“ Location: Moto Service Area, M5 Motorway, Sandygate, Exeter, EX2 7HF. „
My parents live in Dawlish and, I don't know whether they were trying to tell us something, but the moment my sisters and I had all left home, they promptly sold the family home and moved into a one bedroom flat! It's lovely for them, but it does mean that every time we want to come and visit we need to find accommodation elsewhere. After having tried a few other options, we now seem to have settled on the Exeter Travelodge as our place to stay when visiting. This is mainly for two reasons - convenience and price! Firstly it is very well located as it is part of the Exeter Service area at Junction 30 of the M5 which is the main route into Devon and Cornwall from just about anywhere else in the country. The actual address is: Moto Service Area M5 Motorway, Sandygate, Exeter, EX2 7HF‎ The fact that it is located at the service area means that if you are using it as a stopover on a longer journey, you don't have to worry about wasting time trying to find it. You can literally see the place from the motorway! It's also ideal to stay at if you want a base for visiting different places in Devon - Exeter, Dartmoor, the North Devon Coast, Torbay, Teignmouth, Dawlish and Exmoor are all within easy reach. As I said earlier, we use it as a base when visiting family in Dawlish which I think is about nine miles away! Even though it is very close to the motorway though, you really don't hear traffic noise at all! The Exeter Travelodge is very much like any Travelodge that you are likely to stay at. The facilities are clean but quite basic. We stayed in a family room which had a double bed and something that looked like a sofa. This actually turns into two single beds by removing the cushions for one and sliding a divan out from underneath for the other. Although the double bed is made up for you on arrival, you need to bear in mind that these won't be which can be a bit of a disaster if you are arriving late at night with sleepy children! There will be spare sheets and pillows in the room ready for you though. There are also tea and coffee making facilities which are also very welcome. You will get a TV in your room too but this does only show the basic terrestrial channels. There is the option of paying for Wi-Fi. The cost varies from £5 for one hour to £30 for a whole month but we tend not to bother with it. It's also worth remembering that none of the Travelodges go overboard in supplying little extras in the bathroom. You will probably find a small bar of soap but nothing else so you will need to remember your own shampoo and shower gel etc. Bizarrely though, there is a can opener! The shower is part of the bath and does a pretty good job although it's never as good as a separate shower. There are also plenty of towels supplied but. Like in most places these days, you are asked not to put them in to be washed every day. The rooms are cleaned every day of your stay and it was lovely to come back one day to discover that the cleaner had even tucked my daughter's teddy up in bed! My one complaint about staying in the Travelodge is that I found the double bed very uncomfortable. I think we are extremely spoilt with the mattress we have at home which always gives me a good night's sleep. The problem with the Travelodge bed is that if there are two of you sharing, the moment one of you starts tossing or turning, the other one is aware of every single little movement. It certainly doesn't lend itself to the best night's sleep. Maybe we have just been unlucky in the rooms that we have had, but as we are booked in for Christmas I will be crossing my fingers for a better bed. The Travelodge is right next door to a Harry Ramsden's and this is ideal for getting breakfast. The Travelodge itself does offer continental breakfasts which are called light start breakfasts at a cost of £4.05 each. With family so close though, we tend to not bother with these. The pricing system is very odd so it is difficult to tell you how much it costs for a night as it changes from day to day. Looking at one week, the daily tariff for Exeter varies between £42 and £60 and virtually every day it is something different. If you book far enough in advance you can take advantage of the rooms for £19 offer although these don't seem to come up so much for Exeter as they do for other travelodges. We have, however, managed to book our three Christmas nights for £19 each which I am very pleased about. The best way to book is online and this is reasonably easy to do. It is definitely worth checking your online confirmation though and taking this with you. The staff at the Exeter Travelodge were very friendly when booking us in and very helpful, but because of the nature of the motel you don't see much of them after that! Overall, if you are visiting the West Country and are happy with just the basics, you really can't go wrong with Exeter Travelodge.