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This post started off as just a Holiday Inn North Phoenix review. I always wonder how useful hotel reviews of random hotels across the country truly are, and after a bit of noodling, this post turned into some broader thoughts about Holiday Inns as a whole.  The Holiday Inn North Phoenix was one of the hotels that I stayed at during my Nevada / California / Arizona County trip that I took with my son last month.  I was participating in the IHG Accelerate promotion, which required 2 paid stays at Holiday Inns.  I did my first one at the Holiday Inn Washington Dulles Intl Airport, when I was there to speak at the Family Travel for Real Life conference

(SEE ALSO: Family Travel for Real Life 3 (#FT4RL) live-blog #1: Dan from Points With a Crew on Panning for Gold with low level hotel redemptions)

(SEE ALSO: What you missed by not attending Family Travel for Real Life (#FT4RL) this weekend)

Holiday Inn North Phoenix

We arrived at the Holiday Inn North Phoenix after our visit to the Grand Canyon, arriving there about 9pm.  The Holiday Inn North Phoenix is (wait for it…) north of Phoenix, which was nice as we were coming down I-17 from the Grand Canyon.

The room was a basic 2 queen bed room, and the beds were comfortable


Bathroom was basic but functional


We had a fine night’s sleep, which is most of what we were going for.

The Holiday Inn North Phoenix is a Category 2 hotel (15,000 points / night).  Because I was trying to qualify for the IHG Accelerate promotion, I paid cash (well, credit card) – the out the door rate with taxes was $90.57.

(READ: My IHG Accelerate points have posted – have yours?)

Why I hate Holiday Inns

To explain why staying at the Holiday Inn North Phoenix reminded me why I hate Holiday Inns, let me back up to when we checked in.  One of the things I value at a hotel is breakfast, which typically is not complimentary at most Holiday Inns.  When we checked in, I asked

Are there any breakfast vouchers for Platinum members?

This worked at the Holiday Inn Washington Dulles Intl Airport, but at the Holiday Inn North Phoenix, the gentleman paused and said “No, it’s not included”.  What I felt like saying was, “I know you CAN give out vouchers, but you just don’t WANT to”.  I get that IHG Platinum isn’t even top-tier any more, and I just have it from the credit card, but sheesh.

I guess when it boils down to it, Holiday Inn has positioned itself (at least in mine and seemingly most others minds) as a “budget” hotel.  I mean, this is a Category 2 hotel that cost $79 / night.  It’s one thing when a “fancy” hotel doesn’t include breakfast, I understand it, but at seemingly “budget” hotels, breakfast is typically included.  I mean there are hotels that give out free DINNER too!

I should clarify that this only refers to Holiday Inns. Holiday Inn EXPRESS hotels, on the other hand, serve a delicious breakfast, including my favorite hotel breakfast food – Holiday Inn Express cinnamon rolls!


What about you?  Am I being too hard on Holiday Inns? What has your experience been? Leave a note in the comments

Nevada / California / Arizona Trip Report

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