The cheapest accommodation option (or at least the cheapest that I considered safe) in London was the Travelodge Barking, a hotel that I’ve never stayed at before. The frontage is certainly colourful and it’s above a Tesco Express store for anyone who wants some snacks or the like. I arrived just before 23:00, which is never really an ideal time to arrive at a hotel on a Saturday night, but all was well. Other than I managed to get behind some other customer’s crisis at reception, but that was soon resolved. I always have to try and stand in a way that makes me not look annoyed whilst I have to wait for staff to deal with crisis matters like this (as it’s not their fault), despite being slightly annoyed that I am having to wait.
The room, all clean and tidy. Travelodge are consistently decent in terms of their accommodation, there was nothing here for me to be disappointed by. The only limitation for me is how far the plugs are away from the bed, but Travelodge seem to be fixing that when they modernise the rooms.
I can’t recall having an electric window in a hotel room before, but because it was recessed some way back there was a little switch to open and shut it. I like having an open window, although it meant listening to some rather drunken conversations outside which kept me awake because I was insistent on listening in and not missing out on anything interesting. The temperature in the room was fine and there was a fan available for anyone who was too hot.
One of the harder to read fire escape plans that I’ve seen, but I decided not to let this bother me. The reviews for the hotel aren’t exactly ideal, although by far the lowest rating on Google is for the location. I’m not sure what the hotel is meant to do about that given that it’s two minutes away from Barking railway and underground station, but there we go.
One guest stayed at the hotel before her wedding and was disappointed that there was no air conditioning, car parking or intercoms in the room (I assume that’s a phone). I can sense the disappointment for anyone staying in a Travelodge as a pre-wedding night treat…… There was another guest annoyed that they had to wait five minutes for a receptionist who told them to wait until the check-in time when they arrived early, but that definitely comes with the territory of a Travelodge for those who don’t want to pay for an early check-in.
Anyway, I liked this hotel, the room was just over £30 for the night and everything was quiet, clean and organised, with the staff member being friendly (although she looked exhausted trying to do everything herself). The hotel could do with something of a refurbishment of the public areas, but it was all still serviceable. If the Ibis down the road is a bit expensive, I’ll likely stay here instead in future.