Newest Review: ... hotel was like. === Location, location, location === I'll admit early on to not being overly familiar with Ayr, but even I could tell... more
A room without a view
Member Name: Joker25
Advantages: Cheap, handy for the airport
Disadvantages: A bit down at heel, not close to the town, breakfast bag
Before we get started on the review proper, here are some things I have learned about Scotland and the Scottish:
- The Irish could drink them under the table. I drove through every wee town and hamlet between Stranraer and Ayr on a Friday night at around 9pm and I didn't see a sinner. All the pubs looked closed and no one was having a fight in the street. Tsk.
-The Scottish LOVE a road sign or twenty thousand. Seriously. In Ireland, we assume that a bit of praying and the luck of the Irish will get you to where you want to go, and warning signs are thin on the ground unless the car might actually blow up under you. On the road to Ayr there was a veritable forest of signs at the side of the road that cautioned me about everything from ducks to deer to old people. Now, I appreciate that hitting a deer may perturb both me and it, but the elderly can take their chances.
- The Scottish LOVE speed cameras. In Northern Ireland we have 4 and everyone knows where they are. One of them keeps getting firebombed because they stupidly positioned it right outside a bad boys' home. By contrast, between the hotel and the airport I counted eight speed cameras. That's excessive, surely?
- Glen Coe is one of the most impressive places on Earth. Everyone should go (although not all at the same time. It's only a wee road.)
Anyway, now that I've informed you about all things Scotlandish, here's what the hotel was like.
=== Location, location, location ===
I'll admit early on to not being overly familiar with Ayr, but even I could tell that this isn't exactly in a prime location. As I drove to it (whilst swearing at Sat Nav Bint) I didn't get the impression that I was even close to the town. It's definitely more of an out-of-town business park kind of place. Mind you, it is handy for the airport and I don't think it's so far out that it's going to cost you a month's salary in taxi fares to get to the pub and back.
The parking is sufficient without being ample. The site is shared with a Bannatyne's gym (why would anyone entrust that gurning Scottish curmudgeon with their fitness?) and a Frankie and Benny's so you could get parked there if desperate. The parking is not secure but the site is set far enough back from the main road that we had no worries about leaving our cars there.
=== Check In ===
Check in was reasonably straightforward. And when I say 'reasonably', I mean 'not at all'. The man at the desk mumbled an incomprehensible blend of consonants and grinned; I said my name. He said more incomprehensible consonants; I smiled politely. He barked incomprehensible consonants even more loudly, waved at the dog and pointed at the lift; I dropped my key card and failed to make the lift work 3 times. He showed me how to make the lift work whilst muttering incomprehensible consonants and then showed me the blood stains on the carpet from where there'd been a fight earlier; I did my best to look suitably impressed and consternated. Via means of visual aids and semaphore, I managed to convey that I'd like a key card left on the desk for my boyfriend; he showed me the bloodstains again.
In fairness, whilst his accent was mighty to tricky to understand, I had worked late the night before, got up at 6am to pack the car, been at work all day, spent three hours on a ferry and then driven an hour and a half to get there, so I was pretty spaced out. Despite our spectacular failure to understand each other I managed to get myself and the dog to our room without too much mishap.
=== The Room ===
If you've seen one Travelodge room, you've seen them all and this one fitted the mould nicely. The little convection heater had obviously been on all day and, as it was pretty mild in October, the room was like a sauna. I turned it off and opened the window but as they have those annoying anti-suicide catches on the window the fresh air that got in was seriously limited. Am I alone in finding that irritatingly nannyish? Admittedly, the average Travelodge is just about bleak enough to tip you from 'a bit down' to 'goodbye cruel world' but surely that should be individual choice? And, has anyone who really wanted to end it all had their minds changed because they couldn't open the window far enough? Anyway, I've digressed. I like a cool bedroom, temperature-wise, and the stuffiness was unpleasant.
The minute I sat down on the bed I knew I was in for a bad night as it was so ridiculously soft as to be like going to bed on the Stay Puft marshmallow man out of Ghostbusters. I'm not a masochist who likes a bed made out of bricks but I find a really squishy bed uncomfortable and it makes my lower back ache. On the plus side, the bed linen was nice and clean and there were enough pillows.
The space was well-appointed with a couple of built-in bedside tables and reading lamps, and a long wooden vanity unit. We were only staying one night but there were enough power points to make it suitable for laptop use and there was also tea and coffee making facilities. There was no wardrobe as such; a hanging space with fixed hangers stood in instead. Travelodges must be the only chain to still offer CRT tellies but the one we got was of a decent size and did the job for one night. More importantly it offered football results which kept the boyfriend happy.
The bathroom was nothing special but a decent size with good water pressure. The shower was over the bath and couldn't be detached from the wall, which is awkward for leg-shaving purposes. From what I recollect there were absolutely no toiletries provided other than a couple of weeny bars of soap. The towels were fluffy and clean but were what I would describe as a large hand towel: grand for wrapping your hair up in but not really big enough for entire body. The best bit is the magic demisting mirror which clears a little face-shaped space enabling you to put make-up on no matter how steamy the room is.
Overall the room was fine for one night, but any more than that and I'd have found it a bit depressing. It wasn't awful by any means, more a bit scruffy and in need of a really thorough clean and sprucing up.
=== Noise ===
It wasn't exactly a silent night, but nor was it so bad that I felt the need to complain. The halls are carpeted which makes a big difference to noise levels but we still heard a few people returning to their rooms in the middle of the night.
=== Breakfast ===
Costs around a fiver and comes in a bag. Don't even consider it if you have any sense. You can put together nicer noms by shopping around in the nearest Spar or garage.
=== Check out ===
I'd pre-paid when I booked so it was just a case of leaving the key cards at the desk and hitting the road. The cost for the two of us and the dog was £45.50 which is stupidly cheap (and would have been even cheaper without the £20 pet surcharge). As always with these kinds of chains, the best deals are to be had by booking a bit in advance.
Summary: A bog-standard Travelodge
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