The Holiday Inn gets a bad rap for being a generic hotel chain, and before I actually stayed at a nice one, I would’ve completely agreed with the naysayers. However, after staying at the Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown, I can safely say that I was more than a little impressed with what I found at this particular location.
Although there were the generic aspects you tend to find at every other hotel chain, such as 70’s style interior that needs some serious sprucing up, drab carpet, and standard room sizes, there were enough positive aspects about my stay to more than make up for these minuscule touches.
This was by far the fanciest Holiday Inn I’ve ever laid eyes on, with very friendly staff and a location that’s hard to beat in downtown Missoula. Even better, it’s an affordable type of luxury – a comfortable and welcoming place you can stay without breaking the bank while you’re exploring the city.
As I mentioned above, every staff member we connected with was incredibly friendly and accommodating towards us. When we arrived earlier than check-in the woman at the front desk apologized and offered to hold our bags in storage while we went out to explore Missoula.
They were also nice enough to hold our bags even after we checked out a couple of days later, when we had about 4 hours to kill before leaving downtown, which was greatly appreciated.
Upon entry, the room seemed like a standard hotel room you’d find anywhere, but with closer inspection there were a few things that stood out to me specifically. The view was fantastic, with a calm scene of the Clark Fork River and the soft winter wonderland surrounding it below.
When I woke up in the mornings, I spent a few minutes to take in that view before starting my work for the day, it was so gorgeous and relaxing.
Secondly, the bed was super comfy. I’m talking cloud status that swallowed you up in glorious soft layers as soon as your head hit the pillow. It was dangerous to even hang out on the bed during the day when I was trying to write, it was too much of a risk that I would fall asleep in its comfy embrace.
And lastly, I just have to say how AMAZING the hotel hair and lotion products were. This may seem like an odd aspect to notice for a hotel stay, but I take my hotel products seriously and that coconut lotion smelled SO GOOD. Holiday Inn, if you want to offer me a lifetime supply of mini travel-sized coconut lotions I’m so cool with that. Hands down, they get the award for the best smelling hotel lotion. Ever.
The amenities were fairly standard, similar to most of the larger chain hotels, but still very much appreciated. I especially liked the look of the pool and sauna, although the hot tub was sadly out of order during our stay. There also seemed to be a lot of amenities available for business meetings and conference rooms. This particular Holiday Inn location seemed perfect for those coming to Missoula on business.
The WiFi worked great and was fast throughout my stay, which is always a plus for a travel blogger who is glued to her computer for about 12 hours a day catching up on work.
One of the major downsides to the Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown is the lack of complimentary breakfast. It’s one of those freebies I tend to rely on as a semi-budget traveler, and I find it’s a nice bonus to offer guests that should be included in the price of accommodation.
Instead, breakfast is served at the on-site restaurant, Brooks & Browns Bar & Grill. You do get a $2 off coupon for breakfast when you check-in, but we ended up not trying it out since we could find a cheaper breakfast down the street at one of the many cafes.
The plus side to having to pay for breakfast is you can expect a much better quality meal to start off your day and a more extensive menu to choose from, and there is definitely something to be said for that.
We unfortunately didn’t realize there was a free shuttle that Holiday Inn offers until we arrived at the airport. You have to book the shuttle at least a day in advance, but this is such a great service to offer guests!
Not having to pay a $20 taxi fare each way to the airport is the best, and the luxury of a comfy shuttle directly to and from your hotel is a traveler’s dream. So simple and easy.
Not that I was traveling with a dog or anything, but I thought it was cool that the Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown is a dog-friendly location. Everyone in Missoula seemed to be dog people and this applies to the accommodation in town too!
As someone who misses having pets since I travel so much, I love coming across accommodations that give me hope that I could travel with a dog someday without too much stress.
You just can’t beat the location of the Holiday Inn in downtown Missoula. It’s right on the edge of the main city blocks and it is within walking distance to pretty much everything in town.
There are the trails along the Clark Fork River nearby, the historic Wilma theater just across the street, our favorite cafe – Market on Front – down a block, the famous carousel right there, and the University of Montana a pretty 10-15 min walk away, which we explored our second day in town. The location was probably my favorite aspect of the accommodation as well as the friendliness of the staff.
And possibly the art, yes definitely the art – so random, but so good at the same time.
Overall, yes, the Holiday Inn is a chain, but even chains can have their own personality and character. I was pleasantly surprised with my stay at this Holiday Inn and would love to stay there again next time I’m in Missoula. It was the perfect set-up for our short few days in town and offered enough personal touches to make it feel welcoming and cozy.
Lastly, rooms start at only $86/night, so it’s truly what I’d call the best of budget luxury – especially with the great location.
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