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Oh What a Night!
Travelodge Milton Keynes Central
Member Name: anonymili
Travelodge Milton Keynes Central
Date: 08/10/07, updated on 16/01/08 (174 review reads)
Advantages: Very cheap, comfortable, spacious and clean rooms
Disadvantages: Lack of sound proofing
Doing a quick browse on the net, I found the Travelodge in Milton Keynes at £26 a night which seemed a real bargain and it was only minutes away from the training centre I needed to attend in the morning. It was extremely easy to book the room online with my credit card; it took literally a couple of minutes and I received a confirmation email back straight away with a booking reference number. All I would have was basically check in on the date of my stay.
Come the day of my stay, I got to Milton Keynes at about 3pm and visited some friends for the afternoon/evening. My friends have 3 small children under 10 and having spent a lovely day playing with the kids and a lovely time chatting with my friends, I set off for the hotel. My friend insisted on driving there in her car and have me follow her as she was convinced I would get lost in the weird road infrastructure that is Central Milton Keynes. Thank God I listened to her as it was amazing how every road looked the same and how many roundabouts we passed - I would certainly have got lost.
Checking in to the hotel was very easy. It was about 9pm and the young lady at reception was extremely friendly and helpful. She asked if I'd come from far away and said that she had grown up near where I live. She asked if I wanted a breakfast box for £4.50 as there was no restaurant in the hotel. She showed me a list of what was in the box and for a box of cereal, carton of milk, carton of orange juice, a healthy snack bar, some wheat and fruit biscuits and dried fruit in a packet, £4.50 seemed like a good price. I was advised that the breakfast box would be left outside my room after 5am some time. The very helpful receptionist also explained how the parking system worked in Milton Keynes for when I went to my course in the morning. The hotel has it's own car park which is free for guests and she even said I could leave my car there during the day if I wished to as they did not take people's registration numbers when they checked in. This seemed a bit haphazard to me and I didn't want to risk it as a) I didn't know how far away the training centre was, b) the weather was quite windy and wet and c) knowing my luck I'd get a parking ticket! I noticed that the entrance to the hotel did not seem to be wheelchair friendly at all.
Before I caught the lift I noticed a drinks vending machine at reception as well as a snacks vending machine but did not really take much notice of the prices, apart from the fact that they did not seem overly steep.
I caught the lift up to my room - I was not impressed with the lift, it seemed quite old and run down but it got me up to the first floor easily enough. As I had asked for a smoking room it seemed to be the farthest room away from the lift. I was pretty tired and couldn't wait to get inside my room and was hoping it wouldn't be too awful considering it was only £26 a night. I had been given one of those fiddly key card things they seem to give you in most hotels these days and after trying it 4 or 5 times without success I was getting quite frustrated and not relishing the thought of having to traipse all the way back down to reception when the door clicked and opened! Relief! As I walked into the room the first thing I noticed was the large wardrobe area and ample hangers available to hang clothes as well as lots of shelf space and a spare pillow for the bed. The room was large and spacious with a double bed which seemed as if it might be a king size bed and a huge sofa. There was a table which was big enough to be a dressing table, house the kettle and tea/coffee, etc, as well as the TV. The bathroom was nothing to jump up and down about but it was clean and had a bath/shower with one bath towel, one hand towel and a small bar of soap. It was quite a sparse bathroom; but enough for my needs.
The carpet in the bedroom was clean and a dark blue unassuming print (not at all like my most recent stay at the Splash Landings hotel at Alton Towers where the carpet and bedcovers were a shocking array of tacky colours). The sofa was also dark blue and quite comfortable for the few minutes I sat on it to try it out! The walls of the room were peach and beige, quite relaxing colours and when I sat on the bed before changing to my nightclothes I was impressed that it seemed very soft.
Having a quick shower before changing into my nightwear I was a bit surprised to notice that the tiling on the bathroom walls was a bit grimy. I wished I had an old toothbrush with me to give the tiles a good scrubbing but I didn't so I didn't! The room temperature was just perfect so I didn't feel cold when stepping out of the shower, the curtain was just the right length so as not to interfere with my shower and ensure water didn't drip onto the floor. There was a nice handy grip bar to hold onto as you step out of the shower which was a good safety feature.
