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Old 28th July 2017, 06:58   #856
Mag_seven
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Originally Posted by Blindtraveler View Post
hI Express are in a different league and up there in my top 3 hotel brands with PI and Easyhotel which despite being more basic than TL seam to get so much right.
I recommend the HI Express Watford Junction - some nice views over the station (on the higher floors).
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Old 28th July 2017, 19:59   #857
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Originally Posted by Blindtraveler View Post
Given that at least 2 of the members of said club are the wrong side of 17st I hope the TShirts will come in XXXL etc sizes?
Councilling services and a discount on back surgery might also be worthwhile benifits!
I think I can arrange that!

I wonder who else we can find that despises Travelodge!
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Old 29th July 2017, 05:51   #858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindtraveler View Post
Given that at least 2 of the members of said club are the wrong side of 17st I hope the TShirts will come in XXXL etc sizes?
Councilling services and a discount on back surgery might also be worthwhile benifits!
As might reinforced beds
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Old 29th July 2017, 06:55   #859
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Think I'll ignore that comment lol.
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Old 30th July 2017, 12:53   #860
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Someone mentioned they will be staying at Wembley Travelodge? Obviously its used by many attending events at Wembley stadium , not only football supporters but rugby union and league. There is the RL Cup final at the end of August. I assume its fully booked already by Hull FC supporters...?
Maybe with high usage Travelodge do not spend a lot of money on it as they dont need to as people stay their more for convenience of location rather than the state of the rooms ?
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Old 30th July 2017, 13:36   #861
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Norwich Central Travelodge. Stayed there for £42 on Friday night.

Check in was fine, bloke was very nice and swift though he thought my friend (stood behind me) was my girlfriend and staying too so I ended up with two keys [emoji38]

Room was big, fairly modern, though the shower pressure was on its way to completely failing and the shower gel dispenser kept falling off.

Still, I slept well.

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Old 30th July 2017, 15:10   #862
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Cardiff Atlantic Wharf Travelodge

Stayed there for two nights whilst bashing Arriva Trains Wales (mainly). I usually aim for Premier Inn as I find them better quality but their prices were a bit more this time.

Check in was ok and I slept well both nights, there was the usual bit of door banging and stuff but nowhere near as bad as some places i've stayed.

I wouldn't recommend using the restaurant for dinner - they were hopelessly disorganised but breakfast was quite ok.
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Old 30th July 2017, 16:42   #863
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It's high time I got on with these two, if I've done the first one before then accept my apologies. Before I launch into them, be aware I'm a fan of easyHotel in general, although I think I've mentioned that previously. Even so, I'll try and be fair:

easyHotel Earls Court

This was my first easyHotel that wasn't in Croydon for a fair while, and despite hearing less than positive things about it beforehand I'd already booked it. The choice was this hotel or a night on 700s, getting up every 30 minutes or so. I can't say that I was strongly considering leaving the hotel during the night to do just that...

Check in took forever, then the stairs were absolutely evil to climb to the third floor, no lift available. I was glad to find my room when I got up there (I think it was 309), although that opinion soon changed when I discovered I had booked one of the small rooms. Think boxroom for the size. How they got a double bed in there when the rooms were fitted out I'll never know!

Uncomfortable bed, pillows not much better. The bathroom was tiny, as expected in a room this size, but at least smelt clean. The shower wasn't the best, but still better than some I've had since then. Actually, it was dozens of times better! For reference, the best shower I've used this year was the one in Ibis Budget, Cardiff. I don't think I've yet reviewed that one either...

This hotel was also a nightmare to get to from Earls Court station, unless you went the right way there were no easy access routes and I'd crossed the busy A4 at a thankfully quiet time. Still, easier to get to than my next one...

easyHotel South Kensington

I stayed here only a few days ago, and if it had been my first easyHotel I'd have not bothered with any of the other outlets. However, it was a required easyHotel and I am on a relentless mission to stay at all of them in the UK. I really am looking forward to Manchester's one opening, and I wonder how long it will take me to get Birmingham done!

