A summer road trip to the West Country led to selection of this TL based on its fairly central location enabling easy travel across & around Cornwall in all directions.
The building is somewhat different to most; a large curved roof, timber clad & rendered walls over 4 floors, with coffee shops etc & the TL entrance on the ground floor (reception is on the 1st floor). It is located directly adjacent to Pizzahut & McDonalds restaurants with shared car parking facilities & exceptionally limited spaces. Although spaces are free, they are on a first-come basis & an evening arrival time around 5/6/7 o’clock meant a struggle to get into the hotel as most spaces were occupied by restaurant guests. It should also be noted, due to the proximity & nature of these businesses, there were obviously pungent cooking odours in the air plus the noise of their patrons coming & going; although this did subside after 9 o’clock in the evening.
Three rooms had been booked & pre-paid for two nights; so, following a long drive, check-in was quick & simple, allowing us all to get straight up to the rooms very quickly.
Night number 1; all rooms were allocated on the top floor (easily accessible via the lift). Yes, clean, comfortable & the standard TL layout; no initial complaints.
However, the building is essentially a box, without air-conditioning installed in any of the rooms or corridors, other than the reception & bar area. As a consequence, the mid-summer stay quickly turned this establishment into a sweat box with all the generated warm air rising through the building & accumulating on the top floor. Regardless of which side you have rooms; you either get an Easterly sun rise, or the subsequent Westerly sun set, which further compounds the problem quickly creating a stifling environment in the rooms. Sleep was practically impossible, even with the generosity if a desk fan supplied to circulate the airless atmosphere.
The following morning, frank discussions with the hotel manager (Helen? who to her credit, was incredibly understanding & apologetic), led us to secure rooms on the first floor for night number 2. Although the over-night ambient temperature remained high; the room temperature was much more tolerable & sleep was actually possible.
In all honesty, other than the lack of air conditioning (& sleep), there’s not too much to say about the rooms – certainly no problems! All are pretty much identical, modelled in the same style & appointed to a simple but smart standard. The bed was large & comfortable finished with soft warm linen. The room also had a good size flat screen TV with all the normal digital Freeview channels. There is of course complementary tea & coffee facilities, great for first thing in the morning, as you don’t need to trek off to the restaurant. The bathroom was clean & tidy with lots of hot water & a decent shower – absolute bliss!
The reception/bar area also serves well priced breakfast & evening meals. A reasonable (pub type) quality; basic, but value for money. Obviously don’t go expecting à la carte dining! As an evening alternative, there is the adjacent Pizza Hut, or 5 minutes up the hill there’s a Frankie & Benny’s. Breakfast can also be substituted with one of the many coffee shops of cafes around the area.
This TL is ideally located for access to the Eden Project (only 5/10 minutes away) & of course ideal for exploring other attractions around the county; Lands End is only an hour & a half away!
All things considered, despite the major flaw wrt air conditioning, this is a clean, comfortable & well priced hotel (around £30 per room per night); ideal for a one or two night stopover. The professional, polite & no-fuss approach presented by all staff members prevented this stay turning into a mass walkout! Most definitely a credit to TL hospitality. It’s shame their design team couldn’t extend the same level of care!
I’d certainly be more than happy to use this establishment again; although, I'd give due consideration to the weather first!
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- Also Known As:
- Fairfield Inn St Austell
- Travel Lodge St Austell
- Travelodge St Austell Hotel Cornwall
- St Austell Travel Lodge
- St Austell Travelodge