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“On cusp of dicey neighborhood but lovely, convenient” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown

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Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   221 North Gay Street, Baltimore, MD 21202   |  
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Ranked #37 of 59 Hotels in Baltimore
suffield, ct
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“On cusp of dicey neighborhood but lovely, convenient”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

The good: This hotel has pleasant staff, free breakfast, is just 5 short blocks to Inner Harbor and has a stunning lobby with soaring marble columns and intricate well kept decor and celings built circa 1900. It is an old bank and it is lovely ! It has a shuttle that will drive you a max of 3 miles around town. We saw cops on patrol several times.

The bad: The immediate neighborhood is poor. The naughty district is 4 blocks away. The juvenile court is kitty korner across the street. Looks like a lot of working class poor around. I would not walk it after sunset.

This hotel was a very good value. If I were to stay near the Inner Harbor again I would stay here after exhausting the many other nearby hotels. It's a great hotel in a not-so-good place.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiebaltimore, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Thank you for your comments. We really appreciate the having the opportuniy to host your visit to Baltimore. We look forward to welcoming you when you return to Baltimore
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217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
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English first
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

In as few words as possible:
Location is bad, only 28 parking spots, my room was in an eerie basement, smelled musty, sheets were wet, service was poor, people were complaining to the desk. Last but not least, hookers were in the lobby and this night isn't even over.
DON'T STAY HERE

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown, responded to this review, July 14, 2013
Dear Scooterbean,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay. We value your comments as they help us to improve our services and maintain the very high standards of service our guests expect.

I was concerned to read that your stay was negatively affected by the level of service and cleanliness provided during your stay. I am sorry for any discomforts or inconvenience this has caused you. We strive to provide every guest with the highest level of service and customer care and I deeply regret that on this occasion we have failed to deliver.

While we understand that your stay was not 100% satisfactory, we would hope that you would give us another chance to make your stay as best as it can be.

Sincerely,

Dhan M
Case Manager
IHGCare
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Columbia, Maryland
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Great location, close to inner harbor (5-7 minute walk), neighborhood is a bit sketchy. Room was large and well maintained, bed was great, breakfast was pretty good with hot food. Parking was the only issue. Be well aware that the hotel has limited parking and if you dont book through the hotel website you have to park on the street and there are a multitude of homeless people in the area so I paid extra and parked in public parking closer to the inner harbor.Other than that I would definitely stay there again. They do have a shuttle that will take you just about anywhere you want to go that leaves the hotel on the hour which is also nice.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Dear djbarden41,

Thank you for your review and for enumerating the good, the bad and the opportunities to improve. I am delighted to hear that you liked our room and our superb location. Whilst I am pleased with the good comments, I truly value the negative comments as this gives us the opportunity of improving what we can offer. I am sorry for the inconvenience our parking may have caused. As we continually strive for excellence in customer service, we maintain the ideal of keeping guest satisfaction as our top priority. This feedback will be shared with the appropriate people that can help us make a difference to ensure our valued guests' needs and expectations are met in the future.

Thank you again for your review and I hope to have an opportunity of welcoming you back again soon.

Sincerely,

Krysllin G.
Case Manager
IHGCare
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Yarmouth, Canada
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I, with our 2 teenagers, went to Baltimore to see a bit of the area and catch a ball game.

Due to flight times, we arrived at 10 am (on a Sunday) knowing full well that there wasn't much chance the room would be ready. Tina, our front desk lady, was great! She was apologetic and contacted housekeeping to see how long before a room could be cleaned. In the meantime, she invited us to help ourselves to the breakfast offered and told us about the farmers market taking place down the road across the street. She had all kinds of information about Camden Yard and the best way to get to and from the game, including the free shutte at the hotel. The building is a converted bank and the lobby was huge, high ceilings with beautiful pillars and a walk in vault behind the front desk. All the ornate architecture was very well kept and clean.

The breakfast is standard Holiday Inn Express - eggs, toast, muffins, bacon, sausages, grits, cold cereal, pancake maker and yogurt. Juices, tea, coffee and milk were also available. The standard cinnamon buns that tend to be a bit dry, were fresh and delicious!

Once we got to our room, it was on the basement floor, below the lobby. There were 2 beds - a queen and queen plus. Also was a living area with fold out couch, end tables, bar fridge, office area and jet tub. The bathroom was large, with walk in shower. The best thing was since we were in the basement, the window was below ground level, so in the morning when the sun came up (which typically wakes us early), it remained nice and dark and we all had very restful sleeps! Beds were comfortable and the whole room was nice and clean with quiet and effective air conditioning.

To get to the game, we took advantage of the free shuttle - they dropped us off just ouside the ticket wickets and said they would come back on the hour and half hour to pick us up and drive us back to the hotel. The drivers were courteous, helpful and nice to talk to.

Given the location, comfortable and clean room, free breakfast, free shuttle and great service of the staff(Tina in particular), we recommend this hotel to everyone --- if we are lucky enough to head back to Baltimore, this is where we will stay again!

Room Tip: If you want a nice dark room for the morning to sleep longer, ask for a basement room.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

Preface: Our stay here was predicated on cost, favorable Trip Advisor reviews and past high satisfaction with Holiday Inn Expresses. This review is not favorable and before writing this, I again re-read the Trip Advisor reviews. I've written 30 prior hotel reviews and have rated only one terrible and one poor until now.

The Hotel: This facility is a former bank and office building. It's classic exterior is attractive. The hotel is located on the fringe of downtown in a shaky neighborhood as others have reported. It sets along the outer downtown side of I-83. This I knew from the get-go. A large juvenile justice center sets catercorner from the hotel. A block north is a large homeless health center where I saw numerous people sleeping outside the facility on a Sunday morning.

