If your travels happen to take you into the middle of nowhere….. okay, just kidding. If you are traveling through Illinois and looking for a great place to rest for the night or the weekend. The Holiday Inn Express in Pekin is the place for you.
For a bit of reference Pekin is a city in Illinois south of Peoria. It is about two and a half hours north of St. Louis, MO and two and a half hours southwest of Chicago. To the west is the mighty Mississippi river and that will only take you about two hours to drive too. Going east you are only about 3 hours from Indianapolis.
While it really is in the middle of nowhere with a lot of crop fields all around. It is a nice little midwestern town that can make for a great time to kick back and relax. No matter where you are traveling Pekin is a great stopping place for the night.
The location of the Holiday Inn Express couldn’t have been in a better location if you ask me. It is on the outskirts of the downtown area of Pekin. However, everything you need is within easy reach. Well almost everything. I found there to be a lacking amount of gas stations near by. Of course, I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, so you will find a gas station at almost every intersection.
That’s not the case in Illinois. There is a Walmart across the street and a Menards next door. You can also find plenty of food options. Everything from fast food, to chain restaurants, to little mom and pop shops. There are also a couple nice little parks in the area for you to take a nice little stroll around.
That’s enough for right now, let’s getting into the review of the Holiday Inn Express in Pekin, Illinois.
When I visited the Holiday Inn Express we stayed in one of the family suites. For a “cheaper” hotel the suite really blow me away. The room was a great size and never made you feel cramped. The suite had two queen beds and I believe it was a sleeper sofa. We never did check to see if it opened up. Our first night there we were too tired after driving 13 hours from Philly. We just wanted to relax.
Boy did this room let us relax. The beds were comfortable and so too were the pillows. The pillows were soft and the bed was on the firmer side. As you know I am a fan of a firmer bed so these beds were perfect for me.
Everything else in the room was comfortable too. The couch was comfortable to sit on. The chair at the desk was comfortable to sit on. Even the wood chairs at the small table were comfortable when it comes to wooden chairs.
No matter if you are spending a night, weekend, or even a week here. You will have plenty of space to move around and comfortable places to sit.
This room also comes equipped with a small fridge, sink, and microwave. It also has a Keurig. No need to worry about crappy hotel coffee. If a Keurig isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Prior to and after breakfast they have a large coffee pot in the lobby.
As you can tell, they have just about everything you would need to make this place your home for a couple of days. Just don’t forget the plates or silverware. I didn’t happen to see any of that stuff in our room.
Now the bathroom in our room was really big. Not sure if all the rooms have bathrooms this big but I am thinking so. At least the ones that were on the same side as us. Our windows faced out into the parking lot. While it didn’t make for an interesting view. It did give us a pretty big room.
I found the sink to be a little small but the shower/tub was huge. Plus the area between the sink and shower was huge. There was no tight space in there for when you get out of a shower and change into your clothes.
The water pressure in the shower was great. The temperature too was great. It did seem to run a little on the hotter side but I like that. The thing I didn’t like was the soft water that came out. Of course, that isn’t a problem with just the Holiday Inn Express in Pekin. That’s just an Illinois thing. At least for this area of Illinois.
The water pressure in the sink too was great. However, the toilet did seem to be lacking in the flushing power area. It was still pretty good. It just wouldn’t suck down a golf ball if you get what I am saying.
Overall, I was very pleased with the room. It was nice and roomy. The beds were comfortable and it had plenty of outlets. It was lacking USB outlets as I only found one. That one was near the table and not by the night stand. The night stand did have a surge protector with a bunch of open outlets.
The Holiday Inn Express in Pekin is a three story hotel made up of 68 rooms. From our quick stay in May 2022 it seems like they are fully booked a lot. At least on Friday and Saturdays that is. So if you are thinking about staying here you better book it early.
Within the hotel you will find a nice heated indoor pool. It is on the smaller size but a nice addition to any hotel stay. The hours are listed as 5am to 12am on the website. If those hours are correct, they are some of the best hours I have come across at any hotel pool. Most I have found are open 10am to 10 pm.
You will also find a small but nice fitness center. This is open 24 hours a day. While it might be small. You can still get a good workout in.
They have a treadmill and bike. You can also find an elliptical and free weights. While you will only find one of each. I never saw more than one person in there any of the times I checked it out.
