Accommodation suggestions and reviews

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by Blindtraveler, 19 Nov 2011.

  1. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,824
    Joined:
    22 Dec 2013
    Location:
    Newcastle/Sheffield
    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.

    Sent from my F3111 using Tapatalk
     
  2. andyallen4014

    andyallen4014 Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    11 Jul 2017
    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.
     
  3. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,645
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    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!
     
  4. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

    Messages:
    7,672
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    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!
     
  5. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,645
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    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!
     
  6. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,542
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    Those Easy Hotels sound like the sort to avoid unless they are dirt cheap and no other options
     
  7. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

    Messages:
    7,672
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    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!
     
  8. grid56126

    grid56126 Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2011
    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!
     
  9. woodhouse122

    woodhouse122 Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2011
    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 :) )
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2017
  10. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

    Messages:
    7,672
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    Nout more intimidating than that sort of thing barring your way every time you go in or out. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. richw

    richw Established Member

    Messages:
    7,122
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Liskeard
    Stayed in Taunton Travelodge on Friday night, around 7 years since my bad experience.
    Whilst it wasn't as nice as Premier Inn it was acceptable. Clean, décor a little worn in places, mattress was firm- a personal preference would be a little softer but I slept well. Staff members friendly.
    £55 paid for a family room- for 4 of us very reasonable compared to any other prices in Taunton on Friday night.

    Saturday night I stayed at The Anchor in Hillfarrance near Wellington. Family Suite with wife and kids as attended a wedding at the same venue.
    Décor a little worn, but as high quality materials still looked acceptable. Staff Excellent. Bed very comfortable- I fell asleep despite the wedding disco still going on in the next room as we were adjacent to the function room at ground floor level
    I'd recommend it. Sunday carvery was lovely for lunch today before departure.
     
  12. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,542
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    Belle Vue, Barmouth

    Located less than 5 minutes walk from Barmouth station, on Marina Parade. I had an excellent view of the seafront from my room at the top of the Annex building [looks like the owner of Belly Vue purchased the hotel next door]. I had hardly any road noise, the only noise came from the sea with waves crashing against the Sea Wall. Very comfy bed (slept like a log, which is unusual for me in hotel rooms), and friendly owners.

    WiFi wasn't the best (probably more to do with my room being at the top of the hotel if anything), rooms featuring tea & coffee making and an ancient CRT telly). Personally for booking late to get a seafront hotel during prime holiday season at Barmouth, I paid £56 for 2 nights.

    I would recommend if anybody wanted a night away on the Cambrian Coast as Barmouth is a pretty town
     
  13. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

    Messages:
    8,150
    Joined:
    8 Apr 2010
    Location:
    Epsom
    For those of you who do the budget hotels, I noticed today while doing the shopping run that there's a brand new Premier Inn just been built* literally right next door to Tolworth station, which is in the zones and therefore probably quite convenient for London bashes if you don't want to stay in the central area.





    *I had wondered what has been being built for the past few months!
     
  14. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,542
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    Although one limitation of being out in Tolworth is the frequency of services compared to other locations (although I do believe that area has a couple night bus routes as backup)
     
  15. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

    Messages:
    8,150
    Joined:
    8 Apr 2010
    Location:
    Epsom
    True, it's only half hourly but with the first train being at 06.44 that's no real handicap for bashing purposes when you consider it's only 15 minutes or so from Wimbledon from where you have multiple routes available at high frequency... Plus a better chance of actually getting a seat in the up direction as it's only two stops after the start of the line.

    No idea about the night buses, but would you really be bashing at the sort of time they'd run anyway?
     
  16. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,542
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    I probably won't be bashing the sort of time where night buses are running (although I do have a fancy for a Night Tube bash for the sake of it, but then that will probably be the usual Croydon base). The last few times I've stayed overnight in London were on Fridays where I had an early morning service on the Saturday morning
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2017
  17. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,645
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    Thanks for the gen Mr Mugridge, that could indeed prove handy and worth a look. If my easyHotel choice is unavailable it'll be worth a look. Now let's bang in a few recent reviews of my own. I still have a mega ton of them to post on TripAdvisor, but I'm currently putting off my RailMiles update in preference to catching up on here:

    Vitkov Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic

    I stayed here for 3 nights recently. The reception staff were friendly and welcoming, and the lift to take my case up to my room with me was welcome. Worth mentioning as not everywhere has a lift...

    The room I had was absolutely enormous, with plenty of space in the wardrobe for putting clothes and hanging them too. The same area had a small fridge in it too, which did come in handy. The TV was of the CRT style, not that I used it. The WiFi was excellent, and I used it a lot as a result.