The Shuttle: The hotel has a shuttle van seating five. It leaves on the hour but make a reservation. Return pickups are on the half hour. They are fairly liberal where they will take you in the greater downtown area. But if you use the service, please tip your driver unlike two ladies with whom we rode. Baltimore has four circulator bus routes that you can ride for free. The Green Line stops along side the hotel and connects to Little Italy and Fells Point.

The Rooms: The rooms are sufficiently large and well decorated with what are supposed to be beige carpets. But maintenance of the rooms is a different matter. Our first room had dirty, stained carpet. When operating the cold water side of the wash basin faucet handle, nothing came out. All we could get was scalding hot water. Wouldn't housekeeping notice this? Obviously we couldn't stay here. I looked at a second room. Again the carpet was very dirty. There were some minor things so I asked to look at another room although I would have stayed in this room if we had it from inception. Our third room had another dirty, stained carpet, the worst. The beige carpet was black with dirt as in the other rooms. We then found the in-room safe wasn't operative although we reported it from inception. At this point, we surrendered and kept the room. The safe was never made operative during our three-night stay. We had to use the safe at the front desk. Getting in the shower the next morning, I couldn't readily determine whether the water flow was positioned for the faucet or shower head. I was immediately doused in ice-cold water. If the tub were cleaned after the prior guest, would the maid leave the water flow in the shower spray position? That afternoon we learned the free Wi-Fi would not operate in our room. The next day we tried it in the lobby and it worked there.

The Breakfast: The bacon and eggs are not appetizing. The only fruit is bananas and they were overly ripe on the first two days. Stick with cereal and yogurt.

The Exercise Room: The room has a bicycle, a treadmill and an elliptical machine. The treadmill did not work. It was reported to a person at the front desk whose response was nonchalant.

Summary of Maintenance Deficiencies: (1) non-functioning wash basin; (2) non-functioning in-room safe; (3) non-functioning Wi-Fi in guest room; (4) non-functioning treadmill in exercise room; (5) filthy carpeting in all three rooms. Does the hotel have a maintenance staff? Does the Holiday Inn Express organization inspect its member properties?

A Restaurant Warning When Dining in Non-National Chain Restaurants in Baltimore: Be very careful when dining in local restaurants. They may automatically add the gratuity and don't verbally tell you. On our second night out, I noticed a 15% gratuity was added (Captain James Landing); the third night out a gratuity was automatically added that I later figured was 18% on the base amount (Mo's Crab and Pasta Factory). I wonder whether I double tipped on our first night out.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear ChicagoKen60657,

Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns. Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience you have experienced and for the room conditions that did not meet your expectations. Our hotel is very proud of its level of service, cleanliness and quality of its product and for this reason, your comments about the cleanliness of the room has been documented and will be forwarded to the appropriate departments for necessary actions. While we understand that your stay was not 100% satisfactory, we would hope that you would give us another chance to make your stay as best as it can be.

Sincerely,

Janice A
Case Manager
IHGCare
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Paisley
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

The hotel is in a great location near central Baltimore and near the inner harbour. It's clean and well presented. The staff at reception are unwelcoming and disinterested. However the hotel offers a free shuttle to any point within a mile and the driver Ro has excellent driving and interpersonal skills. Not sure about security. Went to the gym on the basement floor early in the morning to find a guy sleeping in the corridor. Staff at breakfast are surly. Needs a tighter policy.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

I have to say that the lobby is very nice at this Holiday Inn. Check in could have been a little more friendly. Our girl at check in was obviously frustrated as it was Preakness weekend and she obviously didn't like the extra work a sold out hotel entailed and the jovial attitudes of the weekend patrons. Parking is available at a first come first serve basis, otherwise you have to park on the street. Not the worst street in Baltimore to park but it's a street in Baltimore nonetheless. Room was clean and comfortable. Nothing fancy, but for the price it was fine. I'll def stay there again if I had to.

Room Tip: don't eat the free breakfast
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Dear lunarluau,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of our property. I I'm delighted our clean and comfortable rooms suited you well. Please accept my apologies for the inconveniences you encountered during your stay and for the negative impression you had with the level of the staff service you received as well as parking situation. We will certainly discuss your comments with our staff. Your feedback is very important to us as this assists us in continually improving the services and facilities we have to offer to our guests.

Again, thank you for you valuable feedback.

Sincerely,

Zelyn N
Case Manager
IHGCare
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown

Address: 221 North Gay Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maryland > Baltimore
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 59 Hotels in Baltimore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown 2.5*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Holiday Inn Express Hotel in downtown Baltimore is now accepting reservations for arrivals after July 26, 2009. Brand new in 2009, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel Baltimore Downtown is conveniently located off I-83 a block away from the city hall in the heart of the city business and government district. The closest downtown hotel with free shuttle to Johns Hopkins Main Hospital and Medical Center, at the back yard of Merci Hospital, and with easy access to the Inner Harbor, the Baltimore National Aquarium, Science Center Museum, The Convention Center, University of Maryland Hospital, Art museum Mount Vernon, Fort McHenry, the Orioles Camden Yard stadium and the Ravens M&T Stadium. Baltimore, Maryland will keep you fully entertained by offering a variety of outdoor activities such as Baltimore Zoo, Power Plant night life, Historic Fells Point, Pimlico Horse Race Track. The 1920 historic, elegant building offers 68 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, including 5 suites equipped with deluxe, new bedding, Smart Bath Collection, granite counter tops, 32 flat panel multimedia televisions, and free wired/wireless high-speed Internet access.This brand new hotel also features spacious elegant lobby and grand room, Jacuzzi suites, exercise room, business center, meeting room. Stay Smart, we are confident that your stay with us will be a pleasant experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown Hotel Baltimore

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