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To celebrate its first hotel above a comedy club, Travelodge has rolled out a "loo laughs" campaign at London's new 131-room Bethnal Green location in hopes of keeping its guests entertained at all times. That's right -- there are jokes and cartoons on the toilet paper.
The idea was inspired by the hotel's position on top of British comedian Lee Hurst's Backyard Comedy Club, but it was also backed up by a bit of data. Travelodge ran a survey of 2,000 Britons that revealed 49% of them like to read on the loo.
Based on what we've seen, it doesn't appear they got much professional help with the joke writing, despite its location. The two samples we've seen haven't exactly been side-splitters. For example, Why are men better than dogs? Because they have only two muddy feet to walk into the house. Or, worse: How many men does it take to change the roll of toilet paper? We don't know... it's never happened. Oh, dear.
According to the story, Leo Nocentelli, a guitarist from the Meters Experience, attempted to check into the hotel along with two other members of the band. When he handed over his credit card to cover incidentals during the stay, the hotel manager refused to take it.
Except there was nothing wrong with the card—just the manager, who somehow didn't like the look of these guys. When Nocentelli's friend later showed up to see what was wrong, the manager told him he didn't accept credit cards from black people.
Um. We always knew Travelodge was kind of an outdated brand, but...seriously?
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Most of the time, a writer's fate is to be stuck behind a blank computer screen, itching for an excuse to get up and go do something else. Once in a while, however, some writers actually score gigs worth envying, as in the case of celebrity journalist Neil Sean, who's become the first-ever writer in residence for budget hotel chain Travelodge.
As part of the deal, Sean will travel to some of the brand's 504 European hotels throughout England, Ireland and Spain, while writing his latest book, How To Live Like A Celebrity For FREE. Interesting title. In the guide, Sean will apparently share some money-saving tips he's learned over the years from interviewing A-listers like J-Lo, Simon Cowell and Beyonce.
Step one, we're guessing, involves saving piles of money by staying at a—wait for it—Travelodge!
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Last week The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler got scammed after booking an apartment on Craigslist and that sucks. So being the nice people that we are we thought we’d give you a list of cheap London hotels so you don’t have to trawl for a cheap flat and end up getting burnt. Also worth noting: people in London use Gumtree over Craigslist, anyways.
Tune Hotel Westminster
The Tune Hotel Westminster is one of our favourite cheap hotels. It has everything you need from a budget hotel – a bed and a bathroom. There’s also a TV, but, like everything else you need to pay to use it. Even with all of the extras, though, it still works out pretty cheap: under £60 when we stayed there.
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Make sure you set your alarms this Wednesday and do not oversleep! That's because UK budget hotel chain, Travelodge, is holding one of its famous £9 room sales.
The sale kicks off at 6am UK time with thousands of rooms available at Travelodges all over the UK.
The £9 rooms (approx $14 USD) will be available on selected dates throughout the whole of next year. Yes, that's right-- we said the whole of next year, from 1st January 2011 - 28th December. 2011. And we thought Christmas was already over!
So if you’re after a cheap room for the night, log onto the website this Wednesday, December 29 at 6am. All rooms are subject to availability, and are valid for a limited time only.
With over 300 Travelodges in the UK, 10 of which are located in London there are plenty to choose from. But remember, most of the good dates and locations sell out fast so be super quick!
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Click on Lenny – not to his left
Trouble is brewing in budget UK bedland. The catalyst? Premier Inn’s promotion, fronted by an E list celeb (Lenny Henry) and offering 1,000,000 rooms for £29 on stays from Thursdays to Mondays until April 2010.
The T&Cs were a little daunting – stay two nights (why would you want to stay two nights in a Premier Inn?) or one on a Sunday, book 21 days ahead (if we ever get so organised that we’ll book a motel three weeks in advance, we’ll rip out our own fingernails) – but apart from that, fair enough.
Except, then Premier Inn’s main rivals, Travelodge, checked out the offer and discovered that there was a confusing, two tier booking system on the website.
If you click on Lenny Henry’s face, under “Premier Offers”, you’ve got a 24 per cent chance of bagging a cheapo room. But if you click on the “Quick Booking” facility just to its left – which you might be more likely to do if you had a specific date in mind – there’s less than 1 per cent chance of getting one.
As reported by The Times, Travelodge – which is currently boasting rooms for £9 in its Easter sale - have whipped it up, lodging a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority , mentioning it in its weekly mailshot and setting up an anti-Premier Inn petition.
