“ Address: 5-11 Hill Street / Glasgow / G3 6RP „
A recent trip up to Glasgow for a couple of days to attend a concert and celebrate a friend's birthday meant we needed a place to stay. I must admit Travelodge is not my first port of call these days when looking to book a hotel, as you can often find a cheaper and yet superior alternative to this budget chain. However, there are times when Travelodge can be the cheapest and if you are not looking to spend a great deal of time in your room then I am happy to book a room. On this occasion, rooms were available for just £22 per night when booked well in advance at Glasgow Central Travelodge and a friend of ours took advantage, booking her room 3 months prior to our visit. I didn't have any money to spare at this time and so had to book at a later date, where we ended up paying £38 per night, which was still quite a bargain considering that a few days before our visit, another friend booked a room and the price had risen to £60. Therefore it certainly pays to book well in advance if you possibly can. Glasgow Central Travelodge is one of a few Travelodge hotels in the Glasgow area, but this one seemed to be a convenient location on Hill Street, a couple of minutes walk away from Sauchiehall Street which is where we would be spending a lot of our time during our stay as the concert venue was also located here. We also decided to take advantage of cheap train tickets instead of travelling by car as usual. This worked out cheaper on this occasion as there was no car park at the hotel and we would have had to pay £24 in car parking charges, to park the car for 48 hours at a nearby local authority car park. Factor in the petrol cost and it worked out cheaper to travel by train. After arriving in Glasgow, it was £4 in a taxi from the central station to the hotel and we arrived shortly after the check-in time of 2pm. From the outside, the Travelodge doesn't look up to much, but then central hotels often don't. There was a cash machine handily located at the hotel just outside the main door, but it does charge £1.84 to make a withdrawal. As we entered the hotel, we noticed some automated check-in screens, where you simply key in your name and booking number and your room keycard is issued. There was also a reception desk but there didn't seem to be anyone around and so we used the automated check-in with no problems at all. Just as we had finished, however, a woman appeared behind the desk and informed us that the main doors would be locked at 10pm and we needed to press the buzzer outside and speak our name and room numbers into the intercom to be let in. She spoke in quite a forthright manner which made us feel a little like schoolchildren as she repeated this information again. A man who had also just checked in, jokingly asked what would happen if he forgot his name which caused a giggle amongst us, but the woman obviously did not see the funny side of this and went on to repeat quite sternly that we would not be allowed in if we could not give this information. All rooms appeared to be on the upper floors and downstairs was a bar area with tables where meals were also available at certain times as well as breakfast. There were also a couple of vending machines. Our rooms were on the first floor which we accessed via one of the two lifts just off the reception area. On entering our room my first thoughts were that it was basic but clean. In fact it was cleaner than some of the previous Travelodges I have stayed in. There were no stains on the carpets or walls for instance. The bed was made up with crisp white linen but had two quite flat looking pillows. I always sleep with two as does my partner and he noticed a spare pillow on top of the shelving/hanging space. I thought it odd they only provided three pillows in a double room as most hotels would supply four, so we thought we would ask for another one later at reception. The room was quite small in comparison to our friend's room which had more space to move around in, however it was adequate considering we would not be spending a lot of time in it other than to sleep and shower really. It did have a flat screen TV which sat on a large workspace area which again made this room look a little more modern than some Travelodges which still have the old style TV's in the rooms. There were also two windows in the room looking out onto Hill Street. We were almost directly above the main entrance but it was surprisingly quiet considering people were going in and out. There was a fish and chip restaurant and take away on the opposite side of the road, which we thought may come in handy, however this seemed to close early evening. The windows in our room were both open on our arrival and closing them proved to be a bit of a problem. Whilst one closed easily enough, we had problems closing the other and were just about to inform reception when we managed to eventually close it. Hence to say, we didn't bother opening that one again during our stay. The wall mounted heater was easy to operate and our room was certainly warm enough during our stay. There were tea and coffee making facilities in the room with the usual sachets provided. The bathroom was also clean and featured a shower over the bath which was more powerful than I expected it to be which was a bonus. The towels provided however, were clean enough but quite thin. A tiny bar of bland guest soap was the only toiletry provided, but as I like to take my own anyway this was not a problem. We showered and changed and went out for the evening and on returning after 10pm were all poised to press the buzzer and recite our names and room numbers as instructed, only to find the doors open! The same thing happened the next evening too and so despite the woman's strict warnings about their rules, they clearly aren't always upheld! Thankfully the other staff we encountered during our stay were a lot more pleasant. A young girl who served in the bar was really friendly, as was the member of staff we encountered on checking out. The drink and food prices were reasonable and we had a couple of drinks in the hotel bar. A few guests ordered food which was reasonably priced but looked pretty basic and bland looking. We preferred to eat out as there are plenty of places nearby. We slept reasonably ok during our stay. We were not disturbed at all by any noise either inside or outside the hotel, however the bed wasn't the most comfortable I must admit. The mattress seemed to dip in the middle, so we ended up rolling into the middle and getting out of bed was a slight uphill climb. We also forgot to ask for another pillow and so shared the spare. Overall, I can recommend Glasgow Central Travelodge as one of the better hotels in this chain in my experience. It was also in an ideal location for where we needed to be and it was great to be able to walk to and from the hotel to Sauchiehall Street without the need for a taxi. This hotel is basic but clean and if they improved the beds then it would have received an extra star from me. I don't think I would be happy to pay any more than the amount we paid for our rooms however, but would be happy to stay here again at a low price. Travelodge Glasgow Central Hotel 5-11 Hill Street Glasgow G3 6RP Tel: 0871 984 6141 or visit www.Travelodge.co.uk to book.