“ Address: Marine Parade / Eastbourne BN22 7AY / England „
This review is of the Travelodge in Eastbourne on the seafront, on Marine Parade. There are two other Travelodges in Eastbourne, one at Willingdon and the other at Hellingly, but neither of these are as well situated.
I arrived at this hotel quite late at night, which wasn't a problem for them, the reception had already sorted out the room card and the breakfast vouchers, so check-in was quick and easy.
The hotel was built as a private residence in 1821 for the Earl of Ashburnham, with the tower added in 1897. It was a prestigious house, the first in Eastbourne to have either electric or a phone, telephone number Eastbourne 1! It was turned into a hotel in the early twentieth century, firstly known as the Carlton Hotel and then more recently as the Albion Hotel.
This history has meant that the corridors are a bit of a maze, but the rooms were well signed and easy to find. My room was on the second floor with a superb sea-view, but unfortunately the balcony outside had been sealed off, and a wooden desk placed in front of it, which seemed a bit of a shame. However, since my visit was in January, I'm not sure I'd have wanted to spend much time on the balcony, but it must be a bit more disappointing for visitors on a beautiful summer day.
The room was clean and of a reasonable size, although the floor was quite squeaky, so not sure if any guests downstairs might have been irritated by it. However given the hotel is Victorian and of a strong build, it might not be a problem, but the hotel was a little noisy during my visit, even though there were few guests.
The bed was comfortable, and it was quite relaxing hearing the crashing of the waves just twenty metres away or so. The room was warm and so this was all very positive. The bathroom was clean, although there was no bath, just a shower, not a problem, but some guests might prefer a bathroom.
The only fault with the room was that the door had a gap at the base of about half a centimetre, which had the potential issue that noise would leak and in the unlikely event of a fire, it wouldn't have been good as a secure fire door.
The kettle in the room had the electric cord frayed, which didn't appear dangerous at that point, but certainly would soon need replacing. Coffees, sugar (white only), tea and small milks were provided every day, all as expected.
The staff were polite, although one receptionist was in her night clothes, and the staff in the morning at breakfast were a little distracted talking to each other rather than dealing with breakfast, but given the number of guests, this is understandable.
Breakfasts generally cost 7.65 pounds, with a 10% discount if paying in advance. I've never had a problem with these breakfasts, paying under 7 pounds for a cooked breakfast, orange juice, coffees, cereals and so on, is comparable. The breakfasts here were on the poor end of the usual Travelodge standard, which in itself is average. The sausages were a little burnt and the bacon was only lightly cooked, with the beans nicely setting into the container. Breakfast staff really needed to stay on top of this.
There was a problem also that little of each food was put out, so around a pint of milk, three muffins, and so on. With no breakfast staff, if one ran out, it wasn't replaced. It was all a bit amateurish, but for the money paid, I was entirely content.
Indeed, the entire three night stay was very reasonable because of the price I paid, 19 pounds a night for the room, so including breakfast around 25 pounds a night. That is cheaper than most B&Bs, so represents perfectly good value for money.
I didn't eat in the restaurant, but there is a nice pub behind the Travelodge, the Crown & Anchor which is friendly and has a couple of choices of real ale. Eastbourne has a wide range of places to eat, and personally, I'd recommend finding one of those instead of eating in Travelodge - for me, I like the nearby Cosmos, which is an all you can eat Oriental restaurant.
However, in general, Travelodge seems to be falling behind Premier Inn. In summer the same rooms cost 80 pounds a night, sometimes more, and for that much money, they represent quite poor value for money. Given the number of other chain hotels and independent hotels available, I'd suggest looking elsewhere in Eastbourne (I like the Bay Lodge B&B a little further down Marine Parade) for better value.
Details of this hotel can be found at the Travelodge web-site, www.travelodge.co.uk. and the phone number is 0871 984 6354. I arrived by train, which is around a mile away, takes around 20 minutes to walk there.
I didn't have a car so didn't need car parking, you can either take your chance though outside the hotel on the side streets where it's free, or park at the NCP car park for 8 pounds for every 24 hours, which is a discounted rate. Unfortunately it's a ten minute walk, so it's not ideal.
So in terms of recommendation, if you can get this hotel at a good price, it's perfectly reasonable value for money. At busier, and more expensive, times, I would struggle to recommend this hotel, and I can imagine that it is also much noisier and rather full in the breakfast room. But worth a look to see if you get a bargain!
We've all heard of this chain I'm sure, but did you know they let you bring your pets? In case you didn't realise, Travelodge will accept pets in the rooms, which is the main reason I choose them, so my Labrador can come away with us too. You pay a £10 extra fee on arrival for pets but with the rooms being so cheap I don't mind.
Travelodges, although bland and at the 'basic' end of the market are wonderful value for money. The most I've ever paid to stay in one is £39, but the last couple of occasions has been just £19 a night for the room, which if there's two of you sharing is excellent value for money.
The Eastbourne Travelodge (not the Hellingly one - the newer one they have just acquired) is right on the seafront and when I last stayed there in October we got a seafront room on the second floor which was fantastic. The only drawback was the fact that you couldn't open the French doors onto the little balcony.
The rooms (either double or family sized), from my experience, are exactly the same in every lodge you stay in, but I have always found them to be clean and fairly spacious. The family size rooms that I have used, have one large double bed and a sofa which pulls out to make another bed. One other niggle I have with the Eastbourne lodge is that they don't have their own parking, but there is parking on the road - if you ask when you check-in they will provide you with a permit to put in your car at a cost of 50 pence which covers the day you arrive until 11am the following morning. This, you will find is cheaper than paying at the meters.
Also, the breakfasts are expensive, being £7.50 per person, with a 10% discount if you prebook them. I noticed when I stayed in October that they have cut back on the breakfast choices - no fried bread and only limited Danish pastries, which makes it disappointing for the price. They still provided the basics though: bread for toasting, an assortment of little cereals, apple and orange juice, tea and coffee. There are better value breakfasts to be had in town, if you can be bothered looking.
On the whole though, I can't fault the Eastbourne lodge, the staff were always friendly towards us and the location can't be bettered.