The night before I flew to Spain in April, I had the chance to stay at the Travelodge opposite Euston station in central London. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect — I’ve seen a lot of Travelodge reviews over the months, and they tend to be rather mixed. They’re often worse for the more modestly located ones, but still I was hoping it would be like the pictures: no-fuss, clean rooms designed for comfort, the kind of solid decor I wish all studio flats had.
And reader, it was.
The Travelodge chain is budget hotels, and they are everywhere. There was in fact a Travelodge closer to the hostel where I’d stayed the night before — in Marylebone. But I got the Euston one, and I was very, very pleased. I was most pleased when I got a call and it took me ten minutes door to door to get from my room to an office on Oxford Street. That was such an eye-opener, and here I thought I had it good (I did) living in Belsize Park, twenty or thirty minutes from the city center by tube.
Add Euston to my list of pipe dream places to live, somewhere between Belgravia and Marylebone.
The Travelodge at Euston is a simple, compact hotel, with long, long corridors — I thought there was a mirror in the middle of mine at first — and what seemed like quite a lot of rooms. It doesn’t feel stifling or crowded, though, because everything is carefully designed.
From what I’ve gathered, Travelodge hotels have two types of room: doubles, with a double bed, and family rooms, with a double bed and two smaller ones. I was given a double, and after struggling a wee bit to get all my shit inside without the door closing on me, this is what I found:
After a night in a hostel and a year in a large but old room that had seen better days, a relatively newly decorated, pristine room was heaven. The white linen drew me in, the blues are such a great choice, and I fell a little bit in love with how sparse yet cozy everything was. You never feel like you may have to twist to get at something, and the desk is wide, perfect to do a little work on or plan a journey.
There’s no closet, but there’s an open shelf with a rack for hangers, which is perfect for someone just passing by.
I was surprised that the bathroom had dispensers for hand wash and a shampoo/shower gel combo instead of the hotel giving you complimentary toiletries, but I actually used and liked both, and shower worked perfectly to get the right temperature and pressure. My only bathroom complaint is how close the toilet paper roll holder is to the WC. That was a bit cramped.
My other two issues:
1. The room temperature was entirely regulated by a thermostat; this made it a little hard to breathe when I got out of the shower and needed some fresh air. The window couldn’t be opened; I’m not sure what the point of it was, though I can think of several (less dust, less chance of bugs, keeping people from jumping out of it/onto the solid, horizontal surface below — I must admit the latter was tempting), but it did make me feel a little stifled.
2. WiFi is only complimentary for thirty minutes, and after that you have to pay. Every other place I’ve stayed at, all with lower rates, had free WiFi, and in this day and age I just think it’s ridiculous to charge guests for it.
I wish I could have stayed up longer — the bed was so nice and I really missed reading before sleep. But I was exhausted from a week where I moved four times and made some really difficult decisions, so I passed out like a light and woke up an hour before breakfast ended.
I won’t go into how I will never understand how people can eat beans, on toast or elsewhere, in the morning, or any other time, and just say there was a lot to choose from and I ate more for breakfast than I usually eat in an entire day. Croissants, blueberry muffins, toast, a latte from a machine that was lovely (hence the unused coffee bits in the room; more caffeine would have killed me), yogurt, orange juice… I take my complimentary breakfasts seriously. The croissants were my favorite.
My stomach did an A+ job. It is usually terrible at accepting solids in the morning.
Bye bye, sweet bed.
Thank you so much to Travelodge for having me — it was a lifesaver, and I really enjoyed my stay.