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I stayed at this travelodge this weekend with a couple of friends. We booked a family room at a saver rate of £42 - we got this rate booking approximately 3 weeks in advance.
The hotel is situated approximately a five minute walk from Old Street tube station. It is very sleek and modern compared to many travelodges in London.
We arrived at quarter to three, but were not able to check in straight away because travelodges charge extra for early check in (regular check in is from 3pm). However, we were directed to the adjacent cafe by the very polite staff, who then came over to invite us to check in once they were ready.
The room was typical of a travelodge. As a family room it had a double bed and a sofa bed. We had to request bedding to make up the sofa bed - we had to actually request this twice, and we were not given extra towels for the extra person.
The room was clean and well maintained. There was a tv with a variety of channels, a small wardrobe, tea and coffee and a kettle (but only two cups - I feel a family room should have three). The bathroom was clean, had a bath and shower, and a well lit mirror.
The heating was adequate and the room was quiet. Although we overlooked the main road there was little traffic noise so a comfortable night's sleep was had by all.
I have no major gripes with this travelodge, it does what it says on the tin, and is a good place to stay for a very reasonable price. There is room for improvement, for example bedding and towels, but overall it maintains the consistent standard that you would expect from a well known brand like travelodge.
This is one of the newer Travelodges to be situated in Manchester's city centre. It's not in the nicest part of town but it is certainly convenient for a number of locations and activities, for example within a brief walk to Piccadilly and Victoria railway stations, the MEN Arena, The Printworks and the increasingly fashionable Northern Quarter. It's also virtually next door to one of the better comedy clubs in Manchester, the Frog and Bucket. The location is both a blessing and a curse.
We stayed at this hotel due to bagging a room in one of Travelodge's frequent £9 sales. One of the big plus points of Travelodge is its consistency, and the rooms at Ancoats certainly give you everything that you would normally expect: clean, a comfortable bed, bathroom with shower, tea and coffee facilities and a TV with basic selection of channels. This being a budget chain, you don't get fancy toiletries, a selection of herbal teas, minibar, or anything like that. But for somewhere to get your head down after a day or evening out, it's ideal.
I had no complaints about the standards of the room, however it is in a noisy area of Manchester and this is noticable, whether it be lorries on the main road next to it, or drunks at kicking out time at the clubs and bars nearby. This is probably my only real complaint about my stay.
We didn't have breakfast there (there's a Wetherspoons about 5 minutes walk away, perfect for a fry up) but the staff in the bar were polite and helpful.
I'd say definitely try this travelodge if you're looking for somewhere cheap to stay in Manchester. It often has much more availability (and cheaper prices) than Manchester Central and is just as convenient.
I had this phone a few years ago, at the time it was considered the Samsung alternative to the motorola V3, being of a similar size and design. The plastic build quality let it down in terms of comparison with the V3, although it completely outdid its Motorola counterpart in terms of features.
Video calling was in its infancy, but both cameras on the phone offered a good quality of picture, and sound quality was above average.
This phone also offered an mp3 player, but had a small memory capacity and no option for expansion with a smart card. It had a good music player feature that allowed the player to be controlled by buttons on the front of the clamshell, however this was prone to switching itself on if you had the phone in your pocket.
The build of the phone was sturdy but looked cheap because of the plastic used to make it. However, the keypad was easy to use.
The menu was laid out well and was easy to use.
Overall this phone tried to do too much, and therefore didn't really succeed with anything. It didn't look as good as the V3, it didn't have the mp3 capacity to compete with Walkman phones, and therefore it couldn't really be recommended.
This phone is definitely one of those that is better looking in the flesh, as it were. The front is a sleek, almost mirror like, black plastic which looks amazing but sadly scratches very easily. It also allows one touch activation of the music player which is an excellent feature (also one that can be easily switched off so that it doesn't accidently start working while it's in your pocket as I've had happen with other phones).
Opened up and the most noticable thing is the retro feel of the keypad. Retro but stylish, and being spaced out gives the keypad a real ease of use for those with longer nails.
The screen is clear and crisp, and a decent size to use all of the many features that this phone has (some useful, some gimmicky). As with most Sony Ericsson menus, it is easy to navigate and to be honest has so many features I'm still discovering them. I particularly like the googlemaps application and the ability to watch youtube videos on the phone. There are also some motion sensor games, and you can even turn the phone into a drum kit if you so desire.
The web browser installed on the phone is easy to use, and I added Opera mini without any problems.
The biggest selling point of this phone is undoubtedly the walkman facility, packing a fantastic 8 gig memory, an intuitive music player with track recognition, mood recommendations and really good quality sound. The headphones included are good quality, and I was particularly impressed that despite using the same port for charging and headphones, it offers the opportunity to both charge and listen at the same time. Adding music is also very simple to carry out, and the bundled software is simple to use.
I was not that impressed with the camera on the phone, but it's perfectly functional for what most people would need.
The front screen could be used with more functionality, for example it doesn't allow you to change the display much, but this is a minor complaint. All in all it's a good quality phone that offers a lot of fun and a lot of functionality, and great style too.
This is one of the most good looking phones I have ever owned. It's sleek, the mirror is of a surprisingly good quality and the keypad is actually very easy to use even for a girl with long nails!
Functionality is also good, with an easy to navigate menu and a variety of applications available. I loaded it up with Opera Mini and the large screen provided a perfectly adequate mobile internet experience.
I found that texting was not as intuitive as I would have liked, particularly when using predictive text, but it was usable.
Another problem was that the mirror quality of the screen did impact on usage when outside - in sunlight the display was almost unreadable.
A memory card is an essential if you intend to use this phone for mp3s, but the music player is pretty basic although it does what it needs to do.
I did find that the cover that fitted over the charger/headphone slot became damaged easily, which was a shame, but apart from that the build quality was excellent.
Overall this is a lovely looking phone and a good buy for anyone who wants the basics of a phone and a little bit more.
I've always been a fan of Creative products for their reliability, and the Stone is no exception. It is made of a sleek shiny plastic casing, which is extremely durable - it's been dropped, banged against things, and stood on and is still in great condition.
It's very simple to use, just drag and drop to load music onto it, and it plays a wide variety of music formats. There is the option to organise music into folders, which can then be played in aphabetical order or on shuffle.
The supplied headphones were surprisingly decent, and the Stone offered a very good quality sound.
The Stone was supplied with a USB charger, although a mains charger can be picked up relatively cheaply.
One disadvantage is that of all of this type of device - no display and no way to get to a particular song, but for a shuffle type device it certainly stacks up well against Apple's offerings.
Battery life is fairly decent, after a year I'm still getting 5-6 hours, which is reasonable.
Overall, a very smart little player that can be picked up for a very respectable price.
This was the first mp3 player I ever owned, about 4 years ago, and it's still going strong. It's an extremely reliable player, although built like a housebrick, so not entirely ideal for using on your travels. However, as a back up device for your music collection it's ideal.
It's made of an attractive brushed metal, with a blue backlit screen. It is very simple to make your own playlists, and you can add as many as you like. It is also very simple to edit playlists, delete tracks off the player etc. The Creative mediasource software is also very simple to use.
This was supplied with a mains charger, USB cables, software and leather pouch as standard. It has a removable battery, and even after 4 years battery life is very good - easily 10 hours of constant use.
Sadly Creative have not provided any support to use this with a Vista machine, which was a real disappointment and has limited its long term use.
However, I would say that for its time it was a quality device, and its reliability is second to none.