Holiday Inn is one of our favorite hotel chains to stay at with our kiddos (and just for clear and proper disclosure, I am not receiving any compensation from Holiday Inn to state this opinion. I just really love this hotel brand.)
Our love for Holiday Inns as a hotel chain began when I worked for Holiday Inn for 7 years. We stayed at a lot of Holiday Inns all over the world in seven years (and many other IHG properties…the parent company of Holiday Inn).
What we have come to discover (and love) about Holiday Inn is the uniformity and predictability of the brand. IHG has put a lot of work into making this so over the last 10 years, and this is consistent with Kemmons Wilson’s vision for the hotel chain.
Kemmons was the one who started the Holiday Inn brand in the 1950’s. After a frustrating trip with his own family, he discovered that the roadside hotels of that era were not family friendly. He had a vision for a hotel chain that would meet the needs of traveling families and this vision arguably became the template from which the modern hotel chains that we know today were based off of.
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*** The Holiday Inn brand also includes Holiday Inn Express. We love these hotels, too. They tend to have a few less of the full service features that a Holiday Inn does, usually don’t have restaurants or pools but they ALL include free hot breakfast which is a BONUS!
Kids Eat Free at Holiday Inn!!!
Most Holiday Inns allow for more than one kid to eat free per adult entrée purchased, making this a great deal. Holiday Inn Express usually doesn’t have a restaurant, but they all offer free hot breakfast in lieu of a restaurant.
Priority Club is the Holiday Inn points system (actually, it covers all IHG properties, so you can use it at a lot of places). All hotel chains have their own points system now, but this one is really great. They have made a point of making sure that being a member is rewarded, even at the lower levels of membership.
We have gotten little bags in our room at some hotels with water and snacks for being members. They offer priority for late check outs to priority club members (SUPER NICE with the kids sometimes). Even if you don’t think you will stay that much, the points never expire, so there is no risk to signing up and getting started.
I know, this is sort of a subjective thing, but I love the beds. Holiday Inns use multiple layers of sheets on their beds underneath a soft duvet. This gives the beds an incredibly soft and luxurious feeling. You also have a wide variety of pillows at your disposal, ranging from soft and squishy to firm and formidable. It all adds up to a great night of sleep!
Holiday Inn’s consistently have high standards. We never worry about whether our room will be clean (cleanliness is a HUGE thing now that we travel with kids), or about whether all of the amenities in our room will be working. If something is wrong, all it generally takes is a call and all is made well shortly.
I know that there are other good hotel brands out there, but the couple of times that we have veered in the direction of another brand, the rooms and service were not what we had come to expect from Holiday Inns.
Generous Cancellation Policies
Traveling with kids brings a lot of uncertainty…colds, throwing up, bloody noses and other trip altering emergencies (traveling standby, our usual mode d’emploi also carries uncertainties).
Holiday Inns (and really all IHG properties) USUALLY have generous cancellation policies. Most of the time, unless there are special circumstances, cancellations are accepted until a designated time on the evening of arrival. This is always spelled out directly on the website when you book, so make sure to check! This flexibility has come in handy many times in the past!
Now that we have kids, hotels with a pool are a big bonus for us. It was a part of Kemmons Wilson’s original vision that his new chain of family friendly hotels would have pools. Holiday Inn has taken this a big step further in offering the Holidome Water Park at certain hotels. These are hotels with indoor waterparks at the heart of the hotel, often with poolside rooms available to make it convenient to swim with the kiddos.