“ Address: Mitchell Lane / Bristol BS1 6BU „
It was my daughters 21st birthday so we travelled down to Bristol to celebrate it with the rest of the family. Just for once we decided to stay in a hotel rather than my mums floor. And I had no idea how difficult it would be! The hotels are incredibly expensive. In the end the cheapest hotel turned out to be this Travel lodge which only opened 6 months ago. Granted, there is another Travel lodge in the centre of Bristol but it has such a bad reputation there was no chance! This one is only 5 minutes walk from the centre of Bristol and the shopping area, it is in a rather run-down area though.
We booked direct from the Travel lodge website, forgoing the buffet breakfast at £6.95 instead of £7.95 on the day and choosing to park on the street outside the hotel and parking is free after 6pm Saturday and all day on Sunday, we would pay the £7.50 for 24 hours for the Monday in their secure car park.
It was on arrival that we saw the reason for the advisory note on the website that they did tend to have groups at the hotel. There were the multi-striped ladies stood outside, the rather scantily clad ladies in the bar, then the tarty sailor girls by the reception surrounded by groups of lads with their tongues trailing on the floor!
The reception which you do have to go up to the 1st floor to get to is bright and airy, there's a vending machine and a computer with internet access for guests. It also adjoins the dining room/bar, all of which were spotless, there are also 2 machines for instant checking in. Checking in was extremely quick and painless with the lovely receptionist who did let us know that the front doors would be closed at 10pm and access would be by using your room pass. On each floor you also had to use the room pass to get through the main door to get into the corridor and the rooms. I have to admit I was impressed with their security.
The room was basic as expected, nice big bed though! There was also a small flat screen TV on the wall, a small kettle with cups, tea, coffee, etc which was on a simple desk with a single chair. The bathroom is also basic, toilet, sink and shower. It was basically all made of plastic in one moulded shape.
One thing I did notice about the room and bathroom and that was the absolute spotlessness of it. I couldn't find a single speck of dust, hair or mark anywhere and I did look!
The only downside was going to be the window (forget the view, it's offices and carparks!), the wall had settled down leaving a gap underneath the window which did let the draught in! I don't know if this is was what made the room absolutely freezing but it was. I cant imagine what it was like in the winter, but we had the rather efficient heater on the whole time.
We popped down to the Mother In Laws room to be greeted by the most awful stench in the corridor, thankfully it had just about gone when we went to the bar for a coffee. I have read about this problem on another reviews so maybe they should get this sorted.
The service was also quick in the bar, the bonus being that once you had paid for a tea or coffee you could keep filling up on more. They also do food and the party on the table next to us sounded very appreciative of theirs.
As we laid in bed I became aware of an interesting sensation, I appeared to be on a slope! On enquiring with the other half he was aware of he same sensation, thankfully the bed was big enough that we didn't roll right into the middle of the mattress squashed together. We had a wonderful peaceful sleep for a couple of hours until the fire alarm went off at 3.30am! Cue many confused people milling about outside in the rain. Of course as soon as we got downstairs the all-clear was given and back we trooped to out rooms. Did I mention we were on the 5th floor? The lifts were out of order of course and I was nearly on my hands and knees by the time I got to the top.
So cheers to the idiot who thought it was funny to set the fire alarm off. By the way you were caught on CCTV and will be sent the bill to have the alarm checked and reset.
Thankfully the rest of the night passed peacefully
Also thankfully the bar is actually open 24 hours so I was able to come back from organising and eating my daughters birthday meal, buy a nice pint of cider and kick back on a sofa and watch the big screen tv before going to bed.
At this point I'd driven to the car park at the rear of the hotel and felt slightly cheated, I found that instead of 24 hours for my £7.50 because I was buying it before midnight I only got to stay till check-out time of 12pm and it cost the same. If I'd just left my car on the street till midnight and gone it then I truly would have had 24 hours.
The second night passed even more peacefully, well for us at the back of the building it did. The front rooms were awakend by workers digging up the pavement at 8am. There is a note on the website for the other Travel lodge to say there was building work outside but not here.
Check out again was swift and painless.
A special note should go to the staff, although they were, for the majority, quite young they were without fail very helpful. Hair-dryers were handed out, we were lent a pair of scissors so we could wrap gifts and the mother in law was given half a jug of real milk after complaining about the little cartons of milk.
So I was quite happy with out stay until I returned to my car. There is only around 7 spaces right outside the rear door, other cars go into a car park. It's not till you see the 7 spaces full that you realise how close the cars have to park next to each other. Hence getting a suitcase from the rear seat or a laptop bah whilst parked is quite difficult. This then must be the reason for the dent and the scrapes all the way down my car from wing mirror to the boot. It was also then I noticed that someone had tried to force the drivers door, all they had managed to do was push the door forwards which now means the edge of the door rubs of against the panel rubbing the paint off.
So I found to my cost that the 'secure' car park is nothing of the sort, there is a CCTV camera but it is pointed towards the ticket machines, there's no barrier to go through, there's no security patrolling it. It is in fact the perfect haven for car thieves, crouch behind the car and no one can see you, its safer out on the street. And although I was impressed at the rest of the security the doors were never closed at 10pm, not even 12 when I went down to get a cigarette and that was on both evenings, I can only assume the staff forgot.
I would stay here again but a) I wouldn't take my car and b) I would check on building work first!