Newest Review: ... which was clean, as was the room and bathroom. It was about £60 for the lot of us, breakfast included. There were only 2 small soaps ... more
Travel Inn? ... Stay Out!
Travel Inn (Oxford)
Member Name: Cinders
Travel Inn (Oxford)
Date: 26/03/01, updated on 26/03/01 (878 review reads)
Advantages: It was easy to find
Disadvantages: Poor Hygine, poor furnishings, poor service, very poor food not worth £20 a night
I had been invited to visit Oxford with a US friend of mine, and seeing as neither of us had ever been before we decided to stay the night there. I looked around online for a room for the night as we’d decided to share, and found that most of the advertised accommodation was in fact guest houses. I wanted a private bathroom and I saw the Travel Inn website. Looking further all rooms had an adjoining bathroom and there was one just two miles outside Oxford City centre, perfect.
Reservation was simple, there was a host of numbers, online booking was unavailable, so I rang central reservations, gave my credit card details, address and contact number and we were all set. I wasn’t quite sure of the way to the hotel so I rang at a later date and asked if it was possible for them to mail me a map or directions. I was told that the hotel only had fax capabilities. They did give me the road name however, so I got very accurate directions using AOL Travel Direction Finder.
Central reservations had told me that check in was only available after 2 p.m. so we set out at midday. I found the hotel easily, you can't miss the sleeping moon sign on the outside and we made it by quarter to two. There was ample parking and sign posting was good. We made our way to reception, crossing a little bridge over a man made stream. After checking in and signing a small form, we were asked if we wanted breakfast. Taken aback at the question we asked what there was and were informed that we could either have English or Continental, opting for English we were asked to pay. The room was £50 and the breakfast £6 each.
Reception gave us our room key and told us that our room was in another building. We found our room eventually, which was a double and a smoking room. It was impossible to miss the smoking section, as you could smell it a mile away. I don’t think the corridors had been cleaned since the hotel was built. Using our card to
open the door we looked around.
There was a double bed, a wardrobe without doors, a chair, a desk with a TV on and two mirrors. I thought I'd call my mum who was babysitting for me and tell her I'd arrived but I couldn’t find the phone, I searched the whole room but no there was no phone. My friend looked in the bathroom calling me to see the toiletries that were provided. There was none, except a very small bar of soap. Now I ask you to imagine the smallest bar of soap in the world, it was one inch by one inch, oh well we'll have to find a chemist!
We decided to go and look around Oxford, so while my friend was changing I sat on the chair and turned on the TV. Noticing that the Info channel didn't work, I looked a little more closely at the room. There were stains all over the carpet, the curtains were filthy, and then my eyes caught the bed. On one side of the bed was a stain, a stain that looked suspiciously like urine. Pulling back the sheets I noticed that the stain covered almost one half of the mattress. I was horrified, and I decided there and then and there that we weren't staying in this room.
Seeing as there was no phone in the room we had to leave our building and walk across the car park to reception. We complained about the room, asking if the manager would accompany us back to the room to have a look. The staff at reception asked if we’d like a refund and to find another hotel, but as we are a lazy pair we opted for another room. I also informed the staff that we didn’t have a phone to be told "That's right you don't." surprised I wanted to know why not, it turns out that no Travel Inn rooms have a phone. If you need to make a call you have to use the public phone box and the end of your floor. Working this out I realised that there was no room service either. It also turns out that there are no hair dryers provided in the rooms or for hire by the hotel.
Our second room was next door to the one we had just vacated, exactly the same layout and almost as dirty. I really was not satisfied, and seeing as we'd paid £50 for this room, which by today's standards is average I remembered the signs all over reception. "100% Satisfaction Guaranteed or your money back" I made my way, in the rain, back to reception. By this time I was fairly peeved. I wanted to know exactly what we have paid £50 for and I had decided that if I was not offered a suitable room I was going to take the refund and go hotel hunting. After a debate I was offered a room in the non-smoking area of the hotel I took the key telling her that I would look at it. My friend and I decided that this room was adequate and after all we had spent enough time room swapping.
After handing our second room key into reception we headed out for the evening. Upon our return the fire alarm was ringing in our building. Again we trotted across the car park to reception to tell them that the alarm was ringing. Reception was empty and there seemed to be no bell or way of alerting anyone. I looked around and saw that the computers were still on so I shouted for a member of staff. A man appeared from a back room and told us he would deal with the alarm.
We returned to our room and I slept in my clothes on top of the bed. I really didn’t trust the cleanliness of this hotel at all. I woke up at 8 a.m. and went to the bathroom. I didn’t test the shower, as I didn’t have a hairdryer, so I had a bath instead. The water was hot but the towels were tiny. I dried myself using two hand towels. I made some coffee using the few sachets provided in the room and we decided to make our way to reception side for breakfast.
Breakfast was a buffet. There was plenty of food consisting of bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms tomatoes, and sausages. Also provided was cereal and fruit juice. It all looked very nice, but w
hat I really wanted was some coffee. The food was unlimited, but the coffee was limited to a mug per person. I grabbed a plate and put some bacon, mushrooms and scrambled eggs on it. Now I thought the room was bad, I can tell you the food was worse.
The bacon was hard and tasted of oil, the mushrooms were overcooked and also tasted of oil and the egg was like water. I couldn’t eat it, so I asked for a slice of toast, which was brought. Leaving the breakfast room we vowed never to stay at a Travel Inn again and I vowed to write an opinion to warn anyone else thinking of staying at one.