Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry

Hotel Review


Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry
Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry

The Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry is Derry’s newest hotel and is located in the heart of the city centre on Strand Road just a 20 minute taxi ride (fare approximately  £12) from City of Derry Airport.  Derry is Northern Ireland’s second city and has so much to offer not only as a city break destination but also as a hub for exploring the Causeway Coast and Wild Atlantic Way.

Arrival and Check-in

Entrance foyer, Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry
The hotel’s open plan entrance foyer

We arrived at the hotel late evening and were warmly welcomed by the reception staff.  The entrance hall is bright and cheerful and features an attractive city map mural etched on one of its walls.  Check-in only took a matter of minutes and soon afterwards we were taking one of the high powered lifts up to our room on the third floor.

The Room

Our room at the Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry
Our spacious twin room

I’ve stayed in numerous IHG properties and sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between the brands as this sparkling new Holiday Inn Express room was of just as high a standard as their full service Holiday Inns.  Our spacious twin room furnished in shades of cream, orange and beige had floor to ceiling windows, a 50″ smart TV, comfortable armchair and work area.

Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry bathroom
Our stylish bathroom

Along with the usual hospitality tray, there was a hairdryer, and iron and board  cleverly concealed in the corner of the wardrobe.  Wi-Fi was fast and reliable and happily we didn’t need to re-connect at all during our stay.  Being a new hotel, power points came equipped with USB sockets at the side of the beds which we found to be very useful.  The ensuite bathroom featured a large walk-in shower with a powerful monsoon shower head, thick fluffy towels and on-trend wash basin with a turquoise splash back.

Room at the Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry
Our sparkling new room

I like to be warm and the room temperature appeared to be ideally set as we didn’t need to fiddle with the controls during our stay.  The beds were extremely comfortable and seconds after slipping between the crisp white bed linen we were both sound asleep.


Breakfast buffet area at Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry
The breakfast buffet area

Breakfast is served daily in the open plan Express cafe bar on the ground floor.  To avoid queues guests are requested to pre-book time slots for the buffet and this worked well on both days as although the hotel was fully booked we had no difficulty finding a table or experiencing a queue at 8.30 a.m.  Meals and snacks are then available from the cafe bar until 10.00 p.m. each evening.


Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry lounge area
The open plan lounge area

The hotel has a large open plan bar-lounge and is tastefully furnished with choices of seating ranging from armchairs to long workstation tables with high stools.  The reception desk is staffed 24 hours and there are two lifts servicing all floors.  Due to the hotel’s central location it lacks its own car park but for guests arriving by car, there is a multi-storey close by which charges £12 per day.

Bar, Holiday Inn Express, Derry-Londonderry
The attractive bar lounge

Out and About

Derry with the Peace Bridge crossing the River Foyle
Derry with the Peace Bridge crossing the River Foyle

Having spent the weekend in Derry, I can highly recommend the city both as an excellent short break destination and also as a base for exploring both the Causeway Coast and Wild Atlantic Way.  Here are my suggestions of a selection of things to see and do on a weekend break.

City Walking Tour 

Derry City Walls Walking Tour
City Walls Walking Tour

Get to know the city by joining a walking tour around the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland.  The famous walls date back to the early part of the 17th century and have withstood several sieges.  Martin McCrossan City Walking Tour (£6/ person).

The Guildhall, Derry
The Guildhall

The Guildhall – fashioned in neo-gothic style, the Guildhall was built in 1887 by the Honourable Irish Society and boasts stunning examples of stained-glass windows illustrating the history of the city.  This magnificent local landmark overlooking the River Foyle boasts the second largest clock face in the British Isles after London’s Big Ben.  Guildhall

Interior of St. Columb's Cathedral, Derry
Interior of St. Columb’s Cathedral

St. Columb’s Cathedral – is the first cathedral in the British Isles to have been built after the Reformation.  The cathedral’s interior is a joy to behold from its ornate entrance hall and staircase to its marble pillars and intricately carved pews and choir stalls.  There are many fine stained glass windows which have recently been restored, a selection of regimental flags, memorials and a large collection of historical items from the time of the Siege.  St. Columb’s Cathedral

Carriage in the Tower Museum, Derry
Carriage in the Tower Museum

Tower Museum – this museum houses two exhibitions, the first is the Story of Derry which tells the story of the city from pre-Christian times to the present day.  Within the tower itself the Armada Shipwreck exhibition showcases artefacts from the La Trinidad Valencera found wrecked off the Donegal coast.  Tower Museum

Apprentice Boys Banner in the Siege Museum, Derry
An Apprentice Boys banner on display in the Siege Museum

The Siege Museum tells the history of the Siege of Londonderry and of the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, including artefacts, video and interactive displays.  The Siege Museum

Free Derry, Bogside, Derry
Free Derry in the Bogside area of the city

Museum of Free Derry located in the Bogside district it tells the story of what happened in the city during the period of 1968-1972, popularly known as ‘Free Derry’, as well as the civil rights era, Battle of the Bogside Internment, Bloody Sunday and Operation Motorman.  Museum of Free Derry

Murals in the People's Gallery, Bogside, Derry
Murals in the People’s Gallery

The People’s Gallery – Located in the Bogside area are a series of 12 murals decorating the gable ends of houses near Free Derry Corner.  They are the work of three Bogside Artists who lived through the worst of the Troubles in Bogside.