Now if you don’t know this about me, I love a good breakfast. I really love a good breakfast that is free and the breakfast at the Pekin Holiday Inn Express was both. It was an amazingly good, hot breakfast with a ton of options to pick from.
You won’t find just a bagel and some muffins. Or a pan of over heated “rubbery” eggs and stale cereal. No you won’t find that here. What you will find is a complete breakfast with almost anything you could be looking for.
On the day we had breakfast the doors opened right at 6am. Since we are early risers we came down right when the breakfast area opened. I was shocked with what they offered.
Not only did they have bagels and muffins. They also had omelets, sausage, and make your own pancakes. And perhaps my personal favorite thing, Biscuits and gravy. But that wasn’t all either.
Of course, you could get some cereal but they also had oatmeal. Still there was more to choose from. They had raspberry, apple, cinnamon, and cheese Danishes. Plus you will find chocolate and white milk, Orange Juice, and apple juice. Oh and could I forget about the coffee.
The coffee was pretty good. Nice and hot and they had plenty of sugar, sugar substitutes, and creamers. If you need to start your morning with a cup of joe. There is no question that the Holiday Inn Express has you covered.
Not bad if you ask me. Plus you don’t need to pay any extra to have breakfast in the morning. What more could you really ask for. Plus they have an employee in the room making sure everything is fully stocked and the tables are cleaned.
The local area is an interesting one to say the least. Right next to the hotel is farm land on one side and a Menards on the other. Right across the street is an amazing local restaurant called Avanti’s Ristorante. Across the main road is a Walmart, Shoe Dept, Mrpuffers tobacoo and Vape shop, and even an Applebee’s. Wendy’s, Steak ‘n Shake, KFC, Starbucks, and Sonic are all within walking distance too.
We were lucky enough to grab dinner at Avanti’s Ristorante. This place was pretty good. The food was amazing and the prices were even better. I couldn’t believe the prices when I was looking at the menu before we went. I swore they were old prices and they couldn’t be that cheap. However, I was wrong.
According to my Uncle, Avanti’s is known for their bread. Now the bread was pretty good. It had a bit of a sweeter taste to it and went great with a little butter and Olive Oil.
Another thing that Avanti’s does great is the house Italian dressing. I just wish I had another piece of bread to soak up the rest of the dressing that was left after I ate my salad.
The salad came with my spaghetti with house made meat sauce which cost $6.29. I also got 5 meatballs for an additional $1.65. My mother got a 6 inch pizza that came in at a whopping $2.90 plus an additional $0.89 for the topping. You did read those prices correct. No typo there. The prices were that cheap and the food didn’t taste cheap at all.
Okay, enough about the food. So what else is there to do in Pekin. Well you can take a walk around Mineral Springs Park. The park is located 2.5 miles from the Holiday Inn Express. It is a nice small park that is a great place to take an early morning stroll around.
During the day you can take a little paddle boat around the lagoon. Or if you have a license and a rod you can go fishing. The park opens at 6 am and you will find people there from open to close. It was the great start to the day. Plus you can find some interesting color squirrels.
At least they were interesting looking compared to the ones we have around Philadelphia. Plus you need to be aware of the geese. They like to hiss at you if you get too close. Of course, they won’t move out of your way.
One last place for you to check out is Pottsies Place. This is a local bar that use to be a pizza hut. It was Aunt’s favorite bar to go to and after I visited I understood why. It was a great local bar with a lot of friendly people inside.
Try your luck at the slot machines or grab a bucket of your favorite beer. Also be sure to grab a Jack and Coke and have it in honor of my Aunt Debbie.
So what do you think of the Holiday Inn Express in Pekin Illinois? Does the hotel have everything you are looking for? Is there plenty for you to do in the local area?
We think it checks a lot of boxes off. No matter where your travels take you through the state of Illinois. Be sure to make an over night stop in Pekin and stay at the Holiday Inn Express. You won’t be upset come the next morning. From the friendly staff at the hotel to the amazing breakfast in the morning. You will be happy you stopped by.
Plus if you wake up early enough you might be able to catch an amazing sunrise over the fields like I did. I just wish the corn was growing at the time. Apparently, they got a late start on planting this year due to the rain.