Check in was with a rather disinterested receptionist (who would have been a perfect fit with the miserable checkout operators in M&S Simply Food), and I had room LG1. Finding Lower Ground 1 was not a simple operation, signage was very poor and it was only by chance I found it. I wasn't going back to ask Mr. Grumpy.

First impressions were bad, as my room had exceptionally poor signal. To send a message I had to do so by the staff room, not ideal. I had it reported on my phone I had signal, but it was so weak it wasn't worth trying to use.

The bathroom was small and smelt horrid, very much unimpressed with that. I discovered in the morning that the shower was basically a trickle, and it took forever and an age to get hot water out of it. It could well be a shared water supply around the hotel, but bear in mind I was having a shower around 0450. So it should not have been an issue!

The bed and pillows in the standard size room, a couple of square metres bigger than the small rooms, were however comfortable and a very good sleep was had unlike at Earls Court.

Reception is not open 24 hours a day, unlike most hotels, so to check out around 0500 I had to push my keycard under the door!

I'm not coming back here either, the same policy I have for Victoria and Earls Court. In terms of Central London, it's just the Old Street and Paddington outlets to visit. Heathrow's one will probably be the last one to do in the UK, not far behind Luton.

Even so, it will take some doing to beat Brussels' easyHotel. I don't know if I ever reviewed that one, if I haven't and you want to know what I thought of my favourite easyHotel in the world so far let me know.

Ibis Budget, Cardiff

Me and Blindtraveller stayed here the night before our ALR in June 2017. I know he's already touched upon some thoughts on it, but here's mine:

Check in was nice and easy, and we were soon in our room (number 2 I believe), a very spacious twin bed room. The bathroom was enormous, although it was very easy to nearly flood the bedroom floor with the shower. On which note, that shower was my best one all year, especially welcome after a hard day at work!

Free WiFi was incredibly welcome and handy too, allowing chance to catch up on various things. It worked surprisingly well, an uncommon feature in hotels in my past experience. The hotel is about a 10 minute walk with a heavy piece of luggage on your back from Cardiff Central, and that's at a fairly brisk pace.

As is the norm in Ibis Budget hotels, no tea/coffee or kettle is in the room but there is free tea and coffee in the lobby which we did take a little bit of advantage of upon departure. Checkout was nice and easy with friendly staff again.

The beds then, they are about standard around the Ibis Budget world but they are, in my opinion, still superior to Travelodge beds. Same for the pillows. OK so they're not as good as the beds in easyHotel Croydon or Brussels, but compared to Travelodge they are luxury! Oh, and on a warm night the air conditioning was fantastic too.

I'll use it again, but then I've said the same about Ibis Budget Birmingham city centre and Ibis Budget Birmingham Airport before too.

Right, time for a quick break then I'll come back for some more!
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Old 30th July 2017, 16:51   #864
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Wow what a long post. Certainly fare.

Pedant hat on here but to check in all you had to do was give your name as I had already completed the innitial checkin formalities several hours ago and was busy recovering from 18hrs on megabus!
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Old 30th July 2017, 17:38   #865
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Fair point Blindtraveller, I had forgotten that. Let's crack on then, as you've advised me off-forum I never did my easyHotel Brussels review. I do hope I did do the Victoria one as I've moaned enough about it over the months since I stayed there:

easyHotel Brussels

I stayed here way back in January 2017, so details won't be amazing I'm afraid.

I have to confess I got lost trying to find this hotel, and I wasn't impressed by the lack of help from locals. Even so, after much exploration I did eventually find it (I know I touched upon this in more detail in my trip report at the time, Tech's Red Parade) and I found the reception quite welcoming. The lass manning the reception was very helpful too, showing me how to check in with the machines.

Those I'd never seen before and are very clever, letting you choose which room you wanted. She was very friendly and knowledgable, and very happy to help me find a shop that sold my favourite Belgian brew, Jupiler. Quite, I want to go back there and get some more. Good excuse to go for a Eurostar bash again! Considering I wasn't in the UK this girl spoke English exceptionally well, and after a long day of travelling I was more than glad to feel welcome a long way from home. For whatever reason, there were no towels in my room and she had no problem sorting that for me.

