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Nice rooms - awful food
Travelodge London City Road
Member Name: rosebud2001
Travelodge London City Road
Date: 18/04/09, updated on 18/04/09 (533 review reads)
Advantages: Useful location in City of London, pleasant rooms
Disadvantages: Do NOT dine here!
Another trip to London, another Travelodge...this one was booked during one of their periodic sales - enabling me to spend 3 nights in the capital for less than £60 - a bargain no matter which way you look at it.
This isn't my preferred London Travelodge - that honour goes to the one in Marylebone - however I had stayed at this one not long after it opened so I knew it wasn't a dump.
The Travelodge City Road is located in the City of London, only a short stroll to Liverpool Street Station. The nearest tube stations are Moorgate and Old Street which are located a few minutes walk away. A plethora of buses go past too - the 21, 43, 76, 141, 205, 214, 271. As I arrive into London from Kings Cross this hotel was easily accessible with both the 205 and 214 bus stopping right outside the hotel.
Of course for £19 per night I am not expecting the earth, and this being a Travelodge you aren't going to get the earth either - just a room with basic facilities.
I booked a family room at this hotel - I prefer them when travelling with my daughter as it gives her the option to have her own bed, using the sofabed provided. They are also a little larger than standard double rooms which is nice for a stay of more than one or two nights.
The room had a double bed with two pillows, a sofa bed that can sleep two, two spare single duvets, two pillows and towels for two. I requested extra pillows and unusually for a Travelodge wasn't given them at reception but was told they would be brought up to my room. They did arrive but I have no idea how long it took for them to come as we went out shortly after I had requested them.
There is a desk which has a shelf containing two mugs with spoons, a kettle and some tea and coffee should you want a cuppa in the morning. There is also a LCD TV - however our remote control wasn't in the room when we arrived. We were given one when I queried this at reception without quibble however.
The TV has only a few channels - channel 5 is strangely absent - but you do get News 24, CBeebies and a music channel along with a handful of radio stations.
The bathroom is very plain and functional. There is a bath with shower overhead. The bath is a three-quarter size tub so not ideal for luxuriating in but will get you clean. The shower is nicely powerful however and ideal for waking you up in the morning. The only smellies you get is a cheap and very small bar of soap, so if you are staying here its imperative you don't forget your toothbrush or the rest of your toiletries. The bathroom is very clean - no dirty tile grouting or limescale marks which is a problem I have encountered in Travelodge bathrooms in the past.
The bed was reasonably comfortable albeit a little on the soft side for me. My daughter had no complaints about the sofa bed however - she declared it to be wonderful and said she slept well on it.
We arrived just after check-in time of 3.00 pm and headed out to visit family not long afterwards. We got back to the hotel around 8.30 pm and my daughter said she fancied pizza for dinner. The hotel offer pizzas to eat in your room, served with cheese and garlic doughballs. A Margherita pizza costs £5.75 with Hawaiian and Pepperoni on offer for £5.95. You can order the pizzas in the hotel's large café bar and have a drink while you wait. I thought this sounded a great idea and my daughter did too.
We were pleasantly surprised when our pizzas were brought over about 10 minutes after we had ordered them. Sadly this was the only pleasant thing about them - they were quite hard, and my Pepperoni pizza was rather overcooked to add insult to injury. They were pretty obviously just bog standard frozen pizzas, which isn't my idea of pizza. You can have dinner in the café bar between 5.00 pm and 10.00 pm but having sampled the pizzas I made a mental note not to bother. The bar remains open until 1.00 am.
Breakfast is served Monday to Friday between 7.00 am and 10.00 am and at weekends and bank holidays between 8.00 am and 11.00 am. We noticed large queues on our first couple of days, but there is an EAT outlet nearby which I preferred to visit as I really like these places and only get the chance to visit when I am in London due to an absence of outlets in Scotland. However on our last day we had a bit of time to kill before heading off to catch our train so I decided to have breakfast at the hotel, thinking if we got there early it wouldn't be busy. This, of course, was not the case and after paying the £7.50 price for an adult's breakfast (children under 16 eat free if accompanied by an adult) I was faced with queues around the buffet breakfast.
It was particularly chaotic at breakfast time - there didn't seem to be enough staff on hand to ensure there were enough mugs, glasses and cutlery and there was also a problem ensuring the hot plates were kept well stocked with food - when I went to get some hot food there were no scrambled eggs left and the bacon was about to run out.
The food isn't even particularly good - I actually wonder why people flock to this breakfast the way they do - obviously its cheap for families - but it isn't actually worth the small amount they charge. I keep telling myself I will never get another Travelodge breakfast and then I forget how bad it is, go again and once again find myself bitterly regretting the decision. I have considered the reason why its so popular and can only come to the conclusion that people like the lowest common denominator and kid themselves that they are getting a bargain. You can choose from bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, baked beans and tinned tomatoes from the hot plates, or have cereal, fruit (tinned), toast, croissants and cakes. Tea, coffee and juice are also available.
Security is pretty good at the hotel - you need a key to enter the lift area past the lobby and also to use the toilets in the café bar. Keys are of the card type and room doors can be locked on the inside for additional peace of mind.
The hotel is situated on a main road and it is noisy. My daughter made a rude comment in her usual autistic way when we were checking in which seemed to displease the receptionist - and this left me wondering if this was why she allocated the room we got which was on the first floor and right beside the bus stop, overlooking the main road - making it possibly the noisiest room in the hotel. The double glazing is pretty good however and as we live in central Edinburgh we are pretty used to traffic noise. I actually found guests coming back to their rooms in the early hours and chatting as if the entire hotel belonged to them to be more of a disturbance but I appreciate not everyone might feel this way.
The window can be opened but like most hotels nowadays, it can only be opened partially, leaving me to suspect it might well be rather hot in summer there.
The location is pretty good however - there is a Starbucks and a Tesco Express nearby, meaning you can forego the overpriced vending machines in the lobby area if you want to purchase snacks and a drink to have in your room. You are close to the City so if you want to see the Bank of England or St Paul's Cathedral you don't have far to go. Access to the West End is good by tube and bus too, making this a good base for the tourist, or for the budget conscious City worker.
Rates vary enormously at this Travelodge - at sale times it can be possible, although difficult, to find a room for £9, but rates can go as high as £81 per night if you don't book in advance. Check-in is from 3.00 pm onwards and check-out is at 12.00 pm. You can opt to pay £10 extra for early check-in and late check-out when you book however.
Bookings must be made online and you can opt to add wifi and breakfast onto your booking here. If you want to bring a pet however you must telephone the hotel first to ensure they permit them - pets are only allowed at the hotel's discretion with a maximum of 2 pets per room and Travelodge charge £20 per pet per stay.
Overall I would recommend this Travelodge if you want somewhere in central London that's cheap and cheerful - the rooms are perfectly adequate and clean, however the food should be avoided - there's better and cheaper available just a short stroll down the road. And if you are a light sleeper and are bothered by noise, you might wish to consider somewhere else to stay.
Summary: Ideal for the budget traveller visiting London but avoid the food.
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