In a nutshell: the Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores is a good value beachfront hotel in Daytona Beach. Facilities are open during COVID-19, but they are hit and miss regarding some of the precautions being taken during the pandemic. 

There are a plethora of beachfront hotels in Daytona Beach Shores. You can find pretty much anything you want in your chain of choice in the 3-star and 4-star range. After browsing quite a few options, I settled on the Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores for a 4-night stay.

Booking the Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores

Booking a stay at this hotel seemed ideal for a few reasons:

  1. This allowed me to use the 4th Night Free perk of my IHG Premier Credit Card
  2. I have a substantial stash of IHG points
  3. Breakfast was free and there was no facility/resort fee (Holiday Inn Resort down the road charges this)

The Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores is right on the beach. But that really isn’t unique. There are dozens of hotels with direct beach access and a pool. The key here for me was value. I was using just 60,000 IHG points for our four nights. The cash rate averaged $131 after taxes, so this was a value of 0.87 cents per IHG point. Better than I usually get.

Property and Facilities

The hotel has been open and operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. Requirements in Florida have typically varied by city and county. Within the city of Daytona Beach, mask usage in indoor spaces is required. However, the hotel is in the city of Daytona Beach Shores, which is a different municipality. Neither Volusia County nor the city had issued a mask order at the time of our stay. The only orders issued “strongly urge” people to wear them.

The Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores had signs out that required mask usage on their property. By all observations, this was never enforced. I observed a few staff who would generally not wear a mask unless directly interacting with guests. Plenty of guests did not use masks while inside the hotel.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores

As has been typical at hotels during COVID-19, the front desk has partitions up. There is also hand sanitizer, and baskets of sanitized/used pens for guests to use at check in.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores

The lobby is on the nicer side for a Holiday Inn Express, in my opinion. There is plenty of seating, and it has views of the beach. It would have actually been pretty nice in the morning, had breakfast been “normal” with seating and buffet open.

The hotel has a pool and fitness center, both of which are open. The COVID-19 measures consist of hand sanitizer and a well-being sign on the door. The “use at your own risk” takes on a new meaning during this time, rather than the typical hotel liability CYA.

The rooms are totally standard for a Holiday Inn Express. Ours was clean and nice. You did need to run down to the front desk to get anything, including extra towels, as there was no housekeeping for the duration of our stay. We did need to get like six extra towels during the time there. You end up using a lot with three people at a beach hotel.

Each room has a balcony overlooking the ocean, and all the Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores have at least a partial ocean view. This is one nice feature you can count on at the hotel.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores

Breakfast During COVID-19

Holiday Inn Express breakfast is complimentary, but it wasn’t a typical buffet style during the pandemic. There was a single hotel staff that would prepare individual breakfast bags to your liking. You can see the social distancing queue.

Most hotels I’ve stayed at during COVID-19 have offered a really sad bag breakfast. A packaged pastry, Nutrigrain bar, and an orange really doesn’t cut it. This has been what I’ve received at a Hyatt Place, SpringHill Suites, and another Holiday Inn Express, and have seen it offered at a Hampton Inn as well.

The Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores breakfast is a tad bit better, with Chobani yogurt, muffins, bagels, and cereal available, in addition to a couple types of packaged bars and fruit. It’s still a step down from the eggs, bacon, and renowned Holiday Inn Express cinnamon rolls. Would be nice if they could at least still provide those.

Pool and Beach Access

I’ve rarely stayed at beachfront hotels. Yeah, sad, but true. We had an excellent stay at the Confidante Miami Beach last year, and that really sold me on how ideal it is to have direct beach access. It was super nice to be able to head down to the pool deck and then down the stairs directly to the beach.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores

The kids loved the ocean. We had a blast swimming in the Atlantic. The sand is amazing as well. I’m sure there are plenty of better locations in the world, but Florida is worlds better than our beach. I could see us coming back here regularly.

 

The pool at the Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores isn’t all that large, but it was never crowded. There was never more than one other family present when we were swimming.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores pool

Final Thoughts

The Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach Shores is a good value 3-star hotel right on the beach. It’s low-key and family-friendly, with a pool, free breakfast, and direct access to the ocean. Rooms are clean and comfortable. There is typically a parking fee of $9 per day, but this was waived during our stay. No idea why. Maybe just because they are happy to have guests during COVID-19. I’d happily stay here again.