to double-check any of the restrictions by your destination’s government prior to booking your trip and be sure to comply with local regulations. Also, be aware of any additional requirements. 

Take your time deciding the hotel you want to stay at to enjoy your trip.

To learn more on this topic, take an instant look at this video.

Why Is Holiday Inn Express Called That? Is It Really Faster?

Do check out my article on Disneyland VS Disney California Adventure: Differences.

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