So to the room itself. This hotel is very modern, and that normally means hard beds, hard pillows and a generally rubbish room. Not the case here, the beds were surprisingly comfortable and so were the pillows. The bathroom was an excellent size, as was the twin room I had chosen. I still love that feature, I wish I could have it in Croydon or indeed any other hotel too. The shower was awesome, it has to be said.

The other awesome feature of this room was that as well as traditional sockets, there were USB sockets installed. As I'd forgotten my socket converter and had no USB cable with me I didn't use either of them, but definitely worth remembering for a potential future stay. Thankfully my 373 each way was a refurbished set which had UK sockets too so I got all my charging down on the journeys to/from the UK instead.

Coffee was available for I think €1 in the reception (it might have been €1.50) but as per standard in Europe no kettle or anything in the room. I seem to recall the TV was a good size, but I didn't use it.

Overall this has been my favourite easyHotel in the world so far, yes more so than Croydon. I really am looking forward to going back to this one, especially as I know where it is this time!

Penzance Backpackers

As I've reviewed easyHotel Croydon at least once before now, I'll bypass that one. Only one more to do today, and I'm saving that one until last for a reason...

This was another one me and Blindtraveller stayed at on our ALR, not through choice as this was the best we could get in Penzance within budget constraints. No wonder as we'd chosen to go there on Mazey Day without realising it! Once we'd got there via a taxi move, we were soon checked in and we'd booked a private twin room. This was done in the form of a rather small room with a sink and bunk beds. I've since decided that I thoroughly detest bunk beds, getting in and out of the top bunk is just such a mission and unenjoyable sleeping in. Especially for someone of my size, I'm always worried I'm going to end up breaking it, more so when the bed's made of wood!

Shared bathrooms aren't my thing normally, but not a lot of choice in such accommodation. As we didn't have our own towels with us, and couldn't be bothered paying for any, we skipped on the shower.

The lounge had some fantastically comfortable settees mind, I'd have been happier sleeping on those than my bed. It wouldn't be the first time I've slept on a settee in a hostel...Tea and coffee was available in the kitchen, and we did take full advantage of that. As uncomfortable as my bed was, it was still far superior to what I had slept in the night before...

Travelodge Pembroke Dock

So here we go, the most uncomfortable night's sleep on the ALR. I'm the president of the Travelodge Haters Club, and if we had had choice we'd have stayed elsewhere but it was the best of a bad lot of choices, not that there were many for what we needed to do. Blindtraveller is another member of the club, and I must say it took some effort for us to accept the booking of this hotel.

Check in was the usual Travelodge manner, although we did get upgraded from a double to a family room free of charge which was welcome. I let Blindtraveller have the double bed, I went for the fold-out bed. Not a great choice, as it was ultra uncomfortable, with the floor feeling like a wise idea. I think I only passed on that as I was ultra tired and fell asleep through exhaustion than any other means.

The shower wasn't amazing, although I've had worse since then in South Kensington. Otherwise the bathroom was your standard Travelodge offering, nothing special but still better than what we were to get in Penzance!

The kettle was a decent size, not always the case, and we'd got our own coffee and milk, the latter coming from the very close by Asda which was ultra useful. We didn't use the WiFi but the power sockets were certainly helpful.

The hotel is in a quiet part of town which was welcome, as were Pembroke Cabs and their friendly and good value taxi service. As usual, we're not rushing to go back to a Travelodge although I have booked one for an upcoming visit to London...

That's it for now from what I can remember!
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Old 30th July 2017, 18:10   #866
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Those Easy Hotels sound like the sort to avoid unless they are dirt cheap and no other options
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Old 30th July 2017, 18:25   #867
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Worth again pointing out that when booking Pembrook dock they wanted some stupidly large extra amount for the twin room we upgraded for free to so the double was booked ob the basis one of us, most likely me would take the floor but the amazing lass on reception had twins available and after some furious computer work had us switched over so top marcs for service.

