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Cheap but central!
Travelodge (Birmingham Central)
Member Name: Lools_24
Travelodge (Birmingham Central)
Date: 23/09/11, updated on 15/11/11 (59 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, very central location, clean
Disadvantages: Very basic room, can be noisy, lack of car parking
If you have read any of my travel reviews you may have noticed I like to stay in "nicer" hotels and Mr Lools and I tend to choose a 4 or 5* hotel when it comes to city breaks as a couple, mainly as we dine and spend more time in the hotel. When we go for city breaks or weekends away with a group of friends we tend to be a lot less fussy and look for more basic accommodation that is cheaper and very central as we usually spend time enjoying the nightlife. We have visited Birmingham a number of times over the last few years and have stayed at the Birmingham Central Travelodge.
The Birmingham Central Travelodge is located on Broad Street in Birmingham City Centre. As part of the Travelodge chain the hotel offers budget hotel rooms with basic yet modern facilities.
The Birmingham Central Travelodge is not the prettiest of hotels and on approaching the 136 room hotel it is apparent it looks very much like a concrete tower set over 9 floors. The hotel offers basic non-smoking double or family rooms in a central Birmingham location.
The Birmingham Central Travelodge is located in the heart of Broad Street directly in the centre of the nightlife and bars, the hotel is also 0.7 miles away from the Birmingham NIA and 1.5 miles away from the Birmingham Bullring for shopping.
230 Broad Street
Tel: 0871 984 6064 *
Fax: 0121 644 5251
On both occasions we have stayed at the hotel we have driven to the hotel. The hotel states that it has car parking however I would say this is very limited. When we arrived at the hotel on both occasions before 4pm, all of the spaces in the 2 story approximately 15 space car park were full. It costs £5.50 per £24 hours to park in the Travelodge Car Park. For a 136 room hotel the amount of spaces is very poor. I would also say these car parking spaces are tiny and very tight. We have a medium sized hatchback and both Mr Lools and I are very confident with parking and would have struggled to park in some of the spaces.
There is on street and street car parking spaces directly behind the hotel but personally the area is a little secluded looking and I would personally not feel my car was secure. Less than a 2 minute walk away from the hotel is a secure Euro multi-storey car park which offers a lot of spaces for £6.50 for 24 hours. I think this is very reasonable and convenient considering an NCP would cost in the region of £13+ for 24 hours.
Birmingham Central Travelodge is 1 mile away from Birmingham New Street train station and 11 miles away from Birmingham International Airport.
On both occasions we have stayed in the Birmingham Central Travelodge we have booked a room via the Travelodge website. Prices vary depending on how far advance you book and on what night of the week you want to book. We have found with Travel Lodge hotels, Saturday nights tend to be the most expensive night to book a room and are typically around £10 more expensive than any other night of the week. Booking a room at quite short notice a week in advance for this hotel you are looking to pay around £35-£45 for a double room and maybe £50 for a family room. On both occasions we have booked a room when there has been a special offer running and we have booked at least a month in advance. Booking a family room for 3 people (July 2009) we paid £29 a room and when we booked 2 double rooms for 4 people (August 2011) we paid £21 per room. This is extremely cheap and the next cheapest hotels in the City Centre were in the region of £50 per room or £40 per night but at least 2 miles away from the city centre.
The Travelodge website was very clear and easy to navigate book and the confirmation number and details were sent directly to my email.
You can also telephone the hotel directly to book a room. A number of travel websites offer rooms for this Travelodge. The prices tend to be a few £'s more expensive than the actual Travelodge website if you are booking in advance as we checked this option out first. If you are looking for a last minute deal you may find these websites offer a cheaper or more competitive price.
When we first arrived at the hotel first impressions were mixed. Driving down Broad Street we could see the hotel was in the centre of the nightlife and surrounded by bars and restaurants so this meant we didn't have the expense of taxis or a lot of walking to do. However the hotel was pretty ugly; a tall concrete tower and judging by the congregations of groups (dressed in fancy dress) we soon figured out that this was a base for many stag and hen parties therefore expected it to be quite rowdy.
The hotel reception was quite small and had a small reception desk; very small for quite a large hotel therefore the area was very crowded when we arrived on both occasions as there were a number of groups attempting to check in.
On the second occasion we visited there were 3 self-service check in booths which dispensed key cards. On this occasion we had booked only two rooms so I only had to put my card in the machine (which I had used at time of booking) and from this my booking was recognised, although the room is not charged for until the day after you check out. People who were using these booths who had booked as a large group of 4+ rooms seemed to be having issues so the reception area could only be described as chaos as there was one lady on the check in desk and another assisting people at the booths.
