“ Chain: Travelodge / Location: 3 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3BG / Tel: 0871 984 6445 „
Last November I was supposed to be going up to Edinburgh to do some Christmas shopping. Living in Newcastle it's not too far away and it's a place I love so I go there frequently. Unfortunately on that particular day I didn't manage to get there as, me being me, I managed to pick the first day of the snow that plagued us up until New Year. This meant my bus was late, in turn meaning I missed the train and couldn't go.
My boyfriend being the little sweetie that he is, offered to take me for a Valentines break instead. I would normally go and come back the same day, but on this occasion we decided to stay a couple of nights. I am of the opinion that as long as a hotel is clean and has a comfortable bed not much else is required, as I don't go away with the intention of spending my whole trip in the hotel. With this in mind I told him to book a Travelodge.
~Booking and cost~
Booking was done online and although it was actually my boyfriend who booked it, I have booked stays in Travelodge's before and find it an easy process. You have an option of paying extra for early check-in and late check-out and we took both of these options as it meant less time waiting around before our trains. You are given a booking confirmation number, although to my recollection we were just asked for names when actually checking in.
Prices vary depending on the time of year. Although we went on a Valentine's break, we actually went a few days before, as it was easier for us to get time off work then. Prices are per night, and you will often pay different amount for each night, with weekends usually costing more. We stayed on a Sunday and Monday night and I think we paid £25 for the first night and £28 for the second, which I think is great value for money.
There are no less than 10 Travelodge's in Edinburgh, so although I know the city quite well, I still found it quite a daunting task picking the best one for us! We eventually decided on the Waterloo Place hotel, because of its close proximity to Waverley train station and the fact it offered the best prices for the dates we wanted.
Waterloo Place is at one end of Prince's Street which is Edinburgh's main shopping street, so it is very central. If you're coming out of Waverley station you simply need to cross to the other side of the road and carry on to your right. The entrance of the hotel is quite small, but is clearly marked with the Travelodge sign.
~Check-in and staff~
As you enter the hotel there is a small lobby and despite paying for early check-in, when we arrived we found that there was a queue. Even so, we were dealt with quickly, and I was pleased that despite being in the same room we were given a key card each, as in the past I've stayed in hotels where they only give you one card per room which is a pain in the neck if you each have different plans. I was also pleased they gave us a wallet with the card that had the room number written on it. In the past I've forgotten which room I'm in and had to ask reception!
The staff were all very friendly, although on one occasion we did wait at reception for quite a while, whilst a female member of staff messed about doing what looked like nothing in particular, and not acknowledging us.
We were on the first floor and there is an option of either a lift or stairs. I was surprised when we entered the room just how big it was. Much bigger than any other Travelodge I've stayed in. We booked a double room. Family rooms are also available, I have never stayed in one, so can't comment but I believe I've read in other reviews that they consist of a double bed and a sofa bed.
I find that Travelodge's bedrooms all tend to be pretty much the same inside and this was no exception. We had a comfortable double bed with lights either side, and a desk/table with one chair and a travel kettle, 2 cups and a small selection of tea/coffee/sugar/UHT milk etc... There are plenty of plug sockets too, which is essential for me, as a girl needs to be able to straighten her hair in the morning!
There is a small space for hanging clothes and a spare pillow provided, which is good as I need to sleep with two! I believe you can go down to reception and ask if you need anything extra. You also get a flat screen TV on the wall, which has the main channels plus a few extra, but not a full Freeview package. From memory I think you get BBC3, ITV2, E4 and one or two news channels.
The bathroom was small and basic, but with a large shower, sink and toilet it had everything we required. You don't get toiletries provided in Travelodge's, but they do have a vending machine in reception where you can buy them if you're desperate! You're provided with towels and these will be changed every day if you need them to be - it does have a sign saying to leave them in the bottom of the shower if you want them changed.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the room, it was clean and warm and despite the fact that the hotel is central I never noticed any noise from outside. Our room was cleaned during the day when we were out and tea/coffee stock replenished.
~Check in/out times~
Standard check-in is 3pm but you can opt for early check-in which I believe is 1pm.
Normal check out is any time before 12pm. If you pay for late check out it is 2pm.
~Other Points to note~
Some of the Travelodge's I have stayed in have had small café type areas where you can get food, but this one didn't. There is an offer when booking to add a 'breakfast bag' onto your stay, which apparently includes cereal, milk, muffin, croissant, jam and fruit juice, although we didn't take this option ourselves. Other than this, as far as I am aware the only food available is from the vending machine in reception.
We did have one problem, and it was the same problem I've had with every Travelodge I've ever stayed in, so I'm beginning to think there's more to it than just bad luck! We had two nights booked but our key cards expired after the first night and had to be re-activated by the staff. I don't know why, but like I say, this always happens!
Again on the day we were due to check out, we returned to the hotel at around 1pm and found our cards had expired. This time we were told it was because the cards automatically expire at 12pm, and they have no way of extending them for people who have paid for late check out. If this is the case, it seems a bit silly, and you'd think they'd be able to upgrade their systems to facilitate the people who are actually paying them extra to stay longer.
On the whole, I was pleased with my stay at this hotel. It was clean and comfortable and aside from the key card issue above, it was trouble free. The hotel doesn't have a huge range of features or facilities, but if I wanted that I would expect to be paying a lot more. The location is excellent and if I was going to stay overnight in Edinburgh again, I would definitely consider this hotel.
*Review also posted on Ciao