Actually reflecting on it all the customer service/facing people we delt with down there were good, both the owners of Pembrook cabs who are a couple and also you can't moan at the ASDA when it allowed us to get a bag for life full of stuff for just over a tenner and this bag was so buldging that simply putting it down caused things to jump out the top!
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Old 5th August 2017, 15:27   #868
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Premier Inn Cheltenham North West
Friday 28th July checked out Monday 31st July

I chose this location as a suitable base after doing the Dean Forest and then doing the GWR diesel days on the Saturday & Sunday and thence the WSR on Monday before moving down to Poole.

Arrived by car as it suited my weekend moves, which was to drive down from London on the Friday AM to do the Dean Forest and then have a sensible way of getting to Toddington for the start / end of the diesel days.

I know both are close to railway connections, but I needed to finish at Norchard to get the low level platform! Anyway, back on topic, A taxi would be required from the station.

Bog standard Premier Inn room. Clean as you would like and the bathroom was spotless / shower more than adequate with my only gripe as per most Premier Inn's that the shower is fixed. No Air con at this location (not uncommon) so open window required to ventilate the room and a desk fan. This is a two floor location with no lifts and a quick call two days ahead secured a ground floor room with no quibble. Useful for a longer stay was that they had the free tea / coffee / milk top ups on the check in desk with a "help yourself" note. A small thing but when you want more than the prescribed two tea bags its a nice touch.

The attached Restaraunt here is a Beefeater. I didn't bother with breakfast here, even I cannot do unlimited fry ups 3 days running ! On the Friday night that I arrived (18.30 ish) I was informed that they had no tables for dinner anyway. Having already checked out the area KFC, Mc Donalds and a decent chippie were withing a couple of minutes drive, more than adequate!

Premier Inn Poole Holes Bay
Monday 31st July checked out Tuesday 1st August
Having had a long day out and driving from Cheltenham via Taunton and the WSR / thence to Poole (20.00 ish) I was fit to drop. Arriving here was a sight to wake me Up. It's HUGE and it was VERY busy. Thus I had quite a trek from my car to reception and a similar trek once inside as my room was nearly back where the car was again! Usual swift and friendly check in, no extra freebies on display, but this was a one night stop for sleep and not much else. Alarm bells ran when the lady told me there were two fans in the room and a sheet for my comfort. eh?. . .

Again, not uncommon, the room was devoid of air con, instead having an open window for fresh air. This was on the first floor - Room 158 - and backed onto the approach road so was quite noisy with cars and lorries. So one desk fan, one stand fan and yes a sheet. Premier Inn normally offer a duvet (which I had) but the point of the sheet was obvious. It was way too hot for a duvet. So actually it was welcome.

Again the room was spotless, bathroom the same, tea making stuff all good and with just the one fan and a sheet on and the window closed I slept remarkably well.

As I had no rush in the morning I decided to book breakfast for this stay and it was taken in "table table" next door. Standard breakfast fayre with the cooked stuff all quite fresh and quite edible.

Biggest grumble was the fact this is so popular meant that the two members of staff doing teh tables simply could not cope with demand. Not their fault, they were working like trojans, but tables were not being cleared / cleaned / relaid quick enough for the punters. I was in there at 07.00 so god knows what it was like after I left just before 8 . .

I was driving to Norden after this so it was convenient for me, especially as I wanted to use the Poole ferry over to Purbeck. It's walkable for a very fit person from the station, the lady said taxis were £3 into town. I would not personally stay here again if it was for a few days simply because of the size / scale of it and the very good chance of getting a room next to the road (5% chance). It was almost fully booked on a Monday so I imagine weekends are pretty hectic!
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Old 12th August 2017, 17:42   #869
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stayed at cardiff central Queen street for a few nights this past week, not too many complaints -staff very friendly, nice room not too much noise. only slight niggles was lack of plug in the sink and time it took to showers to get hot enough to use (a good couple of minuites ) would think twice about using it again though as it's on the main shopping street with lots of homeless people and agresive beggars in the area -still fairly decent price (under 200 quid for 4 nights including breakfast and wifi )

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Old 12th August 2017, 18:53   #870
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Nout more intimidating than that sort of thing barring your way every time you go in or out. Thanks for sharing.
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