Pros: Nice size room; attached to Splash Lagoon.
While researching on the internet for places to stay during a road trip to visit relatives, we came across the Holiday Inn Express in Erie, PA. We then found out that this one was of four hotels that were associated or connected to Splash Lagoon, an indoor water park, and since we were traveling with our six and seven year old children, decided to stay here for two nights.
The reservations were made online and a confirmation letter was received in the mail, which reiterated what was stated on the website that check-in was at 4:00 p.m. but that guests could go to the front desk for passes to Splash Lagoon at 12:00 noon. The cost of our room included these passes for each day of our stay. Our room was actually ready at around 3:00 p.m.
We requested, and received, a non-smoking Kid's Suite. The room contained a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, a large vanity and a hair dryer. In the main room there was one queen sized bed, two nightstands with lamps, an arm chair, a desk with a rolling chair and an armoire which housed a television. Overall the room was a nice size, but it appeared worn as there were rust marks in the tub and a stain on the rug.
A section of the room was portioned off, similar to an office cubicle with floor to ceiling walls, which is the Kid's Suite section. There were bunk beds along one wall and a single bed across from it, with a dresser with a television on it between the two beds. There is no door curtain for this room, but it gave my children a feeling of having their own room. The exterior walls had a sea life theme painted on them and though the sheets on the queen bed were plain white, my children had the choice of sleeping on bright blue, bright pink or Finding Nemo sheets. The bedspreads for the kid's beds were also child-themed and colorful.
The main room also contained a closet with a mirrored door, an iron and ironing board and a wet bar area with a sink, vanity, shelving, a microwave oven, coffee maker and a refrigerator with a freezer section.
A continental breakfast was included with our stay and from 6:00 to 10:00 am there is a choice of coffee, teas, juice, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, bagels, danish, muffins, toast, waffles and cold cereal. Each day the food was fresh and was replenished by hotel staff quickly.
There is no restaurant on the premises but there are many chain restaurants nearby including Applebees, Quaker Steak and Lube, a pizzeria, and a rib restaurant which will all deliver food to your room.
The night before our departure, I stopped at the front desk to request a later checkout (from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon) and was told that I would have to call the front desk after 7:00 a.m. to make such a request. At 8:00 my husband called the front desk and there was no problem in staying the extra hour.
We wanted to visit Splash Lagoon on this trip to Erie and booking this Kid's Suite alone, without Splash Lagoon passes, would have been about $112.00 per night, but our stay was about $260 per night becuase we booked a Splash Lagoon Package. There are many different packages available, all of which include passes to the water park, but each offers different vouchers for the arcade games, the snack bar, the gift shop and area restaurants. If you intend to go to Splash Lagoon, then I suggest that you stay in this, or one of the other associated hotels, otherwise you may not get in. Day Passes for non-hotel guests are based on availability and reservations are not accepted. They do hold birthday parties and other events there, so even if the hotels are not booked, the water park might be busy.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Splash Lagoon, with its kiddie area with small slides and sprinklers, pool set up for water basketball, "lazy river" to float in, family whirlpools and a number of different water slides, some that require a tube and some that do not. My daughter's favorite activity was the "Bucket Dump" where, after giving a sound warning, a 1,000 gallon bucket turns over and dumps its contents on anybody standing below it. Life vests are available free of charge for children and each activity had at least one lifeguard stationed at it, and they did a good job at watching what was going on by stopping children from running or engaging in horseplay.
Though my children would have loved to stay in the water park all day long, I was glad that we had family to visit who lived about ten minutes from this hotel so that we were in Splash Lagoon for two to three hour increments a few times a day. The Splash Lagoon passes are even good for the day that you check out so that in the morning, right before we left, we were able to enjoy the slides and water one more time.
There is a hallway connecting this hotel to the water park, so that we were able to leave everything but our towels and swim gear in our hotel room, though lockers are available for rental if you have other items with you.
We were pleased with our stay and when traveling to Erie, PA next time we will most likely stay at this Holiday Inn Express as we will most likely be traveling with our children and we can enjoy the indoor water park any time of the year.