Jo Fletcher-Cross tries out the new Travelodge ‘premium economy’ offering in a prime capital location
You know what to expect with a Travelodge. Basic room, decent bed, handy location. The Euston branch is right next to Euston station and about five minutes walk from King’s Cross. The reception is bright, with a vending machine and a few seats. Arriving late after a very long journey it was a bit dispiriting to be told at reception that there was no chance of ordering any food in the bar, but I was given directions to the nearest Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s — however when asking again if there was anything at all available, having spotted a night menu, I was told that something could be arranged in 20 minutes if I went down to the bar.
I headed up to drop my bag in my room — one of Travelodge’s new SuperRooms, a ‘premium economy’ concept from the brand, new to the budget hotel market in the UK. Designed to appeal to business users, as well as perhaps leisure travellers staying more than a night or two, it offers a Lavazza capsule coffee machine, Hansgrohe Raindance adjustable 3-jet shower, a fairly large desk with very comfortable swivel chair, a comfy armchair, ironing board, hairdryer and a Samsung flatscreen TV. There’s even a KitKat.
The decor is in cool blue and beige tones, with LED mood lighting. A quirky map of London adds a cheerful touch in addition to the more usual abstract images. An open wardrobe with proper, removable coathangers offered a decent amount of hanging space, but there were also hooks on the back of the door for longer items. There were plenty of power and USB charging points, both on the desk and on each side of the bed, plus a dimmer switch by the bed and a good desk lamp. Wi-fi is free for 30 minutes.
A quick trip to the windowless bar in the basement led to a frustrating search for a staff member — any staff member — to help me but once found, things looked up as everyone was cheerful, friendly and helpful, and I did finally get something to eat. Back in the room, the king size Travelodge Dreamer bed was really comfortable and came with a choice of firm or soft hypoallergenic pillows. The bathroom was a very small corner one but did manage to squeeze in a bath as well as the excellent shower, and a good-sized shelf to place toiletries on above the sink. In-room toiletries consisted of a wall-mounted hair and body wash dispenser, which did seem a bit out of place with the high-spec fittings.
The Travelodge SuperRooms aren’t going to compete with the higher-end business hotels but for those looking for a comfortable room at a reasonable price point, with space to work, they fit the bill nicely.
Address: 1-11 Grafton Place, London, NW1 1DJ
Price: SuperRooms start from £68