“ Address: 150 Kings Inch Road / Renfrew / PA4 8XQ / Glasgow / Scotland „
We have just returned from many trips we make through the year to The Outer Hebrides, and although we often fly, we love to take our little dog Molly so sometimes we take the car over on the ferry. This presents us with two options, either to take the ferry from Skye to North Uist, or to go via Oban to South Uist. Both routes have their ups and downs, but the latter is exactly that- up and down and a 5 and a half hour marathon for a seasick prone lady. Even so both of these require a lot of driving hours, and for safety we often break our journey in Northern England or around Glasgow, as we live in Essex and it can take many hours to get even this far. As we have our little dog in tow some of the hotel chains we could use are not possible, as they are not dog friendly, so for example we can't use Premier Inns. It's a pity because I favour this chain as they have firm beds, which we prefer, so we tend to alternate between Express by Holiday Inns and Travelodges, however the latter I only book if I can get a discount, as they are in general not to the standard of the Express chain where I am a Priority Club member, and where they serve a complimentary breakfast. So for this trip we opted for the Travelodge as I was able to secure an offer for £29 and we chose the one at The Braehead Shopping Centre just off the M8 as it is newly built and near to our daughter who lives in Glasgow. This lodge would be convenient if you were planning a shopping trip as it is situated in a metropolis of big names like IKEA and giant superstores sprawl over the area all within walking distance. There is also a giant cinema complex here, literally just across the road, so it is perfect for seeing a film during your stay. The area whilst busy in the daytime evacuates at night, leaving the lodge to bathe in quiet surroundings to facilitate a calm and peaceful sleep. We arrived late at about 11.45 to find the receptionist multi tasking, checking in guests and serving drinks at the bar which was adjacent to the check in desk so we did have to wait for about 5 minutes. This was tough at the end of a 10 hour drive, but he was very apologetic so that was fine. Check in was swift but expensive as the last two years has seen prices of dog holidays rocket. Molly was charged £20 to check in which I paid, but remember when only yesterday this was a discretionary £5 which was often forgotten. This was a surprise as last year it was £10-which probably means I will go to the express chain now in preference as they welcome dogs and do not charge extra. I can understand this fee however, as although Shih Tzu's are dinky little dogs who snooze like babies in their beds making no mess, even Shih Tzu's have puppy days and accidents, and so in effect these £20 mount up until one day a dog causes havoc and the costs can be recouped. The room itself was large-the bed shrouded in a white duvet, the carpet plain blue and a polar white roller blind hung at the window beyond which the view of a demolition/bomb site could have been Beirut, and I almost felt like a news reporter where the bombing had threatened my existence and shaken the foundations of this place of shelter. Still soon it will be a housing estate and the view will no doubt be of swings and slides and whirlgigs of vibrant garments blowing in the Glasgow breeze. The room was minimalistic with a flat screen wall mounted telly; desk and a smart bathroom with bath and shower above with rust red tiling, all immaculate with no tell tale signs of wear. There was plenty of room to dress as the sparse nature of the fittings almost made me feel it was waiting for something to be delivered. It was missing the homely hotel touches, no cosy chair or hair dryer, and a counted out tea and coffee quota, devoid of any enticing bourbons or even the odd custard cream, but of course you are told of this when you book so you aren't expecting these little gestures. With plenty of supermarkets nearby you can of course stock up. The bed is always the problem for me in these lodges as it is always soft and I seem to sink into it like quicksand, emerging from it the next morning with an appointment at an osteopath on my to do list! This bed was no exception but it was newish so didn't have the divot problem, but it was just not me, or hubby either for that matter. It's horses for courses here though, as my parents for example have a house full of these soft beds which you sink into, and they love them. The room was quiet with no external noise to disturb and no guest noises to punctuate the night. We always take our own breakfast but they did have some continental choices to buy for £7.50.This is reduced to £5.99 if you pay at the time of booking. An advantage of this lodge over some which are closer to the airport is that there was minimal noise from guests rising early for flights so we were able to wake naturally. I think this lodge represents the way that this chain is developing and going forwards as it has been designed to be calming and minimalistic, without any sign of the dreadful eye straining patterns of yesteryear with clashing colour schemes and busy carpets to hide stains and patches of wear. The room is a simple white clean base to rest. Will I use again?-yes if I had an offer but probably not with Molly as she can rest her weary paws elsewhere for free. It is much better inside than all the other Glasgow lodges as I have stayed in all of them,perhaps with the exception of the one at the airport which is a more recent build than those in the centre. Other details from their website Early Check-in and Late Check-out service available at this hotel. Early Check-in from 12noon and Late Check-out available until 2.00pm, subject to available rooms. Charged on arrival at £10.00 for each service. To check availability contact the hotel directly. Please note that the Bar Café only serves breakfast and not evening meals. There are however a number of restaurants close by. Places To Go: Xscape - Braehead - 0.5 miles Braehead Shopping Centre - 0.5 miles Glasgow Ski & Snowboard Centre - 2 miles Crookston Castle - 2 miles Glasgow Science Centre - 3 miles Paisley Abbey - 3 miles Glasgow Botanic Gardens - 3 miles Museum of Education - 3 miles The Lighthouse - 4 miles Hampden Park - 5 miles Calderglen Country Park - 11 miles Loch Lomond Shores & Gateway Centre - 13 miles Travelodge Glasgow Braehead Hotel 150 Kings Inch Road Renfrew PA4 8XQ Tel: 0871 984 6372 From the west exit the M8 at Junction 26, from the east exit at Junction 25a and follow signs for Braehead Arena & Xscape. Turn left at the first set of traffic lights and right at the second set of traffic lights following brown signs for Braehead Arena & Xscape. Once you pass Sainsbury's on your right go straight ahead at the first roundabout where you will find the hotel 200 yards on the right.