Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Travelodgical in Liverpool

Travelodge hotel The Strand Street Central Liverpool

Regular readers of this blog will be fully aware of the fact that we clock up a lot of miles travelling up and down the UK. Of course many of these trips require an overnight stay or two. With this in mind we look to find hotels in the right locations for the best value for money. For our recent trip to Liverpool we stayed with Travelodge.

One of the reasons we like to stay at Travelodge is that on our travels the Junior JibberJabbers come with us and getting a single family room can be quite tricky in other hotels. Many hotels and B&Bs don't allow children under the age of 10 and I have 2 of them needing a bed. In some places that do welcome children the bed arrangement comes in the form of bunk beds and the thought of either of my two on the top bunk sends shivers down my spine. However at Travelodge both of them get their own full-size bed.

Being a chain hotel the layout and style of Travelodge rooms is pretty standard but extremely functional. Knowing that most guests are only going to stay one or two nights no space is wasted with a wardrobe but instead there is hanging rail for any clothes. The television isn't the biggest but that is probably just me being a bit greedy. One thing I have never understood about hotel televisions is that wherever you stay they never seem to have the full range of Freeview channels. This one did though have a sleep off button which is essential for us!

Around the room are three mirrors. One is above the desk which has a light as well, there is a full length mirror opposite the bathroom door and one large one in the bathroom as well. What there isn't in the room is a hairdryer but one is available from reception. As a seasoned traveller I take my trusty 15 year old travel hairdryer with me for convenience as chasing up and down floors first thing in the morning is not for me.

As part of the refurbishment of that Travelodge has been undertaking is the complete revamp of their bathrooms. I first saw this when we stayed in Rugby last month. No more tiles or grouting which can can develop nasty mould or mildew. Also supplied are two wall dispensers – one with hand wash and the other with shower gel. For review purposes I tried them both with no complaints. The shower and bath have separate systems to work them. I mention this as in other hotels I have had long battles trying to get the shower to work only for the bath tap to come on.

When we checked in we were told that the curtains were closed in order to keep the room cooler. In the room on the desk was a notice about the temperature of the room and some ways to keep it cooler. When we went out in the evening we left the window open and there was a fan on the desk which we turned on when we came back so the heat wasn't a problem for us. One thing I didn't like are the little cubby holes by the side of the bed. Once I put a cup of tea in there there was no room for my watch or glasses. In fact my glasses ended up on top of the ledge. Also there's a lack of plug sockets. I only counted four around the room and there aren't any by the side of the bed.

In terms of location I couldn't fault it. It's right on the front overlooking the famous Three Graces buildings on one side and Albert Dock to the other. Not a bad view at breakfast time! Just down the road is the Liverpool One shopping complex. On the ground floor there is a Tesco Express so you can stock up on essential supplies. With its city centre location there's isn't an adjacent car park. I did a bit of research on the all the other hotels in the vicinity and none of them have their own car park including the one which charges up to £300 for a room. This is stated on the website and also that a discount is available at the nearby Q-Park. I have to say I've never come across such a well lit and clean car park. If you're coming on public transport the James Street station is just on the corner and is on the loop that serves Liverpool Central and Liverpool Lime Street stations.

Food is available 24 hours a day but we just tried out the buffet breakfast. It's £7.95 for an adult but that includes two children. So for around £16 four of you can eat and drink as much as you like at breakfast which when you realise that is £4 per head I think that's pretty good value. There's a selection of Kellogg's cereals (Master JibberJabber spotted the Coco Pops straight away). The two drinks dispensers serve apple and orange juice plus chilled water in one and hot water and coffees from the other. The cooked breakfast options are bacon, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes and scrambled eggs. If you need any more to fill you up or you just want a light option there is a toaster with white and brown bread, croissants, blueberry muffins and also yogurts.

If you're wondering what there is to see and do in Liverpool the simple answer is there is something for everyone. Fabulous architecture including two imposing cathedrals, brilliant shopping, a selection of free museums, a great musical and sporting heritage and the friendliest people I have come across in a long time. There was so much to do that we're already a planning another trip back.

We were guests of Travelodge but all words, photographs and opinions are our own.