Thankfully I’ve been able to make use of Devere Venues autumn sale recently in order to avoid the somehwat-increased travelodge prices. But, inevitably it’s only been a few nights here and there and I’ve had to shop around for travelodge rooms. My regular haunt at M4 East seems to have almost doubled its best prices, while Whitley (which always seemed to charge a premium) is almost half what it was.
Mind you, it is one of the dumpiest of Travelodges. Very old and tired - indeed the rooms don’t match the usual blueprint - smaller (thinner) desks, different light switches, and really manky bedside furniture. Walkking down the corridors there’s that familiar smell of something that never quite got clean and never really gets any fresh air - I can’t help but wonder what unknown organisms lurk within the tired carpet.
Room 34 - my second time - hadn’t improved. In fact now that winter is approaching it reminded my of another fundamental problem at this stop: knackered old heaters.
The heater in my room was already at 30 when I arrived, but let’s not get carried away imagining that the actual room temperature had got anything near there. It had probably managed 16 or 17. Output from the wall heater is approaching that of a candle, so as you can imagine, I was quick to get my PC on and start some heavy duty image processing tasks to pump some much needed heat into the room.
In the end, I slept with some of my clothes over me (on the duvet) and actually made it through the night to see another day, to live another adventure!
Well. At last. A Travelodge room that was a pleasure to stay in.
Room 316 of Edinburgh princes street lodge is a actually a haven of calm in what is otherwise a rather mad existence. Opposite the railway station and amid the never ending tram works, solitude is to be found here. Obviously part of a converted older building with high ceilings and solid walls, the room is afforded a coolness and peacefulness otherwise rarely found.
Of course Travelodge has stamped its cookie cutter design on the room, though its clean and modern (ie new).
The bathroom is the most bizarre element, moulded, it seems, from almost a single sheet of plastic. It is somewhat akin to a cubicle on a cruise ship, a tad claustrophobic, but no doubt easy to hose down, and presumably resistant to the trademark Travelodge grotty grout, because it has none. If you enjoy taking your ablutions in a packed-lunch box, you’ll appreciate this new design.
Overall we were actually impressed with the size of the room (family size) and the lack of noise facing the rear. Given my usual sufferance at the mercy of motorway service lodges, it was a welcome change.
Time for the annual trip to Edinburgh for the fringe and we’re back in the usual Travelodge, simply because it’s about the only place you can get this side of 100 quid per night. It’s rather shocking to think that actually these rooms go for more than that if you’re not booking on a saver deal ahead of time.
If Alex polizzi - hotel inspector - was to compare room prices with the standard state of, say, the bath, she’d have a fit. There’s something about the Travelodge brand that finds it acceptable to have mouldy baths as a bonus.
This hotel is rather schizophrenic - with rooms of odd shapes and sizes and non standard Travelodge fend shui. In this year’s room the furniture is dark mahongany brown and has been crippled from being useful. That is, the set of drawers has had handles removed and drawers fixed shut. Likewise one of the large cupboards. We’re spoilt for mirrors though.
As ever the lighting wiring continues to baffle like a puzzle from the crystal maze. Let’s take the lights on one side of the bed, 3 switches. The only way to describe the madness is in binary.. 3 switchs, so that’s any number from 1 - 7. Now you might expect these switches to be independently wired so that you can basically use any combination from 0 - 7. Not so. These switches can only provide lighting for 1 (001) and 3 (011). No 2 - figure that one out. Switch labelled main has no effect at all.
This, then, is a triumph of the ‘Travelodge trumpet’
The main failing with these rooms is the window blind. We all know that blackout blinds simply do not meet the edges of the window so are largely ineffective for their purpose.
The bathroom has a marble sink, I think inherited from a previous hotel - but the bath has clearly been downgraded to Travelodge murky, mouldy standard. Toilet rolls are at foot height, so much so, that I’m not sure if it’s toilet roll or shoe polisher.
The ‘clean air’ unit on the wall is a relic from the pre-computing era of the 70’s and may actually not have worked since then. Ironically it certainly hasn’t been cleaned since then.
Still, they manage to fill this place.
Let’s not even think about what possibly lurks in these crevices.
New for 2012? Black & white branded soap packet. Travelodge marketing unleashed.
Travelodge adopts a new more inclusive toilet roll design theme. But the shower doesn’t disappoint: still hanging off the wall.
After several years of constant dripping Travelodge have finally realised they should change the taps. Spangly new mixer. Must have changed the sink too, but oddly that’s less spangly. As for the broken toilet roll holder, they just couldn’t be bothered.
For our Edinburgh Fringe holiday we stayed at Edinburgh “West End” travelodge. For those who might associate the West End with the heart of theatre-land in London, don’t make that mistake here: this place is over a mile out of the heart of the city. (Though, eminently walk-able for the committed, which we are).
In principle this lodge offers everything the fringer-goer needs for cheap accommodation - however, all is far from perfect; below, verbatim, is my feedback as requested by Travelodge’s “Net Promoter Score” feedback request.
1) Serious noise problem: 5.45am bin collection on Monday; 6am - 7am - staff dragging bins around outdoors (any day); doors slamming in corridor. Barely possible to get a good night’s sleep.
2) woeful water pressure on 4th floor - shower very poor
3) ludicrous room design: Desk & TV perpendicular to each other. TV too high (suboptimal picture). No mirror over desk. Ridiculous lighting - all lights on one switch - no “ambient” lighting option. No sensible place to hang towels to dry.
4) blackout blinds do not adequately cover window to be fully effective.
Use of the word “ludicrous” is in homage to Duncan Bannatyne, whose Edinburgh spa we spent half a day at to recover from all our walking… :)
Travelodge’s craftsmanship never fails.
Looks like the last guest was trying to escape the room through the desk. Can’t blame ‘em.