London – Newham (Borough of) – Travelodge London City Airport

I used to live down the road from this large Travelodge hotel, so it was rather lovely to be able to use Pontoon Dock DLR station again all week. It was a reminder of just how many steps there are to get to the platform level and I’m sure I used to get up them quicker than I do now. Such is ageing….

This hotel usually benefits from being nearby to London ExCeL (I have to look that up every time to remember which letters need capitals and it annoys me very slightly every time) and London City Airport. Neither are quite the draw that they were a couple of years ago, meaning that this hotel has become just a little desperate to get customers in. I paid £21 per night, which was lower than usual as Travelodge have a “buy four nights, get one free” deal in London at the moment. That was a bargain as far as I was concerned, just over £100 for five nights.

For those interested in the history of this area, if we went back 100 years there were terraced houses lined up here rather than a chain hotel. Today, there’s little residential here, primarily as it’s nearly underneath the flight path of London City Airport. That has been evident from the thundering noise of aircraft from the airport all week, although I find it quite soothing. I accept that a lot of people don’t find aircraft noise as soothing, but there we go.

The room is on a business floor, which seems to solely mean that they’ve taken out the sofa beds from the rooms. It’s quite a spacious room and entirely functional, although the carpet probably needs replacing. Everything worked as it should and the windows open. I like it when the windows open and I might have mentioned that several times in recent weeks. There was a radiator and fan to give me choices, although it has been a little hot in London this week. I say a little, it has been far too bloody hot.

The hotel isn’t cleaning rooms on a daily basis, instead giving guests these. The one on the left is a bit pointless, as the default is now to do nothing anyway. The one on the right means that coffee is restocked, towels are replaced, the bins are cleaned and the bed is ignored. I put the one one on the right out on three days and they did do as they promised.

As one of my irrelevant asides, I’ve noticed on Facebook that people seem genuinely furious, livid and shocked that hotels charge more for the same room at different times of the year. I’m amused that Travelodge ruined a family’s hotel plans as they wanted to pay £29 per night for a week in Blackpool. I’m slightly puzzled that people think hotels charge the same amount every night, although perhaps I shouldn’t be shouldn’t be surprised by these things. It did mean I had a little look at the hotel reviews to see what palatial accommodation some people had been expecting.

George (surname unknown) annoyed this customer:

“Extremely bad customer service specially from a member of management called george wast very determine on giving his last name but just to be precise he where’s glasses and has curley hair very bad manner and extremely poor customer service skills and should definitely be removed from site as he is giving and providing a bad reputation for travelodge very unhappy and will be reporting with audio and camera proof of such bad customer services from the BBC”

Unfortunately, I can’t find any footage on the BBC…… Another guest wanted to punish the chain for their incompetence:

“Terrible hotel! Manager was so rude and unhelpful. Ended up booking another travel lodge it was that bad”

Hmmm, I’m not sure that Travelodge lost out here. There is another Travelodge handily located about a three minute walk away though….

I did quite like the brutal nature of this review of the hotel’s SuperRooms though:

“Spent a little more for a super room and found it was the same as a normal room but had a coffee maker in which made really bad coffee”

I’m not actually sure they’re far wrong, but as I know from my friend Richard’s experiences, you do get a free Kit Kat. Another customer really battled the elements:

“Despite the dust hanging from the lamp on our bedside table, we went to sleep.”

So brave…..

I hope that Travelodge don’t mind if I say that they’re something of an earthy hotel chain, although perhaps not in the literal sense. They’re down to earth, generally affordable, honest and clean. They don’t pledge anything they’re not, so I continue to be entirely pleased with my stays. Accor and myself have fallen out with each other (although technically I think I’ve fallen out with them, they probably just think I’m an idiot), which is awkward when I’ve got an entire section on this blog about them. I can’t see myself falling out with Travelodge and what better praise could they want than that…..