Okay, I admit it. I’m a bit prejudiced when it comes to modestly-priced chain hotels. Mostly they’re adequate, but nothing special. The Holiday Inn Express in Montrose, Colorado is the exception, delivering quality accommodations with genuine small town friendliness and good service.
In the high desert of Southwest Colorado, this property makes a great home base for exploring the magnificent Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the Gunnison Gorge, the area’s many scenic byways, quaint mountain towns like Telluride, Crested Butte, or any number of great communities in Delta County such as Crawford, Hotchkiss, and Delta.
The hotel is just a few blocks from downtown Montrose and offers 122 rooms (60% of them standard King or queens; 40% suites). My room, which was always immaculately maintained, featured a comfortable king bed with nice linens, in-room coffee maker, small refrigerator, TV, AC, and a table and two chairs, which was great when I arrived in town and ordered food in from a nearby Mexican restaurant. The rooms also have a tub/shower combo, another thing I appreciate that allows me to soak away travel fatigue.
You can also soak away your cares in the outdoor hot tub or swim in their good-sized indoor pool (open until 11 p.m.) They have a small fitness room overlooking the pool with two treadmills, two exercise cycles, and some weight equipment.
The large and gracious lobby is decorated with attractive Southwest art and has plenty of comfortable tables and chairs clustered around a large fireplace where you can read the daily USA Today newspapers. There’s also a small lobby bar and, in the morning, guests can opt to eat their breakfast buffet in the breakfast room or in the lobby area. And, speaking of breakfast, this Holiday Inn Express does a great job of providing an all-you-can-eat selection of eggs, cereal, yogurt, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and breads, muffins, and bagels, including their excellent, freshly-baked cinnamon rolls. They also offer to-go breakfast bags, which includes a special box for their cinnamon rolls (they know guests will want to take an extra for later!).
Perhaps the best thing about this hotel is their genuinely friendly service. General manager Helen Sebree credits their great service to “a really great staff.” Every staff person I encountered (and there were plenty of staff) seemed genuinely happy to be working there. They greeted me with a smile and everyone was eager to take care of my needs. They go the extra mile to make guests feel welcome, from the coffee and tea in the lobby to the free summer BBQs by the pool every Wednesday (in the winter, it’s chili or other appropriate food served in the lobby).
Guests get all this at a reasonable price. This Holiday Inn Express provides a great stay at a good value and I’d be delighted to stay here again. – Review by Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor