“ Address: Hertz House / 700 Bath Road / Hounslow / Middlesex / TW5 9SW / England „
When the option arose for me to avail of two complimentary flight tickets to Male from London Heathrow with Sri Lankan Airlines through work my husband and I jumped at the change of returning to our honeymoon destination less than 12 months from when we were there previously, however, being located in the North meant that we had to get down to London having booked connecting flights separately when we had a schedule change from 0555 to 0920 we found that our flights now misconnected so we had to find a hotel to stopover on our return journey with only a few weeks until we departed.
On my last trip to London Heathrow I booked the Travelodge Heathrow Heston which is located on the M4 and at the time was the closest Travelodge available so I decided to look into obtaining a price for this hotel once more and was suprised to learn that there was infact 2 more hotels that had been constructed around Heathrow, one at Terminal 5's location and one which was called "Heathrow Central" this was the one I booked for the great price of £29.00 for a double room for the one night.
Travelodge are the fastest growing budget hotel chain with over 380 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain. For as long as I can remember Travelodge have offered comfortable accommodation for an overnight stay.
Prices start from just £9 per room which is ideal, the prices are low because the offer a basic standard of accommodation consisting of a bed, tv, cofee and tea facilities and ensuite facilities. Unlike other hotels Travelodge do not provide complimentary toiletries, a hairdryer or iron so basic accommodation is all you can expect from Travelodge Hotels and for the purpose of this stay that was all we needed.
As with most travel companies now the lowest prices are offered online whether it be a hotel room, car hire or package holiday.
So I logged onto www.travelodge.co.uk and the homepage gives you two options to locate your hotel.
Option 1: A-Z of hotels
Here you can locate your required hotel by clicking on the first letter of the location you wish to stay at.
Option 2: Go straight to booking a room
This is the option to select if you know the name of the hotel and have the date you want to book. As you type the first few characters of the location the possible results appear below for you to select, then click to check for available rooms.
The next page provides you with the hotels information, address and price for the night.
I proceeded to book the room which took me onto the next step which asked me to confirm the date of arrival and the duration of the stay, the number of adults and children to stay in the room and if you are booking for somebody else it will give you the option to tick the box and then it will ask you to provide the details of the person to stay at the hotel and to include their address and telephone number at your preference. As I was booking for myself I just entered that 2 adults would be staying at the hotel for the 1 night and I was asked if I wanted to add breakfast onto the reservation and obtain a 10% discount making it £6.75 instead of £7.50 however we decided we would not want breakfast and get something on the journey back home.
Once all the details have been provided you click to add to your basket and if you do not want to book any more rooms go through to checkout as I was registered with Travelodge I just had to enter my email address and password and the room would be stored to my account.
If you are not registered you will need to enter your email address and confirm it in the box below and provide your postcode and click on get my address and this will direct you to the next page to enter your personal details:
Title, First Name and Surname
Password and confirm password below in the next box
Contact telephone number
Your address will be pre-filled and you will just need to enter your house name or number.
Select the reason for your stay business or leisure
Then you will need to pay for the stay by clicking on continue to payment details.
When making your booking you will need to provide a credit or debit card as payment which is now debited at the time of booking rather than when you check out of the Travelodge to enable a smoother transaction..
You can pay with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa Debit/Delta, Maestro you will need to select the card from the drop down menu. I opted to pay with credit card and there was no extra charge for doing this a some companies do charge 2%.
Next you will need to enter the long card number on the front of the card followed by the expiry date and finally the card security code which are the last 3 digits on the reverse of the card located on the signature strip.
If you're using a Maestro card, you need either an issue number or a valid from date for the transaction to be processed.
Once the card details have been entered you will then be able to click and complete your booking and here you will be given your reservation number and also an email will be sent to the email address that is stored on your Travelodge account.
The site is 100% secure and to date no Travelodge customers have experienced fraudulent use of a credit or debit card as a result of making a booking with them.
All personal information is keep confidential and is encrypted so that information can only be exchanged between Travelodge and you and no third party can access the system.
Once the transaction has been completed all credit card information is removed.
*~*~ Getting to the Hotel~*~*
The nearest underground to the Heathrow Central is Hounslow East which is 1.3 miles.
If you are travelling from Terminals 1,2 or 3 then there is a hotel hoppa bus which costs £4 per person, one way to complete the 15 minute journey. We had arrived into Terminal 4 so we had to get the complimentary train to transfer to another terminal and then we made our way to Terminal 2 and bus stop 12 to collect the hotel shuttle bus from stand 12.
At the stand are pay stations to allow you to purchase your tickets with cash or cards.
I do have to say that it is quite confusing finding the transfer from the airport to the hotel and I would recommend printing the information from the Travelodge website beforehand to prevent any confusion this is because the Travelodge is not listed on the hotels that are offered by the hotel hoppa service.
Heathrow Central is one of the newest additions to the Travelodge chain and it certainly stands out against some of the older properties that now look tired and outdated that we passed enroute to our hotel.
As we pulled into the hotel the coloured glass panels instantly caught my eye with red, green, purple and orange glass panels that are on the outside of the bar cafe located on the first floor, the remainder of the exterior of the hotel is wooden and steel and it looks more modern but definately out of place considering the older buildings located behind.
The hotel overall looks very appealing from the exterior.
Access to the hotel is via automatic double doors and to the left are the stairs providing access to all floors and to the right are 2 elevators each will hold (apparantly) 8 people however we tested it with 2 other guests and found that 4 adults and 4 suitcases was a very tight struggle but we had no choice as there was only 1 out of the 2 elevators in operation which was definately an inconvenience first thing in the morning.
