The Travelodge rip-off
I spent last weekend in Brighton in the pouring rain. For want of a better hotel, we booked in at the Travelodge Brighton, which doesn’t get much credit as it isn’t actually in Brighton, but outside in the rather dingy suburbs. It seemed like a good option at the time – there was parking for the car, and we could book easily online.
A twin room for two nights cost nearly £180, working out at more than £40 a person each night. That may not sound too steep for a Brighton hotel, but if you’re a good 15-minute bus ride out of the city centre, then the travel costs rack up.
We bought all-day bus passes for the weekend costing around £10, plus the cost of taxis after a night out, costing another £10 each for the weekend.
We could deal with getting the bus to and from town. The real stickler was the quality of the (wholly characterless) rooms. We expected basic, but basic meant a dirty shower curtain, holes in the wall where an ugly painting had been taken down and put back up again, and crumbs on the carpet.
The view out of the window was of dirty trolleys and tea towels from the kitchen. Oh, and we had one towel to share between two of us.
The next day, we found our toilet had started to leak water from the underside, which made the toilet floor wet and the room smell – to put it mildly - insalubrious. When we queried the reception staff; they asked if we wanted to change rooms.
At this point, we had unpacked all our stuff, and were ready to go out, so we said no. One of the staff offered us air freshener instead, and said she’d be right back. But she never returned, and the smell remained.
If our room couldn’t be or smell any worse for 40 quid a night, when I reached down to pick up an earring later on, I found a used condom and a condom wrapper under the bed. It wasn’t inconspicuous by any means: if the room had been cleaned properly, it would have been found.
To sum up – I’d paid over £80 for two nights in a dirty, badly located room that smelled of urine. And apparently I’m not the only one to have a bad experience – there are hundreds of complaints online dedicated to Travelodge.
I understand that cheap means basic, but basic should also translate into clean, safe and with good customer service. In my case it wasn’t even cheap, as there are a slate of better options in Brighton city centre for much less a night. Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson from these hideous bed factories.
What do you think about the Travelodge chain? Ever had a dirty room or bad customer service in another hotel? Let us know below.