Chelmsford – Travelodge

I’ve moved away from Accor Hotels on this trip as I’m booking everything at the last minute. Accor do this moderately irritating thing of returning their room rates to a higher price nearer the date of booking, which is fine if they’re full, but not ideal if they’re not. Travelodge just charge what they need to do to get rid of the rooms, a strategy that I prefer as a customer.

The reception area, which was the scene of some moderate drama. I went to check-in, but there were no staff members visible. A very angry lady behind me confronted a staff member when she appeared, telling her with some force that she was tired of her key card not working. The staff member was polite, but defensive, which escalated the matter and for a good minute I watched this argument developing. At that point, I felt the need to be moderately rude to ask if I could actually check-in if they were just going to have a heated debate about how the hotel was run and what was the area manager’s phone number. It wasn’t an ideal first impression, but the staff member was polite to me, likely pleased the other woman had gone back to her room to phone the area manager.

Incidentally, the hotel appears to be a little lax with GDPR. They had the prices of what each customer had paid for their room on sheets left at the reception desk and I was pleased to discover that I had paid the least. This isn’t really information that should be left around though and I would have been most annoyed if other customers had received a better bargain.

The room, which was clean and well presented, with a bath and shower which only some of the rooms had (as in only some of the rooms had both, not that some rooms just had an empty bathroom). This was all fine, especially for the not much over £25 that I had paid.

The food in the photo looks dreadful and the reviews of their bar cafe are equally poor. I’m not really sure why they persist with trying to serve mediocre meals, I can’t see any benefit to annoying customers with low quality food.

Housekeeping cleaning rooms only once every six nights is clearly ridiculous, way more than other hotel chains I’ve been in. There’s being careful with the current health situation and just not bothering to clean the rooms….

The milks in the room were out of date. I do check these and I probably need to get out more…..

All in all, I thought that this was a perfectly good deal for the two nights which cost just over £50. There are extra charges for parking, wi-fi and breakfast, although I didn’t need any of these. The hotel seemed quiet and in relatively sound repair, so I was content with my stay. It’s about a ten-minute walk to the city centre and there’s an Aldi supermarket opposite for those who need supplies of any sort.