by Amanda Geronikos
The Holiday Inn & Express South Padre Island isn’t located on the beach like most of its neighbors, yet many families favor it, continually rating it the best hotel on the island. Plan a visit with your family, and we bet you’ll understand.
It’s simple. The hotel welcomes families with the services that matter most: spacious accommodations, complimentary breakfast, a pool and free Wi-Fi — all at reasonable rates. The Holiday Inn & Express is also situated in a neighborhood of vacation and residential properties on the northern end of the island — a nice perk for families who prefer a quiet location. You’ll never be far from all that South Padre Island has to offer, however. The tiny island is just 5.5 miles long and 1 mile wide, making it easy to grab a bite to eat, visit a water park (ahem, Schlitterbahn) and then return to the most important part of your vacation: relaxing on the beach.
For more information, visit Holiday Inn.
Our Editor Loves
- Outdoor pool
- Complimentary breakfast
- 3-minute walk to the beach
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The four-floor hotel provides 104 rooms, all with mini-fridges, microwaves and complimentary Wi-Fi. Both cribs and sofa beds are available with advance request; cribs are free of charge, while rollaways are typically $15 per night (the fee is usually waived, however). Children stay free of charge.
Connecting rooms are available for large families; be sure to request in plenty of advance. Guestrooms and suites face the pool and residential area, or Padre Boulevard (the island's only main road).
The hotel's standard rooms have either one king bed or two queens. Rooms with two queen beds sleep four people (or five if you request a rollaway bed or crib).
The suites provide slightly more space than standard rooms, and offer a king bed and sleeper sofa. Add a rollaway bed or crib to sleep five guests.
This suite has one king bed and a sofa bed, plus a Jacuzzi. It typically sleeps four people, though a bed or crib can be added.
The desk agent placed me in a room that was not yet remodeled and it was adjoined to a room being remodel. Plastic lines were shoved under the door twice. i called front desk to see when the noise would stop and he said 5pm very flatly with no offer of a room change (I was in room 427 and it was adjoined to 429). So for 2 days I tolerated it. On our final day I asked for a 12:30 checkout because I had a webex meeting at 11am. As soon as I start the meeting housekeeping begins to talk loudly to each other between the rooms. And at 11:15 on the dot she knocks loudly on the door to see what time we are checking out. The room was not vacuumed and had stains on the carpet. The bed skirt had a huge hole in it. partial of the drapes were missing. The tub was dusty and the toilet backed up the first time using it. I understand renovation but this is just sad. I really love the Holiday Inn brand, but this location not so much. This was a motel 6 experience.
I stayed for 3 days this past weekend and to my surprise the hotel was very nice, I was told it recently got renovated.
My room was nice and clean with 2 Queen size beds.
The breakfast is pretty neat, for all tastes, they have fruits, hot cakes, bagels, scrambled eggs, etc.
The pool is kid of small, but the area around the pool is nice.
The only thing I could complain about is the fact the beach is about 3 blocks away from the hotel... you need to walk out of the hotel through the pool, then walk down an alley and walk like 2 blocks down the street.
I typically would not mind but having to carry the chairs, icebox, and daughter all the way down the beach is not an easy task!
The hotel has an outdoor pool with a few waterfall features. There's also a hot tub. The hotel's management anticipates several updates in 2017 (brand standards), which will likely bring new furniture to the pool area. Note: Wristbands (provided at check-in) are required when using the pool -- especially during spring break -- to prevent non-guests from using the facilities and crowding the property.
The hotel has a "loft" above the lobby with tables and chairs and board games available. It's a great place to relax when it's time for a break from the beach, or in the event you're visiting "Winter Texans" (likely grandma and grandpa), who escape to the island during the winter months.
The hotel provides complimentary breakfast daily, 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. (hours may vary based on season). It includes all the favorites, from cold cereal to hot cereal, eggs to pancakes, and fresh fruit to yogurt. Coffee, tea and juice are also provided, as are high chairs for little ones.
The hotel has a grill that's very popular in the summer months; don't be surprised if there's a wait to use it! Families are welcome to cook up burgers and hot dogs and enjoy them by the pool.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is complimentary to all guests, though it's very slow. The hotel hopes to add more bandwidth in the future.
Purchase snacks, beverages and toiletries at the onsite store, located next to the front desk. Laundry detergent is also available. All purchases can be charged to your room.
The hotel has a small fitness center with a few cardio machines. It is open 24 hours.
The hotel's business center is also open 24 hours, and provides complimentary fax service, copying and printing.
The hotel has a coin-operated laundry facility -- especially convenient since guestrooms don't have balconies on which to hang wet bathing suits and other laundry.
Check-in is at 3 p.m. and check-out is at 11 a.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
The busiest time to visit the hotel is March, when college crowds descend upon the island for spring break. Don't be afraid to visit with your children if they're out of school during this time, however; the hotel wants to see more families visit in March. Summer, of course, is another prime time to visit, but if you can wait, plan a visit in September or October, when the crowds and temps lessen just enough.
If you don't live in Texas, you'll likely need to fly into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and board a connecting flight to Brownsville/South Padre Island or Valley International Airport in Harlingen.
While the island is small in size (about 5.5 miles long and 1 mile wide), a car is still essential for getting around. Parking is free at the hotel and pretty much anywhere you go.
For Mom and Dad
Enjoy a quiet dinner at Gabriella's, or bring the kids along -- it's as romantic as it is family-friendly. Italian food is served in generous portions (good thing the hotel has mini-fridges for leftovers). Try the wood-fired pizza, and leave room for dessert.