    The bathroom was a most decent size too, with a most powerful and very good shower.

    Sadly the bed was rather hard and uncomfortable, and it took me a long time to get to sleep in it. The air conditioning was good though.

    It was very placed for getting to/from the city centre though, a 15 minute tram journey on line 9. Prague does do trams well, unlike some cities. Vienna, I'm looking at you here...

    York Hotel, Ilford, London

    Very close to the station in Ilford, within a 3 minute walk, but that's the best I can say about this place.

    Reception took forever to check me in, and be warned you WILL be charged a £20 deposit for damages and so on. Thankfully I had that with me!

    No lift and some steep stairs to my room, 27 for me, and I could have easily gone flying over the hoover left out in the corridor and it was still there the next morning! A stiff door meant it took some effort to open and close it. A fridge and microwave in the room, but that didn't compensate for the ultra uncomfortable bed! Good grief that thing was rough, worse than what I'd had in Prague and what I was to have the next night!

    No TV in the room and no WiFi anywhere in the building.

    It was incredibly hot in the room and the window didn't open very far. No air conditioning so you had to have the little bit of air coming in and suffer the noisy people outside.

    This was a shared bathroom deal, and the shower was OK but not great. I've had better but I've had worse.

    Check out was far quicker thankfully, and yes I did get my £20 deposit back which I was convinced I wouldn't! To say I was glad to leave and get to the airport is an understatement!

    Sant'Ambroeus Hotel, Milan, Italy

    Check in involved some paperwork, including photocoping of the passport, and my receipt for arrival was printed on a dot matrix printer. I thought they had all been long consigned to history!

    My room was 311 on the third floor, and finding the light switches was a big mission it has to be said. Good size room, small bathroom but excellent air conditioning. Considering it was still around 28 degrees Celsius at 10pm this was a good thing! I had a mini bar in the room, but instead of taking anything from there I put my own drinks in the fridge to cool them down.

    Sadly the bed was very hard and took some doing to sleep in it, but at least it didn't creak and wasn't worn out like the bed I had in London!

    Check out was super easy and I was soon on my way to the city centre, about 3.25 miles away by foot and around an hour's walk from Centrale Station at a brisk pace.

    I probably would stay again at the hotel in Prague, and the one in Italy, but definitely 100% not the one in Ilford. I'd rather spend a night on Night Buses than do that again!
     
  18. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

    Messages:
    7,672
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    Travelodge Wemly

    Located on the North Circular this is going to have some noise but was expecting some kind of sound proofing???????? Urm, no.

    Air con then? In bar/reception yes but that was it. Desk fan provided in the room which with the window opened did something to combat the shear heat that builds up when both are shut/off.

    A truck a minute sometimes made bits rattle and shake. This is a 2010s type eara build with the limmited places to put things and only 1 power socket. Toilet flush took a bit of pounding but shower was ok given TLs usual standard.
    Bed was actually worse than usual and thats saying something! Breakfast was OK and 24hrs bar plus nice staff and fast lifts.

    122 bus to Ealing 1 way and Brent Cross via Stonebridge park station the other and a footbridge allows crossing of the road.


    As vice president of the travelodge haters club I am reminded yet again why such a club is needed.
    I mean, what idiot opens a hotel with no AC/sound proofing beside a duel caradgeway with a 50/60 limmit? 1 final warning here, it has parking and so gets a lot of contractors and at 4am about 200 shopfitters came back in and unwound, crouding the bar and early breakfast. It was quieter at 11:30am than at 5!

    If this was a PI and their excileent sound insulation at build/refurb stage or indeed any hotel opperater with air conditioned rooms I might use again based on price/location.
     
  19. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,645
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    Good to hear of the nice staff, it's generally one thing Travelodge get right. Sadly the rest of it completely ruined it, and that hotel is definitely not as well placed as the map suggests.
     
  20. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,078
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    North Lancs Loop
    Techniquest's post about Prague prompts me to recomment Tabor (yes, the town is named after the Biblical mountain, but Google will ttanslate it as Camp!) as a base for exploring South Bohemia. Within easy distance of most of the railway and tourist inferest from Prague southwards, and a much improved train service on the Prague line this year.

    My wife and I stayed at the Cats Apartments (U Kocek) in a quiet spot by the river. 20min walk from the station, but the owner (speaks good English and) will pick you up, and the town bus stops outside the door.

    The big advantage is that the ingredients for breakfast will be in the fridge the night before, and there's far more than enough for a second meal!

    And it's far cheaper than Prague.

    PM if you're into things Czech and want more info.
     

Share This Page