It's not very often I stay in a Travelodge these days, as I do prefer Premier Inn and Express by Holiday Inn, so when looking for accomodation Travelodge is not my first choice.
This is because they are quite basic, and some are looking a little shabby and in need of refurbishment.
This Travelodge at Stirling in Scotland, is one I have stayed at on a couple of occasions. On my last stay I noticed it does seem to have been refurbished somewhat, and although it has always been clean, it had been looking a little tired and dated. This seems to have been rectified with a lick of paint, new furniture and TV's.
The hotel is situated on the Moto service area on the M80, Pirnhall, Stirling. It is approx 3 miles from Stirling Centre, so you would need to take your car to visit Stirling itself, or a taxi will cost you around £10.
This is a basic service area with the usual shop, Burger King etc, and also a tourist information centre. There is no problem with noise when we have stayed here and there are plenty of parking spaces outside the hotel.
The staff are friendly and helpful and check-in quick and easy. Check-in is from 3pm but it is possible to request an earlier check-in from 12pm if available, and late check-out up to 2pm, however there is a charge of £10 for this.
The rooms are clean and quite comfortable, with family and twin rooms available. The beds are made up with white, crisp bedlinen.
I found the bed quite comfortable and although there was only two pillows provided, I asked at reception if it would be possible to have some more, and this was no problem. I was also asked if I would like extra towels.
A flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities are provided.
There is no hairdryer in the rooms however, but you can borrow one from reception, along with an iron and ironing board if required.
The bathroom was clean with a bath and decent overhead shower. No complimentary toiletries are provided but there is a vending machine selling toiletry items. Most other hotels will provide these free of charge if you have forgotten some toiletry item, but at Travelodge you have to pay for them.
We have spent a couple of comfortable nights at this hotel, however at £56 per night I think is is quite expensive, when compared to what you get at Premier Inn or Holiday Inn Express for the same price.
I found out after our stay that there is actually a Premier Inn a couple of minutes drive away from the Travelodge, so on our next visit we did actually choose to stay there, as it was a little more luxurious and has a nice bar/restaurant next door. You are limited to the services area for something to eat when staying at the Travelodge.
It would be a bargain to stay here if you are able to obtain a £19 room online, which is an offer Travelodge often have available. They do sometimes offer some £9 rooms but I would imagine these are hard to come by and are snapped up quickly as I have never managed to secure one!
Stirling Travelodge is an ideal base to explore Stirling, but on future visits I think I would prefer to stay at Premier Inn unless booking a bargain room.
Stirling is a beautiful place which we visit often. I always think it has a certain 'air' about it, especially at Bannockburn which is roughly a mile away from the Travelodge. I have enjoyed visiting the castle and the Wallace Monument, which are 3 miles away.
If you are using Stirling as a base to visit the surrounding areas, then I would recommend a visit to the Trossachs, and maybe a trip out on Loch Katrine on the steamer. Loch Lomond is another favourite place of mine and is approx 25 miles away. I would also recommend a visit to Callander, and if you have children they will love a visit to Blair Drummond Safari park, which was a great day out.
I will be visiting Stirling again soon and hoping to be able to book a 'bargain' room, so maybe will be staying at the Travelodge again. I really cannot find any fault with it overall, as it is clean and comforatble, but if paying full price you may just prefer to book a room at the Premier Inn instead, for that little bit extra luxury!
Last weekend I went to Stirling with a few friends, and a few of my friends went with a few of their friends. In total there were over 500 of us in town for the annual Scottish student trampolining competition, and this proved a bit of a problem given the lack of budget accommodation in the town. To that end, 30 of us from Manchester settled on the Travelodge at the nearest motorway junction, and along with bouncers from other unis pretty much booked out the place for the weekend apart from one lone family who probably didnt know what had hit them.
Ive stayed in many Travelodges before, both here and in the USA, so knew what to expect, but was wondering whether the chain had undergone a makeover recently the way Premier Lodge and Travel Inn did when they merged. Half of us arrived around 4pm to find chaos in the small reception, with the receptionist and some other clubs bouncers engaged in a heated debate about the number of rooms reserved as the Travelodge had cancelled some of their rooms, apparently at their request. Happily we didnt have this problem, and soon had our old-style non-keycard keys (one per room). As we were leaving for the warm up, and the other bus load would be arriving in our absence, we left keys at reception for room mates to fit in which they were fine with. Additional keys werent available but when you locked yourself out or found yourself without a key for another reason, the staff would happily let you back into your room with the master key, without even checking details which seemed a little on the under-secure side.
The rooms are all family-sized and can supposedly sleep 3 adults or 2 adults and two children, though following the aforementioned booking fiasco this policy went out of the window, and the reception staff let 4 adults into each room without any fuss. You could also get around their limit by giving only 2 or 3 names when booking and sneaking in an extra body when you arrived since theres no way for them to check this, and most Travelodges are busy places with people constantly coming and going.
Each room had a double bed, a sofa bed and a pull out bed. The first of these was made up on arrival (and re-made daily) but the others were stripped, with fresh bedding available in the rooms. This came in handy in the evenings since our room was cold and it meant I could have not one but two quilts on my bed as we were an under-occupied room. The facilities in the rooms were basic and similar to those in American motels. TVs with poor reception for 5 terrestrial channels also boasted several pay-per-view channels including those of an adult nature. A hospitality tray included tea, coffee and milk but no hot chocolate or biscuits. Storage space was open, not portioned off with a door or curtain, and included both shelving and rails. The bathrooms were clean but showing signs of wear. The baths included extremely-hard-to-operate showers, and towels were provided for just 2 occupants though more were available from reception. We also had a heated towel rail of note only because the sole in-room information provided was a leaflet justifying why rooms and facilities are on the basic side in the form of questions and answers such as why dont you provide hairdryers in rooms? etc, and one of these was why do you NOT provide heated towel rails? with the answer being because theyre dangerous and can burn you so it was quite bizarre that we had one of them in our bathroom after all.
The motel did not have conference rooms or a bar or a café of any kind. It offered a breakfast bag for £4 which included the bare essentials a croissant, cereal and fruit juice which would be delivered to your room at an appropriate time. A much better option would seem to be to eat out, but this is a Travelodge on a motorway, not a hotel in a city centre. Its about 3 miles from the centre of Stirling where you can find shops, restaurants and several large supermarket and there is very little within walking distance of the hotel other than those businesses co-located at the service station namely a Burger King, a self-service café, a small newsagents style shop and a local tourist info / souvenir shop complex.
Our general impression of this specific Travelodge was that it needed a refurbishment or at the very least a thorough spring cleaning. The same could be said for the staff they werent incompetent, just unhelpful, and on two mornings we came across a few of the domestics standing outside the fire door smoking and gossiping, linen cart blocking the hallway.
Prices range here, and though special offers are available, theyre severely limited. You can stay for £10 per room .if you go on Thursday 21st September and stay for just the one night. Useful. Typically, rooms are around the £45 - £55 night range, which for a family of four is pretty good going, even without a free breakfast, or any posh toiletries to stash in your bag.
Useful if youre passing through, or in town for a specific reason such as to win an embarrassingly large trophy (that would be me! Its huuuuge), but otherwise it wouldnt be high on my list of places to overnight.