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Finding lodgings at Travelodge
Travelodge in general
Member Name: msvforb
Travelodge in general
Date: 06/08/09, updated on 06/08/09 (167 review reads)
Advantages: Great room rates available
Disadvantages: You have to pay in advance.
Recently some friends and I decided that we fancied a long weekend away. There were a few places around the country that we wanted to visit and so we decided to stay en route between them. Knowing that Travelodge is one of the few places that lets three adults share a family room at no additional cost we decided to see if they had hotels around the areas we wanted to stay and were pleased to discover them at both the Cambridge Fourwentways service area and the Oxford Peartree Interchange service area.
Whilst this review is based mainly on my recent stays at both of the above I have stayed in many Travelodge's around the country over the last few years and so may also comment on my experiences elsewhere.
Travelodge hotels are situated all over the country mainly in city and town centres or at motorway service stations. I've found that most big cities have a number of the hotels and it's worth looking at the price and availability of each of these as prices can vary greatly from hotel to hotel, this especially applies to the hotels situated in the London area.
Making a reservation
As with most hotel chains it's possible to book a room either over the phone or on the Travelodge website (www.travelodge.co.uk). I find it easiest to book online and always either do this or at least research my options online before booking over the phone.
The website is easy to navigate and the booking process is straightforward. The big downside to booking with Travelodge is that you have to pay for the full cost of your stay upfront no matter how far in advance you're making your booking.
Whilst booking online there are a whole host of extras which you can select at a cost, from booking breakfast (£4.05), to an SMS booking confirmation message (15p) or even accommodation for your pet (£20).
Check In & Service
The standard check in time at a Travelodge is 3pm. However in most hotels it is possible to arrange a check in for an additional fee of £10.
I have always found the Travelodge staff to be friendly and helpful both when checking in and asking for assistance in other ways. Whether asking for extra pillows and towels or directions, staff have always helped me with my request really efficiently. During our most recent stay at the Cambridge Fourwentways hotel one of our party left her phone in the room when we checked out. 100 miles and two hours later we realised we'd left it behind and so called the hotel. The reception staff were really helpful in locating the phone and sending it on to us.
Travelodge rooms are fairly basic as you would expect in any budget hotel. A family room will include a double bed and a sofa bed, a TV showing the standard terrestrial channels + Sky News, tea and coffee making facilities, a dressing table/desk and chair and an area for hanging/storing your belongings in lieu of a proper wardrobe.
Generally the beds are very comfortable but the sofa beds less so, I wouldn't want to sleep on one of those for more than a couple of nights. Recently I've found that when you've booked a family room you need to make the sofa bed up yourself. Whilst this doesn't bother me I can imagine that lost of people would not appreciate this inconvenience.
Similarly the bathrooms are fairly basic with toilet, bath with shower and wash basin.
I always find that the hotels only provide enough towels and pillows for one per person and so usually find my self heading back to reception to ask for more (there are no phones in Travelodge rooms and so you can't contact reception in any other way) which have always been provided with no problems.
Whilst bed and breakfast packages don't come as standard it is possible to book breakfast as an extra when making your booking. If you choose not to take this option it is again possible to order breakfast at reception during your stay. Whilst I have never taken up this option I have noticed advertisements for a standard breakfast package of cereal, flapjack or cereal bar, fruit juice and tea or coffee being available for £4.05 per person on the website or £4.50 at the hotel.
Facilities vary from hotel to hotel. Many hotels have a hotel bar which serves drinks and a basic bar menu at general hotel bar prices. There are usually coin operated snack, soft drink and hot drink vending machines in the reception area of the hotel and sometimes coin/card operated internet access is available in the same area. Most hotels seem to have wi-fi internet access available although I have never used this.
The price of a room varies greatly depending on which hotel you choose, how far in advance you book, when you want to stay and whether or not you want the flexibility of being able to cancel your reservation and receive your money back. There are often non-flexible room rates as low as £29 per room (whether it be single, double, twin or family room) available in many hotels and the website has regular sales with a small number of rooms available for as little as £9 per night.
In my experience the advanced purchase (no cancellation) cheapest offers are often only available for one night stays. However, I have found that if I booked two or more separate consecutive one night stays I have been able to book rooms at the cheapest rates. When I've made a booking in this way it hasn't been a problem to stay in the same room for the duration of my stay at the hotel.
In summary I probably wouldn't recommend spending a week at a time in a Travelodge but as a base for a couple of nights you can't really go wrong.
Summary: Budget hotel accommodation can be great.
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