Check- in is from 3pm, however if you prefer you can check-in earlier from 12pm at an additional charge of £10.
The elevators brought us to the reception area which at the time of us arriving only had one guest being dealt with by the one member of staff, this gave me time to have a look around the reception.
Directly opposite the reception area was a hot coffee machine with drinks starting from £1.30, a vending machine with crisps, chocolate and a minimal selection of toiletries and a can machine where cans were the extortionate price of £1.00 each!
When the member of staff became free my husband and I presented our email confirmation of the reservation made and we were asked to confirm the first line of our address and the duration of our stay and if we wished to add breakfast for the additional cost of £7.50 per person, which we politely declined.
We were then provided with one keycard for our room and a slip of paper with our room number written on along with directions to our room which was located on the 4th floor.
*~*~Car Parking ~*~*
There is onsite car parking at this hotel and it costs £5 for 24 hours and a payment machine is located directly outside the entrance to the hotel, you can pay by cash or you can even pay via your mobile, unfortunately as we did not have a car I cannot go any further into this to advise on how you would do this but it did say on the side of the payment machine that it is quick and easy to do.
*~*~ Our Room~*~*
Our room was 451 and was located on the 4th floor and approximately a 5 minute walk from the elevators.
To access the room we had to use a key card which is common in most hotels now and is much more convenient as you can keep the card in your wallet/purse.
As we entered the room immediately to our right on the wall were the controls for the lights and the air conditioning and then a door which led to the compact bathroom.
Within the bathroom was a shower area complete with shower curtain, sink and vanity area and toilet. 1 bath towel and 1 hand towel was provided along with a bar of soap and 2 plastic cups. Simple but covers all the requirements.
I do have a few complaints about the bathroom however, the flooring was the type of flooring you get in an industrial factory, hardwearing but uncomfortable it looked like a form of lino with glitter running through it in a grey colour.
The toilet seat was not fixed properly and the tap in the sink could turn 360 degrees so some general maintenance was already required on this fairly new hotel.
Next is the bedroom itself, in the centre of the room was a double bed with simple white linen, a double duvet and 2 pillows. The rooms definately had a modern feel with walnut effect style laminate detail. The headboard has cut out shelves and flexible reading lights which were great for the modern sleek look and the lights were ideal for when my partner fell asleep.
There was a tiny window looking out over the car park and as we quickly discovered was directly under the flightpath of the runway so we had the roar of the engines over the room as the flights came into land, luckily we were so tired it did not pose to be a problem and we managed to sleep fine, infact I found it to be the best nights sleep I had for most of the holiday.
Underneath the window was a walnut effect laminate desk with a white bucket style chair which looks uncomfortable but in fact was pretty comfortable when I sat in it the following morning.
There are no telephones in the room but there is a small kettle along with 2 mugs and tea, coffee, sugar and milk to make yourself a refreshment and there was enough for 2 drinks each which is pretty generous considering the claim to be a no frills hotel.
Opposite the bed mounted onto the wall was an LCD television with the standard television channels but no freeview channels. Again this is ideal for such a short stopover and you need some quick entertainment.
As for a wardrobes and drawers there are non but there is a hanging area next to the window with 6 coat hangers and storage space above.
Overall the room was found to be compact but suit our needs, its not the greatest of rooms but for £29 it does represent excellent value for money. Check out is 12pm but you can pay an additional £10 to checkout up to 2pm subject to availability.
As we had arrived later we were slightly peckish so made our way too the bar cafe which was located on the first floor offering value for money food, apparantly.
My husband and I had spent time searching for delivery from Dominoes as we preferred to have something we would enjoy but it didn't recognise the address as it was obviously a very new build so we admitted defeat and headed to the hustle and bustle of the bar cafe.
The first impressions as I walked into it was that it resembled a school canteen, large and airy but very echoey and noisy.
The cafe itself was light and once more very modern with walnut effect tables and white booths and plastic chairs and tv's mounted on the wall blared out sky news.
For someone who had just come off a long flight and was absolutely shattered this was definately the last thing I needed but as we didn't have much choice as to where we could go we admitted defeat, selected a table and my husband went off to the bar to get us each a drink and order a pizza to take back to our room, only when he went to order the tills had crashed and you could only pay if you had the correct money which for most people they just don't have that and we certainly didn't have any cash so we were stranded with nothing to eat and were told to return in about 15 minutes when the manager would arrive to reboot the tills and rectify the problem.
We wondered whether we should go and have a look around outside but it was getting late and we had no idea where the nearest cash point was so decided to wait around for the problem to be fixed which in fact took 30 minutes.
Eventually we did manage to place our order and sat in the cafe waiting for it to arrive, thinking as we were taking it to our room it would be in a box to make it easy to transport but no it arrived on a plate with cutlery and we were expected to carry it up to our room on a hot plate with no further assistance.
The food we saw coming out didn't look all that greast to be honest and the food was just glorified fast food with burgers, lasagna and curry being the main options on the menu. A copy of the menu could be printed or viewed as a pdf document via the Travelodge website, prices were not all that reasonable and the 10" pizzas cost us £7.25 and to be honest tasted pretty awful. The pepperoni pizza had a very bad aftertaste and the crust was rock hard it was inedible. The Hawaiian pizza that I opted for was a little better but again the crust was too hard and inedible. I would definately say we did NOT get value for money as far as the food was concerned.
A soft drink cost £1.35 for a small bottle. I cannot comment on the cost for alcohol as we did not consume any.
For somewhere to get a night's sleep then I would definately recommend this hotel but if you are fussy and want good food and service you will be unlikely to receive it at this hotel.