by Morgan Agesen
Amenities at the Holiday Inn Express South in Grand Rapids, Michigan include an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub, an indoor kids’ pool, a complimentary fitness center, onsite guest laundry facilities, a business center, a complimentary full breakfast buffet, complimentary coffee in the lobby, kids ages 19 and under stay for free when sharing a room with their parents, and kids ages 12 and under eat free. The indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The complimentary fitness center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and includes elliptical machines, stationary bikes, two treadmills, and free weights. Rooms feature irons and ironing boards, hair dryers, mini-fridges, microwave ovens, coffee and tea makers, flat screen televisions, and DVD players. Cribs and connecting rooms are available upon request, as well. Check-in time is 3 p.m. and check-out time is 11 a.m.
Our Editor Loves
- Indoor heated swimming pool
- Free full breakfast buffet
- Cribs and connecting rooms available
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Breakfast
We booked this hotel last minute as my husband was running the Holland Half Marathon but didn't want to stay in Holland as hotels in that area were too expensive. He chose this hotel based on its splash pad which was perfect for our 1 year old who loves water as well as its proximity to the highway so he could easily travel to and from Holland on race day. There were 2 things that were drawbacks that made our stay less than a 5 star.
1. The hotel is undergoing renovations. Now in general this isn't bothersome to me because I know every hotel needs to be updated at times and it will improve guest experiences in the long run. HOWEVER, I wish it would have been stated somewhere on the location's website that they are undergoing renovations so that we were prepared for slight differences in check in, breakfast location, and the overall appearance. While I know renovations are not easy to work under I was highly surprised that an IHG hotel like Holiday inn Express didn't have a more professional way of acknowledging renovations were occurring. There were handmade signs pointing the way to the pool and check in areas (which is currently being run out of a small office instead of a front desk), and then the signs that were typed out on a computer were taped up haphazardly regarding certain things such as pool towels needing to be put in the basket in the pool area and a sign indicating that the office was the correct check in area. I would have expected some more permanent signage in the waterpark area as that doesn't seem to be undergoing any sort of renovation and more professional appearing signage with regards to changes to the layout of the hotel during renovation instead of handmade signs and simple typed out signs.
2. Room 124 was nice but I want to indicate to management that the door handle both inside the room and outside the room is backwards. Instead of pushing the handle down to enter or exit the handle needs to be pulled upward, which was not indicated anywhere and is normally not the standard for a hotel room and made for awkwardness when trying to enter with luggage and other items. Hopefully this is fixed in the renovations at some point.
Outside of those two areas we had an enjoyable stay. The check in staff were friendly and were willing to allow a late check out of 12pm when I requested it as it gave my husband time to come back to the hotel and shower after his half marathon instead of having to return and then drive home all sweaty and gross. We also enjoyed the splash pad. It's definitely meant for little ones and is not like a splash pad you see at an indoor waterpark as there is no lifeguard but you can gather that information when you look at the hotel webpage. There were no pool towels for use but we were at the splash pad toward closing so I don't fault them for that either. Breakfast was as expected and staff were willing to assist me as I was trying to get breakfast for myself and my one year old.
We would and probably will stay again but I think I will wait until renovations are complete.
Let me start by saying that this property was under renovation when we were there. I rate it average, but when the renovation is done, it may well be worth an extra star. The rooms already seem to have been done, since they were clean, modern, and comfortable with good TV and wi-fi. Amazingly, although our room was only about 100 yards from Route 131, it was very quiet. Great windows?
The work being done on hallways, lobby, etc. was badly needed but by the time you get there it will probably be finished. Check in advance if you are coming fall 2019.
I would like to give five stars to the staff. They were cheerful, helpful, and accommodating in every way.
Another plus, if you have kids, is a big water park area, way more than your average motel pool. Don't forget to bring your kids' swim things.
The room rate includes a hot breakfast. Don't expect a gourmet fruit selection or premium coffee, but there is enough to start your day.