Travelodge invited us to review the Travelodge at Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s no secret we’ve wanted to review an accessible room for some time, so the opportunity to visit Shakespeare’s country and review a room was one we couldn’t pass up.
Travelodge is a budget hotel chain with some 500 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Europe. It’s widely known their rooms are clean, comfortable and affordable but are they accessible?
As disabled travellers, the number one thing we need when booking a hotel room is access information. Armed with this information we’re able to make an informed choice. Hopefully, this balanced review will answer many of your questions …
The Travelodge in Stratford-upon-Avon
Travelodge rooms are basic with a touch of style thrown in for good measure. If like us, you use the hotel as a base then I’m confident in saying Travelodge in Stratford-upon-Avon is a good choice.
Location and Parking
The hotel is perfectly positioned for a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon town centre. In the town centre, you’ll find the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare’s birthplace, Holy Trinity Church, Shakespeare’s grave, river cruises, shops, bars and restaurants.
It’s a 5-minute drive into town, you can walk it, but I wouldn’t. If you haven’t got a car there are plenty of accessible buses passing the hotel?
Across the road from the hotel is a retail park with numerous restaurants, fast food outlets and a Tesco’s supermarket. The food was absolutely fine in the hotel but if you don’t want to eat there you can take a stroll over the road.
I counted six disabled parking spaces outside the entrance to the hotel. These spaces are part of a much larger free car park so parking shouldn’t be an issue.
Travelodge Stratford-upon-Avon is a large modern building, you enter the car park at the rear. It has level access to the entrance and automatic doors with an accessible call button for out of hour’s entry.
The reception area is bright and welcoming. The reception desk is chest height with no lower level. This can be a barrier for wheelchair users, but I’m sure the reception staff would come around to the front of the desk if you asked them.
Check-in was straightforward, we were given a warm and friendly welcome by Kevin. He explained the hotel facilities, what to do in the event of a fire or evacuation, enquired what we had planned, offered directions and information about Stratford-upon-Avon and assured us if we needed anything all we had to do was ask.
I’m cynical and it did cross my mind this level of welcome was for our benefit, I observed from a distance and it definitely wasn’t for our benefit. Each customer who entered reception was given the same greeting which was refreshing to see.
In my experience staff can make or break a hotel stay. Marc, the hotel manager clearly has customer experience at the heart of his operation. He should be commended for this attention to detail and running a very smooth operation.
Throughout our stay, every single member of the team was polite, efficient and attentive without being overbearing which is a bonus!
Communal Access to Room
I did chuckle when we were allocated room 101. In case you don’t watch room 101, it’s a TV programme where things you don’t like are sent to the bin.
Our room was situated on the first floor, the upper floors are served by stairs and two lifts. Access to the lift is through a wide door, I’m experienced at holding doors open with my foot and manoeuvring Bridget’s wheelchair, but this isn’t an option for everyone.
The door is directly adjacent to reception so you can ask for help if you need it.
The lift is big enough to take a manual wheelchair and attendant, the corridors are wide and there are evacuation points on upper floors near the entrance to the lift.
I’m not sure you could fit a large motorised scooter in the lift so a ground floor room would need to be requested and hopefully allocated.
To get the best price on an accessible room – Check Latest Price on Tripadvisor
First impressions are important when I enter a hotel room and what struck me was space. It wasn’t the biggest room I’ve stayed in but not the smallest either.
I think the size of our room was just right, I could turn the wheelchair without difficulty and store it fully open without it getting in the way.
The new look rooms have bold colours set against a bright background. The colour scheme does jazz up what is ultimately a budget hotel room. I’m not criticising because most budget hotel rooms are the same and I think Travelodge have done well with these colours.
I said earlier, I want a clean and comfortable base to rest my head. The new look Travelodge room fit’s the bill perfectly.
The room has the basics as you’d expect, TV, tea, coffee, a desk and chair and storage. The desk is high enough for wheelchair users and the clothes hangers low enough, but the storage shelf could be a bit high from a seated position.
I think the absence of a bedside cabinet and plug near to the bed is a mistake, it means you have to get up off the bed to charge phones etc. This is an inconvenience especially if you have mobility problems?
There are small shelves indented into the headboard, you can fit a cup on them but not much else. This is all part of the new design so maybe something for Travelodge to think about in the future especially inaccessible rooms.
The headboard has an emergency call button which is useful. I didn’t test it out this time because the last time I did it the member of staff wasn’t very pleased when they ran to the room and realised it was a drill and not an emergency (this was in another hotel chain).
Travelodge is in the process of replacing their beds with Dreamer beds. If our bed was a new one I want one!
I’m not usually a good sleeper. I think it comes from years of sleeping with one eye open but I enjoyed two nights of unbroken sleep in the new bed.
Bridget also confirms she slept relatively well considering she doesn’t sleep well anywhere else, even in our own bed.
I mentioned attention to detail earlier. Drinking glasses in the room may not be the deal clincher for most but for us, it’s a big deal.
Bridget takes a lot of medication and a glass is simply convenient rather than washing cups all the time, this room had two plastic glasses which was more than acceptable.
We had the luxury of a full wet room complete with wall mounted shower seat, multiple grab rails, bars and emergency cord.
The door had a low-level handle, grab rail and was wide enough to wheel a chair through.
The toilet was at a convenient height to transfer from a chair and had an easy flush paddle handle. The sink was low enough to get washed in and surrounded by bars and rails.
The bathroom overall was usable for people with mobility problems. It could have felt quite sterile but it didn’t, I think the red takes the edge of it!
Moving around the hotel was easy and clutter free. I noticed braille on all direction signs and lift buttons. There’s also a hearing loop on reception for the hard of hearing.
Hot and cold breakfast, bar snacks and meals are served in the small bistro type restaurant. We tried the “all you can eat” buffet breakfast which more than set us up for the day. As you can see the restaurant area quite spacious so moving around in a wheelchair is easy.
We also tried out the evening menu when we returned from the theatre, it was served quickly, tasty and relatively cheap.
The menu has a number of meal deals on it so it’s not too expensive to eat in the hotel which is another bonus if you’re on a budget.
Conveniently there’s a disabled toilet in the bar/restaurant area which is good to see. I’ve stayed in a number of hotels where the only option to use the toilet was returning to the room.
There’s also a vending machine in reception if you need a sugar rush – or are just greedy like me!
We really enjoyed our stay in Travelodge and will definitely stay there again when we’re in the area.
I like the new look and layout of their accessible rooms. I’ve mentioned a few minor points which if rectified would simply make an enjoyable stay even better. Overall we were comfortable, relaxed and made to feel very welcome.
If you want a no nonsense, value for money hotel room in Stratford-upon-Avon Travelodge is a great choice.
Bridget and I would like to thank the team for giving us the opportunity to review their hotel and for the very warm welcome!
See more of our reviews: Hotels, Cottages and B&B’s