Craft Village, Derry
The Craft Village

The Craft Village – tucked away down a passage off Shipquay Street is filled with quaint shops offering locally handmade products.

Food and Drink:

Derry Girls Afternoon Tea, Everglades Hotel
Derry Girls Afternoon Tea, Everglades Hotel

Derry Girls Afternoon Tea at the Everglades Hotel – fans of the hit Channel 4 show will adore this themed afternoon tea featuring cream horns, a cone of chips, cheese and onion crisp sarnies and the famous Derry sausage roll bap.  Alongside these programme specialities are the usual afternoon tea favourites of dainty finger sandwiches, warm scones with cream and jam, desserts and a selection of cakes and macaroons.  Unlimited pots of tea or coffee and a delicious Derry Girls cocktail are also included.  Derry Girls Afternoon Tea

Walled City Brewery, Derry
Walled City Brewery, Derry

Walled City Brewery – housed in a historic military barracks in Ebrington Square the Walled City Brewery offers signature beers created on site to pair with an excellent menu showcasing flavours of the north west.  Ensure you arrive with a big appetite as portions are very generous.  Walled City Brewery


Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry
One of the comfortable lounge areas

On visiting the Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry I feel that it is an ideal option for a short break in Derry and with its central location the entire city is easily walkable from the hotel.  With first rate accommodation, a complimentary breakfast and additional supplies of tea, milk, etc. readily available from reception the hotel offers excellent value for money.  The friendly team seem to really care about their guests and  I’m certain you’ll also enjoy a pleasant stay.

Details: Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry, 31 Strand Road, Derry BT48  7 BL.

During our stay we were guests of Visit Derry and as always, all views and opinions are entirely my own.


If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also like:

Exploring Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry Guildhall & Bogside


26 thoughts on “Holiday Inn Express Derry-Londonderry

  1. I just finished watching Derry Girls (which I LOVE!), and it’s coincidental that you just had a recent trip to Derry! Never been to Northern Ireland, but I’d love to visit it, especially to stroll down the roads that were filmed for the show. Glad you had a wonderful time there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read lots of travel blogs, and this is the first time that I’ve seen a chain hotel mentioned in any European city. And I’m thrilled about it! We stay in Holiday Inn Express hotels or Hampton Inns almost exclusively on our travels. However, I do have to say that the new HIE in Derry is the prettiest one I’ve ever seen. Derry looks like a fascinating destination that I know nothing about, so I will have to read more about the city. Thank you for sharing, Marion!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s my pleasure Kellye. The HI Express with its free breakfast was a really nice, affordable city centre hotel. Derry is a very interesting city with quite a history as it’s a border town. It’s also a great starting point for a roundtrip along the dramatic Causeway Coast. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment, it always means a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think it was from another one of your posts some time back that I was inspired to start watch Derry Girls and I loved it! It became my go to binge watch show since then so it was so fun to see the Derry Girls high tea 🙂 Looks like a wonderful place to stay and so close to many of the great things to see in Derry.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Amazing how HIE looks the same in almost every city, but they do offer consistency, comfort and convenience. Glad this one worked out for you in Derry. We enjoyed our 2 days in Derry in 2017. It offered hope for a more peaceful future. Thanks for sharing Marion. Allan

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’ve been to Derry many times and would love to go again as there are still a few museums and tourist attractions I haven’t visited. I very much enjoyed exploring the City Walls and discovering the seven gates that encompass the original town, which still preserves its Renaissance-style street plan. It is certainly a city unlike any other. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This Holiday Inn looks like the perfect place to stay while visiting Derry. It looks beautiful, and that is really cool that places are easy to visit from this spot. Also, the murals in the city look so detailed, and it is interesting to learn the history of the region as well, thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I like the city map mural – that’s a great way of showing guests where is what in the city! And your room do look quite cozy – I’m always excited when there is a monsoon shower 😀. The city has so much to offer and such lovely architecture. Oh, but look at that afternoon tea tray … what a great variety (and lovely photo of you)! I’m sure this new hotel will go from strength to strength – it’s great to read there are still new places opening and doing a brilliant job!

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.