“ Address: Gate Service Area / Dunkirk / Kent / ME13 9LN / England „
***Travelodge Canterbury Dunkirk*** Me and my boyfriend had the unfortunate need to travel to Canterbury for a funeral. Seeings as it is a pretty hefty drive for us, we decided to travel down the night before. I spent a little while researching cheap hotels in the area (Canterbury has some very lovely and very expensive hotels), and read a few reviews and picked this Travelodge as it was relatively close to where we needed to be. The reviews I had read weren't exactly promising, but the newer ones seemed to be a lot more positive than older ones, so I thought we should give it a go! ***Booking*** I booked the room online, which was pretty painless! I think if I'd booked it earlier it would have been cheaper, but because of the short notice it wasn't exactly a steal! I also opted for the 15p SMS confirmation - this proved very helpful as I managed to forget the post code, but thanks to the message I found it, tapped it into the TomTom and off we went! ***Arrival*** Well we drove past the place twice as it's not very obvious from the road. There is a little chef, and a BP petrol garage and a sign for the travelodge, but you can't actually see it from the road. So we worked out (on the second time round the slip roads), that we needed to go into the petrol station via the services slip road, and parked up. ***Parking*** The Travelodge does not have its own specific parking, so we had to park in what appeared to be the Little Chef car park. There wasn't an amazing number of car parking spaces, so if either the Little Chef or the Travelodge was busy - parking would be difficult. ***Reception*** To get to the Reception you have to walk through a poorly lit wooded path, which I found quite scary - but fortunately it was over quite quickly! The lady at reception was very friendly, and we were obviously the only guests she was expecting as she handed over the key without even asking our names! The reception area was clean and generally quite inviting. However as soon as we walked through the doors towards the room the smell hit! ***The Smell*** Well the smell almost made me vomit - which is most probably why there is a smell there in the first place! The smell was a rather unpleasant mix of sick and sweaty body odour - it really was foul. So we ran on to our room in hope of escaping the smell! ***The room*** The room fortunately did not have the same smell as the corridoors - it just had a musky/stale air smell - which was quickly fixed by opening the windows. The room had a double bed, a sofa with a pull out bed, and a desk/side board. There was a small tv on the sideboard along with a kettle and a hairdryer. A quick peek in the kettle was enough to tell us that we wouldn't be having a morning cuppa - unless we wanted a cup of limescale - mmmmm yummy! The bedroom itself was clean - although a little dated. The only other problem was that there was only two pillows. This proved a slight dilemma for me and my boyfriend as we both normally sleep with two pillows each, so we had to bolster them up with jumpers - and then it was fine. Ooo there was one more annoying thing - the complete lack of plug sockets. There were only 3 - which were all taken up (kettle, hairdryer and tv). It also meant that we could not charge our phones anywhere near the bed. ***The bathroom*** The bathroom was cleaner than expected. The shower curtain was more than a little grubby, but everything else was ok. There was a bath with a shower over it, a toilet, a sink and a big mirror over the sink. There was only one set of towels, which again was a little annoying! ***Checkout*** We managed to sleep quite well surprisingly. The hotel was very quiet and we couldn't hear any noise from the motorway. We had to check out by 12, and had to be at the funeral at 1, so we left at half 11. Unfortunately the smell was still there in the morning, so we rushed our way to reception, handed over our key and left! ***Overall*** It was quite a standard stay really. The room was clean, just not very clean, and it was a bit dated. If the hotel hadn't have smelt so bad I think the stay would have been more pleasant. It was cheap(ish) and did the job.
I have stayed at many Travelodges over the last couple of years. We tend to book a couple of nights when there is a special offer on, then go and chill out for a couple of days be it, seeing a show or just general going around some different shopping areas or having a couple of wines in different bars and restaurants. Well on this occasion last March we had booked tickets for a day trip over to France. We had picked up a great offer with P & O where when you paid £19 you could take a car over to France with up to 8 people and not only that when on board the ferry you received a voucher for 6 bottles of wine free, plus half price breakfast for 2. So I got looking, we had stayed at this Travelodge a few years earlier and this seemed the perfect spot to be able to get to Dover early the next morning. This Travelodge is situated just outside Canterbury, which is a really lovely town to visit with a fantastic Cathedral and lots of historical buildings everywhere. There is also a great shopping area as well as lots of little eating places. On entering towards the lodge you will find a large petrol station ( as with most Travelodges) and a Little Chef. It is set back of quite a busy road and sits in almost it's own little woodland. When walking towards the entrance you are met with the sound of birds singing in the trees. I was hoping to have a room at the front as this overlooks the tiny woodland with it's birds and squirrels (which I saw plenty of last time!), luckily we had. I didn't really want to be looking out at lorries and petrol pumps (although I am a people person and do enjoy watching life passing by, especially with a good chilled wine!!) The room was of the usual standard for a Travelodge, I do think they could try and make them a bit more cheerful. With it's small double bed and bed settee always in the same blue with the strange almost orangey colour on the walls. The wardrobe area which constists of a metal bar with fiddly hangers on which when in a hurry you can end up having a fight with.( They hook onto a metal strip which is attached to the main bar) There is always plenty of space though for your bits and bobs with shelving down the side. The desk/dressing table has plenty of space with a mirror above and a couple of sockets for plugging in a hairdyer/straighteners. Also you will find tea/coffee making facilities with a electric kettle, a couple of mugs, teabags, tubes of coffee normal or decaffeinated, sugar and long life milk. I'm sure years ago they used to chuck in a couple of biscuits, but not anymore cut backs I suppose! You will also find a menu for The Little Chef downstairs. The bathroom is clean I wouldn't say very clean just clean ( I always feel like I want to get down on the floor and scrub all the corners of the floor!). Another cut back I have noticed is that they don't have the heated towel rails connected anymore, which is nice to have if you visit in the winter. Again there is a big mirror to use in here as well. The showers aren't to bad, they do the job ( you can't beat your own shower at home!). If feeling the munchies coming on they have a vending machine in the entrance selling an assortment of snacks like crisps and different chocolate bars ( I usually go prepared with a bag of goodies!). They are a bit on the pricey side, but you would expect that I suppose. They will also have a large selection of leaflets for different places to visit thats close to that area. As I said at the start we chose this particluar one as we wanted to get to Dover early the next morning. This is a good stop over as it is only 25 miles from the Dover Ferry Port. We booked two nights so we could spent one day looking around Canterbury, there always seems to be more to discover, with the Ducking Chair that sits over the river or the little shops that surround the Cathedral it is always a pleasure to visit. Canterbury is 5 miles from this Travelodge and when leaving you have to go out onto the road driving the opposite way for only a few yards before you go under the road and back the right way. There is also Howletts Wild Animal Park to visit (13 miles ), I haven't been there myself. You can get offers for rooms in most Travelodges, they do an offer, where if you book: ~~~21 Days Ahead From £19.00~~ ~~~ 7 Days Ahead From £29.00~~ ~~~On the day depending when from £35-£66 per night~~ at this particular lodge. I must just say that I have recently visited a brand new lodge and it was great with a flatscreen TV on the wall, trendy wall lights that dimmed and blinds at the windows all done in a red and white theme. Maybe they will get round to refurbishing and updating the others soon. I Hope So!! I'm hoping to visit the Newquay one soon!