“ Innkeepers Lodge is a budget hotel brand. Part of Six Continent Retail, all have either a Toby Carvery, Vintage Inn, Ember Inn or Harvester. „
Review of Innkeepers Lodge Portsmouth North
Due to little mans operation and the long road to recovery we have been having a few days here and there by the coast whenever we could get a good deal, rather than our usual month in the Caribbean (I wish). We decided to book a hotel near Portsmouth for the night a few days after my birthday so that we could take little one to Southsea, and I could go to Gunwharf Quays and grab some bargains! Initially we were going to stay at the Holiday Inn Express at Gunwharf Quays, but at £149 for just a room I felt we could have had a proper few days for not a lot more! So it was back to the drawing board - after checking out the common budget chains Travel Lodge, Premier Inn etc I remembered we had had a few decent stays at Innkeepers Lodge before we had little man (Doncaster and Stoke), so decided to see if they had any hotels in the area.
There website is www.inkeeperslodge.co.uk, and you can search for hotels by town, postcode, or there is a drop down list if you know the name of the Lodge you want to stay at. The hotel chain is run by Mitchell & Butlers, and all sites are attached to a Mitchell & Butlers restaurant. All bookings include a continental breakfast. There were two lodges in the Portsmouth area - Portsmouth which is attached to a Toby Carvery and Portsmouth North attached to a Harvester. I chose Portsmouth North as they had the option to pay for the room in advance for a special rate of £29.95 per room, although it was not possible to cancel or change the booking if you took this option. You could also pay their standard rate of £57 per night if you wanted a flexible booking that could be cancelled up until 4pm on the day of arrival. Check in starts at 2pm and check-out is a very generous 12pm.
The lodge was located just off of Junction 2 of the A3, which is the route we use to get to Portsmouth anyway. As you follow the road straight about a mile away from the A3 you get to a mini roundabout with a Harvester on it. The Hotel is tucked just behind it and it is a large white wooden building. There is a large car park for the restaurant as well as additional spaces for hotel guests. There are also parking spaces for disabled guests. At the door to the hotel there is a sign telling you to check in at the Harvester, and when you step inside the pub the reception is clearly signposted.
I was warmly greeted at the desk (or end of the bar!) and as my card had been charged prior to arrival, all the documents were there for me, so I just needed to sign and let them know our car registration number. He informed me where breakfast would be served, and that if there were any problems there would be someone there until 11pm, but there was a 24 hr number if we needed assistance overnight.
As the hotel block is not permanently staffed, they had a security lock on the door activated by a special key fob. Our room was on the first floor, and the door to the room was activated by a standard key, rather than one of those horrible door cards. Our room was quite spacious, with a double bed, armchair, and tea station with a kettle, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, sweetener and biscuits. The bathroom was quite spacious, with a toilet, washbasin and large shower, with a soap dispenser full of a yummy coconut shower gel. There was also a double hanging space with lots of hangers, with extra pillows and towels at the top. The room was not air conditioned, but there was a window that opened to let the air in, and as we were upstairs we could leave it open at night. The location of the hotel was not busy, and there was no real noise the whole time we were there.
The one thing missing was a cot for little man, but as I left the room to go back across to check in the housekeeper was just bringing the travel cot to us. She offered to set it up for us, but we decided we could cope with that ourselves. Sheets for the travel cot were provided, but not duvets, but we had brought little man's cover with us. The lovely housekeeper even knocked before she went home for the day to check if we had everything we needed. Even once we had set up the travel cot there was still plenty of crawl and play space for little man.
We then went to spend the afternoon and evening down in Southsea, soaking up the sunshine! We returned about 6.30 for a quick refresh before we had dinner at the Harvester. When we returned to the room just after 8 there was plenty of hot water for us all to have a shower. The room had a flat screen TV, with clock attached and there were quite a few freeview channels, including ITV2, Film4, Dave and CBBC for little man. It meant that when he had settled down for the night we could find things to watch which was a bonus! The curtains in the room were lined with black out material, so it was pitch black inside the room once drawn. The bed was only a double, which is a bit of a struggle when you're used to a king size, and the mattress was a bit soft for my liking, but it wasn't uncomfortable.
