On my third and final Travelodge of my current trip, this is their outlet in Aldgate, a short walk away from Tower Gateway DLR and a relatively short walk away from Aldgate East Underground. It was on their special cheap deal which they’ve been running recently, otherwise I wouldn’t be spending the usual prices that they charge here, as this hotel can frequently be over £100 per night.
I was welcomed with this and I thought I’d patiently wait whilst the staff member returned. A cleaner walked by after around three minutes and mentioned he’d get a staff member, which he did. I was moderately annoyed to discover that there was a manager in the office behind reception, he had just shut the door rather than deal with customers. Not ideal, but I wasn’t particularly inconvenienced time-wise as it was only three minutes.
The set-up here was the oddest I’ve had at a Travelodge and relates to the fact that they have a passageway through the middle of their hotel. I support the right of old paths to be maintained, but this meant at this hotel that guests needs to walk through one door (reception is off through the right-hand door) to another (the rooms are through the left-hand door). It also meant that they needed to give me a key fob for one of the doors, even though the rest on my walk to the room just used the standard Travelodge swipe card.
There’s the passageway through….. The hotel itself is located on Chamber Street, an odd little backstreet which runs by the railway line, and the road has a slightly dodgy feel to it. It used to be called Chambers Street and there’s an entire Wikipedia page about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamber_Street. I noticed the shrapnel damage that it refers to, and that is being kept (or at least it’s still there and they’re working around it) as part of the new building project that they’re currently working on.
The arrangement to get to the rooms and I’m surprised they didn’t just put offices or conference rooms here, as it all felt a bit odd. However, I suppose it’s no different to a motel where you go outside to get to the room, but it seemed unusual. I didn’t go off exploring for fear of setting alarms off, but I think that if they really want to then guests can use a staircase at the rear here to go up a floor, then walk through the hotel on the first floor and then back down the other side, avoiding the need to go outside.
The room which felt like a prison cell with those high windows, but it was spacious and fitted out to brand standard. There was an ironing board in the room which is unusual for Travelodge, but I don’t concern myself with such fripperies. There was very little noise internally, a little more externally but nothing that proved to be annoying.
The bathroom, which was larger than standard, a legacy of the strange building that the architects had to work with.
The reviews of the staff are very positive, coming in at 4.7 out of 5 on Google, which is particularly high. The rooms are less popular, not least because a lot of them face the railway tracks and there are plenty of reviews about the noise issues caused by that. I think that I would have preferred a railway view as they intrigue me and I’m not put off by the noise, but the hotel might by default try and put people at the front of the hotel to minimise noise.
I was quite happy with this hotel, especially as it cost under £25 per night, which is a ridiculous price for central London, although I booked it at a time of uncertainty (in the world, not in my life). The hotel could do with a bit of a refurbishment to replace the stained carpets and broken things, but that’s true of very many Travelodge hotels which take quite a battering from guests.