During our brief sojourn in New York City we stayed in the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street. Here’s what we thought:

The low-down

Cost: £220.40 for two nights
Fair cost: £100 per night
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
How accurate are the website pictures? 4 out of 5

Key considerations

I spent ages choosing a hotel, making and cancelling several bookings as the prices fluctuated wildly in the months in the run-up to our visit. Here are the factors that influenced my final decision

  • Proximity to Pier 11 – to catch the ferry from Manhattan to Red Hook Cruise Terminal
  • Price
  • Accessibility
  • Breakfast

Eventually I booked the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street via Booking.com because the price, including breakfast, was ridiculously low compared to other nearby options. So low, I suspect it may have been a mistake <shrug>.

Location

Just off actual Wall Street, the hotel is located in the oldest part of Manhattan – the Financial District. Although handy for the ferry terminal at Pier 11 (more on that tomorrow) there isn’t much touristy stuff in this area.

This may not actually be a bad thing. My New Yorker friend believes this is a much more civilised, safer part of the city than say, Times Square.

On the flip side, with the exception of Battery Park and Ground Zero, there’s not a lot to see in this district. Not ideal when travelling with a scooter and trying to avoid the subway.

A picture of the Continental Hotel from the John Wick movies
John Wick fans may recognise this nearby building which provided the externals for the Continental Hotel

Check-in

Once inside and enjoying the air conditioning, check-in wasn’t too bad. The young man checking us in was very polite and efficient. 

Initially we were offered a room on the 5th floor. We asked the man for something higher and he countered with the 19th. 

‘Yes please!’ said we. 

‘Are you ok with a bath?’ he asked, looking doubtfully at Linda’s scooter.

‘Oh yes, I’d quite like a bath,’ said Linda.

Tap tap tap.

‘Fine, your room is on the 7th floor.’

Huh?

The room

Our room is not on the 19th floor. It does not have a bath. I offer to call down to reception to have us moved, but Linda says no. So we make the best of what we have.

It is quite small, quite dark, quite brown, quite cold and quite noisy. At least we know the air conditioning works. In fact, we can hear the air conditioning units for the whole building through our (closed) window.

A picture of the view from our room at the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street
The view from your Holiday Inn Express Wall Street room may be underwhelming

The bed is nice and comfortable, the bedding clean and crisp. I like it. Linda says the bed is more comfortable than the one at the Thistle yesterday.

The bathroom is large, but the walk-in shower design means that the whole room gets soaked. I hate that.

The wall mounted air conditioner is very effective and it takes a few attempts to find a comfortable temperature. It is also ridiculously loud – particularly when it fires up in the middle of the night.

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Top tip: Take some ear plugs. Or ask to be moved to a higher floor – there are 27 to choose from.

Breakfast

One of the big draws for the Holiday Inn Express, other than its location, is the free breakfast. 

The food choice is relatively ok. Bagels, bread and English muffins for toasting. Hot options include omelettes, pork sausages, turkey sausages and cubed potatoes. There’s three cereals, fresh fruit and yoghurts. Annoyingly, the pancake machine is out of action for our entire stay.

The breakfast is good and filling – a definite plus.

Check out

This is the point at which everything starts to go wrong. The weird layout of the building means that there’s a tight turn into the elevator with a scooter, particularly on the ground floor. Factor in three suitcases and it’s almost impossible to fit anyone else in.

As we leave, there are already three people in the elevator. We do manage to squeeze everything in – and then the alarm goes off. For no reason at all. The elevator refuses to move. We’re stuck on the seventh floor.

Our fellow passengers disembark in annoyance. Eventually I manage to reset the alarm and the lift shoots us up to the 25th floor. By the time we finally make it back to the lobby, we have acquired another six passengers. It’s cramped, uncomfortable and bad tempered.

Check-out itself is simply a matter of throwing our keycards in a bowl and sprinting for the door. We have less than ten minutes to make out ferry to the Red Hook Cruise Terminal

The run

Pier 11 is just a six minute walk from the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street. Pulling three suitcases across New York’s poorly maintained roads in 30ºC heat makes it feel like a six-hundred mile run – and that’s before a wheel falls off the other suitcase.

A map showing the walking route from the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street to Pier 11
It’s a short walk/run from the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street to Pier 11

We reach Pier 11 and I hesitate as I find my bearings. It costs us 30 seconds – long enough for the ferry team to close the access gate and stop us boarding. It’s now a one-hour wait for the next ferry.

Top tip: Walk down the Pier, past the ticket office/café and you will find Slip C on the right-hand side. 

Bonus tip: Download the NYC Ferry app and buy your tickets in advance. It will save you time queuing at the dock.

I say we made it in time. Linda disagrees. I guess the fact we’re still sitting on the dock proves she is right.

Other options

During our last NYC visit, we stayed just around the corner at the Wall Street Inn. I quite liked the slightly dated charm of the hotel, but the cost (prices fluctuated between £350 and £750 in the months running up to our trip) and the poor quality breakfast counted against it.

The good news is that there are plenty of other hotels in the Financial District – most hugely over-priced. Other cruisers on our adventure stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton or the AC Marriott which are also close to Pier 11.

Overall

The Holiday Inn Express is quite bland and faceless – it is part of chain after all. However, the breakfast and slightly closer position to Pier 11 means we think it just beats out The Wall Street Inn.