During our recent getaway from Singapore, we had a short stay at the brand new Holiday Inn Express Krabi, latest baby of the hotel chain’s, which officially opened only on 28 Nov 2016!
Well-located just across the Ao Nang beachfront, it is a mere stone’s throw away from sister hotel Holiday Inn Resort Krabi. The three minute walk between the two properties is packed with a wide variety of food options, ranging from an air-conditioned eatery serving Japanese curry rice and ramen, to the best mango sticky rice street food stall. If you are looking to venture further, there is also a Tuk Tuk stand and a Longtail Boat Stand very near the hotel.
When we arrived, I was immediately impressed by the design and decor of the reception area. Very modern and edgy, yet with a very natural feel – the entire roof looks like it’s made of natural rattan! I was informed that the hotel’s design was in the Sino-Portuguese style, like these shophouses in Old Town Phuket. Ah, that explains the Chinese paintings and mirror features, with beautiful tiles that must be a little more Portuguese in origin.
Spacious Dining Area
The range of food offered at breakfast was not spectacularly wide, but at the price of about S$120 per room (for 2 people) including breakfast, we thought it was pretty good value. And our entire family certainly had our fill.
In addition to the healthy range of juices, cereal, fruits and fresh greens, there was a section with sausages, fried eggs, toast and congee.
This is certainly a hotel that punches above its weight in terms of what it offers, all at a price that’s easy on the pocket. Overall, we like the ethos behind Holiday Inn Express – which is to provide all you need, and not to price in frills that some travellers actually don’t need.
The Holiday Inn Express Krabi has more than 200 rooms, which are all of similar size, but with options of a King sized bed, Queen sized bed, or two single beds. Some rooms are connecting as well, which are perfect for families – the girls really enjoyed being able to access both rooms easily.
The rooms at the Holiday Inn Express are about 20-30% cheaper than those at its sister resort, but we feel that it offers just as much quality per square inch.
Here are some panoramic shots of the room and the bathroom area.
I like the fact that this bathroom has one of those clever space saving doors – which alternates between being a shower door, or the main door to the entire washroom.
Also, in place of those tiny bottles of toiletries, there is a hand wash dispenser, with really fragrant jasmine scented handwash. And the shower gel has a very soothing lemongrass scent – it’s rare to come across such lovely scents; even the kids were impressed!
We learnt that this is only the second Holiday Inn Express worldwide which has a swimming pool, since most Holiday Inn Express hotels are located downtown, where space is a constraint. The girls were very pleased to have access to a pool, since they had been to the Holiday Inn Express in Bangkok which didn’t have one. This was a real bonus.
The girls had fun swimming a bit and monkeying around a lot, whilst I managed to do a leisurely 14 laps, since we had the entire pool to ourselves!
Apart from the spanking new feel of every nook and cranny (read: super shiny cutlery, soft fluffy thick towels, squeaky clean restroom fittings), what we most enjoyed was the warm service from the dedicated staff.
The reception staff were very friendly and helpful, and we also had a few delightful conversations with the lady pictured above who was checking and cleaning the rooms on our floor. She was so genuinely warm and conversant in English – we even found out that she had 5 kids and that the eldest operates a speedboat!
She also saved the day when she ran down with our box of travel medicine for the kids as we were on the way to checking out – we had left it in the fridge, and would have been very sorry to have gone home without it.
So, all in all, our family would highly recommend this hotel if you are looking for a simple yet comfortable stay in Krabi at unbeatable value. As the Chinese proverb says “麻雀虽小 五脏俱全” – a sparrow is small but all its organs are intact (it has everything it needs to function). In that sense, the Holiday Inn Express Krabi is indeed very much like a little sparrow.
p.s. More posts coming up on our time hopping to Railay’s beautiful beaches the food we had in Krabi, as well as how we found sister hotel Holiday Inn Resort Krabi!
Note: Thanks Holiday Inn Express Krabi for the media invite! Our family had a fantastic time.