What is the difference between Holiday Inn and Express?

difference between Holiday Inn and Express

Have you ever planned a trip and found yourself stumped as to which type of accommodations would be best for your journey? Understanding the differences between your options will help you make the best decision for your specific budget, needs, and preferences.

In this article, we’ve examined the distinctions between Hotel Inn and Hotel Inn Express. Whether you are a weekend traveler or a week-long vacation enthusiast, having a place to stay at night is essential, and there are numerous options available to you.

Here’s what we are going to talk about today:

  1. The difference between Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
  2. What’s better for your type of travel?
  3. What is more popular among tourists?
  4. Which kind of hotel is going to provide you with better service?

Let’s get started!

Some basics about the problem to distinguish

Most people understand the distinction between a luxurious resort and a campground, or even between a bed and breakfast and a hostel, but the majority of us aren’t familiar with the distinction between a Hotel Inn and a Hotel Inn Express, even though they both serve the same basic function – a place to sleep.

Before we dive into details, the key difference between the Holiday Inn and Express is that one has a more limited service than the other. Both types of accommodations are available in the United States and Canada, and they can also be found in other countries around the world.

Convenience is very important, and these hotels are typically located in desirable areas, such as near popular attractions.

Business travelers attending a conference may prefer Express amenities such as room service or a sit-down restaurant to keep their schedule as stress-free as possible.

Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn

This is a symbol for a type of hotel in the United States and other countries that offer reasonably priced rooms. Holiday Inn hotels are full-service, mid-scale hotels that are noted for their comfort, value, and dependability around the world.

Holiday Inn hotels welcome 100 million visitors each year. There are two sorts of full-service hotels: high-rise plaza hotels and low-rise full-service hotels. Many high-rises with round, central-core structures, which are instantly recognized from the 1970s, were also included in the former.

Both hotels provide a restaurant, pools in most locations, room service, a fitness area, and basic yet comfortable rooms. When it comes to property amenities and relaxing vacations, Holiday Inn offers more luxurious accommodations, fast Wi-Fi, room service, fitness centers, spas, and other services.

If you are visiting an unfamiliar area, holiday inns usually have more staff, such as receptionists and concierges, who can help you plan activities or provide local information.

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express

Belongs to the InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) family of brands and is a mid-priced hotel chain. As an “express” hotel, they concentrate on providing fewer services at a low cost.

Standard amenities appeal to business travelers and short-term visits with a focus on convenience and practicality. Business travelers can use the business center at most Express hotels, which includes PCs, printers, and fax machines.

In addition, for business travelers who carry their laptop computer, all Express hotels in the United States offer free local calls and free Wi-Fi internet. In North America, corporate architectural prototypes are what models of Express hotels are made from there are about 50–70 rooms, with a combination of suites and ordinary rooms. The bulk of Express hotels are new or recently remodeled, owing to the chain’s rapid expansion.

The first Holiday Inn Express hotels were modest with rooms that can be compared to those of high-priced hotels, but no room service, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, health club, conference facilities, or other amenities, with only continental breakfast and an exercise room available.

On the other hand, newer Express accommodations include most of the amenities found in the higher-end Holiday Inn brand, such as a restaurant and bar, conference spaces, and even a full-service spa.

So, what’s the difference?

Here are some highlighted differences between the Holiday inn and the Holiday inn Express:

  1. Availability and locations: Express hotels can be found on six continents, including famous tourist areas such as Spain, Australia, Japan, France, Thailand, Italy, and throughout the United States. Regularly, new Express Hotels sites are opened. In China, for example, Holiday Inn Express Baoding Downtown, Holiday Inn Express Linzhi Airport, and Holiday Inn Express Zhuhai City Center have recently opened. However, just about 1,000 plus Holiday Inn hotels can be found all over the world.
  2. Service Level: Holiday Inn Express is less likely to provide some amenities such as a full-service hotel, bars, and restaurants, as well as room service and prompt staff, meeting spaces, and catering services. Whereas, Holiday Inn provides all the amenities listed above and more. The Holiday Inn Express is classified as a limited-service hotel. They will provide a complimentary breakfast buffet, but they do not usually have a restaurant or bar on site.
  3. Foodservice: The Holiday Inn Express offers complimentary buffet-style food service, while Holiday Inn guests can order room service or dine in the on-site restaurant.
  4. Family Travel and Business Travel: Holiday Inns are ideal for family vacations because children dine for free. Meals can be one of the most expensive aspects of traveling aside from accommodations and flights, that is, Holiday Inn caters to families searching for a comfortable place to unwind together, while Holiday Inn Express caters to business travelers on a short trip. You don’t have to leave the hotel to enjoy a family lunch because Holiday Inn includes restaurants and bars on-site. While Holiday Inn Express is the top choice for business travelers.

InterContinental Hotel Group’s Rewards

As an InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) Rewards member, you will receive more benefits and perks when getting a room at a Holiday Inn or Express. You can use your points to book a stay at any IHG hotel, with no blackout dates.

If you don’t have enough points or want to save some for later, you can book a Points & Cash booking. Those who have an IHG co-branded credit card can extend their points even further by receiving a free fourth night when making an award reservation.

Getting points for paid stays is also very profitable. As a member, you’ll receive about ten times the points and also a bonus of up to 100% depending on your elite status. IHG credit cardholders can get up to 25x points, making a stay at a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express more profitable. IHG promotions from time to time can result in even more points.


If you’re still speculating on the differences between Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express and which one would be suitable for you, the answer is a personal preference. Do you prefer a full-service hotel stay or a more limited-service hotel experience?

With all the information gathered above, picking or deciding on a place to stay has been made easy. Also, always double-check government restrictions at your destination before booking or traveling, be prepared to comply with local orders, and be aware of other requirements. Have fun deciding on which hotel to stay in for your vacation/trip.