Rated 4.7 out of 5 by 77
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Joby2 Good Location and Very Good Property
This property is a class act. Very good staff and amenities. No IHG Rewards Club Member recognition for corporate rate guests unfortunately. Strange, as the corporate rate we pay this property is higher than most.
November 14, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Richard152 One of the best HIE's we have stayed in
Couldn't fault it at all. Thanks also for the dinner recommendation - Sal's.
November 6, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by ReadingQuest A Model Holiday Inn Express
In the delightful little hamlet of Woodstock in the rolling hills of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, there once was a rather unremarkable little chain hotel. With few options around, I'm sure it reigned supreme in the area back in its day. Perhaps that made it lazy and complacent. It is no more.
The former hotel's demise is your gain, though, because it was extensively renovated and re-opened as a Holiday Inn Express. And not just *any* Holiday Inn Express: this is what Intercontinental Hotels Group wants you to picture when you picture HIEx. This is a chain of hotels I frequently stay with, and this is to me the best in the HIEx brand family.
When you arrive, you walk into a spacious, well-decorated, open and airy lobby, with a fireplace in the center and lots of comfortable seating. There are huge windows that bring in plenty of daylight. Whoever did this design did a bang-up job, and you might not notice at first that this grand entry is a much newer addition to that former other-chain-hotel. I think they did an awesome job integrating it but also in making a bold and appealing new lobby and breakfast room. It sits conveniently at the end of the hotel where you drive in from the main drag.
The original L-shaped blocks of rooms from its tenure as a different hotel remain, which is actually to your advantage as a guest. Why? Because this was a poured concrete hotel, not stick-built with 2x4s (like the hotels nearby): that means you will not feel your room vibrate and shake when the guests above you walk to the bathroom. Since I stay in hotels about 150 nights a year, I relish the chance to be in one where my room is solid and the noise of hotel activity is pretty well insulated.
Of course, here's the trade-off in converting that old ordinary chain hotel into this much nicer Holiday Inn Express: the elevator is down in the elbow of the L-shaped block of rooms, which made sense given where the lobby once was. (I'm sorry for this hotel and for guests who might consider staying here that the elevator was enough of an issue to (apparently) knock some stars off the Yelp! rating. I'd say it's not deserved.)
There's a very decent fitness center with two treadmills, a stationery bike, and an elliptical machine. Not all hotels are thoughtful enough to have a water cooler, but here, they do. The pool is outdoors, and fair-weather only, but it's nestled nicely in the crook of the L-shape without being right up against the building. It's decent.
Don't worry about any carry-over from the age or amenities of the former hotel: there are no ghosts of its previous iteration remaining because the hotel was completely renovated and completely redecorated. Even though it's now been around a few years, this hotel manages to keep giving off a fairly "new" feel to me, and I say that having stayed here for years.
The rooms are a comfortable size. I think by now most (if not all) of the rooms have been upgraded to flat panel TVs. The rooms I've stayed in have always had a microwave and fridge. The bedding has a more luxurious feel to it, and I like the HIEx tactic of giving you (and marking well) two soft and two firm pillows. I also like the HIEx bathroom amenities that tie in with their big cinnamon roll push: the soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotions have a nice whiff of cinnamon to them.
Speaking of cinnamon rolls, this place does a great breakfast. They've occasionally had a little trouble with their pancake machine but the breakfast room attendants get it back up and running pretty quickly. Plenty of full-sized yogurts, milk, biscuits and sausage gravy, coffee, bacon, eggs, breads and juices...and, of course, cinnamon rolls. I think you can get your fill here before heading out to start your day.
One of the best things on top of all these other great things here is the hotel staff: I get to see them all, what with checking in and out at various times. They are just awesome: friendly, gracious, welcoming, accommodating. I do not have much patience with bad service and I'm not going to blow smoke up your skirts on this: these folks have all shown the highest level of customer service each and every time I've been here. I'm willing to believe that there are two sides to every story, and of course sometimes a guest will have a bad stay and a bad interaction with hotel personnel. I just can't imagine who that would be among the staff I've been around at this hotel, though.
When you stay at this Holiday Inn Express, you really do get to Stay Smart, because I think the owners decided to play smart when designing and running it.
November 5, 2013