I picked up the remote and placed it on the bedside table as I wanted to have a read of a book I was close to finishing and thought if I finished it I would watch some TV. The bed was very comfortable and I was very happy with my bargain priced hotel at this stage! I ended up watching a film till just after midnight, keeping the volume down as low as possible as you never know how much you can hear in neighbouring rooms and I didn't want to disturb anyone else.
I fell asleep shortly after the film finished only to be rudely awakened what seemed like moments later, I looked at my phone and it was 1am. I heard a door slamming several times and hoped that was the end of that. Not so; as every time I fell asleep I was woken by the sound of doors being slammed. At 3am I actually got out of bed and went to look through the door's peephole into the corridor to see if I could spot who was doing all the slamming. I could see no one, I opened my door and stuck my head out, looked left and right, saw no one and heard nothing... until I got back into my bed and dozed off and was woken again by the sound of slamming doors. This basically went on all night and it was 6.30am when I last looked at the time on my phone before nodding off and waking up to my alarm at 7.30am. I was extremely annoyed and tired and very miffed about having such a nice comfortable bed and not being able to sleep properly in it! I would add that there are no phones in the room to call down to reception to complain which I would have done had there been a phone and in the paperwork I had I could not find the phone number for the hotel to even call them from my mobile phone.
One other thing I should mention is that the room had ample lighting, I've stayed in some hotels where you can switch on every light and lamp in the room and still feel in the dark but here the lighting was just right for my needs, not too much and not too little! There was a ceiling light, a lamp at the dresser and a bed light either side of the bed with conveniently placed switches.
I found my breakfast box outside my room which was nicer than I had expected but just had time to have cereal and bagged the rest of the stuff to eat later as I didn't want to be late and I was planning to have words with the receptionist about the noisy goings on during the night. When I got to reception at 8.20am the desk was not manned and there were several room keys which had just been left there so I sighed and just left my room key there too and left the hotel feeling very tired.
I can't honestly fault the bedroom - it was clean and comfortable and relaxing. The bathroom was fine apart from the somewhat grimy tiles but the ambience of the hotel itself, with the noisy doors slamming during the night was totally unacceptable. There should be better sound-proofing, I honestly can't imagine why people would be slamming doors ALL night, but having had a sleepless night I will not consider staying there again.
The address and contact numbers for this Travelodge:
199 Grafton Gate
Tel: 0871 984 6199
Fax: 01908 241737
Website for bookings:
The hotel is ¼ mile from Milton Keynes railway station and 15 miles from Luton Airport. Milton Keynes shopping - The Centre is a 10 minute walk from the hotel and the theatre area is a 15 minute walk. You can specify smoking or non-smoking rooms when booking and WiFi is also available. You can also specify disabled when booking a room.
I just noticed this disclaimer on the booking page: "Due to this hotels central location, there may be some street noise, especially at weekends" which really doesn't give me any satisfaction as having had prior warning as I stayed there on a Sunday night and the noises were coming from inside the hotel not outside!
Some Travelodge hotels allow you to book and pay in advance at a rate of £15 a night but you must book well in advance (at least 21 days) and are non-refundable and non-transferable. I stayed at the "Saver" rate of £26 which is also non-refundable and non-transferable and need to be booked at least 7 days in advance. If you book 4 days in advance rooms are available at £39 or £49 depending on where you stay. Some Travelodge hotels have bars/restaurants available but the one I stayed at in Central Milton Keynes did not - as mentioned earlier, just vending machines and breakfast boxes can be ordered the night before to be left outside your room during the early hours of the morning.
Overall I'd rate the hotel as 6 out of 10, had I had a good night's sleep the rating would have been nearer 9 out of 10 for comfort and convenience and a good price!
I might also add that I received a customer satisfaction survey shortly after staying at the hotel but was not given enough opportunity to give any real feedback as I was just asked for a rating out of 10 and could not leave any contact details for anyone to come back to me regarding my feedback!
n.b. Also published on ciao.co.uk under the same username
Summary: Recommended? Only if you take ear plugs, otherwise forget it!
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