Regular readers of this blog will know I’m an admirer of Travelodge (more on the £19 room promotion near the bottom of this article).
They’ve never paid me a cent to promote them. All they’ve done is give me good value for money as a customer.
Ironically, I was won over gradually as I spent time visiting some of London’s swankiest ultra-deluxe hotels.
London’s 5 star hotels are stupendous in the lengths they go to please their guests. Why then did I sometimes feel distinctly underwhelmed?
It was because I knew the room rates being paid, so my thought was “fair enough”. You should expect outstanding service at those prices.
Conversely, I find myself blown away by hotels which deliver a well-executed night’s sleep in a clean room at a reasonable – and sometimes downright ridiculous – price.
Because very often we book a hotel not to be wowed by the staff’s performance or luxuriate in the self-indulgence of a spa (though all that can be nice too).
Very often, all we want is well-priced, nicely-located, consistently-delivered accommodation: basically, just a place to rest our weary heads!
After all, when you do pay top dollar to stay in an amazing hotel, you actually need to spend time there to experience the luxury you paid for.
Modern travel is such that people today take more and more short breaks. London is not immune to this trend.
Indeed, if it’s feasible, you may get more out of visiting London in a series of themed breaks than a one-week circus cramming in the usual suspect destinations (although those are also worth seeing).
Anyway, I put it to you like this: if you visit London, you want to enjoy the city to the max. and not be stuck in your hotel room.
Staying in a somewhat “basic” hotel can be a great incentive to get off your backside and spend full-on days experiencing London.
Location and price then become critical factors and on this score I’ve found that Travelodge consistently delivers.
With hotels all over London, you can stay in flagship areas like Covent Garden (we mentioned that Travelodge here), Tower Bridge or Marylebone at a fraction of the cost that others are paying for the same location.
Please note: since this blog post was written, the Travelodge Covent Garden has received less good reviews. Do always research your hotel thoroughly on TripAdvisor before you book.
What’s more, while Travelodge hotels are not luxurious, I’ve usually found them immaculately clean and efficient. And I’ve stayed in about 6 of them, all in or around London.
There are 28 Travelodge hotels in London, providing 4,456 rooms, with several new ones under development.
Travelodge hotels in outer London offer considerable savings and are usually easy to reach. I once stayed in one that had been converted from an office block and had huge rooms, though this isn’t the norm.
Some people label them “characterless” but I say to them: who cares about the character of a hotel when London itself is brimming with character?
Build a relationship with the city not the hotel!
Don’t get me wrong: you don’t necessarily want to spend a romantic weekend at a Travelodge (though think about it: you could reinvest a few hundred quid saved on the room and take your other half to dine at Gordom Ramsay’s acclaimed restaurant at – the irony – Claridge’s!).
Cutting to the chase and the headline of this article, can you really get a decent room in London for under £20?
Travelodge periodically have a “sale” in which they release a limited number of such rooms for advance booking. They promote this to their email list linking to a landing page with a countdown.
Not surprisingly, they don’t mention this sale on their website. Why should they, given that they already offer great deals (for example £29 saver rooms if you book well in advance) even outside the sale?
But it’s in Travelodge’s flash sales where you’ll get the real bargains. Those cheap rooms really are there, I know because I’ve often bought them!
The website gets a bit busy though, so be prepared to deploy your mouse aggressively to elbow your way past the crowds.
You simply log in to the site at the specified hour. The last sale was on Thursday 18th June at 6am and if you missed it then just get on their email list to be notified of the next one.
They actually advertise that rooms in the sale are available for under £10 (not under £20), but I’ve never managed to bag one of those.
If you’re planning a long-range trip to London, it’s a great opportunity and you can spend your extra cash on shopping.
Please do check the Travelodge you intend to book for recent reviews on TripAdvisor since standards do vary.
Just log in to Travelodge during their next sale.
To stay informed of this and other flash London hotel room sales, do check London Hotels Insight regularly and follow us on Twitter.
Photo credits: Travelodge, Claridge’s.