The hoteliers don't call the hotel Holiday Inn Thames Ditton, they call it Holiday Inn South London. Thus another small country town becomes absorbed into the metropolitan sprawl. Though look carefully and Thames Ditton is stubbornly clinging on as a community. The two cricket pitches demonstrate the strong English influence within the area. Other clues abound - the metro land architecture, despite the blight of modern development, is still there. Just up the road from the hotel is the remnant of Turks Boatyard. It was here that volunteer sailors in little ships were marshalled before setting off for Dunkirk to rescue an army from oblivion in WW2
The hotel itself is on the edge of a developing industrial area but has views across the Thames midway between Hampton Court and Kingston. There is secure car parking behind the hotel but the layout of the entrance invites cars to drive across the front. This causes problems for car park access and it might have been better to have the entrance on the corner of the building. Signage off the main road is discreet which is a little unfortunate on the busy road where something more 'in yer face' might work better.
This is a stylish hotel. Rooms are well designed and the new Holiday Inn identity is crisp and clean. In the business and leisure traveller market, InterContinental (IHG) has determined its brands will be winners, rolling out new identities for both Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express worldwide. IHG has its new Indigo hotel brand establishing an identity in the US. A more stylish and up market version is also being adopted in Europe. The Crown Plaza brand is also successfully riding the storms of recession by using clever branding. The competitors for Holiday Inn in the full service sector now include the revamped, newly competitive Campanile
, the Park Inn
and Marriott's Courtyard
, which is a full service brand in Europe. This is a competitive arena as the hotel brands attempt to build a presence in the still-fragmented European three star hotel market. All three of these brands are at the top end of three star, offering hotels that would have been rated as four stars only a few years ago.