While this section of Waterloo Road is nothing to get excited about, the hotel is well placed if you are up in town to see a play, film or exhibition on the South Bank. It takes just six minutes to walk to Waterloo Station, and you'll also be close to the Old Vic Theatre and Imperial War Museum.
There are 279 rooms arranged over eight floors. Those on the north side have larger windows, not that there is much to see. Try to avoid rooms near the lifts as my sleep was disturbed by guests coming and going through the adjacent doors. Inside, the decor is sparse to the point of monastic with a uniform style of blue carpet, faux wood furniture and white bedding. There's a TV with limited channels, tea/coffee facilities, a good shower and it's all clean and comfortable - but not at all exciting.
The front of the hotel is a listed building (a former bank). Pass through the sliding glass doors and you find a modern, brightly-lit lobby with pop music playing. There's a Bar-Café that serves drinks till 1am, plus vending machines and computers for booking your next Travelodge stay...
Eating and drinking
Breakfast is a canteen-like "all you can eat" buffet (£7.50, free for children under 15) that includes cooked dishes. There is also a menu of burgers, pizzas and curries available for lunch and dinner, but you're better off visiting the many restaurants along Waterloo Road.
Brisk and polite. When I asked about local restaurants and buses I was immediately given a handy list and a transport map. If you want to avoid human interaction, there are kiosks with computer screens for express check-in, while check-out is as a simple as dropping your key-card in a hole because everything is pre-paid.
Who stays there
Most guests are there for one night, but Travelodge hotels also have a loyal following of business customers.
You can book Travelodge hotels up to a year in advance, which is one way to bag a room for an acceptable price. The company also has good promotional sales, although with a popular hotel like this the chance of finding availability is slim. Rates include VAT and 'flexible' bookings offer the option of claiming a refund if you cancel before noon on the day of arrival.
- High-Speed Internet
- Backpackers / Students
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- First-time travellers
- Stag / hen parties
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Central location
- Budget rates
- Minimal facilities
- Institutional atmosphere