For travelers who find themselves in the Baltimore-Washington DC area, the Holiday Inn Laurel-West provides passable, if not outstanding, accommodations. Its location in Laurel, Maryland is fairly isolated from surrounding attractions, yet convenient by car to both major cities as well as BWI Airport and Interstate 95. The hotel provides many of the amenities one may need for a short stay, but with some issues and problems such as noise levels and limited on-site services.
The Holiday Inn Laurel-West in Laurel, Maryland is very easy to find, located just off Exit 33B from I-95. Its location makes it a possible choice for travelers visiting any destination between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington DC. It is situated 18 miles from BWI Airport, and 3 miles from the center of Laurel. While the hotel offers a complementary shuttle van into Laurel, it does not offer shuttle service to the airport. A one-way taxi fare to/from BWI is quoted at $39. Ronald Regan Washington National Airport is 27 miles away, an estimated $49 taxi ride. Most restaurants and shops are at least 2 miles away from the Holiday Inn, which only has an Outback Steakhouse on the premises, and a gas station within walking distance.
Room accommodations at the Holiday Inn Laurel-West are fairly typical for a moderate/”two star” quality hotel. The rooms appear to have been renovated at some point in the past few years so bed linens are fresh-looking and comfortable, carpets and curtains clean, and the furniture a tasteful dark wood finish. A small desk is provided along with a modest-sized television, wardrobe, and armchair. Despite the facade of reasonable newness, the heating and cooling system appears to be rather old – and was extremely loud and rattly in my room. Rooms are also not soundproofed very well, as when I turned the air off I could hear all conversations going on down the hallway and in the open atrium at the center of the hotel. As such, this hotel might not be a very good choice for light sleepers. This situation was especially a problem on the Saturday night of my stay, when a wedding reception was being held in the atrium. Noise levels were such that it was impossible to sleep until the reception was over thanks to the loud music echoing throughout the atrium, which did not end until 11:00 pm.
Also of note is the fact that the bathtub/shower stalls have been refaced to be extremely narrow and small. As an average-sized woman, I found the shower in my room to be quite cramped, although the water pressure was good. Inside rooms have windows which look into the hotel’s rather dreary main atrium, which features a small pool and dining area which can be used for various functions or banquet dining.
Corridor carpeting looks a little lumpy, as if it has been laid over old/uneven carpet padding. The two elevators for guests (plus one service elevator) are quite slow and do not look that modern. Ice and soda machines are located on each floor, but the ice machine was out of order on my floor for the length of my stay. Overall the hotel gives the impression of being rather old, despite attempts to dress up and modernize the interior where possible.
Free wireless internet is available in all guest rooms, however the signal in my room and throughout the hotel was not very good, frequently losing connection, stalling out, and being extremely slow. The hotel has an acceptable fitness room with free weights, some nautilus equipment, two treadmills, an exercise bike and elliptical trainer. Guest laundry facilities are on site, along with a 24-hour business center. The hotel accepts guests with pets for a $50 non-refundable pet security fee. Meeting facilities are available to host events from 10 to 300 people.
The Atrium Cafe provides a passable, though not very exciting, breakfast buffet for $12.95. It’s a steep price for very average breakfast options, and I did not think it was worth it. A la carte breakfast is available as well. An Outback Steakhouse is connected to the hotel, which serves only dinner except on Sundays when it is also open for lunch. There are no other dining choices close by or in walking distance to the hotel, which is somewhat of an issue as the restaurant does not offer any kind of lunch service save a vending machine of microwavable items.
I was at the hotel for a weekend conference, and the Holiday Inn Lansing-West does provide banquet and catering service. The daytime buffet was a very nice display of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, cheese and crackers which made me wish I’d skipped the breakfast at the Atrium Cafe. The dinner buffet, however, was a mediocre sandwich buffet of deli meats, cheese, white and wheat bread, cole slaw and chips which could have used additional fixings to be a little more interesting. (For example, why was there tomato and red onion slices, but no lettuce available?)
The Holiday Inn Laurel-West in Maryland is an adequate, if not highly recommendable, hotel based on my experience. Standard size room rates of $79 – 119, depending on booking type and dates, are about what one would expect for a hotel of this type in the area. That said, for the price one should be able to expect more reliable internet availability and perhaps a basic free continental breakfast. I would not recommend the hotel’s location for travelers without a car as there are few attractions and facilities nearby, and transportation to the local airports would be pricey. I would also be cautious of weekend stays if one needed to sleep well and rise early, if the hotel makes a regular practice of holding noisy events late into the evening in the central atrium. That said, the facilities are adequate for basic meetings and an overnight stay while on the road.
Holiday Inn Laurel-West
15101 Sweitzer Lane
Laurel, Maryland 20707
* Holiday Inn Laurel West – Official website.
* Personal experience