But it may just have backfired. Not only are people hitting the comments boards slagging off Travelodge for the state of its rooms, but it’s also alerted its entire customer base to a cheap deal with its rival. Meanwhile, Premier Inn have vowed to correct the booking “anomaly”.
We still think it was bad form of Premier Inn not to have the cheap prices running throughout the website, but Travelodge, you’re not looking good right now. Frankly, we’ll be boycotting the pair of you.
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We've been variously hot and cold about hotel chain iPhone apps. As a rule we embrace anything that can help us travel easier while already on the road, and we certainly embrace it if it lives in the App Store. But hotel apps fall into that dicey category where we're not sure that the bother that goes into them is worth whatever comes out.
Hotel iPhone applications generally help you find a nearby chain hotel and check in through your rewards account. Sometimes they may automatically dial customer service. All of which is great except people rarely book within just one chain. Price is usually the most important factor, which means using a search engine, and rarely is someone in so much of a pinch that exact GPS-pinpointed location matters.
As for checking in, well, we're not talking about flights. The hotel will still be there waiting when you arrive, and you'll still have to wait in line to get it. Checking in doesn't have to happen from the road.
Nonetheless, hotels aren't going to stop producing apps. It's just what companies do these days. So here's our roundup of the industry's current offerings. Feel free to sound off in the comments: would you make space on your beloved iPhone for something like this?
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You’re headed to Europe and despite all the talk about airline deals, getting there has eaten up a lot of your budget. So you're going to stay on the cheap. Yesterday, we listed our Five Best Budget Brands in Europe so that you will know the best hotels to hit up and what you get for your money.
But you also need to know which ones to avoid. Sure, the prices are right at these budget brands but there are times you may want to pay a little more for your peace of mind.
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In need of a cheapo vacation? Thinking that the $100 and $150 deals we were talking about here are out of your price range this time round? It’s time to rediscover the joys of the budget hotel.
And while Europe doesn’t have quite as many as America (in other words, there isn't a choice of about five chain motels at every motorway exit), it’s still possible to know roughly what’s in store when you book into a budgie room. Here are our Five Best Budget Brands in Europe. Tune in tomorrow for our picks for the worst.
You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
Oh, goodness. This is not very nice. This hotel advertises itself on its website as Regina, Saskatchewan's "premier hotel for business or leisure." We would like to contend this claim; instead, we submit that this is the world's premier hotel for people watching and sort of nothing else.
This is a shot out the window of a hotel room (yes, a hotel room) at the Travelodge in Regina, Saskatchewan, taken by Flickr user emmerogers, who notes that this view makes the hotel "not exactly couples paradise." Uh, yeah. Agreed.
Anyway, this is a budget, family-friendly hotel, but it is not really conducive to, er, makin' the family grow, if you get our drift. It's got an on-site family restaurant, this indoor pool and waterslide complex and offers free parking, and rooms run around $139.00. Should you ever find yourself in Regina with the kiddies or a deep urge to people watch, why not go for it?
We know US hotels are getting despo these days (desperate, that is in case you're not hip to the abbreves) and chains are slashing room rates in an effort to lure you into their rooms. Things are just as tough across the pond: According to the Telegraph, the average price of a hotel room in Britain fell to its lowest point in four years at the end of 2008, and the economy has been rough on hotel operators across the UK bad news for them, but good news for you: rates are going down. Way down.
Wallet-friendly chain Travelodge is the latest to hop aboard the rate-kickback train and, starting Thursday morning, they'll be launching a sale offering 50,000 rooms across Britain at £9 per night (about 13 USD), and 100,000 more rooms will go on sale for £19 (about 28 USD) a night. Also, you'll be able to snag rooms for 10 euros at the chain's three Spanish properties (in Madrid and Barcelona).
Per the Telegraph:
The sale kicks off at 6:00 am on Thursday and will be available for stays between August 27 and November 30, including over the August Bank Holiday and the autumn half term break.
For US folks, 6 am Thursday over there is 1 am Thursday morning (so, like, Wednesday night, really) on the East Coast. The sale will go live here.
[Photo: AP via Telegraph UK]
This week, UK chain Travelodge made a splash by launching its iBooker, a free, downloadable iPhone application that uses GPS to find your location, pulls up the five closest Travelodge hotels, and allows you to book an available room at the property (you can also book a room via the iBooker without using the GPS system).
This isn't the first free hotel booking engine to make its way onto the iPhone; you may recall that Hotels.com launched a booking application last summer that we found to be, um, not all that awesome. But will this whole booking-via-chain-specific-iPhone app like the Travelodge iBooker become the hot new thang? Is this the wave of the future?