London – Newham (Borough of) – Travelodge ExCeL

This isn’t a good time for hotels in London, and I can’t imagine many times where Travelodge have been selling off rooms in the capital at under £20 just a couple of nights before the stay. So, this looked like a rather good price and the hotel is conveniently located next to a DLR station, and also next to where I stayed last week at the Holiday Inn Express.

My expectations were frankly a little low, a room of £20 and some not great recent reviews didn’t fill me with confidence. In reality, it was all absolutely fine. There was no noise internally or externally, the room was clean and the staff member at reception was friendly and helpful. It was also useful that the staff member asked if I wanted a floor on a lower floor or at the top, so I went with my standard “top floor, away from lift” option. The room wasn’t enormous, but it was perfectly sufficient and there was free tea and coffee. Definitely hard to complain at under £20 per night.

To my slight surprise, this was a slightly better built hotel than the Holiday Inn Express that’s next door. That hotel has been built with no individual air conditioning units and no facility to open windows. The Travelodge had gone for the approach of a window that opens to cool things and a heater to heat. I like such simple solutions, although it might be too hot in the summer (one reviewer said it was and they gave up with their room to sleep in the hotel’s bar). But I’m sure they offer fans then. The room could have done with some plug sockets near to the bed, but perhaps they’ll be put in when the hotel is refurbed.

As an aside, one thing that annoys me slightly is the hotel’s response to reviews, which is pretty much always the same. There are all manner of reviews, from staff members bursting into a room when a customer was changing to a few allegations of theft and bed bugs, all with the exact same response from the hotel as they replied to someone who mentioned they found a hair on the floor. I like reviews from managers who just tell the truth, they’re more entertaining.

Anyway, all rather good value for under £20.