Advantages Cheap, Comfortable, Clean, Polite Staff
Disadvantages Wouldn't have liked to have paid the full £60
I booked a room on the internet to stay in the Travel Lodge on Broad Street in Birmingham and, at only £26 a night for a family room (they were out of doubles) I was a little dubious about how it would turn out. Luckily all of my doubts were misplaced!THE BOOKING PROCESS
The website for travellodge is well set-out. You simply enter the dates of your stay and the town you want to stay in and the rest is easy. The interface even states in huge letters at the top of the page if there is a £26 per night special offer room available. Luckily I managed to get one of the last family rooms on the offer (I ideally wanted a double but they only had smoking doubles left). I paid there and then with my credit card, job done!RECEPTION AREA
The reception area had clearly has a recent facelift - nice new wooden floors and a changing-rooms-style paint job. The mini-bar was also located in this area along with some soft chairs and a TV. In fact, it looked more like a trendy cafe than a hotel reception as it overlooked the street.STAFF
The staff at the reception were very polite when we arrived and maintained this for the entirity of our visit. They made converstaion about how our travel had been and asked if we were going to 'the concert' tonight (we were, I will post a separate review under 'Velvet Revolver - Contraband' about the concert).When we decided we were hungry we asked reception and they gave us a local pizza takeaway menu. They even let us use the reception phone to order the food!
When we got back late at night (the reception is 24hours) we asked to borrow a hair-dryer and didn't quite expect the £10pound deposit, but I suppose a lot of people would just take them otherwise! Luckily I had a spare tenner, so all was well!Checkout simply involved handing my keycard over and leaving, very easy and straightforward. the checkout time was midday so good for those who don't do mornings!
ROOM (THE IMPORTANT BIT)The room (with en-suite bathroom) was comfortable and well furnished. The chain had many of its hotels refurbished last year, with the remaining hotels being completed this year (the website will tell you whether the hotel you have selected has been refurbished yet or not). As a result of this, the hotels feels new with pastel coloured and white walls and a modern bathroom suite including a bath and shower.
Everthing in the room appearred to be clean and the usual tea and coffee with 'tastes like it could almost be milk' left out for us. The sofa (designed to pull out into a second and third bed) was comfortable to sit on but i wouldn;t have liked to have slept on it!! The bed had a comfy mattress which, again, was clean!The television in the room could get all of the usual channels, no digital tv without paying but ya can live without it (well maybe not some people!:)) However, the remote refused to work part of the time, quite frustrating but not a major flaw or something to write home about!
The hotel is smack in the middle of Birmingham on Broad Street. The National Indoor Arena, Symphony Concert Hall and Sea Life Centre are all just a five minute walk from the hotel. It is at least a 15 minute walk from New Street Station though, so make sure you take this into account when travelling! If you haven't been to Birmingham before allow even more time as it can be quite maze-like with all of the indoor shopping centres!SECURITY
Security was very good at the hotel. You had to use a keycard to get into the reception from the street and then again from the reception to the main hotel. You then had to swipe again to get into your room. Ok, if someone really wanted to get in then they probably could that could probably be said of anywhere. Overall i felt very safe in the hotel, even though it was int he city center.ANY BAD POINTS
The lifts were slightly old and rickety. Luckily we were only on the third floor, so decided to use the stairs, but I wouldn't have liked to have been much higher because of the poor quality of the lifts.We were only given one pillow per person; the pillows were soft and clean, but still one would never have been enough. Luckily we were in a family room, so we could use the other two pillows as well, but if we were in a double we would only have had one each...very uncomfortable.
If you check-in without pre-booking at the hotel the charge per room per night is 60pounds, which in my opinion is far too much for the standard of the hotel. Whilst the hotel was clean, comfortable and well located, I still do not feel this would justify the price tag, so always try to book in advance to get the special offer rooms!A FEW TIPS
Make sure you have a spare £10 to deposit if you want to use a haridryer as you have to get them from reception (don't worry you get the 10pounds back!)If you happen to be staying in the Birmingham Travel Lodge on Broad Street go for breakfast at a local cafe. Breakfast in the hotel cost £4 for a continental style selection delivered to your door but the £4 got me a full english a little further down the street. (I don;t mean the horrible greasy full-english breakfast where the food is plastered to the plate either) and the cafe also served a number of other breakfast options for a similar price (toast was only 50p as a side order). i think it was called 'La Italiano' but I'm not sure!
Brimingham is hell to find your way around if you haven't been before; ask someone for directions or take someone who can read a map (not like me!)!OVERALL
Hope this review is helpful, please leave a comment if there is anything else you would like to know.Alex:)
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