Let me start by saying that when 90% of the hotel is likely filled by hockey kids and parents (and you are not one of them), it is expecting a lot to have a quiet stay. However, the physical property and features of the hotel itself are very nice, freshly constructed or updated, with comfortable bedding and pillow options, flat-screen television in the room, free wireless internet (which we did not use), reasonably sized pool and whirlpool area (although the whirlpool was a bit lukewarm for my taste), and a spacious breakfast area for the hot, complimentary breakfast provided each morning. Perhaps because it was obviously a hockey tournament weekend, prices were high, but I have not paid that much for a Holiday Inn Express anywhere else on a non-holiday weekend.
Unfortunately, we ended up in the handicap accessible room which was located adjacent to the open breakfast area (with noise that becomes amplified as multiple voices join in), across from the hallway to the pool area, which is tile and amplifies noise, and the hallway to the pool also contains vending machines, with the elevator access practically just outside the door to our room. The door to the room does not provide good noise protection at all -- perhaps a door sweep on the bottom would help rather than a gap which lets in more noise and light? The voices from the breakfast area, pool traffic and elevator quieted down after 11 when the pool was supposed to close for the evening, but were roaring pretty good starting by 6:30 AM on a Sunday morning accompanied by the pounding of feet with kids running up and down the hall to and from the breakfast room, parents calling to kids from the breakfast area as they headed down the hall or elevaor, etc. Management might consider posting a sign by the elevator door and/or hall entrance to the pool reminding people to keep voices down as rooms are close by (or at least the handicapped accessible room on the first floor is!).
The parking lot is ample and free, with Perkins a short distance away, but no other restaurants or services within walking distance. You really need to drive into Virginia, only 5-10 minutes away, for more options, though. The Holiday Inn Express is probably the nicest hotel in the area, with the Giant's Ridge quite a distance away. So, if the Giant's Ridge Lodge was full, we'd likely consider staying here again, but only if we could get a room away from the high-traffic areas given the lack of sound protection.
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