The reception area also has a number of vending machines selling food and chilled drinks. The items in these machines are priced a lot higher than if you were to buy them in the shop and if you are hungry, there is a Sainsbury's local opposite the hotel which is open until 10pm and from 7am so you can stock up on food and drink.
The public areas of the hotel are clean and the corridors are decorated plain but modern. The lift areas do get busy as there are 2 small lifts serving 9 floors and obviously the option of stairs with a suitcase is not appealing to most guests.
On the first occasion we stayed at the hotel we had booked as a group of 3 and opted for a family room. At £29 for the room, therefore costing less than £10 per person we were not expecting much from the room but I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel was basic by all means but it was clean, modern and in a good condition. The room was also extremely large as it was located on the end of the corridor. The room had a living area where there was a large sofa bed (for the third guest). This area had plenty of storage and a huge amount of floor space you probably could have fit 3 double beds in the space. There was also a large TV in this area. There was a mirror a desk to get ready at and access to the bathroom. To the side of this area was a bedroom area. There was no door to this area but instead you went through an archway so the area felt enclosed and like a separate room. This area had a large double bed, plenty of space around the bed and a desk and dressing table to get ready at with a chair. The room was in no way lavish but perfectly functional and clean. The room also had a chargeable Wi-fi connection.
The bathroom was also satisfactory. This was a white suite with a shower bath and sink unit. The bathroom was clean and although there were a few cracked tiles the bathroom was better than expected for the price of the room. The only criticism is that the shower did not stay at a constant temperature so all three members of our room spent our time in the shower alternating between being showered in freezing water or boiling water.
The room was perfect to get ready in and as somewhere to rest for the night but this is not a hotel to stay in if you want a good, comfortable night's sleep. On the hotel website, Travel Lodge actual state as the hotel is located on a busy street there may be some "street noise" especially at weekends. On the first occasion we stayed at this hotel we were actually overlooking the main street and it was very noisy. We came in from a nightclub at 3am and we could still hear a lot of street noise including shouting, music and sirens. Obviously after a fair amount of alcohol this was not too much of an issue but for light sleepers this would be a problem.
On the second occasion we stayed at this hotel we found our room was a lot quieter and because it was facing the back of the hotel we did not encounter much noise. The double room we booked on this occasion was almost identical to the larger family room, only smaller and without a sofa bed and separate living area. The décor and facilities were the same (plain walls and carpet) TV, dressing area, basic bathroom but again the room was clean. I would say the room was not in as good state of repair as the room on our first visit. There were quite a few cracked tiles in the bathroom, a lot of large dents in the walls and a few loose sockets. Not the worst hotel room I have stayed in by any means but would have benefited from being redecorating. In both rooms extra towels and bedding was provided as was tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel does have irons, ironing boards and hairdryers free to guests but these are not in the rooms and you have to go to reception to collect if necessary.
I did find that because on the first visit we were in a room at the end of a corridor we did not hear a great deal of noise from the corridors. However on the second visit we did hear quite a lot of noise from the corridor of people passing as we in the middle of a corridor. This was not as bad as it could have been but if we had been unfortunate enough to have been located next to some of the VERY rowdy stag do groups that we encountered on check in it may have been an issue.
The room rate is for room only and no breakfast is included with your stay. There are vending machines in reception for snacks but the hotel does not have a restaurant. This is not an issue as the hotel is surrounded by restaurants and food stores which you can pick up food from. On check in there was the option to have a continental breakfast delivered to your food in the morning. This included toast, cereal and yoghurt and cost a staggering £7 per person! We declined this option but less than a 30 second walk from the hotel reception is a large Wetherspoons which is open from 7am and serves breakfast until 12pm. A full English costs £2.99.
Check out was a simple case of handing the key card back to the reception desk which was very quick. As a result we did not have much interaction with hotel staff but what we did encounter they did seem helpful and pleasant.
The Birmingham Central Travelodge is by no way the best hotel I have stayed in but it is definitely not the worst and considering we paid only £27 for a double room and £6.50 for parking this is definitely one of the best value hotels I have stayed in. The central location is definitely the biggest plus point for me. Usually I do not mind spending slightly more on a hotel in the city centre if we are going to sample the nightlife if it will save money in the long run an minimise the need for taxis but with this hotel there was no compromise. On our night out we were never no more than a 5 minute walk from the hotel as there were so many bars and restaurants in the direct area.
The hotel was cheap, clean and the basic facilities suited our needs perfectly for the night and although the hotel is slightly tatty it is clean. The hotel is noisy on a weekend therefore if you are looking for a hotel where you will be guaranteed an early night and a good night's sleep then this is not for you. But for those looking to sample the nightlife I would definitely recommend the Birmingham Central Travelodge.
Summary: A cheap, clean, basic hotel room great for those that just want a bed for the night
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