Breakfast is served between 7.30 and 9.30 in the Harvester restaurant. The selection was great for a free breakfast. There was a self service toaster with white, granary and wholemeal bread, bagels, croissants and raisin whirl pastries. There was also every cereal you could think of, a huge fruit bowl plus dried fruits, and an array of cheeses, jams and marmalades. It was all really fresh and yummy, and I was stuffed when I left! Little man was a bit of a nightmare at eating, and there was no problem with me taking him a few bits away with us for him.
As it was all paid for in advance, there is no need to check out. There is a locked key box in the foyer of the hotel and you just leave your keys in there on the way out. It meant we could just chuck our bag in the car and head of and spend as much time as possible by the sea. We had a lovely little break, and for £29.95 it was a real bargain. Unfortunately, Innkeepers Lodge have sold off over 40 of their hotels to Travelodge, and this is one of the ones that is changing over which is a real shame as I'm not a Travelodge fan! I would definitely use Innkeepers Lodge in the future, and think they are way above other budget chains.
My wife and I had our big day earlier on this year (end of April/beginning of May) and had her family travelling upto Scotland and needing somewhere to stay so we booked to stay in the same hotel with them in the town where our wedding and reception was happening in a place called Helensburgh (about and hour outside Glasgow).
The hotel we stayed in is called the Commodore and is a hotel on the sea front about a five minutes walk from the town centre. The hotel has a number of rooms and is popular with golfers and businessmen but does not make you feel out of place no matter what.
The rooms were about £65 a night and were well furnished with comfortable beds and Sky Sports tv included in your price aswell as a continental breakfast.
The hotel has a fabulous restaurant and bar which both look fantastic and give a wonderful and warm feel with prices that are great value but offer fantastic quality and range of food and a large variety of drinks for competitive prices.
The staff at the hotel and restaurant are all exceptionally friendly and helpful and always smartly turned out.
The entire hotel itself is well maintained and clean and was very nice to stay in and we were lucky enough to be placed in the suite for no extra charge to allow for us to have a greater amount of space to get ready aswell as both a bath and shower which we were very thankful for and delighted with.
- Excellent value
- Great quality of restaurant and bar
- Comfortable, clean and well maintained rooms
- Excellent staff who look very smart at all times and are friendly and helpful
- A private car park
- Doorman who lets you in so no set time to be in the hotel at nigts
- Good room facilities
- Free Sky Sports included in room price
- Continental breakfast included in room price
- Easy check in and check out
- Lack of room service
If you are looking for a great place to stay at brilliant value then Innkeepers Lodge seems to be a fantastic option based on my experience.
We stayed for 2 nights at Liverpool North Innkeeper's Lodge and were really impressed by the size, decor and comfort of both bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The accommodation was so unlike the cold, basic amenities and impersonal atmosphere of other similar travel lodges. It was easy to access from the M62 and in a good location for public transport into the city centre.The Toby Carvery next door was good value for money and the breakfast was very satisfactory and unusually for this type of accommodation, free !! The staff were helpful and friendly. Only one niggle and that was that our room was at the front and we had to keep the window closed during the evening because of the sound of passing traffic. So overall a very good experience and one that I would happily repeat.
We stayed at Innkeepers Lodge, Oldham for two nights 7th & 8th Aug.Rooms and food great. Unfortunately it was very noisey from diners spilling out to outside tables late at night/early morning followed by the noise of the staff clocking off after midnight. I ended up trying to get some rest in the shower in the bathroom!Both nights were not very restful. Pity cos it was a great location and great for the price.Veronica Yarwood
we as a family use innkeepers lodges a lot for w/ends and short breaks . up to 21/10/07 we have been to at least 12 vintage inns, and others from eastbourne to loch lomond. we are totally hooked on the value and quality and are now planning to go to others in future.
my wife and i stayed at innkeepers nov 10th 2006 weekend ,we would like to say that it was a very pleasant stay the rooms were very clean, and staff were very nice.the attention to small details was great,I only hope the standards are upheld,and apply to other innkeepers nationwide. the managment had seemingly only been in opperation for the previous 4 months, but they really know the business! Thanks from Tony and Lillian X SA (75!!) .
Stayed 3 nights at Sutton Coldfield lodge. New brand to me but was familiar with other similar lodge brands. Room was very clean and well decorated. Bathroom equally good. Staff helpful and friendly. Complimentary continental breakfast was excellent. Overall an excellent stay and superb value for money with special offers. The best of the lodges I have stayed at - other brands look out! Toby Carvery attached to lodge and although I did not eat there I have no doubts about the quality.
