Holiday Inn Express & Suites Savannah - Midtown Review

image from TripAdvisor

Destination: Savannah, GA
Date: September 2015
Hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Brand: IHG
Elite Status: Spire Elite
# of travelers: 4
Nights: 1

Hotel: Making the Decision

The Saturday before Labor Day as my dad was getting up to go to work (around 6:30AM), his phone rang. Turns out my brother and his lady were headed to downtown Savannah to the local birthing center. S. had been in labor since 3 that morning and she knew that my nephew was on his way…

When Justin and I heard the news, I immediately threw (well, rolled … I'm terrible at making decisions!) a bunch of clothes into a suitcase for a two night vacation to Savannah. My first priority was packing as opposed to hotel looking, so when Justin and I found ourselves waiting on my elders to finish getting ready, I sat down to look at what hotels were still available on what was a holiday weekend.

Immediately I got on Kayak to see what the prices were. My first choice for a hotel chain was going to be Hilton where if I completed 3 stays before October 31st, I would have gold status. First I called Hampton Inn; they were showing availability on Kayak until I went to pay… I called, and I was told they were sold out. :( The woman at the front desk transferred me to the Holiday Inn across the street. No luck there, either.

Finally, feeling desperate, I noticed that this Holiday Inn Express had good reviews. "Why not?" I thought not even realizing how not downtown this hotel was. I figured with my newly obtained Spire Elite status, maybe I would get some sort of benefit? I mean – it was worth trying anyway.

Getting There & Location

Obviously, we drove. (Or is it not so obvious?) Anyway, more or less you have to get to this hotel by car. It is located in "midtown" Savannah NOT "historic" Savannah. If you are going to Savannah for fun, there is a 90% chance (not a real statistic) that you are going to historic Savannah, a 20 minute drive from this hotel. Book the Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn there instead (among other hotels).

If you still intend on coming to this hotel, the website notes that the Savannah airport is 20 mile taxi ride and the Amtrak station is an 11 mile taxi ride. I have no idea what you would do at this hotel without a car though. There is a nearby mall if you are into shopping…

The Lobby, Checking In, Elite Benefits

The staff at the front desk was courteous and friendly. They offered us some water and extra points (or a drink from the bar) when we checked in for having status with IHG. During our stay, any time we had a problem (like no hot chocolate mix available with the coffee bar), the staff did their best to make us happy (and get the hot chocolate). It was little things like that that made our stay delightful. Of course it probably didn't help that my dad was gushing to the staff the entire time about his new grandson! The ladies were understandably like "aww!"

image from TripAdvisor

Room, View, Amenities, & Price

The hotel room wasn't particularly noteworthy. We had a beautiful (stunning, really!) view of the parking lot as well as beds we only thought we wanted to sleep on. (Oops!) The room was mid-sized. Basically, it was a good room for the one night we stayed there, but I wouldn't choose it again. If you are going to Savannah for business purposes or just need a quick, cheap hotel this might be the one for you.

The room came with soaps, shampoos, and a hair dryer which is something I love about American hotel chains. It also had a microwave, but no mini fridge (that we could find) despite what the website says. Instead of saving our leftover pizza from dinner for later, we ended up having to trash it. :( The nice thing was that we had plenty of room to spread out. Given the suburb location of the hotel, I wouldn't have expected less.


We did enjoy a hot and delicious breakfast before taking the new grandparents to see their new grandson the next morning. Cinnamon rolls, fresh-to-order (but not very good) pancakes, muffins, bagels, eggs, omelets, yogurt, and (in our case) either bacon or sausage was available for eating. I stuck with the sweet stuff (and some yogurt!) because I wasn't too impressed with anything there. (But it is breakfast! And I'm hard to impress.)

This little guy brought out the labor in Labor Day weekend! Aww! :)

Overall Review

★★★ (average)

If you are looking for a hotel just outside of the Savannah historic city limits (for whatever reason), this is a pretty decent hotel. It is typical of what you will find for most IHG Holiday Inn Express & Suites style hotels. There are benefits like free parking, free breakfast, a fridge in the room (maybe), a microwave, and plenty of room to spread out, but there are also downsides: like being so far away from the historic city. If you are traveling in one vehicle with your parents (or in laws) and you have the strong desire to get away and go explore the city, you won't be able to do so without leaving someone without a car. Alternatively, if you take separate cars, gas is more expensive. :( The breakfast almost makes up for it saving you both money and time.

Would I go again?

Probably not. I would much rather stay in downtown historic Savannah or on Tybee Island proper. Parking and hotels are more expensive, but, given the location of this hotel, you would have to pay for parking in those locations anyway. Plus, unlike many other cities, historic Savannah is very walkable. Tybee, not so much, but then again, you are going to the beach (most likely) if you are at Tybee.

Your Turn

So, what do you think> Have you ever had a reason to stay at a hotel outside of the historic district of downtown Savannah? If you did, would you choose this one?

** I'm participating in Susannah Conway's December Reflections. Are you? Today's post was a response to #3 on the list "Best Day of 2015". :)

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