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Travelodge London Kings Cross Royal Scot
Member Name: stafoo
Travelodge London Kings Cross Royal Scot
Advantages: good and easy location, restaurant attached, clean, 10 minutes from tube, lots of storage
Disadvantages: rooms small, confusing layout, lift was tiny, no cold water, could hear people clearly through door
I booked this hotel on a whim. Travelodge were doing their £9 sale and this was the only one in Central London to take part in the offer - or at least, the only one I could find.
Staying for two nights, the total cost was £32.90 - £9 for one night, £12 the next and £5.95 each night for breakfast.
Finding the hotel was extremely easy; a ten minute walk from King's Cross train station/King's Cross St. Pancreas tube station, with no awkward directions - just a walk down the road leading from the station to the hotel. On the way down, you pass a Starbucks, McDonald's, several shops and cafes.
Arriving at the hotel, I was pleasantly surprised - reviews I had read on the hotel after booking had said the building was old, shabby and worn - this didn't appear to be the case. I arrived at approximately 5pm and found no queue when I arrived.
Being a mother of a young baby, I'm used to hauling a pushchair up and down steps and was pleased with the fact the entrance to the hotel only had four or five to contend with. Though I don't struggle with stairs, wheelchair users and other lone parents may find these difficult as they are rather steep.
The lobby area was clean with a restaurant attached to the left. Although there were three or four computers at the reception area, only one member of staff seemed to be attending, though this wasn't a problem as it was quiet. Check in was quick and simple. As my room was pre-paid, all I had to do was provide my name and confirm my address and I was handed an electronic key-card. The staff member wasn't overly friendly and welcoming but by no means rude.
Going towards the lifts, I passed half a dozen computers which provided internet access at £1 for 20 minutes and a vending machine offering snacks such as crisps and chocolate and those all important toiletries that are easily forgotten such as shampoo and body wash.
To access the corridor leading to the rooms, you need insert your key-card into the door, giving you a sense of security and safety.
Going into the corridor, I was met by three lifts - though I only witnessed two working in the dozen or so times I used them. The lifts themselves were extremely small, barely fitting my daughter's pushchair in - though people still seemed to want to cram themselves in to the tiny space and rub shoulders with strangers.
Getting out the lift, a badly placed vending machine meant I had to squeeze out the lift into the corridor. The vending machine itself offered a bottle for coke and water for around £1.50 each. The corridors were slightly narrow and two people wouldn't be able to walk side by side. The signs were extremely confusing to begin with - maybe it was just my floor, but there were no arrow signs showing which way to go. Luckily, the corridor had plenty of turns and leads you round in a full circle, so although it took a little longer, we still got there.
Arriving at the door, I noticed it was already and the wood around the handle was damaged. Though this was unique to my room, it was a worrying factor. After vigorous testing from inside and out, I was assured the lock itself wasn't damaged and nobody could get into the room whilst I wasn't there; it just needed firmly shutting and quick check upon entering/leaving. Though not convenient, it wasn't too much hassle.
Upon entering the room, I was slightly shocked at the size. After passing a small bathroom and storage cupboard, I entered a twin bed room with a desk, TV and bedside table. The room's walkway was very narrow, barely big enough for me to fit the pushchair in, but it did fit. The room itself was very clean and fresh, as with almost every Travelodge I have stayed at and I was not disappointed with the cleanliness at all.
On looking around the room, I noticed there was a lot of storage space - extremely handy for a room this size - with a huge wardrobe as you walk in, a kind of built in chest next to this and then the desk with four average sized drawer and one large drawer. In between the beds was a bedside table fixed to the wall with two more decent sized drawers.
As with most budget hotels, there were no 'frills' like chocolate on the pillow or biscuits, however a kettle, two cups, spoons, tea bags, coffee sachets, sugar, milk and sweeteners are provided as well as multiple vending machines throughout the hotel.
Bins were provided - one in the main room and one in the bathroom - but these were small and both got full after just a few hours.
I had forgotten to book a travel cot for my daughter and I thought this would be a problem as the hotel had hundreds of guests. But after explaining the situation to the front desk, I was happy to be told one will be on its way up soon. Again, the staff member wasn't overly enthusiastic but having worked for Travelodge myself, I don't hold it against her.
15 to 20 minutes later, a different member of staff delivered the cot. Not an unreasonable amount of time but would have caused a problem if someone was in a rush.
After settling in to the room, I made my way to the restaurant in the lobby. There was an adequate amount of table although at busy times I can see that you probably would have to wait for one.
For a small hotel restaurant, the menu was alright. There were six or seven different meal options in each category - starter, main meal, dessert, children's menu - and a licensed bar. Each meal seemed to be around the £6, decent for Central London. I was provided with a high chair and the waitress seemed friendly enough. There was a widescreen TV attached to the wall and the volume was of perfect volume - loud enough to hear but not interrupt a conversation - and was set on a general music channel.
Although it was only 6pm and the restaurant hadn't been open too long, the soup wasn't available and I had to make a quick alternative decision.
