Posted by: Sarah Lee | March 5, 2010

Anti-social hotels

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After a late flight into Gatwick airport this week I had a room booked for me at a Travelodge.I’m not a huge fan of Travelodge hotels – the last one I stayed in on Birmingham’s Broad Street was dirty, had a fist-sized hole in the wall of my room and towels my friend described as having the luxurious texture of Weetabix. But I’m convinced city centre hotels (full of hen/stag groups) are often worse than the same brand elsewhere and the company I travelled with were kind enough to put me up given the lateness of the flight.

Anti-social hotels can make for a dog's life |

When my taxi dropped me off just before 1am all I wanted was to catch some z’s. So I was a little distressed when the first thing the receptionist said was “I have to apologise in advance…”The hotel had a stack of ‘operational problems’ he said, putting a number of rooms out of action and they were relocating eight guests to the nearby Holiday Inn. I figured this was a bit of an upgrade.

When I asked what was wrong with the rooms he again quoted ‘operational problems’ but added that one of them smelled of dogs. I was a little confused but then remembered Travelodge allow people to stay with their pets. This was a novel idea when introduced, but given the fact that they were having to pay another hotel to relocate guests because of doggy-smells it seemed a policy with its downsides.

Still, they were pretty good, got me a drink while I waited for a taxi to the Holiday Inn, which they paid for. However as I waited, the Holiday Inn which had already taken five of Travelodge’s waifs and strays, telephoned to say they only had smoking rooms left. It was late. It didn’t smell of dogs, or have ‘operational problems’. I could care less.

But on entering my room at the Holiday Inn the smell of stale tobacco was pretty strong. In fact I fell asleep thinking how rancid it was, think I must have dreamed about it and woke wondering how it could still smell so bad!!

The whole thing made me wonder – why do hotels allow guests to engage in such anti-social activities? I thought I was fairly cool with the smoking thing, but the smell was so bad I’d never take a smoking room again, and as for dogs, well the whole idea has now put me well and truly off Travelodge again.

Anyone know of any other anti-social hotel antics?

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  1. Fact is even if you smoke you don’t want to be completely shrouded in the smell all day and night. As you say, the room clearly hadn’t been aired or cleaned very well.

    Good luck with finding another hotel. It’s a little while since I stayed at the Travelodge but they didn’t seem in a hurry to fix the hole in the wall at the time!

  2. First off thanks so much for the heads up on the travel logde Broad street, I’m booked to stay there next week will now cancel and find somewhere else.

    Secondly, I can not stand the smell of smoking rooms, they all smell, it’s worse than the smell of damp and mold in my opinion. However, I don’t understand why they don’t have cleaning solutions for this. Sure it’s going to be embedded into the carpets etc but if the room was given a proper going over and aired it should eliminate the really strong, stale smell – that to me says unclean room I’m afraid.

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