Search for cheapest prices: Holiday Inn Express Park Royal Hotel
The Holiday Inn Express Park Royal is in the North Acton district of northwest London. Set in a bland five-storey building which looks as if it was built from a kit, this modern hotel offers budget accommodation about five miles from central London. However, the distance from the centre should not deter visitors. London Underground’s North Acton Station on the Central Line is a two-minute walk from the hotel and this whisks you into the heart of the capital in less than 20 minutes.
Since the hotel serves only breakfast, you’ll be looking elsewhere for other meals. Unfortunately, the surrounding area is not well endowed with restaurants, but you can take a train from North Acton Station and in less than 15 minutes alight at Notting Hill Gate, where there are many dining options.
The Malabar serves a sophisticated Indian menu and is just a three-minute walk from Notting Hill Gate Station on Uxbridge Street. Dishes include charcoal grilled lamb chops marinated in yoghurt and fresh mint, monkfish curry and the vegetarian kaddu, spiced pumpkin with fresh herbs. Take your children to Malabar on a Sunday and they’ll get a free lunch.
Geales, just a few steps from Notting Hill Gate on Farmer Street, has been serving traditional fish and chips since 1939. It’s had something of a revamp in recent years and now offers dishes like tempura softshell crab and a seafood platter that includes a whole lobster, tiger prawns, mussels and squid. Despite this poshification, you can still order an honest-to-goodness plate of fried, battered fish and chips.
For an off-the-beaten-track tourist experience, leave the hotel and walk north for about 15 minutes along Victoria Road. You’ll come to a bridge which crosses the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union Canal and you can access the well-maintained towpath there. Take a right turn along the path and you’ll be heading towards the centre of London.
Look out for herons, cormorants and even dinner-plate sized terrapins. Those last are not native, but the result of thoughtless owners dumping pets. You’ll notice lots of walkers, joggers, cyclists and even anglers along the towpath, meaning it’s perfectly safe. However, walking there after dark is not recommended. Keep going for about 30 minutes until you reach a wildlife reserve called Meanwhile Gardens. You can leave the canal there to join Golborne Road, which will lead you to Portobello Road and its market.
The Holiday Inn Express Park Royal’s 108 non-smoking guestrooms have Swedish style furnishings, colourful abstract prints on the walls and bright fabrics. All rooms are equipped with wifi, flatscreen TVs with pay movies, direct dial phones and hairdryers. The accommodation is configured as double, twin or family rooms for up to two adults and two children, with children up to 18 years old staying free in their parents’ room. All rooms have tea and coffee making facilities and six rooms are wheelchair accessible with the option of connecting carer rooms.
There’s a safety deposit box at the 24-hour reception and dry cleaning and laundry services are available. The hotel has three meeting rooms with the largest able to accommodate up to 60 people theatre-style. The hotel can provide audio-visual equipment and a catering service.
A buffet breakfast is included in the room rates. Guests can tuck in to warm pastries, cereals, yoghurt or fruit juice. Cooked items such as scrambled egg, sausages and baked beans are also served. The hotel has a lounge bar with large-screen TV, complimentary newspapers and wifi.
Trains from North Acton Station will speed you into central London on the Central Line. Oxford Circus is 20 minutes away, and St Paul’s Cathedral is a journey of another four stops, which takes about five minutes.
Travellers arriving at Heathrow Airport can take the Heathrow Connect train service to Ealing Broadway, changing there for the Central Line to alight at North Acton Station.