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Holiday Inn vs. Holiday Inn Express

Discover the differences between these accommodation options.

How much difference can one little word make when it comes to hotel chains?

The differences between a Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express are subtle, but they matter. Overall, you’ll get more services at a Holiday Inn. For example, a Holiday Inn usually has an onsite restaurant and bar — a Holiday Inn Express simply has a breakfast area.

Holiday Inn vs. Holiday Inn Express

Hotel locations

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • New Zealand
  • South America
  • US
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • South America
  • USA

There are no Holiday Inn Express hotels in New Zealand.

Free breakfast?

No

Yes

Holiday Inn Express offers free breakfast.

Is there a loyalty program? Is it free to join?

They offer the same loyalty scheme.

Free Wi-Fi?

Yes

Yes

Both hotels offer free Wi-Fi.

Is there an executive lounge?

In some hotels

No

Holiday Inn offers executive lounges.

Pet-friendly?

Some are

Some are

Both offer pet-friendly hotels.

Is there online chat?

Yes

Yes

Both offer chat.

Payment options

  • American Express
  • Business Advantage
  • Carte Blanche
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Business Advantage
  • Carte Blanche
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • Visa

They offer the same ways to pay.

Can I price match?

Yes

Yes

Both price match.

Cancellations and changes

Cancellation depends on the booking and hotel. Many rooms can be canceled with 24-hour notice.

Cancellation depends on the booking and hotel. Many rooms can be canceled with 24-hour notice.

Both offer similar cancellation policies.

Does it have smoking rooms?

Yes

Yes

Both offer some smoking rooms.

Which offers the best price?

Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express offer very similar prices. However, Holiday Inns are usually a tad cheaper — probably because breakfast isn't included in the overnight rate.

We compared rates for the same overnight stay at a Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express in downtown Dallas, located about two miles away from each other. The Holiday Inn Express was a bit more expensive, with rates starting at $113.05 for two beds, while prices at the Holiday Inn began at $107.40.

Prices obtained March 2020.

Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express deals

Traveling during COVID-19

The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, though it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travelers as of April 2021. It recommends that you delay travel if you are not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.

When traveling, follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for COVID-19 test results — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.

Bottom line

Whether you go for a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express probably comes down to your preference for breakfast. Do you prefer that easy continental buffet experience, or would you rather drop some dough at its restaurant?

Compare both before booking to make sure you get the best deal in your desired destination.

Frequently asked questions

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