The portion sizes were great and I felt full after my starter and half my main meal.
If you don't fancy anything from the restaurant or you find it closed, there were two fast foods places directly opposite the hotel and more up the road by King's Cross station.
Going back up to my room, I decided to run a bath for me and my daughter. The bathroom was extremely small and I had to squash myself right in to be able to shut the door. The bath itself was also small, especially in length. Not a bath you can lie down and relax in but doesn't cause a problem if you're just sitting up. I was able to straighten my legs in the bath and to adequately wash myself and my daughter.
I was pleasantly surprised by the towels provided; they were of extremely good size and in excellent condition.
Although it was January, snowy and extremely cold outside, it was by no means cold inside. However, it wasn't very warm either. A small radiator with temperature controls and an off button was beside the desk.
The windows opened about 2 inches and was slightly hard to open - even harder to close. The curtain hung from two separate rails which overlapped, which completely blocked light from entering.
Having read other reviews for this hotel, I was worried about the noise level from the neighbouring rooms but on both nights had no problems - or complaints! - and didn't find any problems with thin walls. However, on a few occasions I could hear people walking past my door and their conversations could be clearly heard - even if they were talking quietly. Luckily, the corridor didn't seem to be busy and I heard no noise past 10pm.
The beds themselves were clean and comfortable, but I did notice one was firmer than the other - perfect for catering to different needs but could cause a problem if both people want a softer bed! The sheets and duvet cover were simple and extremely clean. The duvet was tucked in tightly under the bed, so much so I had to get out to loosen them. There was one pillow per bed provided however a spare can be found in the wardrobe.
There was a set of light switches on the wall above the bedside table, controlling all the lights in the room - barring the bathroom. The light above the second twin bed seemed to be well and truly on its way out but was perfect for me as it worked well as a nightlight for my daughter - though it obviously wasn't meant for this use.
Using the bathroom again in the morning, I noticed a small bar of soap and two disposable plastic cups had been supplied. The mirror and sink area was big enough for two people (as long as you don't need to close the door!) though the sink itself wasn't. I couldn't seem to get any cold water through the taps, no matter what I did. I'm not sure if this was just a fault with my room or was a recurring theme throughout the hotel.
Before leaving the hotel for the day, I rechecked into my room. Again, this was a quick, easy and simple process of confirming a few details and having my key-card reprogrammed for that day. I was happy enough to leave my belongings in the room whilst going out all day and upon returning, had found my room had been cleaned - I had mixed feelings about this. When I used to work for Travelodge, we used to ask our longer stay guests if they would like their rooms cleaning while out. I wasn't asked and although it was great coming back to a clean and tidy room, I did have the initial panic about my laptop, cash and belongings as some things had been moved around - though this proved an unfounded fear. The bins had been emptied, sheets changed, floor hovered, refreshments replenished and other general tidying up.
The TV was small but for a budget hotel, I wouldn't expect anymore. Ten channels were provided, including the usual BBC One, Two, ITV, Channel Four and Five as well as a music channel, news channel and Cbeebies - plus some radio stations to boot.
The only major quibble I have about my whole experience in this hotel was with the travel cot. Although hardly any travel cots come with sheets, I wasn't provided with anything to cover the mattress which seemed to be stained several times. As my daughter often sleeps on her knees with her bum in the air and face on the mattress, I did find this unacceptable and had to make do with stripping the spare bed for the sheet to cover the stains.
On both mornings of my hotel stay, I had breakfast. As mentioned before, advance booking is £5.95 and two kids can eat free with each paying adult.
I thought this was extremely good value for what was on offer. The breakfast was an all-you-can-eat buffet and consisted of several different things.
Cornflakes and Rice Krispies were on offer for cereal with fresh milk. Cooked breakfast was sausages, bacon, scrambled egg, beans and tomatoes. I witnessed these being replenished twice - though the first time I came down was pretty early and the food seemed to have been left out for a while. The hot foods are provided on big metal trays keeping them warm.
White and wholegrain bread could be found next to an industrial toaster that was constantly left on. Butter, jam and marmalade were served in small cartons.
Blueberry muffins and fresh Muller fruit yogurts in multiple flavours could also be found on the breakfast buffet as well as tea, coffee, apple juice and orange juice.
The morning staff seemed much more lively, cheery and friendlier than the other shifts with one staff member in particular who took a shine to my daughter and made our breakfast experience all the more pleasant.
Checking out was simple. I just dropped my key-card into the slot on the reception desk and was on my way.
Overall, I was extremely happy with my experience at this Travelodge. As I experienced none of the problems I have read in other reviews, I would happily recommend this hotel to anybody who wants to stay in a convenient Central London location and rooms can be found from as little as £19 if booked well in advance and even £9 during sale times.
More importantly, my daughter was happy and relaxed in this hotel and didn't seem to mind being away from home like she usually is.
Summary: Though this Travelodge was small, I will be using it again. The positives outweigh the negatives.
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