London – Tower Hamlets (Borough of) – Travelodge Docklands

Judging from the price of hotels in the city, there is still not a huge enthusiasm to travel to London at the moment, not least with the obvious lack of international tourists and business travellers. This was the keenly priced Travelodge Docklands, which is a shortish walk from Canary Wharf that came to a total price of £24.99. Staffing here was minimal, but friendly, which suffices me when paying £24.99.

I’m not sure that Travelodge rooms vary much, and they haven’t departed from the standard here. All clean and well presented, and most importantly perhaps (to me) they have windows that actually open so that the room isn’t hermetically sealed. There were no noise issues either internally or externally, I suspect partly as there weren’t that many people actually in the hotel. But either way, that made for a peaceful night. Although I’d add that it’s quite a hike to get back to reception if you’ve placed in a room right in the far corner of the hotel. But if I can walk 100 miles (have I mentioned that before?) then I can get back to reception I suppose.

The view from the room, with Canary Wharf over on the left-hand side. For those who like taking their cars everywhere, there’s a large car park on site although I suspect they might charge a hefty sum for that. I wasn’t burdened by such issues though, the DLR stop is a three minute walk away.

The most exciting element for me was the history behind this whole site, as until 100 years ago, this was East India Docks. The Travelodge sits towards the top of East India Import Dock, but all of this is now gone, with the exception of the East India Dock Basin which is still there. The streets in the area around the Travelodge are named after products which were once imported into these docks, such as Coriander Avenue, Rosemary Drive, Saffron Avenue, Nutmeg Lane, Sorrel Lane and Clove Crescent.

My room was somewhere about where that boat is in the centre at the front, so it’s fair to say that quite a lot has changed here since this illustration was made around 200 years ago.

Anyway, for £24.99 I thought it was all excellent value for money. I suspect it’s usually a lot more than that and so perhaps less exciting value for what is quite a basic hotel. I didn’t need their wi-fi, but that’s a chargeable service (there’s 30 minutes free) and the whole arrangement is all more functional rather than luxurious.

I had a little look on TripAdvisor and the hotel isn’t badly reviewed, although there are of course some angry customers. The hotel’s lack of mattress protectors is incredibly brave of them, since they’ll end up chucking mattresses away at quite a pace (or picking up negative reviews about that). I liked the “upon arrival in the room there was no Kit Kat chocolate bar”, which reminds me of an episode of The Hotel with Mark Jenkins.

And the customer who was “shocked” at:

“The room cleaning service women was from Eastern Europe which is not an issue but the issue I had with her was she didn’t speak or understand a word of English”.

Odds are they did understand quite a lot of words of English (but studiously ignored the guest), but I’m not sure why a guest really needs an in-depth conversation with the room cleaning staff anyway, who are probably distracted with cleaning rooms. There was another angry guest that check-in is “very late”, despite it being 3pm which is hardly unusual.

And another guest who noted:

“To top it off there were people running around in their underwear in reception.”

I suppose readers have to picture the scene as they feel appropriate, as no more details were given. But my favourite of all was:

“We requested a wake up call and taxi for the following morning but nobody woke us up”.

The hotel reminded the customer that Travelodge don’t offer wake up calls, but I’d like to hear more about what the staff members had promised. A mischievous evening staff member perhaps…..