This location was great for me, but they do not have lodges all over the country - perhaps the reason I had not heard or stayed at them before. However, with such good value for money I hope that they will expand their operation to other areas.
I find the managment of this hotel to be very poor also the bedrooms are a disgrace more should be done to upgrade them and the standard of cleanliness is very poor not the first time I've seen cobwebs on the lights and dust on the headboards. It's about time they sorted out the management I felt he had no time for me to help me I would most certainly not recommend this hotel they should sort themselves out
Innkeeper's Lodge are a fairly large chain of lodge accommodation style hotels the length and breadth of Britain, from Perth in Scotland down to Plymouth in Devon, England.
Until last week, I have never stayed in the chain, but have now made two separate stays at the Slough/Windsor Inn during the last week or so. This Inn is located conveniently just off the M4 J5 and across London Road from the less attractive and undoubtedly more expensive Marriott Slough/Windsor.
Innkeeper's Lodge do not compete with full service three and four star hotels, and nor do they attempt to do. However they do line up nicely against the much larger Travelodge Chain, and other similar brands such as Holiday Inn Express, Premier Inn etc. In fact it was the fact that the Travelodge in Slough was fully booked that I was pointed to Innkeeper's in the first place, making it my preferred option for the second stay in a week.
Booking can be made on line from the website www.innkeeperslodge.com, and is very simple and quick. There are a choice of over 75 inns and if your first choice is not available, then you will be presented with a lengthy list of others to choose from. Rates can vary enormously depending on the day of the week, however for both my stays I booked on the day of arrival. I arrived mid week last week, and paid a total of £79.90 for a family room (sleeping 1), including continental breakfast. I checked back in to the same inn this Sunday and was quoted £79.90 for my TWO nights' stay, Sunday night usually being good for a bargain in many hotels.
You need to guarantee your booking with a credit/debit card, however the card itself is not charged until your arrival. Their cancellation policy is slightly more generous than their competitor Travelodge, as you can cancel up until 4pm on the day of arrival, the same as most full service hotels.
I did like the fact that you could get a deal last minute. I literally booked about three hours before I checked in and was able to get a 2 nights for the price of 1 type deal, whereas some of the other chains insist you book up to six days in advance to benefit from the cheapest rooms.
Most inns have a 3 for 2 type deal for weekend stays, where your Sunday night can be free, thus reducing the cost of a weekend break still further.
If you prefer not to book using their secure website, you can ring the Room Reservations Central Number on 0870 243 0500. I did have to ring this on one occasion, and found that it was answered very promptly.
Obviously budget hotels have to keep their costs down somehow. Most Lodge's have their reception desk fully manned between 5pm and 9pm, although you can check in from 3pm onwards. I was fortunate on both occasions that there was no queue for check in on my arrival, and I was able to check in with the minimum of fuss. Tonight when I returned to my Inn (Having left my car there all day, free of charge) there was a queue of about eight people for check in at around 3pm.
On my second arrival, this Sunday, I was unable to gain an answer at the lodge for around ten minutes. I phoned Central Reservations who made contact with the Inn Management within 2 minutes and someone was at the door to attend to me. The cause seemed to be a power cut, which had somehow tripped the doorbell system. While standing with five bags at a locked up hotel was inconvenient, it was resolved with remarkably little fuss.
You are not able to post charges to your room itself, and you settle your account for accommodation in advance. This means a speedier checkout as all you have to do is deposit your keys in the wooden boxes in reception and depart.
Car parking was free at the Slough Inn, although the Inn carpark itself was very small, and fills quickly. Further parking was available on the pub side, and I did not experience a problem, although I did prefer to walk or catch a bus once I knew my car was parked safely!
The room was extremely fresh and modern with quality warm wood furnishings in excellent condition on both occasions ( I had the Family room on both stays). Both rooms were identical in their layout, and included a Double Wardrobe with plenty of hangers and spare bedding, TV unit, Tea/Coffee cabinet, and dressing table.
The bedding was bright white, fresh and clean, with a homely comfort of a woollen blanket as well as the duvet.
Lighting was adequate. There was plenty of wall lighting, and bedside lighting, although I felt I would have benefited from more ceiling lighting as I had a lot of work to accomplish during my stay.
As well as the double bed I had a double sofa bed, which would fold down to sleep two smaller children, up to say 12 years.
