Holiday Inn Express & Suites off I-71 In Columbus: A Hidden 4-Star Gem

Holiday Inn Express & Suites off I-71 In Columbus: A Hidden 4-Star Gem

Holiday Inn’s Express line is well-known for the extra perks they offer travelers. The Express on Hudson Street in central Columbus, Ohio is no exception. They take guest services to a new level, and although the building retains the chain’s unassuming signature look, inside, guests are treated to customer care that feels very similar to a resort-style hotel. In fact, though there are several Holiday Inn Expresses dotting the Columbus perimeter, and one closer to the city’s downtown, only the Holiday Inn on Hudson has earned a 4-star rating.

Central to the city’s goings-on

Holiday Inn Express off 1-71 in Columbus.

This Holiday Inn Express is an easy turn off from Highway I-71, the main expressway bisecting Columbus from north to south. There are no confusing multiple turns; just exit, and you’re there. And the hotel is close to many of Columbus’ central attractions.

The Holiday Inn on Hudson is only 1.6 miles from Ohio State University; in fact, Mapfre Stadium is just across the highway, and the hotel’s south windows look out over it. Those who would prefer not to hassle with traffic and parking may just wish to walk over.

The Columbus Fairgrounds and Expo Center are just a mile on foot or a little more by car. If your travels bring you to Columbus specifically for festivities happening at the fairgrounds and expo center, then the 1-71 Holiday Inn is about as close as you can possibly get.

Local eateries are also within walking distance of the inn. It’s about two miles to reach the university’s food district on High Street. Walking is not strenuous, especially if you want to order dessert without feeling guilty! But if you prefer to drive, metered parking is available. You may have to walk a block or three, especially on weekends. High Street is a very popular night-life spot.

Special extra touches

The House Phone near the lobby.

When you walk into the lobby, friendly faces behind the service desk greet you. The hotel is decorated in sumptuous furniture and lamps. By the lobby sit the breakfast room and business center. This space is flanked by four large round wooden pillars on a half wall filled with floral arrangements. The effect is especially inviting, and throughout the day, you can find a few guests hanging out watching the large television, reading a newspaper, or taking advantage of the complimentary workstation with printer.

The hotel staff take great pains to foster an allover feeling of welcome. Message boards greet guests in the lobby. Employees are chatty and friendly. Everyone has time to smile at you and ask about your day. Even the stand offering complimentary newspapers goes the extra mile – it’s a statue of a St. Bernard dog, dressed as a butler, holding up a tray and offering passers-by the daily news.

Perhaps one of the most thoughtful touches this hotel offers is the personalized chocolate bar and thank you note, left in your room before you’ve even made it into the door. Your name is printed out on a full size candy bar, and the accompanying note offers some convenient information, like the local weather forecast for your stay.

Posh accommodations with all the extras

A clean and cozy room comes with everything.

Guests accustomed to staying at various Holiday Inn Expresses across the country will be familiar with the chain’s efforts to give clients a little extra. Free Wi-Fi is a delightful bonus, and so is the free buffet-style breakfast every morning. A choice in pillow firmness on every bed is easy to get used to.

Yet the Holiday Inn on Hudson Street goes even further. Every room comes equipped with a microwave and a mini fridge. A convenient work-station in the corner of the room is close to several electrical outlets – no unplugging the lamp or the coffee-maker required! The flat-screen TV has premium channels, so you don’t have to miss your favorite shows.

In the bathrooms, the large mirror is enclosed in a nice frame. Toiletries are showcased on the counter on their own little supply stage. Some of the tubs and sinks are getting closer to the end of their life expectancy, and their surfaces show some wear, but they are scrubbed absolutely clean. And the tap water tastes okay, so you don’t have to worry about your in-room tea, coffee, or water tasting funny.

Amenities: Much more than the minimum

The main breakfast bar.

The sense of getting far more than you’re paying for doesn’t stop at the rooms and the friendly staff. Each feature of the hotel is just a little bit bigger and grander than the standard.

The indoor pool is small, but plenty of towels and comfortable deck chairs and tables line the perimeter. A full wall of glass lets in daylight. And the pool is heated, a rare comfort.

The fitness center is fully equipped. Several machines line the main floor; other workout accessories line the walls. One end of the room has a full wall mirror, so you can keep track of your form.

The free breakfast bar offers many choices, even fresh pancakes. It’s constantly resupplied and tidied up all morning long.

The luxury spills outside

The fountain at night, lit up and alluring.

Just outside, by the hotel’s main entrance, is a small courtyard. A bench backs up to greenery under arched windows. An impressive fountain lights up at night, and is flanked by small trees and shrubs on the side facing the road. Folks flock here day and night for photos, or to sit on the stones and be near the water.

Make Your Stay in Columbus Easy and Pleasant

Easy access to the highway and local attractions, coupled with top-notch service, make the Holiday Inn on Hudson St. a lovely location to explore from.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I love exploration. I was on my first camping trip mere weeks after my birth, and I’ve sought out new experiences ever since. I wrote my first travel narrative at twelve years old, about a family...Read more

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