I needed to be in London, UK, for about ten days, and was shocked by London area hotel prices (basically similar to comparable US hotel prices except that they're in pounds instead of dollars, making them about double). We also preferred a suburban location, as we only needed to go into central London once or twice in that period and like quieter, more rural properties when possible, so I was happy to find an "Express by Holiday Inn", as they're called in the UK, near Epping Forest, but close enough to reasonably travel into town and reach other suburban locations.
The hotel is much more in the "budget" category than I'd class most Holiday Inn Expresses in the US. Our room was pleasant and modern, but economizing was reflected in furnishings which included no closed storage; no closet and neither doors nor drawers, just open shelves and cubbies. However, the furnishings, including mattresses, and equipment, were to a good standard. The smallish bathroom had a reasonably roomy stall shower, but no bathtub. The standard allocation of towels was one hand towel and one bath towel per guest, no wash cloths supplied. (Disposable paper-fiber face cloths are supplied.) No toiletries are normally supplied except for liquid soap dispensers next to the sink and in the shower. Some clever design features, though, made the bathroom fine, except for travellers who require a tub, and the plumbing fixtures were well above average.
In-room tea and coffee making facilities are limited to UHT milks, powdered coffee, tea bags, and an electric kettle, but the coffee making facilities in the breakfast bar are available most of the time. The included "continental breakfast" was good, much better than average, including a choice of juices, an excellent selection of cold cereals, fruit, (fresh and in bowls in a small refrigerator, which also contained a variety of yogurts, individually packed cheeses and cream cheese,) a very nice variety of rolls, breads and bagels, two large toasters, butter, margarine, jams and other spreads, a variety of sweet breakfast pastries, and a wide range of teas and coffees. All the above were in good supply and the breakfast bar was replenished and neatened constantly by an attendant. Breakfast was served until 9:30 weekdays and 10:30 weekends, guests often continued breakfast until after the scheduled times, and no one was rushed away. Even when the breakfast bar was crowded with folks using the conference facilities, getting breakfast and finding seats was never a real problem.
Internet access (wireless), like many UK hotels, was available, but expensive at GBP10 per day. (Also available for a 1/2 hour for GBP 3.50 or an hour at GBP 4.50.) Telephone calls, again as tends to be common in the UK , are expensive. Incoming calls can be problematic; when there is only one person on the desk the hotel's phones may go unanswered, and there is no way to dial directly to a guest room from outside. There is no voicemail system for guests.
Unlike many properties only slightly closer to Central London, this property offers free parking, and there were always plenty of spaces.
The hotel is a moderate walk to the Buckhurst Hill Underground station, and the train ride into London on the Central line took us just over a half hour each way. By car the motel is very close to the A406 North Circular (orbital) Road and a reasonable drive to the M25 motorway. Part of Epping Forest is very a short walk and we enjoyed watching a Grey Heron fishing and Moorhens tending their nest and chicks, just a very short walk from the hotel. Further, but still a short drive, are beautiful areas of the forest and its veteran trees.
A major lack in this property is air conditioning except for reception and the breakfast area; guest rooms could become unacceptably hot in warmer weather. While we were there, temperatures were warm (up to 27C), but it cooled off in the evenings so that sleeping was not a problem, but in summer, we would not be happy guests! Add to this problem noise from equipment next door which could make keeping the window open; I would recommend asking for an odd numbered room; these face the parking lot and away from the noise.
Weighing pros and cons, we would consider staying at this property again, but not in summer or if hot temperature were expected.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.