Sandusky is located in Northern Ohio and is known the world over for the Cedar Point amusement park with its wide array of roller coasters. Also in the area are the Sports Force youth team sports complex and an up and coming downtown scene. The Holiday Inn Express is the closest hotel to the Cedar Point park entrance other than Cedar Point’s own accommodations. Downtown Sandusky is roughly two miles away with the Sports Force complex two miles in the opposite direction. This location is perfect for travelers in town for roller coasters or youth sports competitions.

Disclosure: During a recent press trip I was provided two nights in the Holiday Inn Express by Lake Erie Shores and Islands. Opinions, as always, are purely my own.

The Holiday Inn Express opened in 2016 and has a nice modern feel without being over the top. The lobby had two seating areas plus the adjoining dining area. Great space to relax and get some work done or meet up with other guests. The hotel has five floors with 131 rooms and 15 suites. There are a variety of different room sizes to accommodate guests, though there are only 3 rooms listed as being handicap accessible. No pets are allowed, except for service animals.


Holiday Inn Express Sandusky, Ohio ©R. Christensen

Hotel Amenities

  • Free breakfast – Typical variety, staff kept items stocked.
  • Free WiFi – Worked well in both lobby and room.
  • Heated indoor pool, accessible chair lift and steps, lounge chairs and tables.
  • Exercise room
  • Small business center in lobby plus two meeting rooms available
  • Well stocked convenience store type area. Plenty of snacks and supplies, plus frozen food to microwave in room. One of the best features I’ve seen in hotels recently.
  • Free parking in front and back of hotel.
  • Spacious and comfortable lobby with seating areas and an all day coffee station.


Holiday Inn Express Sandusky, Ohio ©R. Christensen

Hotel Rooms

For this stay I had a typical two queen bed setup. The room had a decent amount of space, though not really anywhere to spread out. The desk was a good size and all of the lamps had electrical sockets for keeping your gadgets charged. A Keurig coffee maker, larger mini fridge, and microwave are supplied. The bed was comfortable with plenty of pillows.

The bathroom is a single unit, so not convenient for more than one person getting ready in the morning. The shower/tub is standard size and had good water pressure. The vanity has a single sink and enough room to unpack all your toiletries.

My one complaint was the room location. The back side of the building faces a parking lot shared by the Holiday Inn and Thirsty Pony restaurant/bar. There were a lot of noisy patrons from the bar at night and in the morning some larger trucks. If you stay here, request a street side room.

Various types of suites and ‘feature’ rooms available for different party sizes. Some include a kitchen area and whirlpool.


Holiday Inn Express Sandusky, Ohio ©R. Christensen

Hotel Dining

The Holiday Inn Express offers free breakfast for guests. It is a typical hotel buffet and the staff did a good job of keeping items stocked. There is also an automated pancake machine, which was fun to play with but not all that practical when it is busy. The seating area is nice, but a bit formal for a hotel liekly filled with kids in the peak summer months.

The lobby has a very large selection of snacks and supplies along with frozen foods. I love the idea of being able to grab a box of Hot Pockets to heat up in your room while on the road. If you’re looking for something outside of breakfast hours the Thirsty Pony next door offers standard American fare and a bar. Judging by the noise in the parking lot, it gets a bit rowdy in there at night.


Holiday Inn Express Sandusky, Ohio ©R. Christensen

Hotel Staff and Maintenance

The desk staff was friendly and offered advice about local destinations. The hotel was clean inside and out and seemed well maintained. No housekeeping issue with my room or hallways.


Holiday Inn Express Sandusky, Ohio ©R. Christensen

Hotel Recommendation

Due to its prime location, I’d recommend the Holiday Inn Express for families and couples who are in town for Cedar Point and smaller groups for the sports complex. I would also recommend it for business travelers and adults looking for a place close to downtown, but more towards the off-season.For more information on rates, reservations, and amenities visit the official website.


For an extensive list of area attractions, festivals, restaurants, and lodgings in the area visit the Lake Erie Shores and Islands website.

What to do in Sandusky? Here are six fun family activities to experience.


For more pictures of the Holiday Inn Express check out my post on Youtube