Joe and I were lucky enough to get a weekend break away for my birthday last week. When it came to deciding where to go we initially were going to venture to the seaside but I wanted to be a little closer to home so opted for one of my favourite city's...Nottingham!
Nottingham is a city that I have always loved. It is full of tales of Robin Hood and his Merry men and drenched in culture. I love the quirky little shops including The Tokenhouse which sells gorgeous stationery and gifts! There are lots of designer shops too including Vivienne Westwood, Gucci and most famously Paul Smith.
We were invited to stay at the Travelodge Nottingham Central which is literally in the heart of the city. Parking was £10 for 24 hours which I would normally be put off by but I think most city centre hotels have a lack of on site parking which I am told is quite normal. If we had parked in a different car park we would have got subsidised parking for £9.50 by Travelodge but were happy with the underground car park we found.
As we were unable to check in until 2pm we went for a walk into town where we browsed the shops and grabbed some lunch...good old Greggs bakery! It was just nice to spend some 'grown up' time and hold hands for a change without a buggy to lug around or reins to hold!
We visited a few geeky shops like Games Workshop and Forbidden Planet and I pretended we could afford designer clothes as I browsed the rails in high class boutiques before scurrying off to find Paperchase!
When we got back to the hotel we were still a little early for check in so had a cuppa and a play on my camera in the restaurant. The staff were so welcoming and helped us to find any places we didn't know in the city. Dee was the receptionist when we arrived and couldn't have been more helpful (I must add this was before she knew we were reviewing the hotel).
When we finally got to our room we were pleasantly surprised at how big it was, lots of space and a big shelf unit for clothes if we were staying long enough to unpack! The bathroom was also very large with a shower over the bath, complimentary shower gel and plenty of fresh towels.
The TV had freeview built in with lots of channels and there was a selection of tea and coffee for a nice brew. We had dinner included but the menu was so reasonably priced at £12.75 for 2 courses & drink and I was chuffed they do late night snacks available from the restaurant all night!
We had a bit of a chill out then headed down to dinner. Joe ordered lasagne and I went for Piri Piri chicken. My chicken was a little dry and I didn't really expect high class food for those prices but the rest was lovely. Joe really enjoyed his and the selection of drinks at the bar was great. I even had Irn Bru which they never sell anywhere.
With it being a Saturday and me being a nerd I wanted to watch Doctor Who so we headed back to our room with some snacks we got on our shopping trip and settled down to an evening of peace and quiet and watching TV in bed. I fell asleep so early and had one of the best nights sleep I had had in a long time.
The Dreamer Bed was so comfortable and the sheets were incredibly soft. We had a 10.5 tog duvet which was really cosy although to be honest the room was a nice temperature so didn't need it.
The next morning we woke up and headed down to breakfast. I think there were only a couple of other people there, I had the feeling most of the guests would be in bed still recovering from nights out on the town!
Despite the amazing review so far breakfast got a bit of a thumbs down for me. The continental option was mainly cereals with the option of a pot of Muller yoghurt and either grapefruit or orange segments. Really not a wide choice. The hot breakfast was sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, beans and grilled tomato. Don't get me wrong that is fine if they are all cooked well but the bacon was just cooked, the beans were watery and tasteless and the tomatoes didn't even taste like tomato.
I would have liked the option of fried eggs and if everything had been cooked better I would have been more than happy to tuck into that, I am far from a food snob but it just wasn't very appetising and I ended up settling with scrambled egg and toast.
The staff on the other hand were again very friendly and the manager even came and introduced himself. I was a little taken aback as I would have preferred to be treated like any other guest but I think he meant well.
Overall I would say we had a great stay and for £45 a night you really can't complain about Travelodge's value for money!
Here is a little more information from the Travelodge team about what value for money you can expect.
Travelodge has recently embarked on a clear strategy to become Britain’s favourite hotel for value. In addition to its investment in extensive hotel refurbishment, in January 2014, the chain announced it will install its new Travelodge Dreamer bed in all its UK hotels by September 2014.
The hotel chain has also slashed prices for wifi to an initial free period of 30 minutes and £3 for up to 24hrs. It’s also providing in-room complementary toiletries.
During February and March 2014 almost 9000 team-members received new customer service training and this year the company will extend its network of hotels further this year, with 15 new hotels expected to open in city centre and key holiday locations.
“Our new advertising campaign is the latest milestone on our journey to build a new Travelodge and become Britain’s favourite hotel for value. We’ve expanded from our traditional roadside locations and now have more than 500 hotels. We’ve been investing a million pounds a week in modernising our hotels and we’re installing more than 37,000 new Travelodge Dreamer beds. Our customers are telling us they love our new look, so now is the right time for us to be back on television, inspiring people to get up and go.”
“Our campaign inspires you to get up and go and explore all that Britain has to offer. Whether you are going to take the kids, leave the kids, or make more kids, there are now over 500 Travelodge hotels to base yourself in and thousands of new beds to get up and go from.”