The walls were generally adorned with artwork, and the room I have stayed in for the last few nights had the inspirational poem 'If' by Rudyard Kipling framed on the wall.
There were adequate mirrors in the rooms, and a hairdryer, although if an iron is required, this should be requested from reception.
Internet access is available via a third party for 20p per minute with a 30p connection for 0845 and 0870 dial up. Unfortunately I was unable to make a successful connection by following their laminated instructions, although I am not sure if this is user error or a failing on their part!
The bathroom itself was also modern and fresh, and had the convenience of both Dove/Lux dispensing soaps/shower gels and adequate towels. Once again I find the use of plastic shower curtains annoying, as there is a tendency to soak the tiled floor with the spray, and I honestly think it would be easier just to install decent shower screens in the first place.
Entry to the Inn is controlled via security key fobs, as is entry to every floor, and despite the fact that this is a busy location and attached to a busy (Toby) restaurant, it did feel like a safe place to stop.
The room was a little hot, but not excessively so, and the windows were easily opened. Unfortunately I found it difficult to close the window on my first stay, which was less than ideal as the Slough Innkeeper's is right under the flight path for Heathrow
The 100% Mystery Shopper certificate proudly on display in the reception did make me feel that Innkeepers staff are well versed in providing a consistent level of customer service and my brief interactions with the reception staff certainly backed this up. They took care to explain security, meal times etc, and were more than willing to help with luggage, despite the fact I had a total of five bags and there is no lift! On the second occasion when booking via web I did request a ground floor room and this request was met for me.
They are able to accommodate those forgotten toiletries such as toothbrush/toothpaste or shaving kit, free of charge, and these are freely available at reception whether it is manned or unmanned, which is great service!
On the downside, I did try to ring the reception for ages and ages on Sunday night, as I was having difficulties getting an internet connection to check mail. I could not get an answer
Complimentary continental breakfast is included in the room rate, and this provided a more than ample selection of pastries, cereal, yoghurt, fruit, fruit juices, and the very much needed caffeine required to start the day. There were also complimentary newspapers available from the Toby Restaurant where breakfast is served, and staff were warm and friendly.
I did not eat an evening meal in the affiliated Toby Carvery, as they don't really serve the kind of food I enjoy and I did not relish the thought of eating in a packed pub style restaurant alone. This is probably the only factor that would put off women travelling on business from selecting an Innkeepers Lodge.
I most certainly would stay at an Innkeepers Lodge again, especially suitable for leisure bookings and families, taking advantage of the special deals that they run from time to time. They are also very popular with business users, although not as attractive for women travelling alone, unless you can dine elsewhere.
To win a free weekend break, log on to their website and click the "Forgot your Toothbrush" logo
Tel 0870 243 0500
Trading Name of Mitchell and Butlers
I have stayed at two Innkeepers Lodge's, both were in Greater London - Beckenham and Croydon South. Innkeepers Lodge were created in about 2001 I think and they have 70 lodges as of Spring 2004. They are budget lodges, however, provide a comfortable, clean, refreshing experience of hotel, and have great value with all the facilities that you need. Unlike the other 'budgets', Innkeepers Lodge has 3 different styles of rooms (Travel Inn, Premier Lodge and Travelodge, all have 1 style of room, although some are still being refurbished into the styles.) In the 2004 Directory (and all the others up to now) have pictures of each of the styles of rooms, and they are also shown on the website www.innkeeperslodge.com BOOKING Booking, in our experience has been very easy, we have been 4 times, and we have tryed both ringing them up, and booking via the net. Booking by phone is on 0870 243 0500, and they are open 7 days a week. On a Mondoy-Friday, they are open 8am-8pm and on Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm. On Bank Holidays, they are open from 10am-4pm, but they are closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Alternitively, book online on www.innkeeperslodge.com and you can securely register, so when you book again, you log-in and info will be completed fo you. When you arrive at the lodge, you pay for your room on arrival, and other purchases as you make them. Then, when it's time for you to leave, you just drop your key at reception, and off you go to wherever you are going! FACILITIES All Innkeepers Lodges are lodges (gosh! suprise) that are attached to a Michels and Butlers pub and restaurant - either Toby Carvery, Harvester, Vintage Inn or Ember Inn. At Beckenham and Croydon, they have Toby Carvery, which have great fod, at a reasonable price (could drop it a little on Sundays?) but doesn't have a great choice of food, but then again, it is a carvery. I will say a little later about food in an Innkeepers Lodge. Some Innkeepers Lodges h
