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After spending a week exploring Paris and Luxembourg, my eldest two kids and I headed back to the airport for our flight out. Since I’d booked a fairly early departure from Charles de Gaulle airport, we’d needed an airport hotel for the night. I settled on the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport.

The hotel cost 20,000 IHG points. Cash rates were about €98 before taxes, so it wasn’t an incredibly great use of points. But it was free. And that is sometimes what counts most. Rates vary, but you probably won’t ever get a phenomenal value from your points using them here.

Arriving at the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport

We headed back to CDG airport from Luxembourg via train to Metz, and then a rental car. I blazed across the hills of France doing over 80 mph in a tiny Citroen (who comes up with these speed limits?!). We didn’t get in until just before sunset, which is fairly late in the summer.

After returning the car in Terminal 1, we caught the CDGVAL train to the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport. The train is free and connects all the terminals and parking areas of Charles de Gaulle airport. The hotel is only one stop, and a fairly short walk from the CDGVAL station.

It was late when we arrived, but there was still some light in the summer sky. The exterior of the hotel looks modern enough for a Holiday Inn Express. Let’s hope the interior is the same.

Man, what a line!

Everything started off on the wrong foot once we stepped inside. First, there was a huge line for the desk. We waited a solid 15 minutes to check in. I’m not a fan of lines, and it was already late, so this wasn’t welcomed.

Second, the WiFi has issues for the first half hour or more after we arrived. I really needed to finish up some research for our travel day. Eventually everything started working and and got the answers I needed. Still, this was more time wasted when we could have been sleeping. I almost gave up.

Lastly, the phone was…odd. Either I couldn’t figure out how to work the thing, or the handset was inoperable. The two calls I made to the desk both had to be on speaker. It took me three attempts to figure that out. I doubt the desk appreciated it.

But on the plus side

In many other ways the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport was excellent. Everything was fairly new and clean. The lobby was very large and had great seating and character.

There were a number of spaces where you could just sit and relax.

I’m not sure who goes to an airport hotel to hang out all evening in the lounge, but this place has you covered.

There is also a bar, which may be the first I’ve seen at a Holiday Inn Express. All the cards on the other tables are drink lists.

holiday inn express cdg airport

At least the front desk came through for my one need: a shaving kit. I was going to try to make it the whole trip without shaving, but my face had been driving me crazy that day. The scruff had to go before the flight.

While I was headed down to inquire, I came across a vending unit that contained shaving supplies and other sundries. I sure hoped they wouldn’t direct me here. Paying €7.90 to shave would not have been fun.

But I shouldn’t have worried. The desk agent gave me a disposable razor kit.

Standard King Room

I had booked a king and a sofa bed for the three of us. It is not my preferred option, but it is the most ideal for the three of us. Anyway, it’s not often rooms have 3 beds, or even two beds and a decent couch. A king and a sofa bed does just fine.

The sofa bed was set up when we arrived, which was amazing. I’m not sure if this is a normal touch for the hotel, but it helped tremendously.

The room wasn’t large, but it offered everything we needed for one night.

The bathroom was nice and clean and everything seemed very new. It made me wonder how long the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport has been open.

There were a good number of outlets, too, which is a common feature of most modern hotel construction due to our world of devices. Thank goodness for USB right next to the bed.

In room coffee. Even the instant stuff was appreciated in the morning. Our 6:30 a.m. wake up call came all too early, especially after our late arrival.

We experienced little runway noise, too, which was nice. The Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport isn’t all that close to the runways, but I was still worried we might be kept up by it.

Morning and breakfast

Breakfast was located on the west side of the lobby and was very good, as far as Holiday Inn Express hotels go. I’d venture to say it was the best Holiday Inn Express breakfast I’ve ever had.

Plenty of cereal options for the kids.

Cold cuts and cheese were offered, something I’ve never seen at a Holiday Inn Express.

Definitely a French touch. Or maybe just Europe in general.

The signature cinnamon rolls were notably absent at the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport. Personally, I wasn’t sad to see them go. They aren’t really a favorite of mine. The kids didn’t even know that they were missing. But they still enjoyed breakfast.

Transfer back to CDG

We left the same way we arrived: via the CDGVAL. We continued down the line to Terminal 2 where we hiked our way through the airport, eventually making it the spacious terminal to wait for our Air France A380 flight home. I’m glad we’d stayed so close to the airport.

We could have weighed our luggage before we took off from the hotel, but I knew we were going to be within the limits. Plus, it costs money.

The CDGVAL was quick, and even though Charles de Gaulle Airport is large, we were able to check-in, drop our bag and make it to our gate with plenty of time. The convenient location of the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport is definitely a plus.


Overall, our stay at the Holiday Inn Express CDG Airport was good. Check in was frustrating (I hate lines), but nothing truly tainted the stay. The breakfast was the finest I’ve ever had at a Holiday Inn Express hotel, and a real highlight. The room was small, but comfortable. Given the value and location, I’d happily book it again.

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