For our family vacations, Holiday Inns were often the hotel chain of choice for its affordability and comfort for a family of five. When I recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown Yakima Convention Center, I thought there would be no surprises―there were.
The Holiday Inn hotel chain was the vision of Kemmons Wilson, who on a family road trip in 1951, found the hotel industry lacking in affordability, comfort, and service. The following year, Wilson build the first Holiday Inn outside Memphis, Tennessee, and more than 64 years later, the chain has 3,300+ hotels worldwide.
The Holiday Inn Downtown Yakima was built six years ago and is located across from the Yakima Convention Center. The hotel is near the highway, has 114 guest rooms, free gated parking, and is the only accommodation in Yakima “that boasts a completely eco-friendly policy.”
Comfortable and Contemporary
The hotel’s décor is stylish with modern furniture and curvy lines that mimic the bends of the Yakima River. The entryway’s gathering space is furnished with comfortable couches and chairs; some nooks have outside views. This floor also offers access to the indoor salt-water pool with an adjoining outdoor patio and fire pit, 24-hour fitness center and business center, and a hallway that leads to the large meeting space.
Their on-site restaurant, 8th Street Bistro, includes a bar and an outdoor dining area. During the summer, they offer their famous Friday night crab boil, which is cooked on an outside grill and served on paper (like they do in some fine Seattle restaurants). Unlike some of its sister hotels, the Holiday Inn Downtown Yakima does not offer complimentary breakfast, but a dollar amount for breakfast can be added on when the room is booked.
The hotel has a range of room sizes: standard, double queen, larger double queen, king leisure, king with a jetted tub and king executive. The décor in my double queen room featured straight lines with soothing shades of tans, browns and a hint of red, a very comfortable bed with crisp linens, a 32-inch flat panel TV, Keurig coffee machine, refrigerator, and an ergonomic chair at the desk.
Steps Away From Downtown, Minutes Away From Wine Country
Over the course of my stay, I was pleased with the hotel’s proximity to downtown and nearby destinations. Restaurants like Cowiche Canyon Kitchen & Ice House and libation establishments like Gilbert Cellars Tasting Room and Yakima Craft Brewing Company are only a short walk away. During my time there, the weather was warm and sunny, and walking from the hotel to downtown proved a pleasure.
Since the hotel is close to the highway with easy on and off access, it was a breeze to visit locales in Yakima Wine Country like Treveri Cellars, Tieton Cider Works, Owen Roe Winery, Glacier Basin Distillery, Wilridge Winery and Naches Heights Vineyard. All ranged from only five to 30-minutes away. And, the Yakima Greenway, a 10-mile trail that hugs the Yakima River, is less than a five-minute drive away, if you access the trail from Sarg Hubbard Riverside Park.
The hotel manages their impact on the environment by using energy efficient lighting in guest rooms and key cards that activate lights. Guests also have the option to opt out of the daily towel, linen and housekeeping services. “The hotel was built to participate in the IHG Green Engage System,” said front office manager, Jessica Rone. “The nightly audit person also walks through the hotel to turn off unused lights and unplug any appliances that can be unplugged.”
They also recycle 100% of their paper, some plastics, and are working on implementing a system for guests who stay for three to four nights to opt out of room service and receive bonus points on their rewards account.
Real Bottom Line: Holiday Inn Downtown Yakima Convention Center is a full-service hotel with friendly staff and it’s environmentally-minded. Its central location, near downtown with easy access to Yakima Wine Country and affordability, makes it a perfect home base. —by Lara Dunning, RFT Contributor