ave a reception, but then agin, some don't and you check-in at the bar! CHECK-IN As said above, check-in is either at reception, or at the bar. Check-in is usually quick, although once, there was a problem with a computer, with the irritating 'Page Cannot Be Displayed', the receptionist apologised, and, to be honest, it wasn't her fault! (Don't you just hate it at your computer when it happens!) At Innkeepers Lodge they have proper keys (in our experience) instead of the key cards, but they are still good. ROOMS As mentioned at the beginning of the review, Innkeepers Lodge are different, as not every lodge has the exact same look of rooms (some of the others ie. Premier Lodge and Travel Inn, have one style of room in all hotels, but are refurbishing some to offer that style) Innkeepers have 3 styles, modern(ish), in-between modern and classic and 100% old-fashioned. Fortunately, I haven't stayed in one with the old-fashioned look (see, I only like contemporary) Beckenham has the modernish style, Croydon has the in-between look. However, every one has the exact same facilities, and in our experience, they have always been VERY clean. Family rooms, ahev a double bed, witha sofa bed. Not the nice sofa-beds like most Travel Inns and Travelodges have, but those ones which are heavy, and the bed pulls out from inside the sofa, and is really heavy. Still, fairly comfortable though. They all have: An ensuite bathroom, most, apparently just have a power shower, with sink and toilet, but some have all the above and a bath. You are proved with Toilet Roll, Large Towels and Dove and Lux fixed to the wall (aw, none to be able to take home!)They also have telephone, tea/coffee making facilities, hair dryer and comfy beds. They all also have SKY TV, although, looking at the Directory, Maidstone, and South Queensferry don't haveb SKY TV and must have Terrestrial or Cable. They are all well decorated, but I prefer the more m
odern style (the 1st picture). The 2nd style is very good though. Very good rooms. Oh, they also have wardrobes (duh!) and hairdryer! BREAKFAST A FREE continental breakfast is included in the price and that is taken in the Restaurant. a buffet is provided and has Kellogs Creals, Yoghurts, fresh fruit, fruit segments, fresh bread, toast, warm croissants, preserves, fruit juice and tea and coffee (subject to availability). You can help yourself, and go back for more, but please leva some for everyone else! Yep, a rather nice way to start the day, from 7am to 9.30am Mon-FRi, and 8am to 10am on Saturday and Sunday. And it's all FREE! FOOD AND DRINK Food and Drink can be taken in the Toby Carvery, Vintage Inn, Harvester or Ember Inn, next door. The Directory and website tells you what each lodge has. We had Toby Carvery in both lodges we tryed. Food in Toby Carvery is very tasty and filling, and is very good value for what you get, but can get extremely busy on Sundays. The menu is not much more than Carvery, with maybe a few more things extra, but all are vegetables ect. OK, but you couldn't really go there every night if you were staying for a few nights! I have a review on Toby Carvery, if you wantto check-it out. Haven't tryed the others yet unfortunately. OFFERS AND SHORT BREAK IDEAS Innkeepers Lodge has a great offer which they started in 2002, and has been so popular, that they have extended it, even up until now. The offer is say Friday Night and Saturday Night and get the Sunday Night (and of coure add, but pay for any additional nights!) This is great value, and, if you're like me, and enjoy going on long weekends every now and then, this will allow you to extend your stay from a two nighter, to a three nighter, and maybe even more! Breaks are available from £29.95 per room pre night, and include complimentery breakfast. Remember, some rates maybe more than this, but I don't think they're too bad.
Also, Innkeepers Lodge, do short break ideas, where you can subscribe on the internet, or just look on the page on the internet, and has ideas to make a perfect leisure break at a certain time. Thanks for reading, remember, like Travel Inn, Premier Lodge, Express by Holiday and Travelodge, all Innkeepers Room Rates are per room pre night. OVERALL Overall, in my experiences, Innkeepers Lodge has: -Great Value -Spotlessly clean -Clean, Comfortable, Cosy bedrooms, with all the facilities that you want, and maybe some other things -Next to great restaurants -Friendly staff -Free Breakfast, which is rare at budgets -Great comfortable Breakfasts. So, if you think, ooh, I would like to try one of the lodges that belongs to that ever so generous Innkeeper, have a look on www.innkeeperslodge.com and look around, and maybe order yourself a directory