This one night stay (for business purposes) is fading a little in the memory a month later but here goes.
This was the first time I had used Travelodge; there is a certain blandness about the brand that had previously put me off. It was better than I expected.
But it didn’t get off to a good start as the reservations system kept crashing on me and multiplying my room requests. At one time I had four bookings for one room for one night.
The building is well situated for the (financial) City of London and is within a short walking distance of Tower Hill Underground station and the Tower Gateway Docklands Light Railway station as well as bus services on Aldgate and Whitechapel High Street to various parts of the City and West End (though it is a long way to the West End by bus, especially during rush hour).
There are bars and sandwich shops nearby, especially on The Minories, though you really have to venture up to Whitechapel High Street, a few hundred metres away, to access restaurants and you shouldn’t expect them to be Mayfair standard. This is the edge of The City but not really in it. And it’s ever so slightly edgy. There were City of London Police warnings outside the hotel about plain clothes officer patrols in the area, suggesting crime may be rife. The cash-strapped British police don’t so that sort of thing without good reason.
For tourists there are some key attractions (the Tower, Tower Bridge etc) very close by but most of the places on the typical ‘must visit’ itinerary aren’t. I took a five minute stroll to see the World War 1 poppies at the Tower but they’d just pulled up the last one. The dead grass seemed to be at least equally as poignant to me.
The building itself is odd. It doesn’t look as if it was designed purposefully as a hotel but I couldn’t work out quite what it was before. It could have been an office block or even a multi-storey car park. Whatever, the windows are small and grimy and the external view is further obscured by vertical concrete columns. But the rooms are very well soundproofed, minimising both internal and external noise virtually to zero.
The double bed (booked as a single) was very comfortable indeed. No problem there. Lighting, tea & coffee making facility, television etc were all quite adequate though choice of TV channels was limited. I was surprised to find no clock in the room; nor a trouser press (a relatively small investment that fewer hotels seem to make these days, you’re expected to lug an ironing board around instead). The décor was quite adequate for the price in my room.
The shower worked well (I was in a room without a bath) but the head wasn’t detachable. I find that irksome.
All the staff members were pleasant and helpful and sounded like they really meant it. You can get a meal (really a glorified snack) until quite late, and there is room service; neither is expensive. There are copious amounts of water available in the café area which several people (including me and colleagues) used extensively for business purposes. The wi-fi connection was good.
The check-out can be extended until 2pm for a nominal amount, which could be useful for people with late afternoon or evening flights.
I do have one security concern. Having been locked out of the corridor to my room on the morning of departure, for no good reason (I had to be let in via a master electronic key) I then realised you can access that corridor from the street outside without having to pass the reception area. On two occasions guests held the door to the corridor open for me as they were leaving, so I didn’t need to use the key. That’s how criminals get in. (I hope none read this).
Overall, I think this hotel is quite good value for money, less than GB£100 a night on the edge of the city of London and if you’re on business and on a budget it’s ideal. For tourists, it’s handy for some major sites but a long way from others, so it depends very much on your preferences.
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- Also Known As:
- Travelodge London Tower Bridge Hotel London
- Travelodge London Hotel Bridge
- Travelodge London Tower Bridge England